New DSD Sr DAC In The House - September 2019

I now have a new DSD Sr DAC on the way and should have it set up within the next week. My thought was to use this Forum as a platform for those of us new to the DSD Sr. and to post our experience with it. Especially break-in, adjustments, input and interface options we have found to provide for marked sound improvement, etc. Basically what we have learned on our journey with the new device. I understand this is available elsewhere, but my thought is to focus on more recent DSD Sr adopters, and to minimize the noise (off topic conversations) within the thread. Basically stay on topic and treat others as you wish to be treated. Let’s all enjoy the ride.


To recap what I’ve learned over the past 2 years from the other threads and from experience, in order of importance:

Turn on the attenuator to increase load and heat, play music so output transformers are doing their thing and leave the DS on all the time, give it 200 hours before any evaluation, preferably 500 hours.
It’s complete changing at perhaps 800+ hours. Disable attenuator unless you need it to gain match

I much prefer a preamp in between DS and amps - use balanced if available

While convenient, Bridge II can be easily beat by I2S and USB from a good source, remove it no longer used

When comparing inputs, be sure to disconnect unused cables - OK to leave optical connected

Use the filter (absolute phase) button - one is right and one is wrong for every track - neither is right or wrong all the time

Disable the display so that it times out

Get a better fuse - one need not spend a bunch to improve it

Go back and listen with older versions of code just to experience the journey many of us have taken…you’ll appreciate Snowmass that much more


It has been 4 days since I received my new DSD Sr Dac. In the burn-in phase at the moment. I have Qobuz radio playing 24/7 with the following settings.

  1. Attenuator off (Does it need to be on for burn-in?)
  2. Volume on the preamp (SGCD) muted. I am assuming this is ok as the signal is going through the dac and out to the preamp.

Enabling the attenuator speeds burn-in by pulling more current through the circuit

Muted on the preamp is fine but it doesn’t even need to be on for the DS to exercise it’s output

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I would suggest the change is not complete until 1,000 hours.

Just saying

You stated

“When comparing inputs, be sure to disconnect unused cables - OK to leave optical connected”

I find I get an improvement with the optical removed. Do you not? Did you read somewhere this was a thing?

Thank you


Optical can’t carry any current. The other interfaces use metal and may conduct any noise from the source

I don’t hear any difference with optical connected or not. I typically only have I2S and optical connected

It’s all been discussed at length before. Ted knows all of these details and more. Someone will correct me if I’ve misstated anything

I am using bridge and optical and I can definitely tell a difference, I will try again.

2 minutes later…
yes, strange. Maybe its in me head…


Perhaps I’m not understanding your setup, but why would you use the Stellar GCD for a preamp? The volume control in the DSD SR is excellent.

I have the SGCD from before. Will be trying the DSD sr with and without in the days to come.

You may still prefer to have the preamp in-between as a lot of use do.

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That is the default for now.

I think this is just fine. Keep it playing for a time like this and let us know.

Thanks Paul.

Well, back from Boulder and RMAF. What a great time! After some fumbling with FedEx this AM the DSD Sr is now burning in on continuous play with USB input from my MAC Book Pro iTunes in Shuffle-Repeat Mode. Outputs currently not hooked up.
Great Packaging by PSA.



It sounds good right away. Now after almost a week of burn-in (~150 hrs) it sounds really good.

Have fun and thanks for sharing the unboxing. There’s few things I like better than the unboxing of new gear and the anticipation of what’s to come. Maybe send us pictures when it’s all installed.

Excellent. The longer you have it on and playing the benefits will continue….and then we send you an upgrade……and it’s a new DAC all over again.

Hard to beat that combo.



Will consider it. It is going to our summer home temporarily for initial “Break-in”.

Ultimately going to my analog system, conrad-johnson premier 11a, Audible Illusions 3A with John Curl Gold MC stage, Genesis V, VPI Prime with Road Runner tach and Eagle speed control, with Ortofon Cadenza Black. Cables are Nirvana SX-Ltd.



I could not find the SD card. Looked in the dedicated slot, zip-loc baggie, and packaging. I have submitted a service ticket requesting an SD card when available. Looking forward to October release of the Windham mountain top. It should be fun.