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Review: Resonessence Labs Invicta - new high end DAC/amp/playback system - Page 45

post #661 of 821
Thread Starter 

I've deliberately stayed away from the DirectStream discussion because I'm not a big fan of PS Audio. They make the occasional good product - loved their old Digital Link III, enjoyed some of their various amps over the years, and the PWD is pretty good too (but overpriced imho).

 

But there's been lots of duds in there as well. Between the atrociously poor reliability of the 220v Power Plant Premier, the terribly etched sounding NuWave DAC, and let's not forget the Noise Harvester... I find it hard to trust them.

 

PS Audio's marketing team is highly skilled, but not always convincing. That applies to the new DirectStream DAC. Oddly labeled block-diagrams show their circuit as being simpler, and therefore better, than some random unnamed ESS Sabre chip... but note how the PS Audio diagram leaves off things like power supplies for the appearance of less clutter. I pointed it out in the comments HERE and designer Ted Smith explained it away as a misunderstanding.

 

I'm just not convinced their "new technology" is the big deal they make it out to be. Like every major release from them, it is supposedly revolutionary, but I'm not so sure. Will happily eat my words if/when I hear it and it blows me away. 

post #662 of 821

I saw that correction, I mean if your system (PS Audio) is so superior then your competitor, then at least give an honest portrayal of your system. I wonder what ESS thought about being portrayed like that? I'll also wait and see, but PS Audio and hype seem to go together, as a smart consumer, I'll wait and see, and see what ESS response will be also.

post #663 of 821
Thread Starter 

Agreed. Plus, the whole "simpler is better" approach reminds me too much of Burson. In both cases, the product may very well end up sounding good, but the fanatical marketing just rubs me the wrong way. Opamps are always bad? PCM decoding has been done wrong all this time? Ok.

 

Now that I think about it, isn't PS Audio bashing every prior DAC they've ever made until now? Saying things like "PCM processors universally mask some of the subtle cues in music", and it's a "fundamentally flawed system" doesn't really match up with their prior marketing speak. Read what they have to say about the Wolfson WM8741 in the PWD, and see how fundamentally flawed this PCM DAC was (just a few years ago):

 

Inside the PWT Mark II is an amazing piece of engineering that features the latest in technology coupled with parts quality and circuitry of the highest order.

The heart of the PWD Mark II is a Wolfson WM8741 stereo differential DAC, one of the latest generations of high-end DACS in the world. The extraordinary low order modulator and multi-bit DAC architecture found in the WM8741 achieves low out-of-band noise and world-class linearity for outstanding sound quality.

The DAC displays characteristics available on only the finest processors in the world including group delay, phase and latency, impulse response and transition band roll off.

post #664 of 821
Just wait for it, I don't see the point of trashing before it's even out, unless that is called for (why would it be?).
This PS audio product is at least trying to innovate, nothing to complain about from my point of view.
Being skeptical, fine and good idea.
Bashing for the sake of it, humm, suspicious at least.
post #665 of 821
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnaud View Post

Just wait for it, I don't see the point of trashing before it's even out, unless that is called for (why would it be?).
This PS audio product is at least trying to innovate, nothing to complain about from my point of view.
Being skeptical, fine and good idea.
Bashing for the sake of it, humm, suspicious at least.

 

If you read my posts more carefully, you'll see that I'm not really trashing the device per se, but rather the marketing campaign surrounding it. I welcome innovation, and if they've got something good I'll be happy to sing its praises.

 

I do find it tacky that they release a so-called block diagram of the circuit, for comparison to a competing product, and then don't accurately portray all the parts needed. Seems like a deliberate attempt to confuse people.

 

I understand marketing hype. Everyone has to do it, or the gear won't sell. I get it. PS Audio historically gets more aggressive than most, and sometimes crosses the line on occasion. This seems to me like one of those occasions. That's all. 

post #666 of 821
Time will tell, am still hopeful based on the video they released.
post #667 of 821

Gotta say I totally agree with Project86 here. While I'm looking forward to hearing reviews of the Directstream DAC, the whole project is being 

driven by some extremely heavy marketing hype. The circuit diagrams (which have been shown in alot of press releases) are not accurate and

were created to convince people that DirectStream is GOOD, SABRE is BAD. Compare this approach to that of the Schiit team. I tend to believe

what I hear from them, I am hugely skeptical of information coming from the PS Audio camp.

 

The proof is in the pudding I guess.

post #668 of 821

Meh, Paul is the marketing guy, of course his stuff is over the top.  Look at Ted's posts though (especially on the computeraudiophile thread) and you'll get the engineering side, he is very cautious in describing its benefits over other DACs and actually seems to lean a little bit towards the "bits are bits" end of the spectrum anyways.  The hifi world is rife with this kind of marketing, not that that excuses it.

 

I have a feeling the aggressiveness of the campaign is due to how late they are to the game (even if it was in proto stages for a number of years).  Other brands like Emm and PD (among a slew of others) are already synonymous with "DSD" in a lot of consumers minds.  So if PS Audio is this late to the bandwagon, how are they supposed to gain a foothold in what is fast becoming an over saturated market?  Coin terms.  Talk about the "cover-up."  Do anything you can to stick out, whatever the blow-back, as people aren't exactly lining up to shell out 6K for something unless its unique (like the first round of DSD DACs were.)

post #669 of 821
Thread Starter 

You're probably right, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I try to be objective and not pick on any one brand but this one just gets my goat for some reason.

 

Maybe I should just sit back and wait a bit for the DirectStream to unofficially drop 25% in price (like, oh, I dunno... every other PS Audio product seems to do) before I give it a shot.  

post #670 of 821

I'm sure it will be more like 50% off from the the right places soon after release (everyone's been getting the PWD2 for 50% off for at least three years).  At 3K it would definitely more palatable, especially as they're re-using the chassis.

 

I wouldn't expect you to like it and I sure don't, in my mind that arena of hifi is just a little beyond hope at this point.  Personally I get more ticked off when it seeps into the headphone market that was largely free of those issues for a very long time (one reason early JPS annoyed me so much.)

post #671 of 821
Thread Starter 

Agreed. Despite being a pretty big market, the headphone scene hasn't had much of that compared to, say, the speaker world. Things change and I suppose I should get used to it. 

 

In other news, the Invicta Mirus continues to impress. I much prefer it to the Luxman DA-06 I borrowed last weekend. The Luxman had a certain charm to it, for sure, but nothing I haven't heard before from significantly more affordable gear - maybe a used Esoteric D-70, or a PCM1704-based Audio GD unit. Invicta Mirus is significantly more detailed without being fatiguing in the least bit. 

 

Next, I plan on A/Bing the original Invicta with the Mirus. I do think there's a clear improvement but I want to be more specific. 

post #672 of 821

Sorry to go OT again but this looks interesting also: The new Berkeley Alpha Dac Reference series.

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/new-berkeley-digital-analogue-converter-article-implies-much-18384/

 

Will be interesting to compare this and the Directstream.

 

It seems that the Berkeley DAC will be $14K though ;) 

 

Sorry......thank you for your patience......we return to normal service......

post #673 of 821

Heads up, 6.2 beta out on their beta page.

 

Available Now (March 2014):


Downloading and Installing

Release 6.2.0 adds the following features:
Added extra options for OLED fade and infrared remote disable.
Enables DSD support via the AES, Toslink and BNC connectors.
Stability improvements.
Introduces a new VID/PID pair for the INVICTA and MIRUS.

post #674 of 821
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm1122 View Post
 

Heads up, 6.2 beta out on their beta page.

 

Available Now (March 2014):


Downloading and Installing

Release 6.2.0 adds the following features:
Added extra options for OLED fade and infrared remote disable.
Enables DSD support via the AES, Toslink and BNC connectors.
Stability improvements.
Introduces a new VID/PID pair for the INVICTA and MIRUS.


Mind providing a link? I don't know where the beta page is :(

 

Thank you! :)

post #675 of 821
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic77 View Post
 


Mind providing a link? I don't know where the beta page is :(

 

Thank you! :)

Here it is:

 

http://www.resonessencelabs.com/beta-software-updates-for-invicta-and-mirus/

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