Windom: Sound Impressions

I am thus closing the Windom thread and starting two new threads:

Windom: Sound Impressions

Windom: Installation Problems

The original all-purpose Windom thread is here.

Please let me know if I can otherwise help.

I have to say I’m finding Windom distracting. As in, it keeps drawing my attention to the sonics, and something about the music is getting lost. Like not enough midrange to balance the super detailed highs and so on. Snowmass sounds less “amazing”, but more like coherent music to me.

EDIT: For the first week after the release of Windom, up until around October 19th, I was apparently working with what we’re susequently calling a “Bad Load” of Windom.

This is a separate deal from the Ability to get the FW to Load. Once I’d gotten the card formatting sorted on my Mac for the DS Senior (MSDOS-FAT, for me), ALL loads worked fine. However, the SOUND was not right, and was not what the Majority were saying Windom sounded like compared to Snowmass.

So everything I posted between THIS post on around Oct. 12th, and this following quoted one, on around Oct. 19th, is based on a “Bad Load”, and as such you should ignore what I’ve posted, unless it is what you’re hearing:

OCt. 19th: “Holy Cow folks…think I done got a Good Load!!”


I agree. I wish I could find the excitement that so many have but to my ears, Snowmass is just (somehow) more musical.

I do find it “exciting”, and that’s sort of the problem. Something about the sound of it is not natural to me. Can’t entirely put my finger on it, because on the face of it, more should theoretically be better. But I like analog-y (resembling real music) vs. digital-y stuff. Part of what I liked about Snowmass from the get-go.

EDIT: See top of thread

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Really? I find Windom to sound quite a bit more like vinyl than Snowmass. On my system it is smoother, more musical, and more full sounding.


I had an Ayon 07s CD player before I acquired the DS SR. The DS DAC in combination with the DMP beat the Ayon player in every category except one, tonality. The Ayon had a richness and fullness to the sound that served the music well. I’m going by memory now, but since updating to Windom, the DS Lacks nothing in terms of tonality or musicality compared to my previous tubed CD player. It’s interesting to hear that you’ve sold off your Stealth Ayon Dac, which I’m sure betters the D to A conversion in my 07s, in favor of your newly updated Dac with Windom.


Well, the “VTA” is too high with Windom on mine🤷🏻‍♂️

EDIT: See top of thread

I think my system can be too polite at times. Lots of tubes, and that’s the way I like it. Windom has added some needed energy to my system. I still like Windom a lot.

Funny though, last night, I just thought my system sounded like crap…my daughter was over earlier with drama in the house. My mood going into a night of music matters a lot.


I find Windom sounds more like live musicians in the venue. Vinyl is no way a standard that digital needs to live up to.


Well, I appreciate that vinyl does not have the harshness we often get with digital. Every time I listen to a great vinyl setup I am reminded of that difference.


I am with you Speed.
Even very basic vinyl systems have a coherence that only very few digital systems can reproach.
This means that ‘vinyl like’ is one of the most important qualities a digital system can have.
On my system Windom adds this quality to the DSD.
This is contrary to what badbeef and RonP are experiencing.

… also in my setup. Windom is richer than Snowmass.

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In my system, Windom’s “more of everything” sounds a bit too audiophile. The heighten detail goes too far. With a jazz trio, I can hear each individual player more defined in space. I hear more detail about what each player is doing. But it sounds more like 3 separate musicians than 3 musicians playing together as one. With live music, if that’s the standard, I can hear individual playing but its not separate like it sounds in Windom. The more of everything creates an interesting, but unnatural arrangement. Snowmass, to me, has more coherence.

And in my system, Windom’s boost to the high end, even if sophisticated, is an unwelcome presence. I like Windom, I don’t intend to condemn it. And naturalness is a difficult standard when there’s absolutely nothing inherently natural about any of our high tech audio systems. A bunch of metal, plastic, wires, and software with its 1’s and 0’s. Something intensely unnatural doing its best to create a pretend naturalness.

With Snowmass I can listen for hours. With Windom after about 30 minutes it just sounds like too much, like having too much candy. In my experience, natural usually follows the middle path.

These are just my perceptions. I understand others are having a different experience with Windom, and that’s ok. There is no right or wrong here.


This is just how I feel with the Windom update. It is nice. It has more detail, polish and 3D space.

BUT the thing is I come from dSC Rossini to DS DAC. I was so bored of dCS’s unnaturally clean, airy, audiophile sound, DS DAC was a fresh air of musicality which was how it actually sounds in a live performance. With this last update I feel like my DS DAC came closer to my old Rossini sound. I can never say bad words about it. People love dSC. It’s just not my cup of tea. So I believe I’ll wait for another update and stay with Snowmass.

I still love the fact that we have a choice in the matter so thanks Paul, Ted and PS Audio for making this a choice for us.


Just listened to some Schubert, Schumann, and now Keith Jarrett.
In my system (Plinius / B&W 800), Windom is absolutely amazing.
My wife can’t believe how good it sounds, and I trust her ears (she immediately identified the initial bad load of Windom, which sounded completely muffled).
Thank you again @tedsmith and @Paul for this amazing and FREE update.



So far, my experience/perception is similar. With some tracks, the lack of “coherence” (if I am using your term correctly) is a bit distracting – especially when I perceive the music to be coming from just one speaker or the other, rather than coming at me from a sense of space. On the other hand, with (what I am assuming is) certain micing techniques and live performances, the effect and presentation is a toe tapping, “you are there”, joy of an experience.

I am leaning toward concluding that once again, it may all be about the recording, ignorance (the lack of “resolution”) is some times bliss and PSA/Ted have once again managed to get us closer to what is actually on the recording.

Looking forward to more listening (and maybe experimenting with some speaker positioning to get everything closer to a Goldilock’s mode)…


are you’all also using a preamp to evaluate with?

This dichotomy that there is a gulf between Windom and Snowmass couldn’t be further from the truth going by my experience. I use two DS boxes ( No Bridge ), I hear Windom as a “much improved”, refined Snowmass. I do not hear the sonic aberrations others report. I do not disbelieve nor would I discredit them.

Going from my experience, I have now played Windom 24/7 in DS1 from its release - fast approaching 275 hours; I found it to sound hi-fi-ish, thin and a tad toppy for the first day or so then it kept on improving - only to go through a two day (@185-ish hours) period where the music was more two dimensional, less engaging, stuck over at the speakers. Two days later the music opened out and from then on it has improved day on day to the point I am completely enraptured with its magnificence…

Windom wipes the floor with Snowmass. It isn’t a subtle change, like a polishing up job. I am an analogue man. Windom is the only OS that has made me feel this way. My other DS(2) is sitting at approximately 160 hours and although it’s very good with Windom, isn’t as engaging with me as DS1, but, another 5 – 7 days they will merge.

It’s the constant need to switch between Snowmass, a well played and fully settled operating system, and the new Windom that causes all the consternation. Audiophile Paranoia !

What I do agree with is the faffing about loading the files in the dacs is a MAJOR pain. “Which has nothing to do with the Digital Deity.” That’s down to PS A!

I have installed 12 operating systems. Pikes: Yale: beta / final, Torreys: 4 beta / final, Huron: Redcloud: Snowmass: Windom: I had trouble with the very first update Pikes Peak and it has been hit or miss with the rest. From Huron, just as a matter of course, I always install Yale / reboot before I install the latest OS plus reboot.

From my perspective Windom in the DS is a Wonder, a paradigm shift! Playing as I type this and the music is glorious!


Seems like much of what we’re “disagreeing” about - and I wouldn’t really go so far as to use that term, nor would I say there’s a “gulf”, D - is differences in whether it is perceived as an improvement for your system, and goes-without-saying, to your taste.

I like the things WIndom does as an audiophile, but in my current system, it is “too much of a good thing”. And at this point, I’m not about to modify the system to suit Windom, when Snowmass ain’t broke, so to speak. Not exactly a free update if I start tube rolling or something ; )

Wanted to mention that when I mentioned that “I like analog-y (resembling real music)” above, I was not referring to vinyl, but to music happening in reality with no electronics in between the source and your ears. While there are things you could criticize Snowmass for falling short on in this regard, I effortlessly listen to whole albums, whereas with Windom (in my system, to my taste) it is a LITTLE BIT like cool effects have been added, which are fascinating and distracting, causing me to pay attention to the Sound rather than the Music.

With regard to the differences between the FWs, I rolled back and forth to both Yale and Huron to try and “fix” the “problem”. Interestingly, I found things to like about Yale, surprised it wasn’t all that Shockingly Different, and found things in common between Huron and Windom - and I hated Huron right off the bat. (I don’t hate WIndom, BTW)…Though that was Pretty much a different system entirely at the time, in a different room, with a Jr., in another state and a different life. Still don’t like Huron.

This is such a set of First World Problems it would be laughable if it weren’t so much FUN : )

EDIT: See top of thread


Is this different from any other notable change in the sound of your system? I find any improvement initially a bit distracting.

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