At that price it would have to outperform Ayre QB-9 and what are the chances of that happening?
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The price is actually $3000.
I heard a pre release unit at an audio club 2 months back, but I can't make any meaningful judgments about sound quality from the demo, since the gear and music was unfamiliar.
But based on the quality of their current DAC, I am confident it will be excellent sounding (since the new one is 3X the price and the latest technology. They have also learned things from the modded DLIII's that were being done, to incorporate into the new design.
I do think it can handle any codec except ALC, but Paul McGowan did say the unit's firmware is user upgradable to accept new codecs, as they appear (or become popular) It does flac for example (at various sample rates), and they added Reference Recordings HRX compatibility since I saw the demo.
I don't know if the bridge reclocks, but it will allow the unit to be hooked to a hard drive or network, and browse song titles from there.
I hope that sheds some light on the unit. PS AUdio has a forum on it's site where the discuss the nitty gritty, future features etc.
I believe it'll run $3500 w/ the "bridge" that provides reclocking from what I've read. If it gets rid of the need to have a computer in the equation, I'd probably be interested. I have an MHDT Havana tube dac right now though that I'm pretty happy with though it's fed by a more expensive USB converter. A "one box solution" plus a hard drive might be a better solution in the long run versus a computer/converter/dac scenario. It will be interesting to see this play out over the next 12-18 months.
I have $7,000 worth of hardware to feed my perfectwave MKII over AES/EBU (CAPS 2.0 server, Offramp 5 + powersupply + some cabling).
The reason I need this, is I have a Trinnov processor in front of the DAC that only uses AES/EBU, so I cannot use the bridge if I want to use my Trinnov processor.
If I take out the Trinnov, and compare the straight AES/EBU feed (remember, $7K!), the bridge wins (I tried this). Total cost of digital source is now $500 for a NAS and cheap PC.
Bottom line, the bridge architecture eliminates the need for some very expensive digital source hardware, which makes the PWD MKII + Bridge a killer deal. They can be bought used or demo for less than 3K, which will be some of the best money you'll ever spend on audio.
The ever even-handed Mr. Cordesman writes that the Perfect Wave DACII and Perfect Wave transport come very close to his $35K+ EMM labs XDS1/Soolos reference system and he says that on high res recordings the Perfect Wave is "sometimes better." When you consider what an MKI is going for used right now, it makes a lot of sense to get one and upgrade it to the MKII. Could be one of the best bargains in high end right now. I'm loving mine and I've heard some of the best.
never hurts to have ones own opinion somewhat validated by a professional review. seldom happens with me so i'm enjoying it. have been a psa pwt/pwd fan-boy since release mid 2009. the pair sounded great from day one. then came the bridge which was a little tricky at first.... but has progressed to be a real game changer in pc audio. the mkII hit it out of the park imho. truly incredible sound and still the best digital front end i've ever personally listened to.
have done a few comparo's with friends over the years and most had pricier gear at the time. almost everyone involved in those auditions now own the mkII/bridge or pwt/mkII/bridge. i'm still in love with them after 3 years (which count as dog years in digital audio)
agree with Vhiner above....buying a used pwd and upgrading to bridge and/or mkII is one of the best deals in hi-fi out there. it's a 2k-ish investment that could change your mind about computer audio and digital in general.