Directstream non DSD version?

I’m looking at a used directstream DAC and the seller says it does not play DSD, that it is a non DSD version. I haven’t read anything that says this about the Directstream DACs. Are there different versions of this?

Some miscommunication is at work here somewhere.

I am reasonably certain there is no DirectStream DAC model that does not “play DSD”.

Hopefully someone from PSA will chime in here shortly.

I don’t have anything that is DSD, but I thought this DAC upsamples/resamples to DSD… I thought it was odd that the source file can’t be DSD according this this 1 seller…

He probably mean the PS Audio Perfectwave Dac. That’s the old version before the Directstream Dac. Don’t get it, it’s outdated.

You are right! lol. I just noticed it is the Perfectwave DAC. I’m glad the seller said “non-DSD” version. I was considering a new Gain Cell DAC and just for kicks decided to look for a used directstream DAC (JR at first) and I saw some at slightly more than a new Gain Cell DAC, so now it’s one of my options.

Getting a used Directstream Dac would be nice. Now with the latest Sunlight firmware update, it can play quad rate DSD through it’s I2s input that I find it very hard to beat. Impeccable sound!!

The one on the PS Audio site shows Perfectwave. Are these old stock photos?

No, the new Directstream Dac is still in the Perfectwave series, but it says Directstream on the front faceplate, the old Perfectwave Dac does not.

Thank you! The older model says “Digital to Analog Converter” not “DirectStream DAC.” I guess it was too good to be true… lol damn it.

If you look around, you probably can find a used Directstream Dac for about 3 grand. Believe me, if you do get one, you’ll be glad you did, it’s that good.


I’ve been seeing the older model for around 2k. I’ll keep my eye out for the latest model. thanks!

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There’s one excellently priced on this forum.

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Thanks lonson, I’ve actually seen that one already, although not on this forum. I’m very new to this forum and will definitely have to check out any for sale threads. Back on topic, all the ones I’ve seen for sale seem to be the older model that has “Digital to Audio Converter” on the face vs “DirectStream DAC.” I don’t know how else to differentiate between the non-DSD and DSD capable models at this time. From the information I’ve gathered, this older model (with Digital to Analog Converter on the face) does not play DSD. I don’t have any DSD music, nor do I stream anything at this time, so I am contemplating what I really want/need.

Is it assumed that the same firmware on the DirectStream DAC, whether it is the older model or the new (that plays DSD) will sound the same?

I was first looking to purchase the Stellar Gain Cell DAC before I saw this feedback from this guy. My ears are sensitive to treble and what I am feeling is what I translate to be what people refer to as “fatigue.” I’ve increased my budget quite a bit, but there seems to be no limit, so I am putting a cap on this around 2k +/- a few hundred depending on the model.

I have a DirectStream DAC that says “PerfectWave” on the front–the DirectStream DAC is part of the “Perfectwave” line of products. There is no “earlier” Directstream–there’s just been one. All the DirectStream will play DSD if paired with the appropriate transport or the appropriate file via I2S. The previous model Perfecwave DAC Mk 1 or 2 does not play DSD.

The previous PerfectWave DAC either the original or the Mk 2 used totally different firmware than any of the DirectStream DAC Operating Systems, so there’s no way to compare a firmware in one against the same firmware in another–their whole “topology” is different.

The seller should specify whether or not it’s a current DirectStream or not. If it is a current DSD, it’s unlikely to go as low as $2,000. The old PerfectWave DACs sure could but a current DSD probably won’t.

Sorry for all the questions, but I’ve seen a model that says “PerfectWave Digital to Audio Converter” on the face with the Sunlight firmware (vs the latest with “PerfectWave DirectStream DAC” on the face). If it has the same firmware, can it be assumed it will sound the same as the later model with the same firmware, minus the DSD?

Some of the older Perfectwave models may have been upgraded to the DSD standard with this $3k kit from PS Audio so you really can’t tell by the faceplate if it’s the current version. You will have to ask the seller. Also the sound quality is not even close between the two versions. And of course the firmware is not interchangeable also. I would try and save to get the current model.

If it says “PerfectWave Digital to Audio Converter” and has the Sunlight Firmware, it is identical internally in every way to a model that has “PerfectWave DirectStream DAC” on the face. (Like mine the one that says “Digital to Analog Converter” would be one that was sent in for the upgrade to be installed by PS Audio.) Both will play DSD with the correct input device or format.

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I thought that my ad could not be any more specific.
You can’t imagine some of the correspondence that I have received regarding my ad.
According to some who shall remain nameless, I should be selling for a lower price, or I am running some kind of scam.

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Ignorance can be challenging.

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