Well, as John Atkinson might say, colour me bewildered. I dug out my old PS1 last week. It's actually a 5001, a unit that shares a DAC with the 1001 but lacks the RCA outputs (although some suggest that the AV multi outs, which apparently bypass an opamp stage, are superior). I left it on overnight and listened to a few discs, including such audiophile chestnuts as Patrica Barber's Companion and a range of other music (Alison Krauss, Sabbath's Paranoid and an LSO Live recording of the New World Symphony). And the result is... soft, bland, and audibly resolution-limited, in my view. It's true that the sound is "free of digititis," but it's also strikingly free of musical interest or excitement in my system. I hear a kind of warmish wash of music, vague at the freq extremes and thick around the edge of each note. It's fine, but it isn't any better than my old Panasonic portable CDP using its lineouts.
In fact, all the recent fuss about the PS1 reminds me of that other "cheapskate" high-end CDP, the Optimus 3400, which in its day was built up (perhaps most famously by Sam Tellig in Stereophile) as a geniune giant-slayer, mostly because its sound was perfectly pleasant. But if I was after "pleasant," I'd be happy with a 50.00 Curtis boombox and I wouldn't be a member here.
I dunno. Maybe the 1001 is miles better than the 5001, and will provide all the detail, harmonic resolution, spatial and tonal accuracy, speed, PrAt and so on of my old Saturn or maybe all those "hifi" considerations go out the window with the 1001 because of its organicism or some such. But for those of you who love it, how do you explain its SQ? It isn't careful design or high-spec parts or bulletproof build quality or any of the other things we take generally to be responsible for good sound. So is it just dumb luck? Synergy? I find myself really confused by all this.