Memory Players

Hi Folks.

Well, the upgrade itch has got me and it may be time to once again dip my toe into the technology pool. It's actually been a while since the last "itch", so I'm O.K. with it.

I am still using a Denon DVD500 as my digital reference source. This unit was a giant killer in it's day with it's heavily constructed chassis, extensive shielding, and those wonderful Burr Brown 1704 24/96 dacs.

Unfortunately, CD quality has worsened. The discs seem thinner, the discs sometime vibrate, then vibrating the dacs, blah, blah, blah.

Who has experience with either the Nova or PS Audio Memory Players (or others like it) and what could you tell me?

I extracted the information below from what I believe to be the old Nova website. It's very interesting.

"“Read-until-Right” is the principle that lies at the heart of the Nova Physics Group Memory Player and that enables it to achieve its stunning sonic effects. When a CD is placed in the Memory Player, the laser will first read the disc like any other CD player, but what distinguishes the Memory Player is what happens when the laser encounters a hard to read spot on the disc (and this happens hundreds or even thousands of times per disc, either from dirt, scratches, surface imperfections or eccentricity). A standard CD player at this point will introduce Error Code Correction or Error Concealment Correction (ECC) and Parity Bits. The Memory Player disables ECC and Parity Bits and engages its Read-Until-Right (RUR) and Dynamic Laser Positioning (DLP) software. RUR attempts to retrieve the original information on the disc by engaging its DLP that repeatedly shifts the laser angle. Only when the information can’t be extracted after hundreds of attempts do Error Code Correction and Parity Bits kick in, creating as perfect a theoretical facsimile of the missing information as possible, as in standard CD players."
The statement about the Nova player that is quoted in the OP is misleading. What occurs "hundreds or even thousands of times per disk," which in conventional players and transports is subjected to what it refers to as "Error Code Correction," results, at least in reasonably contemporary implementations, in bit-perfect recreation of the original data on the CD. What it refers to as "Error Concealment Correction," which results in less than bit-perfect recreation of the original data, only comes into play rarely (not at all on many CD's), in extreme situations such as severe scratches, or disks that are otherwise in poor condition.

See my post here, and the Wikipedia links provided in my previous post in that thread. Also see two posts in that thread in which Steve provides added confirmation, one of them stating that "with a clean CD, there are virtually no read errors with modern read heads. There will be some differences in jitter with each play however, based on lots of things, such as AC power, ground loops in the system etc."

The quoted statement about the Nova player appears to indicate that it disables BOTH error correction and error concealment until such time as its RUR process has been unsuccessful. If true, that would say essentially that their approach creates a problem which it then solves.

-- Al
...."If true, that would say essentially that their approach creates a problem which it then solves." LOL!
I would not touch any high tech product like this unless is was convinced that the company will be around in 10 years. Speakers perhaps, but not music servers.
Given news articles I've seen and multiple threads on the subject, I'm not sure anyone can say with any conviction that new releases of CD's will be manufactured and distributed 10 years fron now. I suspect PS Audio will be around in 10 years.
"with a clean CD, there are virtually no read errors with modern read heads.

Almarg, I wanted to mention this in the spirit of clarity...
You'll note in my original post I had mentioned the diminishing quality of the actual media iteslf. Off center spindle holes, asymmetric deposition of aluminum, variations in flatness are all major contributors to read errors also.

Also... Am I mistaken? Or does the MP utilize a ROM drive. If so, I was actually unaware of ROM drives incorporating error correction.