Modding the PS Audio Directstream DAC MK1 and MK2

I would like to continue discussing all the mods we have created for these two DAC's as it seems PS Audio is no longer allowing discussions about them on their forum.

For reference here is a link to the closed discussion.


For those who own MK1, the APS/VOCM mod is really a better bang for the buck.  Comparing the unmodified MKII with the modded MK1, I can concur that the latter sounded better than the former.  The MK1 although is getting old, is a mature product with a pretty stable firmware.  

Although I haven't head the MKII, I couldn't be happier with my decision to have my MKI modded. Every listening session is a deeply satisfying experience. 

The assembly of the MK1 is defiantly better than the MK2.  I have found many issues with the build quality of the new MK2 during the many mods of the MK2 we have done recently.

Over the past month we have been upgrading many of the PS Audio Directstream MK2 DAC with our nickel transformers and have discovered very poor build quality on every one.

We ended up having to offer to fix these defects as we don’t like sending units back half baked.

We re-route the WiFi antenna Cable, Repair the input chassis grounding and fix any hardware issues (stripped wrong screws etc). We even found PC board standoffs 1 turn out loose :(


This defect shows that the i2s inputs chassis grounding spring is stuck behind the plastic insulator making it inoperable. The inputs end up with no chassis ground.

Top view



This shows the mis-aligned paint mask keeping all inputs from being chassis grounded. Note the grounding springs are insulated by the paint.  The only way to fix this is to scrape the paint away.



This show the RF shielding fingers not install properly. Most all units had most of them missing or none at all.


This shows how we fix the i2s grounding issue. Note now the chassis grounding spring can make contact with the chassis.


We remove the insulator and cut the right side down so the grounding spring will clear. Note the cut line.


After the cut

Here are the transformers we install in the MK2.  The MK1 transformers are not the same.