Black circles on bottom of DS? Just curious

What are the black circles on the bottom and do they serve some purpose?
Just curious. :):grin:

Do you mean the pads? They are there so if you stack the equipment it doesn’t scratch the other PS gear.

Not the “feet”. There are a few large black circular things that seem to be flush with the casework. I thought it was damping material or something. If you stack it the feet would touch way before those. Odd enough. Leave it to me to wonder about such dumb things.

If you remove the feet the black felt pads will seat the DSD DAC on top of the DMP. . . no scratching, looks very nice.

I believe the felt pads cover access openings in the bottom plate.

Not dumb at all and I should have been clearer. Many people remove the feet and then stack.

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Yes, and I think it’s mentioned in the owners manual that you can do that.There are those small alignment tabs in each bottom corner of the chassis for that purpose. Nice design point.

Indeed. So they fit right together. That looks nice and clean. They knew there was no heat issue. I have a suspension rack I would rather use. Something beyond any feet. However I am not of strong belief a DAC needs isolation as it is not mechanical. Just like it does not need an oven. Some companies will sell you any kind of snake oil. PSA just has a solid lineup of performance products. No BS.

Ovens tend to go in standalone clocks, not so much in DAC’s. And we know what PS Audio thinks about standalone clocks. Which is why none of their products support external clocking.

And ovens in clocks make perfect sense if you want consistent sound when first turning the thing on.

Yes, but MR Smith if I remember correctly sees no need for ovens either. As usual not speaking for him just what I gather he had said. I would agree if that is his stance. Use a good chip. If it deviates in 20 years you cannot hear it anyways. A popular pro audio DAC had an oven. It was his big idea. It was all because he did not design a good circuit according to many. It’s competitor sold thousands more units with no oven. I am not a fan of it. I prefer a good design at room temp. Plus you probably saw what I had to say about “Femto” and I believe MR. Smith agreed. This stuff is all nonsense to sell a product. PSA does none of that. Instead selling the best product for the best price. Nothing fancy just solid design.

Although I have the clock option on the Sotm USB. Only because he did not include a good clock to begin with. The joke is the cable sounds better right into the DS anyways. People will be happy to take your money all kinds of ways. The DS is honestly worth twice it’s price. As well as the P20 and my older PSA products. MR. McGowan was never in the business of snake oil or ripping people off. Contrary. He offers more for the money. Oven or not or anything else you go find a $20k DAC that beats the DS. Once we rule out opinion and do DBT.

Not wishing to sound like I’m raining on the DS parade, but my Esoteric beats it. Not one person who has listened to both in my home have the alternative view. I do agree however the DS punches well above it’s price point, but not at the $20k+ price point. It is close, but not quite there. It’s operational idiosyncrasies keep it out of $20K+ performance, in my view.

And ovens in clocks aren’t there to maintain long term time accuracy. A clock with an oven maintains pre-heat so it sounds pretty much the same from a cold start as it does after 20 minutes or so when everything is warmed up and stable. As the temperature of the clock changes, the sound changes. It’s a very subtle change, but it’s still there. Which is why the oven is there to maintain a constant clock crystal temperature.


A clock with an oven is there for long term stability, which includes start and stop times. As ted has pointed out and you mentioned as well, it has not meaning to the sound, even a clod start (at one frequency) and a warm play time at a slightly different frequency. The ear cannot detect long term (more than a minute) change in clock frequency.

That’s right, I had understood that via Ted etc. I use an external master clock and it has an oven. I use the pre-heat function, which keeps the clock crystal at a regulated temperature whenever the clock is plugged into the wall socket. There is no such thing as a cold-start, turn it on and it sounds the same from that moment forward. If the pre-heat function was not enabled, the system doesn’t sound it’s best until about 20 minutes. It is only a very subtle change in the sound as the thing warms up over time, but it is there. Others have reported similar findings elsewhere. So whatever the technical theory of these things, in practice I’ve come to prefer using the clock with pre-heat engaged.

Esoteric have decided on this approach, presumably because it brings something to their party. At $28K just for the Grandioso G1 clock, and throw in another 3 or $4K for the clock cable, that’s a lot of coin to drop on something if it didn’t work as the marketing suggests.

Wow I thought it was a joke. The clocks really perform better in a given temp range? I thought that was just to keep them from aging. Then I thought MR. Smith had said aging is a non issue either. It makes sense though. Like high end Monobloks sound bad when switched on. In 4 hours they sound super. I am not sure what electronics benefit from being warm if not all. I think maybe an oven was just too expensive for DS. Or maybe MR. Smith saw no need? The DS has one of the best clocks and it is not even Femto. There is honestly no reason a DAC needs to be that fast.

I do not mean to be a jerk but I do have “better” DAC’s as well. Such as the MSB select Custom. With 2 power bases. I have DAVE ETC. I will tell you though had I gotten the DS first I probably would not have gotten DAVE. I think that says a lot. Also the QX-5 Twenty is not quite up to the DS but it does other things. I know, I hoard electronics :blush:

Okay, so you have a master clock on the DS? How, without word input? You went right on it with Alligator clips? I would like to get one. Please tell me what you have! Thanks -Todd

OH wait, Got you MR. McGowan! What I thought. I did not see your post, replying from Exchange server. I was confused. Like I said I have clock upgrade on stupid Sotm USB and other USB junk in the line. I also said, as others will agree any good DAC sounds better with a good cable straight into it from the PC’s onboard controller. For starters PCI card is worse, add 10 other things. Like the oven, more is not always better. Plus I think MR. Smith said they do not age that we can hear in 20 years++. I am sticking with the Experts on this! Yes, MR. McGowan and MR. Smith.

You know MR. McGowan it is cool you know your business too. I know this young guy inherited a huge business. I mean like 8,000 Employees. He has no clue about what they even make lol. Last night I said name ten things you produce and he was furious I made him look stupid in front of everyone. You are going to do a heck of a lot better if you know what the heck you make in the first place lol.

One thing off topic. What speakers are in the PSA listening room? I know several that look like that but not which those are. Curious. No doubt that is serious stuff right there. Thanks

No. My clock is connected to my DAC, which is not a DS.

Mr Smith has explained his clock in DS, and why external clocking is not supported in his designs.

I use the Infinity IRS V, the monster 1.2 tons of 4 column speakers as our reference.

I knew it :blush: In the 80’s I had those and the Apogee Grand Stages. Those were when they made real speakers!

My wife would still insist I move them so she could vacuum.

LOL. You know amazingly I do not have that problem but I feel you.

I am older and we have been married more than half a century. At some point not only does it not matter any more but people are in no shape to use a vacuum HAHA. Of course we have cleaning crew. I still doubt they move the current Wilsons. It makes me sad though. Played Football. Now had to ask Great Grandson to lift the DS. Okay, too much information I know!

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I hear you, brother.