In a word, yes. As the PWT/PWD broke in, I noticed how much more involved I was in the music. There were certain things the Levinson combo did well, the image was smaller and maybe more precise, the vocals souded more pristine, bass maybe a little cleaner but not as full as the PWT/PWD combo. As time and tweeking progressed all those advantages the Levinson first had disappeared.
Along the way, a couple of things happened. One, I found that the PWT/PWD was still breaking in, two, I added the Signal Cable HDMI to connect the two pieces, three I found that the PWD/PWT sound was being muddied by vibration, and four the PWT/PWD took an unusual but severe aversion to Synergistic Power Cords.
So the units broke in andI placed 3 Mpingo discs on both the transport and DAC (It took a while to find out where!). I'm using Herbie's Tenderfeet under both the transport and DAC, and I've replaced the power cords with VH Audios Flavor 4 cords.
Even before I did all the tweaking, I thought the units had promise. They have a special sound to them and as they broke in I found myself not wanting to switch back to the Levinson from the Perfect Wave Duo. The PWT/PWD was just more fun to listen to. As time passed, I found myself not wanting to switch at all to the Levinson duo.
That's when I realized that the Perfect Wave DAC and Transport were for me and the Levinson had to go.
While there is really no comparison between the build quality of the Levison components vs. the PS Audio duo (the Perfect Wave stuff is still built extremely well), time has passed the Levinson stuff by, and the folks at Harmon don't seem interested in providing service, updates, or replacements that work, so out the door it went.
Owning the Levinson Reference stuff provided many fond memories but included lots of frustration! (I could write a book.)
I don't know if the Perfect Wave stuff is a contender for the current SOTA in digital, as I have not had the time, money, or inclination to look at and listen to all the contenders. I'm sure there are things out there that could sound better depending on the system, listening tastes, etc.
But when you get great sound now from the Perfect Wave duo, will eventually have a SOTA server when the bridge is out next year, and can purchase the pair for less than $6000.00 in today's economy, how can you lose?
For an easy, almost free, audition, call Bes at Music Direct. He can set you up with the pair. I'm sure there are other dealers as well that would provide the same opportunity, but Bes is very easy to work with and gives good advice.