PS Audio PerfectWave DAC Upgrade

Paul McGowan has leaked some information about a major upgrade the perfectwave DAC that will be coming out within the next few weeks. Pricing as of yet unknown, but current units will be field (DIY) upgradable.

Apparently, major changes were made to the digital processing board, involving changes in the powersupplies, and replacement of CMOS switching for the gates and clocking with analog switches.

Second, new jitter reducing circuitry called NativeX was implemented.

There are more as of yet unannounced new features.

Apparently, SQ on all inputs will benefit, including the bridge. Exciting stuff.
just read the posts on the psa site. he also made mention of a reduced upgrade price for "early adapters"....which is extra cool imho.

i really like how psa does business. their discussion forums are a great example of how open and transparent they are as a company. Paul and his crew put up with alot of negative comments that many mfg forums would delete in a heart beat. hats off the folks at psa. great product and customer service.can't wait to get the upgrades as they sound fantastic.

glad i got on board early.
Very cool indeed, but I hate waiting. I hope this "early announcement" isn't too early. I'll be disappointed if I can't get the upgrade by the end of the year...
Have you guys heard anymore about the upgrade to the PWD since these posts? I hope the cost is low to do the upgrades.
The upgrade will cost $1,000, $800 for early adopters. It looks like they will be shipped after New Years.

Details will be available in the PS Audio newsletter.

For anyone thinking that's too much, Paul McGowan says he wishes he could sell it for $500 but that's just not possible.
I don't hold my breath based on anything McGowan says. A DL2 was promised back in '97. He took a poll on his site as whether buyer's would like something else. A bunch of idiots responded and the product was killed.

He came back with the same BS two years ago and said it would be ready this year. More idiots wanted USB support and PSA had trouble figuring on implementation. Now, the DL2 has been cancelled once again for some other BS product. I don't have time for this kind of rubbish.

Why do we need an audio product that works with the cloud? Why'd the produce an UPS only to take it off the market shortly thereafter? Why offer an outlet with a nickel coating, tout it as the best, produce a gold-plated version, cancel both products and then offer two multi-kilo Power Plants with the inferior outlet?
Tab: you might want to believe this one as it just went on sale this morning and is available for pre-order. mid or late december deliver is what's expected. hope this isn't what you're referring to as a BS product as it looks very promising. just ordered my upgrade and can't wait to get it.

btw...many psa products are being discontinued. they are focusing on a fewer number of core products. since i'm not sure what products you're calling "BS", all i can say is you're wrong *if* you are referring to the pwd and pwt.
"Now, the DL2 has been cancelled once again for some other BS product. I don't have time for this kind of rubbish."

The some other BS product you are referring to is actually an implementation of the "lens" technology on a board, available as upgrade to the PWD. A far more cost effective implementation. The upshot is of course the whole lens project will get killed. Just get the PWD MkII. Must be painful for the very few that have been waiting for a lens MkII for 15 years.... All others are elated.

"Why do we need an audio product that works with the cloud?"

I presume by the "cloud" you mean your home network. The anser is because network streaming has some big usability advantages over USB. Of course, networking opens up a big can worms, which is why the project has had significant hichups. They should have offered an asynchronous USB option from the outset. The new "BS product" offers exactly this. Better late than never.

"Why offer an outlet with a nickel coating, tout it as the best, produce a gold-plated version, cancel both products and then offer two multi-kilo Power Plants with the inferior outlet?"

Who cares about the outlet. I'd be interested in a double blind test between units with nickel outlets and gold-plated outlets. The new powerplant products are miles ahead of the old 300W/600W spaceheater units, which is all that matters.
Mid to late December? I doubt it. If it happens, you can color me shocked. When McGowan speaks, I become bored(pure hoopla, pure disappointment when something rears it's head to slow production down). Hasn't he learned not to put out an announcement until item is ready?
beware what you want, for you may get it.

i have the pwd, and called the company about the upgrade. from what i understand, the upgrade will give you more resolution and greater separation.

this approach seems to be their gestalt for designing most of their products. i have owned many ps audio gear and ever since they introduced their first digital cable , lab cord and other power cords, their subsequent products, have become more resolving and less warm.

i would want to hear the new version before i consider the upgrade, especially, since "cloud" computing is irrelevant to me.
I'm currently just using the I2S through a HDMI. Will the upgrade enhance the PWD when played this way? I have heard $800 for early orders. I wished it was much less, however, if it really enhances the music I can go for it.
Yes the upgrade is supposed to improve sound quality through all inputs. I haven't heard it so I can't promise that it will though.
The analog switching improves all inputs "by desing".

It appears the NativeX dejittering circuit improves SQ on all inputs (including I2S) as well, which comes as a surprise to the engineers and Paul, I presume because there was not supposed to be any jitter left (at least not at audible levels) on these inputs.
MrTennis does have a good point. That is plunking down money before we've heard the new product. I'd hate to lose any of the fine qualities the PWD has. It sounds so musical the way it is. So if I preorder and install, I hope to have a friend over with another PWD so we can compare the two. If the new version does not sound as good, back to PS Audio it goes.

Edorr, where and when have you heard the digital lens ii is being abandoned? That would be a shame. I have not seen this posted on the website. I've been waiting for it for a while. I'm sure they would sell quite a few.
Paul has mentioned it has been put on hold because of changing priorities. I also believe he mentioned that since the lens technology would be largely implemented in the PWD, its target audience would be non PWD users looking for a dejittering device (like the orginal genesis lens). Given this limitation and all the other development priories it is not a big stretch to infere the product will be shelfed indefinitely, but this is pure speculation.
Perused through the PSA forum early this a.m. and discovered why the project has been shelved.

also this:

and this:

Sorry, I've tried doing the markup tag thing and it didn't work.
There is an unconditional 30 day money back for the upgrade, even if you buy at the early adopter price of $800, so if you don't like it you can just send it back. In the absence of a 2nd PWD you are partially dependent on your sonic memory for the A/B comparison. However, the impact of the NativeX dejittering feature can be assessed in real-time because you can switch between native and nativeX mode.
I just figured that as hot an item as the older Digital Lens is, the great number of people who might want to try the bridge technology but with their own DAC, (not the PWD), and that this Lens was supposed to do video as well, would make it a bestseller.
Hey guys, is the PS Audio site down. Every time I try to go there Google refuse with a message stating 'to many redirects' and stops. Any one get a different result? It is about 8:00 central time here.
They cut over to the new site. Keying in works just fine, but the discussion forum is not accessible.
Wow. It was there this morning and a couple of hours ago. Not one word of the change. The Audio Asylum version is still operating and manned by Paul.
The forum is located under "resources", but you have to re-register for access.
Paul had mentioned the new PWD will msrp for $1k more then the original.

Mr Tennis and Sgr both make good points. no way to tell how good it is until it's plugged into your own gear. the return policy helped me get around that. also helping was the fact that many of us have more funds wrapped up in a single pair of ic's then this upgrade will cost. as crazy as this sounds...the thought of noticeable sound improvement for $800 seems cheap right about now lol!.

no doubt some will not like it. am yet to see an audio product everyone agrees on. am looking forward to finding out for myself....soon!!

The $800 upgrade price tag is a real bargain if you consider what it would cost you to trade the MARK I version in for a new MARK II version. With depreciation, you’d be lucky to get off for $1,500 (plus the trade) and likely even closer to $2,000.

I’m very excited about the upgradability of this unit. Since we will necessarily need to open up the hood to do the upgrade, are there any recommendations for additional tweaking? I know the upgrade comes with a new HiFi Tuning fuse, but I wonder if anyone has any thoughts about further “upgrades?” (there are two fuses in the PWD; does the upgrade include one or two fuses?)...
"Why offer an outlet with a nickel coating, tout it as the best, produce a gold-plated version, cancel both products and then offer two multi-kilo Power Plants with the inferior outlet?"

I believe Paul had mentioned in one of the forum posts that the P5 had the Power Ports and the P10 had the Power Port Premier. Is this not the case?
Audio Advisor sends out their periodic advertising supplements. The latest one--I've recycled it already but it came about 4 days ago--said something about this being the last chance to buy the Perfect wave at $2995, because it was shortly due to increase by $1000 in price.
I just realized that with the DL being incorporated into the dac, it won't be possible for a non-PSA source to go I2S.
Is there anybody that already listen to the new upgrade? Or somewhere on a forum anybody talking about the result of the new upgrade?

Is there anybody that already listen to the new upgrade? Or somewhere on a forum anybody talking about the result of the new upgrade?

for those who have ordered the upgrade, what sonic benefits do you expect to achieve ?

i have the pwd, and i am concerned that the upgrade will increase resolution, which i feel it is not lacking. i use the pwt with the dac, via hdmi.

i have tried other digital interfaces and consider the hdmi mode the warmest of all. yet, the combination is not tube like at all. i prefer my audionte , a 1992 cd player.

i don't think the pwd needs and more resolution, dynamics, lowering of the noise floor or reduction in inaccuracy. so, what is to be gained by upgrading, considering the cost of doing so ?
Mr T, you raise some good points and from your perspective, we will have to wait and see.

The MK II upgrade does add an asynchronous USB path capable of handling up to 24/192. That, while interesting to the computer audiophile, doesn’t mean as much to the dedicated Bridge user, but it is certainly interesting just the same. What is of most interest, is the addition of a new Digital Lens with the “Native X” feature, which will purportedly reduce jitter levels to below 1 pico second.

While reducing (with the goal of eliminating) jitter can never be a bad thing (and in itself, if implemented properly, should not result in a more “digital” sound – as I believe you have some concerns), my concern is that this new lens will have more impact (benefit) on the inputs other than the Bridge (since the Bridge also incorporates a Digital lens). According to Paul McGowan, the new Digital Lens will also benefit the Bridge input (again, we’ll have to wait and see).

According to PS-Audio, additional upgrades and attention have been given to the analog path, with new high speed analog switches replacing the previous saturated logic switches. Additionally, 11 new spot regulators have been added to the circuit layout. Again, according to Paul McGowan, all this new design work is purportedly said to result in a much more analog-like sound than what the MK I version currently provides. And since this would by definition mean “less digital-sounding,” it is here that we PS-A fans and converts put our money – literally.
regarding jitter, i have an interesting experience to report.

several years ago, a friend of mind and i compared commercial cds with the same titles mastered by bmg.

we both heard differences between the two masterings.

the bmg version was less dynamic, less focused, softer, but more listenable, as a slight veil, mitigated the nastiness of some poorly recorded cds.

i preferred the bmg version.

we sent the bmg discs, to chesky, to be analyzed by dick katz, who was, at the time, the recording engineer.

he sent back the discs with a note suggesting that the bmg discs had more jitter.

this experience led to conjecture that more jitter is not always more unpleasant than less jitter.

in addition, when using the term more analogue, it doesn't necessarily mean more tube-like, softer in the treble and less focused.

the term, "digital" may refer to frequency response aberrations, especially in the treble.

in additiopn, as i have said, having followed the evolution of the products of ps audio, they tend to make improvements in the direction of greater resolution and transparency.
an example will illustrate my thesis.

my friend purchased ps audio's first, top-of-the line digital cable (coax), while i purchased the second version, also, top-of-the-line.

when comparing the digital cables, both of us preferred the earlier version, as it was more full bodied and balanced.

while many appreciate such an approach, i am concerned that if i am accurate in my prediction, the upgrade may improve the sound of well-recorded cds but reveal the flaws in poor quality discs.

thus, a trade-off will be created giving the listener some improvements, but perhaps, also including some degradation in sound, depending upon sound quality.

in any case, i have received good advise to wait for reports from those who have acquired and listened to the affects of the upgrade, before considering purchasing thee upgrade.
Well, I hope in the case of the MK II upgrade, that your hypothesis, Mr. T, is not correct. I understand what you are suggesting, but my understanding of jitter is that it typically causes an etched and "tinny-sounding" treble that is often fatiguing due to upper-frequency harshness and often sited as the primary cause of "that digital sound." To me, this has nothing to do with resolution and clarity.

One thing for certain, is that Paul McGowan is an admitted analog guy who still considers good vinyl playback as the standard. He has also said that he prefers the warm "tube-like" sound (when done properly) over even today's typical digital sound. So one can hope that his idea of analog-sounding digital playback is on par with what most audiophiles seek.

It may be marketing hype. Again, we'll have to wait to find out. Certainly though, $800.00 isn't a lot to spend in this hobby and if the outcome is close to what the claims are being made by Mr. McGowan, then it will be money well spent.
Mr. Tennis, basing your purchase decision on an $800 upgrade with a full money back guarantee on "reports" from others, stikes me as misguided. Just get the upgrade, hear for yourself and send it back if you don't like it.