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DACs item created by The Monkey, May 6, 2010
Review to come
Pros - Best DAC I've heard to date, fully balanced, pre-amp capability, firmware upgrades, network bridge upgrade
Cons - Expensive, huge, not asynchronous, weird I2s
I sold my PWD. It's definitely NOT because I didn't like it; it's actually a terrible story and now I really regret letting it go, especially for the price I ended up getting for it
I haven't owned tons of DACs like some on these boards, but I've had at least enough to tell when one is something special. The PWD is definitely one of these DACs. I would say this even though it wasn't the ideal source for all scenarios; when feeding my pre-amp, a power amp, or powered speakers it seemed to lose its magic.
The PWD by no means perfect; the screen doesn't seem all that necessary, it's probably twice the size as it needs to be (have a look inside and you'll know what I mean), the USB is not asynchronous, and the network bridge is a very expensive proposition (haven't tried it myself). If you do some digging you may find many of our senior members here who really enjoy this source and I'm going to say that all of its praise is fully well deserved. For me I fed it with a Halide Bridge (NOT to be confused with the PWD Bridge) asynch USB converter, it turns out the pairing was a very good combo and I'm glad I made the expensive leap of faith for both pieces.
In retrospect this DAC just sounds right. It made recordings sound significantly more alive and brought forth more details than I've heard from anything else; needless to say it was a very refreshing experience to hear in my setup. Although it's a very expensive piece of gear for most in this hobby, myself included, I think I will do my damndest to get another one sometime in the near future. The PWD is just that good.
Pros - Multiple inputs, balanced or SE outputs, very neutral, easy UI
Cons - Price?
One of the best high end dacs for the money if you can pick it up pre-owned. The product is well thought out, clean UI, excellent manual & shipping crates etc.
Not sure the accompanying PWT is worth the money - although it works very well in I2S mode with the PWD. (I use an Oppo BDP-83 as well for SACD/DVD-A).
Very happy with this after owning for 2 months.
Pros - Great neutral (Read not typical analytical Bitstream DAC) DAC
Cons - Moderately Expensive
Full featured DAC that comes very close to the performance of cost no object DAC's at a fraction of the price.
If the Network Bridge meets the expectations this will be the DAC for Streaming your Audio from your own Network storage device (NAS, Computer etc.)
Great flexibility. Allows a degree of fine tuning with different SRC settings, or even going Native. Then there's the Filter options, and that it will do anything up to 32/192 (Claimed). I can verify that it sounds marvelous when being fed 24/192
Few DAC's can compete with the PWD on Sound Quality/ Cost basis, throw in the Full Feature Set and I call the PWD a Bargain.