PS Audio Direcstream Snowmass Versions


I recently upgraded my PWD MKII to a DSD and while I enjoyed the increase in resolution, details, & soundstaging, I found myself dissatisfied with the midrange presence... just kind of felt like the music was more hollow than I was used to. After a few weeks, I finally started investigating different versions of the firmware.

Much to my surprise, I discovered that the original Snowmass (3.0) had a better midrange and body/tonality than the 3.06 that had come on my unit. I’m now much happier, and am finally enjoying a Tangerine Dream album that I’ve tried unsuccessfully to listen to three times over the past week. Each time I’d just turned it off because it didn’t sound right.

After reading a lot of reviews/comments on the PSA website, I think preferences for the versions boils down to a system synergy issue. If you’ve got a thicker/darker system, you’ll probably prefer the updated 3.06. If your system leans towards bright or thin, then I’d recommend sticking with 3.0.

Very happy I downgraded, as I had started to investigate replacement DACs and think this has stopped my search.
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I agree with you 100%. I also did the PWD MKII to DSD conversion and installed the Snowmass (3.06) upgrade and was less than impressed. I figured it was the DSD hardware needed time to break in, so I gave it a few weeks. The PWD MKII sounded so much better, I thought something in the DSD kit was defective. I called PS Audio and expressed my concerns and dissatisfaction with the sound after the DSD conversion. I was told to download and install the original Snowmass  (3.0). I did so and OMG!!! I could now understand the excitement over the Snowmass DSD. If you are using the Snowmass (3.06) , and are unhappy with the sound,  I suggest you download and install Snowmass (3.0) and have a listen. The difference is NOT minor! I'm done with my search for another DAC. 
@radman707 Nice to get confirmation that my ears aren't crazy.  It's really a different sounding firmware.  And interesting that if you read threads on PSA, you see plenty of people who feel the 3.06 upgrade is amazing... definitely a system synergy issue.  
This is very reason that I don't know if it's worth paying for new hardware in the future.  I am an electrical engineer and seeing how software can make dramatic audible differences on the same software, are we really paying for a new equipment or a new version of software.  It's a great way to make money for company but I feel like being cheated as an audiophile.
My understanding is there is another upcoming release on the horizon.

ozzy
For what it's worth, I ended up selling the DSD and going back to the Perfect Wave DAC. In the end, I just became convinced that the DSD didn't "sound right".  The PWD was more natural sounding. 

Currently trying out a Audio Mirror Tubadour.  I kept it past the demo period as it removed some harshness that was present in the PWD.  Thinking about pitting it against a few other demos too...