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Yale Final - Impressions
Topic Rating: +171 Topic Rating: +171 (179 votes) 
July 31, 2015
11:09 am
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The final version of the DirectSteam’s new operating system, Yale, has been released.

Discuss!

July 31, 2015
11:16 am
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I just installed it and listened to a DSD and a PCM 16 recording. Both are better than the beta Yale version.

Especially the DSD recording is much more quiet and more ‘liquid’ sounding, more involving also.

great work!

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July 31, 2015
11:32 am
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Installed fine (same as Yale beta, a little longer than others)

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Will critically listen tonight. 

 

Thanks Ted, Paul, Dennis and crew.  smile

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July 31, 2015
11:42 am
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It sounds also more ‘romantic’, which is good…

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July 31, 2015
11:46 am
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Ted, thank you for posting a picture of the screen.  Excellent idea!

July 31, 2015
11:46 am
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Listening to redbook cd,man oh man,my PRaT and defined bass response is BACK. Yale final has passed the toe tapping test with flying colors…. More later.

Thanks PS Audio…music-078_gif

July 31, 2015
11:48 am
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Just gave a quick listen to Ellis and Branford Marsalis disc, Loved Ones. While not considered an audiophile disc and a couple of little weird mixing things, Ellis’spiano is a great test of a lot of things. It’s a close up recording and the last thing I listened to before bed last night, so the first thing I listened to with the final version of Yale this afternoon.

Coming from 1.2.1 and not a PP lover, I had no sound quality complaints with Yale Beta, but this sounds even more realistic to my ears. A little better micro dynamically, a little less bright on the piano strikes, which sounds more natural to me, and everything else as least as good. Superb music maker.

Thanks again Paul and Ted for making my phono sound better too, a big advantage to the NuWave phono converter, which I think is highly underrated.

July 31, 2015
11:52 am
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I am glad it’s here I cannot wait to try tonight . 

Ted and team some thing I think that has not been said about the firmware rolling  . 

Choices is what audio is about. It starts from how loud to play our music and ends wpth where we sit in our rooms . What ps audio seems to be a pioneer in is giving us many Dacs to pic from in one nice unit . Although some have some filter choices but they do small chage that require attention to detect . This is big obvious changes always for the better of someone . 

Digital audio is all magic and now we get to pick what trick is to be used not just how dim or Brite the lights will be . 

Honestly I never thought thus product would evolve to this level in the audio arena  it’s nice to be completely wrong . We ether I like this roll or not does not change this as the dac now has many views into our music . 

Paul and team we are truly lucky to have picked this device from the myriad of stuff to choose from . 

As I have been asking for more choices and somehow you guys found a way to achieve so anyone can have the choices we all should have . 

As I am an avid tube roller some thing that becomes addictive  but always a pleasure the fact that you pay for the rolling is in itself an extremly generous feature . I have a dac that is going to cost about 3k to have a new USB input leaving dop and going pure . Ps audio does this stuff for free thanks . 

Paul as my room is getting g Close I plan on trying only two amps your mono and a goldmund  great company to be in. 

July 31, 2015
12:22 pm
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It has the good things we liked in the beta, the details, the golden voices. But it has even more of that and also it has what we missed – the punch, the body. Not too bright anymore, just right. Warm but not soft. Currently listening to the Mozart string quintets (Orlando Quartet), listening to music instead of listening to sound….. Thanks so much PS Audio team! 

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July 31, 2015
2:08 pm
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One word - divine
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July 31, 2015
2:21 pm
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Interesting – From what Ted was saying, I wasn’t expecting any further improvements in Yale at release time. 

I’m at work now, but I’ll for sure have to fire this up and give it a listen tonight. 

Though, I have a midnight showing of Jaws at a classic cinema tonight, so I won’t be able to do any real late night listening. :)

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July 31, 2015
2:45 pm
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Gawd….I’m overwhelmed…..Within minutes, I just learned that Bridge II has been released, AND the final Yalepulling-hair_gif  Ordered the Bridge II from the office……..now, I gotta get out of here, get home, bypass the wife, dogs and kids, get downstairs and load the new OS.  On the download page there is one download for Yale – I assume this is the final version (i.e.: beta Yale has been removed)??

July 31, 2015
2:50 pm
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Yup. The version on Downloads is the official yale Final. It won’t go up on Downloads if it isn’t the final version (Yale Beta was never on Downloads).

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July 31, 2015
3:06 pm
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Paul, Ted, et al,

Really like the Final Yale.  Thanks guys!  Does this OS contain the -3dB improvement that Ted referred to a few days ago?  If not, can you tell us how you made it sound better?

I live on a street named “Harvard” and I went to a school named “U.C. Berkeley,” but I am a confirmed “Yalie” now.  

Vielen Dank,

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July 31, 2015
3:11 pm
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Absolutely incredible!

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July 31, 2015
3:25 pm
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First impression:
+ Liquid flow, dark background, easy on the ears, analog, clean sounding, full frequency.
– Maybe too easy on the ears on the impact side, i.e. lack of some ‘wildness’ to it? (it sounds like a polite Englishman).
It appears like it has less output, but the real reason I guess is that one want to crank the volume up due to absence of noise.

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July 31, 2015
3:37 pm
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Not that I can in good conscience recommend it without qualification, but turning things up to about their realistic levels almost always sounds better.  Obviously you don’t want to cause hearing damage, but (even with, say, grunge) you can turn things up more with no discomfort when there’s less distortion.  I just dug up a favorite SACD of mine: Terence Blanchard’s “Lets Get Lost” and I let the trumpet wail.  As the DS has been getting better I’ve been enjoying, say, Porcupine Tree more and more.  With less distortion and more volume there’s a lot of nuance there that I never suspected.

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July 31, 2015
3:38 pm
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To those of you who thought I and vhiner1, MrDerrick, Frode, PYP, jvenderz, jazzbug, and one or two others were all just Grumpy Guses – you’re welcome.respect-010_gif

Just kidding, a little.laughAt least for me the final release of Yale has recovered that ineffable magic that draws me into the music. Call it whatever you want, but it wasn’t in Yale beta and is in Yale final. I could tell immediately when in listening to the same tunes with Yale beta first, and noticing once again my mind wandering and having no focus on the flow of the music, and then switching to Yale final and not even noticing anything else around me. It was much like 1.2.1 where I felt like my pulse is in tune with the beat of the music. If I had any quibble with final vs. beta, I might be imagining that the awesome soundstage depth that Yale beta had is maybe not quite as deep and awesome in Yale final.

I expect in about a dozen posts Paul will let the cat out of the bag and tell us Yale final is exactly the same as Yale beta. It’ll serve me right, I suppose.facepalm-smiley-emoticon_gif

BTW, the first line above is, again, in jest. None of what we get would be possible without Paul, Arnie, and Ted at the helm. If any of our observations wound up actually helping in what we’re hearing now, I’m gratified.

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July 31, 2015
3:45 pm
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I downloaded Yale Final and will listen tonight. 

In the post where Paul announced the availability of Yale Final, he mentioned that Ted sent 20 different compiles to try, from which one stood out.  I became involved in PSA forums at the time when people were beginning to grapple with the idea that a firmware update could significantly change the sound of the PWD.  This was a new notion and one that did not meet with universal acceptance at first.  I must commend Paul and company for being open in their thinking and trusting their ears rather than resorting to the “bits is bits” way of thinking.  What a ride it’s been, and look where we have ended up — with one of the best DACs on the market and it just keeps getting better.  Awesome. 77_gif

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July 31, 2015
3:51 pm
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Awesome! Great update!  The music sounds so dynamic!

Some of my new Lynyrd Skynyrd Hi Rez downloads can peel the paint from the walls!

Thank you,

July 31, 2015
4:15 pm
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Can someone please tell me what .zip file is for?

………

Just kidding.

i am presently on my knees n prostrating westward towards Seattle.

it has been a long time since a new version has had me so spellbound. I even agree with Arnie, this time.

the clarity is such that I keep expecting vices or instruments to crackle under pressure at their limits but They Do Not.

ok. This version gets my 5G award. GGGGGmusic-078_gifclapping_gif 77_gif

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July 31, 2015
4:38 pm
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Cool Gordon. The 5G BORG award.  Nice. Can’t wait to hear tonight. 

July 31, 2015
4:52 pm
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First, for those going from the last official release – PP, these comments are ONLY about Yale Beta compared to Yale Final. This final Yale release holds on to most of what made Yale Beta an improvement compared to PP (in my opinion), but fixed and improved a few things as well.

The most noticeable to me is the treble. Compared to PP, Yale Beta had more energy and detail in the treble, which I felt was needed, BUT the mid-treble was not integrated with the rest of the treble — it wasn’t cut from the same cloth, so to speak — it stuck out at times. Now, almost of the detail and treble energy (which is needed to provide certain detail cues) of Yale Beta is there, but in a more musically natural way.

The midrange tone is also better integrated with the rest giving voices and instruments a beautiful approximation of the real thing.

So far on my system, the overall huge soundstage (recovery of low-level reverberant details) is at least as good as Yale Beta, and I don’t think the soundstage depth has been truncated.

It’s possible that the dynamics are maybe just a hair less exciting, but it’s a close call, and more listening will be needed to tell.

Now to put these comments in perspective, most of these changes from Yale Beta are subtle, but still very enjoyable.

Again, I thank Paul, Ted, and the whole team for providing an unbelievable value in high-end audio!

Focal_Point

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July 31, 2015
5:13 pm
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Thanks Ted, Paul and the PS Audio team.  I called a friend a bit ago, and said “Checkmate, I’m done with digital.”

My backstory:

I was a first year adopter of the Perfectwave DAC, and the Marla and Henk review on 6Moons convinced me to order it sight unseen or heard.  I was looking for new digital, and the promise of streaming music off of a NAS stored in our AV closet (no computer) as laid out by the PS Audio videos, was very simplistic and appealing for my new at the time music room.

However with the promise of gapless streaming never realized, and then getting a chance to compare my Perfectwave to other DAC’s at dealer’s and friend’s places, I grew very dissatisfied with it.  For example the ARC DAC8 cost around the same amount when it was new, and while it didn’t have the streaming I would of picked it easily in a head to head.  The DAC8 was just more musical with better tonality.  On the other hand, the Perfectwave did detail better, but it was detail at the expense of musicality it seemed.

I would of long ago walked away from PS Audio, but the used market was atrocious, so I just kept slugging along and upgrading other parts of my system.

Then along came the Directstream and that summer my dissatisfaction with the Perfectwave had hit its peak, I had to make a change.  That dissatisfaction left me questioning whether the Directstream could be the right choice.  I was looking hard at stuff like the Berkley Alpha2, DCS Debussy, Lampizator, Meitner amongst others.  I also had a friend pick up the Bryston BDP, and while I was very familiar with it, I had not had the opportunity to hear it in my system, he gave me that opportunity.  Hearing the BDP versus my bridge was a no-brainer though an expensive alternative (3k BDP streamer, 1.5k new digital cord and 2k PC).  But now I had my streaming needs covered, and still think the Bryston is better than any physical disc spinner, and only the Totaldac and Aurender streamers are on par or better.  The biggest reason I say this is hearing the Bryston BDP in comparison to the DCS Scarlatti transport, BDP wins in a first round knockout.

So with the gapless issue solved, and better sound to boot, I still longed for a new DAC.  I was able to visit a forum member in north Dallas who already had the Directstream, and I brought my Perfectwave along to compare head to head.  I left there hearing improvements over the Perfectwave, but not enough to convince me it was the way to go.  Then 1.2.1 dropped, and based upon all the glowing comments I figured I had to give it a try and at worse with it being such a new product hopefully I could sell it for a better ROI than getting out of the Perfectwave entirely. 

The Directstream arrives after shipping off my Perfectwave for the trade-in, and I am quite impressed.  It’s musicality was very far ahead of the Perfectwave, and it was certainly now better than the ARC DAC8.  But living with it and keeping my ear to the ground, it still didn’t satisfy my long-term digital desires.  I was still reading about Debussy’s, Lampizator’s, Bricasti’s, Berkeley Reference DAC’s and thinking about what it would take to get there, that next level of digital performance.  Through friends I was able to hear consistently hear their MSB Diamond DAC, DCS Scarlatti, DCS Vivaldi, and Totaldac D1-twelve’s, these DAC’s poked holes into the Directstream’s sound.  Holes that once open are hard to close. 

Then came Pike’s Peak, and it went a long way to solving one of my hang-ups, the Directstream could now rock, but it went in the wrong direction in so many other areas.  Still I kept it loaded as its strengths barely outweighed the negatives in my mind.  During this time period I had the opportunity to directly compare the Directstream against the DCS Debussy.  The Debussy is a really nice DAC.  It left me longing for that increase in musicality, tension, and swing.  But still after the comparison, my thoughts even then, was that no way was that DAC worth the extra 7-8k if comparing MSRP’s.  But yeah, I wanted that last 5-10% of musical goodness.

Next Yale beta dropped, and at first I was elated by the sound, well still am/was in comparison to Pikes and 1.2.1, but upon further listening and actual A-B comparisons of 1.2.1 and Yale beta, issues were discovered.  I think Tarnished Ear’s (I think that is the correct username) described my issues very well in that beta thread.  Unlike him and others though, Yale beta was still miles better than any of the previous firmware’s, and yes while for a few tracks I might prefer 1.2.1, but it was only for a few.

But each of these firmware’s also had me thinking back to my bad experience with the Perfectwave.  I hated each firmware introduced for the Perfectwave, and always stuck with the original for both the Mk1 version and the Mk2 version.  And so here was Yale beta following Pike’s and both were going in a similar direction of more and more detail, yet losing the soul of the music.  However my glimmer of hope was at least Yale beta added some much needed musicality in comparison to Pikes.

But now my digital journey is done, Yale final is remarkable.  And probably the most remarkable thing about it, is that for the first time on this firmware rollercoaster, Ted and Co. listened all of the noise on this board, picked out the consistent issues mentioned, and in a few weeks time they addressed them incredibly well. 

As mentioned I have a good amount of time with some of the uber-DAC’s, in fact just this past Monday I heard the Totaldac again and the week before I heard the DCS Scarlatti stack, and I think the Directstream is now doing so many of the great things they do.  Scarlatti could be in trouble,  I think the Directstream is certainly the on par with the DCS Debussy now, possibly better, would love to do a comparison again.  The Totaldac has nothing to fear as it is a very special DAC, but still the price gap is extreme.

So either way I’m done unless I win the lottery, and then maybe the Totaldac would be cool to throw a little of my millions of dollars at.  :)

Sorry for the long rambling, but wanted to express my new found love with this DAC after at times a very frustrating journey.

In conclusion, again thanks and “Checkmate!”

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July 31, 2015
5:42 pm
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I totally agree with Focal_Point’s assessments.

The only thing that bothers me this far is if the Yale final might be a bit too soft. It is not smeared, though and the softness might also be mistaken for added warmth. I like tube sound because it is less fatiguing, however I still want this unpolished sound. Everything now sounds ‘DSD’ for good or bad. I believe the OS signature now is of such a character that ones system could be tuned to ones personal taste.

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July 31, 2015
6:49 pm
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Frode said
I totally agree with Focal_Point’s assessments.

The only thing that bothers me this far is if the Yale final might be a bit too soft. It is not smeared, though and the softness might also be mistaken for added warmth. I like tube sound because it is less fatiguing, however I still want this unpolished sound. Everything now sounds ‘DSD’ for good or bad. I believe the OS signature now is of such a character that ones system could be tuned to ones personal taste.

I would have to agree, in my system the vocal has definitely softened with Final Yale compared to a more defined vocal of beta Yale. Perhaps this is a more natural life sound time will tell as it grows on me.

Excellent work PS Audio team.

Thanks

Johno  

July 31, 2015
7:31 pm
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Paul and company will there be a continuence of beta and final release and of so can we have maybe one more as well.  

Perhaps a Yale ver 1 

yale ver 2 

yale meaning final.  

Tomorrow nite ill comment for once I want some time to really evail things. 

Again to all thanks for a continuing experience with this product 

July 31, 2015
7:35 pm
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Exactly what means dsd is soft or perhaps is hard is something that should be discussed at length Ina mother thread. Although I do get your thoughts but to me pcm may be softer than I like it but it is not dsd nor is dsd soft to me. In short there is something about dsd they just seems easy on the brainier simple live music is.  I am willing to bet if one had there brain connected to a scanner there is less activity with good dsd than pcm.  Me sing less thought process to understand the music. 

July 31, 2015
7:44 pm
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To All at PS Audio,

I would like to thank everyone at PS Audio for a wonderful outcome with Yale final.  The air, light and smoothness in the music is just movingly palpable.

I would like to congratulate Paul and Ted for their decision to release the beta version and to take on board and respond to all the feed back and comment.  I am sure that everyone would agree that their decision has resulted in a superior product.  It was interesting to read all the responses and perceptions of the posters to the forum regarding Yale beta.  I do hope that this strategy is also followed with any future OS versions.  Every body benefits.  Thanks

John

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July 31, 2015
8:41 pm
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May 29, 2014
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Yale beta impressed the hell out of me, but I kind of understood what people were saying about PRAT and emotion… a little of the magic of my early DS DAC experiences seemed to be missing. Maybe it was just me, jaded and stressed and always looking for the new novelty? 

Maybe not. Yale final has put me straight back into that place where you just keep listening to “one more song” until you have gotten yourself into trouble for not doing all the things you were supposed to do in the past several hours. I’m so, so happy with this DAC. Sincere thanks to all who make it happen.

The following users say thank you to dvorak for this useful post:

ccstevenson1@comcast.net, mark-d