PS Audio Perfectwave Compared to High End Players

PS Audio claims superior sound on CDs in consequence of new technology. Meridian makes a similar claim for their 808.2 CDP. Other high end manufacturers extoll their own technology. How, sonically, does the PS Audio Perfectwave transport and dac compare to Meridian, dCs, and other high end products in CD reproduction?
Robert Harley just called the new Meridian 802.2 “the most significant product in the history of the Compact Disk.” (TAS August issue). It costs $16,000 ($17,000 for the 802.2i). Considering dCS has one that runs in the neighborhood of $60,000 – for my money, I would rather spend $16,000. Considering the fact that I cannot afford a $16,000 for a CD player, I consider the PWT/PWD series (at only $6000) a bargain. Both PS Audio and Meridian use an Apodising filter system, which is said to illuminate pre-ringing (well beyond the human hearing thresholds).

If you get a chance to read the article/interview with Meridian’s Bob Stuart (TAS August issue) you will read some very interesting information about pre-ringing, which, according to Mr. Stuart, is responsible for the way CDs sound (“the CD sound”). Pre-ringing (timing domain issues) has more to do with this phenomenon than does jitter (according to Mr. Stuart). Apparently, the Apodising filter does a superior job of resolving the pre-ringing issue than other filters.
I can attest to the fact that the PS Audio Perfect Wave combo sounds fantastic – perhaps because of this type of filter. I have not heard anything from dCS, or the Meridian 802.2. But I can’t afford those products any way. If you have the budget, I would suggest that you try to audition the 802.2. TAS has not reviewed the Perfect Wave combo yet. I highly recommend auditioning those devices too.
It seems that Harley made a similar claim recently about the Berkeley Audio DAC. ("It is my outboard converter of choice for both CD and high-resolution sources—regardless of price.") It would be interesting to read some comparisons of the DAC in the PS Audio versus Berkeley, since these are at least a little closer in price (than the Meridian or dCS) and both advertise cutting-edge technology.
can't wait to hear from un-bias (or not so bias) detailed reviewers. i'm enjoying my set but still look forward to hear some detailed comparisons.

hope a few involve comparing the pwt/pwd against another paired set-up. would also like to see how it stacks up with/without I2S against competitors traditional connections. this would help determine if the pwt/pwd or I2S connection is the real hero. just a hunch from my experience, but i think/speculate a good hdmi connection helps alot.

btw....intro special lets you get the pair for 4k. fun little trade in program that's easy to work with.
A friend has the PSA combo and another has the 808.2. The Meridian owner said the 808.2 killed the Spectral CDP which killed the full DCS stack.
I, too, would like to read about the PWD vs. the Berkley.
I have not had the Perfectwave in my system, but I remember it from CES being absolutely stellar. In fact I walked out of the Vandersteen demo, and the PS Audio room was the next one I actually listened in, and it made a huge impression. That's a lot to say, especially since the Vandy demo was on a system that included the Clearaudio Reference turntable with the Goldfinger cartridge on it. About $120k just for the record playing set up.

I had the Berekeley for s short time (about a week) and bought the Bryston to compare. I kept the Bryston, and let the Berkeley go to another buddy (he paid for it), because I thought the Bryston was slightly warmer, which is what I was looking for. In fact, they were very similar, both excellent top and bottom ends, and I like the slight hint warmness from the Bryston.

I would like to hear the Perfectwave in my system....
Macdadtexas: That's interesting you found the Bryston and Berkeley similar overall. Could you elaborate a bit more on how the Bryston sounded "warmer"? There aren't many postings that compare these two units specifically.
I always think of warmer as there being little to no hard glare to the music. It may be a bit more coloration actually, and less clarity, but it sounds fuller, and more analog.

Tubes and High efficiency speakers = warmer: Solid State and electrostats = analytical with greater clarity.
I had the PWT for an extended test and compared it thoroughly to a Forsell Air Reference Mark II transport. I have described my evaluation in another thread here a few weeks ago. The PWT as a transport as compared to the Forsell and both run into high-end dacs (Audio Synthesis and Meridian G68, NOT the PWD) cannot convince me. It does not create a realistic sound signature of acoustic instruments, is less detailed and overall less musical. I have returned it to the manufacturer and will continue with the Forsell 'dinosaur' to enjoy Redbook CD playback.
Rogerwalk, Thank you for your entry here and for the thread you wrote previously. That the Perfect Wave transport is not exceptional when connected to other equipment is an interesting and not unexpected finding. But how does it perform when connected to the Perfect Wave DAC, connected by the recommended HDMI cable? And, for that matter, how does it compare to the Meridian 808.2, which also uses a special filter to reduce "pre-ringing?" If anyone has made a comparison, please let the rest of us know what you've found.