PS Audio Music Server In The Pipeline?


@brett66 answered the question for me.


An interesting mindset; there is no truth independent of being “true” for someone.


Absolutely. But that truth for one may be only for that one. I believe you’re approaching it from a similar perspective as the adage ‘if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound’. Yes it does. We know this empirically. What we don’t know is what each of the individuals that in fact were around to hear it heard. All have their truths, and potentially none of them share it.


I’m a long term Roon customer but have always preferred how Amarra sounds. However, I’m not a fan of the Amarra UI so I’m using Roon for now.


Have you tried adding HQPlayer to Roon? I prefer to only pass through HQP and not upsample. Many with less sophisticated DACs like upsampling to high DSD rates…something already done very well by the DS/DSj


I guess my ideal setup would be PS Audio hardware, Roon ecosystem/user interface/metadata and Audirvana sound.

Much of my library is orchestral with at least 20 box sets and I’ve not had any metadata issues. I do carefully tag and cross-reference during ripping process.


I would hope we would agree that if we get the same bits, with the same timing, to the same DAC and there are no other considerations, the sound should be the same. Outside the control of the DAC, there are three things that can effect sound quality:

  1. Bit-Perfect, the correct bits in proper sequence.
  2. Timing-Perfect, the correct timing between the bits.
  3. Physical interference to DAC performance caused by the medium that transmits the bits.

In the case of the DSDAC, we can measure #1 (as long as the PS Audio bit-perfect test is robust), and we don’t have to worry about #2 as the DSDAC is re-clocking the bits.

So if we are going to say that Roon is bit-perfect, but sounds inferior on the DSDAC, we should be able to narrow down the causative element to #3. Therefore, something on the “computer” running Roon, or something on the network or cable connecting the Roon output to the DSDAC is imparting interference (probably electrical) on the signal that does not effect the DSDACs ability to identify the bits, but alters the D to A conversion, or the analog output by some means.

If Roon is inferior to another program, running in the same environment (computer or NAS), then running the Roon code is causing the computer to generate some kind of unique interference, since both are using the same connection to the DSDAC.

If Roon is inferior to another method of getting bits to the DSDAC, then the method used by Roon is equally under test.

In either case, it would be interesting to evaluate Roon in an environment including galvanic isolation of the terminal connection -this would eliminate most if not all of the Physical Interference (except that generated by the Roon code in the Bridge, if any).


Theoretically yes, but many hear a difference in sound between playback by a DMP versus an Oppo versus an expensive transport.

Is it your contention then that all differences in sound between transports is accordingly caused by “3. Physical interference to DAC performance caused by the medium that transmits the bits?”


This always feels like the double-slit experiment - the bits start out as measurable bits here, go over there and resolve themselves into bits again (at rest). In between, we’re listening to the process of transmitting the stream, not the bits at the beginning or end.

Then there’s all the stuff we may be doing by various choices to those bits, such as upsampling them to 20x DSD with the DMP/DSD, or filtering or upsampling with any other sort of server/player and/or DAC. Or if not using the DMP via I2S, converting the bits to other protocols in between…SPDIF, USB, Optical, etc.


An amusing simile


The interjection of transports is interesting because it caused me to realize that it should be possible to burn the PS Audio Bit Perfect files to a disc and test the bit-perfect nature of the transport. Taking two transports that pass the test, then yes, my contention would be #3 -at least until someone can point out another possibility of how identical bits, clocked identically by the DSDAC itself, can sound differently after being run through identical circuitry.

I would also like to point out that the “medium that transmits the bits” includes the circuitry of the transport in question -from where the bits are recovered to where a cable is attached… few, I think, would argue with a statement that a transport with a noisy switching power supply might sound inferior to one with a state-of-the-art linear supply, despite both being bit-perfect.


A perfectly reasonable thought.

I suspect #2 however remains in play, even though the DS reclocks the incoming datastream.


Am shopping for a $2000 server solution and am doubting it will come from PS Audio. :cry:


Based on all the talk of the upcoming server being @Paul “The best sounding audio server in the world” I doubt it will be in the 2K range. I have a friend who has one of the smaller Aurender units and he loves it.


Think it’s already been mentioned in the thread that its standard DS range pricing, circa 6K.

Have faith it will be as good as Paul says it will be, sounds like they are putting everything into the Project.
I’ll be picking one up and calling it done.

Will survive on peanut butter and jelly for 6 months, but the hunger will soon pass. :slight_smile:


So the argument would be that the DSDAC re-clock circuit is imperfect AND processes different levels of jitter differently, or that different levels of incoming jitter make it work harder generating greater noise levels. In this case, you would have to present the DAC not only perfect bits, but also at some minimum level of jitter in order for it to perform optimally. The last part seems obvious -there would always be some gross level of jitter that would make the circuit inoperable, but I think you are arguing that some immeasurable level of incoming jitter can make the DSDAC perform suboptimally.

This is a reasonable argument. It would be interesting to get the opinion of @tedsmith.


If you classify yourself as an Audiophile it’s never done. :grin:


Need to stop somewhere, just bought a set of Western Electric 300Bs!




LOL been there and done that. Years ago I use to own a pair of Canary Audio CA-339 MKII amps. I re-tubed them with Sophia Electric’s 300B. Man my bank account is still recovering from that.