Modding the DirectStream DAC

Yes, makes sense. And if you setup the connector so you can try different supplies, that’s the best way to see what works best in your setup. The 5.5mm DC plugs are pretty common.

I have 2 Farads in my setup, so adding a third was just a matter of keeping things consistent.

The new power supply must be breaking in because kick drums and baselines have tightened up with more punch, definition, control. Instruments continue to separate further from each other and distinguish themselves during complex passages.


You could switch between your 3 Farads to immediately hear burn in differences.

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I am just breaking a HDPLEX 300 in. Using on Router, i5 streamer, UltraRendu, and Matrix. It really makes matrix sound the best. Therefore I am thinking using one of the 3 Amp highly regulated rails on DSD. It is really affecting Matrix for the better. Where did the Farads make your biggest impact compared to previous LPSs?.

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I’ve been using the latest version of the HDPlex 300W to juice my EtherRegen, ROON Rock Server, and Matrix. Works great. I didn’t want three separate power supplies cluttering up my audio room. I’ve got enough stuff.

My only complaint is the posted voltages run a little higher than nominal
On my unit. Or about 0.14 volt but they post no specs. The four TI regulators each of the low amp channels sure sound great on the matrix. Way better than the 1Amp 6 volt unit. I literally am astounded at the difference in 3D soundstage. It was great before. I now feel like I could get up and walk around the performers and step back into the wall. There is a whole orchestra behind my amps and the P20. Crowd noise is damn eery on live cuts.

Unfortunately they’re all different voltages.


Any chance we can get a DIY kit for this?

Maybe we can simply buy an entire new board with the new xs4400 transformers already installed and swap it out with the old one.

I guess this would mean 2k instead of 100$

Well, the entire DIY kit currently on the PSA website is $3,000.

Im hoping this new board would be in the $1000-$1500 range.

If it brought my DSD sr to a new level(as a bolt-on mod) id consider it for sure.

Precisely what I’ve suggested.
For me, it is a good route.

That’s a question for PS Audio, not myself, but I’ll suggest it to Paul.


I think the one “kit” (board) is very expensive for just the transformer mod and in case it includes nothing else new, the other, smaller “kit” is just the transformers which can be ordered individually. Not sure if one would pay 1500 $ for not having to contract someone for soldering out/in the transformers.


Well, i think ted said before since its a surface mount board the transformer mod is the easiest to do. Again, this is still at the risk of damaging a very expensive board.

If we get the chance to buy an upgraded board maybe ted can add some magic to other areas as well…ones we couldn’t do otherwise

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Voilá! DS Sr. SE upgrade KIT . :wink:



I upgraded to the Directstream Dac from the original Perfectwave Dac with the upgrade kit and id be willing to continue to upgrade provided everything can still fit in the original chassis.


My DS is recent (2020), upgraded from a DSj.
I’m comfortable with the DS aesthetic wise, so as you said, since everything can still be fit in the original chassis, I’m with you.

On top of this 6 years of FW updates, two major HW upgrade KITS… PS Audio would keep making history. For sure!

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DS SR ‘Ted Smith Signature’ upgrade kit2 with xs4400 transformers and other Ted Smith magic added hardware please :slight_smile:


I asked if PSAudio would install the upgraded transformers and received this reply from Scott Schroeder. A kit would be another thing altogether of course…but it would be a different model I suspect like the upgrade from PWD to DS.

'Unfortunately, we are not able to install aftermarket parts in our products. This is for a few reasons, the main being that we strive to maintain a consistent and expected level of performance for all of our products - modifications kind of throw that out of whack. Of course we support folks making their own modifications and improvements - it’s just not something we’re able to get involved in.

Additionally, all of our tests are designed with certain parameters in mind, and some modifications (for instance NOS tubes in BHK amps and pres) cause the products to fail our Full System Tests. And for better or worse there is no way something that has failed FST is ever going out the door - our production guys would have a collective aneurysm.’

What other measures would you include, Ted, in case such a board was offered? I guess such a suggestion wouldn’t stop at those transformers…