Worth repairing my PWT?

So, happy camper with my PWT and PWDII for nearly 10 years but the transport seems to have gone on the blink now. It looks and acts as normal but the sound is distorted and unlistenable. After checking interconnects and pre-amp inputs, the word from PS Audio is that it’s likely the transport is the problem, the power supply or tray being cited as the likeliest issue. Hum…I had assumed the DAC or a cable connection was it but no, seems the PWT has to go back and I was quoted $750 plus shipping for an overhaul.

Right now I am not sure I want to spend $800 on this but recognize that without repair I’m sitting on a another useless audio box that I can’t sell. I’m wondering if I should just give it up and look elsewhere either for a used one, another transport, or just a full-function Marantz or equivalent that I can take the digital out of to feed my PWDII. I know the PWT has qualities that another player won’t but I’d prefer to put my money into upgrading the DAC to the Directstream. Thoughts?

There are some forum members that have replaced the drive themselves successfully. If you’ve replaced a computer drive it’s no different. The drives are cheap and plentiful. A search inn the forum should find what you need.

Yes, I checked the forum first and did see some posts on that. I am neither sure I want to get into DIY on this or if just replacing the drive would cure my problem. Thanks.

maybe good for a trade up here…probably more value that way…

A new ASUS drive costs $20. If it were me I would try that first. I actually have a brand new ASUS drive sitting on the shelf for just such a day. Someone here posted a link to the right model and I spent the twenty without remorse.


I agree a drive replacement for the PWT is an easy job, however it sounds like from the symptoms described that the problem is not the DVD drive. It may be a power supply or output board that is the culprit. I am surprised by the high repair cost estimate.

1 Like

Thanks all, and particularly sixpack1. I started to explore the drive replacement, finding your posts in particular, and yes, after reading them I could imagine doing it but I have no sense that this is the source of my problem. Further, I do not think PSA would charge me $750 just to replace a $25 drive given my many experiences over the years with their products and servicing philosophy. The sales person who emailed me mentioned power supply as a likely problem and I don’t know what this entails, repair wise. As Iron mentioned, a trade-up would likely be more appropriate but this was not offered to me and, looking at the current product line, I don’t see another transport to trade up toward. Am I missing something?

1 Like

Not sure who quoted you this pricing. I know we have some sort of standard repair costs that essentially rebuilds a unit. In any case, you can use an off the shelf SATA DVD ROM drive to replace the one in the PWT. The only downside is that it cannot play at
1X speed and thus might be a bit noisier than the modified drives we use. And I am not sure those drives we used are even available any more. Let me know if you need any help.

1 Like

Give them another call about the repair maybe the $750 price was quoted in error. The PWT is a great transport. I would still be using mine had I not auditioned the DMP!

I also looked in to obtaining a spare DVD ROM drive for future repairs and learned from PS Audio support that the original (earlier) PWT’s use IDE drives so to replace with SATA drive would require additional mods / updates inside the PWT. Instead of that option I found a used (hopefully in good working order with low hours) IDE drive on eBay for $20.

So far the PWT has been nearly flawless in operation. Only issues are infrequent reading trouble of high res files on DVD discs.

1 Like

Thanks Paul - I don’t want to get anyone into difficulty here but I followed the sales@psaudio link on the website (it suggests asking there first when having a product problem despite the ‘sales’ tag). So I received a reply within a day and had a back and forth yesterday to clarify the problem was the transport not the dac. Yes, I was surprised at the cost too and more so when I read comments here. Right now, I am disinclined to just throw another replacement drive in there in case it’s something else and I just make it worse! I really am not naming the agent as I think I’m writing on an open forum and it seems like I’m blaming him for something, which I am not, just trying to make sense of my problem.


My experience with my PWT was that when the drive was IDE vs SATA I found the IDE drive gave the most reliable consistent performance. In my experience too I have also found superior performance with DVR RW drives over the DVD rom drives.

I am like you, I don’t like to name names. Everyone is human and mistakes can be made.


So I’ve asked the service folks for some insight on the cost and what the repair involves. We’ll see what transpires. Am sure it will become clearer soon.

1 Like

OK, plot thickening but not as anticipated. First, the agent told me he’s gonna check with Paul to explain the repair process but it involves a bit more labor and checking/replacing parts throughout the transport, not just the drive. And in fairness, he was pleasant about it and reasonable, so all good there.

Now, that said, I borrowed an old CD player today to give myself some way of spinning CDs, thinking I’d use it as a temp transport while I considered my options. Imagine my horror when it too reproduced the same problem I’d reported in my PWT. Distorted, noisy reproduction. It would seem therefore it is NOT the transport that is the problem after all but the PWDII, as I’d first suspected.

I confirmed all this by running both players together, noise present whether I feed the PWD through the HDMI or coaxial inputs, on different inputs (with single ended or balanced cable runs) on the preamp. Further, when I ran a cable out of my Audioengine streamer to the DAC, it has the same distortion, but running it direct to the preamp via cables does not. So, good news, I don’t have to spend a fortune fixing the old PWT. But I now have to figure out what is wrong with the PWD. This is going to hurt, I know.


I hope you get it figured out soon.

Glad to hear it is NOT the PWT and you avoided an unnecessary trip to the factory. Maybe you should do the Directstream update to your DAC. The sound improvement will blow you away.

So, the PWDII now on way back to PS Audio with promise they’ll take care of the problem for me. I have to love this company. I’m not entirely sure what’s ahead but I know I am going to be a satisfied customer, as always. I’ll update when I know how it all works out and can better explain the problem and resolution.

Was going to buy a cheap player to tide me over but instead am spinning CDs on a 25 year old CD and DAC combo, and amazingly it sounds good enough to use for a bit. No, it’s obvious the PWDII was a way better machine but am glad to be able to listen, so all’s right tonight.

Quick update – am at a choice point. Take a repair on the PWDII to get it back to working condition (free) or for $3k, have the whole thing upgraded to DSD standard. Easier than doing it myself for sure. Any thoughts here?

Hands down. The upgrade to Direct Stream Dac.