I own the PS Audio DAC with bridge and feel it was one of my better investments. To not get the Bridge interface, in my opinion, is to cheat yourself. And really, why even get this DAC if not for the bridge? I've come to the conclusion that most issues people post about on here and PS Audio's forum are network related. Build a strong infrastructure and be rewarded. This DAC is not cheap, and most likely your amp/pre/speakers aren't either... Invest in gigabit, CAT 6, dedicated server/NAS.
That being said. I use my IMAC connected via wireless N 5GHZ to an Airport Express downstairs, which is then fed to the DAC using CAT5e... I can stream 24bit 192 AIFF files without any issues for hours on end. I would say two times a week, I may get a song that pauses during playback or Elyric freezes. No biggie, I hit play and it continues.
These drawbacks are nothing compared to having to get up, eject a disc, walk to my cabinet, find the case, decide on the single CD I want, walk back to the cd play, etc, etc.
Being able to create playlists spanning 10 different albums, some 24bit, some 16. It just doesn't get any better imho.
Have the Bridge and have very few issues with it, Only one being that the screen on the DAC garbles up from time to other, only way to fix is to reset DAC by unplugging. I have the original DAC not mk2, may be fixed with that - ask PS Audio.
Thanks for the responce Rtilbury. Being that I am very computer illiterate, I don't understand what N 5ghz or cat5e, or airport express is. This is one of the reasons I have not gone to computer audio yet, but like you said it is much more convenient once setup, I guess I have a lot to learn still Kent
Kedoades, if you are computer/network illiterate, changes are you will have issues getting the bridge up and running. It is worth the effort, but getting a technically more savvy buddie over to help out may be a good idea.
Do you even have a home computer network? If so, do you have a network connection close to the physical location where the DAC will be located?
I agree with Edorr's suggestion of getting help from a friend who is comfortable with home networks (assigning IP, protocols, DNS). I luckily work in the IT field and was very familiar with all parts of the setup. However, I did want a very simple solution that did no include drilling holes in my wall for wiring. That is where the Apple airport express came in. It is so very simple to setup, especially with the iMac/iPad/iPod. It basically created a wireless bridge from my iMac to the PerfectWave. I've never had to touch the device since initial setup, not even to reboot.
I don't have a computer at home right now, I think I might just get a media player because I don't have the time or patience to tinker with a computer all day, I just want to listen to the music, thanks
Depending on what level sound quality you are aiming for your best bet may be to look at a turnkey server with build in DAC, such as Olive, unless you don't mind spinning discs.
The Bridge is by far the best part of the PWD and PWDII. You can easily establish a simple home network by purchasing a very modestly-prized WiFi router from Walmart or Best Buy. Next, you could purchase a simple Netbook (again, modestly-priced from either of the aforementioned retailers) to use as a dedicated server. Your ability to access this forum indicates that you could access Google to gain all the information you need to set up an effective server. You can also post your questions here and we will help you...
get the bridge. i was a neanderthal when it can to anything computers. yes...i had some issue's during setup but all were merely "speed-bumps". still got to the promised land.
yet to hear anything better streaming.
again...get the bridge
In the interest of full disclosure. There have been reports of reasonably intelligent people with basic computer skills, throwing in the towel in despair trying to get the bridge to work (I personally know one). There is some element of randomness involved in how much it will take to get it up and running. One personal experience (negative or positive) is no guideline for what any particular new user can expect to encounter.
I think I am going to get the bridge along with the ps audio dac. What would be a good netbook and wi fi router to purchase, thanks
I believe a netbook has no disc drive. You will need a drive to rip CDs. Get a laptop. Best to check computeraudiophile for advice on computer/storage/networking hardware in an music system application.
Good point Edorr. Netbooks do not have disc drives. Since I already have multiple computers, the Netbook was a very affordable solution to be used as a dedicated server. Kedoades will definitely need a drive for ripping his CDs. Of course laptops are more expensive than Netbooks, but you can still find some pretty good deals. Also, the laptop will allow you more RAM.
I have a budget of about 4 grand. I can get the ps audio with bridge used for about 2900, thats leaves just over 1 grand for computer wi fi router, and cables, if you guys can stir me in the right direction as to drive for cd ripping and cables wi fi router ect. that would be helpful. Also, what is the best way to get my music from cd's to the computer, software? Sorry for all the questions, and thanks for all your help
Is there a Best Buy in your area? If so, go there and tell one of the sales reps (typically, theyre pretty knowledgeable) what you're trying to do
1) Ask to look at Netgear routers, which are are pretty good and, for what you need, can be had for around $100.00.
2) There are a host of laptops available at Best Buy in the $400-450-range. Youll want to have at least three-Gigs of RAM and a decent processor (talk to the sales rep)
3) Youll need an external hard drive (maybe 1-2TB depending on the quantity of music youll be saving to files) - $100-range
4) Cat-6 (or Cat-7) cable (Ethernet cable) from your router to the Bridge = cheap say around $40
5) EAC (Exact Audio Copy) free software for ripping your CDs = Free download
So far, youre in for less than $700! You can put more into the laptop if you prefer...
I forgot to add something to the list. You'll need a control point (literally, something to control your Bridge-based music server with). With the money left over, you should purchase something like an iTouch (if you're going to dedicate it to your music server, you can very easily get by with only 8 Gigs - the least expensive - although, you can get a new one with 16 Gigs for around $200). Next, you can download the free controller software from PS Audio ("eLyric" - which is actually an app available via the iTunes App store).
1) You need a router (WiFi) for your network.
2) you need a server (which is server software that you download on your new laptop - there are many, but PS Audio's EMM is free and sufficient for the time being ...visit the PS Audio forum to learn more).
3) You need a control point (which is the free controller app and the iTouch I spoke of above)
4) you need a renderer (which is the Bridge).
Connect the Bridge to the WiFi Router via Ethernet cable (Cat-6 or cat-7) / sink up the control point (your iTouch with the free eLyric app) to your WiFi network / load the server software to you lap top and point it to your external hard drive / rip your Cds via the free EAC software that you'll download from the internet onto your new laptop...
2chnlben, it is people like you that make audiogon a great place to learn and try new things, I thank you and everyone else so much for the help, and I will probably have more questions in the future, I can't wait to one day have all my disc (about 300 of them) ripped and easy to access, thanks again
No problem Kedoades...
Just about everyone who frequents this forum is happy to help out a fellow audiophile.
Remember that much of the necessary software is accessible free from the internet: "Ps Audio eLyric controller app" / "EAC software for ripping" / "PS Audio eLyric Music Manager (EMM)" for serving the files between the control point to the Bridge" / and even a free "FLAC frontend" for converting your CDs to FLAC files during the ripping process.
You'll ask questions...you'll get answers...you'll get a little frustrated, but at the same time, you'll have fun interacting with your system (consider it a big tweak)!
To be on the safe side I would stay away from EMM, and buy a copy of JRiver instead. Many users are having issues with EMM response times. You could be lucky and never have an issues, but it is not as robust as JRiver.
Great response but I am confused with your mention of cat-7 cable. I know there is cat-5e and cat-6,maybe I am wrong.
Have a look into Bryston BDP-1 digital player and BDA-1 dac.
Check under Bryston in audiocircle website for lots and lots of info.
"I use my IMAC connected via wireless N 5GHZ to an Airport Express downstairs, which is then fed to the DAC using CAT5e"
How do you setup an AE to feed music via the ethernet port?
I am about to buy a PWD2. I currently use an AE feeding my DAC via optical/toslink cable. I have never heard of running the music through the ethernet port. The AE is notorious for jitter- is this still a problem using your configuration? or is the jitter limited to the optical port?
I have not tried either cat-6 or cat-7 cable. I'm still using cat-5. While it's not intuitive to me, I have read that the newer cat 6 and 7 cables provide better performance. Cat-7 being recommended (be some) as the best solution...