DSD using USB input


Forgive me if this question should be placed in the Firmware topic but I’m getting ready to receive a demo DirectStream DAC and I read the below in the user manual.

It is possible to send DSD files (without conversion to DoP) over DirectStream's I2S inputs as well as USB in the future.

Has there been a firmware update to play DSD files natively using the USB input or will I need to have my player software (Pure Music) convert DSD to PCM?

Also, Pure Music can upsample but with my current Antelope Zodiac Platinum DAC, Antelope suggests disabling any upsampling in the player software and allow the Zodiac Platinum to upsample. Is the same true for the DirectStream DAC?

Thx in advance.


DoP isn’t conversion of DSD to PCM. It’s using a PCM wrapper to pass the unadulterated raw DSD. Sort of like sending dts over PCM - the dts data isn’t encoded as PCM: putting it in a PCM wrapper does allow much more hardware to pass the signal unmangled. For the DS DoP is nothing to worry about, in fact incoming non DoP DSD is wrapped in DoP at the inputs to allow it to flow naturally thru the FIFOs etc. (There are some DACs that apparently get more jitter from DoP than DSD, but that’s just not the case with the DS.)


Thx Ted.

So that I’m clear, do I disable the native DSD streaming option of the Pure Music player software when playing DSD files & using the DS USB input?


I’m sorry I don’t use Pure Music: hopefully someone here who does will help you get the settings right.


I haven’t set PM up for awhile now and no longer using it so I have forgotten but tomorrow I’ll see if I can find my notes on it.


I found this in my e mail from Rob, also make sure you are using the latest version, it got mine working. Rob is very helpful, if you need further support use their site to e mail him.

'The DoP Flag setting should be 05FA. If, while launching Pure Music 2.0.2 you see a message that says (AAAA) then you need to change this.

Open the Audio Setup window.

In the Special Options tab, note the DoP Flag setting.

If it is AAAA, hold down the Option (not Command) key on the keyboard. Click the DSD Streaming Device check box.

This will toggle the DoP Flag setting to 05FA.

Click the DSD Streaming Device check box again, to re-check it.

Click the Click to Apply Changes button, and you will be all set.

However, at this point I would recommend doing the following before proceeding:

Shut down (not restart) your computer and power cycle (off - on) your DAC, including briefly unplugging the connecting cable between computer and DAC (while both are powered down).

Note: this DoP Flag setting has been set to 05FA by default since Pure Music 1.88, which was released November 2012. However, for anyone who had Pure Music before that, the default setting of AAAA would have been carried through as a Preference setting, unless it was subsequently changed by the user to 05FA.’

Thank you,

Rob Robinson


Thx rogerdn for all your help. I also find Rob from Pure Music to be supportive. Rob also provided the above recommendations to me when I recently purchased my Antelope Zodiac Platinum DAC. Based on Rob’s suggestion, I’m successfully playing native DSD tracks using the USB input on the Zodiac Platinum.

When my demo DisrectStream (DS) DAC arrives, I believe I’ll need to change my Pure Music setup to disable the DSD native streaming option and opt for the DoP feature with the DS USB input. Easy to do with Pure Music and as Ted mentions there should be no sonic degradation when using DoP with the DS.

Thanks once again and I’ll report my impressions of the DS on its own and compared to the Zodiac Platinum.


I just received my demo DS and it came with version 1.15 firmware. I plan on using the USB input of the DS with a Mac Mini and OS X. Do I need to update the firmware for any sonic improvement reasons?


If you mean Firmware 1.1.5, yes you should upgrade. If you are using a MAC - FPGA 0.61 and later (which come with firmware 1.1.6 and later) does 24/352.8k PCM which is the default for MACs - but more importantly have noticeably better sound quality.



Thanks for recommending to upgrade to firmware 1.1.6 or later for use with my Mac Mini. As the firmware needs to be on an SD card, I’m not sure how to get the downloaded firmware file from the PS Audio Support site to an SD card using my Mac Mini. Can I download to my Android’s SD card? If so, are there any special instructions so that the DS will locate the downloaded firmware file from my phone’s SD card?

If none of the above will work, do I need to contact PS Audio or my dealer for the 1.1.6 firmware (or later) on an SD card?


I download the firmware to my MacOSX desktop. I connect my digital camera to the Mac via USB. I copy the firmware files from the desktop to the camera. Then I unmount the camera, take out the SD card, put it in the DS, power up the DS and let it do it’s thing.


I have an external HDD with DSD and other music files. My DS has the bridge installed. How do I get the DSD music into the DS?



Never mind. I believe my Windows computer at work has an SD Card reader/writer. I’ll make sure I use a Standard SD card that doesn’t exceed 2GB.


Just use the SD card that shipped with the DS and over-write the old firmware files.

brodricj said I have an external HDD with DSD and other music files. My DS has the bridge installed. How do I get the DSD music into the DS?
Are you asking which player to use, how to configure it, how to modify your configuration, how to add DSD to your configuration, etc.?

The How To section of this site has some probably relevant guides: How to setup JRiver 19 for DSD playback or How to play DSD files on Foobar. How to run a bit perfect test with DirectStream has some hints to help you see if your system is otherwise configured correctly for DSD.

If you were asking something else, please give us just a little bit more info.


Cycles2, I highly recommend using the latest firmware update that was made available today, Direct Stream 1.2.1. It will handle DSD and sounds terrific. I also suggest you erase the card first and make sure it is formatted as FAT16. FAT32 may also work (that may be the only option on a Mac but the Windows machine should offer FAT16 as well). Afterwards, remove the card, erase it, and put it back in if you will be using the Bridge (the Bridge uses the card for album art; if you’re not using the Bridge as appears to be the case, you don’t need to put the card back in). Also, remember to unzip the files before you copy them to the card.



Thanks for the suggestions. Unfortunately it’s an audition DS and the SD card that came with the DS didn’t get shipped with the DS. No problem, I’ll just go out and get an SD card locally and download to my Windows 7 computer that has an SD Card reader/writer.

The ‘How To Download Firmware’ instructions on the PS Audio website state that a Standard SD Card (can’t be Ultra or UltraII) and a max of 2GB of storage must be used. Try finding a 2GB, Standard SD card at your local BestBuy or even WalMart.

The smallest SD card I could find locally was a 4GB Standard. My Windows 7 computer didn’t have an option to format the SD card as FAT16. My only formatting options are FAT32, NTFS and exFAT. I tried all 3 formatting options and the DS won’t load the firmware. I confirmed there are 6 files on the SD card. I suspect it’s due to the SD card being 4GB and not the stated 2GB max.

Not to worry, the good folks at PS Audio are sending me an SD card with 1.2.1 loaded on it.


The cards can be frustratingly finicky. I have sometimes had success with FAT32 cards and some people report success with larger cards. Others say that the speed rating matters (consistent with the no-Ultra etc. warning). You might give FAT32 another try or two while you’re waiting for the new card. Sometimes it takes more than one attempt to get it to work. Like I said. Frustrating. You can get 2GB cards from Amazon (at least the last time I checked) but they’re getting to be ridiculously expensive. I could have sworn my Windows 7 Home Premium machine lets me format as FAT16 but they may only be for smaller cards. I wonder if you could partition the 4GB card into two 2GB partitions. Don’t know if it would help but all it would cost is a little time.



The SD card arrived from PS Audio with 1.1.9 pre-loaded. It installed perfectly and I confirmed that the DS is now running the 1.1.9 firmware. I think Ted mentioned there is no sonic difference between 1.1.9 & 1.2.1. Perhaps you or someone out there can confirm.

I don’t mean any disrespect to the crew at PS Audio, but wasn’t it a bit short sighted to design and build such a technically revolutionary DAC that requires a standard 2GB SD card for upgrades? With the supply of these 2GB cards quickly diminishing, we might want to grab a good supply of them. If the DS turns into a smashing success, we’ll dominate the market for upgrade media.


There’s definitely an audible difference between the two releases from the FPGA code and I don’t recall ever expressing an opinion about the sonics of 1.1.9 of the control processor code vs 1.2.1 :slight_smile: Earlier on I’d hoped that there would be little audible effect of changing the control processor code, but a difference is still there. Tho, perhaps, it’s a little more controlled in the DS than the PWD.