Jitter, also known as timing deviation, is the variation in the time interval between two consecutive digital audio samples. This timing deviation can cause easily heard distortion in high-end audio systems including a loss of clarity, definition, and detail in the music, as well as a smearing of transients. Jitter can be caused by a number of factors, including inadequate signal routing and EMI, though it is particularly obvious in systems that use asynchronous USB or S/PDIF interfaces (both coax and AES/EBU), as these interfaces are prone to jitter due to the lack of a common clock signal. In the new DS MK2, reducing jitter through lowering noise and EMI through galvanic isolation and power supply improvements is important; the biggest trick in designer Ted Smith's technology bag is his idea to ignore incoming data timing altogether. Instead, Ted "simply" looks at the incoming data (DSD or PCM) as a source of data bits and ignores any timing issues or jitter-related impacts like edge transitions. Once he has the data in hand, it is upsampled and sent on its way to be handled by clean and extremely low jitter clocks, unaware of what the original data signals and problems might have been. The results are stunning and prompted PS Audio Community member Wally Hurst to write to me: "I am 68 years old, have been listening to audio for over 55 years, and have put together nice systems in the past. The complete PS Audio source with the DirectStream Memory Player and the new DirectStream Dac ll is the best I have ever heard an audio system in my entire life… The DirectStream DACII is simply phenomenal sounding…unbelievable how the music just surrounds you like you are part of the band. I want to thank PS Audio for providing these State of the Art Source components." Thanks, Wally, and thanks to all our beta testers who put their hearts and souls into helping us create what is likely one of the best sound audio components on the market today. If you own an MK1 or want to upgrade your existing DAC, there's no better time than right now.
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