External Hard Drive with DSD MkI

I have an external hard drive filled with music, which I used to run into an old Bryston BDP - 1 digital transport and then into the AES/EBU DAC input. Is there a way to simply run the external hard drive directly into the USB input on the DAC and operate the music through the DAC, or the USB from the hard drive into the Bridge II? If so, what app would I need? Thank you. Neal

You will need a digital transport or streamer; you can’t just plug the USB drive into the DS Mk1. To use the Bridge II you will need a streamer with an ethernet output, of which there are very few. (A more common solution for using the Bridge is to store the music on a NAS.) Some streamers have I2S output, which is the best – sounding source to use with the MK 1. All streamers have a USB output, but many consider the USB input on the MK1 less good in terms of sound quality.

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Thank you. I have a Holo Red Streamer with an I2S output. But where do I connect my external HD? Thx. Neal

Holo Red does not have its own streaming software. You need something like Jriver or Roon and I know there are others. they connect to the red and act as a player that sends the music files to the Red who streams to your DAC. In the Red setup page you pick what you need. I use Roon so that is enabled. You might UPnP enabled and use Jriver. Foobar is anther that might work and I think is free.

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There are some streamers that do allow you to plug a USB drive in for external storage; the Holo Red is not one of them, which is unfortunate since you already own it. The iFi Zen Stream is one of them. (I ordered one and the box is sitting here since it came earlier today— I’m not yet able to give any details about how well it works. But it has only USB out, which is not ideal for the Mk 1.) There is a lengthy thread here about which streamer to use with the DS DAC. You can find a lot of useful information there even though you were still using a Mk1.

Apart from what others have already mentioned, another way to ‘connect’ your external hard drive to your DSDAC is to install VideoLAN’s (free) VLC which, apart from playing video, also reads and plays WAV and FLAC music files from the hard drives known to the computer onwhich VLC is installed. After connecting to the USB input on your DSDAC and after installing PS Audio’s USB driver for the DSDAC, from within VLC you can choose the DSDAC as an audio ‘device’. You then simply ‘open’ an individual music file or an album ‘folder’ for ‘playing’.

The Eversolo DMP-A6 allows you to hook up an external drive and it has a pocket to insert up to a 4TB M2 drive. I spent $226 on a 4TB M2 and filled that up using its interface. Both internal and external drives are easy to connect to on the local network via a Windows, Unix, or Apple device. Username and password protection is an available option.

If you wanted you could hang the Red off of it as well.


A bit of a Swiss Army Knife, and I reckon a welcome addition to anyone’s secondary system.