Since I’ve taken possession of my new DS Jr. DAC, I’ve experienced quite a few really strange quirks and/or bugs. I’ll enumerate them here as I can recall them from most common to least common (or in the case of the heat issue, the most annoying to the least annoying, since it always runs hot):
The power/standby button on the front of the unit seems to have no consistent behavior with respect to what it does. Sometimes I push it for a fraction of a second and it turns the unit on or off (puts it in and out of standby). Other times nothing happens, so I have to push it and hold it down for 2 seconds. I cannot tell if this is purely a mechanical issue whereby contact is not being made in some situations or whether the unit is in some other “mode” where a simple quick press of the button has no effect.
Out of the box, or after resetting to factory settings, when the unit is put in the Volume display mode, the Dimmer button on the remote is non-functional. That is not to say it has NO effect, but it merely causes the display to flicker for about 1/60th of a second but it stays on and lit. In order to stop this from happening (i.e restore normal functionality to the Dimmer button on the remote) I discovered that I can change the display mode to Bitrate or Bridge and then back to Volume - OR - I can change the dimmer setting (from low to mid to high or whatever) and then the Dimmer function on the remote works fine for the rest of that session.
Using the bridge to stream Tidal and from my local NAS (connected to same router/switch as the Roon core and PC using Tidal via ethernet (which is also the Roon core)) I will experience outages in sound. For example if the unit has been on for a while and Roon core has been running on my PC/laptop, I’ll simply hit “Play” on a song and both Roon (or Tidal directly) will begin playback - AND - the display on the DS JR indicates that the song IS playing, including the bitrate, type of file and volume BUT there is no sound. The only solution is to reset the DS JR using the rocker button on the back of the unit.
There is an audible hiss in the midrange and tweeters of my speakers when using the DS Jr. as a pre-amp. I can’t help but think this affects the noise floor. It does not correlate to the volume setting.
The DS JR runs pretty damn hot. Even in standby (back switch “ON” front switch “OFF”) it generates and radiates FAR more heat than my Class D Hypex Monoblock amplifiers running at high volumes for extended periods. This DAC is what I’d call MORE than just warm to the touch - feels like a 100WPC standard Class A/B amp would feel after about an hour of listening at moderate to high volume. What gives?
Some of these issues have me reconsidering my purchase. I have not done EXTENSIVE searching in the forum archives for possible solutions, but this IS a $4000.00 piece of equipment and several generations in advancement from the previous PS Audio DACs I’ve owned, which all worked flawlessly. I also hate to say it, but I think that the sound of my Direct Stream Junior is not quite up to par with the sound of my Digital Link III that I sold not too long ago. Maybe this thing needs more burn in, I don’t know, but all in all my experience with the DS JR is not living up to expectations. The stock/OEM DLIII had a more holographic, spacious quality to the sound on whatever setting I was using, as compared to the DS JR.
Anyone else have any of these issues as well?
P.S. Firmware is Redcloud I believe - It’s only about a month old so it came with whatever the most recent firmware build was as of June of this year.