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DirectStream DAC

A pure DSD approach to play back digital audio

Built in Boulder

Astounding“, “Gave up vinyl finally“, “Never heard anything like it!” Product of the year in both Stereophile and TAS, Darko Knock Out award, Editor’s choice and Golden Ear awards. DirectStream is one of the most remarkable DACS ever built and the reviewers agree. Hand written, discrete, perfection based conversion that uncovers all the missing information hiding in your digital audio media. CD’s, high-resolution PCM or DSD based media are expertly upsampled in the DirectStream to ten times DSD rate and output as pure analog directly into your amplifier or preamplifier.

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DirectStream DAC

Product Description

Class A+ Stereophile rated DirectStream DAC converts any digital input format, such as PCM or DSD to a pure DSD stream and outputs near-perfect analog directly to your power amplifier or preamplifier. Whatever the format, whatever the sample rate, DirectStream is a pure DSD based solution that fulfills the promise of a high-resolution analog performance standard the originators of CDs promised over 30 years ago. Hear what’s been missing in your music for all these years. If you know the sound of music and instruments, and want to hear what’s been missing on your discs, then this DAC is right for you.

This product qualifies for our risk free in-home trial and free White Glove Delivery in the continental United States if purchased directly.

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  • Pure 100% DSD based D to A Converter
  • Fully upgradable through software releases
  • Resolution perfect volume and balance controls built in
  • Upsamples PCM and DSD to 10x DSD rate
  • DXD support
  • Purely passive transformer coupled output
  • Improves imaging and soundstage
  • Simple, direct signal path with one master clock
  • Hand written filters, processors and upsamplers
  • Immune to incoming jitter problems from different sources
  • Increased digital headroom
  • No off-the-shelf IC DAC chips used
  • Uncovers musical details masked by typical PCM based processors
  • 7 digital inputs
  • Fully balanced from input to output
  • Color touch screen
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Part Time Audiophile

Hottest thing to come out of PS since forever

The DirectStream DAC is the hottest thing to come of PS Audio since forever. This unconventional design, even as it does all manner of violence to the heart of the purist with all of his “do nothing to the signal” whining, just kills it. Its performance is on par with some of the very best “traditional” designs on the market, and with its potential for endless upgradability, the DirectStream is revolutionary.

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The Absolute Sound

Easily the best DAC I've ever heard in my system

DirectStream’s easily the best DAC I’ve ever heard in my system, making digitally-recorded music sound better than I’ve ever heard it.

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Hi Fi PLus

Chris Martens

The real magic of this DAC may centre on its handling of PCM material—material the DAC gives greater smoothness, fluidity, dimensionality, and elegance than it might otherwise have had. I don’t mean to suggest by this that traditional PCM playback methods cannot or do not sound perfectly good in their own right, because they certainly can and do. But if PCM playback has an identifiable ‘failure mode’ it might be that PCM files can at times sound a bit flat and 2-dimensional, while exhibiting subtly edgy and/or mechanical qualities that tend to hold the listener at arm’s length from the music. ... I will tell you that it makes these sorts of playback problems better—and sometimes eliminates them almost completely.

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PS Audio achieves the impossible

The DS is a game changer; I think it has caused the ‘war’ between DSD and PCM to be on hold or mute for most of us, and above all hold your horses before buying expensive high-resolution PCM files or DSD. That alone is a major accomplishment.

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Home Theater Review

the best sound I have heard in my system. Kudos to Ted and Paul

The DirectStream DAC is one of the finest-sounding DACs I have heard. Many will be excited just to see that it can accept DSD signals, but I would say that they are being shortsighted. The DSD processing of all signals is what makes this unit special.

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AV Magazine (South Africa)

It sets a new benchmark in my books

The PS Audio DirectStream is a musically authentic, thoroughly engaging and ultimately compelling DAC that elevates the listening experience to an entirely new level. Its treatment of any digital material, regardless of format, is quite astounding — even MP3s and Internet radio sounded vibrant and exciting.

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Stereo Magazine (Germany)

100 out of 100

Matthias Böde of Germany's Stereo Magazine gives DirectStream 100 out of 100 points. The article is in German, but it can easily be translated and viewed if German's not your native language.

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6 Moons

The best way we've yet encountered to turn digital into music

But what happened now was beyond our expectations. Maybe we had been lulled into a bit of been-there-done-that reviewer fatigue but the DirectStream’s handling of this CD became a rude wakeup call and put us back on edge to eat crow. Damn, the performances of the various groups and soloists were so real and at such dynamic range, it was hard to believe that the source material was a simple 16/44.1 Redbook CD.

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There was an amazing sense of purity to the DirectStream's way with music as if everything and anything extraneous had been stripped away.

Even at low listening levels, music retained its character with no sense of the sound washing out. For those people looking for a direct-to-amp DAC/Digital Preamp, consider the DirectStream a solid contender.

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Stereo Times

the PS Audio DirectStream is the most musically and technically capable device of any type that I’ve ever had the pleasure to evaluate

After listening to the PS Audio PerfectWave DirectStream DAC for the past few months it is my opinion that DirectStream represents a new benchmark in audio reproduction. Notice that I didn’t say “digital audio reproduction.” In other words, in my view the PS Audio DirectStream is the most musically and technically capable device of any type that I’ve ever had the pleasure to evaluate. My heartfelt congratulations go out to Paul McGowan, Ted Smith, and PS Audio’s excellent design team for making DirectStream a reality for those of us who truly love our music.

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Positive Feedback

this bloody DAC, DSD to the fore, is a real killer. Flat-out, stone-cold, and damn-straight

This is a brilliant design, with exceptional execution, and paradigm-setting sound.

I can tell you, this bloody DAC, DSD to the fore, is a real killer. Flat-out, stone-cold, and damn-straight.

It has been a while since 2008, but now I have to say that the DirectStream DAC is the first real rival to Playback Designs that I've heard. It goes right to the top of my heap of DSD DACs, right next door to the PD Series-3.

The envelope for the audio arts has moved out yet again. To tell you the truth, I couldn't be more pleased! This is good for music, for our recordings, and for us all.

And that is the highest compliment that I can pay to PS Audio's breakthrough product….

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Bit Perfect

The DirectStream’s sound is non-fatiguing in an almost tube-like way

The DirectStream’s sound is non-fatiguing in an almost tube-like way. It is smooth and relaxing. Surely, you tell yourself, it must be sacrificing detail to deliver this. But no. With recording after recording, the DirectStream presents layers and layers of detail in such a way as to produce a sound which is very easy to listen to, and with a low fatigue factor, even with CD sources. As someone with very little tolerance for the fatiguing nature associated with CD, I find this to be a most appealing characteristic.

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Headphone Guru

I choose to nominate the new flagship DAC from PS Audio

It is truly an exceptional product, and a DAC that allows even the most familiar music to surprise and enthrall.
Yes, the folks at PS Audio understand that with digital audio, there can be no final word. Meet the Directstream – a DAC that is ready to keep up with the conversation.

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DirectStream shown with optional Network Bridge installed. The network Bridge provides local network access to NAS, and most network UPnP applications.

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