The dilemma

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I've been playing with the new transport (DirectStream Memory Player) in Music Room One. Playing a lot. And it's taking a bit of time to wrap my head around this product. Not because I am trying to figure out what I like and don't like, but how in the world the DMP manages to uplift CDs to such a degree—a degree not shared with higher resolution media.

The gap between high resolution audio and CD is narrowed because CDs are gaining major ground, while higher resolution media is only slightly bettered, and that's what I am struggling with.

Yes, of course, we've spent the last 8 years working on how to improve the transport's internal Digital Lens (the PWT was launched in 2009). So improvements—major improvements—would seem natural. But they are not across the board as we would have imagined, and that is what has us rather stumped.

You'd have thought lower jitter, better timing, and all the things we strive for would make all optical discs sound better. And you would be right. But here's the rub. While high resolution audio discs (PCM) sound noticeably better on the DMP than the PWT, they are bettered not to the same degree.

CDs sound as if they have been remastered. High resolution audio sounds like it has been buffed, polished; but still cut from the same lacquer.

And this is the dilemma I am scratching my head over.

Tomorrow I am going to share with you our speculative reason for this, but for today, we're still arguing.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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