Personally, I think the PTs are over hyped.Off the top of my head I can name at least 10 DACs that I think sound a lot fuller and some even cost less.You 2 other choices are a much wiser investment.
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I have an ECM CD player by Electrocompaniet which for the money or even more money is hard to beat but running it as a transport through the Perpetual tech digital correction engine and its DAC made everything even better - but even better than that was running the transport through the engine and the tube based Kora Hermes DAC - this just gets the sound of my regular CD's to another level of natural sounding music. The Kora is 1500 - use to sell in 1998 for 3795. Save your money and buy some more music.
the p3 is nothing special. i auditioned it for 8 weeks. it had the p1 and mono p/s. i bought a birdland instead at less than half the price....and better sounding. have heard wadia....not my favorite; to analitical for me. have not heard dcs. but wadia is way better than p3....way more expensive too. try auditioning some more gear. i think you will be better satisfied.
I have heard the Wadia (861 and 270 with 27ix) at a dealer in Berkeley CA and the dCS gear at a dealer in San Jose, CA. The dCS won and in my opinion not by a small margin. The dCS gear had more of everything I considered to be important. The highs we more extended. The bass had more weight and the separation between the instruments was more pronounced than the Wadia. Overall tonality sounded better than the Wadia. I purchased the Purcell and Delius and I don't regret it. For what it's worth the PT gear was not even on my "To be auditioned" list. At this level it is more of personal taste than anything else, but to my ears the dCS gear sounded better. But I strongly encourage you to audition both the Wadia and the dCS for yourself. – Dan
I own Electrocompaniet amplification and pre-amplification driving Talon Peregrines. Before I decided to purchase the Perp. Tech. units, I had done quite a bit of evaluating from other manufacturers and decided to go for it with PT gear. I was beyond pleased. If you can afford DCS and Wadia, why not compare all of them in your system, and then try the PT gear last? You can return it within 30 days if you don't like it. I don't know what the other guys heard who have posted here and didn't like the sound, but in my system they sound great. I think system synergy is the key word here, and you'll have to listen for yourself to decide. The PT units may be "Match Boxes", but they sure have lit a fire in the audio world, and as anyone who has been in this hobby long enough will tell you, that still takes some doing!
Good luck in your search.
In a direct comparison (at the same dealer, with the same associated equipment, etc.) a Wadia 860x compared favorably, in some cases exceeding, a DCS Delius+Purcell.
Wadia 860x is less expensive, especially when you consider that you only have to buy 1, not 2, expensive power cords, and 1 less interconnect.
Dan, from above, ad a different opinion, which I understand, but I'm curious if the associated gear in his test was the same (speakers, cables, etc.)?
I echo his advice, both DCS and Wadia make fabulous products, they just go at it a different way. One box player, gof or the Wadia 861 and don't look back. Two piece rig, then test the DCS stuff vs to 270+27ix.
Just my two cents...
A few people make the mistake of placing their little PT boxes on top of one of their components. If there is enough EMF emanating from the component, the sound quality from the PT units can be severely degraded, particularly the P-3A. The solution is very simple, merely move it away from the offending component. I myself thought I made a mistake buying the P-3A until I moved it from the top of my preamp. Music dynamics were severely constricted until I made the move.
I have to disagree with the "overhyped" sentiment, especially without knowing how well the reviewer paid attention to EMF effects. (Yes it's hyped like any other high-end piece, but I think it's no more overhyped than any other.) I'm even more skeptical when the reviewer fails to elaborate on what made the P-3A inferior.
Listen to the P-3A yourself (with my EMF caveat) and make your own decision. PT has enough confidence to offer a 30 day return policy.
Yes you are of course you are correct and I apologize if I came off anti-Wadia. I don't remember the exact configuration when I listened to the Wadia gear. But the dCS was in a rig with almost the same equipment I was "planning" to have at home. I am guilty of not doing a home audition as I was making radical changes to my system and was looking for a piece that would serve as the heart of the system. Given that requirement the dCS gear left a more "favorable" impression on me in sound and function. Again it had more of what I considered important.
Both companies make really great stuff and you really can’t go wrong with either one.
I've had them all. 861X, Perp Tech. and DCS. My guess is that the assoc. gear is the issue here. In my opinion, the dcs gear is in a class by itself along with the Wadia separates. The up-sampler is the ticket(P1-A) for the Perp Tech. My vote would be for a Perp Tech. P-1-A with a better dac capable of 24-96. Actually, a Camelot Uther MarkII with 24-192 upsampling built in and a 4 volt output with volume control (Skip the pre-amp) is the low cost ticket. Much better power supplies. I've seen them used for 2500.00. Good luck