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Thread: New PS Audio software update coming tomorrow...

  1. #1
    Addicted to Best! Lee's Avatar
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    New PS Audio software update coming tomorrow...

    Paul McGowan just announced a new DirectStream DAC upgrade called RedCloud that will be available tomorrow.

    Here is his email form this morning:

    The audition
    Yesterday and today are reserved for the audition process.

    Engineer Darren Myer and I began in Music Room One at about 10 AM, yesterday, with 20 slight variations of code for Red Cloud, the next Ted Smith upgrade miracle of lowered noise and jitter and significantly better sound quality for DirectStream DACS. It’s an arduous process, culling out the weak versions, focusing on the strong ones, until a clear winner has emerged.

    A clear winner for DirectStream has emerged and Red Cloud is coming Friday.

    Of course, the audition began with the DAC’s current software version, Huron, to establish our reference. The first track was Vivaldi: Concerto For Violin, Strings, And Harpsichord In G Minor, R. 331 – 1. Allegro on the Archiv label with the Venice Baroque Orchestra. This is a tough piece to reproduce properly and one of our torture challenges. In its opening refrain, the ensemble’s in full swing and you feel like it should be powerful, but it sounds rather meek before lowering in intensity. We can hear the harpsichord tinkling in the background, but just barely. The sonic performance is respectable—if not a smidge cluttered and compressed sounding—something we thought to be the recording itself. Wrong. Holy sh*t. With Red Cloud, it’s a 10-seconder (an in-house term when the change is so apparent it takes only a few seconds to hear it). Weight, authority, and anxious intensity where with Huron there was complacency—laid back like Vivaldi can sometimes be on poor recordings but never in person.

    Within seconds of Red Cloud playing both Darren and I turned to each and uttered the same profanity at the same time. Darren insisted we immediately go back to Huron, so big the differences that neither of us could believe it was the same recording. With Huron it sounds as if half the instruments are missing and the confusion is back. Upgrade to Red Cloud and instantly the clutter’s gone, the violin of Giuliano Carmignola now rich with rosin and full with body—and the small ensemble led by Andrea Marcon comes alive with an energy unknown to me from this recording. What was once an alright disc now has moved to first place on the short list of reference CDs.

    If I had just laid out $50K for a new DAC and heard this change I would pat myself on the back for making a good choice. But this was no new DAC (though you could have fooled us both).

    Then the pièce de résistance, the San Francisco Symphony’s Mahler III. OMG again. The blat of horns was perfect: blaring without a hint of tizz. The orchestra suddenly transformed from great to spectacular: full-bodied, rich, without the slight bloat we now understand Huron to have had. The remarkable depth of the distant orchestra even deeper, beyond the walls of Music Room One. Captivated we could not turn off the music. That piece is nearly an hour in length. We did not move. Could not move.

    Tomorrow we’ll repeat the audition process for DirectStream Junior.

    On Friday we will launch the biggest DAC upgrade in the history of DirectStream and DSJ—elevating these remarkable DACS to even higher levels than thought possible—just in time for the weekend.

    For free.

    And there’s new Bridge firmware too. We’ve added Spotify Connect (more on that tomorrow), VTuner, Quboz (the European based high-resolution streaming service), and the latest ROON version so users can play MQA encoded files using ROON.

    For free.

    My apologies to non-DirectStream owners who won’t be enjoying their new DACS and services over this weekend (though we’ll buy your existing DAC back at full retail if you’re so inclined to upgrade).
    Writer, Part-Time Audiophile

    Tape Revox A77 Mark III
    Digital PS Audio Memory Player and DirectStream DAC
    Analog VPI Scoutmaster, Paua II, Audio Research Ref Phono 2
    Amplification Audio Research Ref 5SE & Audio Research VT100 with KT120s/Mundorf EVO
    Speakers Wilson Alexia 2
    Cables Synergistic Research Galileo and Atmosphere UEF Level 4, Furutech Silver Arrow II phono
    Power Conditioning Synergistic PowerCell 12 UEF SE, Shunyata Denali
    Recording AKG 414 BULS mics, Sound Devices 722

  2. #2
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    Update done today with my DSJr Dac.
    Had some difficulties, as I had to go back to Yale version, before to upgrade (it seems it was the same for many other PSA owners)

    I can confirm there’s better separation, more organic sound, vocals are more vivid...I don’t know if my Dac is worth a $50000 device, though, even if the improvement is quite evident.
    The fact is PSAudio gives their customers a great service, and all for free with their FGPA devices...happy DSJr owner here

  3. #3
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! rockitman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the heads up.
    Christian

    System Gear

  4. #4
    Chord Dave comparison anyone?

  5. #5
    Addicted to Best! Lee's Avatar
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    Here is a quick review I did on the new update.

    https://parttimeaudiophile.com/2017/...ectstream-dac/
    Writer, Part-Time Audiophile

    Tape Revox A77 Mark III
    Digital PS Audio Memory Player and DirectStream DAC
    Analog VPI Scoutmaster, Paua II, Audio Research Ref Phono 2
    Amplification Audio Research Ref 5SE & Audio Research VT100 with KT120s/Mundorf EVO
    Speakers Wilson Alexia 2
    Cables Synergistic Research Galileo and Atmosphere UEF Level 4, Furutech Silver Arrow II phono
    Power Conditioning Synergistic PowerCell 12 UEF SE, Shunyata Denali
    Recording AKG 414 BULS mics, Sound Devices 722

  6. #6
    Addicted to Best! Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hifi Boy View Post
    Chord Dave comparison anyone?
    I wish I had one to compare with. It's been difficult just to procure a Hugo 2 for review which should arrive soon.
    Writer, Part-Time Audiophile

    Tape Revox A77 Mark III
    Digital PS Audio Memory Player and DirectStream DAC
    Analog VPI Scoutmaster, Paua II, Audio Research Ref Phono 2
    Amplification Audio Research Ref 5SE & Audio Research VT100 with KT120s/Mundorf EVO
    Speakers Wilson Alexia 2
    Cables Synergistic Research Galileo and Atmosphere UEF Level 4, Furutech Silver Arrow II phono
    Power Conditioning Synergistic PowerCell 12 UEF SE, Shunyata Denali
    Recording AKG 414 BULS mics, Sound Devices 722

  7. #7
    Nice review you got there. Seems like lowering the noise floor really did the trick and DirectStream sounds better than ever because of it. Mainly in the perception of the environment where the music is being played. Could this approach have anything to do with Ted's recent attendance of Rob Watts' presentation on how he goes about doing his Chord DACs?

    Because this sense of space is what Rob mostly talks about, oh, and transients!

    In any case, I bought a Hugo 2 recently, and must say I'm quite happy with it!

  8. #8
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    First listening session with Red Cloud. Completely transformed the DAC. This is a massive upgrade, like trading in a $15K ultra high end piece for the $30K model, only difference is the DS is still $6K (list) and the upgrade is free. No hyperbole here. I have had other FW upgraded that were marginal at best, but this one is astounding.

  9. #9
    Member Sponsor Addicted to Best! rockitman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edorr View Post
    First listening session with Red Cloud. Completely transformed the DAC. This is a massive upgrade, like trading in a $15K ultra high end piece for the $30K model, only difference is the DS is still $6K (list) and the upgrade is free. No hyperbole here. I have had other FW upgraded that were marginal at best, but this one is astounding.
    +1
    Christian

    System Gear

  10. #10
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    Another listening session. I am absolutely floored. I have been throwing a small fortune worth of hardware at the sound reproduction problem and what finally transformed my system from merely very good sounding to magical is a free FW upgrade. This version should put the 5 figure DACs out of business.

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