Memory Player vs. Roon/Bridge II/Direcstream DAC


#1

Contemplating buying the memory player at reduced price of $4K. Will I hear a noticeable difference vs. streaming TIDAL through Roon, Bridge II and the Direcstream DAC? I own 1,000+ CDs and around 100 SACD’s/DVD Audio/Blu Ry Audio. I am thinking…boy I could buy lots of hi-res versions of my favorites and stream them for less than $4K. Thoughts? 30 day in home trial seems like next step but still interested in other’s experience.


#2

To me only you can tell if you can hear enough difference to justify spending 4K. For me I didn’t go the Memory Player route because TIDAL/Roon just gives me greater access to music. Like you I own around 1000 CDs but at last check my Roon Album count shows about 2500. My suggestion would be to do the 30 day trial. If you do please post your results.


#3

snlabrecque - I assume you want an SQ answer. I put together my system back in May, 2018 never really contemplating that streaming would ever come even close to my SACD PSA DS DMP. I then bought a Roon Nucleus+ and AQVOX SE switcher in SEPT, 2018, getting into convolution filtering to compensate for room acoustics. I rip SACDs creating dsf files and store them in my Nucleus+ SSD so I can compare SACD (streaming) to SACD (PSA DS DMP). Here are (2) systems: present & future that will ultimately end my quest: streaming vs. PSA DS DMP. In a nutshell, streaming is not as good as PSA DS DMP if there is no convolution filtering used in my present system. If you introduce CF, then the edge goes to streaming in that particular room. However, your power and interconnects have to be spot on; clean power and great cabling is essential. I believe my future system streaming using a PF 2.16 will have better SQ with no CF used. If CF is used, hands down the streaming will be better. Systems evolve and you need to think about now and future as you evolve your system. There will always be better systems out there; establish power and interconnects, then speakers, amplification, then streamer/DAC. Initially, If I was not streaming ignorant, there is no way I would have went DMP, would have spent the money on the streaming approach. The good news is owning an OPPO BRP to rip the SACDs. You have to crawl before you can walk, before you can run… systems are an evolution. I am on my 18th block diagram in 6 months.

The TIDAL Question - I thought I would answer your SQ question as the best PSA DS DMP (SACD) and the best Streaming (SACD - dsf library) head to head. I have TIDAL using Roon w/ Nucleus+ and if the question is music depth, any SACD/CD player will loose. I sit in my music room and have access to 50,000,000 songs in seconds. I have a friend send me a suggestion and in seconds I am listening with great SQ and CF (DSP) engaged. My music IQ has increased 10X with streaming. We are at the point where CDs were starting replace vinyl, now vinyl is for $250K systems or romantics… In 10 years, CDs will be a thing of the past. I set aside one shelf in my component rack for a Basis 2800 turn table and after 6 months with this new system, I giggle how much money and time would have been wasted. I have zero romantic bones in my body and don’t long for the days when there was amazing drama to just get the vinyl to sound OK. In addition, I don’t frequent the music stores to get the low down on LPs…

Evolution:
2019 - Add PSA BHK Preamp
2020 - Add dual BHK300 amps in place of BHK250 stereo amps
2021 - Add Pink Faun 2.16 (or their flagship streamer w/ best clocks) in place of Nucleus+ keeping the AQVOX SE switcher for re-clocking the 100ft CAT7 Ethernet signal.
2022 - Move to a better DAC - TSS or better - that should give PSA a few years to wring out the TSS.

Present System

Future System


#4

I’d consider a high end music server or wait for the PSA offering. Paul has already confirmed that their server is going to be a big improvement over the DMP. Optical discs are nearing the end of the road - disc player prices will only come down if you wait and still want one later. Even Tidal sounds better through my Aurender server than my CD transport(not DMP)\DS. HD stored files sound so much better than my cd’s with Aurender\DS.


#5

@cudfoo - if it is DMP CD vs TIDAL streaming the DMP wins; however, not that much. I’m listening to JB Radio2 192k 24bit and it sounds amazing SQ… no way I would buy any SACD/CD player knowing what I know now. I use it very rarely after only a few weeks w/ Roon Nucleus+. Streaming will take over audiophile realm in 5 years. Just romantics will own turn tables and CD players. Owning an OPPO BRP allows me to rip SACDs so I just don’t need the DMP. A .dsf file sounds amazing from the Roon Nucleus+, sad I could not go Nucleus+ to PSA DS DAC on I2S… that would have been a challenge for DMP. PF 2.16 is designed that way, getting rid of Bridge II in the process.

Also, seeing how PSA developed DMP, I am very sceptical their first offering servers will compete at $10K searvers. Let alone PF… The TSS I would wait 2 Years to buy. Now DAC is very different than Octave. Ted is a genius!


#6

I’d suggest spending $2800 on an Auralic Aries G1 streamer instead. Using their their app or Bubble, all music is buffered into 1Gb of memory and played from there, much like the DMP.
Used with their Lightning DS app or with Roon, it sounds superb on Tidal, or even better with Qobuz, and you can also rip your CDs and use the Aries as a server.


#7

I can see vinyl hanging around a long while - don’t think it’s just romantics. I know a few people with budget setups that have turntables and love them. There’s not a lot of <1k cd players that sound better than decent <1k turntable setups. Records are still kind of fun. I still like using my turntable once in a while and I’ll buy a $5 used record from time to time. For CD’s, on the other hand, the run is just about over. Seeing the new “MQA CD” format gave me a good laugh. First new format I can remember that was obsolete before it was introduced.


#8

@cudfoo - my point exactly, romantics & vinyl; CD not so much… I owned a very serious Oracle table 30 years ago… - my system now, no contest and huge drama saved… so, I look at vinyl like you do… it al depends on the swim-lane and what you are looking to achieve. In the end, I’m looking for amazing SQ that is extremely accessible. Now MQA - there is no way that format is going to make it. Just another way for the record companies to line their pockets. All audiophiles see that for what it is. At least SACD Sony pushed the DSD movement that has led us to Ted, the genius. MQA is all about greed! In addition, the SQ is fake at best… I’d rather listen to JB Radio2 (internet hi-resolution), than MQA. And when Qobuzz integrates with Roon, TIDAL will see a lot of Jazz & classical audiophiles leaving.


#9

@cardri - I for one hope and believe MQA will be around for quite some time. I like where MQA is going. I never jumped on the SACD bandwagon mostly because 99% of the music I like wasn’t/isn’t available. What good is having SACD if I can’t find music to listen to. For me I see more MQA material especially with Tidal.

I did get a laugh when you said “MQA is all about greed!” given this hobby. Everything is relative I guess.