Connecting DirectStream DAC Directly to Amp with Sub


I own the DirectStream DAC and want to connect it directly to my amplifier until I aquire a PS Audio BHK Preamplifier. My subwoofer is not a REL (it’s an ELAC S12EQ), and my only subwoofer connection is one RCA LFE IN. I currently use (AudioQuest) XLR cables to connect my preamplifier/processor to my amplifier.

I am a bit fuzzy on properly connecting my DirectStream DAC directly to my amplifier with a subwoofer with only LFE IN. I think I may need an adapter. Please clarify.

Thank you.


Is your LFE input a single ended connection ( RCA ) ?

If so, you could look into a Jensen SS-2NR, high level to consumer converter.

Connects to your amp speaker terminals.

I think that you can sum the outputs for a mono connection. ( with a “Y” cable )

I use the balanced version for my sub connections and is the best sounding way to connect subs that I have found, but I do not need to sum the channels.

and without subwoofer?

I do not know the Jensen SS-2NR converter, but I encourage you to be careful with the Y cable. If it does not contain additional elements (e.g. resistors), it may cause mutual shorting of the outputs. In the best case this will cause signal distortion (output from DSD or preamplifier), in the worst case (short-circuiting the speaker outputs) it may damage the power amplifier.

Yes, this is the “Y” cable.

Unbalanced Mono Summing Y-Cables with Resistors

Look in “other products”

I am not recommending connecting directly to the DS, connection is to the Jensen.

Would someone be kind enough to post photos (or video) demonstrating connecting the DirectStream DAC directly to an amp along with a (non REL) subwoofer?

Nothing on YouTube unfortunately.



You have a similar situation to me. I have RCA inputs into my GR Research W/Frame subs with Rythmic powered amps. I found these instructions from PSAudio menu: "It is not recommended to use both outputs of DirectStream at the same time. You need to choose one or the other. This is because the outputs of DirectStream are transformer coupled and using both an RCA single ended cable and a balanced interconnect, may cause a significant imbalance for the XLR cable, negating one side of the output and thus removing any benefit to going balanced.

In this case it is best to either use the RCA or XLR style Y connectors to feed both a power amplifier and subwoofer, each device should have the same type of input as the other. The alternative would be to use a subwoofer with a high level input, fed from the power amplifier’s output speaker terminals, such as a REL subwoofer."

I have a RCA Y cable

right out of the DS DAC. I use two passive switch boxes which allows me to use the M700’s and Magnepan 3.6’s for DS DAC stereo duty and Front L and R surround duty from my Oppo 205 as pre amp. I just push buttons 1 for stereo and buttons 2 for surround. The passive boxes have no or very little effect on the signal.