K-Stereo receives a digital data feed, performs a bit-rate conversion in preparation for internal processing, then as a last step optionally performs dither for the reduced word length digital output. The machine contains an internal (24 or 32 bit?) processor plus the WEISS sample frequency converter (see SFC2) plus the WEISS word length reduction dithering algorithms (see POW-R). Such an integrated set of hardware and software functions is better suited to a dedicated machine rather than as a plug-in for software mastering programs running on a workstation. It appears to me that the K-Stereo is a combination of all three WEISS machines but without the denoiser/declicker. I have found the results to be flexible, optional, non-destructive and add refinement to music reproduction on my system when using digital sources. In other words, I am satisfied with the results for my music collection because they are a plus.
You make some very interesting comments about stereo and distance. I believe that the very best music from my system is heard when I crank the volume up, open the wide doors to my study and take a walk outside about 20 metres from my study.
I noticed that some people very much prefer the sound of TU-X1 as a benchmark. There is something about that machine which is very pleasant to listen to and especially with live performance FM broadcasts. However, when I have the same recording on CD as is being broadcast to my TU-X1 then I would much prefer the CD on my system every time. The TU-X1 sounds to me as though there is a dolby processing happening even when the dolby feature is off.
I am familiar with the Lavry dither algorithms on my Lavry Blue 4496, such as Acoustic Bit Correction, ABC-1 and ABC-2. It is a 2 channel microphone preamplifier, clock and 2 channel analog to digital converter. There are a number of dither choices on the Lavry and a number on the K-Stereo. Their dither algorithms are different and good results can be achieved using either machine. The best results, for me, are achieved by recording on the Lavry Blue in 24/88.2 or 24/96 on the Lavry Blue, then performing no dither within the Lavry Blue and passing the bits to the K-Stereo and only performing dither as the last step prior to conversion to analog output. Note that the Lavry Blue (and Gold) also have a feature for massaging clipping that adds its own puss, as you might say.
The link that that I sent in my previous post contains original and processed samples of the WEISS DNA1 machine and there are some highlighting results of its ambience recovery which should be the same results that are achievable from the K-Stereo machine which I think are assembled in the WEISS factory anyway.
They are at the bottom of that web page. They might help you to form an opinion of destruction or not of the music of ambience recovery.
Regarding destruction with DSP, this is a typical risk/benefit analysis. Is the result a net gain or a net result, that is the question. For example, in converting my vinyl collection to digital I soon stopped performing noise reduction because too much music was lost. So I live with the vinyl noise on my vinyl to digital conversions. But then I have not used the WEISS noise reduction machine so maybe that would have been a solution. Also, your Pacific Microsonics machine and your Lavry Gold machines are DSP machines too, so the results can be very good using a quality implementation in a correct way.
Regards, Peter Foster.