|I installed my PS Audio bridge friday, had a firmware upgrade hickup that prevented me from using it until monday morning, but have now been up and running for three days. First impressions:|
Stability, ease of configuration: Having had some nightmarish experiences trying to getting iTunes, J River, Media Monkey and Windows Media Center set up to share a library on a network from two PCs, and controlling remotely from an iPhone app, and playing over USB, I was prepared for the worse with PS audio's first batch post beta testing. Very pleasant surprise, their architecture designed around the network is inherently far superior and works better than any of the other mentioned music servers IF YOU USE THE RIGHT UPNP SERVER WHICH IS ASSETTUPNP. Apparently the Netgear ReadyNAS also works very well.
Ease of use once up and running: For a first production release the TagNPlay controller app is a delight. You need to use it with the right UPNP server though or you will have limited functionality. I use MediaMonkey to maintain my library (tagging organizing and adding new music) from the PC, and TagNPlay to control the library in listening mode. Works perfect and could not be happier. Supposedly things will get better still when PS audio release its own UPNP server.
Sound Quality: Compared with using the Marantz ud9004 as a tranport over S/PDIF this is a toss up. Anticipating the bridge would take things to PerfectWave transport over I2S level this was a bit of a disappointment, but thenagains - may be the UD9004 is very close to the PWT. Other possibility is I am tonedeaf. Some music I hear a bit more depth and note decay on the bridge, but it is subtle enough I don't think I would be able to pick a winner in a double blind A/B test.
Overall: The bridge give me the convenience of having my collection at my fingertips for the cost of the AC cable on my ud9004. Throw in ability to play high rez and the bridge is an absolute winner. Sure would have been nice to say it trounced the ud9004 sonically, but in all honesty it does not. I find myself listening to favorite tracks I have not been listening to for years. Next thing I will do is create personal virtual "best off" compilation albums and store them in my library.