Stellar GCD, M700s and PWD MK I


#1

I now live in Germany (moved from the U.S. five years ago). When I moved to Germany I brought my PWD MK I with a Bridge I, a B&K 700.7 amp and Integra DHC-9.9 AV controller with me. I was able to switch jumpers in the amp to 230V, but the PWD and Integra run from a step down transformer. I’m no longer using this set-up for a home theater, but only listening to music from a NAS and a rather nice turntable, built in Germany. Speakers are Monitor GX 200 (left and right only). I finally decided to get rid of the B&K and Integra and hopefully clean up the set-up.

I am anxiously awaiting my SGCD and M700s from the German PS Audio dealer.

So here’s a question for you folks who know a whole lot more than me.

I believe I can have the PS Audio dealer here in Germany change the PWD to run on 230 V. However, is there anything to be gained in SQ by incorporating the PWD with the Stellar GCD and M700s, or is this redundant? If yes, what would the PWD set-up be?

A connectivity challenge to the NAS could be solved I suppose.

If I understand it correctly, the SGCD does not have a network connection, as the PWD/Bridge has, so direct network access to the music on the NAS is not possible. The PWD would allow this however and then a connection to the SGCD. I could then use Roon as a music controller I believe. For various reasons, I’m not too interested in connecting a computer directly to the SGCD by USB / I2S.

I use Sonos (I know, this is probably a bad thing to say on this forum, but have pity on me please) to stream music to other rooms throughout the house, so alternatively I can connect the Sonos controller box by TOS into the SGCD (leaving the PWD out of the equation) and use the Sonos controller interface to play music through the SGCD/M700s/Monitor speakers in the music room.

Any thoughts or suggestions on my situation will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks


#2

Yes, you certainly can use the PWD if it has Bridge II installed to stream and use Roon as an endpoint. That will work well if you don’t mind having Roon installed on your computer and the computer always on (most people don’t mind and several have even dedicated a small computer for the task.


#3

Thank you the fast answer Paul.

I’ll check with the dealer here in Germany on a Bridge II upgrade and voltage conversion.

To my question of SQ…

With the PWD/Bridge II in the equation do you feel there be any noticeable SQ improvement as compared to only using the SGCD?

With the PWD out of the equation and the Sonos controller is connected to digital in of the SGCD by digital audio out from the Sonos box, either TOS or Coax (either is possible) will the SGCD be handling the incoming from Sonos?

Bottom line for me is trying to determine if it is worth the effort trying to get the PWD into the equation or should I give the SGCD / M700s a listen first.


#4

It may take a little effort but I would suggest trying it both ways. Nothing wrong with using the Sonos, at least to start. There are also a number of devices that provide an Ethernet to USB interface and also work with Roon if that is your preference.


#5

Yes, ultimately you have to try it to see but my guess is that much depends on the cables and setup of the PWD. Clearly, it is a better sounding product than the Stellar GCD but not by leaps and bounds. In fact, the two are somewhat close, the PWD edging out Stellar by only a small margin - and that may be obviated with interconnecting cable choices if you’re not careful (always use balanced cables for best sound).

The problem I have is with the Sonos. That thing sucks and while it’s convenient, the amount of jitter it presents is nasty and so if it is coming down to a choice of Stellar/Sonos vs. PWD-Bridge/Stellar then the latter would be the clear choice.


#6

Thank you again Paul. Yes, I’ll give the system a try without the PWD first. I am using proper cables for all of the interconnects, as you suggest, so that part is good. The Sonos solves a problem of getting music to other rooms for casual listening, but yes I understand the limitations and do want to have the SQ in our music room. Looking forward to getting the SGCD and M700s running.