DirectStream first impressions with my new system


#1

Over a month ago I was looking to get new speakers, something smaller than my Goldenear Triton 5’s, because I might be moving in the next year. After listening to a dozen or so candidates I was intrigued by what was driving some of these speakers, McIntosh’s MA252 integrated amplifier. So I purchased this based on the BHK stereo amplifier, tubes in the pre and solid state driving the amp. But I still wanted new speakers, so I settled on Legacy’s Calibre compact speaker. While I was at the stereo store, I thought hey how about a new DAC, so came the DirectStream DAC Jr.

At home everything plugged in it sound new, great, amazing and warm. A little of everything. The next few weeks would be dedicated to breaking in. Unfortunately I had a small hick up with the Jr. DAC that the PS Audio team was able to remedy quickly and effectively but I had a feeling If this DAC sounds this good out of the box what would the Sr. sound like. So I upgrade to the DirectStream DAC.

I’ve had the new DAC in for about a week and OMG, amazing sound, detail, warmth (maybe a little too much for my liking) and fluidity with all my music either streamed or USB connected. I can’t say enough about how great this DAC sounds. I’m very happy to be apart of the PS Audio community team moving forward.

My only regret, in hindsight, is instead of purchasing the McIntosh Integrated Amplifier (because now I think it’s to warm) I would have bought 2 M700 amplifiers and 3 AC3 Power Cables to power the DAC and Amps. It would have been cheaper too. The system as it sounds is really warm, which I’m not accustomed to hearing. So many options to choose from when you’re out there shopping. Just when you think you have a good Idea on what you want, then you say why didn’t I think of that. I’ll report back in a month or so on the sound update, other then that this was just a quick overview of my new system and sound quality.

Old System - Bel Canto 2.7 DAC/Emotiva XPA-2/Goldenear Triton 5’s/Rel 328 Sub
New System - DirectStream DAC/McIntosh MA 252/Legacy Calibre/Rel 328 Sub


#2

I’d love to hear how a good system with such small speakers sounds, as it’s so great when one doesn’t see much of speakers!

With your flexibility in switching gear I guess you will soon own PSA amps instead of the Mac, I wouldn’t wonder if you’d improve a lot.


#3

It might not improve the system but it may have better synergy with the DAC. The speakers can handle a lot of wattage which may be limited by the Integrated amp. I play guitar, so sometimes I like to plugin and play along, the louder the better. I was also considering getting Bel Canto’s class D REF 600M’s amps, with my old Bel Canto Dac or this current setup. I like the idea of leaving the amps on all the time not even in standby mode, unless I’m gone for a week or so. I never turned off my old DAC which was recommended by Bel Canto, they say the same thing for their amps, they draw very little power when not in use.

Having a Subwoofer is key to any setup, I especially love Rel’s theory on subwoofer connection and setup.


#4

I have a very similar setup. The Legacy Calibre is a relatively substantial speaker at 50lbs. I’m sure they sound great. I needed something even smaller that could easily be put away in a closet when listening isn’t the focus, shared living space.

I’ve got Dave Fabrikant’s Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2 - simple two-way with highly customized drivers. 6" Seas custom driver, and custom RAAL ribbon. Only 7.5" (19cm) x 14.25" (36cm) face on dimension. They nearly literally disappear and most certainly auditorily.

System consists of a Pink Faun 2.16x server > DS Sr > BHK Sig > M700 all supplied by a P10. Also use Audeze LCD-2F driving by BHK HP amp.

I also demo’d Jr. for about 10 days in November and knew I liked Red Cloud. Upgrading to Sr. was immediately better and no question I’d keep it; though I could have lived quite happily with Jr.

The Pink Faun server is the newest addition with 6 weeks on it. Oh my is it a music server. Paul et al have a high bar to meet with Octave server.

Anyway, look forward to your critic of Sr once you’ve got a few hundred hours on it. I leave it all on, except for the tubes in the BHK. Always ready to listen, otherwise takes 3-4 hours or more to get warmed up.

Oh, subs, yes two servo sealed 12" driven high-level from M700. No doubt better sound than single-ended off preamp. Rythmik agrees with REL and do I.


#5

Totally agree with that statement. Nice system BTW. I agree very similar setups.