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."
You cannot go wrong with the PS Audio Perfect Wave Transport (Memory Player). It reads hi-rez wav files (up to 24/192) BURNED onto dvd's in addition to regular cd's. There is no better reader for the money, imo. It doesn't do SACD nor HDCD. With SACD your out of luck, with HDCD, the files can be extracted to your computer and the HDCD can be decoded to 24 bit/44.1 files using dBPoweramp's HDCD dsp decoder and burned onto DVD for playback in the transport HDCD decoded.
Thanks very much, Ed (Buscis2).

Here is an excellent paper from Linn, which is essentially consistent with what I had said about CD-ROM drives, but provides some good elaboration.

Best regards,
-- Al
Extracted from the Linn

"CD players will perform interpolation automatically, often without the user being aware of it. Most ROM drives, however, will not perform interpolation, (although some may provide it as an option), so it is the responsibility of the ripping software to decide what (if any) concealment should be done. Software concealment relies on accurate C2 error reporting by the ROM drive, but again not all ROM drives support C2 error reporting."

You hit the nail right on the head Al!