Snowmass DirectStream Junior is now live


I am just stunned by the improved sound quality of Snowmass compared to Redclouds. And this it with me playing directly from the dac to my amps. I finally feel that it beats my prior dac the Ayre QB9dsd. Well done PS Audio team.


I have tried about a dozen times down grade. But I have only managed to get the DSJ to read the USB 2x and it didn’t take. Shutting it off for the night. Let it cool down and see if that makes a difference. And will check in with James at HQ. I have followed all of Ted’s procedures. On search for an old USB pen… ode for the magic pen.


After thinking about it overnight there must be an errant piece of code in the Redcloud that doesn’t pause long enough for the USB port to be recognized and turn control over to in on power reset during the attempted Snowmass upgrade. Not sure why the bootstrap handshaking works when going to an older OS. The machine itself is obviously OK or else the switch back to an older OS wouldn’t work. Or it could be Gremlins. :thinking:

Now if I could just get the Bridge to update itself I’d be all set.


I tried loading the Snowmass to a new 16G USB…NO LUCK
Followed Ted’s instructions…deleted Snowmass files, Put on the Yale files…
Updated to Yale NO problems!!!
Changed the files on the USB back to Snowmass…UPDATE completed.

I’m smiling from ear to ear.

I spent a few hours listening and its wonderful…It sounds rather different depending on what streaming source or CD transport I use.
My winning Combination so far is:
PWT via I2s to DSJr to GCD via XLR to M700s using Audioquest Wind XLRs then Audioquest Castle speaker cable to Whatmough Monitors 505s Signature speakers.
I’m going to have to tweek some room treatment/speaker placement a little but by golly it is a nice upgrade to the presentation on my system in my room as it is. I cant get any more time tonight as i have a guest staying in my music room tonight. I can see a big listening session coming my way in the next few nights and days.
Thank you to all involved in these up grades and products in general. A special thanks to all in this global community for sharing so freely our thoughts and experiences of all persuasions.
I’m learning that I have only just started to come to grips with the very many variables in trying to get the most out of our systems.


Thank you Ted, Paul and folks at PS Audio.
This Dac is an Acoustic microscope and Ted just keep cranking up the magnification.


Having failed to upgrade directly from Redcloud to Snowmass via a 32 GB PNY USB stick I purchased a generic Staples 16GB/Go USB 2.0 2-pack, placed a separate OS on each flash drive for future reference, and followed Ted’s two-step Yale/Snowmass instructions. Both installations went flawlessly and without drama and I am now running the Isotek Large System Enhancement track to let the system settle in before beginning critical listening.

'Changed my vote at the above Poll.


Hi, the DSJ upgrade worked (downgrading to Yale and the upgrading to Snowmass; going directly to Snowmass, the system didn’t recognize my USB stick). From very limited listening, the sound is definitely improved in the base and in clarity/separation of instruments–very pleased with that. I’ve heard details in the music that I haven’t heard before.


I’m using Audirvana+ on a Mac Mini and outputting through USB and when I switched from playing a PCM file (AIFF format) to a DSD file, I got a loud, steady tone for about 1 second (like, emergency warning system kind of tone) before the DSD track started to play. Switching back to a PCM file, and switching between PCM files of differing sample rates was no problem. Has anyone experienced this? I tried playing through the Mac mini speakers, and didn’t hear that tone.

I only have a few DSD files (playing with formats ripping vinyl with the NuWave phono preamp), but can’t imagine this is the first time I ever did this, so I’m guessing it’s new with Snowmass. I can downgrade to confirm, but if anyone has encountered this or has a suggestion about what’s happening, let me know.



Now that I’m finally on snowmass, some hopefully constructive suggestions.

A new Sandisk 16GB stick was eventually the winner. Got it from Target for $5. Seems like others had success with a similar one.

I changed my response to Bootzilla’s poll above. But he should add one more choice: Had a lot of problems trying to upgrade, but it eventually worked going back to Yale and then to Snowmass.

PS Audio should institute better QA/QC for these updates. It’s clear they spend a lot of time getting the sound right, but not enough on the software upgrade process. Reminds me of this post:

In the end, thank you Ted and PS Audio for the no cost updates.


I cannot edit the choices of an existing poll, as doing so would reset the vote count to ZERO. But here is a new poll for DSJ owners:

POLL: Which is the Best-Sounding DS Jr. Operating System?

  • Snowmass
  • Redcloud
  • Huron
  • Yale
  • Torreys

0 voters


Ok. There is a God and small miracles do occur. I hijacked the oldest USB key in the house. Reformatted it on an older laptop Windows. Copied files from PS website through satellite wifi. Copied one at a time from bottom up from download file and thus pasted inverted on the key. The key is a 8 GB Verbatim and lights when active. The DSJ was cold this morning and loaded the Yale FW on it’s First try. Then loaded SM 2.0 on the same key. It also loaded the first try. Yahoo…I immediately played case/lang/veirs. Couldn’t analyse the sound much through the tears of emotion…must be great…had to turn RELs down and move closer to the speakers to find the sweetest spot for stage… thanks to all in HQ and rest of you minions…this forum is amazing… wouldn’t of got through this process without your shared experiences. Cheers Simon…


I tried the new scandisk that we’re working for others…didn’t work for me…had to find an old 8 G Verbatim. Now to try to update my NPC that was not reading anything previously.


Your second vote replaced your first one . . . congrats on the successful Snowmass install and thanks for updating your vote.


I have never had the bridge hooked up. Not by choice… just too analog…can’t figure it out … obviously haven’t tried hard enough…love to hate computers…lol I’m such a hipi critter…anyways me and thumb drives just went through some big juju…two day’s of scratching to get my DSJ to downgrade and load SM. Well worth the time and effort. Definitely gave me way more appreciation of the free upgrade…just like getting a new Dac…Truely amazing


I haven’t experienced that yet and haven’t run across any other reports of it. On the other hand the “about 1 second” seems like too much of a coincidence for it to not be related to Snowmass. If you find a particular file or set of files to transition between please let me know. (I kind of doubt that it’s that easy to reproduce or we’ll have more reports by now.) I’ll keep a lookout for it and stare at the code some more.


Keep this up so I can vote in a week. SM is not an instant hit with me and my system. There are instantly some qualities I like (e.g.cymbals/detail) but some I think I might miss from RC(vocals/density) . I will live with SM for a week to see if it convinces me not to revert back to RC. For the record I mostly listen to wide variety of Rock with just a little Jazz and Electronic. I can see where the preference could be material based. If I listened to orchestra or chamber music my system would be set up differently for sure.


It’s not a question of Q/C on a new release. The new release has nothing to do with the probability that one would encounter the problem. Also as far as we know there’s nothing special about using Yale as the intermediate install. But that was the first OS available for the Jr so people are used to using it to bridge to a new OS.

The only info we have about the probability of an upgrade failing is that there’s a correlation (not a perfect correlation, but a good one) between how long it has been since the last update. Unfortunately this means that engineering will probably never encounter it in normal work. It’s also hard to find enough Jrs that have been being used but not upgraded around PS Audio to help.

I don’t work at PS Audio and don’t have any idea what else they’ve discovered about the upgrade issues on the Jr. (Or perhaps they now know that the time between upgrades isn’t really related, but I doubt that that’s the case.) But it’s not an easy bug to run down. I suspect that there’s a probabilistic errant write to the flash memory that corrupts something used in the upgrade logic. The longer the unit is used and/or the more times the code that does the bogus write is encountered the more likely it is that the next upgrade will be a pain in the neck.

All of this is confounded by not unexpected issues with corrupted file systems on thumb drives, etc. or people using FAT32 which can often work fine but depending on where the files land on the drive, may work fine or may fail… With the Sr the SD card is written to when ever there’s a track change (new cover art) and at some point it’s likely that the unit will be shut off during a write, so a card that used to work for updates (or cover display) stops working. I would expect that the incidence of corrupted file systems on a USB stick would be smaller, but the fact that updating the Jr fails much more often than updating the Sr gives a hint that people may pull USB sticks out of their computers without using the eject feature just as much as they do SD cards.


Thanks, Ted.

It is unfortunate that some have problems with what is otherwise a simple upgrade process. They are reasonably frustrated.


Yes, I can completely understand their frustration. It can be a big pain in the neck and it would be great if PS Audio can find and fix the problem.


On the bright side, people can tell their friends and co-workers they went to Yale and then went to Snowmass even though they never attended the prestigious Ivy League university or skied at the world-class Colorado resort!

Just kidding! Snowmass is awesome. As a DS Sr. owner who has been enjoying Snowmass since its release, I say to DS Jr. Nation “WELCOME TO THE CLUB!”


So here´s some short feedback of my update from Redcloud to Snowmass.

PS Audio Jr
Poweramp: Benchmark AHB2
Speakers: Pure Audio Project open baffle “Trio15TB” (2 15" bass, 1 8" mid/treble)
Source/player: J River Media Jukebox on Streacom passive/fanless computer with Windows 10.

Done without any issues. Downloaded FPGA to old 1GB USB2 stick, turned Jr off, inserted USB stick, started Jr, 3 minutes blinking 1 min updating and loading FPGA, Done! (turned it off, unplugged USB stick and on again to make sure Snowmass loaded.)

Immediate impression was more body and genuine decay in all drums, instruments and voices no matter size. This made the listening session relaxed (even if as dynamic as before) because it was more tonally correct. Fascinating! This also made the voices appear more intimate and close. Pianos that is a hard instrument to reproduce, is now enjoyable and without the hard edges. There is not more or heavier bass, but more real tonal body to it. I know I repeat the words body, tone and decay but that is what comes out to me as a good summarizing.

Otherwise it has about the same dynamics, sound stage and refinement as Redcloud but tonally, body and decay wise clearly improved. And that also includes the room of course, that is more rich.

I found myself analyzing the music less and instead just sitting back and enjoying the moment. Kind of nice sitting there, not trying to find flaws and instead trusting what I hear.

I believe this FPGA will be hard to improve much. Yea I know, we have said that before,

I am truly glad I decided to spend this much money on Jr with its updates.
Thanks PS Audio (Paul, Ted etc) for your devotion and willingness to give that extra to us music lovers.

Herjolf Wettlestam, Gothenburg, Sweden

Yale made me buy the Jr since it had a “musical” smooth tonally seductive sound.
Torrey was allright but a bit analytic/thin for my taste so I whent back to Yale without hesitation.
Huron was better than both Yale and Torrey even though I still thought Yale was a bit more smooth. But instruments voices etc were more refined on Huron so I stayed with this update.
Redcloud. My goodness, no hesitation this time. This was like getting a new DAC where instruments and voices suddenly had the tonality and decay that makes me rejoice (I know, might sound exaggerated, but I mean it). Suddenly Jr was delivering what I had hoped for in this price range. Yes, I don´t think Audio gear shall cost more cause there are higher priorities to spend my money on.