Tone Audio review of DMP and DS Sr

This is about as glowing a review as you’ll see of DMP and DS Sr. Well done guys! Almost makes me wish I still played CDs! Almost.’s-directstream-memory-player-and-dac/

Thanks for the link. Sweet and on point review. I’ve shared it on a few forums.

The laudatory comments about the sound quality of the DMP (particularly in conjunction with the DSD) are well deserved, no question. But the reviewer implies, without actually stating, that the DMP is a universal transport. He mentions playing one DVD-A and alludes to the fact that some people have lots of DVD-As in their collections. Then he states that the DMP uses a Blu-ray drive sourced from Oppo and says “There are only so many sources remaining for a transport that can play everything.” Sounds like a universal transport, no? This bothers me. Did he not test the unit thoroughly by playing multiple DVD-As and BDs and trying to navigate through them? Did he learn about its limitations but not want to mention them because he liked the sound so much? (Understandable, but not what a reviewer should do.) Or maybe he just got lucky and all his discs played. A good reminder that one can’t always rely on reviews.

Completely agree on the potentially misleading – and rather perfunctory – comments in the review.

Another line also caught my attention - “…all video circuitry, which can add noise and distortion to the audio signal, has been removed.” Is that accurate? For those of us who figured out/were informed about the still functional “pure audio” toggle setting in the DMP, it would seem the video circuitry has not been removed (though can be disabled).

This paragraph from the Tone review is problematic, too, I believe (my emphasis):

Don’t freak out, the DMP is based on an OPPO transport. But before you cry wolf, fraud, or “oh no, not another AYRE debacle,” chill out. The PS people are very forthright about the transport and PS’ Bill Leebens says candidly, “The basic drive mechanism is a Blu-ray unit sourced from Oppo. The mechanical element is all that remains: all video circuitry, which can add noise and distortion to the audio signal, has been removed. All control and processing of both digital and analog signals is done in circuitry designed and built by PS Audio.”

As far as I can recall, Ayre did not simply re-badge an OPPO player. Ayre was “very forthright” about how it transformed a $500.00 OPPO BDP-83 into the $10,000.00 [!] Ayre DX-5.

Yes, an audio company was accused of simply re-badging the OPPO BDP-83 and selling it for $3,500.00, but that company was not Ayre.

Which function does the drive have except ripping the content? Does anyone think it makes sense to put much effort into the drive instead of lens, power supply etc.?

Putting effort into things beyond the drive mechanism (digital lens, etc.) is exactly what I think PSA did that makes the DMP sound so good. But a structure should be built on a good foundation, so to speak: Oppo’s drives are well regarded and they sell a lot of them, so it’s likely that replacements or repairs will be available for a long time.

Yes I thnk this is about the main aspect important at this place. Forgotten the times when expensive solid steel transports were used to play media without buffering to the outputs

Using the Oppo also allowed access to their licensing agreement with Sony, getting access to the handshake codes, so they could output DSD to their DACs.

My understanding is that the licensing agreement can be prohibitively expensive for smaller companies. A company that sells units in the numbers of 10k-100k can spread the cost out over all those units, while PSA might have had to add more to the price, without Oppo’s connection.

And Oppo makes very good transports, and lots of them, so parts will be available. When my Lambda lost it’s ability to eject, the parts were no longer available, and I believe that was a Philips CDM 9 Pro transport. I was able to turn it into a manual opening drawer, the transport itself lasted for over 20 years.