PWD2 USB Instructions & Why the Bridge?

I am going to try feeding my music library into the PWD2 via USB from my PC.

1) Where can I find specific instructions?

2) How do I direct JRiver to find the PWD2 via USB?

3) Will JRemote on my iPad need to be setup differently.

Finally, anyone who has actually hooked up their library via PC-JRiver-USB-PWD2…I would love to hear from you.

It should be quite easy.

1) Install the PSA USB driver for the PWD.

2) Set the output for JRiver to the PWD (on my system (not using JRiver) it shows up as an ASIO driver identified as PS Audio PerfectWave).

3) Play and enjoy.

I assume the iPad need not be changed in any way, but I do not iThingee.

@elk Thank you very much.

I have gotten as far as downloading the files and extracting them to a Desktop folder. Now I am waiting for Cardas to ship their top tier Clear USB Cable - 8.5 feet. (We are Cardas OEM dealers.)

John Elison (the Nurse Ratched of Vinyl Asylum & my friend) hooked his PC Laptop to a PWD2 via USB and said the SQ was, “outstanding.” This is high praise indeed from a certified vinyl nutcase.

Apparently, physically removing the Bridge from the PWD2 has a beneficial effect upon SQ via USB.

So, I guess the obvious question is, “Why do we need the Bridge?” USB into the PWD2 appears to solve all the issues that so many Forum members are concerned about (notice I did not write, “Pissed off about.”) Oops…I just did.

Attached files

Many people use the PWD in this manner in which case the Bridge isn’t necessary. The Bridge is a network connection and in this case, your network connection is the PC you have attached to the PWD externally through USB.

Some reasons people don’t want to use the PC are:

1. Most are not especially quiet

2. You need a video monitor to set them up initially

3. You need to actually know how to setup a computer, the programs, etc.

4. Computers don’t always work and need to be rebooted (guess you could say the same for the Bridge). :slight_smile:

Still, there are many ways to accomplish this and I would have to think the vast majority of people streaming to a DAC do exactly this.

@admin But the computer needs to be running with the Bridge…doesn’t it? I tried using the Bridge straight of the LAN with the computer off and it did not work.

Computer has to be on.

@sgrowan Steven, that’s what I thought. Looking over the tick list that @Paul posted left me confused.

1) Since you need to have a computer running anyway what difference does it make if it is running into the Bridge or via USB? It’s still running.

2) You need a monitor to set up your LAN at the very least and for general computing at all times…don’t you? Also, the iPad Apps use a built in monitor don’t they?

3) If you cannot set up a computer you certainly cannot set up a LAN or load a player/server (JRiver, eLyric, etc.)…can you?

4) Computers do not always work? Nothing always works…does it?

Unless there is an SQ factor issue USB vs. Bridge, again I wonder, “What does the Bridge do that a direct USB connection does not do?” Well, the Bridge cannot do gapless & apparently via USB the PWD2 is gapless. Is their a digital lens issue? What?

If the Bridge functioned without a computer running, then that would be entirely different.

When I first bought the Bridge, I was very new to digital music at this level. I thought the Bridge eliminated the need for the computer running other than for initial LAN/Player/Server setup. Pretty naïve, huh?

All the above notwithstanding, once the Cardas Clear USB cable arrives I will do some A/B comparisons with the Bridge. If the USB route wins or ties, I’ll pull the Bridge out. I was told that physically removing the Bridge is “best practices” when using USB.

If you call a NAS or Vortexbox a computer, then you need this computer to feed music via bridge to the PWD.

But you need no additional computer! And that´s why I bought the PWD/bridge!

And comparing the SQ of USB versus Bridge in my opinium the bridge wins!

In my setup can run the PWD from either USB or the bridge as easily as switching modes.

I greatly prefer the bridge due to the increases in, sound quality, resolution, inner detail etc. These differences aren’t slight and with a suitably resolving system are compelling.


birddogthecat said: Apparently, physically removing the Bridge from the PWD2 has a beneficial effect upon SQ via USB.

Is this what John does? I will be interested in your opinion as to the sound quality w/o the bridge physically in place. In my system, with the bridge in situ, the sound quality is inferior with USB. That said, I use a ratbag cheap USB cable. :D

So, that’s the deal. The consensus is the the Bridge has significantly better SQ than USB. Got it. Knew there had to be some reason for the Bridge. Soon, I will be able to A/B the 2 inputs and report on my findings.

@wglenn I believe so. From my understanding the Bridge is powered by the DAC. With the Bridge removed the DAC power supply is relieved from that duty. It is probably a very small improvement.

I keep forgetting that you know John E.

Will you do any comparison of the cardas USB cable with other cables? For speaker and interconnect I think the clear is superb but know nothing of other applications.

@dcastle Yes. John Elison did it last week & wants me to repeat his trials. I have a box of cable madness and if I root around in it long enough I will find some long USB cables for the trial.

John’s findings were that there was marginal difference when he compared some stock USB with an exotic.

There is another method, albeit a rather expensive one, to attain this increase in niftyness. Using an Offramp 5 to ‘translate’ from USB to I2S. You need a bunch of the options so the cost jumps up to ≈$2250 and of course there are extras beyond just the unit itself, (cables etc.) which can add $$, if you’re so inclined.

One of the beauties of this approach is the player you use doesn’t HAVE to support ethernet as the signal path of choice, which can still be problematic in terms of s/w and h/w.


i’ve a-b’d usb vs bridge several times. last spring most recently…bridge easily won and it didn’t take long to decide. however…we did not use any of the usb specific gear some “experts” strongly recommend ( see Johnjen post/Offramp stuff). i’m not knowledgeable about these devices but have read they can make a considerable difference (at a considerable price). from what i do understand…jitter is the main problem these add-ons address

JJ’s post too complicated for me. I would never be able to get it to work…whatever the “it” is? I’ve already ordered the Cardas USB cable so I will go ahead with the comparison project. What else am I going to do with 2M Cardas Clear USB cable?

Surprised that John E. wrote so highly of the USB route. He has a well-respected analogue ear.

Here’s my take FWIW.

If you have an audio rack with ALL your components that includes a computer with internet connection, then USB with a “very good” cable will give you everything you need including gapless and rock solid stability.

If you have your computer, storage and network connection elsewhere, then the Bridge becomes interesting because of it’s internet connection.

You also benefit by passing through it’s additional “lens”.

In my SQ tests the Bridge SQ had an edge over USB ONLY when not using a “specialty” cable, most of which cost more than the Bridge.

The Bridge is a wonderful concept IMO because it gives greater flexibility and great SQ with a cheap cat-6 network cable. Yes it requires a computer and no it cannot [at the moment] support gapless.

By the way, take your favourite album that was recorded gapless and convert a copy to one track. Voila and takes only a few minutes and NO additional money.

I don’t like to use the computer for playing music so i bought the bridge. I use a NAS and not a computer, and for the noise the NAS is in another room. I have compared the USB and the Bridge and in my room with my setup the bridge sounds a little bit better, more “analogic” than the USB.

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