DirectStream Modifications


#1

We are considering offering modifications to the DirectStream that would include:

  1. Custom transformers in 2 versions: Silver Clad Copper or Crystal Silver windings

  2. Jupiter Capacitors (complete or key areas)

  3. Cardas RCA & XLR inputs

  4. FuruTech IEC connector

  5. Viishay Resistors

  6. Silver wire in key areas

  7. Sorbothane Sheetiing

  8. All joints are WBT Ag + Resistance Soldering.

No changes in circuity - just increased values & quality.

Assessing interest and additional wishes.

NB: These possible offerings are completely outside the PSA system and are NOT endorsed. If they are willing, we would send prototype units to Paul & Ted for auditioning.

Thank you


#2

Christopher, would these be custom transformers? How would you insure that the low pass, frequency transfer, out of band, and impedance characteristics that are so critical to this device will be met relative to the original? My interest is piqued.


#3

Have you done any of these mods and listened to them?


#4

That was my question as well - have these upgrades been tested and voiced?

After what Ted’s said about the output transformers, I’m concerned changing them will trainwreck the mods.

I’m always curious though… :slight_smile:


#5

Would it make sence to add the

Synergistic Research’s NEW Reference RED Fuses?


#6

The clock system is also special.

Is this some kind of a DIY mod or is it from a reputable firm?

I would say this initiative live and die with PS Audio’s appoval, at least from my side.


#7

This is exactly what give audiophiles a bad name. Who is “we” and what is the rationale for these changes?? Didn’t Ted mention transformers and fpga were chosen and designed to work together? Any knowledge engineering knowledge by the modder? Even though audiophiles might not care to know it but the laws of physics and electricity apply to even the most esoteric piece of equipment.


#8

Transformers will match stock except for wire choice. USA manufacture including wire.


#9
Shiloh the Golden Retreiver said We are considering offering modifications to the DirectStream that would include:
NB: These possible offerings are completely outside the PSA system and are NOT endorsed. If they are willing, we would send prototype units to Paul & Ted for auditioning.

Thank you


Shiloh,

I truly believe in the goodness of upgrades and I wish you well with you DS upgrade plans, but it would be a deal breaker for me if you don’t have/can’t get PS Audio’s blessing in writing so that the PS Audio warranty remains intact. It just would not be worth the risk to me.

Dave


#10

My experience is that simply changing components to “better” versions typically does little, if anything, to improve the sound. And some are detract.

To be effective, mods need be designed by someone who truly understands the unit and fully appreciates what will and what will not make a positive improvement, such as Rick Cullen’s work on PS Audio, Steve McCormack on McCormack audio products, Northern Sound on Wadia (by former Wadia engineer). Otherwise lots of toy parts typically get thrown at a design with nothing gained but cost.

Oddly enough, competent engineers working on a new design try many different parts, combinations, routing schemes, etc. and have already employed what really works. Go figure.


#11

And yet almost every product is full of compromises to meet a cost or market target. Even the DirectStream has its compromises, however minor their impact on the sound may be.

I don’t know about the transformer mod as that I believe is fairly finely tuned. The connector and caps might have a fair chance of improvement. Resistors, maybe, but I am still really skeptical about wire changes, especially a few inches worth.

Until I have the funds to buy a DirectStream of my own I am just an interested bystander. Still watching with curiosity.

J.P.


#12

hmm I will stick with the stock DS unit voiced by PS Audio and take advantage of future firmware changes as Ted sees fit.

I have myself been very happy replacing some output caps on my Hypex NCORE NC400 amps and yes they were way better sounding to the ear than the stock caps were. though there is no firmware to influence the amps operation present or future.

Cheers

John


#13
Elk said My experience is that simply changing components to "better" versions typically does little, if anything, to improve the sound. And some are detract.

To be effective, mods need be designed by someone who truly understands the unit and fully appreciates what will and what will not make a positive improvement, such as Rick Cullen’s work on PS Audio, Steve McCormack on McCormack audio products, Northern Sound on Wadia (by former Wadia engineer). Otherwise lots of toy parts typically get thrown at a design with nothing gained but cost.

Oddly enough, competent engineers working on a new design try many different parts, combinations, routing schemes, etc. and have already employed what really works. Go figure.


This was not my experience with the PWD, I replaced the IEC connector with a Furutech , changed the AC hook up wire with silver wire with Teflon coating and removed the AC switch. All the AC wires were solder in place to remove the push on connectors. This in addition to adding Stillpoint Ultras made a substantial improvement in the sound.

Shiloh do you have a rough idea of expected cost?


#14

I wonder what happens when the unit is modded to sound better, and then the firmware is changed, what if it now doesn’t sound better ?


#15
Elk said My experience is that simply changing components to "better" versions typically does little, if anything, to improve the sound. And some are detract.

To be effective, mods need be designed by someone who truly understands the unit and fully appreciates what will and what will not make a positive improvement, such as Rick Cullen’s work on PS Audio, Steve McCormack on McCormack audio products, Northern Sound on Wadia (by former Wadia engineer). Otherwise lots of toy parts typically get thrown at a design with nothing gained but cost.

Oddly enough, competent engineers working on a new design try many different parts, combinations, routing schemes, etc. and have already employed what really works. Go figure.


Ditto for me.

I believe in upgrades to “vintage” equipment, but I don’t believe the risk is worth the possible reward if mods void the warranty on a new component. However, it PS Audio endorses the mods and continues warranty coverage, that is a different matter.


#16
erikm said I wonder what happens when the unit is modded to sound better, and then the firmware is changed, what if it now doesn't sound better ?
No FW effect. Same circuits and population values except caps which will have 3-4x storage capacity.

#17

Thank you all for posting. The general consensus appears to be one of little interest. The plan is to exhibit both a modded and stock DS at RMAF this Fall to A/B via matching Sennheiser HD800s.We will source DSD stream using the CAPS v.3 Zuma from Small Green Computer

As we get closer to to that date I will post in this thread where to find the “DS test bench.”

Again, thank you all and keep posting.


#18

It will be interesting to learn of third-party impressions.


#19
Moose68Bash said Ditto for me.

I believe in upgrades to “vintage” equipment, but I don’t believe the risk is worth the possible reward if mods void the warranty on a new component. However, it PS Audio endorses the mods and continues warranty coverage, that is a different matter.

That will never happen. I don’t know of any company that would support devices that have been modified, even (or especially) professional modification.

And the thoughts above make sense - Ted is working his magic on Firmware update using a stock device, what if the changes sound great on the stock, but terrible on modded?


#20

And again, who exactly is “we?”

What will the cost be?

What efforts have you made to determine which changes work, which do not, and the cost effectiveness of each?