Wishes Upcoming PSA DirectStream MKII

Definitely second this — having Ted as an engaged and responsive resource is an almost-unheard-of resource for DS owners.

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The key is level matching, not output impedance (at least with reasonable input and output impedances.)

The DS (and DS Jr) have 3dB lower than standard output levels and some may need a preamp to get the volume to where they want it. The DS Mk II and TSS will have standard output levels so this should be less of an issue. Also, they will have the ability to send another 6dB boost (balanced output) over the RCA connectors.

If the DAC near it’s maximum output level gets you the volume you need then you may not need a preamp. If the DAC over powers your system without a preamp you may have to have the DAC volume at a lower level and hence loose some signal to noise ratio. Whether that’s an issue or not depends on your system (and perhaps your preferences.)

All of this is true with any DAC, but standard output levels make it more likely that you don’t need a preamp. What makes it worse for the DS is that single bit (sigma delta based) DACs have to have a higher noise floor than multibit DACs so you may need a preamp in more circumstances than with a PCM based DAC.

No I (and PS Audio in general) don’t voice the DS with any particular system in mind. The goal is always to do the least damage possible to the sound and that goal isn’t helped by trying to undo coloring from one component with different (complementary?) coloring of another.

FWIW I still suspect that systems without a preamp at the moment may be helped by a preamp at another point in time with a slightly different mix of components.


A reasonable and helpful response. I agree that the amount of attenuation required probably sorts out systems that need be don’t need a preamp at normal volume levels.

I know there were 2 or 3 attenuation settings discussed for the TSS… is the DSMkII just standard and +6db?

Both the TSS and DS Mk II will have 0dB, -6dB, -12dB, -18dB, -24dB and -30dB. (TSS subject to change.) At this point I have the DS Mk II autoselecting the attenuator based on the volume selected which keeps the S/N as high as it can with a particular volume.


That sounds perfect. Can’t wait to hear one.

I was unaware of the auto-select. Very clever.

Now I want one even more.

I believe @dvorak suggested it and I poo-poo-ed it at the time :slight_smile: I was worried about the levels not exactly matching when, say, the volume raised by 12 clicks and the attenuation went down by -6dB. But when I trimmed the attenuators to be fairly precise with the volume control, I realized that I could implement @dvorak’s suggestion.


That’s so cool. Can’t wait to get my hands on one. :slight_smile:


I love PS Audio and appreciate so much Ted and his approach.

Please tell me how many companies are able to design their products discussing step by step during the process with their customers, eventually implementing solutions shared or inspired by them.

Unbelievable! Great!

Now back in my silence full of ignorance about all of your technical aspects and admiration, can’t wait to listen to music from the MK II, the result of all this (long, long) process.

Hi @tedsmith i presume the L/R analog AV-Amp pass-through mode never made it into the design as previously discussed. This is the only reason why I will always need a pre-amp


Great feature to include; and I assume the default setting will be “defeatable”(?).

RME do this with their ADI2 DACs - its an option that can be enabled. works very well :slight_smile:

No, I know it’s a feature that would be very useful to some and that some other nice DACs support it, but we were overbudget and already having enough trouble deciding which features to include.


Thanks Ted. Thanks for considering it in the first place.

Hi Ted, is the MkII still going to look like the front of the Perfect Wave Transport?

Similar, but not the same. I haven’t seen an official case in person yet. Most of my cases are merely functional :slight_smile:


Selfishly, I just want it to look good perched atop one of the PerfectWave PowerBases I have been collecting from the used market.