Elsewhere on the forum comparisons of firmware updates for DirectStream DACs range from disagreement on sound quality (subjective) to disagreement on update process success. I wish to intoduce the topic of the file source as some cause of these different sound quality veiwpoints. I can best do this with a brief summary of my own subjective experiences.
My system reference before PS was a fine CD player which as a redbook disc player and DAC always outperformed an OK streamer and computer quality NAS with FLAC files rippped by Dbpoweramp
A DS Junior and Bridge with Yale was introduced as streamer and DAC, and the differences between CD replay and FLAC files from NAS narrowed to evens. It was as good as the CD player DAC but presented differently with detail over fluidity (?).
Updated to Torreys (no problem) the reference sound was to listen to FLAC from the NAS, a moderate but distinct improvemnt over the digital feed from CD player, or from the CD player DAC.
Updated to Huron ( did not go well but rescued by Kevin, UK importer and Jeremy at PS Audio) and my first listens to FLAC files from the NAS seemed rather similiar - though some time had intervened and made comparison even more subjective. The surprise reference (and definite wow factor) came when I fed any red book disc from the CD player by coax to DSJr. This was better than anything before by some margin, in detail, image and tonally. Files from the NAS were indistinct and less dynamic by comparison.
Since then I have also used streamed FLAC files from Qobuz (no fancy internet connection) and this performs as well as NAS files but cannot match the CD player output. By the way the analogue output is through substantial balanced valve amplifiers and hybrid horn speakers which are dynamic,open and revealing by most listners standards. Analogue cables are higher end but digital connections are moderate quality items.
My question to the forum is which source(s) might, or might not, be favoured when I upgrade to Redbank ?
PS I have avoided being specific about my equipment as others will have there own taste naturally. The piece in common is the DS DAC.