If you believe the marketing hype from Paul McGowan of PS Audio then this is the finest transport ever built by anyone at any price. At a reasonable $1,495 the audiophile community should be all over this unit like a cheap suit. This nameless transport will be debuted at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show. I will certainly be covering this in my live blog from the Venetian. If you have a good name for it drop Paul an email as he is taking suggestions from anyone with an idea. As you can see by reading the specs below this is not a traditional transport. It uses Exact Audio Copy to rip music and places the music in memory on its way out to the DAC. The "memory transport" will have ethernet and USB ports to download song titles and cover art and to connect to an external disk for storage. The rest of the details are a bit vague right now. Hopefully this is the best transport ever. Not that price is always indicative of performance, but at $1500 bucks I really doubt it. At least PS Audio really believes in its products!
Here are the details of the memory transport as we have it currently planned (subject to minor changes).
* True memory player. Reads the disc using a form of Exact Audio Copy to extract the data. Data is placed in memory and output from memory through a fixed low jitter clock. This is a true memory transport.
* Slot loader for the drive. This is a wonderful Teac unit that never touches the disc surface. When you place the CD into the drive, we have a very trick soft nylon ESD brush set in the opening of the slot loading mouth. These brushes dissipate any static charge on the disc before it gets read. The disc is gently handled by its edges and unlike a drawer, never touches any surface. This mechanism is closer to a top loader than anything else and reminds me of the way the old jukebox used to grab the edge of the vinyl disc and place it on the turntable spindle. It's very cool.
* Error correction reporting on the front panel. Will display the quality of the data on any particular disc.
* Ethernet and USB communication ports. These will allow you to connect the transport to the outside world, your computer or a NAS for storing perfectly RIP'd CD's that you can add to your library.
* Front panel has a two inch color LCD display which, when the unit is connected to an internet connection, will go out and locate the cover art and song titles on the disc being played and display it on the front panel. If not connected to the internet, it will display indiviual time codes and track numbers.
* The user interface will be simple, thorough and intuitive. There will be a single knob in the center of the unit and a few touch buttons. The knob can be used to scroll through the song titles as well as menu items.
* Menu items include variable bit length so you can choose 16, 20, or 24 bit length for any CD playing.
Dimensions are 17' wide by 14' deep and 2.5' tall.
* Expected US retail $1495
* It is gorgeous. One of the most beautiful pieces we have ever designed.
I think of this beauty as the 'Dream Machine' since the transport will represent the finest transport ever built by anyone at any price. There's never been anything like this piece and so we need a name that goes along with that grandeur.
More information PS Audio