I just installed the Bridge II in my PWD MkII, the change was not obvious since I had to copy the content of the SD card provided with the Bridge II to another old SD card for having the bridge recognized by the PWD. Even though the switch on the provided SD card was on the unlock position. I remembered I had the same issue with the SD card provided with the PWD when I got it a few years ago, but forgot this fact and so made many tests before fixing the issue.
Here is what I observed after the installation with the original firmware (version 2.9.1):
- The PWD Bridge II just after ‘power on’ always switches to ‘I²S Bridge II’ instead of setting to the last selected input.
- USB input: Using Foobar2000 as player, when sending tracks with different resolution the click is heard once and the resolution does not change on the display, the music starts to play, then the click is heard a second time, the resolution is set to the right value and then everything works fine. It was not the case with the Bridge I.
- USB input: When touching the volume sliding bar, not the buttons ‘+’ or ‘-’, usually the volume goes toward the touched position (very useful after a power on to set quickly the volume to the maximum). With the Bridge II DAC update, the slider goes the opposite way.
- Bridge II input: In Native and NativeX modes the Hires files remain silent, nevertheless the time counter runs, and when manually switching to any resolution resampling the music plays.
- With the Bridge I, an http server was available, allowing to verify software versions and making updates, on Bridge II this function is no more available.
Update of the firmware:
6. Then I saw a subject on the forum where Dennis Kerrisk talk about a fix for Native modes. I found it on the PS Audio download page, but when clicking on ‘PWD Bridge II Fix’ on the PS Audio download page, the download counter is incremented, but download does not occur.
7. When verifying the software version on the ‘I²S Bridge II’ input the version is 1.2.1 and the small green button on the right side is ticked (no update available).
8. The link of the ‘Fix’ firmware starts with ‘ttp://www.psaudio.com’ typing manually the address of the ZIP file (with ‘http’ instead of ‘ttp’) allows to download the file.
9. Copy of the ‘Fix’ firmware (version 2.9.3) on the SD card, insertion of the SD card in the slot, then power on of the PWD and the update proceeds.
10. After the update, power off and then power on, the full update proceeds again. I did it two more times with different SD cards, but the update still proceeds at every power on.
10. I erased of all files on the SD card and re-insertion in the slot, now the PWD starts normally (confirmed by a post of Dennis Kerrisk on the forum), and keeping a SD card in the slot allows the display of the artwork since the PWD needs to write a BMP image on the SD card.
Test of the Bridge II after update (version 2.9.3):
11. The PWD still selects the ‘I²S Bridge II’ input, even after a power off on any other input.
12. Test of resolution switch with USB (see bullet 2 above), all are OK now.
13. The volume still goes on the opposite side (see bullet 3 above)
14. Test of Native and NativeX modes with different resolutions (see bullet 4 above), all are are OK now.
15. The http page (see bullet 5 above) is still not available.
With Bridge I, we had a PWD software version (up to 2.4.6) and a Bridge software version (up to 0.2.15).
Obviously the update with the ‘Fix’ ZIP file is version 2.9.3 visible in the LOADER.CFG file, the bridge version is 1.2.1 visible on the PWD screen.
I suppose that the update of the Bridge II firmware is similar to the update of Bridge I, either through network by pushing the green button when an update is available, or with USB key inserted on the USB port of the Bridge card.
Does somebody confirm?
As noticed by ‘highender’ on the forum, I heard a difference of sound before and after update. Before, with version 2.9.1 the sound is more detailled on treble levels, sometime a bit harsh, while with the version 2.9.3 the sound is smoother, to my point of view it is closer to version 2.0.2 with Bridge I, it was my preferred version: more organic, no more harsh without loss of details, I can listen for hours without any fatigue.
And now I have what I was waiting for years: … the GAPLESS play. It works very fine without any issue. A real pleasure.
I will really enjoy it this weekend.