New DirectStream owner, loving my new DAC but…


#1

Hello,

New to the PS Audio Forums, recently purchased a DirectStream Sr with Bridge II card. It came with Huron loaded and 3.33 firmware on the card. I barely have 100 hours on this DAC, and already it sounds great. Before this I had both an Auralic Altair and a Mytek Brooklyn. This is definitely a step up.

As much as I love the sound of my new DAC, there is something detracting from my listening enjoyment. Apologies if this has been discussed here before.

I hear a pop or tick sound whenever the DAC switches from PCM to DOP or vice versa. Sometimes it’s not too loud, but other times it’s very noticeable. I tend to use playlists with a mix of PCM and DSD files, so I hear this quite a bit. I’ve noticed it’s more pronounced when using Roon or JRiver streaming to the Bridge II. Directly connected via USB, I still hear it but it’s not as bad.

Have others noticed this, and is it a known problem? My hope is that it can be fixed with a future firmware update. Any input on this would be greatly appreciated.


#2

Ted already referred to this somewhere here…it’s definitely an issue, so far unsolved. I hear the same, it just doesn’t bother me too much currently.


#3

Yes, this is a well known issue (and not only with PSA equipment). Somewhere here is a post by Ted Smith, designer of the DSD, explaining some of the technicalities. Apparently it’s not an easy thing to eliminate. I notice that the volume of the ticks often changes when I substitute a different preamp or amp, or when I change the DS firmware. For me it’s not usually loud enough to be distracting, but of course YMMV.

This page has an explanation along with a possible solution for JRiver (I don’t use JRiver so I don’t know if it works).


#4

Thanks for the replies. I’m relieved it’s nothing specific to my DAC. Interesting to see this problem occurs with other hardware as well, I just never noticed this with any previous DACS I’ve owned. They may have masked it somehow in hardware perhaps.

I found the setting for silence before tracks in JRiver, but it appears that it’s only available when connecting via USB and not in DLNA streaming. Some way of muting or silencing for a second or less either in hardware or software would probably take care of it. This would give the end user the option to use it as needed, since not everyone may have this problem. Thanks for sharing that link magister.


#5

Exactly. With bridge the issue is stronger than with USB and the workaround doesn’t work for DLNA.


#6
Miles1 said

I hear a pop or tick sound whenever the DAC switches from PCM to DOP or vice versa. Sometimes it’s not too loud, but other times it’s very noticeable. I tend to use playlists with a mix of PCM and DSD files, so I hear this quite a bit. I’ve noticed it’s more pronounced when using Roon or JRiver streaming to the Bridge II. Directly connected via USB, I still hear it but it’s not as bad.


Definitely - I hear it any time I start or stop a DSD disc via the DMP as well, a pop or a bunch of crackles. :frowning:

#7

The clicks weren’t there with Torreys as far as I remember.

I find it annoying too but I don’t really have that much DSD material so I guess I’ll live with it. Hopefully it isn’t damaging to speakers.


#8

I am having the same issue since Huron. Pop sound is not too loud so it is bearable but indeed it would be nice to have a solution for that.


#9

I agree that any pops are a pain. Tho I lowered or fixed some pops in Huron compared to Torreys others showed up where they didn’t used to be. Since some of the new pops are noticeably different on the DS Jr compared to the DS Sr there must be a bug in the Jr software that the Sr doesn’t have and I’ll look at that for the next release.

That said, as I’ve posted before, there are some pops, etc. that the DS and DS Jr can’t fix properly since some sources have pops/discontinuities at different places when going to or from DSD/PCM than the pops in other sources - fixing some sources cause other sources to be worse. One difference between the DS (and DS Jr) and most other DACs is the speed that the DS locks to a changing sample rate or clock change and the one downside of that is that some sources have problems that were always masked in the past with DACs that don’t start playing immediately. So I’ll be updating the next release to include a user settable parameter for how long to mute after a sample rate change or clock change and another parameter for how long to mute on PCM/DSD transitions.

I hope that a Jr bug fix and the new mute parameters for both the Jr and Sr will put an end to this pesky popping problem.


#10

@tedsmith My streamer, the Auralic Aries has a DAC delay setting. I set that to 5 seconds but it didn’t help with the clicks. In fact, there was no difference with it on or off ie. no delay. Is that the same thing as the ‘mute’ function you envisage?


#11

Thanks. I don’t know how they implemented it. As I mentioned the biggest problem is that there are a lot of potential sources and tho I’ve fixed some of them, some more are unfixed and some others are out of my hands. If when it comes time to add the mute features, they don’t fix things I’ll keep on looking for other things I can do…


#12

@tedsmith thank you for the explanation, it all makes more sense now. I’m so pleased to hear of an upcoming solution to this. A muting parameter option sounds ideal, thank you Ted.

Now back to listening to some more music on this wonderful DAC. It sounds great with a 100 hours on it, I can only imagine what awaits once its fully burned in. :slight_smile: