Strategy for buying PS DAC

After auditioning a friends DirectStream DAC, I’m sold. Brilliant presentation of CD’s and of course outstanding articulation of hi-def FLAC and DSF files.

OUTSTANDING sound. User interface needs help, however sonically it’s just brilliant.

Seems like prevailing pricing for a quality used DirectStream DAC w/Bridge card is about $3400, though starting to slip slightly. I’m having a hard time pulling the trigger on a new unit since it’s going end of life and no further upgrades, and a new likely much improved version forthcoming.

When the new unit arrives there will be a raft of used units hitting the market with real downward pricing pressure.

It’s does not appear PS Audio is reducing price or having any “inventory blow-out” on existing units.

New customers are in a awkward position of waiting for 6 months or buy now and take a bath on resale for either new or used. Of course those made of money… not a factor.

Question: For those looking to purchase DirectStream DAC, what’s your strategy? Waiting for new TSS version, or for PS Audio to drop price or jack-up trade-in allowances, or used market to correct downward?

I would wait for the used market to shake out and keep an eye on used units in the meantime.

It is akin to timing buying a used car when you know a new model is about to be released.

Of course, if PS Audio was not so transparent and had not let us know a new unit is pending you would just buy a current used one. :slight_smile:


I agree with Elk, I think the used market will begin to see quite a few show up in the coming months.

As far as any kind of blow out goes, we don’t have anything like this in the works. It’s possible that we will once the new one comes out, but seeing as parts aren’t super easy to get right now nor cheap, it’s possible there won’t be much of a blow out that is possible. Only time will tell though.

Why wait? Buy used and trade in for new…No matter what you do…any audio purchase is a money losing endeavor.


My Scandinavian sensibilities will grind at me staring at a box I could have gotten for $1000 less or $1000 more for the new thing that’s upgradable. $2000 differential is a lot, at least for me. :+1:

Cash is king for either a new or used unit. I’ll just lumber along with my OPPO Sonica DAC until the prices are adjusted unless there is a better option.

There has to be a number of other buyers with similar considerations.

If you have an external streamer you can usually find DS Sr. for less than $3K. You can also find them at that price with a bridge if you are lucky. Put a saved search for it on hifishark and keep your eye out. Agree it’s a great unit, even at $3400.

Looking now, there’s a DSD on USAudioMart for a great price, though it has some scratches, you may be able to negotiate down a little further.

If you need a bridge, I’m happy to sell you mine for a reasonable price as I removed it and am using an external streamer. PM me if you want.

Also I believe the PS Audio team sells replacement top covers for not too much money.

There always seems to be a bunch of these about which I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing but TMR sells them like popcorn at about 3300 to 3500 most still under warranty. There are at least two listed now. With TMR you get a couple things like 14 day trial etc you might not with a AGON or Ebay type purchase…


Well, then wait a bit.

Value propositions are personal and relative (as are budgetary constraints).


Have you ever considered putting a value on the months of joy you will get by using the system between now and when the price may drop? If that value is greater than the savings you get by waiting, you would be ahead by purchasing it now.

1 Like

There’s no strategy. It’s all impulsive! :slight_smile:


Did you audition your friends dsd in your system or in his? If it was the latter then I definitely would ask if you could borrow it and listen to it on your own. I’d also suggest demoing some other DACs if you can. You would be surprised there are excellent DACs even at the dsd’s used price.

One thing I wish I would have tried when building my system was to make some attempt to do some type of blind testing. It’s a difficult thing to pull off but when making a multi thousand dollar purchase i believe it will beneficial.

I’m quite content with my Sunlight loaded DSSr. Whenever the new one comes out, I won’t bother. I’ve got my rig almost dialed in the way I like it. Speakers are my only issue. And that’s a Rabbit Hole I can’t afford at the moment.

Yes, TMR gets a lot of DSSr.’s up for sale. But the same will be said of the various Denafrips and soon the Holo DAC’s in the future. No clue why. They all have strengths and less so weaknesses.

To those can can afford to chase the Audio Dragon. All the power to all of you. My pocketbook on the other hand has screamed surrender.

1 Like

That’s exactly how and from whom I got my DS DAC back in 2015 – $3,400 for a unit that looked brand new and came with all the original packing and under warranty.


Oh my god, the “kill yourself now, why wait for the war” strategy.

Perfect Audiophile Strategy. I used it to buy my entire new system.


I would not wait for a different reason that

  1. global component shortage might make the wait for new gear much longer,
  2. also, what I heard that there is a spike in gray component market, I hope PSA QC their component rigorously, so that When I trade in my DSDAC for an upgrade, the new gear will have good component inside. (or, keep my fingers crossed :slight_smile: )

Life is too short. Buy now, enjoy the months of listening leading up to release of the new DS, and then trade it in. The months of enjoyment is worth any loss on the trade in


Don’t know for sure but wasn’t it mentioned that TMR and PSA have a working relationship? Correct me if I’m wrong but believe used gear (trade-ins) and/or returns ends up there? If not, where does it go?


Yes, you are correct.


I like this strategy because it allowed me to buy your last speakers from you. :slight_smile:

But now you went and did that, and you’re not dead yet, and you’re already looking forward to the next chapter.

It never ends… until you’re dead. So to the OP, enjoy it now while it lasts.

1 Like