Quick check in with a listening test - at 175 hours on the DAC (there is a counter) I can say that there is only one DAC I have had here in this league and that is the Rockna Wavedream Signature. I wish I had it here for direct compare.
The description between 150 and 300 hours is "Midrange will start smoothing out and clarity will increase but highs might continue to remain recessed. At this point there will probably no be much change in bass. You will probably wonder how the Playback Designs converter will ever sound like others have described, but we assure your that you will start to hear substantial changes within another week of play"
Okay...unpacking that. Listening this morning....I am not sure how this can get that much better. I will admit, out of the box is sounded like the Weiss 501. But at this point...I am in complete agreement on the best. HOLY CRAP. For this link I am departing from my DAC Shootout thread in that I want every drop of performance I can get. For this, I am running the Playback straight into an AGD Tempo. It is being fed by a Chord 2Go/2Yu/Nucleus+ (K50 still on loan). All ICs and Speaker Cable are Clarus Crimson. The speakers remain Vivid Kaya 45s.
I listened to Miles Davis Kind of Blue on SACD and that is frequently a reference track for me. First thing I noted was that tape hiss or there is just some background noise that is in the recording. It is not there on Dave Brubeck. Never noticed that before. Second, the opening of that has some very detailed picks of the bass and what you hear...well I have never heard before. Went to my local 192k FLAC version and the noise is there and the level of detail remains unprecedented. The SACD might be slightly more detailed but wow.
Jumping into other tracks, Be Still My Beating Heart is wide but not as wide as I recall the Rockna being. But the depth of the central image. I am thinking I am understanding the Edelweiss Name. I started thinking how does this image feel and it is almost like it is spread out like a horn with a bulge between the speakers. If I drew a cross section of it, I think it would look like the cross section of a flower.
There is a massive scale to the Rockna. This doesn't feel massive but there is a depth here in the central image that I have only heard from the Chord Dave. This makes something like the Berg piece feel more intimate.
And he says it is going to get significantly better. The scale of the soundstage is supposed to increase and detail is supposed to improve. Basically, this unit, when fully broken in should offer the scale of a Rockna Wavedream with the depth of image of Chord Dave and be more detailed than either without being bright or sterile. A no compromise DAC at $15k.....
I think I am going to preorder a couple of these for the production run in June.