Modding the DirectStream DAC

I agree but I had the extra sheeting it was functional and it is not going anywhere or going to sort anything.

I finally used this one is thin easily formed snd RF shield and absorption properties were in the RF spectrum Ted was talking about. One can easily discern an audible improvement. 1 and 1/2 sheets is more than enough. If you’re frugal and carefully measure and cut one might succeed with a single sheet.

Seems to me the original transformers are UN-shielded and the new ones are shielded so it would be less critical with the shielded XS 4400 transformers. It might not even be an issue as I run it with the screen off (Dim mode). Maybe Ted would know about radiation emitted with the screen off???

Since I covered all the emitters and susceptible components at once I cannot answer that. I always run with screen off too. I also went with external LPS same mod and installed a 5 shielded DC cable direct from External LPS to DS analog board. It was a step function improvement.

I re-terminated the end of one of these with a board connector after I routed through a drilled bridge block off plate. Since the JSSG360 shield doesn’t need ground on analog connector end, it worked beautifully. My whole streaming network uses these DC power cables. They are stunning for reducing noise in your streaming network.

1 Like

Sorry, I meant another effect, wasn’t talking about the shielding. I meant, after the transformer mod, the power supply modification is even more positive, because the transformer mod makes the DS sound even richer than it already does. The bass control and speed effect of the psu mod then comes just right and it also adds more 3D and palpability again (as well as all shielding does).

If I do an external Power supply I am going to make a circuit that when the external PS is not connected (or turned off) it will use the internal supply. When the external supply is used and turned on it will supply power to the circuit that will pass external power when the DS is turned on and off when the DS is turned off.

I am thinking about making a base Power Supply like the Denafrips.

1 Like

Wow that does look impressive withe the super capacitor banks. What are the dual transformer purposes? Would they be needed here?

After reading Jay’s Audio Bacon comparison of LPS power supplies and affects on sound the design seems a function of which one is seeking to achieve. I appreciated he included cover off photos of each LPS.

The big surprise was a simple R core relatively inexpensive design and how much he liked it for some attributes in sound. But the big expensive complicated designs he did seem to like best.

1 Like

Only one transformer would be needed however I would be using a large 10 amp one and a large very low DCR capacitor bank. I know it doesn’t need 10 amps however I believe the size maters in sound quality.

1 Like

I have found large transformers sound better too. More live and effortless The R core sound better than Toroidal too even with all other parts of design are the same with the inexpensive designs from eBay


With the effort you plan, you might have to take care that you wouldn’t be able to buy the TSS instead at the end :wink:

It’s all a question of efficiency against other options.

The TSS we would all like to see a release date……? It is likely the MKII will easily surpass the hot rodded MKI. Given the ease of these modifications and modest cost. I for one am enjoying them every day. They are giving me even higher expectations for Ted’s next products an admiration of how he considers everything from the past designs and ways to do it better. Such as his power supply design for MK Ii.


I’m also sure except of maybe the Mk II psu vs. a good external, the Mk II will certainly be better. We saw what compromise the Mk I PSU was and I think even the Mk II psu still must be to a degree, anything else is simply not realistic. Certainly all speculation and only those who will hot rod the Mk II will find out for sure what it means :wink:

I’m also fascinated by the fully modd’ed Mk I, now finally also fitted with the proper fuse it had before and sounding so much more 3D, faster and controlled. I’m sure the new Mk II customers will be very happy, too. My next one will be a used TSS if I then still have the spare money to spend on HW :wink:

Well from the latest MK II photos ted reveals all the separate winding taps off the new power supply transformer. I assume one would need multiple power supplies or rails with varying voltage to do an external LPS mod of a MKII

I am on the fence of waiting gor a TSS or going with a MKII. I may just have to do the MK Ii trial to see if I want to wait for a TSS. I really don’t care for waiting for a used TSS. The hot rodded MK I sure allowed me to squeeze more performance out of my existing amps and preamps. I always assumed they were holding back the sound, whereas it is really all about the source material, source components, cables, and the power to those first I am learning. Further depth, imaging and detail just jump out. It was always there just hiding under a noise floor.

I wonder how many people jump on the amp, preamp, and speaker merry go round not addressing what is holding them back. Reminded me of a forum member on another forum who bought TOTL Mc amps, Preamp and high level Magico M5s and sold them in a month because it was no better to his ears. His DAC a AQ Dragonfly DAC. But don’t try to give the gentleman advice. Poor soul heard no differences in equipment. But was convinced bits is bits and eire is wire. I am sure to him what he heard was dead on. Accurate between old and new systems no difference b

1 Like

Start work building a DDC which will be placed in front my modded dsd.
Mutec MC3+REF10 12O SE can be easily inserted at any of the dac inputs except the HDMI, this I think is the ultimate.
My poor man Mutec is the Uptone Etherregen+lps1.2 clocked with After Dark Emperior+HDPlex 300

My simple and clueless logic tells me you’re probably right when assuming an external psu replacement is not as easy, as there go more than a cable pair to each board :wink:

Regarding source importance…yes, one just knows after trying out a great source, what’s simply impossible to achieve with HW afterwards.

1 Like

@jkrichards, what temperature setting did you use on the FR-301 for the transformer solder pads?

I’d always wanted one of these things, so I figured - if this wasn’t a good excuse to buy one, then what would be? :grin:

about 800 f. 2.5 on the temp wheel.

1 Like

I had a surprising experience today with another story aside of what happens on the usual market.

I have to start, that my original standard DS was first modd’ed like all my gear with a method on molecular and other non parts exchanging basis and without adding anything physical to it. I can’t tell much more about it than I have in my profile. This made it very noticeably better in many regards, mainly air/3D, liveliness, bass and prat.

I then added the Farad external PSU, the bigger output transformers and the Stillpoints ERS material for noise suppression. This again made it much better.

Today I had a chance to compare it in an absolute reference setup I regularly have a chance to hear to an original DS without external PSU and with original transformers. This DS is just more extensively treated with the first measure I mentioned. Same cabling etc. certainly.

While it was clearly noticeable how much my DS improved against the previous status, the other one sounded clearly more dynamic, lively and also even more 3D in voices with no other shortcomings. Remind: this was a standard DS in terms of parts, even with the standard fuse.

It made me aware again, that I listen to a very different quality than the standard one since the beginning and I was surprised that there are ways to improve equipment much over other serious parts upgrades. Crazy to imagine how that DS would improve with them.

I tell you, in the unofficial audio world, a lot of strange things happen, that make you wonder what matters most and what the normal audio world is bothered with. But I have to add that this tuning method would be unaffordable on the market and not mass product suited.

1 Like

Quite cryptic this special tuning you reference? And why if your unmodified DS that was specially tuned and this even more specially tuned were not in the same league.

Why does it cost so much and what is its secret sauce? Is it external, cryo treatment to components, added circuits , tuning bullets, kryptonite placements, holy water, or angel tears? How is it still unmodified if specially tuned?