GOLDEN EAR!


#1

TAS gives Paul and Ted top honors:

“PS Audio DirectStream DAC $6000 Sometimes it’s good to start over from scratch when designing a new component. That’s what designer Ted Smith did—he started with the idea that DSD recordings sound good and designed a DAC around that premise. Not satisfied with commercial chips, software guru Smith began with a field programmable gate array (FPGA), a digital blank slate. He fashioned the FPGA into a DAC that converted all incoming PCM files to DSD128 files, then decoded them with a 24dB-per-octave low-pass filter (LPF) that has far less harmful sonic impact than typical brickwall PCM filters. PS Audio’s Paul McGowan heard a prototype, loved it, and agreed to build it. VF thought it was easily the best digital sound he’d heard, but the DAC needed lots—probably 500 hours—of breakin. While the DirectStream DAC sounded fantastic with high-resolution music files, perhaps its most notable accomplishment was how it sounded with plain old Red Book sources. Even though the original product sounded superb to VF, one of the benefits of using an FPGA is that it can be reprogrammed to upgrade the sound, and through PS Audio’s website, Smith has issued several revisions to the DirectStream DAC’s firmware and operating system, each time making marked improvements. These updates are easily installed from an ordinary SDHC memory card. There’s no reason to think additional upgrades beyond the current Pikes Peak operating system won’t be forthcoming. So what started as an excellent DAC continues to get even better. And it doesn’t cost owners anything for the upgrades, if they choose to go with downloads. How’s that for customer support?”

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#2

Outstanding! Congrats to Ted, Paul and the whole PS Audio team.


#3

Very nice!


#4
wglenn said TAS gives Paul and Ted top honors:

“PS Audio DirectStream DAC $6000 Sometimes it’s good to start over from scratch when designing a new component. That’s what designer Ted Smith did—he started with the idea that DSD recordings sound good and designed a DAC around that premise. Not satisfied with commercial chips, software guru Smith began with a field programmable gate array (FPGA), a digital blank slate. He fashioned the FPGA into a DAC that converted all incoming PCM files to DSD128 files, then decoded them with a 24dB-per-octave low-pass filter (LPF) that has far less harmful sonic impact than typical brickwall PCM filters. PS Audio’s Paul McGowan heard a prototype, loved it, and agreed to build it. VF thought it was easily the best digital sound he’d heard, but the DAC needed lots—probably 500 hours—of breakin. While the DirectStream DAC sounded fantastic with high-resolution music files, perhaps its most notable accomplishment was how it sounded with plain old Red Book sources. Even though the original product sounded superb to VF, one of the benefits of using an FPGA is that it can be reprogrammed to upgrade the sound, and through PS Audio’s website, Smith has issued several revisions to the DirectStream DAC’s firmware and operating system, each time making marked improvements. These updates are easily installed from an ordinary SDHC memory card. There’s no reason to think additional upgrades beyond the current Pikes Peak operating system won’t be forthcoming. So what started as an excellent DAC continues to get even better. And it doesn’t cost owners anything for the upgrades, if they choose to go with downloads. How’s that for customer support?”

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Jeez! Thanks for posting this. I have yet to see it.


#5

Is that in this month’s copy? I didn’t get mine yet.


#6

Yup, hot off the “press”!


#7

I got the electronic version yesterday. Haven’t seen the print yet.


#8

Cheez, I finally got my September issue!dull_gif


#9

Wonder what TAS would say if they heard the new Yale Final version…


#10
ccstevenson1@comcast.net said Wonder what TAS would say if they heard the new Yale Final version...
Point well taken. Yale Final is my favorite, so far. One of the definite pluses of the DS DAC is unquestionably how it continues to evolve and improve with firmware updates.

#11
tony22 said Cheez, I finally got my September issue!dull_gif
Same here Tony. TAS delivery schedule has always been erratic.

#12

Down

      load

#13

See post 7 above.


#14
ccstevenson1@comcast.net said Wonder what TAS would say if they heard the new Yale Final version...
They will opine it sounds better on a bed of red lentils, but yellow lentils suck the light out of the sound.

#15

Re post #7: blush_gif oopsy… my bad


#16

No problem. Sometimes the print version beats the electronic version, but not this time. I get both mostly because I prefer to read it in print but it’s easier to store the electronic version for future reference. They’re both pretty cheap.


#17

Agreed, but there are some places where a physical magazine is more… traditional.tongue-wink_gif21_gif21_gif24_gif


#18
Elk said
ccstevenson1@comcast.net said Wonder what TAS would say if they heard the new Yale Final version...
They will opine it sounds better on a bed of red lentils, but yellow lentils suck the light out of the sound.
I know you were just poking fun at the more outlandish tweaks mentioned in TAS, but actually Vade Forrester (the VF repeated mentioned) seems to be more down to earth that some other people.

#19

Yes, my comments are not directed at Vade. He is a good egg and has appeared here as well.