August 2014

 

Almost killed me

I’ve mentioned before that summer always finds Terri and I on some hike amongst the streams and wildflowers abundant in Colorado. This time the hike nearly killed me.

Terri decided we were going to tackle a big one: a very famous hike starting in Aspen Colorado and 11 miles and 4,000 vertical feet later, ending up in Crested Butte. Most people complete the hike in 6 hours, it took us 8 and I thought it was going to kill me. I had contracted a pretty severe chest cold the day before we left. We finally made it and credit card camped at a Crested Butte hotel for a couple of days, then hiked back to Aspen. The last two miles were super hard, despite being all downhill.

But! Check out the picture I took of the wildflowers. Not bad for an iPhone. Never have I enjoyed the scenery on any hike I’ve ever taken as I did on this hike. So, what’s the saying about taking the bitter with the sweet?

Three new reviews

This month was an awesome month for DirectStream reviews. We got three and one even got the cover of Stereophile as you can see in the attached picture.

The September issues of both Stereophile and The Absolute Sound have great reviews of one of the most talked about DACs ever, DirectStream.

Vade Forrester in TAS wrote: “DirectStream’s easily the best DAC I’ve heard in my system, making digitally-recorded music sound better than I’ve ever heard it. Bravo Ted and Paul!

You can download the full Absolute Sound Review by clicking this link.

Art Dudley writes: “for those that who’ve waited for a computer friendly DAC that offers, with every type of music file, the best musicality of which DSD is capable, the PerfectWave DirectStream may be in a class by itself.” You can read the review here.

David Robinson of Positive Feedback Magazine wrote: “I can tell you, this bloody DAC, DSD to the fore, is a real killer. Flat-out, stone-cold, and damn-straight.” You can read David’s entire review by click this link.

Mastering Magic

The artists who make, record and master the music we listen to are every bit as important as those who design and build the playback equipment we use to listen to it in our homes. Maybe even more so.

We reached out to several of these amazing people: Gus Skinnas, of the Super Audio Center Studios, and Cookie Marenco of Blue Coast Records are two fine examples: both loving their DirectStream DACs and using them as their references.

And recently another. The master of mastering himself, Steve Hoffman. Steve has mastered music for just about every major artist you have ever heard of and I would bet every one of us has at least one of his mastered tracks in our libraries, if not many, many more.

We sent Steve a DirectStream for his reference DAC as well and here’s what he wrote: “the illusion of life is amazing with this set up. It’s truly the best in this regard I’ve heard in my house. The sound is effortless, natural, dynamic, has the best ambiance retrieval I’ve experienced here. I had no idea that CD’s could have this much stuff missing on most other digital front ends. The PS Audio digs up the missing chunks of time and space to complete the illusion of real musicians in a real space.”

When the people making the music fall in love with your creations you know you’re on the right track. You can read the entire thread on DirectStream on Steve’s blog by clicking on this link.

Power Amplifier Update

I am pretty excited to finally be getting close with the new PerfectWave Power Amplifier (PWA). You can see a picture of it here. This project has been one of the most difficult in my over forty years with the company. We’ve already fully developed and then rejected the designs for two prior versions of this amp.

In the end I threw in the towel. I simply had to admit I didn’t have the design chops to build what we wanted. And what we wanted is to build the best sounding power amplifier ever made. No small task. We’re not there yet but the path is clear and we’re getting closer on a daily basis. What did we do differently? We partnered with one of the best analog designers in the world, Bascom King.

The amp will be Class A/B with a Vacuum tube front end and all MOSFET outputs. 250 watts per channel into 8 Ohms, twice that into 4 Ohms. You can read a more detailed description by clicking on this link.

Kits back in stock

It’s been quite a long time without stock of either DirectStreams or DirectStream kits being available. So I am delighted to let PWD owners know that the DirectStream kits that converts either your MKI or MKII PWD to the DirectStream DAC are now in stock again. If you’re interested in upgrading to this world renowned DAC, you can click this link to order your kit or you can contact your dealer or distributor.

And just a reminder that if you’re not completely sure if you want to install the kit yourself, we provide a full upgrade service and are happy to do it for you. The installs are quite easy, but not for everyone. Just let us know.

Greatest record collection ever

In a recent Paul’s Post entitled Obsession, I brought to my reader’s attention perhaps the world’s largest record collection that’s growing by leaps and bounds. I wanted to share that same story with our Newsletter readers.

The story is about a seriously obsessed Brazilian who is attempting to collect all the Vinyl in the World. So if you value your vinyl collection, be careful, this guy might be after it!

You can read this crazy story by clicking this link.

Steely Dan

“Most bands and musical artists are fairly easy to categorize neatly into specific musical genres. There are others that are just the opposite. Take Steely Dan for instance. Are they rock, jazz, soul, blues, r&b and pop? In my humble opinion, all of the above with a heavy jazz influence.”

Many of us have Steely Dan collections of music in our libraries. I remember some of the first work Stan and I did when we built PS Audio back in the 1970’s was to Pretzel Logic, their iconic album.

Jazz writer Keith Copeland shares with us the history and music of one of the most loved bands of all times. You can click here to enjoy.

Anatomy of a Bach Contata

“No doubt about it, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) was a giant. Later musicians stood in awe of his achievements as a master of counterpoint, a consummate craftsman, also (if less often) as an early standard-bearer for Innigkeit, i.e., intimately held emotional truths. Beethoven and Schumann studied his keyboard music. Mozart copied out one of his motets to get a better sense of its structure. Mendelssohn revived the Matthew Passion for Leipzig audiences in 1829, more or less setting off the 19th century’s “Bach revival.

Classical writer Lawrence Schenbeck shares with us the history and music of Johann Sebastian Bach. You can click here to enjoy.

Until September

September’s newsletter will have some great new articles, Paul’s Posts and fun, interesting items hopefully you can enjoy.

Have fun and see you next month!

Paul McGowan