DS Senior on/off and Dim

Coupla interrelated questions:

1 - I want my DS SR screen to always be off. Anyway to do this? When I hit DIM on the remote, the screen turns off, and on when I touch it…then times out… I like this… good. But, when I hit the blue button (on/off) on the front panel off for the evening, and than back on in the morning, the screen turns back on… bad.
2 - Maybe I should never press the blue button (on/off) on the front. Any issues with always leaving the unit “on”? Note I am not referring to the main power button in the rear, I always leave this ON.

Bruce in Philly

I never use the blue button. I leave dim on 24/7,until the display is needed,then back off. Never had any issues that way.

I also always leave the front “power” button on and the screen fully dimmed.

I haven’t turned my DS Sr off or put it in standby for at least a year, except if I’m changing something. And I dim it at night.

The DS Sr screen generates quite a bit of digital noise, so it should sound a tiny bit better if dimmed when listening.

FWIW The only difference between using the blue button or not (or the Off vs the Dim on the remote) when you aren’t listening is that the unit does a hardware mute (e.g. relays) when in standby. It doesn’t affect sound quality or anything else to leave it on all of the time vs. using the blue button or remote to put it into standby. It’s just that if there is a real input the output will be muted when in standby.

And yes many have reported better sound (at least in some circumstances) with the screen off. And (FWIW) you can see a difference on the scope (tho it’s small.)

Thanx Ted… always blue is me from now on.

FWIW… I kinda get PS Audio wanting to have a “cool screen interface”… it is the lipstick that gets some buyers blood up… but really, I can’t think of anything more worthless than tts on a boar. All of this coding for album art etc. only sets up PS Audio for customer service problems with maybe two more sales a year if that.

I don’t mind a DAC that is brick. A single light or two that denotes input sampling rate/stream type is one piece of information, the other is Input. A physical switch that toggles between variable and line out. Beyond that, I am OK with a brick that sounds good.

Even the Ethernet connection should be outboard… configuration of IP etc should be remotely configured from your device. In general, us old-timers learned a long time ago… all-in-one devices are crap, problematic, and expensive to replace… because you have to replace many things just to replace one.

Or like my dad (all our dad’s) would say “Great… what is that going to cost to fix?”

Bruce in Philly


Maybe there should be two versions. It’s just like cars. Some like form following function. Others need the racing stripes.

If the display, etc. isn’t too expensive and (at least when disabled) doesn’t affect sound quality I think there are reasonable number of people that appreciate being able to use it when they want to. I like a no UI DAC (that’s one reason the Jr has an automatic input select option and the Sr will too (hopefully on the next release)), but I’m hoping to find some cheap to implement but still useful features to add to a UI.

The simple HMI is one reason why I really like the Jr. No touch screen or added complexity, real simple and works if and when I need it to. Which, once set up, is pretty rare.

If you are looking for some value-add items, here are a few suggestions: How about building in some common tools available on test discs?

  • Pink noise (L+R)
  • White noise (L+R)
  • Frequency sweeps (L+R)
  • 1Khz tone (L+R)
  • in/out of phase channel checks
  • selective channel mute

Of course you must auto drop volume for any of the tone generators.

Just filling up some of that available memory.

Bruce in Philly


I hadn’t considered that class of possibilities, thanks. It doesn’t take a lot of memory/resources if we don’t need, say, sine waves with 120dB S/N and frequency accurate to ppm

1 Like

+1 regarding Bruce’s suggestions


Howza bout some other another features?

1 - Play files from a USB stick. No you don;t have to build in a player, but maybe one that just plays files sequentially. Great for someone who has a tune or test file to play.

2 - A list of DAC “health” stats… internal temps… (that will generate a ton of calls to cust service eh?), percent of memory used/free… lens % used/free…

3 - Stream data display… PCM 44.1 has meta-data information no? Track number, track time remaining/expended etc…? Index??? Any other metadata that comes blowing through?

4 - Hours/Mnts “on” (can tell if there was a power failure)…

5- What about “volume” level stats of the last track…or other play time stats… then a “reset” button that erases the the registers… collects number of times the source stream hit “full volume” play time vs idle time… times stream had content below and above 20-20khz… (in other words, wacky data tracker).

6 - Dither… allow user to add different types of dither to the stream… Audio Alchemy had this… I can’t remember which type I used but one of them did improve the sound for me.

7 - Compressor/Limiter… I know I am stretching a bit here but this may trigger some other ideas

8 - Stereo/Mono mixer

9 - L-R flipper

10 - “Loudness compensation” and other canned tone curves… heck, while we are at it, why not some sort of tone controls or hell, a 10-band equalizer!!! All in the digital domain.

11 - Feedback control information… send a signal back down the USB line to a window on my PC that pops all this cool information… maybe even control the DAC from this window… input select etc…

12 - OK, now for my dream feature… the be all to end all… the one … the only… BAD MUSIC FILTER…!!!

Bruce in Philly (drinking too many Pilsner Urquels again)

Not possible on DS and DS Jr, Probably on TSS

Not possible on DS and DS Jr. TSS has multiple temp, voltage and current sensors, etc. Memory free isn’t relevant for anything in the DACs, there are no operations that use a variable amount of memory and the FPGA tools often use all of the FPGA resources (they just work harder/longer if they need to to make things fit.)

No, PCM (by definition) doesn’t have any meta-data (it’s a complete specification for every bit: just samples of a given width.) I2S has no bandwidth for adding metadata, S/PDIF, AES3 and TOSLink have some predefined meta data, but often it’s wrong and measuring the true sample rate etc. is more accurate. USB has the possibility of passing metadata, but then you can’t use standard drivers…

No RTC (that survives power failures anyway) on the DS, DS Jr. or TSS, it is possible to do time powered up on all of them.

On the DS and DS Jr doing any FFTs (or other frequency based statistics) probably won’t happen, they are a possibility on the TSS. The displays on the DS and DS Jr don’t really have the bandwidth for metering, but VU meters, etc. (and presumably decaying peak levels, etc.) are a expected feature of the TSS and we’ve briefly talked about spectrograms, etc. Not for the first release :slight_smile:

Dither won’t help anything in the DS, DS Jr or TSS. It’s only needed for DACs that don’t really support more than, say, 16 bits.

Probably not enough bandwidth in the DS and DS Jr. I don’t like the idea much (UI hell, etc.) but I’ll think on it.


Less likely: UI hell. Tho the equivalent of the old loudness knob sounds interesting for those that like to listen more quietly than the recording and mastering engineers expected.

Some of this is possible (in the TSS) without custom USB drivers (for the PC, MAC, Linux, etc.) But most playing programs, streamers, etc. wouldn’t be able to interpret it. I haven’t looked into demultiplexing that data from the audio in various platforms, but I’m reasonably sure it’s a software rabbit hole.


It might be nice if you could allow 2 different OS/Firmware versions to be loaded in the DAC at the same time, kind of like dual boot on a PC, and then switch between them without having to fiddle with SD cards. That would make it easier to compare versions.

There will be more flash memory than the DS and DS Jr, but at best you’d still need to wait for a boot to switch. I’m pretty sure the boot will be faster tho. I’m not sure if having two releases to choose from will work since we want to keep one working version while a new one is being loaded, (hence requiring four versions in flash.)