Perfect Wave DS DAC vs a Direct Stream DAC Mk1

What is the visible difference between Perfect Wave DS DAC vs a Direct Stream DAC Mk1,
it seems that just about everybody is confused about the different models as they look so similar.

Is the wording on the front of the machine different?
Can you tell by the serial numbers? If so could you please tell me the serial number sequence to dechipher the differnt models.

Glen Mason

PWD mk1, PWD mk2 and DSD Dac mk1 have all the same chassis. PS Audio offered owners of PWD to upgrade to mk2 and then to DS Dac mk1 with same chassis. That is the reason it’s not easy to distinguish them just by looks.
The difference is the logo printed near display and the PS Audio provided stickers meant to be put on chassis once you upgrade.

I think one to be sure , should go into menu via touchscreen display and show information about hw - that will show actual version of unit. Or to open the unit and look inside.

Thanks for your reponse. So I did think that was the case but seeing so many advertised as Direct Stream DAC Mk1 that the label on the front near the screen says Perfect Wave.

So if I am understanding you correctly these machines could effectively be Direct Stream Mk1 due to them being upgraded however they will be much older machines.

So if I wanted to be certain that I was getting a unit that started out life as a Direct Stream and not a Perfect Wave I would need to get one that the label next to the screen says “Direct Stream DAC” unless I was pulling it apart but then I wouldn’t know what to look for anyway. Besides that it is most likely that I will be purchasing site unseen via ebay or a Facebook group unfortunately as I certainly cannot afford a new one.

If you can confirm my thinking I would really appreciate it. Thank you.


Glen Mason


you are right with the sticker - for example when i was selling my own Directstream MK1 - which was originally PWD mk1, then mk2 - it had original “Perfectwave DAC” print under display , then had the “PWD mk2” upgrade sticker on back side, but in reality it was already upgraded to Directstream :slight_smile: (either i forgot to stick the Directstream upgrade sticker or I lost it i can’t remember :slight_smile: )

Indeed if the print under display says Directstream DAC then it was built originally in factory as Directstream DAC.

Just a side-note - personally I would have no problem with upgraded unit as the upgrade was relatively simple (just replacing some boards and standalone components (power transformer) requiring no soldering, so there was not much what could get wrong.

Couldn’t one get the serial # and call PS Audio to confirm the upgrade status of the DAC?

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Thankyou for confirming that for me. To me its more the age of the equipment than anything. If I can buy something that is 4-6yrs younger for not a lot more money it make more sense to me, just like buying a car.




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