PS Journey Notes

I’m going to leave notes here on this journey. If this is the wrong place let me know and I’ll move it. My desire is to leave a roadmap of where I came from, plus delta, and overall observations of reaching the (acceptable IMO) reproduction of 3 dimensional sound using PS Audio gear. I hope this is the right thing to do.

I made a table, I put my things in the table.
RCA Kimber Hero WBT-0114Cu .5M
XLR Audioquest Mackenzie
I2S Audioquest Carbon .75M
Speaker Kimber 12VS WBT-0610Cu 2.5M

Table of components with intas & outas
Perfectwave SACD Transport (PWT) Directstream DAC (DSD) OPPO 205 Stellar Gain Cell DAC (SGCD) M700 Monitor GR60
Bits In /
I2S Out
I2S In /
Bits In /
RCA In /
XLR In / 12VS Out 12VS In / Noise out

Let’s see. Beginning
Anxious to record vinyl to bits I searched for the best a/d converter. Found a PS product, tried it out and hooked.
Started with Stellar S300 & Gain Cell DAC,

Now I am in the process of PerfectWave Transport, PerfectWave DAC.
Current observations:
15-061-01-1 Rev. D Manual has typo, p2 “Unpacking and Connections” first bullet. mine didn’t come in a “soft organic cotton bag” I don’t want one but that should be addressed.

What can I do with it? What can I not do with it.

It said I can use it as a pre-amp, as long as it is the main DAC processor. There are no RCA or XLR inputs.

I am currently in the process of determining how I want this to work. I don’t think using it as a pre is going to work since I want to play my Oppo 205 and Airport Express. After looking a lot, the Oppo 205 doesn’t have the same options as the 203 down in numbers from the world of mods. SOL. What does this mean in real world.
I can play CDs at 44.1 all day. I can play SACDs at 44.1 without a skip. I cannot play an SACD through Optical, Coax, I2S above 44.1 into any device ever. This I have found, it is known.
I looked at all the things, made by the people with Websites. There’s HDMI Visual scrapers, DoP converters ranging in price from 600-2500. Looking at the specs I was convinced these all solve immediate problems from 4 years ago.
Called PS and talked on the phone with someone who was very nice.

Final conclusion for now, order the PerfectWave Transport and do it right.

Now I am looking at configuration.
I think I am going to use the Stellar GCD as the pre into the M700s.
This gives me the freedom to use the Oppo via the RCA ins - though would love a second set of XLRs… So Oppo does SACD out via RCA and XLR. That goesinta the SGCD RCA and goesoutta XLR to the M700s.
PerfectWave Transport goesoutta I2S and goesinta PerfectWave DAC.
PerfectWave DAC goesoutta XLR and inta XLR SGC. DSD signal path complete.
JRiver to Bridge handles DSD as separate library from FLAC files. I’ll have to switch over the Library’s between FLAC and DSD. I am not certain if the devices can perform format switching flippity floppity as I haven’t found it to be a feature.
I’m ok with manual JRiver library changes, it allows me to put my DSD files in a separate folder structure. I have had problems with JRiver fixing my file structure and naming conventions and prefer to keep the damage isolated.
Since I can’t rip a DSD, only options moving forward are downloads and buying CD’s with DSD files (thanks Paul!). I have a passion for physical media, so I’ll grab every DSD/SACD I see but all the recording studios, Octave, Blue Note and Pure DSD have downloads more than physical media.

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Observation: Directstream DAC Manual is missing a image of the back of the device, which would aide in installation in cabinets using fingertips as eyes.

RCA out to SGCD both DSD and OPPO 205 using Kimber Hero.

Sony TV ARC out into SGCD doesn’t work. Also tried ARC out into DirectStream DAC, nope. Then tried to go into OPPO ARC Audio input. Sony TV ARC out doesn’t work, moving back to Optical. Sony TV Optical out into SGCD works.

Observation: SGCD OSD =>Setup=>Input name - after save should return to Input Name option and not Balance screen.

The HDMI input is for I2S configured over HDMI, not conventional HDMI configuration, so ARC will not work.


Thanks! I had to try… complete waste of time, deeply satisfying in an inane “what am I doing, ah well I’ll do it for now” manner of mental heat exchange. Long live the Entropists!

Happy Cake Day @jvthree !

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Final plug route.
PW2200 = Paradigm Powered Subwoofer (set directly behind the couch and rear wall). One of Paul’s videos he mentioned Chris Brunhaver mentioned the best place to put the sub was at the listening position - so I did. The bass track on the Audiophiles guide CD is very flat suddenly.

Next steps are to listen and then put the sounds back where they belong by moving the speakers around. To this purpose I have Stereophile Test CD 3 track 10 where John Atkinson maps the sound stage. When the speakers are right, John goes from wall to wall. When the speakers are wrong, John goes back from the outer edges of the speaker like he turned and started walking away from me. Then using the depth tracks in the Audiophiles guide CD I can get the center depth sorted (I love the lyrics of that melody). I will bounce between the two until we reach consensus and I am right. Then I listen to Dark Side of the Moon and see what happens with the feelies. C’est ma plan.