Time to Say Goodbye to DSD Sr

I was logging into my psaudio account to deregister my DSD Sr. When I decided to leave this note.

After about 1,5 year, I am moving on. I was introduced to the dCS Vivaldi stack, and while the sr. did fight back, it was an unfair joust, specially when you consider the effects of the upsampler+clock. The dCS just feels… right.

But this note is not about the dCS, but about the sr. I am already feeling nostalgic. And that’s because the sr. was my first PSAudio, and introduced me to the digital hi-fi world that I never thought existed. Ted and his releases are magical.

But, most of all, I’ve grown accustomed to the PSAudio family. Paul and his tales. Ted, Jamesh, the users that post here, and all the support I have received throughout. All so kind and willingly to help. This company is something special, struggling to keep costs at bay, and, at the same time, delivering spectacular sounding products. So, swapping the Sr. For the dCS feels to me the same as I felt when I left home to go to college.

I sincerely hope this spirit and philosophy stay the same.

I am still a vested PSAudio user: 1xP10, 1xP20, 1x DSD jr and 1 pair of BHK300.


dCS makes some great gear and you just found something you like better than the DSD Sr. Nothing wrong with that. Looks like you still have plenty of PSA gear so I’m sure the forum police won’t kick you off :smile:


If I could afford even the Rossini, I would have decamped for dCS a long time ago - let alone the Vivaldi stack.

The dCS digital sound is pretty special - it beats the DS in its fullness.

DCS stuff is top class.

Can’t really compare the two though since the Vivaldi stack is more than 10 x the price of the DSDac. I was about to go with the Vivaldi all in one (It’s like a combination of the stack in a single chassis) before I came across PS Audio and decided it would make more sense spending the money upgrading my speakers and amplification first. Then Paul’s videos hooked me in lol!

I think it or more likely what replaces the Vivaldi is what I will go for next but I will need a bigger room and better speakers. I would love to see what Ted could do with Vivaldi resources and price point.

@jvvita stay tuned on that. Ted is working on a new DAC. You might be well served keeping your DS DAC under the bed and get an MSRP trade-in on it for their new super DAC come the day it’s released for sale. No way you’d get a full MSRP trade-up on any dCS gear. You’d be lucky to get half.

How do you delete a post? Never done it…

After this investment, now it is time to cool off and enjoy the music. No upgrades for some long time.

But since you mentioned it, I sure hope to see the TSS beat the Vivaldi. If it doesn’t, my dealer promised me full MSRP for a MSB Select upgrade down the road.


After this investment, now it is time to cool off and enjoy the music. No upgrades for some long time.

Lol you say that now. As I’ve said before the upgrade “madness” never ends, whether you’re a kid starting out with budget equipment or someone buying really expensive stuff. I think it is because many of us like tinkering and are always wondering “what if”.

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I am afraid you are right. I always wonder if at some point we start chasing the equipment rather than the music.


I like to call this the difference between being an Audiophile and Music Lover. Back in my Audiophile days I used to always change gear and was always searching for the next “best thing”. I never seemed to enjoy listening to music because I was always analyzing the music. Now in my Music Loving days I just sit back and enjoy the music.


It’s ok if a unit this expensive betters it…I’m still convinced of the 6-10k price point (at least at PSA). There’s so much satisfaction and so much to be improved prior to moving upwards.

But it would be interesting to hear such an expensive digital frontend in a well known surrounding…I guess there’s not much more to desire as long as the masterings are on par with the vinyl masterings. For most new music this shouldn’t be an issue.

All I can say is that you get more of everything. More dynamics, more resolution, better soundstage, better timbre, better tonal balance.

Even the bad recordings. They get more unbearable.


Can’t make bad recordings good unless you buy equipment that makes good recordings sound bland and lifeless. My first little mini hifi system fit the bill and since I mostly listened to screechy metal music it worked out. Had I been listening on proper hifi separates it would have been ear bleedingly bad.

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Right now I am struggling with some DSD64 re-editions. They just sucked the life out of the music. The Who - Who’s Next - Baba O’Rilley intro cymbals are so drawn back that seems like Keith Moon was sleeping when hitting them. The Same with The Band - The Last Waltz (in this case, the high-res sounds so much better).

@jvvita by the way you are not the only one who decamped after hearing dCS. There are a raft of reviews on other fora of the entry level Bartok DAC and a video review by Darko - just Google. Many have sold their DS Sr (some posters whose names I recognise from here) and Dave setups even for that let alone your Vivaldi stack. Most note a similarity to the DS in terms of being analogue sounding but cite the fullness and musicality, coupled with unfatiguing detail as what won them over. I agree - for me one of the major weaknesses of the DS sound from the start has been the lack of fullness although that has been addressed slightly in later updates from Redcloud on - thanks to Ted for that.

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That is the good thing about the industry. One leads the other to a better design, for the benefit of us all. Let’s see what Ted and Paul have in mind for the TSS. At the $5,000 price point, the DirectStream is almost a steal. 15,000-20,000 is a whole different game.

There’s another thing: the Mosaic system (app and renderer) has a terrific user experience. It can either be based on Roon or on MinimServer (at the users choice). That is, it builds on what the user is already accustomed to, without detracting any aspect of the files (metadata, file organization etc). It is easy, simple, and also controls the Dac and upsampler.

It is a very strong competitor for any server/control point. So much better than bubbleupnp or mconnect. PSAudio should really look into it for Octave.

Even more of a steal when they were being sold in the SM promotion for $4k.