Wishes Upcoming PSA DirectStream MKII

The datasheet says we’ll be able to do receive 32 bit PCM at 705.6kHz and 768kHz. The first release of the FPGA software (and perhaps all releases) will do 705.6kHz but not 768kHz. I don’t like to say that we will be able to do 705.6kHz until I see it working. (Who knows, maybe a MAC or PC will have a driver problem…)


@Paul - I know that you and the Team are super busy right now with new products and was hoping when you get a chance to share any updates about the outboard streaming box that’s been hinted at this year. I can’t remember if it falls under the Octave family or it’s tied to the release of DS MKII.

I am asking for purely selfish reasons since I am looking at Ethernet (copper and fiber) to USB/I2S/AES “endpoints”.

Thanks, and good luck with the FR30’s, they look fantastic!


There is an “Octave questions” thread in the Network Audio board that has had some updates from Paul and others from PS Audio over the last several months. That might provide the information you’re looking for.

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I read through the thread, it doesn’t say much. The device will come when it comes. In the meantime I will keep researching for something that fits my needs.

I’m also in the same boat. I’m holding out for the Octave streamer b/c I have faith in the overall PS Audio product quality and the Octave streamer is expected to come in at a $2 - 2.5k price point which is a lot better than the other streamers I’m looking at (i.e., Lumin U1, Auralic Aires G2.1, etc.).

Looking more like the streamer that we launch sometime near the end of the year will be that, a pure streamer without the ability to connect to a hard drive.


That’s okay with me. @Paul, do you know yet what its maximum DSD rate will be over I2S?

There have been many suggestions that there might be a better digital volume control than the DS uses. So I generated a 8820Hz Sine at -60dB and set the DS’s volume to -60dB and ran it thru the SDM:

(The vertical red line reaches -120dB at 8.82k, but the screen resolution can’t show the tip of it at this zoom level.)

The blue trace is input data and shows its resolution. (Basically -198dB) This is better resolution than the expected -144dB from PCM because the output of the upsampler in the DS keeps the lower order bits in the results to avoid losing resolution.

16 bit volume controls can only reach down to -96dB (a little more with dither) and 24 bits is the most 24/96… PCM can reach which is -144dB (a little more with dither.) So no volume control which is on the other side of AES3, TOSLink, S/PDIF, I2S. USB, etc. from the DAC can keep details below approx. -144dB.

Having the volume control in the DAC proper (like the DS) is a definite advantage since it doesn’t have to lose accuracy/resolution.

The analog output noise will clearly dominate the digital processing noise.


I’m visualising this white-bearded straight-faced dude holding a microphone out at chest height and then simply opening his hand. Love it!

People really struggle to get their heads around the vast processing space available when you’re operating at 56MHz with 50+ bit precision. This is in a different universe compared to early attenuation schemes that earned digital a bad reputation.


This is fantastic. Now the question is how to get my (lesser) streamer to give volume instructions to the MkII, rather than attenuate the signal itself when I adjust the volume on the app.

I’m new to this – Does anybody know if this is something that streamers do? Or am I going to have to actually not lose the MkII remote?

Except for the USB input there is no path for volume instructions in standard audio transmission protocols. Some have put volume control information in lesser used bits in AES3, S/PDIF and/or TOSLink but then you have to use their software to play. USB audio has a protocol for manipulating volumes, but it isn’t widely supported in playing software and the DS doesn’t process it.

Still for most systems using a good volume control upstream of the DS is fine. Use the DS’s volume control to set the loudest volume you want to listen to and then use a quality preamp or even a quality digital volume control in your playing software. Doing volume lowering with a quality digital volume to turn things down from full scale will still have a noise floor at least 24dB below anything your system can handle. It’s when you turn things up a lot that there’s the biggest possibility of digital artifacts. (Still not really a problem these days.)


Hi @Ted: will you make another introduction video for the PSA website and YT and the new MKII? Would be great, the previuous one from 7 years ago was also very insipiring…

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I strongly suspect Paul will have me do a video about the DS Mk II before its release.


One of the many reasons we love Paul. :slight_smile:


Got it. Thank you always, Ted!

What’s the latest feeling (I suppose this one’s for @Paul ) on when the beta program will start? Slightly safer than asking about the release again, I figure.

Speaking of, while it’s tough to wait, on the other hand if you guys could time the launch with the peak of the Bitcoin market, that’d be great…Thanks…

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Really, no ability to connect to a hard drive? That would mean people cannot use it to play their own music collections (unless it could read from a NAS or other server on the home network). I understood it would not be able to rip CDs (a feature I don’t particularly want to pay for anyway) but if I can’t plug in a hard drive (or connect to another server) and play my own music then this unit will not be for me. Could you please clarify?

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Sounds like they are now planning on releasing the Streamer first instead of the full fledged server. Whether or not you can make a physical connection to an external drive or not the software should let you see other devices on the same network. This would be a much simpler device to complete and serve as the replacement for the Bridge II. We’ll see how he responds to your question.

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Most streamers will allow popular software like Roon, Qobuz and Tidal. I can’t see why PSAudio’s wouldn’t. If you’re using Roon for instance, it knows where your libraries are.

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To the best of my knowledge this is the first time that anyone at PSA has intimated that the first unit would not provide for either an internal or external hard drive to be connected. I’m well aware of how other streamers work. Roon requires a computer on the network to run it. I had thought this unit was intended to eliminate that requirement when running the Octave software. Tidal and Qobuz don’t have anything to do with playing your own library. I’m wondering if Paul might have misspoken.

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Perhaps we are mixing apples and oranges. The Streamer sounds more like a mate to either the upcoming new DAC’s and maybe even the Octave server itself.

As you know as an endpoint to a DAC, it doesn’t need a hard drive. As an interface to Octave it would eliminate the need for Ethernet inside Octave.

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