Snowmass DirectStream Junior is now live


I, like so many others, had quite a time getting the update to take on my junior this morning. Based on previous responses, I took my oldest and smallest USB drive (a 16GB USB 3.0 Sandisk) and tried formatting it on my mac in both FAT and EXFat. I even went so far as to secure erase by writing over it 3X. The Jr. would read the drive (slower boot and blue flashing light on front panel) but it would boot up in Redcloud 3.6.17.

I tried power cycling, disconnecting the power cord, and nothing worked. I tried going to Yale, that wouldn’t work either.

I pulled out another USB 3.0 stick I had that was larger. Same issues exactly.

About to give up, I searched through my drawers and found a SanDisk Cruzer CZ36 64GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive, formatted it fat32 on my mac using disk utility and viola. Yale installed. Trying to movie to Snowmass and viola… that installed.

The only difference was that my prior attempts were on USB 3.0 sticks. The final and successful attempt was a USB 2.0 stick.

So, if that is helpful to anyone, I found this old model is still for sale on Amazon for only $12.99. It worked for me and hopefully will for anyone still having trouble.

Bryce Thomason
McIntosh C1100 • 2X PassLabs XA60.8 Monoblock • 2X Bowers-Wilkins 802D3 • Bowers-Wilkins DV2D • 2X PS Audio P5 Power Plant • PS Audio DirectStream Junior (DAC) • VPI Traveler 2 • Roon


That’s the same one I used and it worked.


I guess my two cents on this would be to reiterate that this is not a Sony-sized company (to exaggerate by powers of ten). Ted, despite his involvement in these Forums after his part is done, is not an employee, has nothing to do with the update process, and is therefore frustrated as well.

Everyone nowadays seemingly expects cutting-edge tech magic right away, delivered as soon as it exists, all the time, for free. Well, For Free - at least from PS Audio. Doesn’t happen a lot elsewhere. We’ve brought up the notion of a Kickstarter to pay Ted extra bucks for his work, since he is not paid a salary or extra money for writing these effing magical new Peak codes. Sometimes I wonder if some folks appreciate how lucky we are and how amazing and unusual this situation is.

Similarly, if those who are frustrated with difficulties updating to Get a New DAC For Free once or twice a year, and feel that more should be spent on testing, maybe it is time to raise money for that - unless you want PS Audio to either charge for updates, or go back to the old model wherein one had to purchase an entirely new harware unit to get this benefit. Hell, I’ve bought a lot of Shiny New DACs that were not as Substantive a Difference as Snowmass is. For Free.



Re Kickstarter concept, if Ted has to buy new instruments/tools to support his work, I would donate a few bucks to help defray costs.


Why is Ted not financially compensated by PS Audio for these updates? It’s a big part of the appeal of the DirectStream line.

It also makes little sense to ask customers of very expensive DACs to take up a collection to pay Ted. Seems there must be a better way to organize all of that within the company. It’s Paul’s responsibility to pay Ted. We customers ought not be drawn in to the financial arrangement between Paul and Ted.

And it feels off to sort of shame customers into not complaining about issues because the updates are free and Ted is a volunteer.

The updates are hardly free. The cost is rolled into the DAC price tag. And we customers are in no way responsible for how Ted is paid! And our complaints are very valuable to the development of the PS Audio line. :sunglasses:


Are the release notes posted somewhere? Can someone confirm if the SACD “pops” were addressed? What about the remote volume issue? Thanks…


Paul is not making Ted do them, that’s Ted and his passion for this whole thing. We are the benficiaries. No one would’ve complained if these DACs were not updatable.

Now you’re trying to shame Paul into compensating Ted further. You are welcome to start your own competing company, now that you know what to do. Ted also shares nearly everything that he is doing technically with us, so you won’t even have to hire a development engineer.


I admit that I was more than a little surprised to find out that Ted is not directly compensated for what surely involves hundreds of hours of work. My speculation, part of which has been hinted at elsewhere, is that he is compensated based on Directstream units sold, so it is in his personal interest to keep the platform current, continuously improved, and relevant. While I have no qualitative data, it would seem that this arrangement benefits everyone, including us! Perhaps especially us.


I only said that compensation within PS Audio is not the customer’s concern. And its good that people complain about the troubles in upgrading, it only makes the product better.

And its not believable that Ted has no financial interest in these updates. The updates are a large part of the DS marketing, field programmable, etc. He likely gets a piece of the DS sales.

Maybe Ted just needs to unionize himself!


Hi Ted,

Thanks! I started to mess with the settings in Audrivana and found that this only occurs when the Native DSD Capability in the Audio Settings window is set to “DSD Standard over PCM 1.0”. When I set it to “DSD Standard over PCM 1.1”, there is no problem. Does that make sense to you? Anyway, things are good now!



No - not our concern, we just felt like raising a Beer Fund for him out of appreciation. It’s not terribly serious, though many would happily contribute.

He is paid a chunk of the DS’s sold, so the other thing we can do is Defend the Faith, and encourage others to do a 30 Day trial at no risk.

I want him to make lots of money, and keep doing this for us for free. You see? Self-interest at work ; )


Only caveat is that we have all prepaid for the updates, they are part of the DS/ DSJ sale price. “Free” is a great illusion in this case. Perhaps a 6 pack of beer ought to be sent by PS Audio to every customer who can’t easily perform the Snowmass of Bridge II update, through no fault of their own :wink:


3 different USB sticks and no joy so far -still on Redcloud. Will try reverting to an earlier FW and back to Snowmass, see if it works.


I bought my DSJ last Nov 2017 and this is the first upgrade of FW from RC to SM. It seemed particularly stubborn to read the stick. Sounds like Teds talk on the possibility of an embedded bug burrowing deeper could be an symptom. Gotta keep the bugs out of the bed;-)


My guess is that Ted’s continual uncompensated work (other than via increased sales) on making these things sing was not part of the original deal when the compensation was sorted out. This is coming “out of his pocket” on his own time, so to speak, which is why we felt like raising a fund.

I understand your POV, but I personally do not feel that I “prepaid” for anything beyond the DAC itself. The updates have been a bonus. But again, depending on when you got on the Bus, I get it. Expectations only increase over time.


In any case, Snowmass sounds amazing, even if Ted was held hostage until completion :joy:

But Bridge II simply will not update for me, have tried many times. Which I realize is genuinely outside Ted’s domain.


I see a poll coming down the line.


Proposed Poll subject for Snowmass Upgrade to DSDjr. Does SM increase the value of your DAC by 10-25-50-100 %…for me it just turned into a five figure DAC. Ted if you ever need a place to stay in NOLA just let me know. Or if your ever on the Alaska Hwy and need help…I’m your man


How about a variation on your suggested poll theme …


  • Cracked wheat
  • Sliced Bread
  • The invention of the wheel
  • Redcloud
  • All of the above

0 voters


Obviously I expect that doing updates will be good for everyone, (myself included) I’m at heart a software guy and I designed the DS in particular so that I could write software. FWIW it started off as a DSD only DAC when there was no market for such a thing. I just presumed I’d be able to convert PCM to DSD if I ever wanted to :slight_smile:

Part of the marketing is that the DS is an updateable DAC (I think the phrase used was “Obsolescence is obsolete”) so I do think people have legitimate expectation of updates, but we don’t promise that they will always sound better than the previous version tho obviously that’s my goal. Adding MQA and support for various streaming sites is an example of the upgradeability.

I have personally promised to keep updating the DS and DS Jr with new ideas as long as they will fit in the FPGA. So far I’ve always found a way to make them fit and I like the challenge of figuring out how to make things better.

But if people don’t like dealing with a release they are free to stay on an older version. There’s no way to get a release perfect before it goes out and I’ve been reasonably embarrassed by the long fade up bug, but not releasing because we are trying fix everything possible means that no project ever finishes. The update bug is a big pain in the neck for everyone, but putting the resources required to fix it without a repro case will probably stall out a lot of PS Audio products. I know that PS Audio engineering cares about fixing it and wants it fixed as much as anyone else.