Four Questions about the Direct Stream DAC Upgrade:

RE: Kit availability (DIY Upgrade)…If you want to be sure to complete an order before supplies are limited, but you’re not quite ready to purchase, how soon would you need to place an order?

RE: Ease of DYI Installation…Okay, for those of you who have completed the upgrade at home, just how difficult is it to install?

RE: DSD download offerings from, say from Acoustic Sounds…How do they compare to high res PCM downloads?

RE: Redbook PCM files…How do they sound when converted to DSD compared to the same Redbook PCM files played via the PWD MKII?


Most people should have no problem doing the upgrade with a modicum of care. If you’re mechanically inclined you probably don’t need any instructions beyond getting the cover off.

I certainly like most DSD downloads (and SACD rips) better than equivalent high res PCM downloads, but the difference isn’t huge in some cases. (There are a few that sound better in PCM; the ones I’ve noticed were recorded and mastered in PCM.) As always the providence of the material is paramount.

It depends on what does the conversion to DSD and what you play the DSD on. When using the DirectStream for both there’s a significant difference playing redbook on the DS vs the MKII.

timequest said: Kit availability . . .

Paul previously posted (PPP) that he expects kits to be around for a good amount of time, noting that the PWD MKII kits were available for a year.

Ben, on your second question, no kits have shipped yet.

I would say that if you have built a Personal Computer then installing the DirectStream upgrade kit should be no challenge. If you installed the PWD Mk.II upgrade then certainly the DirectStream upgrade is easily also doable, just three boards instead of one.

If you feel uncomfortable doing this yourself then you could probably have a local PC tech do it for a modest sum. Anyone comfortable and competent doing PC work should be able to do this.