It depends .....
Music is an emotional form of communication. It bypasses many of our internal filters and safeguards on it way to our emotional core. How it is reproduced has much to do with how we react to it. If we're in the car we can easily ignore those aspects we have come to cherish in our high end systems and still enjoy the music, snapping our fingers and even singing along. We can connect with the music on different levels depending on the environment we listen to it in and the equipment we listen to it on. So it is no wonder that our evaluation of performance is not only dependent on our emotional state, our mood, but the very elements themselves in the system. It's called System Dependency. How we connect with the music is dependent on the elements within our systems: cables, amps, speakers, preamps, sources, power and even the room itself. Replace one element in the system chain and the sound will not be the same, our connection to that music will be altered as well. It's a classic problem that every professional audio reviewer has to deal with every time a new piece of kit is inserted into their chain. It's a classic problem for all of us. We've just released a new firmware upgrade for the PerfectWave DAC, version 2.4.3. I call it the 243 upgrade. It is one of the biggest improvements to the sound of the PWD since the Mark II upgrade. It's free. Not everyone agrees with me on the sound quality. It's system dependent. Most everyone that has upgraded to 243 is in love with the sound. But there are detractors who suggest it's thin and bright. On my system it's full and rich. Given these extremes of opinions and the thousands of systems throughout the world that are running with a PWD at their core, how does any manufacturer make a decision to go forward, backward, or just keep their mouth shut? For our part it's reasonably simple: if it's better after testing it on all three of our music systems we release it to our online community, see if there are any major problems we missed and if not, release it. But it's instructive to remember just how dependent we, as Audiophiles, are to what's in our systems at the time we try something. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that because your setup sounds perfect, the components within that setup will be perfect for others. They probably will not. Curating a fine audio system is an art. p.s. If you have a PWD and are interested in upgrading to 243, watch for this month's newsletter for instructions. We'll hope to publish the newsletter early next week.
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