You have to read my earlier posts in this thread re the Gen 8 V2 DAC I picked up not quite two weeks ago to understand my below continuing comments:
I have the PS Audio PWT and PWD each separately on Symposium Ultra platforms. Initially each component on a set of 3 Symposium Rollerblocks 2 over the Ultras. I connected PWT via digital coaxial, digital XLR, and IS2 to PWD, and PDW stereo analog XLR out to Gen 8 Series 2 DAC. But then I determined the sonics were better by placing a set of 3 rectangular Symposium aluminum couplers between the Ultras and the PWD and PWT. On to redbook CDs Jacintha “Here’s To Ben” and Acoustic Alchemy “The Very Best of”. Sonically, I2S was the best, with digital XLR close second, and digital coaxial a close but not quite third, in sonic quality – this was stereo analog XLR out from the PS Audio PWD DAC to the Gen 8 using the Gen 8 as analog preamp.
Next, I changed connections, to use digital coaxial from the Marantz UD9004 to the Gen 8. Immediately upon inserting the Jacintha CD, there was clearly better sonics across the board, especially vocals. And with the Acoustic Alchemy CD, again, clearly better. Made the slight differences using the PWT only with its digital coaxial, balanced and I2S connections
as essentially nothing, really, the Marantz is easily better using digital coaxial than using the PWT to PWD using any digital connection.
Next, I changed connections, to use stereo analog XLR from the Marantz to the Gen 8. And at the Gen 8, in the menu, I used the volume offset feature so that the volume or loudness of both the stereo analog XLR and the digital coaxial from the Marantz to the Gen 8 were equivalent. AND – the winner – seriously, so close that its very hard to tell.
So what does this mean? When I integrate the Gen 8 Series 2 with my soon to come back upgraded Theta CB3 HD, I’ll be able to use the coaxial digital of the Marantz to redbook CDs, use DPL2 or DTS Neo to expand to my 5.3 system which includes setting high pass and low pass crossovers for an even more natural “expanded” soundstage with appreciably better bass that one can both hear and feel. WOW!
Watched blu ray of “The Social Network”. Sounds good using either coaxial digital (outputs hi rez blu ray tracks at 48 kHz) or stereo analog XLR (Marantz’ internal DACs do DA conversion). Watched it using coaxial digital as that sounded better than the already excellent sounding stereo analog XLR. Now watching Austin City Limits with Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel, with DirecTV DVR set to PCM 2.0. WOW! No matter how good DD 5.1 via my CB3 has sounded, this is clearly better with less fatigue and hi rez inspiration!!!
Makes me even more excited for when I get back my upgraded CB3 HD integrated with the Gen 8 DAC!!!