New user of the PerfectWave DirectStream DAC - today’s options?

I am enjoying my PS Audio gear immensely. Now I want to maximize my enjoyment by leveraging what it can do.

Old system: Auralic Altair (the original, not a G1, etc.) streamed from the internet and it also played my library of ALAC-ripped CDs from an external hard drive connected by “flat” USB A cable (not the “square” end like you typically use to plug into a printer, USB B). Although my Altair has their optional internal 1 GB hard drive, I stuck with the external drive so I could plug that into my Windows 10 computer whenever I bought new CDs and wanted to rip (ALAC) them into my library. XLR out from Altair into an ARC Ref 5 SE and on to my ARC Ref 75 amp and Genesis 500 speakers. Sound was good!

New system: a PS Audio PerfectWave DirectStream DAC was inserted yesterday in place of the Altair. No clue yet how to “get my music out” of that external hard drive so for now I have my FM tuner as a source (S/PDIF coax) into the DAC as a check that it works - it does. On down the chain I’ve set my ARC stuff aside in favor of the BHK Preamp and the BHK 250 amp.


  1. Can I use the Auralic Altair now as a “source” into the DAC in the digital realm? I see only analog outputs on the Altair.

  2. Should I instead consider the iMac Mini per Paul’s thread from 2016? If so, what updates or improvements have time and man wrought in 5 years? I would enjoy doing what Paul did as I use iTunes when possible and have not yet chosen a new program, streaming service, etc.

  3. I have the newest PS Audio SACD Player (PST) on order but likely not getting it until late January due to chip supplier issues at PS Audio. Understood there as that hit the auto industry as well. Will the PST give me new options to “get to my music” and perhaps supplant a need to build up an iMac Mini per Paula’s older post?

  4. What am I not asking?


UPDATE. I figured out how to “get the music out” of my Altair. It’s now basically an Aries as I reset it to send the signal over to the PS Audio via the “USB DAC” jack on the back on the Altair. Altair’s DAC is bypassed in favor of the PS Audio’s DAC. The trick was to drill into the Altair settings and switch it from “internal DAC” to “PS Audio USB 2”. Even though you can plug in the cable and see right away that the PS Audio is reading a bitstream coming into its “USB” input, it won’t make the change until you find and change the device settings buried within the Lightning interface while running the app (for me - on an iPad). Job done and sounds great! I’m using a USB A to USB B cable I robbed from my computer and printer for this trial. I’ll now have to find a higher quality cable for this connection.


Glad it was a seemingly simple fix! Thanks for keeping us posted.