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PS Audio - PWD - Perfect Wave DAC

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Wondering how many are keeping an eye on the PS Audio PWD Perfect Wave DAC. I suppose this could be of interest to those looking for a DAC and those interested in the Music Server (bridge) that is also planned for this unit.




Chris, do you have one coming for review?


The PS Audio PWD unit along with the new Ayre QB-9 are of high interest. In fact I have a pending order in for the PWD now. They also have an interesting trade in promotion going on once these are introduced to the market.


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It looks interesting. I was in line to be on their beta program,,but it meant buying the DAC first. Also, not sure why they spent the $$ putting a touch screen panel on the front panel. Who sits so close to his/her equipment that he/she can touch it to control it. A good remote option is all that is really needed IMO (and they seem to have that although don't show it; and iTouch app is promised).


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I have been waiting so long for PWT and when I heard that the bridge will be awhile longer so I decided to go computer route instead. Too bad, potentially, I think it is a music server that supports high resolution file, good interface via iTouch, good choices of digital output connection for high end system and at a reaseonable price point.

Now that I have my computer server, I am not sure PWT will be much of advantage. We shall see.




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I spoke with PS-audio a few days ago (nice people) and they are working on the bridge and a screen remote that should have more features than the iphone/ipod. I am really excited and its at the top of my list. I plan to sample the unit when it arrives at my local dealer, before I deside. This could be the one for me though! I still like the proton for my computer room and travel, but this I really like for my main room.


Also, the dac has ps-audio's i2s input and I found a mod company that is working on i2s output boards to add to cd players and other sources. They are still working on it though, because the pwt is so new. I will keep you posted!








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  • 1 month later...

As one of the beta testers of the Perfec Wave DAC and Transport, I strongly recommend that anyone looking to purchase a high end DAC or Transport & DAC combination give these units some serious consideration. Check out the customer comments drop down on the PS Audio website:




Afer hours of listening I can confirm that the enthusiastic comments are justified and these units are truly extrodinary for the money, both in sound quality as well as features. With the addtion of the bridge later this year the PWD will directly access a NAS and you will not need a PC or sound card to select and play your music.

I hope Chris will request units for review as I am confident the PWD will give the Alpha DAC some serious competition. As he is someone who has heard the very best, I would love to hear his opinion.











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Very favourable remarks by Keith Howard.

He thought I2S gives best sound on CD followed by AES/EBU, RCA SPDIF and USB a poor last. He preferred the 'native' mode on CD i.e. no upsampling. On hi-res material the sound quality did not really advance on that from an RME Fireface 800 connected by firewire to a new Mac mini: in some cases the latter was better.


ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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From what we are told our Beta units are the same form a hardware standpoint as what will be shipped in production. Beta activity has been focused on finding software bugs which are bing resolved with new software releases we download onto a memory card and load into the rear of the units. Very quick and easy! I believe this is how they will continue to add new features in the future as well. Looks like they are very close. Keep an eye on their site for more details.





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  • 2 weeks later...
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ALAC iTunes library on Synology DS412+ running MinimServer with Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet running BubbleUPnP for control >

Hi-Fi 1: Airport Extreme bridge > Netgear switch > TP-Link optical isolation > dCS Network Bridge AND PS Audio PerfectWave Transport > PS Audio DirectStream DAC with Bridge Mk.II > Primare A60 > Harbeth SHL5plus Anniversary Edition .

Hi-Fi 2: Sonore Rendu > Chord Hugo DAC/preamp > LFD integrated > Harbeth P3ESRs and > Sennheiser HD800

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Listened to the PS Audio Perfect Wave Transport and DAC at my dealers a number of weeks ago. The combo was linked by the PS Audio HDMI designed to carry the I2S signal. Dealer claimed sound improved greatly with PS Audio cable over regular HDMI.


The dealer used inexpensive Straight Wire interconnects and speaker wire connecting the PS combo to a Simaudio Moon i3.3 amp which powered a pair of Audio Physic Sitara speakers. Listened to it with 16/44.1 material ONLY as that was all dealer had in store! CD was Jeffrey Foucault's "Ghost Repeater" a reference quality recording.


The soundstage was huge deep and wide. I know that the Audio Physic speakers are great at throwing a big soundstage but a different well recorded CD played through a $3000 Simaudio CD player hooked into same gear did not create as big a stage. Not nearly! So it was probably the Perfect Wave duo at work! The pace, rhythm and timing was phenomenal. I could not stop tapping my foot. The presence was also very impressive and if you closed your eyes it felt like Jeffrey Foucault was right in the room with you.

Surprisingly, at lower volumes the soundstage collapsed dramatically. The level I listen to a lot while I'm working. 60-65 dB or talking level. The presence was diminished as well to a lesser degree. This may have been the run of the mill cabling or the Audio Physic speakers which are known to be finicky. Both to room placement and to material played. I later listened to the Sitara's using only the Moon player and Moon amp with an idea of purchasing the speakers because I was so impressed hearing them through the PS combo. I used my Tara Labs Air speaker cables at the time. On Jeff Beck's "Live at Ronnie Scott's" the Sitara's really captured the live ambience but the soundstage was not as huge, not the same PRAT or presence as with the PS PW TRANS & DAC. But still the Sitara's sounded like world beaters with the lesser Moon CD player. Then I tried another well recorded CD Aimee Mann's "Lost In Space" (SuperEgo version NOT Mo-Fi version!) and the Audio Physic Sitara's fell apart with the Rock music actually sounding quite bad. Flat out bad! With another recording the soundstage changed in size again as it seemed to with each recording. Before this turns into an Audio Physic Sitara review...


My point is... It might have been the Sitara's fault that the soundstage collapsed when the Perfect Wave Combo was played at a more relaxed volume. Or the cables. There was also wonderful bass performance with the Perfect Wave Duo but when the Moon player took over the bass disappeared. So the PS Audio player really helped the bass shy Sitara's perform IMO. If I was going to purchase the PS Audio PW T & DAC I would want to know the reasons for the decrease in performance at lower volumes.





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  • 9 months later...

The PWD volume is digitally controlled so you need to keep it above 50 or you may notice a loss of fidelity. An attenuator attached to the amp input (Scott Endler) will do the trick. See this discussion elsewhere on this forum.




Netgear modem > Synology router > Roon Nucleus / HDPlex LPS > Kii Control > Kii Three > w/Supra cables

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I have been very interested in this DAC! I have a PS Audio DL III w/hiface and the sound is very good. I want to jump to that next level and have been looking at PWD and the W4S Dac2. I have a friend that has the W4S and after extensive listening it is very good but as many reviewers have posted in other forums it is just a little to forward for me. The highs are so pronounced that I get listening fatigue. Maybe that it doesn't pair well with Beryllium tweeters.


I am a little biased toward the PS Audio sound obviously but my question is if I get one with a bridge can I connect my computer to the PWD via ethernet? I don't have an NAS and I want to use my computer monitor to see my playlists and album art when playing songs - tough to look at a 4" screen or whatever it is. All I have read is about people using it as a server.


Since using the bridge would provide the best sound is it possible to use that connection just any of the other ones, i.e. coax, usb, i2s, etc.?




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Currently, the "controller" is an iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad application called Tag N Play. There is no full PC version of it, so even if you connected your laptop directly to the ethernet port on the Bridge you would have no way to select music. There is a web UI that you could bring up, but it doesn't allow selection of music, it is very limited to just software upgrades and version information and IP settings.


The Bridge really needs to be connected not directly to a laptop, which for the reasons noted above is useless, but to a connection where it can hit the Internet. Reason being that it will pull album art from PS Audio's globalnet servers, it also needs to get it software updates which have been frequent in the beginning especially, etc.


Do you have a wireless LAN at the house? If so, I would use that, but control will be from Tag N Play application, right now only for iPad/Phone/Touch. By the way, I might recommend the iPad as the weapon of choice, as PS Audio has committed to releasing a more complete application with larger album art and many advanced functions, specifically for the iPad. Right now, I just run the iPhone app on the iPad, and it works fine, but doesn't utilize the much bigger screen and higher resolution of the iPad. The soon-to-be-released dedicated iPad app promises to be VERY VERY cool. Paul/CEO is a huge iPad fan, and he gets it in terms of making a richer, more full-featured app for the bigger screen.


Not sure any of this helps you, but your current ideas for how to utilize the Bridge are a bit off, based on the design of the Bridge/PWD combo.


As for using the other inputs on the PWD, not sure exactly what you're asking there, but yes they all continue to work independently of the Bridge. So, I still use the I2S input for my PWT, and you can use the other ports as well (though I have no need to now with the Bridge streaming everything in perfect fidelity now).


Let me know what you think of all this. Hope it helps.



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I do have a wireless LAN but I was thinking of connecting the PWD to the computer with the bridge and using something like Media Monkey to play the music just like I do now. I have a dedicated computer just for music that is hard wired into that LAN with a wireless router, here's my system:


HP Pavilion Elite - W7, 64 bit

M2Tech Hiface


Anthem D1

Emotiva XPA-1 monoblocks

Paradigm S8v.2

JL Fathom F112


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Ahh, okay, now I see the picture better. Yeah, no, you can't use media monkey or itunes or windows media or winamp or any "player" software to play tunes other than Tag N' Play, the app for a handheld Ipod/touch/ipad. It will not work, at all. Doesn't matter if you're directly connected to the bridge or not, won't work. But, here's the good news now that you've explained what you have there...


On the machine you have dedicated for music, you should install either Twonky music server or Asset uPnP (windows only). Asset is free, runs well on Windows 7, you should be good there. You point it at your music files and it takes care of serving it up from your computer. But you still need a player/controller to choose and play music from over the network. The Tag N Play application is a requirement for this, but right now anyway only exists as an iPod Touch/iPhone/iPad app. You have to have 1 of those devices to be able to control and play music. Once you have one of those devices and load the TagNPlay app, it acts as a "remote" for choosing your music, populating your queue, stopping/starting playback, skipping ahead, building and saving playlists, etc.


This is a different model than those on here who are used to connecting their PC's or Mac's directly to a DAC via USB or something and playing music from a directly attached computer. The Bridge/PWD model turns that model on its head. It frees you from having computers in your listening environment. It is more of a network model, and not so much a direct attached player model. This is the future of home playback in my opinion. You will see more and more of this, PS Audio is not the first, and they won't be the last. But the days of connecting some kind of PC directly to a DAC via USB or optical SPDIF or whatever will eventually come to an end. We all have these 100MB or 1000MB home ethernet networks, this is why high speed networks exist, not to park noisy, clunky servers (or even cute little Mac Mini's!) in our living/listening rooms. [i'm over-generalizing on purpose to make the point, but I think you can see where I'm coming from]


I wish I had better news.



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Hi Guys - I'm jumping into this one a bit late and without reading everything 100% so forgive me if I'm totally missing the point(s).


I believe you can use J River Media Center to send music to the PWD if the Bridge is truly UPnP compatible. JRMC will see the Bridge as another Zone.


Anyone know for sure?


Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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"We all have these 100MB or 1000MB home ethernet networks, this is why high speed networks exist, not to park noisy, clunky servers (or even cute little Mac Mini's!) in our living/listening rooms.'


That would be great. But not everyone has reasonable access to broadband internet connections. I have been waiting patiently for years for someone to offer true broadband in my area, with no results (sure, there are expensive satellite options that offer better than dialup, but still not the same as a good DSL or cable IP). It is not like I live "out there" either-I can see downtown Denver from my second story windows!

I agree that networked audio playback is a great idea, but when is this promise of true broadband internet service really going to be reality for everyone?


SO/ROON/HQPe: DSD 256-Sonore opticalModuleDeluxe-Signature Rendu optical--Bricasti M3 DAC--DIY Purifi Amplifier-Focus Audio FS888 speakers-JL E 112 sub-Nordost Tyr USB, DIY EventHorizon AC cables, Iconoclast XLR & speaker cables, Synergistic Purple Fuses, Spacetime system clarifiers.  ISOAcoustics Oreas footers.                                                       

                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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