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DirectStream Memory Player beta reviewer postings
Topic Rating: +177 Topic Rating: +177 (183 votes) 
November 10, 2016
8:29 am
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I Love the Sound of Electrostats in the Morning (ILSEM) said
9 November: Round 3 of listening, now with the PS Audio HDMI-10 I2S 1 meter cable as the primary and Cardas coax as secondary (all comments are on the HDMI-10). Recognizing that I’m violating the scientific method by changing more than one variable at a time (the DMP had been burning in for about 40 more hours since the previous listening session), I’ll proceed with general impressions based upon replaying selections I listened to in Rounds 1 and 2.

Overall there’s more transparency than what I’m used to, with no hint of added brightness (a concern I had in Round 1). Bass notes are a bit more taut, but most noticeable are enhanced hearing of things being struck and plucked with strings and percussion (more snap my notes say). Also there’s a more shimmering sound to cymbals, tambourines, and triangles. Vocal harmonies are less homogenized/more separated.

There’s maybe a tad more lateral separation and still no perception of enhanced depth.

Most importantly, my toes have been a tappin’ through all the rounds to-date. If they weren’t none of the above would matter.

We like the toe ‘a tappin’!

Co-founder and CEO of PS Audio. Hobbies (other than audio) include cooking, artisan bread baking, writing The Carbon Wars, hiking and inventing stuff. Infinity IRSV, MG Audio Designs and Audioquest cables, five P10 Power Plants, DirectStream DAC, NuWave Phono Converter, Clear Audio Master turntable, Lyra Cartridge, BHK Monos and BHK preamp, LANRover USB Transporter. I live in Boulder Colorado with my wife Terri, both of us are vegetarians for many decades. If you want to see support my first shot at writing a novel go here.

November 10, 2016
9:49 am
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Finally I can be a part of the discussion … my DMP arrived yesterday!  Everything was fine, the box wasn’t damaged and the player was fine when unboxed.  I let it sit for about an hour to acclimatize to the room (it was in the 40’s outside and Fed Ex doesn’t “warm” their cargo) and then plugged it in.  Turned on fine so I loaded a disc and let it spin to make sure it was operating correctly.  Seemed Ok and sounded good, but not making any judgements yet.  Then I decided to put on a burn-in disc while I did other things, came back a short time later and it was stuck.  I won’t say any more, other that that I got it working quickly, since that belongs in the bug thread.  I also decided it was a good time to load the new firmware, 1.4.7.  I had chosen to not load initially since I wanted to make sure the unit functioned properly before messing with firmware.  Too many instances of other folks having loading issues, not that I have had any.  Now for a few observations, some of which have been stated by others, but I’m including to add to the data set.  Also, keep in mind I have not had/used a PWT so some of the things I point out may be shared with the PWT and are not “new”.

  • When I went to plug in the power cord I had a little trouble locating the receptacle (with DMP stacked on DS – temporarily), I discovered there is a sticker over the receptacle telling you “Do not plug In with power on”.  Never seen that before, it’s one of those things in the manual nobody reads, presume it refers to the power switch next to the receptacle.
  • I like the new screen, very easy to read.
  • The remote is nice, more solid/hefty than the one for the DS, but I have a few comments on it.
  • The writing on the remote buttons is hard to read in low light and you have to activate a button to get the backlighting, not a problem, I’ll get used to it.
  • Layout of the buttons is quite different from DS remote,  minor quibble and I will get used to it too.
  • There is a section of buttons for “Phono Preamp”, presume this is for the upcoming Analog Phono Preamp, not the NPC, correct?
  • There’s a “Phono Mute” button between the two volume buttons, presume this too is for the Analog Phono Preamp.
  • Activating functions (disc drawer open/close, Play, etc.) on the remote, rather than physical buttons on the unit will take some getting used to.
  • It takes a few seconds for discs to load after closing the drawer.  My ARCAM was on the slow side too, maybe a little faster, so I’m Ok with this.
  • The Play button is either odd in function or I’m missing something.  I have to push It twice to get the disc to play, is that normal?  This morning I did it three times and still nothing, then I realized I had paused it.  I must have started Play on the second press, but it didn’t respond as fast as I thought it would.  Seems like some patience is required when pressing buttons?
  • The “DIM” button operates both the DS and DMP simultaneously, I think I’m Ok with that, but previously I always kept the DS dimmed to save the screen.  If I want to see DMP track information I need to keep both screens lit while playing, then remember to dim after finished playing.  I’ll see how that goes.
  • For stacking the supplied HDMI cable is nice, though when I try putting all the components (except BHK 250) in a rack (which requires a major reconfiguration) I have a 1M PS Audio cable I can try.
  • The disc drive is very quiet, I like that!

So far I am impressed with the DMP.  Assessment of the sound will come in a few days after it has a chance to burn in … and I need some time for my head to stop spinning after the last few days!

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November 10, 2016
9:53 am
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Paul McGowan said

 

Yes, it is a very different approach we took on the Lens technology inside DMP. There’s the same buffer but because of the way it’s implemented it isn’t necessary for so much time to be stored to let the drive mechanism do its work. The clock we are using at the output of the Lens, which is the whole purpose of the Lens – the fixed low jitter clock – is lower my a wide margin than even the PWT. 

As a matter of interest Paul, how different is the implementation of the Lens technology in the DMP from that in the Bridge II?

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November 10, 2016
11:08 am
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Without getting terribly technical they are more similar than different, though DMP is realized in an FPGA in a rather complex manner and I believe we use a more simple CPLD in the Lens.

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November 10, 2016
12:13 pm
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pmotz said

The Play button is either odd in function or I’m missing something.  I have to push It twice to get the disc to play, is that normal?  This morning I did it three times and still nothing, then I realized I had paused it.  I must have started Play on the second press, but it didn’t respond as fast as I thought it would.  Seems like some patience is required when pressing buttons?

I had to get used to this too.  Most buttons on the remote are of the ‘soft touch’ variety, with a bit of spongy feel.  The navigation wheel, however, is very different; it takes more pressure, but you can’t press too long without sending multiple instances of the command, as you discovered, and sometimes you’re not sure whether the command was actually sent/received.  One can get used to it, but I wonder why the wheel was designed to be different from the other buttons.

 

The “DIM” button operates both the DS and DMP simultaneously, I think I’m Ok with that, but previously I always kept the DS dimmed to save the screen.  If I want to see DMP track information I need to keep both screens lit while playing, then remember to dim after finished playing.  I’ll see how that goes.

It operates not only the DS and DMP, but also the BHK preamp.  I like to keep the DS screen dark but the other two on.  My components are on three shelves, with the DS on the bottom, the DMP in the middle, and the pre on top.  I’ve found that if I angle the remote toward the floor in just the right way and hit “DIM,” I can turn off the DS without affecting the other two.  It takes a bit of practice but will work.  Once it turned off both the DAC and the pre (is the DMP less sensitive to the remote? it seems to be occasionally).  I angled the remote toward the ceiling and was able to to turn the pre back on without affecting the DS.  Play around with this.  It might not work if the DAC and the DMP are stacked one atop the other.

Another benefit of running the DS screen dark is that when you hit Play or other commands for the DMP and they are received, the DS lights up for a moment.  I have found this useful as a confirmation that the command was received, even though the DMP does not respond instantly.

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November 10, 2016
6:06 pm
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November 10, 2016
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 I Love the Sound of Electrostats in the Morning (ILSEM) said

Overall there’s more transparency than what I’m used to… most noticeable are enhanced hearing of things being struck and plucked with strings and percussion (more snap my notes say). Also there’s a more shimmering sound to cymbals, tambourines, and triangles. Vocal harmonies are less homogenized/more separated…

Most importantly, my toes have been a tappin’ through all the rounds to-date. If they weren’t none of the above would matter.

Having held-off so far from remarks about sound quality from the DMP (except saying at the outset that I really liked what I was hearing), it’s time to start weighing-in. (The sole variable so far has been the PWT, which I keep swapping in and out as I go along. The rest of the sound system is a Bakoon HPA-21 headphone amplifier with built-in volume control and a pair of Sennheiser HD800 headphones manufactured about 10 months ago).

What I quote above from ILSEM pretty much nails it. The leading edges of notes come with a measure and subtlety of detail that the PWT does not deliver. Back on Nov. 1, Alan W commented here that he has spent much of his life playing pianos and recordings of that instrument sound much more realistic to his ears on the DMP, both tonally and with “more of a sense of each individual piano key being struck”. I can’t agree more. Furthermore, in the case of other instruments that produce their notes from strikes on some kind of string or surface, one hears so much more about the speed and/or force of the collision, also about the nature of the materials that are doing the actual colliding.

An even better instrument that this listener uses to help cut chaff from the wheat in his auditions of audio gear may be the marimba. (I have long used in auditions of audio gear an immaculately-recorded CD from 1988, called “Marimolin”, that features pairings with several other acoustic instruments, as well, such as violin, tabla and triangle, oboe, clarinet, and French horn). Not only is the DMP far more revealing of distinctions in this recording at the beginnings of percussed notes, but it is also far more engaging. And the personal experience for me goes well beyond toe-tapping.

Not long into any listening engagement with the DMP, things for me quickly bleed-over into what for the sake of no better term I am going to call extra-sensory perception, something that for me easily ranges from the tactile to the visual. And they can occur in the most remarkable detail. Something similar happened early-on in early encounters with the DMP, in a series of dramatic orchestral passages featuring a timpani. And it has occurred every time since during my listens to that particular SACD, a recording of a live concert of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring”. I might add that I have an imagination that is still blessedly vivid in my 6th decade. In any event, while listening to the aforementioned fulminent crescendos of that particular drum, I can’t help but become one with a perfectly-weighted, felt-tipped mallet, on the end of a shaft of persimmon wood that flexes with essential verve at each rapidly-sequencing “wallop” on a stretched hide (or other membrane) of a big, reverberant drum. On wooden bars of a marimba, however, I bounce way differently from my mallet head. Instead of slamming mightily on a membrane tuned by the degree that it is stretched over a large chamber, now I tap spritely on resonant blocks of hard wood, presumably from sources deep in tropical rain forest. Or I dance upon on them — and in mallet-heads wrapped in yarn. I would be dreaming to think the PWT could inspire this degree and kind of participation, although it would be very much in my economic interest to believe that it could…

One other quality that I notice from the DMP (in contradistinction to the PWT) is that the point of reference is significantly closer. Let me remind readers that I am doing all my auditioning here via headphones. But that said, on SACDs and redbook CDs of classical music, the DMP has me consistently hearing a closer proximity to the recorded entity than the PWT does. This could be due, in part, to a much larger abundance of heard detail on the DMP that, in turn, may lend a greater sense of immediacy. Interestingly, though, on a couple of recordings, I found the PWT’s more-distant listening perspective slightly more preferable — and attended by better localization and definition of the venue being played in than the more immediate one represented on the DMP.

A couple of details remain on how sound quality of the DMP very significantly betters the PWT. Patience! I will sharing those thoughts in a later post!

 

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November 11, 2016
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CRYSTAL CLEAR!!!!

I have played Super Audio CD’s, regular CD’s, my recorded CD’s and even music from a USB key. The results are so amazing I find it hard to describe them. I am hearing things on some well know recordings that I have never heard before. Ambience, transparency, black background, soundstage, all superior!!! I was using an Oppo before and its like comparing night and day. PS Audio has outdone themselves with this device. My congratulations to them and I hope they have great success selling this item.

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November 11, 2016
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Are there any comments on DMP versus Bridge II for redbooks?

November 11, 2016
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largenmt said
Are there any comments on DMP versus Bridge II for redbooks?

So far, after 7 days of burning it, I am pretty much neutral.

I did not get a chance to do comparison by playing same song by switching back and forth between DMP and Bridge II (with JRiver on MacMini). But I have listened to same album for prolong time (1 album) in each. I didn’t hear that big a difference which is easily noticable. Probably because of the discs/songs I was playing – mainly around vocals (Indian classical music/Indian pop songs).

To me DS is still a huge leveler across the sources.

Regards,

Sourav

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November 11, 2016
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I have played comparisons of bridgeII and cd and it is very close. DMP has slight edge, but sacd sounds much better. 

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November 11, 2016
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My DSM finally arrived this week, so I will give a preliminary report based on a unit that is probably not fully broken in.

 

The first thing I noticed – and this was immediately after I plugged it in – was what others have reported – piano’s actually sound something like a real piano. Since the piano is probably the hardest instrument to reproduce correctly, it is really nice to finally hear a realistic reproduction – not perfect, but way better than I can recall ever hearing on any system (of course, my memory ain’t what it once was!). I seems to me that what is unique about the DSM is the ability to hear the “body” of the piano, rather than just the notes. This same ability also applies to the cello and the bass. Hearing the body of the instrument (and by that I believe I mean the reverberations produced by the instrument body) makes a huge difference. I even notice this quality with some drums – especially lower frequency reproducers. Since this was with no break in on the DSM – I wonder how much better this can get!

 

Another area of note – again as others have mentioned – is the sound stage width. It is substantially wider than my PWT (Perfect Wave Transport). At first I thought maybe my speakers were too far apart because there was a huge hole in the center of the sound stage – then a vocal came on, and perfect focus – no hole, just very precise and wide placing of instruments from speaker to speaker – not just everything clustered around the middle. As far as sound stage depth is concerned – my current setup is not as conducive to depth as I have had in the past, so it is not quite as noticeable – plus, I will wait until my DSM breaks in more before I start getting to critical listening.

 

This is some pretty amazing sound coming from a new unit with little break in, I can’t wait to see how things progress over time.

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November 11, 2016
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bad wolf said
The first thing I noticed – and this was immediately after I plugged it in – was what others have reported – piano’s actually sound something like a real piano. Since the piano is probably the hardest instrument to reproduce correctly, it is really nice to finally hear a realistic reproduction – not perfect, but way better than I can recall ever hearing on any system . . . 

Hi, praise – especially from someone who obviously knows the sound of a piano and how pale our feeble attempts to reproduce it actually are.

November 11, 2016
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I upgraded my DAC to the PS Audio DSD in 2014 and recall the long break-in period I had to endure.  Eventually, the sound opened up and I have been happy with it.  Therefore, when I received the DMP earlier this week, I did not expect too much and thought that the DMP would require a significant break-in period also.  I could not have been more wrong.  I find the improvements over my the original PWT which I had owned since 2009 to be striking.  My early impressions may be summarized in 2 areas.

  • Sense of Space: The minute sonic details between the players (instruments) are revealed very precisely – the experience can be almost eerie.  No longer is the space between the players a vacuum.  This is a huge step forward in making my equipment more invisible.  The relationship between the instruments is delineated clearly and remarkably three-dimensional.  The depth of a symphony orchestra is appreciated better than before.  The volume (I use the DSD for volume control) is not longer an issue of loudness.  The sound of the instruments grows or shrinks depending on the setting.
  • Tonality:  With the DMP, there is something very “right” about the tonal presentation.  Live classical music performances (especially chamber music) are not particularly loud – yet the tones are all there.  This is same experience I have with the DMP.  I am listening at lower volume levels yet the sound is all “there.”  While engulfed in a sound-field, I find that the music sounds the way it was intended.

Perhaps my DMP is still breaking-in.  If there are more improvements to be had – that would be truly astonishing!

November 11, 2016
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Today I delivered my pwt (trade in) to FedEx on its way to Colorado.

I have found a great sound and have enjoyed Steely Dan as a private performance.  So good I kept playing the same disc over and over and over.

i don’t think I’ve mentioned this and you will find it strange:  I have had the BHK pre plugged into a P10, had the dmp and ds Dac plugged into an Audience Ar6T.  Decided to plug all 3 into the P10, and when I did, my immediate thought was “what happened to the bass? ” — it had lost depth.  It just didn’t sound as good.  Plugged the dmp and ds Dac back into the Audience filter and the very impressive bass was back. This was with the Swarm turned off. So perhaps experimentation is in order if you have the opportunity.  Not a slam on the P10 at all – I have one on each BHK 300. 

When the sound is right you sink right in.  When it is less, you know right away, but only if you had it dialed in before, for comparison.

i have almost 150 hours on the dmp.

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November 11, 2016
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I feel sorry for those that thinks all cables sound the same.  They would be missing out on enjoying superior sound from a superior cable.  Today I experienced an improvement in resolution and clarity with the dmp by changing the I2s cable.  I was using 1.5 meter Pangea hdmi cable before because that was the best I had and I took that from a video component.  I couldn’t use the 1/2 meter that came with the dmp because it was too short for my situation.  I took a chance and bought a 1.5 meter Kimber HD29e for $216.  Not too expensive and not too cheap, but the performance surprised me.  The Pangea was a good cable, but in comparison to the Kimber, was a bit more veil. I was very please with the improvement. Kimber is a well respected company and their products never fails to please.  I would advise others not to ignore this critical link.

November 12, 2016
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“It don’t mean a thing (if it ain’t got that swing).”

In my last post I wrote about the first difference that caught my ear when listening to the DMP, namely a distinction to the leading edges of notes that come from instruments whose sound is generated by a strike or a pluck. What I didn’t say was how micro-details like this add verve to music. In audiophile circles this finer point is regularly called “swing” (although not a description commonly used for the classical-music genre I most frequently listen to). Anyway, having lived with the bounce that the DMP seems to have in its step for about a week now has made it difficult to want to return to the PWT anymore, even if it is just to tease out further differences.

Another quality that the DMP far excels at is its ability to differentiate players and/or instruments. ILSEM remarked on this, I think, a week and a half ago. “Vocal harmonies,” he wrote, “are less homogenized/more separated”. I would like to add that the same can be said for how the DMP plays redbook recordings of other kinds of ensembles. Chords generated by multiple instruments over the PWT sound congealed or less stratified in comparison.

All needs to live in a balance, though, for music reproduction to sound its best. In my experience there can sometimes be too much of a good thing. So how “real-sounding” exactly is the DMP? Or does the illusion verge now into the hyper-real? In other words, is this guy in his mid-sixties (with constant mild tinnitus) feeling all of a sudden as if someone has lent him the equivalent of bionic ears?

Allow me to use an analogy from the world of modern-day photography. Some of you may know about HDR (high-dynamic-range imaging), a fairly ubiquitous practice these days in the generation and/or post-processing of digital images that boosts their dynamic range of luminosity. Oversaturating colors and pushing brightness and contrast levels and adjusting such levels in shadows to show more detail can help images “pop”. At first blush years back I found the capability revelatory and marveled at how I might use it. But it didn’t take long for me to realize that it can be overdone. Artifice taken too far produces phony-looking images.

Extrapolating now back to the DMP, which I have acknowledged by now as being a phenomenal renderer of micro-detail compared to the PWT, how much verisimilitude is it really adding to recordings? Or to ask a bit differently, does live music sound like any of this to me, or am I just wowed early-on by things I have never, ever, noticed before because of some unique synergy between the DMP and DSD?

While it may sound like a cop-out, I am going to say here-and-now that any question of sonic realism is essentially moot to this listener – and for many, if not all, reasons already bandied about in this forum and in what have recently attended Paul’s Posts. So many variables exist in the recording of music and what is reproduced by our sound systems that it is small wonder to me, indeed, that I seldom if ever confuse sounds from a recording with those from live sources. That said, however, I regularly hear musical details and nuances in recordings of live performances that I almost certainly would have missed if I had been present for them. To me the two experiences will always be apples and oranges. And, accordingly, my expectations of each are quite different from the other.

What I can say from my experience with the DMP so far is that I have noticed details from playback of music that I have never been attentive to before, either from a recording or as a much-younger amateur playing in number of music ensembles or as a member of an audience at a live performance. And noticing such nuances for the first time is singularly delighting me and — much to my astonishment — able to feed an experience that bleeds well beyond what I know is coming through my ears. Call it swing, or call it emotive energy; the DMP has it. And if that is something that I have only exceedingly -rarely experienced from performances of live-music that I have attended, so what? I am not going to let that impugn the integrity of what I am now able to hear over the sound system I am listening to right now. The DMP amounts to the single greatest leap in enjoyment and sound quality that I have ever experienced from a new audio component.

November 12, 2016
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bad wolf said

My DSM finally arrived this week, so I will give a preliminary report based on a unit that is probably not fully broken in.

The first thing I noticed – and this was immediately after I plugged it in – was what others have reported – piano’s actually sound something like a real piano. Since the piano is probably the hardest instrument to reproduce correctly, it is really nice to finally hear a realistic reproduction – not perfect, but way better than I can recall ever hearing on any system (of course, my memory ain’t what it once was!). I seems to me that what is unique about the DSM is the ability to hear the “body” of the piano, rather than just the notes. This same ability also applies to the cello and the bass. Hearing the body of the instrument (and by that I believe I mean the reverberations produced by the instrument body) makes a huge difference. I even notice this quality with some drums – especially lower frequency reproducers. Since this was with no break in on the DSM – I wonder how much better this can get!

Another area of note – again as others have mentioned – is the sound stage width. It is substantially wider than my PWT (Perfect Wave Transport). At first I thought maybe my speakers were too far apart because there was a huge hole in the center of the sound stage – then a vocal came on, and perfect focus – no hole, just very precise and wide placing of instruments from speaker to speaker – not just everything clustered around the middle. As far as sound stage depth is concerned – my current setup is not as conducive to depth as I have had in the past, so it is not quite as noticeable – plus, I will wait until my DSM breaks in more before I start getting to critical listening.

This is some pretty amazing sound coming from a new unit with little break in, I can’t wait to see how things progress over time.

Thanks! I would have to agree on both counts: pianos and soundstage width. Your observations are spot on!

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November 12, 2016
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Thank-you all beta testers for your thoughts in concern of the DMP playback system.

If I may…could everyone please give their impressions of the sound quality of the DMP in two separate categories…  Redbook playback in one and sacd in the other. The reviews of some seem to not separate the two formats and homogenize the two into one. The reason I ask is that I am interested more on the cd side of things than sacd. Also,please let us know if you are making a direct comparison to the PWT vs DMP for the sake of clarity.  Again…Thanks! 

   

November 12, 2016
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Rob said
“It don’t mean a thing (if it ain’t got that swing).”

In my last post I wrote about the first difference that caught my ear when listening to the DMP, namely a distinction to the leading edges of notes that come from instruments whose sound is generated by a strike or a pluck. What I didn’t say was how micro-details like this add verve to music. In audiophile circles this finer point is regularly called “swing” (although not a description commonly used for the classical-music genre I most frequently listen to). Anyway, having lived with the bounce that the DMP seems to have in its step for about a week now has made it difficult to want to return to the PWT anymore, even if it is just to tease out further differences.

Another quality that the DMP far excels at is its ability to differentiate players and/or instruments. ILSEM remarked on this, I think, a week and a half ago. “Vocal harmonies,” he wrote, “are less homogenized/more separated”. I would like to add that the same can be said for how the DMP plays redbook recordings of other kinds of ensembles. Chords generated by multiple instruments over the PWT sound congealed or less stratified in comparison.

All needs to live in a balance, though, for music reproduction to sound its best. In my experience there can sometimes be too much of a good thing. So how “real-sounding” exactly is the DMP? Or does the illusion verge now into the hyper-real? In other words, is this guy in his mid-sixties (with constant mild tinnitus) feeling all of a sudden as if someone has lent him the equivalent of bionic ears?

Allow me to use an analogy from the world of modern-day photography. Some of you may know about HDR (high-dynamic-range imaging), a fairly ubiquitous practice these days in the generation and/or post-processing of digital images that boosts their dynamic range of luminosity. Oversaturating colors and pushing brightness and contrast levels and adjusting such levels in shadows to show more detail can help images “pop”. At first blush years back I found the capability revelatory and marveled at how I might use it. But it didn’t take long for me to realize that it can be overdone. Artifice taken too far produces phony-looking images.

Extrapolating now back to the DMP, which I have acknowledged by now as being a phenomenal renderer of micro-detail compared to the PWT, how much verisimilitude is it really adding to recordings? Or to ask a bit differently, does live music sound like any of this to me, or am I just wowed early-on by things I have never, ever, noticed before because of some unique synergy between the DMP and DSD?

While it may sound like a cop-out, I am going to say here-and-now that any question of sonic realism is essentially moot to this listener – and for many, if not all, reasons already bandied about in this forum and in what have recently attended Paul’s Posts. So many variables exist in the recording of music and what is reproduced by our sound systems that it is small wonder to me, indeed, that I seldom if ever confuse sounds from a recording with those from live sources. That said, however, I regularly hear musical details and nuances in recordings of live performances that I almost certainly would have missed if I had been present for them. To me the two experiences will always be apples and oranges. And, accordingly, my expectations of each are quite different from the other.

What I can say from my experience with the DMP so far is that I have noticed details from playback of music that I have never been attentive to before, either from a recording or as a much-younger amateur playing in number of music ensembles or as a member of an audience at a live performance. And noticing such nuances for the first time is singularly delighting me and — much to my astonishment — able to feed an experience that bleeds well beyond what I know is coming through my ears. Call it swing, or call it emotive energy; the DMP has it. And if that is something that I have only exceedingly -rarely experienced from performances of live-music that I have attended, so what? I am not going to let that impugn the integrity of what I am now able to hear over the sound system I am listening to right now. The DMP amounts to the single greatest leap in enjoyment and sound quality that I have ever experienced from a new audio component.

Wow. “The DMP amounts to the single greatest leap in enjoyment and sound quality that I have ever experienced from a new audio component.” That’s perhaps the nicest compliment we’ve yet gotten.blush_gif

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November 12, 2016
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Haven’t gotten to SACD yet, but red book went this way for me.  PWT was more polite, DMP had a little more sizzle.  Then I changed from a PSAUDIO AC10 HDMI to the supplied short cable for the DMP.  WOW.  Rearrange if you have to, but at least try the shorty.

BTW:  I tend to concentrate on vocal sound.  Seems harder to get right, perhaps due to Eq or other enhancement they put on it.  Or, as I well know, the very microphone they used (freq response be damned). there is quite a variation model to model and sometimes even within different mics of the same model.). The there’s how hot the CD is… often flirting with or just soul kissing clipping.  I wonder if SACDs are mastered with less of that nasty evil?

For some reason, every single improvement I’ve made in my system over the digital years has resulted it better tighter bass, among other things.

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November 12, 2016
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It’s crazy how good that little short HDMI cable sounds. I am always fascinated by such things, but this one really surprised me.

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November 12, 2016
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Interim A to B PWT versus DMP.

With a new drive in my PWT (a result of a known glitch that caused the disc to randomly stop playing – my PWT unit arrived back from Colorado earlier this week) I was able to do an A to B comparison of the two players using a single disc – Shelby Lynne’s “Dusty” CD of which I have 2 copies, the US version on Lost Highway with 10 tracks and the UK version with 11 tracks – the extra track being “Wishin’ and Hopin” – with one caveat – the PWT was connected to the DSD with a well used (3 years PSA AC12-3 cable) and the DMP with a brand new 1m Morrow HDMI.

With the DMP and the Morrow, the sound stage is still wider than the PWT – more “air”, more separation of the instruments – but the PWT also sounds pretty good on a scale of 1 to 10 about an 7.5 compared with the DMP. I found the same effect when I reversed the discs in the units. First test DMP US disc, PWT – UK disc; second DMP UK disc, PWT US disc. I’ll have to continue breaking the Morrow in see if the separation in sound between the two units increases as Paul and others have noted a major effect of the cable type on the sound.

One thing I’d like to add re the DMP is playing SACDs. I have a few in my collection including a boxed Bob Dylan set on Columbia that I bought on sale from Pop Market several years ago. I’d listened to the Dylan set on my Marantz SA 8005 SACD player which can switch back and forth between the Redbook and SACD layers while playing and was frankly non plussed. I put the SACD in the same bag of CD maker hype as HDCD, SHM, gold discs, 24 bit remastered, green markers, etc. But playing the Dylan SACDs on the DMP was a revelation – it was in fact jaw dropping – with the Redbook play mode there was a lot missing from the sound – whether different mixes were used for the two layers I don’t know but remember that I personally heard no difference between the CD and SACD layers of the Dylan discs on my Marantz.  

I found the same with with Boulez’s Bolero SACD (DG 00289 477 0762). The nearest thing to the Bolero live is listening via headphones but the DMP SACD mode opened the sound up on the speakers. I’ve never heard the Bolero this good in the 55 years I’ve been listening to it on both vinyl and CD.

I’m current listening to the SACD hybrid of John Tropea’s “Rock Candy” (I don’t think there ever was a CD) on the DMP and even with the Morrow HDMI cable still breaking in the drums sound so realistic – an “oomph” that just isn’t there listening to the CD layer and a very smooth and complex bass line – dark, deep and full but still musical. It sounds so real!!!

The DMP has added a new dimension to my listening pleasure!

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November 12, 2016
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woodburger said
 I tend to concentrate on vocal sound.  Seems harder to get right, perhaps due to Eq or other enhancement they put on it.  Or, as I well know, the very microphone they used (freq response be damned). there is quite a variation model to model and sometimes even within different mics of the same model.).

Singers and recording engineers work very hard to get the specific vocal sound they seek – especially in pop/rock/ – trying different mics, proximity, EQ, compression, etc.  Whether they got it “right” depends entirely what sound you prefer. This makes using vocal as a sound test tough as one is chasing a rapidly moving target, unless you are exceedingly familiar with a particular recording and how it should sound.  The sound of a pop singer is astoundingly different without a mic v. recorded.

A great example is watching Alison Krauss perform live.  She sings close mic’d into a Shure KSM44A large diaphragm mic which is vocal flattering, but plays her violin into a Neumann KM54 small‑diaphragm condenser (studio) or on-stage often a Shure KSM9, with a much flatter frequency response.  Reversed, her voice would sound less brilliant and less warm, and the violin would sound brittle and a bit boomy.  (In the studio she uses a $10,000 Sony C800G Tube Condenser on her voice.)

The there’s how hot the CD is… often flirting with or just soul kissing clipping.  I wonder if SACDs are mastered with less of that nasty evil?

Typically they are exactly the same on a modern SACD/CD/Redbook layer.  The recording is mixed, mastered and then transcoded as needed to the chosen format. There are older SACs where the layers are fundamentally different, but this is relatively uncommon.

The best way to avoid the sound of compression and limiting is to listen to classical recordings which eschew this type of sound.  :)

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November 12, 2016
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The DMP is great. detail is better than the old player, just seems to be so right. NOW sacd is fantastic. Puts my old Wadia to shame. more to come.

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Paul McGowan said
It’s crazy how good that little short HDMI cable sounds. I am always fascinated by such things, but this one really surprised me.

Paul, will you be offering longer lengths? Thanks.

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I have had and been listening to the DMP since Thursday, in my two systems.  The listening experience with both red book cds and SACD is having several veils removed, or similar looking through a window after it has been perfectly cleaned.  Instruments, including voice, are simply more resolved than before.  Paul has said that for the first time the listener can now hear the music on SACD as never before, given that we can now access the DSD layer.  I am listening to one now: just unbelievable how much closer this is to what I would hear in the concert hall.

In my second system, where I am now listening I have a Classe AV processor, which is used for both two channel and multi channel music listening as well as for video. The Classe has a pretty good DAC.  However, a few minutes ago I connected the DMP via coax to the DAC on the Classe and was able to A/B the Classe DAC and the Direct Stream DAC – no contest, smearing that I might not have paid attention to listening only through the Classe became objectionable when one heard the same disc via the two PS Audio units.  The DMP appears to deliver all that Paul promised.  Koodos!

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November 12, 2016
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Hi everyone. I’m new to this forum and since I have a PWT, I thought I would compare it with the new DMP.

When I received the DMP, I did something I normally don’t do, I hooked it up and played it cold right out of the box. I set the DMP on top of the PWT and used the same wires on both units. I have a 1/2 meter HDMI cable already that I used on both units for I2S into my DAC. I actually reversed the two transports, PWT on top of the DMP to see if it made any difference, It did not. My A/B comparison was as close to equal as I am able to do.

I currently only play red book CD’s but will get into SACD’s later. I don’t have a turntable, so no comparison there. 

The first thing I noticed was how wide the sound stage was, way beyond the outside of the speakers. The next thing I noticed was the snappy attack on individual notes played in the music. The lower bass notes were not as defined as I remembered on the PWT so I decided to play a break in CD for a few hours to see what would change. Remember, the DMP is cold out of the box.

One of the problems I’ve had with CD’s over the years has been a slightly irritating edge in the mid range of any speaker I have owned. If the song I played didn’t have much of this certain frequency, it was was much more pleasing to listen to. Once I keyed onto this distortion?, I couldn’t get away from it. I am pleased to say, The DMP does not have this irritating edge!!!……THANK YOU PAUL!!!

After letting the DMP warm up and break in for about a day and a half, I did some listening. The first thing noticed was the bass was defined again…..YES!  Each instrument is clear and well defined and in a space of its own. The instruments and voices jump out of a clear and ambient stage with a sense of the venue or room they were recorded in. I listened to a Tony Braxton CD where she is singing out in front of a row of stringed instruments that seemed placed along the entire width of my listening room, her voice was clear and sweet in the middle. It is interesting that it seems I can play songs at a lower volume and get full dynamics including bass. In contrast, the PWT seams smeared and congested. I don’t want to seem down on the PWT as I’ve enjoyed it very much over the past few years but the DMP is a huge improvement.

I know we have been talking about the importance of source compared to speakers but I’ll say after doing this comparison in sources, I’d be hard pressed to talk about speakers. There are extremely expensive transports and DAC’s that I have no experience with but I doubt they are much better than the DMP.

I hope this review Helps, Roger               

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kline42 said
Hi everyone. I’m new to this forum and since I have a PWT, I thought I would compare it with the new DMP.

When I received the DMP, I did something I normally don’t do, I hooked it up and played it cold right out of the box. I set the DMP on top of the PWT and used the same wires on both units. I have a 1/2 meter HDMI cable already that I used on both units for I2S into my DAC. I actually reversed the two transports, PWT on top of the DMP to see if it made any difference, It did not. My A/B comparison was as close to equal as I am able to do.

I currently only play red book CD’s but will get into SACD’s later. I don’t have a turntable, so no comparison there. 

The first thing I noticed was how wide the sound stage was, way beyond the outside of the speakers. The next thing I noticed was the snappy attack on individual notes played in the music. The lower bass notes were not as defined as I remembered on the PWT so I decided to play a break in CD for a few hours to see what would change. Remember, the DMP is cold out of the box.

One of the problems I’ve had with CD’s over the years has been a slightly irritating edge in the mid range of any speaker I have owned. If the song I played didn’t have much of this certain frequency, it was was much more pleasing to listen to. Once I keyed onto this distortion?, I couldn’t get away from it. I am pleased to say, The DMP does not have this irritating edge!!!……THANK YOU PAUL!!!

After letting the DMP warm up and break in for about a day and a half, I did some listening. The first thing noticed was the bass was defined again…..YES!  Each instrument is clear and well defined and in a space of its own. The instruments and voices jump out of a clear and ambient stage with a sense of the venue or room they were recorded in. I listened to a Tony Braxton CD where she is singing out in front of a row of stringed instruments that seemed placed along the entire width of my listening room, her voice was clear and sweet in the middle. It is interesting that it seems I can play songs at a lower volume and get full dynamics including bass. In contrast, the PWT seams smeared and congested. I don’t want to seem down on the PWT as I’ve enjoyed it very much over the past few years but the DMP is a huge improvement.

I know we have been talking about the importance of source compared to speakers but I’ll say after doing this comparison in sources, I’d be hard pressed to talk about speakers. There are extremely expensive transports and DAC’s that I have no experience with but I doubt they are much better than the DMP.

I hope this review Helps, Roger               

thanks Roger.  that is where i am in that i have a PWT and a DMP on order.  no turntable either.  so your post was really helpful.  i am looking forward to doing the same thing you are doing.  i found the PWT/DSD to be so much better than anything i had owned up to that point (with the caveat that i could no longer hear my pure SACD discs, or the SACD layer),  so adding the DMP should be great. 

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Try the supplied cable.  It might surprise you!  Trust me.

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