Direct Stream Jr. very buggy - anyone else have similar experiences?

My DSJr is working without a problem. I had issues with stuttering, track skipping and just plain stopping streaming Tidal through the Bridge II, and always thought the bridge software was responsible. It was, as the latest update works (almost) flawlessly. The frequent glitches using Mconnect are gone!

How many here run their DAC jr without a preamp, and have a noticeable hiss coming through the speakers as a result? I was told that the hiss is because of line noise, and that it would go away with a line conditioner like the PS Audio Dectet, or if I used a preamp. The hiss usually doesn’t bother me, as I can’t hear it most of the time, only during quieter passages, but it still bugs me. If I was to add a preamp, I’d get the BHK pre, but can’t swing that purchase at this time, as I just sprung for the DAC jr, DMP, and BHK 250. So it would be nice if the affordable Dectet line conditioner did the trick.

Thanks, roninaudio. Valid points.

Np Charley. At the end of the day, get the best sounding equipment you can for your setup that you are comfortable with. Best of luck and happy listening.

Thanks for the reply, Paul. I recently read where you offer a 30-day, risk-free home trial, money back (and free shipping) guarantee. This really shows you do stand behind your products! Quick question before I order a DSJ, I have a MacBook Pro running OS X 10.13.6 streaming Tidal via Roon. I currently have an Oppo Sonica DAC going to a Crown XLS 1502 Amp, driving SVS Ultra Bookshelf speakers. Will changing my Oppo DAC to the DSJ work well in this configuration? Will Roon recognize the DSJ as a Roon endpoint? Will the DSJ unfold an MQA stream beyond the first unfold (96kHz) done by Roon? TIA for the info!

If you want to connect a MacBook to a DSJ via USB you might find, as some of us have already found and reported here, that the two devices can stop talking to each other requiring a reboot of the DSJ. So if that behavior still fits within your definition of “working” then yes, what you propose will work. If you use the DSJ as a pre-amp make sure your levels are tweaked so that 80 on the dial of DSJ doesn’t play too loud.
And about MQA unfolding and what happens where, just don’t think about that too much. DSJ is a Roon supported device. Roon is a supported Tidal device, but according to Tidal, DSJ is not.

Edit: So after discussing this with someone who owns the DAC jr and reviewed it, it’s obvious that line noise isn’t the issue, as he used the jr direct to amp along with a good conditioner, and the hiss was still noticeable. The hiss is intrinsic to the circuit when running without a preamp. This is something that should’ve been pointed out to me by my dealer and PS Audio, after asking numerous questions in regards to how the digital volume control in the jr compares to the Stellar Gain Cell Dac/PRE, which I was considering first, but ended up going with the jr, based on answers to my questions.

Thanks, Brodric. Good to know. Is the comm issue between MBP and DSJ acknowledged by PSA, and being addressed in an upcoming release?

Well, they’ve known about it for a long time. Whether it’s on their list of things to be fixed, they haven’t said.

For a plethora of information on noise when using the DS Jr. without a preamp, please see the following post and included links: clicky

Thanks Elk. I tried the link from my phone but it didn’t take me anywhere.

Thanks, Brodric. And FYI, having to occasionally reboot the DSJ does not fit my definition of “working”. I’m all Apple/Mac these days. In my home office I have a MBP connected to a 27" 5k monitor that is my primary computer (and is connected to my audio system). I also have an iMac 27" 5k I use. Both computers can run Windows 10 in a VM, but I seldom use it. Mainly when I need to use MS Visual Studio or MS Access. So, my system HAS to work (reliably) in the Mac OS X world. BTW, do you think this comm issue not being resolved means that the DSJ is not really designed to interface with a Mac? I would think that’s a pretty major issue for people wanting to use the DSJ like I do.

I’m very sorry, I left the post with a broken link - far from useful. It should work for you now. If not, please let me know and I’ll fix it or try a different method.

This fact about the USB port on the Mac has been regurgitated many times on this forum, so my question is why a Mac computer and it’s USB port going to sleep is a DSJ problem and not a Mac problem? Is the problem also solved by re-booting the Mac instead of the DSJ? If so then it is not strictly a DSJ problem.

The problem is not resolved by re-booting the Mac, it is resolved by re-booting the DSJ.
My Esoteric has no connectivity issues with the Mac at all. But the DSJ does.

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So your saying you’ve tried re-booting the Mac and it didn’t work?

There hasn’t been much complaining about it, so it probably isn’t getting much traction as an issue to be fixed. The DSJ Mac connectivity issue manifests itself in both my old MacBook, and more recent MacBook Air.


My DSJ is working without a problem :smile: It’s my second unit, but it’s worked flawlessly since February.

I will say that the hissing noise was there with my PS Audio DLIII when connected “directly” to my power amp via a passive pre-amp - meaning it was being sent through a glorified potentiometer as a volume control. Never saw the hiss as a problem - but never had speakers more efficient than 92dB (currently 88 or 89dB) - and wasn’t necessarily intending to complain about it, rather, find out whether it was a known behavior. It never affected my music listening. The DSD (Sr.) has a lighter hiss when connected to my power amp. Probably due to the type of digital volume control they are using.

I don’t see it as something to fix, given that they do sell pre-amps and we’re not necessarily using the DSJ and DSD (Sr.) the way PS Audio intended - rather, a kind of workaround from having to buy a preamp. For example, you can’t use any non-digital sources this way if you’re using a PS Audio DAC as a preamp, but you can if you buy one of theirs or someone else’s. That said, PS Audio’s preamps PROBABLY end the hiss “issue”.