Older DirectStream DAC?

I’ve got an opportunity to get a PerfectWave DirectStream DAC that was manufactured in 2014. It has Sunlight installed, and the Bridge II card as well. The dealer (knowledgeable and trustworthy) says it’s fully tested and working perfectly.

I have almost no familiarity with the higher end of PSA’s DAC line, so I thought I’d ask here: is there any difference in features or capability between a unit from 2014 and the most recent builds? Its photos all around appear identical to current production.

None that I am aware of…

Maybe someone form PSA will jump in and note whether any key parts changed over the years.

If you have the latest FPGA “software” and the Bridge II Ethernet card, I believe you have a SOTA DirectStream DAC, if you will.

If the price is really good, I recommend you grab it up.

Purchasing the DS DAC is one of the top three most impactful Hi-Fi purchase I have ever made during my 45-year “audiophile” journey.



I believe Scott is correct about the hardware and design, and I echo his statement about the impact the DS DAC has had on my listening world.


The boards haven’t changed and there’s been no substantive change in parts. Tho things like the manufacturer of some caps, etc. might have changed because of availability issues, etc., there should be no difference in sound quality between different builds. Perhaps the unit is already burned in :slight_smile:


All I can say is, congratulations.

@scotte1 That makes two of (and the most expensive).

Worth every penny, comparatively speaking; especially at gently used prices…

As far as I can tell, the DS Sr. still competes with DACs that are among the best that can be had at any price (within reason).

[@Craig_Burgess: “Just Do It.”]


Thanks for the input, Ted. I appreciate it greatly.

Just do it, at the right price you can always flip it. Next step transport upgrade?

I hope that doesn’t turn out to be premature. I’m negotiating a trade deal with the sales guy, and I won’t hear back about my counter offer until Monday. And even though they’re closed for the weekend, I don’t know how likely (or possible) it is for the unit to get sold out from under me by another salesperson before I can come to an agreement with the guy I’m working with.

God, I hope not. I just got the PST on New Year’s Eve. :wink:


Then getting a DSD seems logical.


Keep us posted.

1 Like

At the risk of sounding like I am enjoying trying to spend your money, and I really mean this, my experience has been that your PST’s impact on your enjoyment will pail in comparison to adding the DS Sr. to the fold.

Unless your current DAC is something remotely comparable, I can’t overstate what a great performer the DS Sr. is. This DAC is what convinced me that DAC designs matter. I pretty much thought a DAC was a DAC and transporter was a transporter until I bought the DS. Its ability to extract the, heretofore, un-hearable details from CDs, SACDs and ripped/downloaded files opened up a whole new world of enjoyment. Hyperbole aside, it really proved to be “whole-sale” upgrade to my digital signal path.

I hope you can broker a deal you are satisfied with. Given the PST’s reputation here, you are if for a real treat with this potential combo.



Current DAC is the SGCD. Which in its own right is better than the old 1st-generation Channel Islands Audio unit I used with my old Rega spinner, and substantially better than the DAC inside my Node 2i, which I hope to retire soon, anyway.

With all due respect to the SGCD, I believe you are if for a treat.

Good luck with the purchase.



I’m with Craig in having a GCD paired (recently) with a PST and every time I play a disk, I know the GCD is one of the weaker links in my system now. A perfect example is, as great as I can tell the PST is, it sounds only marginally better than my Auralic streamer/server. I can tell a huge bottleneck is the DAC, even as solid as it is.

1 Like

Well, the dealer (TMR) won’t budge on their offer, which was $600-$700 more than I wanted to pay. So I think rather than do that, I’ll try selling the two Marantz SACD players I proposed for trade, and once the money’s in hand (and maybe once the DSD II is out), shop around for one of the DSD/Bridge II units I hope will be flooding the market at that time. :wink: I’m sure to do better, assuming I find a buyer for my gear. This would’ve been something of an impulse buy anyway.

1 Like

Time to reflect has certain advantages. Used DSD DACs aren’t going to be rare, and from what you have shared. From what others have said regarding the Bridge 2 performance you may want to reconsider that aspect and go with an external streamer down the road. My experience with streamers are either below the performance you speak, BlueSound and Mac Mini, or above your budget, Innuos Zenith Mk 3 with a Phoenix. So I can’t provide a recommendation on a streamer. Wish you well on your journey.

1 Like

FWIW, based on recent sales history posted in the Audiogon “Blue Book”, if I were in the market for a used DS Sr. DAC, I would be happy if I could get one in excellent shape for less than $3,400, including “S&H”.

Good luck, Craig.

1 Like