What are the SQ differences between DS Snr and Jr?

I’ve been thinking about (lusting after?) a DS DAC for a while now. I have the NuWave currently and am looking to get a significant improvement in SQ. I love the NuWave for what it is, but I think I may want more. So I am left with the Directstream Snr or DS Jr. From what I have read, the Jr is “85 %” of the SQ of the Snr. What does that mean? From those that have heard both in action, is there a significant difference between the two in terms of SQ? I am streaming from a Mac Mini with Roon and HQPlayer using USB >LANRover>DAC. If I were to get the DS Snr, do I absolutely have to have the Bridge II now, or is it something I can live without utilizing my normal digital chain until I spring for the Bridge II. I realize the bridge is already in the Jr, BTW. Any input would be greatly appreciated!


The Jr has a similar “house” sound to the Sr. If you walk into a room with one or the other playing you wouldn’t probably wouldn’t have an instant impression of which was playing. Still if you listen back to back you will hear differences. The Sr is more detailed, perhaps a little smoother on the top (in a good way, e.g. less harsh.) I’m perfectly happy to listen to either for background music. When I really want to get into a late night listening session I prefer the Sr.

If you already have a reasonable system with USB, the Bridge II isn’t “required”. You’ll get a significant upgrade from your current system with either the Jr or the Sr and perhaps later you can add the Bridge II to the Sr if you want.

Thanks Ted! I really appreciate the reply. Sounds like I may go for the Sr and get the bridge down the road. I do a lot of late night critical listening, after all. Thanks for your work on these, BTW. Can’t wait to listen to the DS!

LanRover should give you most of the benefit of the Bridge when used with a good USB cable from what I understand. I have a NuWave DSD in my second system. It sounds great in that system but when I compared it to my DS in the main system the DS there was no doubt about which one was better. I’m sure you’ll be happy with the upgrade–it’s well worth it.