Modding the DirectStream DAC

This is what I have used over the years, and it has served me well. Spare tips are recommended.
Make sure you are grounded with an anti-static wrist strap and work pad. As they say cheap insurance.




I purchased this one:

Tabiger Solder Wick & Desoldering Pump, Solder Sucker & Desoldering Wick, 2pcs Solder Braid (2.5mm Width, 1.5m Length)- Desoldering Vacuum Pump Solder Remover

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I just ordered this one! I wish I had seen this a few months ago. I am pretty sure that’s the same model I used when I worked at Hughes a long, long time ago.

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Respect for all that did the job manually.:see_no_evil:
I did use a Weller set that did it easily.


This is the one I used almost 40 years ago when I started at Sperry Gyro! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

This one looks cool, though.

It would go with my HAKKO soldering station. :grin:

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I am on my third. I have been using them in one form or another since my high school days, and work at CERL as an undergrad. Have served mw well. Patience and application of proper heat is the path to success.

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That is a great one when one anticipates a significant amount of de-soldering. Pricey for just the occasional job.

It’s like an old friend has come to visit.


Nice, very nice. Spare tips as well?

Yes, they are coming on our next Amazon day.

Thanks for reminding me in case I forgot, I appreciate it.

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I guess I won’t be getting the transformers. As I live in the UK ordered from Don Audio at start of July. Delivery was originally a month or so and then they changed it to 150 days. They haven’t responded to any of my emails. Terrible customer service. Got paypal involved who provided a full refund without question. Is there any other companies that can provide the transformers in the UK?

No, Don is your only route. The problem is not with Don (apart from Aaron not replying to email) the problem is with the American manufacture, basically they won’t make them for anyone outside mainland USA

well heck. i just received my transformers from edcor. + $80 delivered to me in st. louis, mo with taxes and freight. ill order you a pair and you can pay me that plus what the freight is to the UK? i mean. just dont tell anybody! lol. they say lead time is 8 to 12 weeks. mine showed up in 7 weeks. lemme know and we can try and work something out?


You could use a freight-forwarding company like I did, there are many in the US. I’d start by contacting one of them to get an account and the US address to send the things to. I used a NZ company that forwards from the US to NZ and it was cheaper than the usual US couriers.

I would be willing to do that as I’ve set my heart on getting this mod done. Thanks for your help.

Finally completed the external LPS modification with a re-terminated DC-GAC4 Gotham GAC-4/1 11301 UltraPro Star Quad DC(JSSG360) Cable direct to the Analog board. I am powering with an HDPlex 300 routed the Ghent Gotham through a 3/8 “ drilled hole in the bridge cover plate.

I spent a couple hours adding EMI/RF Absorber to all of Ted’s suggested locations. Even fulliy encasing the upgraded output transformers with the correct 3M sheet trimmed and carefully placed.

Results are an even lower noise floor. Better more detailed bass, better percussion and smoother highs than the internal PS. More exposed previously hidden instruments Great Tone and Timbre more space imaging and soundstage wider and deeper.

Thanks Ted. Your MK II is going to be awesome if it is quieter or as quiet as the hot rodded MK1.5.

If you DS owners have done the output transformers the External LPS is a must.


I’m trying to gather a plan for the external LPS power mod on the DS analog board. Does anyone know if the Sbooster LPS upgrade kit used for Lumin streamers might work for the DSD? I doubtful that it does but the concept appears to be the same.

Any highly regulated 12 V supply at least 2 amps will work. You have to build your own interface cable for analog board. I bought extra pins and connectors. They are the gold pins you need to be able to crimp and solder plus drill access hole I recommend the Ghent Gotham cable

Pay postage and I’ll pay forward rather than pitch the parts.

Thanks! I’d appreciate any help and advice I can get on the mod. Cable selection assembly tips etc.

I’m in the 60030 zip. Let me know the postage.