TSS Two Chassis Super DAC


Very interesting… I have an appointment next Thursday to listen to some MSB gear in Anaheim. I’m not listening to the Select but still can’t wait to see how it stacks up.


I do not think it is as good but perhaps nipping at it’s heels. Which leads me to believe TSS will surpass it as the new no cost leader. All I can say is given this, $6k DS Vs. 126+k(full upgrade 2x upgrade powerbases) use your brain. Obviously I have the financial ability but now I say just not worth it.

However The MSB is in a much more formidable system so hard to even compare. The DS system is no slouch though just much smaller. Boulder865 (Yes, PSA neighbor!) Integrated>Sonus Faber Ex3ma>MJA Windsor sub. Front end is either dedicated PC or Burmester 069. Also the Sennheiser HE-1.

I do have both XLR and RCA connected on the DS but I hear no difference with headphone amp off. I think if the DS Senior is part of a $400k system it says a lot about it. Up until a few releases ago it surpassed my DAVE nicely if I must say so myself. DAVE is now on the TV! Going to same system through Boulder.

I love this thing for how incredibly cheap it is. Okay, do not mean to be a jerk I know none of it is cheap. Although the DS is by far the cheapest component and you would never know it. It is by no means a bottleneck here.

If TSS is the best period Our win. Since the price is more “reasonable”. In quotes because I do not mean to be a jerk and do not much talk about money really.


I haven’t seen that yet. I don’t think any PS Audio stuff has earned a permanent spot in Radar Showroom #1 in Hong Kong. That will be a measure of being christened to hi-end status. TSS might get there…actually, I’m hopeful it will. Assuming everything works as intended on day 1.


The DS Sr. is in my “Radar Showroom #1 in California,” and to be quite frank, no other showroom in any city matters much to me. Lest not forget that winning the hearts and minds of us individual listeners - with so very disparate systems and listening preferences - is thee most important of accomplishments. Budgets are budgets. I am fortunate to be in an area that has hosted many high-end audio shows in which I always attend. I have been in enough $500,000 to $1M rooms at these shows to know what is possible with “cost no object” spending abilities. It is through this experience that I have concluded that $$$ is not everything and there are far too many variables involved for any of us to fully comprehend. We pursue with the best of our abilities but there truly is no end and there is no way any of us can fully know.


Well I feel it is good enough in my system. This system is highly resolving. Although as I mentioned it is not nearly as formidable as my much larger system. The Windsor is not even really powerful bass. The speakers only go to 40hz. I am not a kid, bass monster but I am just pointing out not only in relation to the bottom octave this system just does not have the oomph. You generally would not use the MSB with bookshelf speakers. Although to call these bookshelf is like calling a Ferrari transportation. I do not know Radar studio. I can tell you I feel Power Plant 20, AC-12 and DS senior are very high end and very underrated products. My standard dynamic cans are still powered by a Cullen GCHA. There are so many products to choose from just have to decide. Although I do not think PSA is thought of as ultra high end. I tell you it does not hiccup in this system. To put the DAVE on the TV I think says much more LOL. Well I only do 2 channel and it is the best TV made. So perhaps not that far fetched. I guess I am a jerk really because I do not think our bedroom is large. It is 30x21 on 3 stories. Apparently these speakers are for a “medium” room.


I am sorry my post came out as a “block”. I wrote in paragraphs. Used my email client and it did that. I just wanted all to know I am not stupid.


It is officially noted that you are not stupid :slight_smile:



Well thank you! :blush:


MR. Smith, what Dev do you use on DS software? I cannot decompile in C#. Machine language? Do you mind if I reverse Engineer it just for myself? I promise I will not post it. Maybe I can make it better. I don’t doubt that you are a better coder but I may have more time than you. I would like to see you finally “go for broke” with it. I know you do not want to step on TSS but it is better hardware to begin with. The DS is hanging well with $400,000 system. Outed DAVE. It is lacking in system with the MSB. The MSB is better and I doubt you can close the gap with DS. However really look forward to TSS. Sure, it was not out then but I go kick myself if it is better than MSB. I am kind of having no doubt it is much better. I mean who is this open about construction? I am sure you obtained the very best components possible. Plus with much bigger FPGA I know you do not have to be as careful about resource consumption.

The big issue is as others stated. Is 2 boxes going to fit in 5U rack? Not really a issue it should have it’s own rack. Plenty of space. My reference room is 4,400 Square feet. I sit 18’ from big Wilsons. Plus have 4 of Rel’s biggest subs. At my listening position I do not listen over 75db. Just me but save your ears. Plus if 75db in room that size must be 140db 1 foot from speakers. Just guessing though.


The TSS won’t be better or worse than MSB. At the performance level of these products they are all different flavors of good.


Totally agree. I misphrased. I meant if “I” liked it better I would kick myself, but others may like something different. As I said past “only” 5 grand it is all what you like. No one can rightfully say something is better at that level. They may like it better. At this level it is highly subjective. Although I am not sure what prompted me to purchase the MSB.

I am sure there was but a 30 grand DAC that would have made me happy. I believed the hype. That’s all. I prefer the MSB to the DS but not by much. That just goes to show. Now that the MSB is worth nothing I might as well kick myself anyways.

Audio is by no means an investment. Given the price difference I would personally take the DS over the MSB. It already ousted DAVE and AYRE both of which twice it’s price. You cannot judge by price at this llevel. I completely agree.

So, My salesman calls all the well heeled folks looking for a sale. I paid $105,000 for the Sonus Faber bookshelf Ex3ma. So he gets me in to show me Magico he got for $300,000. He said they would wipe the floor with mine. AHH sales.

I felt the Magico sucked. Well I mean they do not suck I just in no way liked them better. It just goes to show at a certain point money means nothing here.

Plus my Sonus are by no means lousy to anyone. Maybe some used to this level like something better but no one ever insulted them. Even if they did that is just their opinion. I get what I like regardless of cost. Cost has no bearing in this realm.

I do however feel PSA is value oriented. If you can say that about that much money. The DS is no slouch by any means. The power plant 20 is the best I ever heard. For all practical purposes most people could hold the DS as grail. Heck, some folks may not even like TSS better. It is just highly subjective. We are not talking about Bose here.

The DS is an impressive 6 grand machine. Ousting machines 4x it’s price in some instances. I feel at the resolution of my “little” system it is by no means outpaced. If TSS is better to me it will replace the MSB in my reference system.

Also note a lot of companies charge six figures because they can. Those Magico did not sound great to me and looked like a tinker toy to boot. The Sonus is a work of art even when it is not playing. The only thing I dislike about the DS is the case. However the case is not the sound. Just put Stillpoints under it.


No Magico speaker is that expensive. He spinning you a BS story if he says he has a 300K Magico.


HMM. That is very good to know. Thank you. I am not going to diss salesman but….


I will give him benefit of doubt right now. I may have really misheard. They are $30,000 not $300,000 but you can see that can be confused when he said wipe the floor with $105,000 speakers. Of course $30,000 could too but to me it simply just did not. The sonus are not incredibly accurate but warm and just so lovely to me.


Well, the TSS doesn’t exist so there really is no way to know how it will stack up against any other DAC. I believe I understand your point, but there is no doubt individual listeners using their uniquely engineered systems will form conclusions that will certainly crown the TSS a winner or loser in their system compared to MSB, Esoteric or any other comparable DAC. “Better” or “worse” is the basis of individual judgement. It is a major factor in our decisions to buy what we do and to refrain from purchasing everything else. This assignment of victors is also what leads us to sell the things we once coveted. But, the relevancy of superiority only applies to individuals and has no bearing on anyone else’s judgement. This will always be the case as long as personal preferences differ along with the systems we own and the spaces in which we listen.

However, the tier in which these ultra high-end DACs occupy will be the same and therefore plenty of folks will agree that they are all great in their own right.


Yes, this just goes to show. Subjectivity, synergy, equipment and the room.
I decided to bring The Select 2 and Power bases upstairs 4 flights. I hooked to different inputs so I could A/B.

To my amazement I preferred the DS in the smaller system! TBH, the best DAC in this system is the Lavry Gold but I need it in my recording studio.
I call this my “little” system but it is by no means little. It is well into Six figures.

I was kind of amazed but not entirely surprised. In the right system the DS may in fact be the best DAC for it. Depending on you and the system. I wish I had other people here to judge. There was enough of a difference though. Also my ears may not be as good as a 20 year old kid either.


I heard a fully optioned Select 2 in a different system to mine and it didn’t excite me at all. To give it a fair assessment I’d need to hear it in a system I’m more familiar with.


The FPGA is programmed in Verilog - it’s nothing like C, C++, C#, D, E or F. If you are interested in it or the tools you can down load them for free from Xilinx: https://www.xilinx.com/products/design-tools/vivado.html You can also buy a cheap FPGA development board, say, something from Digilent: https://store.digilentinc.com/fpga-development-boards-kits-from-digilent/. Here’s a gentle introduction to Verilog (there are a lot of them out there, I just stumbled into this one while looking for something useful): https://ece.umd.edu/class/enee359a/verilog_tutorial.pdf


See that is exactly the thig. Maybe you did just not hear a system it jives with. In my system it does jive with it really stands out. Perhaps more so than TSS to me. I will be finding out. I hate to do a return on PSA but I feel I have earned it from them at this point if necessary. Have past equipment like Cullen GCHA. I have Power plant 20, 10 of AC-12, DS Senior and others. All bought direct from PSA.

I think if the system was right for it you would have heard it. Who knows what it does in your system. I would say unless the rest of your components do not add up to $250,000 it is simply a (financial) waste even if it does sound good. It would be like putting my Ferrari’s engine in my ATV LOL. There are cheaper ways to get a (lower) end system sounding better. I do not know what you have but could not tell you anyways. You would certainly need to hear it. I am not trying to be a snob I just hate to see people waste money.

In fact I feel now it was too much money. I bet something for (only) 30 grand would have sufficed. In fact that Ayre sounds nearly as good in that system. Not the codex the 13 grand one. Overall I have more DAC’s than anything but can use them in recording studio. Since we like many different flavors when we record. I am old school. I convert digital to reels than back to CD. I like that analog sound. Which brings up in that system I am using Vinyl.

That may in fact be the key difference right there. It was very interesting to find the (lowly) DS was better than the MSB in a still well into six figure system. With the correct components the DS is no slouch. In fact it just beat a six figure DAC in that system. It all depends as I said on system, ears, room. The bigger system is in a very large room fully treated and using Vinyl. Totally different beast than upstairs system.

Mainly even though the Sonus are big money I think they did not resolve it. As I also said they are not highly accurate but sound like hot maple syrup to me. IE, good to me. Others would hate that sound. In fact studio monitors are going to be the most resolving, but do we sit and listen to those? I don’t. Great for recording though.

I am big on PRAT and the sonus get my toes tapping even with CD. I know everything is download now and have plenty. I prefer Redbook and luckily have literally tens of thousands. My recording’s collection, Vinyl, tape. CD is in another 48,000 square foot building on 3 floors. I bring in a few hundred at a time to listen to. I knew a few people in A&R at big labels so got most of it for free. Otherwise the media would be a much bigger investment than the stereos!

I also bought all my equipment used. The value plummets on audio gear. I simply would not buy new. Plus already broken in for me! So I did not actually spend the numbers I quote. Oh, I could have but to me would be absolutely stupid. Audio is no “investment” of any sort. Evidenced by the used prices.

Some billionaire buys a MSB Select 2 decides he hates it in a week and I get it less than half price for instance. Check out that page I linked to see what I mean for instance. The only downside to used is you must shop all over the world to get what you want to build your system but once it is done you are set for life mostly.

I feel no need to upgrade my systems ever but am interested in what TSS does for so little money respectively. I do not plan to just buy and try. Will most certainly keep it if it is better. Now, MSB should hopefully sell for just enough to cover it if I go that route.

Anyways I am pretty sure you would have heard it if the system was right. It does not work wonders everywhere. Which is why I always say listen or return policy. I had to buy and return many components all over the world to settle on my two current systems. The only issue is shipping is big money on very large items must go freight. UPS/Fedex only take up to 100LBS.

In the end I still saved many thousands. Only way to do it IMO. Let someone else buy it new and decide they do not like it. Let someone else take the loss for your gain. I mentioned right now the MSB Bluebook is $34,000 so there you go. If you want it and can find it. Of course that is wholesale so expect to pay about $45,000 should be negotiable too.

The real joke is cables. I got maybe $200,000 of cables for $15,000. Used cables are worth nothing. Currently contemplating a $20 used Toslink. The only reason I am sitting here right now is because must drive 160 miles for $20 item. They do not ship.

I did buy all my PSA from PSA however. I figure very fair company to deal with. When first DS was DOA they trusted me and sent another before I sent back. Of course I had already spent a lot with them so they knew it was probably a fair gamble and of course it was. I don’t steal.

Sorry for such long post though. Just want to help folks. if they get anything out of what I suggest.


You are the best Mr. Smith. Thank you. Most people consider this their intellectual property. I have come to see you are very open about everything. I have realized you do not keep secrets from people. Very nice. Thank you, you are awesome! No wonder I could not decompile it Duh. It just said invalid template.