toning down the ps audio perfect wave dac

i own an original ps audio perfect wave dac. i called ps audio about sending it back for an upgrade. a technician i spoke to said the upgrade would increase the resolution of the dac.

i would like to tone down the treble a bit, as i find it a bit treble heavy.

i thought the least expensive way of doing this is substituting caps in the signal path and or replacing the metal film resistors with reiken carbon fibers.

i am not familiar with the "sound" of caps, but would like to soften the treble.

the only caps i am aware that might do that are audio note, mundorf or duland. am i on the right track ?

if not, what other caps could i consider ?
I think would be a complete shot in the dark. Irrespsectively, I would get the upgrade first and then reconsider. From what I recall the upgrade does improve smoothness of the high frequencies.
I wouldn't touch it, as the value would decrease to practically nil. Buy a Yaquin Tube Buffer from Pacific Valve for $225 with 30-day money back. That should smooth it out a bit. IMO.
Get a component you like the sound of tube buffers are usually intended for impedence matching. Improving resolution sounds like more of what you don't want. just my 2 cents.
This kind of tuning is risky. If you wanted a softer presentation, the V-Cap teflons, not CUTF will do this. Some Cardas cabling will also do it, but they cause HF rolloff IME.

These things tend to be filtering, which is not a good path to start down. It is better to determine the component that is causing the sibilance and get rid of it. It may be a preamp or even the speakers.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Funny, I'm a PWD (I and then II) owner who is very sensitive to edge in the highs, and I've not been tempted to call it "treble heavy." Actually, "relaxed" comes to mind first. I wonder if Steve is right and the issue is somewhere in the system.

The MKII upgrade will resolve all your issues. It makes the original DAC a whole new DAC altogether...Read the recent TAS review...
I have to agree with John (Jdoris). I had the PWD in Mk.I form before upgrading to Mk.II, and in neither case would I call it treble heavy. Relaxed but highly resolving (referring to the Mk.II).
'Treble heavy" emphasis and higher or improved resolution are`nt the same. True resolution improvement is desirable.Heavy treble is an unwanted coloration.The MK II upgrade seems the direction to go.
I have an orig MKII and agree with Jdoris. What made you think PWD is the problem? Have you demo other dacs in your system?
the only time i've felt it was treble heavy/bright was when using 100% silver core ic's (acoustic zen silver ref 1 & 2 to be specific). not sure why?? as others use silver core ic's with the pwd and have different feeling/results.

what type of ic's are you using and have you tired different types??

agree with others who say the mk2 changes the game. more resolution but smoother in every way. great upgrade i highly recommend.
"the only time i've felt it was treble heavy/bright was when using 100% silver core ic's. not sure why?? as others use silver core ic's with the pwd and have different feeling/results."

Simple explanation: The silver is broken in these IC's.

Everyone ready to learn something? Now for the Technical Explanation:

I have been designing and manufacturing cables since 1996, but not anymore. My brother helped with the technology since he is a metallurgical engineer. I hold several patents on cables.

It turns out that the reason that one IC sounds good has nothing to do with the resistance of the conductors. In fact, some of the best sounding ICs have powdered carbon for the conductors, which has very high resistance. They obviously have their length limits...

The thing that makes or breaks a typical IC is the crystal-lattice in the metal conductors. The more uniform the lattice (less fractures) and the more pure the silver, the better the SQ. Polishing the outer surface is also beneficial. This is why gold and silver are both good choices for ICs. They are both ductile materials, indicating a well-organized crystal lattice. However silver is a lot more finiky than gold. This means that the silver drawing, casting and annealing processes must be correct and tightly controlled, or the silver wire is "broken" from the get-go. Also, the cable fabrication process must also be carefully planned in order not to further damage the crystal lattice and compromise the sound of it. The good news is that even "broken" cables can be somewhat repaired by doing a good slow cryo-treatment process on it. The best possible scenerio for silver is to do all of the conductor fabrication process correcly, then spool it on really large spools, then fabricate the cable with bending it a minimum amount, and finally cryo-treat the whole cable.

Just take a piece of "fine" silver and bend it a few times and you will feel it harden, indicating millions of fractures in the lattice. It should be "dead-soft" to be used in an audio cable.

Most high-volume cable manufacturers do not understand this. Even their silver right off the spool is broken. Usually, its only the knowledgeable boutique hand-fabricators that get this right IME. If you ask the right questions, you should be able to determine if the manufacturer knows what they are doing with silver.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
when i substitute another digital source in place of the ps audio combo, the "hot treble" or thinness in the highs disappears. thus, i would think that the problem is either the transport, dac or both. i have a variety of cables. one is gold, one is copper and one is continuous cast silver, the neotech nei-1002. i find using the gold ic as a coax digital cable, with the mojo audio copper ic helps.

incidentally, as i said, it was the technician who suggested that i replace the caps and use carbon fiber resistors, and discouraged me from upgrading to level two, with either firmware choices.

there exist caps which can alter the spectral balance.

i should also note that one of my cd players is a better transport for 16 bit discs than the ps audio transport. my settings for the dac include filter 5 , coax and native 44.1 sampling rate.
I've not found the duo to be bright. I use a copper Signal Cable HDMI between the two. I use Signal Cable Silver Resolution for interconnects, which I believe has 4 strands copper and 4 strands of silver. I do use all copper Signal Cable speaker cables which Frank claims is a the best match for most systems. The upgrade is really a mo brainer transporting the PWD to near reference heights according to many that have compared it to the very best, price no object DACs.

While I do concur that there are better transports than the PWT it is still a great piece for the money.

MrTennis, I know from your posts that you've been less Han satisfied with the combo. I do admire your stubborn, resolute ability to find the key to getting your combo sound as good as u can. What are you using for power cords?
Don't touch it. Sell it, get some money out of it, and move on to something that is more to your liking...stock.
I will answer your question directly rather then taking you different placeS already done. You will wan't PIO - paper in oil caps. Ampohm will do what you want. They have several still available and tend to focus more on the mids. I think The Tube Store still has some available. The tin foil, aluminum or copper ones are fine. I would try to get the tin foil or copper ones.

Based on seeing your posts over the years and your dislike of any tipped or bright highs, these are for you. Give them 50 hours before reaching any conclusion.

They are large however and may or may not fit.

Another choice if PIO will not fit are AudioCap Theta's. They are film caps and much smaller. Very warm and non-fatiguing.

Two great, lower cost options. This step will in fact give you what you are looking for based on my experience rolling caps in gear.