Modifying PS Audio DirectStream DAC

I just finished my first mod. It was for my PS Audio DirectStream DAC:

  1. Swapped in two Edcor XS4400 transformers.
  2. Switched the power supply for the analogue board to a Farad Super 3
  3. Added 3M AB6005S EMI/RF shielding to the inside of the case and on the larger chips

It sounds amazing now. Its like having a new piece of equipment. I was A/Bing it with my turntable and got confused as to which was playing! All the changes were pretty straight forward. They are described in detail on the PS Audio website. There are lots of pictures to help.


This is an example of what amazes me when it comes to stereo equipment.  In Canada, the PS Audio DirectStream DAC retails for close to $9000.  Then PS Audio suggest parts you can replace inside to improve the sound?  Why then, at $9000, weren't those parts installed in the first place?  What am I missing here? 

What amazed me was they designed the boards to accept the upgraded transformers.  The original ones were about $20.00 and the upgraded ones were $31.00 + shipping.


It was very professional for PS Audio to give the information for the upgrade.  I could not have figured it out on my own.  The price to performance must have been to low for them to use the higher grade transformer or there were other considerations that gave it better sound.  The DAC got rave reviews when it was released.

bigby, I was looking this over at the PS Audio site and the transformers seem to be a “relatively” easy part for part swap (soldering and de-soldering skills mandatory) but how difficult was it to wire in the Farad Super 3 into the analog board?

Merry Christmas everyone!

In 2022, PS Audio is planning to introduce an upgraded version of the DirectStream DAC, which first came out a number of years ago. Many of the areas currently identified for upgrades will be improved in the new version of the DAC. Ted Smith, who designed the original version is also designing the new version, and he has been providing great advice to current owners who want to make upgrades before the new version is released.

@arch2 - Mattijs de Vries of Farad made the cable for me.  He terminated it with the same connector used on the analogue board.  I replaced the plug on the board with the new one.  My DAC has the Bridge II.  I took off the plate on the back of the Bridge and threaded the cable through the opening.  You have to be careful not to touch any of the boards and plug it in correctly to avoid damaging the DAC.