Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest, Brevard and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Inc.

A new transport

I have promised quite a few of you a sneak peek of the upcoming DirectStream Transport (DST).

Though not available until October, it’s perhaps not too early to tell you a few things.

DST has been in the works–skunk works actually–for quite some time. First proposed by DirectStream creator, Ted Smith, who had an idea of how we might build a transport perfect for DirectStream DAC, we partnered with Oppo. From that point forward, our chief engineer, Bob Stadtherr (inventor of the Digital Lens and Power Plants), has been working tirelessly on the new transport.

Bob’s crafted a number of groundbreaking innovations into DST, and I won’t detail them here, but perhaps one of the most outstanding features will be its ability to play SACD directly into DirectStream and DirectStream Junior DACs – something previously impossible. Once connected over I2S, pure DSD from any SACD will fill your room with sound that’s drop dead remarkable. As I have said in the past, if you haven’t had a chance to hear the SACD layer trapped by encryption on your SACDs, and frankly few have, then you really don’t have a clue what’s on them.

When you play an SACD through a DAC, you hear only the CD layer. Because of copyright laws transports aren’t legally permitted to output digital DSD streams from SACD except through an encrypted HDMI connection into a Sony designed chip. The new DST honors the original Sony copyright rules through an encrypted handshake with any DirectStream DAC, but now you’ll be able to hear the magic of DSD through a Ted Smith designed DAC. Finally! My 50 or so SACDs have found their true purpose in life.

Oh, and DST also outputs multi-channel as well as 2-channel. No, it doesn’t do video – this is designed from the ground up as a pure, no compromise, audio transport. It’s also a universal player too, so DVD discs with 192/24 or DSF files, even BluRay all play nice with the new transport. I’ll present full details in the coming months, but if you want to learn more, here’s a video we made of my presentation to the Colorado Audio Society.

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest, Brevard and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Inc.

It’s not better…

How many tweaks and improver gadgets do we buy with the claim of being better? Most of them. But do they really make things “better”? Better than what?

I buy organically grown food whenever I can. It’s more expensive, but it’s better. Better than what?

Let’s face it. Tweaks, improvers, organically grown food aren’t better, they’re less bad. And that turns out to be an important distinction. We don’t get healthier than normal by eating organic food. Instead, organics remove the threat of eating foods grown with pesticides. A very different value equation. One is benign, the other harmful.

An art restoration doesn’t make a painting look better than the day it was painted. The goal is to remove the grit and grime of centuries to restore the original luster and beauty.

A USB Regen, Jitterbug, even a Power Plant AC Regenerator aren’t better, they are less worse. Take power for example. When the AC power is fresh from the AC generator in your city, it’s about as good as it gets: low distortion, quiet, low impedance, regulated. Once it gets out in the world and used by thousands of people, it gets contaminated: higher impedance, distortion and noise, regulation goes down. A Power Plant fixes this and thus, we suggest Power Plants make everything better. But not better than original.

It’s probably more accurate to say these improvers remove that which was inflicted upon the original, restoring it to perfect.

The reason this distinction is important is because, in most cases, we don’t want to start thinking we’re building something that exceeds the original, when the truth is we’re likely restoring it back to pure.