How to update PerfectWave firmware

Written by Paul McGowan

One of the beauties of the PerfectWave products, DirectStream, PWD, PWT, P5 and P10 Power Plants, is the ease of which we can add features, update software and keep your device current and operating flawlessly. This is accomplished through updates to the firmware inside each unit. The firmware is the operating instructions the PerfectWave system uses to run the device. Installing new firmware on the PerfectWave products is a really simple procedure. The entire update is stored on an SD memory card (similar to what you might find in a digital camera for memory). The necessary files are loaded onto the SD card, placed in the rear of the PerfectWave product when the AC power is off, then the files are automatically loaded as soon as the AC power is connected. It's really that easy. The simplest way to handle the update is to ask your dealer to either assist you or actually perform it for you. If you want the dealer to handle everything, this will most likely require you to return the unit to the dealer for the few minutes it takes to upgrade the software. You can easily handle the upgrade yourself if you wish. To do this upgrade yourself, there are two options: download the software, add it to the SD memory card and install it.

Installing the firmware upgrade yourself

Most customers will simply install the firmware upgrade themselves because it is so easy to do. Here is an overview of the steps and then we'll do it step by step.


Download the files, copy the files to a blank SD memory card using your computer to do so, making sure the power is off on the PerfectWave product, insert the SD card into the PerfectWave and turn the power back on. The front panel logo light will blink indicating the upgrade is taking place and when the unit is ready to play again, simply remove the SD card and you're done.

Check to see what version you have installed

To check what firmware is currently on your PerfectWave product you need to access the setup screen. Turn the power to the PerfectWave off through the rear panel switch. Then turn it back on. As soon as you see the PS logo appear on the front panel touch screen, touch and hold your finger on the logo until the setup screen appears. From here you can see the unit ID, the firmware installed and set the front panel touch screen brightness if you wish.

Download the files

You can download any update firmware from our download site. Go to Downloads and find the version you wish to use. Download the files onto your computer. It's easiest in many cases to place them on the desktop of either your MAC or Windows computer. This just simply helps locate them. If you received the files in a zip folder you must first unzip the files. Do NOT try and add the zip file itself to the SD card. The PerfectWave cannot read a zip file. You will need a standard SD memory card to load the files onto. You can only use a standard SD card that does not exceed 2gB in size. Ultra, Ultra II SDHC SD cards cannot be read in the PerfectWave. Make sure the SD card is a standard version. Place the SD card in an SD card reader connected to either your MAC or Windows computer. SD card readers and low cost and easy to acquire. They typically plug into your computer's USB connection and self install. Most computer setups already have access to this type of card reader. Some cards have a lock on them that prevents data being removed or added – make sure this is unlocked. Once the computer recognizes the SD card in the reader, double click to see the contents. Make sure the SD card is empty and formatted. Most are. If there is content on the SD card, it's best to erase the content and clear the card. With a cleared SD card, simply drag the PS Audio update files you downloaded from our servers onto the card. Make sure you see all the files on the SD card. Make sure there is not a zip file on the SD card.

Load the firmware

Turn off your system's power amplifier. This will make sure that when you turn the power off on either PerfectWave product you don't get any unwanted pops and noises. Turn power off on the PerfectWave product. To do this, reach around the back of the unit and switch off the power. Check to see if there is an SD card installed already. Typically, the PWT is shipped with an SD card either included or installed. The PWD is typically shipped without an SD card. If there is an SD card installed, push on the card to get it out. The card will pop out for you. Note that the card is installed upside down. Install the new card with the firmware on it. Make sure the card goes in upside down as shown in the picture. Make sure it click into place. Turn the rear panel power switch on. If everything is going properly, the front panel logo light will begin to blink, indicating the firmware is being loaded. It will keep blinking until the entire code has been loaded. Once fully loaded, the PerfectWave will restart and be ready for operation.

Remove the card and you're done

You can now remove the SD card. If it is a PWT, install the original SD card back into the slot so you can get cover art and song titles to appear on the front panel (if you're connected to the internet). The PerfectWave DAC does not have an SD card installed. You can check the front panel setup screen to verify you have the latest update completed successfully if you wish. If the logo light on the front panel did not start blinking then the firmware was not installed. Call us for help or email our service department. As always, we are here to help you in any way we can. Thanks for the support!
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