Problem with coax connection

Hello Everyone

I upgraded to a Directstream from a Nuwave and could not be happier as the former is clearly ahead of the latter in terms of SQ.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to use the coax connection from my source since last weekend -(

I checked both the coax cable and the source independently and they both work perfectly so my conclusion is that the directsream has a problem. This issue is limited to the spdif input as both the usb and optical inputs work (I have some instabilities with usb connection from my MacBook pro but this another subject).

I’m about to bring the DS For inspection and repair if needed but I’m wondering if anyone has experienced the same issue ?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.



You did power reboot the Direct Stream?

I experienced this with the PWD Mark 2. Just lost the coaxial input, twice. PS Audio says it was likely shorted out by static electricity. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I had that fixed when I upgraded from Mark 1 to Mark 2 (I think that a new digital board was installed for that mod and that cured that) and then months later it happened again I still have that Mark 2 and it still has a defective coaxial input. I use an AES/EBU to coaxial adapator and use a coaxial cable with the AES/EBU input (that Mark 2 is now in my girlfriend’s system, lucky woman!)

st50maint said You did power reboot the Direct Stream?
Yes I did and I also tried to reinstall the older firmware but both made no change.
lonson said Just lost the coaxial input, twice. PS Audio says it was likely shorted out by static electricity.)
I fear that There was an electric discharge when I removed the coax cable from the source but I'm not sure this is possible.

The DS and the PWD(s) use entirely different hardware for S/PDIF, but that doesn’t mean that a static zap couldn’t have caused a problem (the caps and resistors are pretty robust and the only active component is internally protected, but that doesn’t guarantee no problems.)

Do I understand you correctly that it used to work, but stopped last weekend? I there any chance something else changed besides a possible zap?

As lonson mentioned, a coax adapter for the AES/EBU input is a fine kludge.

Hello Ted, Thanks for helping and congratulations for this wonderful dac.

You understand correctly, This setup has worked for several weeks without a glitch.

Nothing changed except removing the cable from the source to Switch to another source for a test. Since that the DS was unable to lock on either this new source and the previous one.

If it’s hardware I don’t have any other ideas except if you have another source to test the DS with.

Could it be that the source is now putting out some other sample rate than 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 or 352.8?

The source, a Pioneer N50, is limited to 192 kHz with the sample rate displayed on screen.

As mentioned, I tried to connect another source and this when the problem began to occur.

maybe this source is the culprit and did something to the DS coax port or maybe this is just coincidence ?

If the suspect source works with another device on the coax I doubt it hurt the DS - but perhaps if it wasn’t grounded it could have caused a problem…

Is there any chance you plugged the cable into the wrong jack on the DS or the source? (It doesn’t hurt anything on the DS if you accidently do that.)

Leave the DS powered off tonight (the switch on the back) and if it doesn’t work tomorrow perhaps you’ll have to get it repaired or use the AES/EBU input…

I am an owner of the original DirectStream DAC and I have to struggle with the problem that it can not find all its needing inputs (coax, toslink) after switching on the device. I tried many things but at the end nothing could help me for a long term. Only rebooting helped me but to do this was very annoying every time. Now it is at service with the hope that this can solve my issues. At the moment I am very disappointed.

I just received my DirectStream yesterday and I’m experiencing a popping sound…it sounds as if a record is skipping. I just sold my Perfectwave DAC II and I’m very upset. Yes, the DirectStream sounds significantly better right out of the box, but I don’t want to take the risk of damaging my speakers. I’m using a 1/2 meter Wireworld Gold Starlight 7 coax cable. Can anyone help?

Hello Everybody

My problem with the coax connections has been solved by changing the DS digital board.

I hope that it won’t happen again ;)

I still have issues with the usb connection between my macbook pro and the DS as the link breaks after a certain amount of time and I have to reboot the DS to get the link back. Maybe this could be a software issue (I’m using Macosx Yosemite 10.10.1). Any idea is welcomed !


Hi Lonson,
Bumped into this old discussion as I am having exactly the same issue on my PW2 coax input not working.

May I please ask you what kind of adaptor is needed to use the coax cable into AES EBU? Have you lost any quality in sound?

Many thanks


It was just a female RCA into male XLR adaptor that I used, there are a number of choices available. At that time I splurged on a Cardas example, but I don’t think the expense was necessary.

Many thanks!

I have just bought something similar on AMZ here in Italy: Bespeco

I was only worried about the impedace difference between XLR (110 Ohms) VS RCA (75 Ohms) in would require something like this one: Female BNC 75 Ω input - male XLR cable end 110 Ω output. Interface balanced and coaxial lines

Have noticed any difference when using the adaptor?

It’s been a while and I no longer have the DAC. But it worked. At the time I wasn’t really aware of the difference in impedance between the two inputs. The sound was the same as when the coaxial input was operating.