THE PS Audio digital ecosystem takes a big step forward with the new DirectStream Memory Player, a universal optical disc transport to be officially launched later this week.
According to the company, “The new DirectStream Memory Player takes all that was great about the PerfectWave Memory Player, adds all that PS has learned about signal processing from our DirectStream and DirectStream Junior DACs, and applies it to a unit with a new, bulletproof transport, a USB-stick input, and the ability to play SACDs and output raw DSD to our own DACs.”
We’ll let PS tell you about the evolution:
“At the heart of the DMP is a refinement of the Digital Lens, invented by CEO Paul McGowan and Chief Engineer Bob Stadtherr in 1993. Digital Lens ensures that bits emerge in a perfectly-timed stream, unaffected by the electrical or mechanical properties of the transport. After eight years of research and two years of development, PS engineering has been able to decrease the considerable memory requirements of Memory Player and improve the timing of digital audio data.
“The new Lens takes advantage of advances in semiconductor architecture found in FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays, as used in both DirectStream and DSJ). Using a single large scale integrated FPGA, Stadtherr devised a segmented structure including intelligent RAM, two-way isolated communication with the drive, and near-field output latches controlled by an ultra-low-jitter fixed clock.
“DMP sends raw DSD to our DirectStream and DSJ DACs via a secure I2S connection. For the first time, listeners can hear DSD freed of the constraints of inferior built-in DACs, and the resultant sound quality is stunning.”
The DMP plays SACD and CD, yes, promising “incredible improvement in CD playback” as well “dramatically reducing “the gap between hi-resolution and CD.” Note that you have to link the DMP to a PS DAC via the I2S link to extract the SACD DSD layer.
The DMP will play back Blu-ray audio, DVD-Audio, AVCHD, HRx, SACD, CD, CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, DVD±R DL and BD-R/RE.
Other features are six-channel digital coax outputs, six-channel digital I2S outputs through HDMI style connector, XLR AES/EBU stereo digital output, USB data input for stored digital media, full colour LCD touch screen, artiste and track title information (and cover art), a large analogue power supply, multi-channel synchronisation with PS DACs, network connection for My PS and a remote handset. Best of all, “zero setup, just plug and play.”
Made in Boulder, Colorado, the DirectStream Memory Player will begin shipping in December, with a retail price of US$5,999.