Direct Stream won't turn on


#1

Hello. I updated to Huron a couple of weeks ago and all was good in my audio world. Fantastic, actually. However, I haven’t been able to listen to my main system since then. Been too busy. :-/ But today I had some time on my hands so I thought I’d fire up the system. Yes! :smiley: …Nope. My DS is apparently dead. :frowning: However my P10 seems totally fine and is running as normal, as if nothing happened. No indication of a fault or anything. Maybe that’s entirely the case. We’ve had some hot weather as well as stormy weather here and there, but all my other gear is completely unscathed. Even my gear in my livingroom (that is not hooked up to a superior power system like the P10) is totally fine. Anyone have any ideas?

General info:

  1. I leave my DS always on (in stand-by mode) and have my P10 programmed accordingly. I’ve found that digital gear sounds best when kept in stand-by and stand-by should save wear and tear (versus “cold” start-up : full power off to full power on).

  2. I tried one of the other outlets on the P10 and checked to make sure all connections were secure. DS still doesn’t turn on.

Anyone else run into this problem? My guess is that maybe a marginal part (like a cap, resistor, or diode) in my DS went kaput. I know that things like that are rare, but can happen.

Hopefully someone from PS Audio support will rescue my downed DS and get me back to audio bliss.


#2

(I’m not representing PS Audio here) Have you tried to unplug the DS for, say, at least 10 minutes? If you suspect the P10 in anyway you can bypass it for a quick test. Otherwise I’d call or email PS Audio support.


#3

You’re not representing PS Audio? Or you mean just with regard to my issue (which seems hardware related vs software)? Because I hope YOU DO represent PS Audio. You’re the DS’s sensei! It bows to you. Hahaha!

Anyway…yes I tried plugging it straight into the wall after it sat for several hours with no power connection. Still a no go. No sign of life. Good suggestion though. I once had a piece of gear that needed a complete power off reboot after a small static charge (from my hand touching it) caused a microprocessor to go wonky.

I’ve contacted support.


#4

I just wanted it to be clear that I don’t speak for PS Audio with respect to warrantee, service or non DS related issues. I did design and layout and program the digital and analog cards in the DS, but your issue was more likely to do with either the display/control processor or power supply in the DS which came from the PWD where PS Audio has much more experience than I.

I’ve been burned a time or two by static charges needing to bleed off, that can be scary since you don’t normally think about that problem at first and don’t know what the heck is going on. One time an overzealous fellow shot my open DS with one of those static zapping “demagnetizers”. At least that time I knew that I’d need to wait a while for things to work (if they weren’t trashed, I was a little pissed :slight_smile: )


#5

No problem, Ted. I appreciate your help. I have support on the case via e-mail too.

But on another note. If the fuse blew, what would’ve caused this to happen? My DS is hooked up to a P10. Shouldn’t the P10 have protected the DS from overvoltage? To me, that’s the real head scratcher.

I know that sometimes fuses simply wear out too, similar to the filament in a light bulb. Do you think that’s the case? It’s very strange and I’m hoping it is simply a fluke (marginal fuse). I would hate for this kind of thing to become a bigger problem.


#6

I don’t know how often fuses blow in the DS (or PWD, etc) or why - the power supply board is pretty robust (and the transformer is huge compared to what it could be.) I’ve shorted the power at least once on the analog card and on digital card while debugging over the years without blowing the fuse (or hurting anything)… Once again PS Audio is more likely to have experience there.


#7

I have had fuses blow on equipment plugged into PowerPlant, especially big tube amps. My guess is that the current rush occasionally is a bit much for the fuse and it simply does its job by blowing.

i do not worry about the rare fuse blowing. If it happens regularly/often I would track down the cause. If it is a once a year or less sort of thing I would not give it another thought.


#8

If I was using $100 fuses, I personally would worry, but that is just me I’m relatively poor compared to most of the regulars.

And I have never heard of a fuse wearing out like a light bulb. It is basically a piece of wire that is sized to the point that it won’t handle anything bigger than what is rated. Slow blow, probably a hair bigger than a fast blow, which is right at the limit. My explanation is of course an over simplification, but it covers it. I imagine if you are pushing a slow blow to it’s limit daily, well then when it goes, it could fit the light bulb analogy, but I would still be wary. More likely a freak surge caused it to go. Remember it doesn’t have to be catastrophic, just over the rating.


#9

Whether fuses wear has been long debated on car enthusiast forums. The manufacturers state not really, pointing out modern fuses are made of copper and silver with high melting points. Others point out various forms of metal fatigue and close to failure conditions which can cause wear.

Keep in mind that high amperage/current blows fuses. Thus, it is undervoltage which puts the fuse at risk, couple this with current rush to charge capacitors, etc. can lead to a fuse blowing even without any fault in the equipment.

Writing of aftermarket super fuses, I have always wondered the degree to which these fuses have been properly designed to actually operate as fuses, with precise failure points.


#10

I’ve never had a fuse blow in a (relatively) low voltage piece of gear. So this is a bit of a surprise.

After finally getting the DS’s case open and replacing fuse in position F1, the DS now powers up just fine. What’s baffling is that I had my DS plugged into my P10 when the fuse blew. Note that my P10 is using nowhere near its power limit. My system uses 20% of the P10’s capacity at most. Regardless, even in a short power outage and any consequential inrush, the P10 should’ve protected the DS. Here’s the info I got from support regarding what could’ve happened:

“The protection circuitry within the unit (P10) is quite sophisticated. However, it’s not perfect. We could have spent a lot more time and engineering making it better, but that would drive up the cost even more. Depending at what part of phase the waveform was at when it came though, it wouldn’t have protected it. Statistically it is very unlikely, but it is certainly possible.”

What I’m gathering is that the fuse blew in my DS essentially due to a fluke. It could easily have been just a marginal fuse that finally gave way. Keep in mind these are made in very high quantities. There has to be at least some manufacturing variability. I also wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the fuse taking small amounts of stress here and there, which finally caused it to blow. It’s really hard to say. The good thing is that the fuse seems to have done its job and my DS is fine. If it happens again, within a relative short period of time, then something else is likely wrong.

I’m glad I didn’t have an upgraded fuse in it. I once blew a Furutech fuse in an amp and it made me want to throw up…though it protected my amp.laugh I’m not here to debate hifi fuses. They are simply YMMV regarding their effects. However, something to always keep in mind is that a fuse’s #1 job is to protect equipment and possibly one’s home. I like Furutech accessories in general. Everything they make is very well built and engineered. Their fuses are UL listed too. I don’t think the same can be said for HiFi Tuning, Synergistic, and some other hifi fuses. These products may be just as good and may even offer more sonic benefits, but I personally sleep more “soundly” knowing the fuses in my gear have been agency tested and certified.happy-048_gif For now, I’m going to hold off putting expensive fuses in my DS though.


#11
ryanpdavidson said What I'm gathering is that the fuse blew in my DS essentially due to a fluke. . . . The good thing is that the fuse seems to have done its job and my DS is fine. If it happens again, within a relative short period of time, then something else is likely wrong.
My thinking exactly. My bet is you will not blow another fuse in the DS.

It is good to hear a Furutech fuse previously did its job for you.


#12

On a side note : I cleaned the fuse when I reinstalled it. It is just a stock replacement from PS Audio (excellent customer support BTW). I was able to clean a notable bit of gunk off the ends of the fuse with some Deoxit and a paper towel. Regardless of one’s views with respect to hifi fuses, it is hard to argue that a clean electrical connection isn’t a better connection overall. So…if you’re bored, clean your stock fuses. I bet they’re dirty.laugh


#13

Good point.

All of a system’s electrical connections oxidize/get grubby just sitting there, including the electrical plug into the wall/PowerPlant. It is well worth occasionally unplugging everything and giving it a good cleaning. I suspect just the make and break of disconnecting everything itself improves connectivity and, as a result, the sound.