New DS owner, share your experience of the DAC running in from new?


Fun report. Thanks!

Like the sound of headphones? To me, headphones string instruments along a clothesline.


Thank you for sharing this great and thoughtful review with us.


Yeah, a clothesline from ear to ear INSIDE my head. I do find that the best phones allow some 3D of individual instruments, but never a 3D soundstage, in my experience.

I tried binaural and all I get is the same effect just outside my head like a Roman helmet…



Headphones do that (or can’t do true imaging) because you don’t just hear with your ear canals… sound hits your forehead and skull and is transferred to you inner ear via bones… it is part of the ear/brain sensory system for sound location. You hear from more that two sources. Headphones provide limited and incomplete sensory input.

The perfect headphone is a helmet that floats around your head… ain’t gonna happen… maybe the egg chair?

Bruce in Philly


Well described, and a perfect image.


So I don’t know if after 500 hrs of break-in I’m still experiencing the roller coaster affect of break-in, or just the fluctuation in the quality of AC, but it is a bit maddening going from being blown away, to not really connecting to the music. Oh the woes of being an audiophile.


I experienced the same,hold tight. Around the 750 hour + mark… the sweet spot will kick in. :sunglasses:


Thanks for the response. I knew I still had aways to go, but thought maybe at 500 hrs the break-in process would become more linear.

Not sure if it would add to the cost of Manufacturing, but it sure would be a HUGE benefit, if audio products were broken-in prior to purchase. It would also benefit to the manufacturer, and dealers, because the consumer could make a decision quicker, and return the product in less than 30 days, if it wasn’t to their liking.


I knew going by my own experiences that you would still hit a wall at this early stage of burn-in. The burn-in is cyclic, with a few good days followed by poorer performing days. It isn’t a case of you have turned a corner with improved sound quality and from here on in it gets better every day. Not So ! It is maddening but I know what you are going through.

With my first DS I had no reference point like I did with my second DS for comparison - I compared my first DS against my three year old, well burned-in dac, and even the new DS in its jaundiced condition - it still comprehensively trounced the Linn DS dac. So it came as a surprise to me how poor my second bought DS sounded up against the 18 month old DS, I actually thought it was faulty, but after a week I could hear it changing and I just kept the faith and run with it: but it took weeks to reach the musical level of my first bought DS.
Yes - it still sounded very good in a hifi sense as it burned-in but, it was the lack of musical engagement, that bothered me the most. Playing something like a live album when the DS is burning-in it’s like the band members have just met and played together for the first time - whereas playing the same music through my then 18 month old DS - it was so much more musically engaging, the band were bang on it with music pumping through the room, filled with emotion, excitement and energy…

Due to a fault condition: I fitted a new upgrade kit to one of my DS boxes so I connected up the DS to an Arcam CD player and played a CD 24/7 for 6 weeks - I knew from past experience it would be a dirge, sounding unmusical, with too many ups and downs sonically, till it reached 6 weeks / 1000 hours…

Just keep playing - it will come good in the end.


I’m thankful PS Audio has setup this forum, otherwise some of us might’ve gone off the deep end by now, without the therapeutic reassurance provided by other audiophiles, who are further along on the path. :laughing:


:grin: Yes. True.
New addition to the forum:
Psychotherapeutic Counselling for “burning-in” and “burned-out” audiophiles …


Good point; a bit of reality therapy can be very helpful.


since i live in a huge city, millions of people i found the addition of the ps audio dectet shocking. i was full on expecting zero difference but out of the box it dropped my max tolerable volume the 140 mark on my headphone amp to a max 107… i would suggest maybe giving that a try as well and see if you can lower your noise some. it really helped even out the holographic effect. also regarding headphones not being able to do true imaging… i would have to beg the differ on that one, at least in my experience that is.


Okay this can’t be a coincidence. Last Sunday morning, and this Sunday morning my system has sounded it’s best, with this Sunday being the better of the two, I’m sure due to further break-in.
So the quality of the AC is definitely influencing the sound quality of my system. Looks like my next upgrade might be the Dectet, or if I can swing it, a P12.


I have a two word answer for what you just described:
P twelve


700 hrs. on the DSD SR. and continues to improve. Don’t think I’ve had any other audio products require this much break-in, and according to others here, I still have a ways to go.
I guess it’s good on one hand, that as good as things are sounding, there’s still room for improvement.


You are doing well 70% of the way there to :postal_horn::postal_horn::postal_horn::postal_horn::postal_horn::postal_horn::postal_horn: Heaven’s trumpets. (Closest I could find to a trumpet on my phone ; )


I decided with over 700 hrs on the DAC, it was time to do some critical listening, and for the first time, placed my Ayon 07s cd player back in the system and compare it to the DSD SR, and listen to a wider variety of cd’s.
The Ayon player has a richer, fuller, and more robust and romantic sound to it, and combined with the BHK 250, may be too much in that direction, compared to my previous Channel Island D-200 mkII mono blocks. But still, there is something seductive about the sound of this player I still prefer to the DSD, but that is where the Ayon’s advantage end. Imagine focus, dynamics, both macro and micro, transparency, low level detail, and imaging were vastly superior through the DSD. So after the comparison, I started thinking about how I could tweak the PS Audio gear, in order to eke out a fuller more robust sound, so when I placed the DSD back in the system, I swapped some power cords around for the hell of it. I have three power cords, 2 Virtual Dynamic Nite II’s, and 1 Virtual Dynamic Audition, which is a few levels down from the Nite cords. Previously I had 1 Nite cord on the DSD, and the other on the amp, with the lesser cord connected to the DMP, thinking it would be less critical there. Upon reinserting the DSD, I placed the Audition cord on the DSD, and the second Nite on the transport. To my surprise, I immediately heard an improvement. The lower frequencies had more heft, along with a fuller midrange. I then moved the Audition cord to the amp, leaving the two higher end cords for the DSD and DMP, and again, more heft in the bottom end, accompanied by richer mids and a sweeter top end. Ok I’m getting somewhere, and once again, I’m reminded of how this hobby is anything but plug and play. New equipment not only needs hours of break-in, but when inserting new gear in a system, more times than not, you’ll need to tweak the system, by changing up the cabling, or making adjustments in speaker placement, in order to get the most out of the new gear. A few weeks back, I moved my speakers closer together, in an attempt to increase midrange and upper bass fullness, which helped dramatically. With the previous tubed cd player, I had to separate the speakers, in an attempt to lessen the fullness in the midrange and upper bass. So the point of all this rambling is, after a lengthy break-in period, which is most likely not over with yet, and a few minor tweaks, I’ve reached the conclusion that my new DSD dac, along with the DMP and BHK amp, are keepers, but I don’t feel like I have them completely dialed in yet. I’m sure the best way to get the result I’m looking for, is by adding the BHK preamp, which would add some tube bloom, which I’m lacking, compared to my Ayon cd player. Would also like the advise of others as to what I can expect by upgrading the stock tubes in the BHK amp, along with upgrading the stock HDMI cable with something like the WireWorld Platinum? Thanks.


Have you tried hooking up your Ayon player to the DS with a Toslink cable ? Just to let you hear a different flavour .

With all the problems I had/still have with my PWT I would connect my Rega Isis Valve player to the DS. I actually like listening to Redbook disks with the combination of the tubed player into the DS. Obviously - not in the same league as the DMP, but with the DS being such a versatile and great sounding product, it always adapts really well to different source components.

‘I never get involved in cable debates’: Mains cables, like all cables are a personal choice and what you hear/think is a great sounding make of cable in your system, will more than likely, get panned by some other people who have tried the very same cable(s). So who is right and who is wrong = both parties!


Interesting idea. I didn’t think the tube flavor would be present going digital out of the Ayon.
Might give it a try. Have you upgraded the tubes in your BHK amps yet? Just wondering how much difference that makes?