Upgrade from my PWT to a DMP. Will I hear an improvement?

I currently run my PWT to my AURALiC Vega DAC with very satisfying results. My only quibble is that the PWT has rather limited error correction.

Would anyone guess if I would hear a sonic improvement if I upgraded to the DMP?

How does the “limited error correction” manifest itself?

If the optical disc is scratched the PWT might not be able to compensate for that and playback will hang.

Read the DMP topics from beginning to end. There is bountiful information there which will assist any decision whether to buy it.

I would not describe the PWT’s error correction as limited. It runs a version of Exact Audio Copy. if the data is there, the PWT will recover it.

Of course, as Brodric notes, if the CD is sufficiently damaged physically it will not play. I do not see this as the PWT’s or any other player’s fault.

Somebody discussed this recently here, about a test CD that is used for testing the capability of a player to overcome disc scratches and the like. From what I understand, the design of the PWT makes it more prone to difficulty in reading scratched discs than other designs which can compensate for the missing data obscured by scratches.

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It simply goes quiet and stops responding. My PS Audio Lambda and my Oppo 205 sail right through those areas. I wouldn’t even bring it up if the other players performed no better. I don’t think it is related to sound quality.

I used the PWT for 6 years and never came across anything it could not play due to scratches or other damage. As far as the sonic difference between the PWT and the DMP I am using it connected via I2S to the Directstream DAC. I was not prepared for the improvement in the sound quality, musicality, soundstage presentation. If I did not have both units here i would not have believed it. As Dirk mentioned operationally it has its quirks. My PWT was very reliable and did everything it was supposed to do. They are rebuilding the firmware to try to get it to this same point. Check the comments in the forums about the various firmwares released so far.

When I had the PWT, I had one CD with a defect that caused the PWT to stick and skip, but it played fine on other CD players. When I upgraded to the DMP, it played fine. Plus it is generally agreed that the sound quality of the DMP is a significant improvement over the PWT.

The Exact Audio Copy method used by the PWT, as I understand it, will read each sample multiple times to make sure that it gets it right. The problem is that when there is a scratch or defect that causes a spot to be unreadable, it apparently does not default back to the usual error correction used in most players to get something close to correct and move on.

Check out PS Audio’s trade in program that will allow you to trade in your PWT toward a DMP. You will get 30 days to try the DMP and then either send in your PWT for the trade in, or send back the DMP for a refund. So, you get to try them side by side for 30 days and decide which one to keep.

.An audiophile friend and I compared the PWT to the DMP using Martin Logan CLX speakers and Pass Amplification. We did not hear a substantial improvement. So I passed on purchasing the DMP. What ever you decide I strongly suggest up grading the fuses to SR Blue fuses.

I bought a bunch of used CDs the other day at Goodwill. It looked like some were used as drink coasters - they were filthy and had some scratches. For a dollar+ each I could afford to get some dogs. First, I cleaned all of them with Shine-Ola. Second, I ripped the cleaned CDs to my PC as WAVE files without a problem. Then I played the cleaned CDs in my PWT. The PWT locked up on about half of them. I had to reboot the PWT just to eject the disks.

To get around the PWT read problem I burned the bad CD’s PC WAVE files onto DVDs. The PWT played the burned DVDs just fine. I’ll give the original CDs back to Goodwill. They’ll be OK playing in a regular CD player or PC.

It’s weird that I have to rip some CDs to my PC then burn the ripped WAVE files to a DVD in order for the PWT to play them. The info is there. The PC can read it but the PWT can’t. Maybe the DMP could?

The difference between the PWT and the DMP has to do with the fact that the PWT extracted the data and played from the large buffer. a true memory player. The DMP plays the disk on the fly with error correction like any other CD player transport out there. It does use a small digital lens. It sounds like the DVD drive in your PWT had issues. Mine had an ASUS IDE DVD RW and played anything I threw at it. I found a disk lable side up laying on a concrete sidewalk. It was scratched to hell. All I did was clean of the dirt with Windex and played it perfectly in the PWT. What drive does your PWT have in it?

What DAC did you use? The sonic difference into the Directstream DAC is substantial. something is wrong if you can hear the SR Blue fuse and not the the difference between the two transports.

I don’t know what type of drive is in my PWT. I bought a refurbished model last June. I’ve read how difficult it is to open up the PWT so it will stay a mystery. I’ve had other issues. A few times the PWT would lock up when playing a CD. Cleaning the CD fixed the issue. I’ve also had problems with certain downloaded/burned HD tracks from HDTracks.com. In two cases one or two tracks in a downloaded album would have some distortions. The tracks played fine on my PC - both in the downloaded format and when I tried playing the burned DVD in my PC’s CD/DVD drive. PS Audio suggested using a different DVD format. I tried both DVD-R and DVD-RW format DVDs. Both had the same distortion problem on the same one or two tracks. All other tracks played fine in the PWT.

Don’t get me wrong - absolutely love the PWT! It is the first digital player that I enjoy listening to. In the past, CDs were just for background sound. Now I get to really hear the music.

The issues are not material in the scheme of things. I just do a workaround and move on. It’s just fascinating though how the same data is handled differently by different players.

I always loved my PWT too. I bet if you have a refurbished PWT it uses and Asus sata DVDrom. I tried one of those in my PWT. It was not as stable as the IDE DVDrw. It was prone to spontaneous lock ups. In reality it is quite easy to open the PWT if you have allthreads which you can get from PS Audio. If you looked at the video on how to upgrade a Perfectwave DAC to Directstream you could see exactly how to open it up. The way the PWT played from the memory was unique and I was disappointed to learn that the DMP no longer does that. In fact for the longest time I was reluctant to even try the DMP. Once I decided to give it a try i was hooked! I regretted having to trade in my PWT but I could not afford to buy the DMP if I had not done so.

We were using a DirectStream DAC. The DMP had slightly better leading edge, decay and detail but not enough to warrant paying thousands of dollars more IMHO. My PWT had a SR Red fuse, the DMP had stock fuses. I had cash ready to buy the DMP when we made the comparison. I may still purchase the DMP someday, but after side by side comparison and switching to SR fuse to Blues in the PWT I’m content to hang onto it longer. The DMP has some interesting features the PWT does not have, but I do not particularly need those features.

Back to your question: Yes indeed.

In my system the difference was very significant. The DMP with the Directstream DAC is the finest sounding source i have ever had in my system. It recovers so much more from Red Book CD than I would have even believed was there.

Thanks. And yes, that’s the thing with DMP. It is so revealing of what’s on the CD. I found it to be the first product ever to have closed the gap between CD and high resolution discs. To the point of making me not care so much about the higher resolutions.

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Due to ongoing functionality issues with my DMP; my dealer loaned my a couple of other respected ( considerably more expensive !! ) transports to try out but, they fall well short of the musical attributes of the DMP… By direct comparison to the other transports – on the outside of the venue listening in.

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