New PS Audio SACD Transport and dCS

The newly released PS Audio SACD Transport will send SACD out using DoP over dual XLRs in a manner that looks like it would work with the dual XLR AES/EBU in on dCS DACs.

Of course it’s no replacement for say the Rossini Transport - in particular, the lack of a word clock input on the PS Audio Transport means it would have to be used in Audio sync mode, and I know from experimenting with the GeerFAB D.BOB that audio processed that way sounds distinctly worse than that processed in Word Clock mode - but it’s also $7000 rather than $26,500 (both in US dollars.)

Still, it’s an interesting question in terms of “would this work” as it would be one of the few non-dCS ways to get DSD off a SACD into a dCS DAC if it did; otherwise you’re pretty much stuck using a compatible SACD player with an HDMI output and the aforementioned D.BOB.

Can anyone confirm that it looks like the DoP outputs of the PS Audio SACD Transport would work with dCS’ dual AES/EBU inputs?

PS Audio PerfectWave SACD Transport

Unfortunately I have never had an opportunity to try in practice but the specs confirm that it should work. DoP is DoP which the PC unit’s output and the dCS single and dual AES ports are configured for. So that should result in < DSD128 ( i.e. DSD x2). General readers please note that this is in respect of current models and would not be the case for legacy units ( Purcell, Scarlatti etc.).

So, at least on paper this may work in the sense of the signal being transferred. However as the two would be out of synch one could also anticipate glitches interrupting listening to music for the wordclock issue referred to by you.

Incidentally I would check the price that you quote for the Rossini CD/SACD transport. Although MSRPs are down to the local distributor and therefore difficult to compare, the price list I have for my territory ( UK) for 2023 implies that you may be a little out of date. Of course your distributor may have NOS stock but these are mostly custom built.

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For SACD you don’t need dual-AES, simple SPDIF in any form would work. In fact you can get a box on eBay for ~$100 to do this from the HDMI output of most DVD/BluRay players that support DSD over HDMI.

Right. But it depends on the quality of the source clock. If the source clock has very little phase noise, then the result can be quite good.

I should clarify one thing: The conversion to DoP without source authentication is strictly speaking not allowed. My understanding is the dCS transports use some form of encryption in the dual-AES connection between the SACD transport and DAC to not violate this requirement. But technically, devices already exist to strip the DSD stream from HDMI into a DoP DSD signal.

I actually have two such devices - one bought in 2019 when this was novel, and one last year from eBay for ~$100. They both work great.

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Yes it would ( or should) but it has to be DoP not any form ( you already knew that). That would be limited to DSD64 but , of course, that is no problem sticking with silver disc.

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Right. But SACDs are DSD64. By “any form” I meant AES, coax, or toslink, always DoP.

Yes, hence my comment:

BTW, no DoP input for the dCS Toslink port. Yes it is SPDif but too slow for DoP. Maximum is 24/96 PCM.


If PS Audio’s new Transport is outputting an SACD’s DSD layer as unencrypted DoP, I’m pretty sure that’s a violation of Sony’s SACD licensing terms.


That depends upon the precise wording o the Sony and/or Philips licence. If it clearly refers to what amounts to an unencumbered DSD output then DoP may be construed as preventing this as a DoP decoding stage is subsequently required.

The next question is the status of the patent per se.The duration of patents varies from territory to territory and the original will certainly have expired in many of them.

So it is a lawyers question. However there is also a business consideration as SACD never turned out to be the success originally intended and is now very much of minority interest. Patent cases can be very expensive and it may be that in a case such as this it would not be viable to pursue. In any case ( though there may be exceptions that I am unaware of ) if patent extensions of the original were sought and granted in many countries they too would likely have expired by now or in the immediate future . The USA is unusual in having a very long protection period of 20 years but even that would presumably have expired by now unless grounds were found for an extension and if the patent holders thought it worth doing given its minority interest.

Like many here, I was an owner of several pieces of PS Audio gear. In fact, the electronics for my Legacy Aeris speaker system (except for the Wavelet), were all PSA: DirectStream DAC, DS Transport, BHK preamp and mono amps. I’ve always thought PSA delivered good value, punching above their weight class, especially the DAC with its frequently updated FPGA.

But the Transport was a frustrating affair. It could play SACDs, DVD-A, Blu-ray, etc., but its UI was hit-or-miss, and it often failed to play discs properly. The sonics were fine, but not the interactivity. I eventually sold mine when it became clear that PSA could not get it working right, and not sure I’d buy PSA again because of it. That led me down the path that brought me to MSB (with disc) and eventually to dCS, but sans discs. For the occasional disc playback, my Oppo UDP-205 with a D.BOB into Vivaldi stack was more than adequate. In fact, with the video output of the D.BOB to a large screen, it was in fact better than the PSA. I had a couple of small clock setting glitches to resolve, but the maker of the D.BOB got me through that. After that, it was smooth sailing. As good as network playback? No, of course not, but darn close.

I’ve left discs altogether. The Oppo 205 just sold, and the 105 will soon join it. The MSB transport will also go on Audiogon soon. As will the PlayStation and Sony players that were my backup ripping devices. The local library will take my discs. I always thought I would keep one rip-capable player in the house along with the roughly 300 or so high quality discs. But the integration of Roon and Qobuz, and the material I already own (no need to go into legalities here) has freed me from that. To those who enjoy discs of any material, play on! To each their own!


My take is at this point Sony is not bothering enforcing the patent even thought they legally could.

SACD ripping? Can’t get rid of that!

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Discussion over at Steve Hoffman on the implications of the patent expiration.

Well, it’s not all gone yet. :wink: But I won’t be surprised if my MoFi SACD of Thriller, which arrives today, might not be my last rip.

I ripped MoFi’s new “Thriller” recently. And it sounds FANTASTIC.

I bought a PS3 with 3.53 firmware way back when and used it to rip tons of SACDs to DSF files. The PS3 started to sporadically not read discs about a year ago so I looked into other means. Got a BDP-S5100 on ebay in super-clean condition for $30 and that’s it! Much easier ripping than with the PS3, and the player is tiny (all I use it for is SACD ripping).

You should keep yours - there are many titles from Analogue Productions or MoFi that are not on streaming and only come out on vinyl and SACD (I think the issue is they only have a “physical media” license).

And given we now know that MoFi’s LPs are mostly DSD256 transfers, the SACDs from MoFi (which are not streaming or can be bought as downloads) are closer to the analog master than we thought. For example, Miles Davis’s “In A Silent Way” on SACD sounds absolutely spectacular, and Carole King’s “Tapestry” on SACD is the best version I have heard of this - I have many vinyl releases of both these albums.

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Points well taken Miguel. Like you, I started my ripping adventures with the firmware limited PlayStation. Once I got it going, it was fairly easy, if a bit of a laborious process. With the Oppo and the MSB, I just kept a USB stick with the necessary software permanently plugged in and on my network. Load a disk, hit “execute” on the app on my Mac, and I had meta-taggable files within minutes on my NAS. Could not make it a whole lot easier. I also have a BDP-5100 that I paid a bit more ($47), but have never used. It’s a backup in case something else fails.

And your point about MoFi discs is spot on. As an example, I have just about every version of the Allman Brothers’ various Fillmore East concert/sessions. Several are quite good. But the MoFi SACD (for me) wins out over the Mercury by a non-trivial margin. MoFi doesn’t get them all perfectly by any means, but they seem to have a higher hit rate than most of the others.

So, maybe I will keep the 105 on network. Either that or see if I can get the 5100 going.


The latest Mofi SACD Thriller MJ sounds absolutely great, by the way the CD layer does not sound bad on my Rossini player either.

I took the ripped version (oppo bdp-103d) to my dealer on an USB stick and listened to it on his reference system, best I have heared Thriller and Lady in my life up to date.

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I rip my SACDs as it’s the only way I can play them.

Sure there is the Rossini Tranport but the MSRP is very, very prohibitive.

To be fair, even the price of the PS Audio SACD Transport is out there considering the price of other transports.

The key is you are pretty much stuck using the Rossini Transport only due to the word clock in capability. The Jay’s Audio CDT3-MK3 can be used for Redbook playback on Vivaldi (or systems with a Vivaldi Clock) as it needs a 10 MHz clock which the Rossini Clock can’t provide.

If your 105 is in good shape, just keep it as it is a great device (and selling for a bunch these days). I set up the 5100 with the USB key permanently in the back and attached to the network, and ripping is super simple.

BTW, my understanding is the transport mechanism and control system in PS Audio transports comes from Oppo!

Some CEC transports can use a 44KHz external clock. They will only play CDs though.

Yeah, I sold my 205 for more than it cost me new. And similar opportunity is there for the 105. I downloaded the ripping files for the 5100 when I bought it, but never got around to loading them up. I should do that.

And yes, Oppo made very good transports. Is it confirmed there what the current PSA transport uses? I know it’s an Oppo mechanism in my MSB Transport.