Does the DirectStream DAC need to be rebooted every so often?

I know that my computer, iPhone and iPad all seem to benefit from being restarted. With the DSD being a computer-based device, should it too be rebooted once in a while?

It would be nice if it didn’t. The DS doesn’t run low on resources over time like some systems, but:

We know that power glitches (either from the power mains or from a non-PS Audio I2S device that provides 5V over the HDMI cable) can cause it to wedge: the display freezes and the remote doesn’t work. At times when the control processor is wedged it can be in a “bad” loop which can affect sound quality a bit.

There’s a separate issue with suspend/low power features of USB (depending on how it’s configured and especially on MACs) that can cause a need to reboot both the DS and your computer.

Also, conceivably, if the bridge gets a power glitch, etc. sound quality or UI issues may happen (I don’t have any direct experience with this one.)


@tedsmith - as always nuggets of wisdom, explaining so well what the ear hears :pray:
This happened to me recently. Upgraded the fw on an innuos zenith and changed the native dsd vs dsd over pcm setting on the computer. Innuos connects the dac via usb.
The sound Was ‘shouty’
Rebooted dac 1st then the server, and the blackness returned.

Thanks @tedsmith Ted.

I should have also asked, what would be the best way to accomplish this reboot? I’m guessing that I would first press the blue button on the front panel and then power it down completely by using the switch on the rear panel. Am I correct? Does it need to be unplugged too?

The button in the upper left basically mutes the DAC, but you should never use the plug or power switch without the rest of the system being muted (or disconnected.) So the button on the upper left is technically not needed.

If you should happen to have a non-PS Audio I2S device that provides power you should disconnect that before powering the DS down.

The power switch is sufficient, you don’t need to unplug the DS for a simple reboot.

Also you probably want to remove the SD card from the back, unless you really want to reload the OS.


I just leave mine on 24x7 and haven’t had an issue. Once in a while, the HDMI/I2S will “freak out” and I just power cycle those boards and mute the DAC as Ted mentioned. Haven’t had to hit the rocker switch on at he back in along time.

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Yes, sometimes my DSS ’freezes’ and will have to be restarted through the power switch (inconveniently located on the back). Also, at times mConnect won’t show ‘Bridge’ as an option when I want to stream music via Tidal. Again, hard reboot helps.

I certainly think it is a good idea at least once a month. It is more or less a computer. Wouldn’t you reboot your computer? Flip the rocker switch in back though. The blue button in front does not reboot it.


I have always disliked Windows, but IMHO the greatest damage Microsoft did to the world is “teaching” people that computers “need” to be rebooted every so often.

In the “real” computer world (mainframes as well as larger UNIX systems as well as workstations) it’s not at all unusual for computers to go years without a reboot.

I certainly know that my Linux boxes and Macs are only rebooted when an update requiring a new kernel is installed; they are never rebooted “just because.”

Here is an article from 2013 about a Sun Solaris server that had an uptime of 3737 days of continuous operation:

Compare to the registers at my local grocer that reboot about 1 AM every night because they’re running Windows Embedded.


I used to have a screenshot of a terminal session showing “uptime” on a HP-UX box, 10,000 odd days - agree, a robust OS does not need rebooting, but, many (most) modern systems seem to require it once in a while - just too many lines of code and built quickly…

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Hi Ted, would it be possible to have a daily reboot feature? I know there is no way of knowing the absolute time, but provided you could set up a 24hr timer you could have a setting where you specify how many hours time to do a reboot. The variable could decrement down each hour until zero, then reset back to 24 and do a reboot.

I sometimes find I have to do a reboot to get bass back, particularly if left unused for a few days.

I recently rebooted my entire system to restore good sound, so not sure which component actually needed to be rebooted.

With the recent thunderstorm activity in my area my system gets frequent reboots.

The problem with software rebooting the DS is that it’s much less reliable that turning the power off and back on. That’s part of why upgrades aren’t as reliable as we all would like: the reboot after changing the software load. This is a software problem left over from the original coder and a few of his repeated mistakes. In an ideal world PS Audio would rewrite all of the software he ever touched, but besides the obvious amount of work required, we all are pretty used to his bugs (e.g. powering off and back on after a software upgrade) and rewriting everything would add new bugs. New products from PS Audio should be more robust on this point, new coders know that they need to reinitialize all of memory on booting. In the mean time a reboot every once in a while is probably the best thing we can do.


Thanks, Ted, that’s great advice.

Thanks Ted. I got the idea off my Auralic streaming device and that also at times leaves the unit in a locked state after the software reboot.

Is that because you’re turning your system off before the storms hit, or is your system getting rebooted because the power goes out during a storm, then back on again?

I’ve discovered that when the power goes off, then back on again, for whatever reason, my system doesn’t sound right. I then reboot everything correctly by turning the power switches off on the back of the units, then back on again, which restores optimal sound.

I shut everything down when a storm approaches and I pull the plug. When the storm passes I do the opposite. I do not notice any change in SQ.

And you shouldn’t, everything was shut down correctly.

Things seem to get whacked when a power outage happens and the power comes back on when all the switches on the gear are turned on.