September, 2019





Scale Windom Peak

The PS Audio DirectStream and DirectStream Junior DACs are unique. They are the world’s only DACs upgraded—rebuilt and improved—for free, via software. Every few months we’re giving owners a new DAC.

While traditional DACs rely on fixed architecture integrated circuits, and cannot be upgraded via software, the DirectStream series fundamentally change the way we think of Digital to Analog Converters. DirectStreams are built around field-programmable architecture and, while they’re certainly not the only FPGA based DACs, they are the only ones with new and improved sonic performance offered free to their owners.

DirectStream’s last upgrade, Snowmass, was a major step forward in sonic performance. And within a few days, we will climb to even higher peak performance with the introduction of Windom. Windom is perhaps the single biggest upgrade to DirectStreams yet.

One of my favorite audition tracks is by the late Leonard Cohen from his Ten New Songs album, with harmonies (and songwriting credits) by singer Sharon Robinson. The track, Alexandra Leaving, is based on a poem by Constantine P. Cavafy, The God Abandons Antony. This is a track I have listened to hundreds of times. To say I know it well is an understatement.

Listening on Snowmass it sounds great. Both Cohen and Robinson are in synch and harmonizing as a pair. Switch to Windom and suddenly it’s as if the track had been remastered on better equipment. Now it is clear Robinson is either on a separate microphone or separately enhanced with reverb of her own (or maybe even done at a different time). Clear and distinct are the two singers where before, and on every other DAC and system I have auditioned, it sounds great but it’s not right.

Windom gets it right. And tonal balance? Holy Maloney. Rich, full, and right. Wowsers.

If you’re a DirectStream owner, hold on to your hat. Your DAC just took a huge leap past every other DAC in the market.

And for free.

And for those who aren’t DirectStream owners, well…just a little jab. It’s great to get a new DAC every few months or so.

Windom launches Wednesday, October 2nd. Audiophile Day.



Audiophile Day

We’ve got national holidays for mom and dad, moles, beer, football, comic books, opening day, and…wait for it.

Audiophile Day! It’s about damned time.

We need a day, right? Ted Smith’s lovely wife Sharyl has officially registered October 2nd as Audiophile Day and we are delighted. It’s a day to celebrate what we all love, what the Hi-Fi Family enjoys, music reproduced perfectly in the home.

And to help celebrate this special day, we’re launching Windom, the free DirectStream upgrade. There will be a fun video of me and Ted high atop a mountain discussing Windom, DACs, and audio, and we get a glimpse of the much-feared Digital Yeti.

If you are a DirectStream or DirectStream Junior owner, get ready. Windom’s coming on Audiophile Day and it is by far the biggest and best upgrade yet. These two DACs take a giant leap forward on this day, just as it should be.

It’s free from your Hi-Fi Family.

Enjoy!



Copper Magazine

“In 1968, there were 3 custom instruments made by Guild for the Grateful Dead. This is an arch-top, built for Phil Lesh. The neck is a 3-piece running straight through the body, not touching the top or back until the butt of the instrument, where the bridge is sunk into it. I used to think this was Bear’s idea (hence it appearing in the Guild Guitars book as a fact) but Mark Dronge tells me it was his idea, discussed in a limo ride from NYC to NJ w/Phil, Jerry Garcia, and Bob Weir.

Phil eventually discovered that he couldn’t use the bass, for some reason — maybe he didn’t relate to fretless -– I don’t really know. It sat at Alembic on Brady St. til ’73 being used as a test bed for different electronic ideas. According to Ron Wickersham in Blair Jackson’s book Grateful Dead Gear, this was the first active bass.

I was in love/lust, my jaw hanging. I asked about it to anyone there. A nice guy named Sparky Razine tells me it belonged to his boss and he believed it was for sale. I asked, “Who’s your boss?” He said, “Phil Lesh.” And I was thinking “Oh, @#%$. Well, that’s that.”

Read the story of the Phil Lesh Guitar.

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Best in show

The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, RMAF, was a real hoot and we loved the new venue. Our room was a joy and there was standing room only for most days.

One of the many highlights of the show was when TAS Editor Robert Harley came in for a listen and stayed for quite some time enjoying our system and the new AN3 loudspeakers.

In his show report, he wrote: “PS Audio’s new work-in-progress speaker was a knockout, with tremendous transient fidelity, ability to disappear, well-defined bass (the woofer section is powered), and terrific extension at both frequency extremes. All the drivers are blank-sheet designs, with planar-magnetic midrange and tweeter drivers.

It appears that it might be a giant-killer, with a projected price of about $17,000.

The new PS Audio speaker rivaled speakers approaching six figures.”

We were honored.

Read the article



Earth changed forever

“Earth will be changed forever when Amazon introduces high-quality streaming to the masses,” musician Neil Young said in a statement. “This will be the biggest thing to happen in music since the introduction of digital audio 40 years ago.”

Neil’s excitable, to be sure, but in case you hadn’t heard, Amazon is launching a new high-resolution audio streaming service to join the ranks of Tidal and Qobuz.

Audio manufacturers, like PS Audio, are digging deep to see what’s involved in connecting our equipment to this paid service. Stay tuned, it just might get interesting.

Read about Amazon