Pikes Peak Operating System is live


#1

You’ve heard rumors of the new upcoming firmware upgrade and it is now live and available for download. We’ve changed the way we refer to these updates, however. It makes much more sense to call them what they truly are; an operating system update.

DirectStream is based on a custom and complex operating system, similar to that running your computer. Designed from the ground up by our resident software genius, Ted Smith, I felt we were not paying true homage to the extraordinary amount of work and changes that go into a rework of DirectStream’s operating system when we launch a new one. Ted’s a modest guy. He rarely takes enough credit for the extraordinary amount of time, skill and work that goes into modifying and improving the operating system of DirectStream when we do these updates. This latest improves compatibility with sources, lowers jitter even further and includes a host of proprietary changes we want to keep secret.

As is our process, Ted generated 20 compiles of the new OS and Dennis compiled numerous compiles of the PIC code that goes with it to complete the package. We then ship the lot off to Arnie Nudell for evaluation. And it is here, where the finishing polish is put onto the package, resulting in the final release to the public. Arnie’s task is to find the best of the compiles and match them to the best of the PICs to voice the final product. It’s a tedious process. But it’s worth it. The final group of three top candidates is sent to me and between Arnie I we decide which to release.

So, to honor all that goes into a new release of DirectStreams operating system, we have decided to change the name of the latest release to something other than a simple number. From this point onwards, all future operating system releases for DirectStream will be named after one of Colorado’s 52 Fourteeners (mountain peaks 14,000 feet and higher). This first OS is called Pikes Peak after the famous mountain top in Colorado Springs. Pikes Peak is available for download at the usual site, by clicking here.

Having written all that, here’s what you can expect. The new Pikes Peak OS is extraordinary. Both Arnie and I find it to be a greater jump in sound quality than the last major release we did at the end of last year (DirectStream 1.2.1). Pikes offers far better body of the instruments, an extended top end, firmer bass and a soundstage that will make you swoon. This upgrade is huge. And it is free to all DirectStream owners.

Download the file, unzip it and place it onto a clean SD card. Insert into DirectStream and power cycle it. Here’s a handy How To guide if you need.

Have fun and let us know.


#2

Great ideas to name the firmware updates and to think of them as an OS update. Although nothing will beat Bryston’s Manic Moose OS nomenclature. :)

Let the reviews begin!

(I have attached Pikes Peak for the easy convenience of visitors to this thread.)


#3
Elk said Great ideas to name the firmware updates and to think of them as an OS update. Although nothing will beat Bryston's Manic Moose OS nomenclature. :)

Let the reviews begin!


Wouldn’t Ted’s Peak been better…103_gif

#4

Paul, this is great news! Ted sure is a good “straight man”, he never gave a hint that this would be such a big upgrade in sound. He had us fooled it was primarily for compatibility improvements. One thing you said that piqued my interest is “… includes a host of proprietary changes that we want to keep secret.” Is the secret part how you did it or what you did?


#5

I have only one word for this update: breathtaking! Both for CD and High Res downloads.


#6

Ted, can you confirm this release addresses improved clock syncing in MCH application with multiple DACs?


#7
pmotz said Paul, this is great news! Ted sure is a good "straight man", he never gave a hint that this would be such a big upgrade in sound. He had us fooled it was primarily for compatibility improvements. One thing you said that piqued my interest is "... includes a host of proprietary changes that we want to keep secret." Is the secret part how you did it or what you did?
Ted's a very modest man. The changes he made as far as added features and compatibility weren't huge but when we first heard the combinations of his 'secret sauce' and updates I nearly fell off the chair. Crap! This is huge!

Combine that with Arnie’s contribution of hand selecting the perfect combination of OS compile and PIC compile (took him nearly a week of sorting to do this) you wind up with something as exciting and extraordinary as Pikes.

I am so happy we can offer this free to DirectStream owners.


#8
edorr said Ted, can you confirm this release addresses improved clock syncing in MCH application with multiple DACs?
Yep, I just installed it and verified the expected behavior with the scope.

#9
edorr said Ted, can you confirm this release addresses improved clock syncing in MCH application with multiple DACs?
I believe it does but Ted can confirm.

#10

I figured there’d be an improvement, of course, so I primed my short-term aural memory with multiple listenings of the same piece of music to help me detect where there might be a bit more air or a little better attack with the new firmware installed. An SD card with the update was already slotted in, so I did a quick reboot and cued up the music.

Wowwwwwwwwww. I needn’t have bothered with all that preliminary stuff.

It’s tough to know where to begin. First off, there’s an enormous amount of – I don’t know how else to describe it – energy in the sound field that wasn’t there before, big and room-filling. Bass and midbass transients just effortlessly POP! one in the torso. I thought they did before, but I was wrong. Plus, there’s simply more treble – not hot, ear-bleeding treble, just much more of it available, complex and wonderful. And the same goes for midrange. And midbass. And bass.

Oh, and the resolution! There was stuff just crawling out of the corners of the music that I hadn’t heard before – low-level stuff, interesting sounds that were always there but didn’t call attention to themselves or that got lost in the eddys of the rest of the music. I found myself, time and time again, grinning. Forget Ted’s toe-tapping test. This brand-new DAC had me rocking my entire torso to the beat.

I realize this all must sound like hyperbole, but it isn’t. I truly didn’t expect this. For the last couple of months I’ve been trying to decide what I might do to have my system sound just a bit more exciting. By any account it should have sounded fabulous, and to be sure it did sound really, really good. Now, thanks to Ted’s latest effort, ably supported by Paul, Arnie, and Dennis, I can stop looking for a solution. Fabulous arrived this evening.

– Chris


#11

Let me start off by saying I’m a bit of a tweak sceptic. Either that, or I just don’t have the patience to look for subtle differences that need to grow on you. Given this and the fact that the 1.21 firmware upgrade did not do much for me, I installed the pikes upgrade with very tempered expectations - I am fairly immune to hype, and learned to only trust my own ears.

Boy was I in for a surprise. This is equivalent to inserting a high caliber new component in the system, say a five figure preamp. Where do I start? First, there appears to be more “going on” with the music. Second, threes is more air around instruments. Third, better separation between instruments. Fourth, more body and presence, especially in mid-bass. Fifth, more detail and information retrieval. I hear subtle noises emanating from the audience on live recordings I was not hearing before. In summary, a huge winner. The findings apply to both 2 channel playback and multi channel.

I feel I bought a BMW five series for the price of a three series, and just get a free upgrade to seven series. Hats off to Ted and the ps audio team.


#12

Ditto everything Chris wrote. Just fantastic. Thanks so much Ted, Paul and team for this wonderful machine.


#13

I have been playing with new new firmware for a few hours. The step up from 1.2.1 is both amazing and addictive listening. I am reminded of the saying that was at the top of the blackboard when I went to school that is very apt in this situation. “Good Better Best never let it rest until your Good is Better and Your Better is Best” Congratulations and thanks to Ted and ever body else involved in this development.

John


#14

it’s only morning here and I have to wait for this evening to test the new OS! can’t wait!


#15

Good work Ted and Paul,

The transients are much faster and seemed less smeared. Bass is tighter. There is no down side that I can discern. Stability from my antipodes server is perfect.

Big thumbs up to the team.


#16

I take of my hat for you guys41_gif77_gif

Kindly/Ingemar


#17

Add me to the list of happy campers! The firmware update installed without issue and the sound is improved in many respects. The perspective of many familiar cuts is different.

Couldnt keep my feet from tapping the whole time. Last disk I listened to last night was Aaron Neville’s Warm you heart. Chorus voices were more distinct than ever. Soundstage just wonderful!

Keep up the good work!

System listed here:

http://cgi.audioasylum.com/systems/8490.html


#18

The improvements realized by this new firmware are striking.

The presentation is more open, relaxed and transparent. Transients are cleaner. Timbre is richer, with greater texture.

Once again, the S/N appears improved. This, and the increased transparency, may well explain the other improvements.


#19

I am sorry to see the dim switch toggle not implemented in this firmware. More listening time is required for me to comment on the sound.


#20

Dim works fine for me.

Perhaps powering down the DS completely and restarting it will return things to normal.