Snowmass DirectStream Junior is now live


#283

Loving Snowmass, thanks @tedsmith and @Paul.

I feel for people struggling to update the DSJ. My first week owning the product resulted in taking it apart to pull out the bridge card out to send it to support after an update went bad. Luckily, I have had no further issues but I always need a shot or two of vodka before being brave enough to perform an upgrade to my lovely DAC.

This thread is getting kinda long, but I saw a few posts that raised some questions. I apologize if these have been answered already but perhaps @Paul you could summarize?

  1. Is Ted part of PS Audio?
  2. If Ted is an external consultant - cool - but is he compensated for his efforts towards the ongoing product updates? If not, why not?
  3. If Ted doesn’t get compensated for his work - who would provide updates if Ted stopped?

One of the main reasons I went with PS Audio was the FPGA approach, and as the marketing material on the website states, it’s up-gradable. To me, that means PS Audio has the people to make this happen.

If the reality is that upgrades are down to the generosity / passion of Ted, this seems like a claim PS Audio can’t guarantee to fulfill.

I might be in the minority, but I don’t expect free updates. I would be happy to pay a small incremental as and when I decide to upgrade. Give me the choice and I’ll decide. I get that Ted’s time isn’t free.

Some clarity to all this would be cool. I am looking forward to an announcement soon around the ‘Uber DAC’ which I am very interested in. Answers to the above would help me decide if I am willing to invest further.

Cheers,

Chris


#284

How many owners successfully get the bridge II update working after updating to Snowmass? Just had a bit of a scare. I couldn’t get the built in update function to move past 0% after several tries, so I went through the Mconnect route, which seemed to work, except that it left the display reading 90%. No change after an hour, so here goes the reboot… No bridge :scream:. I eventually got it back after a reset (power on while holding the logo light).

Everything seems to be good now, but I feel like the version page has changed unless I misremember what it looked like. Specifically, What is with the version 02.00 under Snowmass instead of the 3.6.17 that usually shows up in that area with Redcloud? Looks like the bridge version number has moved to the upper right corner now; anybody else have this?


#285

Yes. Snowmass version on left, Bridge top right.


#286

Same here. My DSJ froze, Roon couldn’t find it as an endpoint. I just rebooted.


#287

I had the same experience - post Snowmass upgrade I had a Bridge upgrade.

I tried, spent 40m at 0%, and I after a brief heart flutter, power cycled the DAC. Luckily I am still on 3.5.1 and it’s working fine.

Bridge wants to upgrade but given past experience I am scare to re-attempt…


#288

I felt a little better about rebooting at 0% after seeing a few other posts where other people encountered it. I don’t think it even initiates the upgrade process in that case. Using MConnect appears to be the more reliable way to do this, although I was not prepared for it to stall out at 90%. Feared for a second I’d have to prepare to be without streaming or a few weeks.

I never knew an audio component could instill such moments of abject horror; I guess I need something to spice up the anticipation. But I jest. I’m still shocked that this kind of improvement can come from a software update and I feel like I’ve actually accomplished something after updating.


#289

I hear you. The last time I rebooted a bridge update at 0% (my first week with the DAC) it resulted in a dead bridge card - no NIC activity at all. I had to remove the card and ship it back. Support was great and provided me the instructions and a new card.


#290

That’s a bit scary. I gave up after a few attempts at updating the bridge via ethernet (from the DSJ interface). It’s always a bit of a cold sweat experience when you turn off any device that’s updating. Bricking them is not uncommon as cgoundry found out.
I have also tried unsuccessfully to use mconnect but it failed as well. So I’ll have another go on Monday.
Looks like this is emerging as a bit of an issue with this bridge update.


#291

The details of PS Audio and my business arrangement isn’t really anyone’s business, but Paul and I have leaked enough for people to have figured out that:
I don’t work for PS Audio. I designed and implemented the DS (to fit into the PS Audio ecosystem) and PS Audio manufacturers, markets and sells them.
When PS Audio and I were taking about a business arrangement I wanted us to have the same motivations: (i.e. that we both make more money when we work together) so I suggested a royalty arrangement.
I like writing code (I’m a software guy from way back) and enjoy doing new releases, but it’s obviously also a way to generate market buzz, etc. and sell more units so PS Audio and I make more money. I’m pretty sure neither of us feel shafted.
Our business arrangement covers various contingencies including the possibility of one or the other party being unwilling or unable to do their part, but the details are between PS Audio and me.


#292

Yes same here.


#293

Got it @tedsmith , and I agree it’s not really any of my business… but the problem is that info is out there. Most companies would not share this info and I guess I’d prefer to be in the dark.

I love what you have collectively created, amazing stuff; and at this price I am cool whatever happens with the DSJ. I only hope that the royalties you earn make it worth your time to continue contributing as I would hate for this to end.

I will however take this into account before I spend any more $.


#294

You either trust us or you don’t. You’d be in exactly the same position if I were a PS Audio employee. Further, how far am I or PS Audio going to get if we renege on our promises to our customers? We both care about our reputations.


#295

“You either trust us or you don’t.” - nailed it !


#296

Well said, Ted.

Thank you again for your creativity, openness and integrity. You are a class act.


#297

All the issues with the DSJr freeze ups and Roon not finding the Bridge after Bridge update should be fixed by restarting the DSJr, router or switch the DSJr is connected to and the computer that Roon core is on. When you update the Bridge it drops off the network and needs to get a new network address. Here DSJr would play for a while, stop for no reason, ignore the remote commands, ignore the volume control and other strange behavior until everything was reset. After restarting the DSJr, router, and Roon core computer everything is working together perfectly again and sounding sweet. Of course YMMV.


#298

@Elk Are you paid by the positive post? People here are trying to provide genuine feedback. If this is discouraged @Paul, please have your admin kill my forum account and I will move on.

To clarify I …LOVE… my DSJ - just asking some real questions so I can make my decision around future purchases. I set aside $ per year for upgrades but I am questioning my decision sticking with PSA.

@tedsmith - I have no doubt you are THE Ninja with this stuff. My fear is Ninjas move on…


#299

Your questions and observations are absolutely welcome. Feedback is indeed wonderfully helpful, especially for a company for PS Audio which is customer focused. Keep it coming.

Ted’s response is straightforward and direct. He could have chosen not to answer, or to provide a snide or defense response. Instead he provided clear, honest information. I respect this and said so.

This takes absolutely nothing from your posts. In fact, you should be favorably impressed with the information you quickly received.

By the way, we do not “kill” accounts and no one has ever been banned. Everyone is welcome to post on any audio subject and to express any view.


#300

Cgoundry - Elk is the forum moderator, so he impart tries to keep things positive. To my understanding, we’re all under the belief that the DAC updates will chug along like normal. Our vigilante customer service wiz Bad Beef, in a well intentioned, but poorly thought through post, raised the notion that the updates are gravy, born out of Ted’s free time, for which we all ought to be grateful for as if they are a charitable donation.

As Ted, and others have pointed out, the updates are a key selling point for the DS and DSJ, and are to be expected by us, with gratitude of course. The royalty arrangement between Ted and Paul is actually good for us as it keeps Ted with skin in the game for these updates. It’s more motivation than if he drew a salary. The better the updates, the more units sold, the more cash Ted gets.

All of this, Bad Beef’s musings aside, ought to inspire confidence in the PS Audio update train. It’s in all of their best interest to keep them coming. Snow mass ought to be a big hit for them. And as evidenced by Ted’s frequent interaction on these forums, he’s clearly into all of this. Which is to say, there’s not much to worry about, spend freely :wink:


#301

@dancingsea, thank you for your well thought out response. I have been a proud PS Audio DSJ owner for a while now and I have kept to myself (ie not contributed much to this forum).

I love my DAC, however I also think there is work to be done:

  • I should not be afraid to upgrade the DAC or Bridge II.
  • Clarity around if Ted’s ongoing input long term are a concern. No ted = no software for DS/DSJ/UBER DAC?

@Elk - you’re the moderator - you should be positive! - make an exception and please kill my account :slight_smile:


#302

NOOOOOOO! The Horror! :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes::weary::face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

(Google emoticons really are dreadful.)

I do not think you need worry about Ted. My impression is he is a truly stand-up guy and loves what he is doing. I believe he is in it for the long haul.

I admit however that I was already delighted with the DirectStream as an early adopter and did not take into account it could/would be upgraded with better firmware. If it had never been improved I would still be pleased with it. Thus, I do not rely on Ted’s updates, but view them as wonderful bonuses. I appreciate others may have bought the DAC however relying upon expected updates.