Wishes Upcoming PSA DirectStream MKII

And me please…

Please add me to the list also Sir!

Hi @Ted:
I have noticed that the Crystek CVHD-957 ultra-low noise clock has a revision (dated 15-Jan-2019).

Does this revision mean even lower noise and better jitter control as compared to the previous version? Is the phase noise floor of -168 dBc/Hz lower than the original model implemented in the DS MKI?

For the forum members: specs can be found on: https://www.crystek.com/crystal/spec-sheets/vcxo/CVHD-957.pdf

There are no changes in the part’s performance. There are changes in the datasheet as they add new frequencies and do other clarifications of the specs.


Hi Ted…

Have been reading through this thread hoping to gain some
insight into my situation.

I have a stock Oppo 205 which has:
hdmi digital audio outputs
rca digital coax,
optical digital outputs.

Oppo states that due to copyright restrictions …the 205 cannot send
sacd audio via these digital outputs…

My library has mainly standard cds a handful of sacds.
I don’t wish to mod my Oppo 205.

So would any of these digital outputs be compatible
with either the current DS dac or the new upcoming

From what I have read the DS dacs would be quite an upgrade from
my Oppo 205…

Thanks Ted, for any insight you could provide for me.

Check out the

thread. I don’t know if there are any solutions that don’t involve some hacking, but there might be. In general no standard connection will pass SACD bits without something being changed or added beyond a simple cable.

1 Like

Thanks Ted…I did read through most of it…

Is there a way to convert hdmi digital audio
to 12s ?

Will the rca digital coax output interface with
Direct Stream Dac also the MkII even though
sans sacd?

Thanks Ted

These aren’t choices a DAC can make. No legitimate source will send bits from an SACD thru a standard audio connection. An HDMI video connection can optionally support SACD bits, but it protects the SACD bits. Tho the DS and other PS Audio equipment use an HDMI connector for I2S, it’s not HDMI protocol it’s I2S protocol. You can buy an HDMI de-embedder which can extract the audio from a standard HDMI connection and provide it via RCA (or often TOSLink), but they aren’t all reliable and AFAIK none provide the SACD bits. (Same may by now, but I don’t follow that market.)

The DS and DS Mk II (and virtually all other DACs with an digital RCA input) will play the audio that’s encoded in the standard way from the standard connectors.

It’s all about digital rights management and the protection of copyrights - they have restricted the quality of the audio connections “forever”.


Ted…thank you for taking the time helping
me get an understanding…

Ok, so if were to use the rca digital coax from Oppo to
DS dac …then the DS dac should be able to use that
rca digital feed from the Oppo?

If so would the DSS then upsample the feed coming from the Oppo?

Ted thanks for putting up with my questions…it is appreciated…

RCA is one of the standard digital connections: almost any digital RCA source is compatible with the RCA digital input on almost any DAC, including the DS. (The same goes for AES3 (XLR) digital connections and TOSLink.)

The DS will upsample any input (PCM or DSD) no matter what the rate to 56.448MHz and then back down to a single bit at 11.2896MHz for output filtering.


Ted way to go…thank you for helping this not so
savvy grey haired kid…

Being able then, to use my Oppo 205 as a server
with the Oppo media controller means not having to
spend additional resources to acquire a different unit
in order to enjoy the DS dac or DS dac MKII…

Thanks for your patience Ted!!

Hi @Ted:

I have been looking at some online courses on PC board layout fundamentals.

Regarding the MKII layout: I was wondering:

  • Can the determination of the space between the logic gates be done manually or do you need an EDA tool for this?
  • Can the rise times be managed (taken the high-speed signals) somehow in the MKII design?
  • Can the grounding topology be determined manually by experience?
  • Can the EMI be simulated somehow or is this not doable?
  • Are signal timing bottlenecks relevant in the MKII design?

Thanks in advance.

There are so many different packages with different pin spacings that I don’t use a grid at all. I always place and route entirely by hand. My traces always go directly to the center of the pads, they don’t go into the pad and then do some jiggling. I do keep consistent trace widths and spacing, etc.

Rise times aren’t a problem at these frequencies (except possibly for the reclocker and digital switch outputs both of which are balanced.) Still I purposefully keep the edge rates low with series resistors when possible and use massive amounts of bypass and decoupling caps.

I’m very careful with ground on the circuit boards.

EMI from the design isn’t really a problem. See the first answer. I keep loop areas very small to avoid radiating or receiving EMI.

Signal timing bottlenecks? Once again there aren’t any high speed signals in the DS, there aren’t any race conditions, critical timing, etc. I do keep jitter down and use balanced connections for higher speed/fast rise time signals.

I do my placement and routing, EMI control, signal integrity, signal isolation, etc. from first principles and seeing the varying EMI fields in my head as I work, not from heuristics, suggestions or with a tool so most of the information out there isn’t directly relevant. (I do use tools to calculate trace and via impedances, safety clearances, etc.)


Hi @tedsmith

I remember seeing a post quite a while ago where you said there will be no networking input / blank space for a future card (like DS DAC had) - for the next DS DAC.

Is this still the current case?

Any networking source will be outside the DAC. I’m not paying attention to PS Audio’s network related work so I don’t know their network plans.


No problem, can you explain the reason not to leave a space for future network card?

Like Bridge II type card in DS DAC.

Was this your decision or Paul’s?

Of course the networking side of this hobby changes every year (fast than anything else it seems), but that modular aspect was cool. Allowing it to keep up as things changed in networking/streaming.

1 Like

If you care about noise, inside the DAC is no place for a network card. To handle any kind of networking you need a reasonably fast processor (especially for GHz level networking…) Fast processors make noise and even just the bits on the networking cable radiate noise (especially the faster networking connections.)

As you mentioned, networking interfaces are much more likely to change than DS DAC hardware.

I don’t know how upgradeable any new PS Audio networking solutions might be.

The discussions about whether to put in a networking interface (and, if so, what kind…) went on for months. I had made my position clear, but they needed to examine all options before making a final decision.


Sorry haven’t been flowing this thread. Did Paul, Ted or anyone from PSA mentioned when the new DSD will be released?

1 Like

Paul usually has very optimistic ETAs and the last I heard, he was expecting it this holiday season. I tend to be on the more pessimistic side for new product release dates and wouldn’t expect much until first quarter of next year. I would love for our team to prove me wrong though.

1 Like

If they prove you wrong…would you still be the
“Whiz Kid” ? :innocent:

1 Like