I have read that the DirectStream DAC requires about 500 hours of break-in before fully coming into its own. At this point I have a little over 100 hours on the unit and have been running it continuously using either the Bridge or my Oppo 105D as the source.

My question is how much and of what nature (resolution, sound stage fleshes-out, etc.) can I expect as break-in continues? The reason I ask is that, as of now, I prefer the sound of the 105D solo versus the DS DAC in the mix. Specifically, I find the Oppo to have a better rendition of low level detail, leading edge transients and upper treble response.

I realize that part of the difference is that the 105D has a higher output level. Yes, I have the DS set to the higher output. But when I switch sources between the two which takes about a second and adjust the volume by ear, the differences still exist.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance for this newbie question.


I cannot remember the exactly what I heard during break in, but IIRC, the DS sounded good up to 100 hours and then sounded bad for quite a while. BTW, my unit required > 650 hours to sound right. By right, I mean that no frequencies stand out, that the HF in particular is not bright, the bass is full and the midrange heavenly.

I have not heard the Oppo, so have no idea of the comparison. At 100 hours, it is too early to judge your preference. Hang in there. It does take a very long time, but when you hear the DS “bloom” you will have a basis for comparison.


Is any way of burning in a Directstream better than another ?

Does it matter if the Directstream is attached to speakers or not during the burn-in period ? If not, I would play music into it 24 x 7, and get to 500 hours within about three weeks.

With Thanks


many questions asked and answers given here:

in short, your amp or preamp doesn’t need to be on, but the DS should be connected to one of those.


Thanks PYP.

It is generous of you to point out that existing link.

Since I have so much to learn, and since there is a wealth of information buried in this forum, I’m thinking it might be worthwhile collating a ‘set’ of information that new people can refer to - if it doesn’t already exist.

I can see some active topics, which are pertinent. Will add this one to the list. And, in due course, intend on asking the experienced folk for useful tips, outlook, frameworks, etc. since it will help me and might also assist whoever comes after me in time.

With Thanks

EDIT : subsequent comments included :

  • a note that one should - in general - “RTFM”, which is generally uncontroversial. My own view : good documentation, done once.

  • i don’t think manuals are available for download, so anyone preparing in advance of receiving their equipment which has been ordered and paid for, would not have an ‘F.M’ to read ! (i.e. presently, I don’t have a manual to read !)

  • all knowledge is already in books, but conversation has its place all the same. Teachers still teach at school even though the knowledge is in the books, and so on.

Q: is the burn-in thing real ? I doubted whether cables would make a difference. They do ! What’s the theory behind burn-in ?

Note from personal experience : the Sprout seems to particularly benefit from being left on. the difference between being loads of fun for the money & it ending up on eBay / seems to be how long it has been left on. Or maybe, I’m going nutz. I was loving it last night, but I might just be missing the DS. either way, my 300 W at 4 Ohms HK-990 Class AB integrated amp & dad (rated ‘B’ in stereophile) didn’t get a turn, Sprout played Tidal hi-res all night.

PS : I know manufacturer of Karan brand of amplifier suggests the AMP never be turned off; and it isn’t available for demo at a nearby store unless it has been plugged back in for at least a few days.