Why is the PWT so particular?

I’ve had the PWT and DAC for less than a month and I’ve experienced unexpected problems. In fact, both are, as of this moment, disconnected from my system. I’ll hook them back up this weekend when I have time and do further testing, but the experience hasn’t been the most pleasant of my audiophile journey (which extends backward over 40 years).

For instance:

When burning disks using AShampoo you have to use UDF 1.02 (rather than UDF 2.60, 2.00, or 1.5) under the advanced settings or the PWT won't read the file. Instructions for using AShampoo on this website leaves that crucial bit of information out.

Files have to be burned using WAV files and not FLAC etc.

In contrast, I have an OPPO player that will play anything that is thrown at it including music videos burned from the internet as they have been streamed. It’s frustrating and a steep learning curve for an audibly immaterial difference between the two players (as I said I will do more testing). I understand the delay used in the PWT and it made sense, but dang, the implementation is clunky. Steve Jobs would be screaming. Now - don’t tell me to buy a Mac. I might anyway. That’s not the point. PC users ought to be able to have a simple implementation of digital audio too. The OPPO doesn’t care and it’s cheaper.

I say that as one who hears differences and, while not the best ear in this world or any world, I have the equipment and the discernment to notice differences (i.e. Revel Salon Ultimas 2’s, Mac 601 monoblocks, CJ tube preamp, as CJ solid state preamp [for comparison and backup], OPPO player, Musical Fidelity player and DAC, etc.). As an aside: I like to change equipment out and see where the differences are in order to maximize the resolution I can get given my listening room’s acoustics. For awhile I had B&W 802d’s along with the Revel’s so I could do A/B tests in my listening room. Yeah I’m crazy and it’s a hobby. You all know what I mean.

I am not with OPPO. I have no dog in a fight between players other than the fact that I dropped a reasonable amount of money on the PS Audio equipment (with the Bridge II) and am puzzled at the difficulties.

I can see why digital audio has a hard acceptance level. A high end analog turntable has all the information, is relatively easy to use (no codex etc. just drop the arm and listen), and is pretty much idiot proof. I’m not advocating that approach either. Look, I’m an old fart who loves music, hates the pops and static of LP’s, and I’m tired of ciphering all this out. I wouldn’t mind as much if the PWT was as bulletproof as the OPPO in reading a range of music files: DVD’s, high res files, and no "make sure the files are WAV burned using UDF 1.02 . . . "

Digital audio via the direct Ethernet cable is another issue altogether. It would seem that there should be a simple way to just drag and drop uncompressed hi-res files and play them on a the PST without all the hassle.

OK it’s late. I’m new here and I often feel stupid and slow regarding digital audio. I don’t want to cause waves (no pun intended). I’d just like some simple solutions and/or explanations.

Thanks - I’ve gotten some good help with these problems in other forums or I might have taken a hammer to the PWT by now.

The PWT is not a universal player and is not marketed as such; it performs a different job than an Oppo. (I also have an Oppo. It does its job well, as does the PWT.)

I have never found burning a file for the PWT tricky, but appreciate some find it difficult. Just remember it is a highly specialized computer and expects to receive a specific data stream via the optical discs you feed it. If you want to stream FLAC, MP3, etc., send these directly to the DirectStream.

Given Apple products often drive me nuts, I’m please to learn the PWT would make Jobs scream - high praise indeed.

If you continue to find the audible differences between the Oppo and PWT immaterial, stick with the Oppo. It appears you will be much happier. It is not worth working with a piece of kit with which you are uncomfortable if you experience little upside.

I hope you have better luck over the weekend.

I have to say that I am a bit surprised that you hear little difference between the Oppo and the PWT. To my ears, the PWT is well beyond the Oppo in terms of sound quality. I have listened to the PWT daily for years and years, still it amazes me.

I agree - the PWT sounds better than the Oppo I have tried, though there are new ones and maybe they sound better still - I don’t know. The PWT was one of the very first players of its type in the world. It’s been around for quite a while and when it was designed that was the limits of technology we had available to us at the time.

Oppo is fairly recent relative to the PWT.

+1, the PWT sounds much better in my system. But there are so many variables I’m sure this is not a universal experience.

Well I tried to test it this weekend, but was unsuccessful. Why? Because the DAC started repeating a problem that started the first week I purchased it (August 25th), a problem I contacted tech support about. What was that you ask? Well the DAC has the touchscreen upside down and won’t change to correct orientation (yes - I’ve updated the firmware, yes - I’ve done the 1,2,3,4 etc.); additionally it powers on and off every few seconds. Aggghhhh.

The guys I spoke to were so helpful I figured I could trust 'em. Something along the lines of: “We’ll record the problem and if re-surfaces we will send a replacement unit.” I should know better.

Now it appears that tech support wants me to fill out an RMA and send it back to have it serviced. And I quote:“If the firmware does not correct the issues. Fill out the info below and I will work on an RMA and FedEx label to have the unit in to be looked at.”

You’ve got to be kidding me. Yep that’s world class service right there.

I’m ready to sell the whole kit and caboodle used right now. Someone make me an offer on the PWT, DAC, and Bridge II all brand new, plastic stick wrap is still on them.

Now I know what PS stands for (OK maybe that was uncalled for, but I’m a little “steamed” right now).

Returning the unit, at PS Audio’s cost, seems perfectly reasonable. It will be serviced quickly and returned. I do not understand your objection.

We all understand the frustration however. Once in a while a piece of kit has a problem or fails, regardless of who made it. It is a bother to deal with such things - damnable first world problems.

Brand new.

We will service the unit etc. the warranty doesn’t say “at their expense” it says it is at mine (except for the return shipping). Inside of 30 days I can return it. Now I’m 39 days out with a problem I reported the first week. Letter of the law I understand. Spirit of the law that’s not it.


I’m resigned to getting screwed. That’s not always my experience, though it may be in this case.

Yeah it’s first world alright, if I wanted to deal with the 3rd world (pejorative term) I would move there and not pay $6000 for a piece of stereo equipment that doesn’t work right out of the box. I’d use the money to deal with food and shelter.

You’ve got a Happy customer vs Unhappy one. Right now I’m in category #2 and I really wanted to be in #1. I read the reviews. planed out the integration into my system ext., planned out the A/B test, and now it doesn’t work.

How would you feel in my circumstance? What would your perspeciive be in these circumstances?

If you say# 1 I’d doubt your credibility and applaud your loyalty. I wanted to buy the PS 10 too. I think it might be the best of the products and may still buy it - current experience to the contrary. That’s “simple” regeneration - few glitches there but not many.But this situation give me pause.

I’m not happy with this situation. What positive thing(s) should I say about PS Audio beyond what I would say about Dell? Hmmmm. I mean would Dell take the same approach? Maybe yes. So the answer is none. I don’t think PS Audio puts themselves in Dell’s atmosphere so I would expect a higher level of service. I don’t send things back just to be sending them back. that’s more of a hassle than it’s worth. Hey you guys sent me a second bridge apparently by mistake, should I sell that on Audiogon or keep it?

Nuff said. I’m going to bed and won’t be able to get to this for a few days.

This is a good company and it is worth giving them a chance to address your concerns. They are not perfect, but are fair.

Take a deep breath and email Paul in the morning, or give him a call. He will listen and will be very interested in your concerns. They are finishing up a show so the response may be a bit slower than usual.

(And to answer your question, I would handle it very differently than you - an occasional bout with fussy electronics does not upset me. But we are all different; the great pageant of humanity is endless varied. I hope your approach is satisfying for you.)

Nbeadles, are you for real?confused Sheesh.

Yes Radioclash, I’m for real. I’m frustrated and it was late last night. If you can’t understand that then you don’t understand much. I’ve been dealing with issues on and off with the system for the entire month I’ve owned it. I really want to like the product. I had a weekend to test it (something I don’t get very often these days) and it malfunctioned. Elk I appreciate the encouragement to take a deep breath and I have - overnight. I’m sorry for my last post, but guys chalking it up to first world problems and saying stuff like “I hope your approach is satisfying” or “Sheesh” pours fuel on the flame.


I’ve appreciated the help I’ve gotten in the past with setting the system up.

Hi nbeadles, sorry about all this! Nothing more frustrating than something you’re excited about not working. I truly understand. The problem is this–if it can’t be fixed by firmware then there’s no choice but to have one of our techs fix it for you. In other words, it would have to come home. But that sounds like a solution you’re unhappy with. What would make you happy? Would you prefer we replaced the unit with a new one? I am fine with that, if that’s what would make you feel better. Just let us know. If that is what you wish, we still have to get the original one back before we replace it. But I am happy to authorize that.

You can email me directly if you wish paul at ps audio .com without all the spaces.

Again, I am very, very sorry.crying_gifinlove_gif

nbeadles said . . . I'm sorry for my last post . . .
No need; you are only venting. Nothing wrong with this at all.

But remember, you are offering up a lot of drama on a public form in response to a minor glitch. The responses you receive may, or may not, be to your liking.

And remember, you directly asked how I would feel and what would my perspective be. As I indicated, I find these issues trivial but acknowledged however we are all different. I honestly do hope your approach works well for you. I would find it exhausting.

As I stated, Paul and PS Audio will take care of you. They are a good bunch that really does care. My bet is you will be up and operational within a week or two.

Please let us know how it goes and provide us with a follow-up after you have had a good chance to work with the PWD and to listen to the DAC. I predict you will find the result much better than the Oppo as a transport, and the sound vastly superior.

nbeadles, I would second, third, and fourth what the others have said. I too had a problem with a brand new unit, the screen had a scrolling bar of “noise” constantly and the only solution was to send it back. I certainly wasn’t happy, but, PS Audio paid for shipping both ways and no charge for repair. It has operated flawlessly ever since. If they have said they will send a FedEx tag just go for it. 0% failure rate does not happen, period. PS Audio stands behind their products far more than a lot of other companies. How many offer a three year warranty?

Thanks to Alex and PS Audio. You guys were right. I apologize for freaking out. I’ve been a bit stressed lately and this was a final straw.

I’ve struggled a bit with the PWT (because AShampoo wanted to use UDF 2.0 and the PWT needs them burned with UDF 1.02), hence the topic. Now I’ve got this unit (that my wife already figured was a waste of money). I unplug it for 2 weeks while I was changing my stereo configuration. I plug it back in and it’s back to the original problem – only worse. I can hear it now, “What? You bought a $6,000.00 paperweight?” I’ve got a good one but she doesn’t share my passion for audio and she’s frugal.

I’ll look forward to doing an A/B test with PWT vs the my other players and using the DAC.