My DS story and Oppo 205 feeding a DS

First a shout out to Paul, Ted Smith and Jamesh with a big thank you!!!

For a long time considered how much better could the current DS dac be over my
Oppo 205. Another consideration was how to get the Oppo digital audio to the DS
Dac…So .after much deliberating concluded that with an rca coax cable connecting could
be doable…

My 205 does so many things sonically very well…it was hard for me to get a real
understanding despite the many great reviews in the hands of DS dac owners.

So my story starts with a great conversation with our very own “Whiz Kid”.
This conversation of course led to purchasing the DS dac.

When the DS arrived; on hand was a Bluejeans Belden 1694 rca coax…Installing the DS with the Bluejeans cable yielded a lively sound….But….this DS dac overbloated instruments as well as vocals.

The soundstage was way over exaggerated…I spoke with Jamesh and suggested try a different
coax cable…So I ordered a DH Labs Silver Sonic 750 1.5 meter cable…The DH Labs cable
yielding a richer more detailed sq…yet however the overbloated soundstage and vocals persisted. female voices even had a honk. Not very good at all

The DS burned nearly a month the sq and soundstage improved to where I might even like
the DS after all. One morning went to play music and the DS now displayed a ugly incoherent
inoperable screen. The blue standby button in op…on rebooting the reboot progress bar would
not progressing beyond the 1st I in the word INITIALIZING….

Got with Whiz Kid…suggested I download the sunlight firmware to sd card….having done this
with the expectation the DS would be restored to life. The DS did complete the reboot but still

Displayed the ugly incoherent screen…Relayed this to Whiz Kid who sent me a preloaded sd
card with the hope of reviving the DS….Sadly no such reviving.

Once again contacted Whiz Kid….who promptly had a replacement DS on it’s way to me, as
the DS was in the trial stage and had not provided the expected performance and died in the process. Using the rma he provided the first DS was on it’s way back to PS Audio.

My replacement DS arrived singing right out of the box….amazing, beautiful wonderful….fresh
out of the box.

This is what great customer service is all about…PS Audio delivers in spades!!!

So now after about a week and a half….the sq and sountage are way beyond my expectations.
From the appearing of music in a dynamically changing layering from the front of the speakers
extending in dynamically layers out to the wall behind my Focal Aria 948s all the way up the wall
behind my 948s.

On the Oppo 205 the sound is sq and soundstage is amazing, Vivaldi’s English Concert Archive label Trevor Pinnocks’s harpsichord is faintly in the background. Now with the DS the violins, cellos and basses have body with the Oppo not nearly as much. Trevor Pinnock’s harpsichord far more apparent. The violin strings soar in space center behind the speakers along the wall in a much better display than the Oppo (the Oppo could do this as well just not on the same level as the DS).

Next up Gabrielle Mervin’s Say Something….for those who have Oppo 205s…the 205
does pass a 192 24 bit signal to the DS…using rca coax. While the Oppo 205 renders this album with great sq and dynamics…the DS redefines all of that taking the sq, soundstage and dynamics to much higher levels…The effect of the brushes on the snare skin is so effortless
full bodied (stirring the gravy) the track: But Not For Me…. the fading away, spatial appearance
and disappearance of instruments is amazing. The sudden attacks are wonderful.

What I like to hear happen in the music are the full stops of certain instruments while a vocalist
appears singing their part….

Is the DS bass shy…attack shy …percussion shy….not this guy….the DS is so so good!! Not bass
shy at all!!

Ground swelling bass that rises from the floor, filling the space behind the speakers as music builds overflowing into the room is amazing and beautiful…The bass is not flabby boom either.

Talk about rediscovering my music….wow.

Kudos to the support Jamesh the Whiz Kid has provided, Kudos to Ted Smith designing
the DS and Paul for bringing all the pieces together to make them work…

Powering all this of course is the PS Audio P15…feeding my Oppo 205, PS Audio DS dac,
Wyred4Sound STP SE Stage 2 preamp, driving my awesome Parasound JC5 feeding
my pair of Focal Aria 948s…

Thanks again to the entire PS Audio team for great it’s support and products…

Best wishes everyone!!!


I love a story with a happy ending. :slight_smile:

I run an Oppo 105D into the DS DAC and as I was reading the first part of your story thought to myself “this guy’s DS DAC is broken.” Turns out my initial surmise was correct. Even a blind squirrel…


Thank you Joe-Appierto…

My Oppo 205 does mate very very well with my new DS…one of the main reasons
that I stick with my 205 is the media controller that gives me a full control of my music
library which is resident on a thumb drive in a usb port on my 205…

The Oppo media controller is the key for me…also allowing me to adjust the many Oppo dac’s
characteristics as well as speaker distance along with the trim…super adjustability…

Again the for those who wonder can their Oppo 10x - 20x series connect to the DS
joyously they can and do compliment each other beautifully…

Best wishes all

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You’re welcome.

I feed the DS DAC in one of two ways. Either via coax from the Oppo like you do or via the DAC’s Bridge using JRiver. JRiver also works very well in conjunction with the Oppo solo or again from JRiver to the Oppo to the DAC.

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David, you mean to say you never had the DS before? I always thought you had a DS as you were telling everyone how good these SR fuses were since the DS has very high resolution and can easily distinguish the differences.
Before my DS, I had the Oppo BDP-95 and the DS is a whole different ballpark in SQ. And speaking of fuses, I went from HiFi Tuning Supremes to SR Black, SR Blue, SR Orange, to Beeswax Ultimate Premier, and heard all the differences. You should try a SR Purple. I’ll bet it will make your DS sing like it’s never sang before. Also this transformer mod is no bull**t. It really take the DS to a different level. You should look into it. Doesn’t cost much, but the sound is like a different DAC.


Hey waymanchen11…

Thanks for your compliments and suggestions…

My pre DS system was more than capable of showing off the differences
especially the subtleties and very revealing of the minutest subtleties…particularly
where the fuses are concerned…

So much so…that with the first DS…I explained to jamesh that Oppo 205 bested
that DS so much so that it hardly seemed justifiable to make the purchase…
an extended home trial granted…then that DS failed…

Well the replacement erased all that…

My fuses went (as far as I can recall) 1st went to P12…HiFi Tuning Supreme
an ear opener so much so that got another for my former Parasound A21.
Again another ear opener. Both my W4S STP SE Stage 2 and Emotiva XSP1
Gen 2 …

Then along came the SR Blue 1st one went to P12…an immediate increase in
the bone and fiber of instruments and quickness of soundstage followed by the
fabled country mountain road full of switchbacks varying from wow to oh ugh…
until finally arriving at the desired level of play…

Next came the Oranges…and boy did these guys require the proverbial sautee treatment.
The Oranges bested the Blues amazing…of course the 1st orange was place in the P12.

Gradually the Oranges arrived in all my other gear…

The along came the P15…same fuse that was in P12 now went into P15…yielding the
same great results

Somehow…over much time revisited the HiFi Tuning Supreme into the P15
and now so much more seem to like the fuller bodied nature of the Supreme.
Go figure…such is the life of a tinkerer

My Parasound JC5 that replaced my A21 is a real gem and do like it so much.
It reflects the differences of these fuse so very readily…

Purples are under consideration…just that now am enjoying my system as it
right now…I’m in a good “parking spot” for now. 1st purple will go to P15 in due season.

However now my DS is a huge game changer…taking my system to a whole new
level of refinement.

As far as upgrading the DS fuse…I wouldn’t even know where it is located and less
how to access it.

As for further mods…one very slow step at a time is my game speed/plan
Just enjoying my new DS as it is for now…

Again thanks friend…appreciate your sharing…

Best wishes everyone.

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The fuse in the Directstream can be done in under 10 minutes. Four screws and a suction cup device to pull the top off. I did mine with the SR Orange now I’m reading about SR Purple and I’m starting to feel at least $1200 poorer! Damn technological advances!!

A lot of talk about fuses, it’s peaked my interest. are you using slow blow? 15 Amp?

Would I hear a significant difference?

Where is it most preferable to start, regenerator, amp,…?

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Hey HanksJB…

Indeed slow blow is a must also referred to as “T” for time…as this allows
for initial surge onset on power up…whereas a fast blow will blow …right then and there!

Fuse amp values vary by pieces of equipment…each will have their own
specified rating…the back panel on your gear should indicate the value.

For me the most significant to install your 1st fuse is the regenerator…as it
serves power to all other parts of your system.

Indeed you will hear a difference, by and large for the most part it won’t be
a small one either…However ymmv with respect to system and how good your
hearing is…

The fuse upgrade will be the single least expensive upgrade for your system.

Hope this helps you…

Best wishes…


Congratulations on your new DS DAC David! A wonderful component that would give you years of happy listening. To me, it’s a DAC that performs higher than it monetary value. In the 2+ years it’s been in my system, it gave me plenty of good times.

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Thanks Serhan…

The DS is truly a wonderful piece.

What held me back was I needed and wanted to keep my Oppo 205
as a server…the Oppo Media Controller is a marvel giving me full access along
with so many adjustable parameters…along with my music library…No extra
cumbersome gear… Just didn’t know if thus would even work…

You can only imagine my delight when the Oppo coax rca output delivered the goods
to the DS in such an awesome way…Talk about having my cake and eating it as well!!!

Best wishes


It was 2 weeks 3 days ago my DS arrived. The DS arrived and right
off showed just how well it could sing…

Now enjoying it, the improvements as a result of burn in
show themselves as better attacks, fade aways as in piano sustains
as well as other instrument sustains decaying away.

One album which music I enjoy a lot is Dave Gruisin’s album: “Mountain
Dance”. This album is some dry and lacking emotional involvement. Enter
the DS …somehow the DS is able to retrieve the body and life otherwise
lost to my Oppo 205. (Oppo 205 still feeding the DS). As a result of
playing Mountain Dance via the DS the emotional body, feeling, rythm
and pace are retored revealing the amazing soundscape otherwise hidden.
Really wonderful as the nuances of Dave Gruisin’s piano take on new expression.
The title song “Mountain Dance” starting off the distant cymbal piano and flute
playing as the song comes into it’s own. The strikes on the cymbal the inner
touches of the drum stick and later on in the song a punctuating strike of the
drum stick more toward the middle outer part of the cymbal bring out a sustained
crash along with bass and piano…on the final fade away of the song the flute
fades off as into a mountain path into the horizon…really beautiful.

Listening to Zuill Bailey’s Bach Cello…
The Zuill’s amazing bowing of the cello strings…the quickness of his bowing
revealing texture and body of his cello from the high clef to the lower bass clef
range with the rich varying sounds of the strings as the attacks come and then
trail off into space…truly wonderful …the space in which this recording was made
really wonderful allowing Zuill’s masterful playing show forth the sonic beauty of
his cello.

My Oppo 205 as good as it is could not have replicated what my new DS does
in spades.

For those curious no purple fuse yet…my orange fuses now taking a back seat to
my HI Fi Tuning Supreme3s…

More to follow as time goes by…

Again thank you Ted for your effort and time developing the DS.

Best wishes all…