Evolution of understanding

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My first glimmer of hope for extracting that which has been covered up up since CD's introduction, in 1982, came in 2009, with the release of the PWT Memory Player. We had begun that project with two goals in mind: play high resolution optical PCM discs, and add the Digital Lens technology. What we discovered was a surprising glimmer of hope for a struggling digital world; the uncovering of how good CDs actually could be. The next uncovering of what treasures lay hidden in the CD was even bigger. DirectStream DAC. Ted Smith's wizardry opened our eyes to what was possible to render from the original optical storage method—once believed to be so lacking that only higher resolution upgrades could salvage the sound. Advocates of high resolution audio, including myself, weren't totally wrong. We mistakenly thought the magnitude of difference was huge and the gap could never be narrowed. The PWT opened our eyes to what could be extracted, the DirectStream DAC turned the lights on for what could be rendered, and the upcoming DMP has opened the door to what's possible when extraction and timing are near-perfect. And this discovery of CD's hidden treasures, now uncovered, answers a question that has plagued me since the mid 1980's. Why should CDs not sound as good as their specifications suggest they should? Of course, many of the original CDs and digital recordings still sound bad. They were produced at a time when recording and mastering engineers were just getting comfy with new techniques. But well mastered, well recorded music should sound great once captured on CD - and yet, our experiences through even the best CD transports tells us otherwise. All that has now changed, with the DMP. And I believe the primary reason has been locked away in just how delicate and critical the process of CD extraction and playback is. You can make high percentages of errors in timing and playback of high resolution audio (the PCM kind) and still it will sound excellent. Like leaving out a few key ingredients in an otherwise excellent meal, it still stays wonderful. But lower resolution audio demands perfection, and once achieved, the results can be extraordinary. There's one thing we're leaving out, DSD. And that I'll touch on tomorrow.
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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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