SA/CD Transport to DAC vs. Ripped SA/CD via Streamer to DAC

Every time I get the itch to pick up a Jay’s CDT or PS Audio PST after reading all the accolades on this forum, I find myself stopping myself just as I’m about to hit Checkout, reminding myself that my Streaming Server / End Point setup should sound equivalent, if not better than those devices.

I’ve been extracting my CD and SACDs into WAV files that I move to my Streaming Server so I can play them around the house to various End Points – which has been my rationale for not picking up a Transport.

I’d love to hear from those of you who have both what you think of the sound quality from either source where you’ve ripped the same SA/CD onto your streamer.

For clarity – I am not talking about streaming Qobuz/TIDAL vs. SA/CD. It’s looking at an SA/CD from transport vs. a WAV rip of the same SA/CD on a streamer in the same system.

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We had a brief discussion of this recently, starting by noting a reviewer concljuded the PST sounds better than a high quality streamer. See:


I just did a test of this myself last week. I was listening to new CDs on the Jay’s deck and then compared to streams of rips on my hard drive on the Pink Faun via Roon. At the time I thought it was close but not too different. At the time I thought playing the CD sounded as good and perhaps a little better. Perhaps.

I am not certain the difference is worth getting out if a chair to swap discs. Plus I don’t usually listen to complete albums though I am doing that more and more these days.

I think I need to study this more intently. I also need to listen to my ripped content via something other than Roon to take the thought that Roon might not be as clean as say, Jriver playing ripped content.

I fully understand you are not talking about Qobuz and or Tidal content. I Rip all my CDs to my server the day I open them.

At the moment I appreciate having the disc player. It is an extravagance for the most part that I enjoy. I continually mull over giving the PST a shot. I look forward to PST owners comments on this topic.


I think you have to spend much more to get a streamer system to sound as good as a PST.


There is not much difference in sound between files and a disc spinner. The main difference is in the quality of the server or the transport. You can get away with just using a streamer or a server. But like Al, I like to have a secondary system like a good SACD player.
I find playing single sided SACD through my DMP sounds even better than my former Aurender N10 server with the same file. Of course with my Esoteric N03T it’s a different story.
Playing files is fine, but sometimes I just just like to put in a disc, set back and relax, and enjoy a nice disc.
That said, I just traded in my DMP for the PST, so we’ll see how that stands up to my streamer.


@vee: I have written the response I am copying and pasting below, or something similar, in several threads over the last couple of years. Bottom line, I think a SOTA (not necessarily expensive though) disc spinner in a system otherwise optimized for disc spinning is required to equal or best a SOTA (not necessarily expensive though) intranet streaming system otherwise optimized for streaming.


[Responding to Paul McGowan] "Well…your very own Bridge II card coupled with the DS Sr. and JRiver Media Center has consistently outperformed disc spinning in my system. And, until I added a used DMP to the mix a few months ago, it was generally not even close.

Maybe we have a semantics issue? My note was referring to an Intranet vs, disc spinner situation. I was not comparing streaming from the internet to spinning discs on a good system with high quality DAC and transport.

To date, streaming files from the internet in my system consistently runs a distant third to “intranet streaming”. In order of overall sound quality capability/preference (best to “worst”) my experience has, and continues to be:

  1. Listening to ripped files and downloaded files from my iMac via JRMedia Center over Wi-Fi to a router, then through galvanic isolation and ethernet cables to the BridgeII/DS Sr. combo.
  2. Listenting to SACDs and CDs via the PSA DMP and the I2S output through the PSA DS Sr. DAC.*
  3. Streaming files from the internet via Roon, Qobuz or Tidal over the same system via Bridge card and DS Sr.

As an aside, I also find JRiver Media Center to have an edge over Roon when it comes to sound quality of my personal files being rendered from the iMac.



*Although of late, well recorded SACDs have really shone through with the DMP/DS Sr. (I2S) combo."


I suggest you bring a PST in for an audition to either prove or disapprove your assumptions as to which is better. That is one clear advantage PSA offers over Jay’s. If your stream is better I’d agree and return the PST. There is only one way to know for certain.


Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I’ll keep watching from the sidelines until I get the itch again… Perhaps I’ll flip a coin next time.

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My PST is roughly at the same level as my local and streamed files.

But the streaming side cost me a lot more: Nucleus + with Sbooster, Lumin U1, Matrix with whole enchilada Farad, and a Melco S100 switch with Nuprime power supply that I am still auditioning but will probably buy.
And then the cables: 4 Wirerworld Platinum 8 Ethernet, a ChordMusic USB, and a RAL. Versus « just » a Wirerworld Platinum hdmi for the PST.
And then the power cords: Wirerworld silver for everything (and Platinum for the P20 feeding everything).
And then the vibration isolation : Townshend for the big components, Isoacoustics for the small ones.
And finally the Sboosters for the router and the hard drive.

Pure madness.

The PST is a bargain, viewed from that perspective :joy:


I could use your system as an audiophile foot for mine.

Nyah! Nyah!!!

I fully agree with all his conclusions but Roon is nearly automated where I sit. So I may miss out on .0000005% of the total available goodness.

I’ll make it up in quantity.


I’ve got all my SACD’s ripped to .dsf files, and my CD’s ripped to FLAC, and I listen almost exclusively using JRiver. I’ve compared the ripped files against the disc played by my DMP, and I usually question whether I’m really hearing any difference between the two. Sometimes the DMP sounds a little more natural & relaxed, but sometimes I don’t hear any discernable difference.

My first thought when I saw the PST deal was to sell my DMP, and replace it with the PST. The more I thought about it, the less excited I was by the prospect of it, and I’ll probably take a pass on it. I’ll probably eventually sell the DMP, as I just don’t use it very often.

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My take with my system…ripped cds to thumb drive sounds played back better
through my Oppo205 to my ears than same cd played played through my same
Oppo 205.

Even the ripped Octave records including the high res dsd files ripped to thumb drive
sound better using Oppo 205 as server.

Both cd and ripped to thumb drive should sound the same…but somehow to my
2 paddles on the side of my head…the ripped to thumb drive sounds quite a bit

Go figure…

Best wishes everyone

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