July, 2015

PS Audio July, 2015 Newsletter

Yale released

Residents of Buena Vista, Colorado, are eager to correct newcomers mistakenly enunciating the town name in proper Spanish. They will proudly tell you it is, instead, “Boona Vista.” But pronunciations aside, their town sits in the shadow of one of Colorado’s most beautiful ‘fourteeners,’ Mount Yale. And that is the name of DirectStream’s latest upgrade.DirectStream is the DAC that keeps on giving and Yale is the latest example of its bounty. Designer Ted Smith has rewritten half of DirectStream’s operational system, lowering noise by 3dB, jitter by an equal amount and the sound of music as romantic and revealing as I have yet heard from any digital device at any price.

Of course there were a handful of bugs and ‘oops’ fixed in the last release, Pikes, but more important are the significant sonic upgrades Yale provides. If you follow the forums you’ll know that Yale Beta has been listened to and talked about for four weeks. In that short span the subject of Yale Beta has been viewed 24,320 times. And today, we launched Yale Final. I’d be surprised if within an even shorter time period an equal number of viewers rushed to the forums to share their opinions of this new DAC.

And I wrote “new DAC” on purpose. DirectStream is the only DAC in the world capable of reinventing itself through programming, that is backed by a design team obsessed enough to do so multiple times a year. Owners enjoy a “shot in the arm” as soon as Ted dreams up new design ideas and the best part, these upgrades are free to owners.

Some groups have all the luck. If you are a DirectStream owner and wish to get the latest improved operating system, click the link below and download Yale. If you’re curious how people like the new sound of DirectStream, click here to view the forums. Have fun!

Download Yale

Bridge II released

The Network Bridge is a plug in board for DirectStream and PerfectWave DACS. Connect an Ethernet cable, touch a track to be played on your iPad or computer and high resolution music sings through your system. We just launched a new model, Bridge II that replaces the original, Bridge I.

Bridge I was early in the development of network audio, one of the very first ever released. Bridge I had shortcomings, it did not play gapless and it wasn’t the most stable platform on the planet, but it was a true pioneer in the field and provided thousands of hours of pleasure for thousands of users around the world. Bridge II addresses the shortcomings of Bridge I and sounds better by wide margins.

Network audio has been a hot topic on Paul’s Posts for more than a week and I’ve managed to explain NAS and their operation, USB and network audio. I made mention of the superiority of isolation provided by Ethernet connected devices, relative to hard wired products connecting computers directly to DACs. If you’re interested in how and why network audio devices like Bridge II sound better than USB connected computers, I would encourage you to read what I have written. We’ll write more as time goes on.

In the United States as well as many other countries, we will be accepting Bridge I in trade for Bridge II. if you’re in the US you can go here to order your Bridge II and arrange the trade today. Outside the US, please contact your dealer or distributor for details.

Bridge II information

BHK amps shipping

For those anxious for BHK amplifiers to ship, it’s time to smile. Both stereo 250s and Mono 300s are shipping out this week.

Our supplier problems are fixed, the units are working great and July marks the release of many amps on the way to lucky customers. Thanks to both our engineering and production teams for going the extra mile to get these wonderful amplifiers perfect and into the hands of customers.

Danny, Isaac and Tim are pictured next to a stack scheduled to head out to Australia and behind them, another load going to Europe. This product is nothing short of amazing, the best amplifier I, and likely you, will have ever had the pleasure to hear music through.

Read about the BHK

Vinyl’s back.. almost

Ken Oppenheimer, a Newsletter reader, sent me a link to a Wall Street Journal article entitled Vinyl is back but not the Goody Old Days (referring to Sam Goody stores).  My favorite quote from the article:

“The New Yorker magazine on May 25 commented on the resurgent popularity of vinyl records with a cartoon: A man shows off his large stereo collection and all the equipment necessary to play the records faithfully, captioned: “The two things that really drew me to vinyl were the expense and the inconvenience.”

Read the article

Skeptics

Arthur Schlesinger Jr. was both a historian and intellectual. One of his most quotable phrases was, “self righteousness in retrospect is both easy and cheap.” It’s tempting to be an armchair quarterback or think that conspiracies and evil plots lurk around corners when the truth is far different.

Whenever we announce a new firmware upgrade there are cries of ‘foul!’ that we are only painting lipstick on our pig, not furthering the state of the art in digital sound reproduction as we claim. We further compound our critic’s frustration and anger by giving upgrades for free. “Who does that? Surely there’s something sinister afoot.”

We release firmware upgrades for the same reasons computer companies upgrade operating systems: fix bugs and make improvements reflecting our greater experience and knowledge.

In tomorrow’s Paul’s Post I shall have plenty to say on the subject.

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Streaming turntables

“It hasn’t been a quiet week in Newnan. We are having the house renovated. It’s noisy by day, cluttered by night. On the plus side, we are using the upheaval to get rid of years of accumulated junk. But we’ve also decided to forgo summer excursions and adventures, the better to take care of renovations, trash removal, and all the details that go with the onset of the Golden Years.

As if all that hadn’t Moved My Cheese enough, I’ve also chosen the summer to break in the first turntable I’ve owned in at least twenty years. Today, though, the subject is streaming. I’m finally trying out Naxos’ new streaming classical-music service, ClassicsOnline HD*LL. Reviewers were offered a free audition earlier this year, when I was too busy. Now I’ve signed on. Once the trial period is over I’ll probably even continue my subscription. My experience so far has been quite positive in spite of the bugs described below. You could say I’ve bought the review sample.”

Our resident musicologist, Lawrence Schenbeck, writes about streaming from a great classical music service, one that I too enjoy.

Read the article

Till next month

Thanks for reading the newsletter! I hope you are enjoying your summer and I’ll write again next month.

Paul McGowan