NEW PS Audio DirectStream DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)
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PS Audio DirectStream DAC
PS Audio DirectStream DAC
PS Audio DirectStream DAC
Free U.S. Shipping
NEW $5,995.00 PS Audio DirectStream DAC
The new DirectStream DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) is a hand written, discrete, perfection based digital to analog converter that uncovers all the missing information hiding in your digital audio media. CD’s, downloads, 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.
DirectStream 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.
Pure DSD Done Right
DirectStream converts all digital inputs, including PCM, to pure 1-bit DSD, in an elegantly-simple path. In the process, the PCM feed becomes more linear, less edgy, and never-before-heard musical details are released from all digital audio recordings.
DirectStream utilizes 66-bit fixed-point FIR filters, eliminates headroom issues common to PCM, flattens noise response in the 20-100kHz region, uses coefficients optimized for best sound rather than faster processing speed and optimizes hardware-specific operations not possible in software.
Unlike other processors available today, DirectStream unifies all inputs (PCM or DSD) at 10 x DSD, then uses a true single-bit double-rate DSD core engine.
True DSD core engines (compared to the standard multibit Sigma-Delta converters followed by random lower quality multibit converters) offer advantages in simplicity, linearity, and in analog-like overload characteristics that avoid PCM’s “hard clipping” potential and a PCM processor’s propensity to mask subtle details.
10X DSD rate
Regardless of input format, whether PCM or DSD, all data are upsampled to 30 bits running at 10 times the standard DSD rate and then back down again to double rate DSD for noise shaping.
The internal volume control keeps complete precision: every bit in the input affects the output of the DAC for any volume level.
Except for the sigma-delta modulation process itself there is no rounding, dither or other trimming.
This means that perhaps for the first time, the DACS volume control has no degradation or data loss at any volume setting, eliminating the need for a preamplifier if the user wishes.
30 bit frames
The design utilizes a minimum width of 24 bits and achieves at least 144dB S/N in all of the upsampling filters.
Use of full precision in the upsampling filters and significant number of “guard bits” in the IIR filters and the sigma-delta modulator help maintain PS Audio's goal of perfecting the audio output.
The DirectStream design opts for at least one extra top bit everywhere in the digital path, coupled with an extra 6 dB of head room in the analog path above and beyond the 6 dB of headroom that SACD needs.
No PCM or DSD program material will ever have dynamic restriction from the DAC itself.
Transformer coupled output
The output of the DSD engine is fed directly into the output stage which is based on high speed video amplifiers, passive filtering, including a carefully crafted high bandwidth audio transformer at the output.
Unlike conventional DACS that depend on active analog output circuitry and the problems associated with them, DirectStream is purely passive.
Because the output DSD stream is running at double DSD rate (5.6mHz) the ability of active analog electronics to handle these tremendously fast frequencies without adding any sonic artifacts is a serious challenge, one handled without incident when passive means are employed as found in DirectStream.
No off-the-shelf DAC IC’s
A key design feature that makes the DirectStream’s performance possible is the hand written code that makes it work. Seven years in design by PS Audio's lead designer, Ted Smith, every operation and process was written from scratch to make sure the best possible audio performance was achieved.
Instead of being based upon a packaged PCM-based DAC chip, with all of its inherent compromises and limitations, DirectStream utilizes an FPGA (Field-Programmable Gate Array). An FPGA is capable of dissipating large amounts of heat, enabling intensive levels of signal-processing that are impossible to achieve with an off-the-shelf chip.
Go Direct into your Amplifier or Preamplifier
DirectStream provides a volume control that is perfect and never loses any resolution at any setting. This, coupled with two choices of output level, permits DirectStream to be connected directly to either a power amplifier or preamplifier for best sonic advantage.
PS Audio's typical recommendation is to take DirectStream directly into your power amplifier, thus avoiding any potential sonic degradation that might be caused from the extra circuitry and volume control within a preamplifier.
In some cases it is preferable to include a preamplifier in the signal path. DirectStream can then be adjusted to maintain a fixed level appropriate for the preamplifier’s input.
This touch screen option (available on the remote as well) allows users to select normal or inverted polarity for every input and for every performance.
Some CD players and sources themselves invert polarity so that a disc you believe is inverted actually is correct played on a specific device and incorrect on yet another. To fix this problem you can assign each input on the DirectStream to switch to the proper polarity when you activate that input. Touching this control is the same thing as reversing the loudspeaker connections of both loudspeakers (+ to -) at either the amplifier or speakers.
Inputs and Outputs
DirectStream has seven digital inputs which include: two I2S, one TOSLINK optical connector, one coaxial S/PDIF connector, one balanced XLR AES/EBU, one asynchronous USB input and one optional Network Streaming Bridge slot.
DirectStream has both single ended coaxial and fully balanced XLR outputs.
Pure 100% DSD based D to A Converter.
Resolution perfect volume and balance controls built in.
Upsamples PCM and DSD to 10x DSD rate.
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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Edited by MoonAudio - 4/7/14 at 10:31am