What is the latency of the Direct Stream Senior?

Hi Ted,

I have a Senior… I hook up outboard DACs to my digital piano keyboard / laptop recording system. Playback from my PC is USB out to my Benchmark DAC1 USB… I play a virtual instrument (Ravenscroft 275) on the PC and love the way it sounds through the Benchmark. Anywho… I always think about moving the Direct Stream into the system just to see… hmmm… or hear…

Latency is a huge issue with digital instruments… what is the latency of the Senior (and junior for that matter)?

BTW, I think… I called Benchmark and their engineer gave me a variable number for the DAC1 USB of 3 to 5 milliseconds… does this sound right to you?

Ever get requests for a DAC in professional studios?

Bruce in Philly

The DS and DS Jr have the same latency and will in the future as well.

The DS(s) weren’t designed for low latency: the lower the latency the more jitter that gets thru and the less flexibility in upsampling filters.

Still the DS has lower latency than, say, the delay of audio on the higher resolution older DirecTV receivers :slightly_smiling_face:

The latency depends on the inputs: the bridge adds a “random” amount of time (partially based on the protocols used by the controller and the media library.)
In addition to the below times USB adds about 0.12mSec.
There are old posts here on the forum with the then latencies which were fixed for all sample rates of input, but the more recent software now uses a buffer for the source samples which means that the buffering delay for 44.1k is twice as long as the buffering delay for 88.2k… FWIW DSD64 looks like 24/176.4 in the buffer…
Anyway the longest is 16/44.1 which can have latencies around 5mSec to 25mSec, typically around 16mSec.


BTW I keep intending to talk to PS Audio about an option to have the latency move to about 6mSec as long as the input clock is reasonably steady. It would be useful for video sync, real time instruments, and perhaps digital audio editing (bouncing thru analog, etc.) I think that since I initially designed the DS some newer software features would support running this way all of the time if the input clock is reasonably steady. I’ll think about it some more.


Neat idea

Senior owner here. I’m curious if there has been any headway on this. I stumbled on this post trying to figure out why there is a very slight delay between Audio and Video when playing anything through my TV. The audio comes just slightly behind the video. I’m using the optical output of my TV into the optical input in the DS. The latency you describe may explain this, though it seems 16ms would be pretty hard to detect. Thanks!

The latency is smaller now, but the ear is pretty sensitive. If you always have the same latency (within limits) the brain will tune it out after a while and you won’t notice it.


Thanks Ted, I appreciate the update!

Something to check for… many higher end video amps/processors/TVs have an option to delay video or audio to make them better match up. Time to dig into those super-thick manuals.

Bruce in Philly


I’d really like to know the latency of DS Mk 2 different releases compared to DS Mk 1 with Sunlight. I use a digital crossover and can add delay to outputs (low, mid, high) in approximately 1.3ms increments. It would be nice to be able to use a Mk1 in the event of a Mk 2 going faulty (given that I need three dacs to make the system work).

In general the current Mk II code has the same latency no matter what the sample rate which is different than the Mk I. The Mk II latency is a little shorter than the average Mk I latency. They both use the same heuristics for following a changing input rate so they should track reasonably well.


Ted, at present the DS Mk 1 dacs only ever get 96/24 because that’s what the DEQX crossover outputs at (and I go via Wyred4Sound Remedy reclockers before input to the DS Mk 1s, and the reclockers retain the 96/24 sample rate). There will be a new DEQX crossover roughly mid year and it’s likely that the output sample rate will be related to the input sample rate, so based on either 44.1 or 48, I’ve no more detail than that at present because DEQX haven’t supplied any detailed technical info.

When things settle down a little I might be able to calculate specific latency values for you for both Sunlight and the current Mk II software. I don’t foresee needing to change them, but that’s always a possibility.


I should have added that the outputs of the DEQX crossover are coax and I may be removing the W4S Remedies. Thanks Ted.