Nice review and comparison of the DSD

I’m not sure I agree with you I’m afraid. I have my doubts about some of the photos used in that review. If I’m not mistaken, it looks like a Bridge 1 in the back of that DAC. Why would they review it with a B1? Or have they been lazy and Shanghai’d some old photos? If so, if they can’t be genuine and upfront with the photos they use in a review, well, to me the whole thing starts to lack credibility. Am I wrong here?

I think he is generally a good reviewer and I am confident that the DS he reviewed included a Bridge II, but I agree with you that those pictures look like a B1. To me, the biggest problem with the review is that he did not even try the I2S input. In my experience, I2S is the DS’s best-sounding input. Also, to get the most out of the DS, I think the stock fuse needs to be replaced with an audio-grade fuse. There is no indication that he changed out the fuse. IMO, any DS reviews in which the I2S input is not used and the fuse is stock should be taken with a grain of salt.


I’m not sure the review should be taken with a grain of salt. It just means had he used the I2S input the DSD would’ve been even more competitive with the other dacs he compared it to. Overall a good review.

I agree that overall it is a good review. By ‘grain of salt’ I did not mean to suggest the review[er] is untrustworthy or deceitful. I just mean that the DS was not given the maximum opportunity to shine, which is unfortunate. The DS retails for $6K ($6.9K with a BII). Adding a $200 aftermarket fuse and a $380 USB-to-I2S converter takes the DS to another level. So for less than 10% of the MSRP, a DS can be ‘hot rodded’ to greatly outperform the DS’s stock USB input/stock fuse.

Reviewer had a Block Diagram of his system which saves me so much time trying to figure out what is used and how in the review set up to make the comparisons. In addition, you figure out in seconds, his system’s weakness without 20 questions… very cool…


He should’ve used the I2S input, but I disagree that he should’ve hot rodded it. I think it only fair to review the gear as equipped from the factory, as long as that is how all the other gear is reviewed.


In this particular case, I think I agree with you, as changing the DS’s fuse is a PITA (but well worth it). If the fuse were easily accessible on the back panel, there would be no excuse for a reviewer not trying an aftermarket fuse, especially with all the anecdotal evidence in the wild about how significant the improvement is.

I would have liked to hear his comparisons using the DMP with hdmi as a source. This is where the DS shines…

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So what fuse are you using, and how would you describe the improvements?

Richard, what if any weaknesses do you see in his system besides this?:


@Bootzilla - that is a loaded question… :slight_smile: It goes to preference of PS, cabling… not a fan of Uptone supplies… not looking to light myself on fire in this thread… :slight_smile: Not a fan of the regen used… not a fan of Dectet… that should generate much hate mail… :frowning:

Not familiar w/ Energizing supply feeding the HF UpTone DC/DC… hopefully it is a LPS w/ magnetics…

I use the Audio Magic Beeswax SHD Fuse, which has since been surpassed by the newer and more expensive Audio Magic Ultimate Beeswax SHD Fuse. As for improvements that an audio-grade fuse can bring to the DS, there are lengthy threads on that subject. By the way, I have not tried any fuses in the DS other than the stock fuse and the Beeswax SHD. There are other fuse brands out there, and there may be fuses which outperform the Audio Magic line. All I can say is that the Beeswax SHD is a honey of fuse (that is, if you can get past the sting of the price).

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@Bootzilla - All my gear is SR BLUE fuses, love them… a lot of this is about preference and experience. Some audiophiles don’t like Sbooster… man that is really loaded. I view weakness, some don’t… just nice to see how he put his system together and where he spent the budget. Definitely needs a P10 or P20… however, not running big amps… looks like he is using a line filter after a regen… mixing PS, assume his system has evolved. Like to know what power cords he is running…

Not familiar w/ SOtM switches and products in general… a lot smarter audiophiles on the forum wrt the SOtM products. Never used them so I have to step aside for that conversation.

I would have definitely reviewed the I2S, that is where the DSD shines. I know when I went from BII (was a huge fan), to Matrix into I2S… holy crap was it an eye opener…

I just love looking at a block diagram and getting ideas and an understanding of how the system is configured. I love to share ideas cause I am relatively new to this and it is so cool to look at a BD and size up a system. Like… man that is a really different way to do something… I should take a look at that… not a hater, just use the BD knowledge to research and make my system better…

Why did he go from regen to clock and detect to streaming. If he was using the detect as a line filter, why not filter the ref clock… something for me to think about…

Wall outlet on the Ethernet. I like router LAN directly to my AQVOX-SE switch (point to point), nothing in between and my router is in another room 60+ft away.

Not a fan of long USB cables, assume the Lush is long. Also, not a fan of going USB to DSD, think I2S is the ticket… assuming the USB Bultra is a re-clocker. Love the Matrix… pry that from my cold dead hands… :slight_smile:

Definitely not a fan of BII after using Matrix. Can’t do double DSD and not as good SQ as going Matrix…

OK, that should generate enough hate mail… :slight_smile:


Great suff, @cardri! As for the hate mail you are predicting . . . haters gonna hate.

@Bootzilla - thanks, not a hater of peoples systems, or choices… in the end they listen and if they love listening then all is great with the world. My way is one way… not the best way…a way… but you see how you can window into areas very quickly. Look at cables and power cords… huge selection and so many ways of doing stuff… this is just a lot of fun seeing how others have built their systems…

Thanks @Gary_M for posting and we get to look at another system… my take away is he should have exercised the I2S…


Didn’t he say why he didn’t try I2S input, that he didn’t have an I2S source? That seems reasonable to me.

Reasonable yes, but he’s a reviewer. I’m sure if he tried hard enough, he could’ve rounded up an I2S source.


Maybe. But by that measure, my DAC supports DSD512 but I don’t have any DSD512 content, and I don’t know where to find any. Does that mean I shouldn’t review my DAC because I can’t test that feature?

Not sure the I2S vs. DSD512 comparison is apples to apples, but if your DAC is known to sound its best at DSD512, then to do a meaningful review it would probably be worth the time and effort to obtain DSD512 content (here is some), and/or learn how to upsample other content to DSD512.