DAC Compatible with PS Audio SACD Transport

I have the PS Audio SACD transport on order. The ideal matching DAC to connect the PSA SACD transport is the just released PS Audio Direct Stream DAC II. But at USD8K, the price makes it seem like a bridge too far. Therefore I am looking for  another DAC that is compatible with the PSA SACD transport, for SACD playback via I2S. I am eyeing the Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE DAC as it is reported to be an excellent DAC and is substantially cheaper than the PSA DAC. 

Are there any other DACs that you can recommend? Or do you think I should bite the bullet and get the PSA SACD DAC?

I must admit to being tempted from time to time, as PSA releases regular DAC updates which essentially gets you a new DAC. But then sanity intrudes LOL. 



I have the PSA SACD Transport connected to my Denafrips TP via I2S input and it works great for both SACD & Red Book. Listening right now. You must adjust the DAC pin settings. Alvin at Vinshine Audio has instructions. Highly recommended.

@rar1, sorry but you’re wrong. I called PS Audio before purchasing my PSA SACD transport and they gave me the pin configuration of their I2S output. They told me as long as my DAC can match their configuration, I would have no problem. I checked the configuration PSA gave me to see if it was compatible with my May KTE DAC. I confirmed the May was compatible with the SACD transport. All you need to do is configure the pin settings in the configuration mode of the May. I use it for SACDs and Red Book, with no issues and it sounds great.

The Holo May KTE has 4 options for the I2S pin settings. You want option 3 on the May to make it compatible with the PSA SACD transport.

I would go for a used MKI Directstream.  There are many on market.  Later you can trade in for 2400 towards MKII if you want. Plus some credit. 

it’s class A stock.  The forum over there has so many updates that make it so much more too. 

@smatsui & @dcpillai


My bad & my apologies if I gave out incorrect information. It was not done deliberately.

When I ordered the PSA transport, I never did any detailed research on the DAC side of things and thought that any DAC with I2S would work out fine and soon found out that that would not be the case. Didn’t know what PIN configurations were, let alone that they could be set.

Along the way I acquired an older Perfect Stream, which I thought was special and fantastic sounding, but would not work with the new Transport. The Gain Cell sounds ok and is no slouch, but it is not a Direct Stream. Also got to work with Paul directly to troubleshoot what was going on with my system, which was very cool.

Good luck with your new Transport, when you get it. It is excellent.



Personally, I would cancel the PS Audio transport order, and wait a few weeks for the Esoteric K-05XD.  Arguably the best transport mechanism on the planet, with a DAC that is phenomenal.  I think the MSRP is 8K.  I was considering the PS Audio SACD transport and a Holo DAC as well, but for 8K, the Esoteric is a much better option IMO.