Modding the DirectStream DAC

I’m way too busy to design an improved analog card at the moment. I suspect that most would like a new software release instead.


Correct, thanks!

Worthy of at least several Click likes, and and at least one typed one.

Genuinely made me smile Sir, Kudos.

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Maybe we will see a kit 2 for the DS Sr a few years after the TSS is released with a good amount of the trickle down hardware.


Yes, Scott’s correct. While this sounds like a great project, unless it became a product we added to the fold (as a kit) we would not officially support it. The problems are many. Whatever we produce we have to support all over the world. Imagine the logistics problems of service and support. There has to be serial number changes (so we can identify products and their versions), internal serial IDs reprogrammed (every unit has an internal code we rely upon for updates), documentation, replacement parts in stock around the world, etc., etc…

It seems an easy idea but once it has to be serviced and supported it gets sticky.

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I hear the same thing. I have a BAT VK50-SE in series with the DSSr. The BAT is set to 90 all the time and whether I listen to the DAC or my Onkyo PR-SC5530 , I adjust the DAC volume anywhere from 65 - 90 - 95 but never at 100. The Onkyo AV Preamp is typically 60 and up unless the program material was originally too hot level wise. Although, both Ted & Paul have chimed in that it doesn’t matter where the Volume Control/Attenuation (on or off) is of the DAC, it has no affect on the sound quality.


Super HQ pictures :+1:

Ted, or anyone else with an “open” DS Dac, can you tell me the distance between the edge of the analog pcb and the front of the internal chassis face plate?

Mostly 4" (there is a connector to the light/switch which sticks out into the space behind the light/switch a little.)

Thanks Ted. You’ll see my built in analog card power supply mod when its finished.

Version 2 – 4x18awg star quad cable and custom aluminum back plate for the Farad Super3. Cable was recommended by Chris at VH Audio. Backplate
off Amazon cut with grinder and drill.


Cool. I almost recommended that very hookup cable :slight_smile:


Nice work! Will you please tell me what parts are on either side of your plate please? TIA!

That’s the same connector found on the Super3, a GX16-4 connector. The Farad can be ordered with a cable that terminates to GX16-4 on both ends. When you order the Super3, shoot Mattias an email to let him know what you’re doing and he can add a set of connectors to your order.


Thanks for the details!

How do you care for a power-on for the external psu together with the main switch?

Oh, I read you want to do it manually in the sequence and reverse sequence Ted described…I also switch my DS off almost never, so this my be enough.

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TED, do you expect a cheap power supply as the ifi to be advantageous to the built in already for revealing setups or does it need more investment to start?

Based on the little I’ve read and with no personal experience I wouldn’t think the iFi is the best place to start. I’d lean towards linear power supplies with more than simply a “magic” regulator as their basis. A good quality switching supply is also possible, but it will have to cost more because it requires more care filtering…

My transformer’s have been on order for 4 weeks already and I just ordered an sbooster for the power supply.

Thanks Ted! Then the fun seems to start somewhere at 400$.

If they have a model that meets the requirements then you can buy a Teradak brand LPS from E-bay for under $200. I have been using one with an Auralic streamer for over five years.