Help setting up directstream as preamp/dac

,

Hi there, I bought a DirectStream DAC MK1 from a dealer without a bridge. I was told that I can use my Bluesound Node 2i as the streamer and connect the DirectStream MK1 as my preamp and DAC to power my M700 monoblocks. I attempted to run coax, but it did not work. I now realize that I may have made a significant mistake by choosing this setup. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. :sob:

Coax to what please…

1 Like

Yes, you can use your DAC “as a preamp” in the sense that it has volume and balance controls. I’m not familiar with Bluesound, but be aware that the DS DACs come on after being powered down at a volume of 25. You may need to increase the DAC volume or the output of the streamer (if it is adjustable) in order to get sound.

1 Like

You should be able to run the BlueSound Node 2i from its coax out to the Direct Stream Mk I coax input without issue. I do have the Node 2i and have run it into a Metrum Onyx DAC coax input as well as into my Hegel H120 coax input. The DAC should be capable of supplying signal directly into the M700s. As a starter you may wish to recheck your connections, and volume settings of all devices.

2 Likes

Welcome to the forums, Dan,

With everything powered off and/or unplugged…

Plug the coax out connector of the Node 2i into the Direct Stream Coax connecter located here:

Depending on your interconnect cables, connect the Right channel of the Direct Stream DAC to one of the M700 Amps using either an XLR or RCA cable. Connect the Left Channel of the Direct Stream DAC to the other M700 Amp in the same manner.

Connect the M700 Amps to your speakers using the M700 Speaker connectors located here:

NOTE! When connecting the M700 amp to your speakers. Make sure you follow the instruction manual on how to do that in the M700 amp instructions located here:

Stellar_M700_Manual_Rev_C.pdf (shopify.com)

Make sure that the speaker cables are connected to your speakers. Then connect the power cables to all devices and power them on.

Follow the instructions in the Direct Stream manual to locate and select coax as the input and adjust the volume to your liking.

DirectStream-DAC-Owners-Manual-V7.pdf (shopify.com)

Play some content to your node 2i as per the Node 2i instruction manual and you should get sound from your speakers.

Good Luck!

6 Likes

I concur with the previous advice and add that for best results to use balanced cables between the DirectStream DAC and the M700’s. Looking at mycrowave’s images above, the larger connections with three prongs/sockets are the balanced connections. You can get these cables at Best Buy, Guitar Center, or on-line at many sources (Blue Jeans Cables is cheap, high quality, and made to your dimensions). Of course there are many higher priced options, but I suspect a lower cost solution is preferred.

Might want to make sure you have you Nodes volume set to ‘fixed’ as well

1 Like

Thanks for all the help I got it working now. Is it normal for the volume to not go past 81? Also should the sac phase be in or out? Thanks.

The DSD MK1 has many inputs. It is possible to set it up to “Auto” mode where just playing something on an input will cause the DAC to choose that input automagically, even if another input is getting sound. But if Auto isn’t on you have to choose the proper input with either the remote control (very easy, hit the coax button) or on the front panel (hard. tin foil hat required, benevolent mood helps. Touch the front screen, look for something that allows to to switch inputs (I don’t remember, it’s been a while) and select Coax. I believe the remote control method is easier than touching and getting fingerprints on the front panel screen.

You have to make sure of the output level as well. Since this DAC is new to you, I am guessing you may not have been in auto mode and you may not have selected the right input.

Side note, I never liked using the DAC as a preamp. I prefer using a preamp to be a preamp, always.

1 Like

Auto mode exists in the direct stream Jr. The Sr. (MK1) did not have the auto feature.

The reason i know this is i upgraded from the Jr. To the Sr. and very much noticed the loss of the auto input feature.

PSA added the Auto feature to the MK2, thankfully.

2 Likes

I think there is a max volume setting somewhere in the configuration settings of the DAC. Explore the setup options in the menu.

Hey, I figured it all out thanks to you. It sounds incredible so far.

4 Likes

Glad you got sorted.

Please keep us in the loop Re: your impressions once you have had a chance to get some “miles” on the set up.

Congrats.

Glad to hear that you got it working.

I’m sure you will be very happy with what you hear.

Hi, another quick question, I stumbled across another great video from Paul about high level outputs or inputs and his recommended connection methods. Would my pair of acoustic subs work with any of his preferred methods?

With those subs it’s line level only.

Can I hook up the pair of subs to the dac/preamp left and right now that I’m using the xlr for the amps?

Yes

The PS Audio owners manual states:

That said, the only reason the manual recommends not to use both simultaneously is the level difference.

However, since your subwoofers are self-powered, the volume control on them should be able to compensate for the difference in levels.

So, as @Elk says. Yes. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

I tried that but it didn’t work with my subs unfortunately. :neutral_face:

1 Like