How to update firmware on the Directstream Jr

I recently acquired two Directstream Jr DACs which I plan to use with my DMP and DSD Sr to experience the surround mixes on my SACD collection. I have owned two DS Sr DACs and have become quite fond of the sound of the Redcloud firmware so I thought I would set the Jrs to Redcloud as well.

One of the units updated just fine but the 2nd absolutely would not recognize the USB drive. Checking the forums, I discovered this is a common problem encountered by other owners. One of the issues seems to be the size of the drive. Paul suggests you can use one up to 32 GB capacity while others at PS Audio recommend no more than 2 GB. I had some drives with the PS Audio logo that were purchased from the company so I assumed they would work. However, they turned out to be 4 GB drives and would not be recognized.

After doing some additional research and experimentation, I was finally able to get the unit to accept Redcloud by “cheating” a bit.

If you are experiencing difficulty updating your DS Jr, what I found might just solve the problem. I went ahead and used the 4 GB drive from PS Audio but I was able to cut it back 128 MB (as one forum poster said that size solved his problem).

You will need to use a Windows computer because it includes the utility you need while Macs do not. Plus, Macs will place up to six additional UNIX files on the drive which might confuse the DAC.

Select a drive you don’t mind erasing and connect it to the Windows machine. Check Windows Explorer to ensure that the drive is recognized.

From the Start menu, right-click the Command Prompt and select Run as adminstrator.

Enter the following at the command prompt:

list disk

Identify the drive in the resulting list by its capacity. Typically, the “C” drive is 0, and the USB drive is 1. Enter the following:

select disk 1
create part pri size=128
select part 1
format fs=fat32 quick

You should now have a clean, 128 MB drive to hold the update firmware files. Download the desired firmware ZIP file from the PS Audio website archive download page. You can view the contents of the ZIP file in Windows Explorer. There should be four files which you should select and drag to the USB drive. Eject the the drive and insert it into the USB connector on the back of the DS Jr.

Turn the power switch off for at least 10 seconds, then back on. The logo light should now flash for about 3 minutes indicating the update is in progress. If it doesn’t, there’s another thing you can try:

Download the “Force 94” ZIP file from this site:

Place the four files in this ZIP file on another USB drive that you reallocated to 128 MB using the above method and repeat the load process. It should work this time and you can then follow it with the version on the other drive which should now load.

Note: when I installed Redcloud, I discovered that, in addition to changing the FPGA design, it also introduced an earlier version of the operating system that had some bugs. I ultimately loaded Sunlight, the latest version, and have had no issues since.

Hope this helps!

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