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PS Audio PerfectWave Transport and DAC

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This is probably mostly a question for Chris, but did anyone hear the demo of HRx discs playing through the PS Audio PerfectWave Transport and DAC at CES 2009. It looks like they are close to release, it's a very interesting concept, and I'm considering them as an alternative to the Lynx card and Berkeley DAC.




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I certainly did listen to the PWT and DAC playing HRx material. I really don't want to comment on the products that much because they were preproduction models and there were still some bugs to work out. Playing HRx discs from the optical media is very complex even though it appears somewhat easy to do. There is a reason why this capability has not been implemented in several products. It's harder to implement than it appears. If you're considering an Alpha DAC versus the PS Audio combo I highly recommend you consider the feature sets of both products. These two products are vastly different and don't necessarily compete in my opinion.



Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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I'd love to know how you compare the differing feature sets. It sounded to me that the PerfectWave combo was an alternative method of playing high resolution music and, with the optional Bridge, a way to also connect to a music server/NAS and stream music that way. The PerfectWave Transport also gives you a CD "player" which, of course, is totally different from the Lynx/Berkeley combo.





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I have been following PWT development for about a year and finally gave up on it. Since I already have a DA converter, I was only looking for music server/transport unit only. My two concerns with PWT, one it seems to be optimized to use only with PS Audio DA converter ie I2S connection. It is unclear to me right now what kind of connection is available for other outboard DA converter and what resolution it will support. Secondly, from their last announcement that I heard a couple of months ago, once the unit is launched, they will then develop the bridge for NAS connection. This is something that they plan to do but not something that is even close to production phase so I have no idea how long it will be before that becomes a reality.

The interface is another question. The LCD screen on the unit looks cool but as a music server, it is pretty useless unless you want to walk over to the unit everytime when you need to change something. However, you will be able to control the unit with iPhone so that should help a bit but we'll have to see how convenient it is. Sonos has pretty good iPhone control interface where as Linn was not so great. Hopefully PS Audio will do their homework well.


In the mean time, I went Lynx route as it also works beautifully with my Esoteric D-05 and HRx files sound amazing. However, I have nothing else to compare to at this time.



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  • 2 months later...

According to the PS Audio web site, the PWT will output digital via SPDIF and AESEBU as well as I2S over HDMI.


I understand the transport buffers data to on-board RAM before being streeamed to the outputs thus reducing jitter. This seems to be the approach taken by the open source memory player cMP http://imageevent.com/cics


The PS Audio implementation should be better as it's NOT an off-the-shelf computer. eg. Low-noise linear PS as opposed to switching PS etc...


I think unit certainly bears further investigation. I wonder if a careful listener would notice an improvement with this thing driving a Berkely DAC as opposed to a computer?? hint..






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