The Mushiness/Squishyness is Gone - DirectStream Sr. is Awesome!

I’ve had the DirectStream Sr. in my rack for a few months now. This is not a review. I’m running the XLR Out’s into a MiniDSP 2x4 Balanced (for my Series 1 & 2 Bose EQ Curves). The output of that is still using it’s internal 24Bit/48kHz DAC until I get the I2S of the MIniDSP talking to the DS Sr’s I2S. This is why I’m only offering commentary (for now).

So here goes (are you following me so far - cause this post will become convoluted real quick).

Years ago I’d transferred all my Vinyl both Audiophile and crappy standard pressings to 24Bit/96kHz using my trusty Dual CS515 TT with a Grado Red Cartridge. My “Phono Preamp” was my Denon AVR-1802’s MM input and then direct fed (tape monitor out) to my Computer’s Audigy Platinum Z @ 96kHz/24Bit. Those files are permanently saved to to DVD-Audio Discs and ripped to my HTPC/Music Server.

So I couldn’t resist using the Nero 9’s noise/hiss reduction tools (this was back in both 2003 @ 16/44 and again in 2008 @ 96/24 using Minnetonka to Author DVD-Audio Discs). Without the NR, the surface noise and hiss was intolerable compared to SACD’s and DVD-Audio discs played through my Pioneer 578-A (told ya I was gonna veer away).

Using the cheesy Nero 9 NR tools can make things worse. One can get carried away with the NR tools and remove the music that’s in those grooves easily. Kinda like DBX Records and Tapes back in the late 70’s and 80’s (oh how I wanted a DBX tape Deck and settled with Dolby B/C and later a Sony Dolby S with HX Pro) !

Getting finally to the point - I had to sacrifice fade in/fade portions and any quiet passages with what I call a “squishy” sound due to the amount of noise reduction applied. Medium to loud passages sounded no different with or without the NR tools. It was a trade off that I’ve lived with for 12 - 17 years.

Fear no more, the squishyness is gone and even some of the Treble extension is back. Understanding what Ted Smith has done with the various FPGA Programming iterations (mine was shipped with Windom) is way way over my head since I’m an Analog Electronics person where Digital Electronics/Programming has always been an area that bored me and I never did well in those subjects in College back in day.

NO DAC I’ve ever plugged into my gear cheap (Built-In’s), mediocre (Sony DSD/PCM), and pretty Damn good (SGCD) has been able to to what the DS Sr. has done to these Vinyl transfers.

I’ve given up on Vinyl and sold all my stuff years ago cause DSD is where it’s at (for me, it’s Vinyl’s replacement - WRT to sound quality).



Yay! Don’t you just love it when everything works? Nicely done, sir. Thanks for sharing.

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