Is the Directstream DAC "grounded"



i am going to try a little project using a Raspberry Pi as a music server. One of the components is a HiFiBerry “Digi board”. There are two versions. Is the Directstream “grounded” or no?


Output transformer

The output transformer provides a full galvanic isolation between the Raspberry Pi and your DAC on the electrical output. Usual consumer-grade SPDIF outputs do not use output transformers. Usually this works without problems. However, many audio enthusiast like to use this option. If you’re not sure, the standard version is most likely ok for you.
Note that the output transformer is shielded. To make sure the shielding works, your DAC needs to be grounded. If you’re unsure, we recommend the standard version.
The output transformer does not have any effect on the optical output. Therefore if you plan to use only the optical output, the standard version will do the job.

thanks for your guidance. Which version should I use???


The shield of the S/PDIF connector is grounded. If I understand your question, having an isolated output transformer on the source is fine and probably a good idea.


If anyone is interested, here is the project I’m going to try. My Qsonix Q-110 music server finally took a dump. Having just retired my replacement options are very limited at this time. While acknowledging that it won’t probably be in the same universe, Bryston is about to release their BDP-Pi music player, replacing the BDP-1 USB that was introduced in September 2014.

Thanks for the Lightning fast response Ted.


Thanks for the info and welcome to the forum!


Cyberguy, our Directstream has two I2s input. Why don’t you use one of them?

You’ll need just this I2s over hdmi output module (20$), connected to the Pi

I tried the digiboard, I still got a streamer like yours, but I2s is in another league IMHO

il Carletto said

You’ll need just this I2s over hdmi output module (20$), connected to the Pi

Cool product - thanks for the link. Lots of good advice on that page, too, such as, "don't hot push!"