HELP!.. PWD MK II + Bridge I firmware update failure


#1

Dear all!

Here’s to share a few thoughts and to ask for some help if any available.

Prelude.
A few months ago I came across Paul McGowan’s YouTube channel. Mr. McGowan is a fine gentleman and obviously is a man of high skill. In a few simple words he manages to explain some technical issues that are otherwise quite hard to master. His easy ways actually sold me an upgrade to my system: I decided to grab a piece of PS Audio equipment, and of all it happened to be a DAC. I didn’t want to break the big buck for the blind purchase, so I decided to opt for some used PWD Mk II in fine mint condition.

The Good Story.
I got my PWD Mk II with Bridge I for as much as $1500. The thing appeared to be quite well cared for, so I pushed myself into it. I installed it into my set-up with a pair of Dali Helicon Mk IIs, connected it to my Meridian 557 power amp via unbalanced RCAs, hooked it up to a DLNA server and used BubbleUPnP as a control app, just as taught by Mr. McGowan. I started the playback and … boy, what a joy! The DAC is an absolute beast! It finally made my system revealing, just as Paul describes it in his videos… Controlled, Unveiled, Balanced, Transparent - these are some words coming to mind when listening to the DAC. I was so overjoyed, until…

The Graceless Downfall.
I decided to update my firmaware… Don’t get me wrong… I liked the sound! But I wanted more! And the download page on this site was so available…
My firmaware version before the update was 2.4.4, if i’m not mistaken. My bridge software was 2.14. I downloaded the 3.0.4. update files and followed the instructions very carefully. But alas… The firmware got installed, and the bridge was never to be found thereafter… I jumped up and started the witchcraft: reload, rebood, reinstall, remove the bridge and put it back in… Nothing, and I mean NOTHING helped! The Bridge option just disapeared from the sources menu… I was desperate… Until I moved back all the way to 2.4.6 firmware… and it worked… I almost cried at the moment…

NOW THE QUESTION.

HELP NEEDED.
How do I actually update the firmaware to 3.0.4 and make the Bridge work at the same time???

AND PS, PS Audio: when you make a video on how to update the firmware on a DAC it would be nice if you told your customers to unplug all the connectors to the power amps, at least the RCA ones… The noise that appeared when the firmware was installed almos blew up my twitters!


#2

Hello Waximilian,

Sorry to hear that you are having this issue.
The firmware should work with the Bridge II so we are not sure what the issue could be.
We would like to try installing forceload firmware into the PWD.

Please reach out to us directly at service@psaudio.com so we can provide you with a copy.
Thanks in advance,

  • Jeremy

#3

Hey, Jeremy! My Bridge is actually version I.

The problem seems to be that the bridge and the firmware fail to communicate on versions 2.4.6 and up. The bridge can be seen online via IP window. But with 3.0.4, 3.0.3, 2.9.7 versions installed, the bridge fails to see the firmware version.

Regards,

Maxim


#4

Hi Maxim,

Our director of engineering aware of this and he intends to do some testing this week to both confirm and resolve.

We’ll let you know the results of testing once I hear back.

They estimate that they should be complete with everything in 48 – 72 hours.

Let us know if you need anything in the interim.
Thanks,

  • Jeremy

#5

Thank you for the support you have for me. Will be waiting.

Regards,

Maxim


#6

what is the forceload firmware you speak of ?


#7

Yes, we’ll use something similar to make sure it loads right. But, not the full strength force load because that’ll be worrisome to us.


#8

Hi Waximilian,

I wanted to let you know that our engineering team has responded regarding this issue. Apparently the firmware updates for the PWD that relate to the Bridge I were stopped after 2.4.6. Any firmware version after this relates only to the Bridge II and will disable the Bridge I. As such we recommend that you stay at 2.4.6 if using a Bridge I.

Please know that there are no sonic improvements to the PWD regardless of firmware after 2.4.6 unless you are using a Bridge II. I will also PM this to you to discuss further if you wish.

Thanks and take care,

  • Jeremy

#9

Hello, Jeremy!

Thank you for your answer, which is quite disappointing to hear though.

The idea that I am getting is that you actually discontinued to support any of your customers that fail to buy new stuff from your company. That’s quite sad to realise, because I thought of PS Audio in a different way.

I believe that there is no use asking then, if I can upgrade my PWD MKII to a DSD. Which I suppose I can not, cause you don’t support Bridge I anymore. Hence I will need to buy Bridge II and so on. That’s pretty capitalistic, isn’t it? I don’t think I will follow this path any more…

Regards,

Maxim


#10

Hello Maxim,

We understand your position and are sorry that we cannot continue to develop firmware upgrades for the Bridge I. There actually have been no improvements made on the Bridge I functionality for some time before the release of 2.4.6. Any upgrades to the firmware applied only to the Bridge II.

To answer your question yes, you can absolutely upgrade your PWD to the DSD DAC. In fact we offer a kit that you can install and instructions to do so.
We ask that you consider taking a look at these tutorials and let us know if you would be interested in upgrading.

Again, we apologize and want to take care of you.

Kind wishes,

  • Jeremy

#11

Hey, Jeremy.

Since Bridge II isn’t included in the DSD upgrade kit, and you discontinued support for Bridge I, there’s no way that I spend the money BOTH on upgrading PWD AND the Bridge. And I’ve actually spread the news to a few of my friends that had PWD and have long been considering an upgrade. How quite thoughtful of PS Audio to lose a few customers over a stupid software update.

I understand that you want to sell more products. But in my opinion you’ve in fact lost more then you obtained.

Sorry to see that.

Regards,

Maxim.


#12

Hi Maxim. I am sorry we didn’t have better documentation. It’s one of our weak points in the upgrade process where we don’t have adequate support documentation to accompany the upgrades. If we had it would have shown that later versions of the PWD code only support Bridge II.

The reason they don’t support Bridge I is that the changes made to the PWD aren’t compatible with the older processor of Bridge I. We switched to Bridge II hardware because there were a number of features our customers were demanding that the processor in Bridge I could not handle.

If it would help we’re more than happy to take your Bridge I in trade and make you a silly good deal on a new Bridge II, but we can’t upgrade software to accommodate.


#13

Hey, Paul!

I really appreciate your support for the customers. And I’m in fact a bit ashamed of my previous over the top comments. The world of audiophilia may at times be a bit frustrating with all the money it sucks in.

I must let you know that I’m falling in love with the PWD mk2 even with the older Bridge. I’ve set up a nice network with Foobar2000 as a server, and the reproduction is gapless. And man, my system now sounds in a very different way: it’s more revealing, the space between the instruments got huge, the voices are just as unveiled, as on a stage in front of you. Thanks for your work!

I am now looking forward to considering an upgrade to DSD. Or rather I’m looking for the right words for my significant other, you know…

Of course, I would love an upgrade from my Bridge I to Bridge II. Especially if it’s as silly good a deal as you mentioned. But I’m based too far away in Moscow, Russia, and it sets me back a little. It might be a bit pricey for me. Or is it not?

Regards,

Maxim


#14

Thanks, Maxim. Russia might be difficult to pull off because of all the restrictions getting something into the country. Perhaps you’re planning on traveling outside the country at some point? Drop us a note if you are and we can try and arrange something.


#15

Dear Paul!

I will be in Belgium and the Netherlands over the Christmas (this December). So if it’s an option the exchange could well happen there. Let me know if we can pull it off there.

Just like old times of the Cold War )))

Regards,