PWT with Bridge capability


#1

Hi Paul, I have a question/suggestion re: the Bridge II

I am looking to replace a very old Slim Devices Transporter (modified unit, sounds great, but no longer serviceable since Logitech killed off Squeeze) and was seeking a transport with media streaming capability. My system (TacT RCS2.2X and four S2150 amps, all modified) is fully digital - the amps are power DACs that directly drive each driver group of Nola Grand Reference loudspeakers, with each programmed with a filter which governs control gain, time delay, crossovers, and room correction. Volume in these amps is adjusted by changing the voltage on the rails, rather than by losing bits. So I do not need a DAC…

To my great surprise, there really is no such product (transport + media streamer, no DAC) on the market, with the exception of the very costly Ayon NW-T. The PWT did catch my attention though, and indeed looks like a great transport. But as far as I can tell it does not accept the media Bridge; only the companion DirectStream DAC does.

So onto my question - have you considered adding Bridge capability to the PWT ? I am of course not familiar with the internals and circuit design, but since both it and the DirectStream DAC presumably have substantial computer-like capability, it seems like it might be possible. Doing so would fill an essentially empty niche in the market (excluding the very costly, tubed Ayon unit), and breath some new life into the PWT.

PS - I recently picked up a P10 to use with my TacT system and am very pleased with it, a really nice product and dramatically improved from an old P1000 I had years ago! I’ve only had it since Wednesday, but it is silent, runs cool and has had zero hiccups so far and is breaking in nicely. All the TacT equipment was upgraded with linear power supplies and given their design, the very clean, low THD 120v benefits them greatly. The P10 replaced a Running Springs Audio unit, a very good and very different type of power conditioner.


#2

It might but in my mind it wouldn’t make a lot of sense since the Bridge is actually an input and the PWT is an output source - though I suppose one could make a case for either.

We are in the process of redesigning the PWT and maybe this is something we should think about.


#3
Paul McGowan said

We are in the process of redesigning the PWT and maybe this is something we should think about.

Interesting!

I would advice you to take a short look at this unit during the design phase Rockna WaveDream Net

My intention is to use it as a DS source over I2s, but a PWT MKII with matching features and performance might change that.

Is there an ETA on the new PWT?


#4
Paul McGowan said It might but in my mind it wouldn't make a lot of sense since the Bridge is actually an input and the PWT is an output source - though I suppose one could make a case for either.

We are in the process of redesigning the PWT and maybe this is something we should think about.

Thanks for the reply. I would definitely consider it!

Look at it this way:

  1. The DAC is an output source too - an analog one - with several digital inputs one of which can be the add-on Network Bridge.

  2. The PWT is an output source - a digital one - with only one digital input now, an optical disc. Why not add another digital input, a network bridge ? I think by adding network capability, you will greatly broaden the appeal of a redesigned PWT and sell a lot more units. It would basically become a universal digital source - something just about every audiophile needs - with the freedom to use the DAC of their choice (including of course the excellent PS Audio one), or in rare cases like mine where PCM>PWM amplification is utilized, no DAC at all.

I think it is safe to say fewer of us audiophiles are actually buying and using optical discs these days, and a product which utilizes them as its exclusive input may have a very limited number of buyers. In other words, the number of people who might purchase a dedicated disc transport with MSRP ~ $4000 is likely dwindling; you can look at PWT sales numbers to gauge this. Personally, I have not actually bought or directly listened to a CD in quite a long time. While it would be really nice to have a digital source that can accept a CD/DVD in case I buy one, burn one, or someone brings one to my house to hear, my entire personal music library is already in stored as digital files, mostly lossless, and most new purchases are downloads from one of the large sites or HDTracks.

The current PWT seems like it already has the basic chassis design / expansion slot to accommodate the Bridge. But the existing ethernet port, from what I understand, is only is used to download metadata for inserted discs. A nice feature for sure, but it begs for more functionality… if you could add network bridge functionality to it in the course of a redesign, you should do it… and if you do, I will buy it :)


#5
Frode said

Interesting!

I would advice you to take a short look at this unit during the design phase Rockna WaveDream Net

My intention is to use it as a DS source over I2s, but a PWT MKII with matching features and performance might change that.

Is there an ETA on the new PWT?


Thanks for that… I had not seen that unit before, looks like it is just being released, but that is exactly what I had in mind when I started this thread. A similarly capable, USA made product from a well-regarded company like PS Audio would be wonderful.

#6

With HD storage and Hi-res radio services expanding, the market for a CD player seems quite limited and with not much ROI.

A Bridge in the Box with horsepower to run a ripper pgm and a player like JRMC etc might give it some legs. a couple of USB3 ports for library attachment too. [ Oh, and an SD card slot on the front. Flash drives and SD cards are the NEW CDs.]


#7

So you want a network streamer with an optical transport built in. And, like the Rockna, the ability to directly access files stored on an integrated local drive as well? Do you also want a control point built into the unit?

Quite a project.


#8

I could live with the Rockna without a storage and network player capability as long as everything else is top notch.

I believe the network part will lead to much headscratch and try and fail (and customer frustration due to prolonged bug fixes).

So a PWT with only IP control will be fine with me - but a digital input on the other hand would be most welcome.


#9

I don’t see integrated storage and internal ripping as needed, or even desirable. It is time consuming to rip and best to keep the files on a shared device with redundancy i.e. NAS, desktop set up as as server with a shared RAID array, or even a laptop that is backed up regularly. Adding these features would turn the device into more of a computer than a piece of high end gear, and there are some computer-based products like that already available from others - for instance the Music Vault.

Nor is full internet radio with apps/plugins needed; there are lots of inexpensive options that are suitable for streaming low res files from all the numerous providers.

Rather this device should be targeted for as a digital source selector and output device for high quality / high res digital music files, with complete output options including AES/EBU, in an audiophile-approved chassis. Basically it would be much like the existing PWT enhanced with the ability to stream network files; I started this thread because it seemed PSA already had the core components to make such a unit. I know that the interface would need to be redone and of course other operational features would need to be changed, but it didn’t seem like such a unit would need to be conceived/designed/built from the ground up.

I do think the USB and SD functionality would be nice additions, and forwarding thinking considering how we will generally be sharing music in the future. I don’t see those ports on the front of the Rockna, but not sure what is lurking around the backside. Also best I can tell Rockna (based in Romania) doesn’t seem to have much presence in the USA market, all I found is a presumed importer/distributor in Massachusetts.


#10

A subsidiary of Rockna is Audiobyte. They are perhaps better known. They also work with Sonore and knows the PSA I2s protocol very well. Some of these eastern Europeans are real clever guys. On the performance side I expect this player to be the new benchmark for digital transport.


#11

The gentleman behind Rokna is extremely talented and has worked behind the scenes with many excellent high-end companies. In fact, I believe he was involved with the PWT. laugh


#12

My hopes for the next PWT would be that it would play SACD and DVD Audio discs, making it a universal format player like the Oppo Blu-ray players. I am sure that some would want multi-channel output, but I would settle for two channel.

I would also like to see an option to turn on error correction when the multi-read strategy cannot successfully read the data on the disc. With the PWT, I have had a couple of discs that would stick and/or stutter during playback due to some minor scratches. My Oppo BDP-83SE played the same discs without a hitch. Keep the multi-read as the primary form of retrieval, but revert to error correction if samples cannot be read reliably.

Add an app for controlling the PWT and replicating the display of cover art and song list on your phone or tablet. These features are nice, but song titles on the PWT display are not readable from my listening position. You already have a network connection and online playlist.

A Bridge II option would make it a nice single piece source for both discs and streaming, making it a more attractive choice for people without a Direct Stream DAC.

Adding capability to rips CDs for streaming would be nice if it did not add significantly to the cost. Otherwise, Exact Audio Copy on my PC does the job without added cost.


#13

Unfortunately, SACD licensing is very expensive and, thus, SACD capability is not something we will see.


#14
Elk said The gentleman behind Rokna is extremely talented and has worked behind the scenes with many excellent high-end companies. In fact, I believe he was involved with the PWT. laugh
Nucu is the guy behind Rockna along with his programmer, Dan. Together they are both quite brilliant. They designed the PWT Memory Player. I'll check with Nucu to see what's with this device which indeed looks very cool. They are not big on documentation, but then that's not the end of the world.

#15
Elk said The gentleman behind Rokna is extremely talented and has worked behind the scenes with many excellent high-end companies. In fact, I believe he was involved with the PWT. laugh
Yes, I believe Nicolae Jitariu was working for PS Audio.

It is the same with the Lampizator and Trafomatic guy - they know their electronics stuff.

I would be very surprised if a SACD capability would be built in in the new PWT. Sony stopped producing SACD chips in 2013 and even the Sony’s do not have them anymore.

Post note:

I see Paul beat me to it laugh

Commitment to time schedules are not their strongest side either. They could really need the PS Audio production line 45_gif


#16

i would suggest you look at an oppo for what you are talking about …the 105d can stream from a server or an attached external hdd, has the capability to play any type of disc including sacd and has numerous output types…the 105d does have a built in ess 9018 sabre dac but you only use it with the analog outputs not the digital outputs and I think the 103 might not actually have the dac but still has the same functionality I thinkl


#17

I already have an EMP3 multiplayer from Electrocompaniet. This is an Oppo 103 with better audio part.


#18
JimSatala77 said i would suggest you look at an oppo for what you are talking about ..the 105d can stream from a server or an attached external hdd, has the capability to play any type of disc including sacd and has numerous output types..the 105d does have a built in ess 9018 sabre dac but you only use it with the analog outputs not the digital outputs and I think the 103 might not actually have the dac but still has the same functionality I thinkl
Yes, but you can't use your own DAC and play SACD with this.

#19

Agree.

Oppo does not send SACD to an external DAC in the digital domain, only providing it via the player’s analog out.

My player can send DSD over HDMI (Audio), but this is not supported by DAC’s.


#20
Paul McGowan said
I'll check with Nucu to see what's with this device
Have you been able to speak with Nico?