PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player with pure DSD "Handshake" technology.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Steve Hoffman, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    I was not putting the PS Audio DAC down. I have thought of this unit many times. Black Elk got the jist of it pointing out the size of the breadboard and the special transformers. We all understand that compromises need to be made to bring a prototype to production. And your point about firmware revisions was well made.

    Still, your tone bothered me.
     
    jh901 likes this.
  2. amgradmd

    amgradmd Forum Resident

    Location:
    Richmond, VA
    Funny, your tone bothered me so we're even.

    We're getting further and further away from the topic at hand; the Directstream Memory Player. Let's try to stick to that.
     
  3. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    Just to clarify, the DirectStream Dac does not convert PCM directly to analog. All PCM is converted to DSD. There are many DACs out there, notably from Playback Designs and dCS, which adhere to this philosophy. So, there's no traditional delta sigma or less traditional R2R for PCM. I do wonder if at some point, the FPGA will become dominant or if oversampling DACs or NOS R2R will (for PCM)?! For now, the competition rages on. Good for us!
     
  4. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    Simply push back that Ted (PS Audio) has revolutionized consumer D/A conversion- that's dCS, Playback Designs, and others. Not a crap on your thread.



    In fairness, I believe I wrote something to the effect that I'd doing back-flips if I had a connection which got me a free, extended audition. I have little doubt that my mind would be blown. I did also note that there other digital front ends that I'd pick first if I won a lottery to pick any front end for a free long term audition.

    And yeah, I look forward to your experience. I would also look forward to you making few well placed remarks that you'd like to hear the new Dream series stack from Playback Designs.
     
  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Manufacturers seek me out. They come to me, I don’t beg for equipment. I don’t have a Rolodex for sussing out gear.

    If I’m shipped something and I like it, I’ll review it.
     
  6. Claus

    Claus Food Critic

    Location:
    Germany
    Have he ever heard dCS' Vivaldi 2.0?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  7. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Location:
    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    Not sure about the Vivaldi, but he has used dCS's Pro ADCs, DACs and Digital-Digital converters in his work, and a good friend of his has a big dCS stack, but not sure exactly which (it cost over $100k, if that helps).
     
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    According to Fed Ex, my DirectStream Memory Player will be here tomorrow. Should be interesting!
     
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  9. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Great stuff - looking forward to your report.
     
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    I'm looking forward to it as well. I already have the PS Audio DirectStream DAC, upgraded to Redcloud at the end of last year, and I have the earlier version of the transport and really like the sound of that duo. I'm curious to see not only how my SACD's sound but how my CD playback changes, etc. with the transport upgrade.

    If I was just starting from scratch with this system I would be less eager and more skeptical.
     
  11. Brinkman Ship

    Brinkman Ship Forum Resident

    Location:
    New York City
    ...high rez PCM too?
     
  12. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Keep your eyes peeled.

    Look out of any window
    Any morning, any evening, any day
    Maybe the sun is shining
    Birds are winging or
    Rain is falling from a heavy sky.
     
  13. timztunz

    timztunz Audioista

    Location:
    Texas and Brasil
    I'm anxious to know Steve's thoughts as well, because for the life of me I can't figure what would be an improvement over an SACD from my Playback Designs through my Bricasti M1 DAC?
     
  14. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Very nice.
     
    timztunz likes this.
  15. Metralla

    Metralla Joined Jan 13, 2002

    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Did this unit arrive at chez Steve?
     
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Arrived and set up. No audio yet (too late here for the kiddies).

    Beautiful looking, matching my PS Audio DAC.

    Nice to see my own name in the owner's reference manual introduction along with Gus Skinas and Cookie Marenco as reference quality mastering engineers who work in DSD. Thanks, Paul M.
     
  17. Claus

    Claus Food Critic

    Location:
    Germany
    I think it is a great value for money, compared to the more expensive competition.
     
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  18. Lonson

    Lonson Don't get around much anymore

    Location:
    Chardon, Ohio
    Give it a few hundred hours before final judgment (but you know that). I too went from the PerfectWave Transport and DirectStream DAC to the DirectStream Memory Player. At first I was a bit disappointed (thought it would blow me away more)--a few weeks later I was over the moon about the new transport and traded the PerfectWave Transport in to PS Audio.
     
  19. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    The Merlot DAC and "Op box" mod transport combo from Playback Designs come to mind. There must be some single box SACD players between $10k and $15k. Generally, though, digital front ends get much more expensive quick and don't have flexibility of the PS Audio.
     
  20. Claus

    Claus Food Critic

    Location:
    Germany
    dCS, emmLabs offer upgrades and firmware updates. Honestly I don‘t like the cheap build of PS Audio‘s digital products. That is the reason, I never bought PS Audio.
     
  21. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    I was referring to the price of many digital front ends which, for example, only handle PCM. Sure, there are examples of mega buck digital front ends which do it all, including spinning SACDs, but there aren't many.

    I don't care about "build" with respect to aesthetics. I'm more interested in robust power supply, etc. I do wonder how the Merlot DAC paired with the modded Oppo, as SACD transport, would compare to the PS Audio. Both fail to meet your "build" criteria (especially a modded Oppo!).

    In any event, I'm sure Steve is in for some serious listening for many weeks to come. Fun times!
     
  22. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    The build quality on my Memory Player and Directstream DAC are excellent.

    Also, the updates on the PS Audio are a bit more unique than dCS and emmLabs as they change the converter itself via FPGA.
     
    AJH likes this.
  23. LeeS

    LeeS Blue Note Fan

    Location:
    Atlanta
    If you want the best transport, go with Esoteric. Even dCS uses much older generation Esoteric transports.

    But given that the Memory Player reads in the data before playback, I don't think the transport matters there. My understanding is that it is the same one the Oppo 205 uses.
     
  24. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    The P/D 05 combo would be another alternative where a proprietary HDMI link is used. Been around for a decade or so, right? Still on the market with the 'x' edition. Will cost more than PS Audio. In any event, maybe someday many months from now we can get a sound quality comparison.
     
    LeeS likes this.
  25. Kal Rubinson

    Kal Rubinson Forum Resident

    I have not quoted most of your nice presentation. However, I have an addition to the above (not a criticism). The most recent Oppo players offer variable frequency clocks for their HDMI Audio output which are implemented to sync with different formats of audio data. FWIW.
     
    McGruder, LeeS, Bill Mac and 2 others like this.

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