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PS Audio Bridge Beta Testing

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Will do. I have on my setup the PWD on input one of my headphone amp and the MH/Sonic Studio Model 4 on input 2. from a MBP running on battery (using Amarra), I do prefer the Model 4's SQ (soundstage, lower noise floor, separation, and importantly, doesn't have the small amount of digital "hash" or edginess of the PWD). Clear issue is I'm running the PWD on USB (albeit w/ a good cable), so excited to add the Bridge as we've all heard it's a superior interface. I would love to be able to run this setup w/ no computer and just the iphone or ipad interface, so fingers crossed it can reach the same or better level of performance.

 

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The Model 4 is the Sonic Studio version of the Metric Halo LIO-8 (ULN-8 minus the powered mic inputs). Identical hardware, but different console/software interface (and maybe EQ I believe). It's a wonderful DAC, I really enjoy it, but there are lots of good ones out there of course. Will post back in a bit when I've had a chance to break-in the bridge. still have to decide best way to feed it music (NAS setup, twonky, etc.)

 

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AA is pretty fast, shipped out today get it tomorrow (7th). I just placed an order from Amazon for a DLNA router (Paul recommends the WNDR3700 from Netgear connecting to a drive via USB for the time being) so should be in good shape to provide (just one person's) feedback fairly soon (and definitely before RMAF)

 

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Paul McGowan suggests the netgear router I mentioned a few posts up to connect a USB drive rather than a dedicated NAS. Of course he's most excited about their upcoming NAS solution given they're customizing the software in some way which will optimize file access, ripping, etc.

 

Interestingly, and as a total aside, I did read a post on their forums last night when doing a little research where Paul said he did hear better quality sound from a WAV file than from ALAC and FLAC. He believes it has to do with the on the fly conversion based on his tests, so it's one of the items they're going to target to solve. So in the meantime they were able to add with their software (not sure if it's in the bridge firmware or their upcoming software library management tool, the ability to store artwork and tags associated with WAV files).

 

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So got the Bridge today and after some fiddling got everything up and running. Formatted a USB drive (bus powered) in MS-DOS(FAT) in Mac and dropped a bunch of WAV files onto it. plugged it directly into the Netgear WNDR3700. Basically created a 2nd audio-only network downstream from my Apple Extreme base FWIW. Used a good cat7 cable from the router to the Bridge. After playing with some settings works perfectly. iTouch app found both the DLNA library and the PWD.

 

I have to say up front that playing music with the Bridge and ditching the computer is pretty awesome. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy using the computer too, but it's nice as an alternative when you want to focus on just listening. I'm letting the system play for a while before making conclusions on SQ, but initial impressions very positive. To use a non-audio term, it was quite yummy!... and very engaging. Far, far better than the PWD via USB.

 

I did have the Amarra Model 4 (LIO8) running side by side perfectly sync'd with the same songs and just had to switch inputs on the Woo Audio real-time to go back and forth (using Livelines XLRs with both; Amarra 2.0 software on the MBP running via battery in RAM/playlist mode not using iTunes). So will post back after some more listening.

 

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I happened to be inside the PWD unit last night as well and found a couple easy tweaks so will make those to the unit as well: (1) going to replace the IEC inlet with a rhodium/gold Furutech unit (there's space to use their version with the EMI filter), and (2) there are two 5x20mm fuse locations inside, which I'll replace with my favorite furutech fuses, (3) the power connections inside (power switch and IEC) are connectors rather than soldered so will add some QuicksilverGold while making the IEC change. Will also experiment with either Alan Maher CBF on the transformer internally and/or Stillpoints inside the inside top (the last tweak which sometimes works and sometimes goes the other way so requires some experimenting). But before doing this will report back on SQ.

 

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Brian - welcome to the forum! Great setup, and great context to hear your experiences. I bought a ticket for the Bridge lottery but unfortunately had to wait for the official release, but better late than never! Being in the beta group, have you heard much about the upcoming PSA NAS and/or library management software out of curiosity?

 

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