Is it worth buying a PST without a DS DAC?

I recently began to understand (at least I hope so) a few more correlations in this context than before.

It certainly all depends on the effort taken to reduce noise in a transport or streamer/server.
But assumed a transport plays from cache and not from disc and otherwise similar effort is taken to suppress or avoid noise as well as for power supplies etc. as in the compared streamer/server, the transport must logically beat the streamer/server, as the latter, by having more processing work to do, possibly an SSD with an add. processor or a HDD with add. spinning discs inside and having to deal with an incoming network connection, has worse preconditions. Ok you can say as long as the disc drive inside the transport still spins while the unit is playing from cache, there’s a similar source for noise inside, but anyway I think its preconditions are better if the same anti noise effort is taken around it. A transport which first reads the whole disc into cache and then switches the drive off and plays from memory might be the best theoretical solution, as it’s somehow like a comparable streamer without external network connection

All this assumed one doesn’t stream online but from own storage and doesn’t use Flac or other non native PCM Format, but AIF or Wav, otherwise the streamer has another disadvantage.

But what’s the streaming advantage? That with a transport one can only play the limited availability of SACD‘‘s as hires, but one has to play most of all available music as CD format, which is otherwise to a large extent available as hires for streaming. Certainly a big disadvantage…not so relevant for those who mainly want to play their already existing CD collection.

Finally I personally think the remaining quality differences between a drive and a streamer, designed with similar care for anti noise measures nowadays are smaller, than the sound quality benefit of tons of hires by streaming vs. CD quality from a spinner.

Another matter I’d love to go more in detail with people who are into the comparison processes and experience all this. So far most just obtain information to scratch the surface and take false conclusions.

As nowadays still quite a lot happens around anti noise measures and things are not fully experienced yet even among experts, I’d say, the later released unit with the newer technology currently by trend beats the one released before, no matter if drive or streamer.

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You got it. One of the nice things about the PST. It doesn’t look for the same handshake that the DMP does.

That’s good to know, but I thought there was some sort of licensing agreement that prevented playing SACDs from a DAC, unless permission was granted?

Similar to why various players are able to output DSD to a HT receiver via HDMI, we’re able to via I2S only.

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Thanks for all the input to my original question. I decided to take the plunge and ordered a PST today. I was a little surprised as I placed the order and about an hour later I received shipping status. When I bought my SP3 & SPP units, I had to wait several weeks for shipping. By no means am I complaining!


'Atta boy!


You will LOVE it. When I got mine, I was startled at the improvement over the DMP.


Really looking forward to learning of your listening impressions…

I hope you will let us know what you think and observe as the kit settles in.

Congratulations on your purchase.


Thanks a lot Scott. I am really looking forward to it and will report back. I will not be able to take full advantage of its capabilities with not having a DS DAC, but I will likely be one of the first to buy the new DS mkII when released next year.

Thanks Ron for sharing that. Did you find much of a break-in period with yours?

Did you mention what DAC you will be using?

Just curious, if you care to share.

In any event, congratulations again.

By the way, did you see this review (just trying to keep you stoked)?:

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Thanks for the article, but I have seen it. I have a few DACs available to try:

Auralic Altair G1 DAC/Streamer

Schiit Gungnir Multibit Unison USB DAC

Schiit Modius DAC - Very low-end DAC, but actually holds its own for under $200.

I realize none of these DACs are on the level with the DS DAC. Likely one of them will have to hold me over until the DS mkII is released.

I dunno…I suspect that anything that is less than 10 years old, in terms of its design, is going to benefit from a SOTA disc spinner.

Should be fun, no?

Thanks for sharing.

Actually, I share the same opinion. I am looking forward to running the PST through all 3 DACs to see how they will perform with it. However, at some point I think I will have to have an audio garage sale. :grinning:

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It took about 10 hours to sound it’s best. It needed less burn-in time than anything else so far.


Shuddup already, I’m stilltrying to ignore its existance as it’s beyond my reach! :wink:


How about you, Lon – have you seen this review?:

It’s a rave.


Paul is going to have to put you on commission! :grinning:

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Just having some fun, trying to spend other people’s money…



And after you have saved all your shekels for a PST, of which I am a proud owner,
be sure to get a good HMI cable. The transport gets even better as you go up the food
chain in cables.