I've had both in my system recently. The DL III is a nice DAC, but sounds rather poor in comparison to the PWD II, which sounds very fine.
Implementing the PWD II off a computer has the potential for headaches -- in my case, endless headaches -- which is cause for hesitation.
This risk may be endemic when mating a non-audio technology to audio technology, which makes the idea of a purpose built audio server, like the new one from Wyred, seem pretty attractive.
Stickman451, I also have a PWD MkII. I have to agree that it is a very fine sounding DAC. I don't know that I've heard anything better in my system or similar for anywhere near the same amount of money. Unlike John I have had no trouble with the network connectivity, other than the current problems with PSA's eLyric music server software. These are not fatal problems IMO, but some of them are annoying. The upside is the sound over both the standard and network interfaces is sublime.
The Bridge (the plug in board that allows for network connectivity) is an extra cost option for the PWD. I don't do PC to USB.
How were you accessing your music files? Were you pulling files from a
hard drive in you computer, a usb drive hanging off a computer, or a some
Are you an Apple or Windows user?
With USB the DAC works flawlessly like any other DAC. Network streaming with the bridge is a little trickier, but if you stick with JRiver and stay away from PS Audio's EMM music server software, you should not have any problems.
I have a PWD MKII with bridge and the only PITA step was updating the bridge firmware. It came with a very old version that doesn't do auto update so had to do manual via web. The instructions are outdated, web page doesn't allow entering an URL (unbelieveable!) so had to download the file before update, firmware loader spits out debug statements while installing ... overall not very professional. Otherwise it was just plug and play.
All my music ripped to a hard drive, running logitech media server on my laptop, using ethernet connection to PWD and using Lyric on my iPhone to control the player.
No problems here using the PWD MK2 through USB and my Mac Mini.
A very good DAC, with its major strength that it does not at all sound digital.
Mac mini sounds promising... Have you found that the usb cable makes a difference or does the digital lens negate that issue?
With USB the DAC works flawlessly like any other DAC.
Not in my experience.
(Of the PWD II, that is; I've not tried every other DAC.)
Stickman: I run an external hard drive (Lacie) to my MAC Book with USB, and MAC to DAC with USB. With the PWD I, I got a detectable improvement moving from stock to Locus Design Polestar USB. I can't say who the lens effects this issue, since I've not ABed cords with the PWD II.
I am doing a PS Audio Factory Tour next week while attending the RMAF so I will get some info first hand. Will also take a close look at the PWD MKII at the show.
I have just purchased (from Underwood HiFi) the Perfect Wave Transport, DACII, and Bridge, and I also got the eLyric music software downloaded to my Macbook and my iPad. I am still trying to get the eLyric software to locate my Bridge in the DACII and allow me to stream my computer library to it. So far, the eLyric software finds all my Squeezeboxes (6 of them) and offers to stream to them, but not to the PS Audio Bridge. I have updated the firmware to the most recent version, so I'm not sure what else I have to do. I am running the Bridge wired to a wireless access point because my modem and router are on the third floor and my stereo is on the basement level of my townhouse. DACII shows it is connected to internet but eLyric still does not find Bridge. This is supposed to be plug and play! But being a longtime Squeezebox user, I know it can take some initial fiddling to get the system settled in properly. One thing about PS Audio is that they answer their phones and emails and will talk you through everything.
Sc53, if the Bridge sees the network but not eMM you may have to manually assign the Subnet mask, Gateway, and IP address in the Bridge. Having a wirless link sometimes causes issues with the auto-negotiation. If you can see how to get to the Bridge settings from the PWD front panel, do that and see if the Subnet Mask is 0.0.0.0. If it is you'll have to manually assign everything. Go to the PS Audio Community forums and do a search. There are a number of posts about this.
Will also take a close look at the PWD MKII at the show.
Stickman, to my knowledge PS Audio will not be at RMAF. Do you know of a room that will be using the PWD?
Tonyptony, according to the Exhibitor lists on the RMAF site, PS Audio will be in room 1013 in the Marriott Tower...
So, does the sound differ pulling a hirez file wirelessly off a drive into the
PWD vs using a direct usb connectio to the DAC?
Try the following steps to narrow down the problem.
1. See if you can access the bridge from your ipad running eLyric. In the browser, run http://ip of bridge
If it doesn't load, it's a network problem.
2. Connect your PWD via ethernet connection to the router. If it works, then problem with your wireless connection.
Thanks Tonyp for the suggestion--I will see if I can enter the Bridge settings manually. At one point I was at that screen and there were no numbers on it--because i was not connected to my network. Stickman I don't know if I will be able to tell the difference between wireless streaming to the DACII vs. USB connection for the same files. Theoretically streaming gives you one more application of jitter reduction since there is an additional digital lens (PS Audio speak) in the Bridge, as well as in the DACII. But although my system is good it's not Mike Lavigne good and I doubt I will hear a big difference.
according to the Exhibitor lists on the RMAF site, PS Audio will be in room 1013 in the Marriott Tower
!!! Paul McGowan said they weren't able to book in time! I'll have to ask him again.
The DAC is wonderful. The Bridge, eLyric, and EMM, in my opinion, were brought to market before they were ready and continue to be too difficult to use without a lot of frustration. I also have no desire to run my library from a PC. I've stopped using the Bridge and now just stream to the DAC from either a Squeezebox Touch (via COAX) or from my VortexBox via (USB). My longrange goal is to get a higher end server like SoTM or Sonore which run Logitech Media Server and connect to the PWD-2 via async USB or I2S if they can get that working. As others have said, PSAudio offers good customer service if you call them with a problem.
I had some issues connecting the Bridge at first only to finally realize the network (cat 5) cable was junk. That one took a while to figure out and I was truly going mad that I couldn't get the bridge to work. Now, I only use the bridge and haven't had an issue with it or Elyric since. I have owned some top notch digital most recently being the Esoteric K01, K03, Simaudio Andromeda, Bel Canto Dac3 etc. etc. and I find the PWD MKII to be excellent as well. I don't know that I would call it a "reference piece" but the sound, interface and convenience are very enjoyable to me. I bought it as I ramped up my analog setup and drifted away from digital. I am now probably 80/20 analog/digital. Sold the mega buck cd player, put 10k in my pocket and have never regretted it. At the used prices on audiogon right now I think the price /performance ratio is huge.
Got my bridge and eLyric working today thanks to arrival (overnight shipping from Amazon) of a new wireless Ethernet bridge. I followed PS Audio knowledge base recommendation and bought a Linksys (Cisco) WES610N 4-port bridge. I was trying to use my Squeezeboxes to bridge to my wireless network but they would not work with the DACII. They did work with the PS Audio Transport though. The Squeezeboxen will bridge any of my other devices but not the PS Audio Bridge/DAC. Anyway I set up the Linksys to use the 5G part of my network, since it has no other traffic. ELyric sees the DAC now and I am streaming my high-res files, something my Squeezeboxes won't do. I chose the option to play all albums gap less and Paul Simon's live NYC concert is playing flawlessly. Much more bass and wider stage with this setup than with my SB Touch into the Northwave USB DAC I was using. Very crisp and detailed. Of course this is also a high res file so not apples to apples. Just glad to have it all working. As a longtime Squeezebox user I know networking issues can take some trial and error to solve. I am no engineer or computer expert either. PS Audio customer service suggested I try using another type of wireless bridge/access point. I like this one because with 4 Ethernet ports both the transport and DAC can plug into it. I was using two Squeezeboxes in my initial attempt to get the PS Audio stuff to talk to each other and my network. This is much cleaner.
Everyone see the new PS Audio dac, 'NuWave'... Interesting. Looking forward to seeing and hearing this dac at RMAF this weekend.
This subject is very timely for me. Here is my dilemma. I have been wanting the ability to easily categorize and access my CD collection by means of computer audio. Thus last year I purchased a Mach2Music Mini Mac, Ayre QB-9, an iomega drive to rip my CDs and 2TB HD for storage. I planned to also use my iPad as a controller.
I am the first to admit that I am not very computer literate so I needed a system which was virtually trouble free. No such luck. The folks at Mach2Music talked me through the initial set-up which I payed extra for and then wanted to charge me for any additional phone support. I think this company has gone belly up. What a surprise. The above components are disconnected not presently in use.
At any rate, I have been considering the PS Audio Dac MK II with Bridge to accomplish my goal. But after reading the various posts I am again hesitant to
involve myself in another project that is costly and likely will lead to further disappointment. Whatever direction I decide to go in must have strong dealer support and assistance when needed.
Any thoughts or opinions would be welcome.
Goldmanjay: What is your connection right now? What exactly is the problem with your set up? (I don't know the Ayre, but I've hear the M2M in an excellent system, and I'd expect your sound to be very good.)
If you are using USB or another hard wired connection, the Bridge is quite unlikely to be simpler. See above.
The general problem, IMO, is that computer engineers are not audio engineers, and vice versa, so grafting of the two technologies has the potential for disaster, esp. if the problem is at the interface of the two, as mine was.
Dedicated "audio computers" like the Wyred might help with this, but you can get hung out to dry, as you did, if the (often small) company fails.
You may want to look into single box solutions, like the Olive server, or get something like the Bryston server and connect it to a DAC. These are the more foolproof solutions. Better results can be had for less money if you build your own, but there is always the risk of getting stranded.
I think the current price / performance / usability leader is PC based system with Jriver 17 and JRemote (and a good CD ripping program), but you need to configure it yourself. It is not that hard, but easy to screw up nonetheless.
Turn-key servers are there for guys like you.
The only setup for me was plugging the CAT5 cable to my PWD MKII. If using wireless, just connect to a wireless bridge.
All my music have been ripped to a hard disk and running Logitech Media Server with all my Logitech products. So after I bought the elyric app, it found my PWD and Media Server after launch.
Like I said earlier, the only manual step is installing the new bridge firmware. The latest firmware improved the sound dramatically and SURPRISED it was not installed by PS Audio before shipping. The old firmware doesn't do auto updates but future updates should be just selecting GO on the menu. :-)
Goldmanjay, I suggest find a tech savvy friend to help you. What's the current state of your components?
Hello Jdoris, thank you for your response. I had been using a USB connection. Beyond plugging in the cables as instructed I am lost I am sad to admit. I live in the LA area and tried unsuccessfully to find an "expert" tech. person that I could hire to get me back on the right track and be a go-to person when I run into problems. No such luck so far.
Until I am convinced that there is a product out there that is relatively easy to use and does not require one to be a computer engineer I will live with the inconvenience of manually finding my CDs and playing them.
Hello Knghifi, all my computer audio components are presently disconnected,
i.e M2M Mini Mac, Ayre QB-9, 2tb HD. I have already ripped a couple hundred CDs and many more are waiting. I don't plan to do anything with the above gear until I have a clear path to follow.
I wish that I had a tech savy friend but it's hard to find anyone, professional or otherwise who is knowledgeable with this field. I'll keep looking.
Yes, that me be a good solution to my end goal, storage and an easy access solution for listening to my CD collection. If I were to go in this direction I would want to insure that I was not sacrificing sound quality.