Interesting observations. Was your Wyred DAC2 the most recent version (SE, DSD, with Femto clock) or was it the original version introduced at least 5 years ago?
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If your Datastream was fully broken in you raise an interesting point. Some people believe that DSD is a different sound but not necessarily a better sound. Some would argue that well implemented PCM is superior, obviously these are all individual and subjective opinions. I know your high level system is easily able to sort out the nuances and subtle differences. It makes one wonder regarding DSD how much is hype and marketing vs a true sonic advancement. Time will tell.
There you go again, Coli/ilok, evangelizing your contempt for both the Directstream, and bordering on slander of PS Audio in other forums.
Tell me, does your current system play more than one note?
This sort of statement is all I've ever seen you write.
Most people, when faced with the realization that they might have chosen poorly, accept their losses and move on to the next thing. Not you, though. You continue to bash.
In a sense, you are perpetuating your own "suffering" by continually focusing on YOUR bad decisions. Let it go. Relax. Breathe.
Interestingly, these are the three DACs that have spent time in my system! The Benchmark (Mk. 1, HDR) was detailed and accurate and rock-solid in the bottom end, but after a week its pedigree as a mixing tool came through as an icy clinicality and I sent it back. To my ears, it was all bone and no flesh.
I enjoyed the Wyred DAC2 for a couple of years; it had decent detail retrieval and a warmth that I liked.
But the PWDII is in another league from either, and after a year and a half I am really content with it. Great top-to-bottom extension combined with a slight wetness through the midrange. Plus dynamics and soundstaging that make the W4S seem flat and lifeless. I can see myself keeping this DAC for the better part of a decade.
I had my DSD for about a month and left on 24 hours a day, but not always with a source pushing voltage through it. It may not have gotten fully broken in.
Unfortunately I had another issue that made it a mismatch for my system... I was using it as a pre-amp and was forced to use the high gain setting to get sufficient volume (and still could max it out if playing very loudly). At that setting, the unit had a very high noise floor and hissed badly. [I'm actually shocked this hasn't been raised in the reviews]
I live in Boulder, so I took it over to PS Audio to check out and got another DSD (a demo/testing unit of theirs) while they serviced the unit. Unfortunately it sounded exactly the same; very detailed, amazing imaging, but with a high noise floor, and the same analytic quality that I didn't like about the previous unit.
I missed my old PWD and eventually just bought another used unit to replace the DSD. Perhaps it's a system matching issue, but in my stereo, music just sounds more real out of it.