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.


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.

Thanks bigby. I’m pretty stoked about this mod. I was reading the threads on this at ps audio site and it’s very reassuring to see Ted Smith on board with these changes. I went ahead and ordered the transformers last night but it looks like a 3 month or so delivery date. Oh well, a little project for the spring I guess.

Running the new power supply cable seems tricky. I have the bridge II installed but I don’t see how you ran the cable through that opening without deactivating the bridge. My only other thought was to literally drill a new hole on the back plate and instal a rubber grommet and pass through there. Did you just simply unplug the existing power supply connection to the analog board and leave it dangling inside or did you remove the wires completely?

My biggest improvement with the PSA DirectStream was replacing the Bridge II with an sotm sms 200 Ultra Neo with a Crystal Cable Diamond USB cable...

The Bridge II is quite noisy as the designer Ted Smith indicated...

@arch2 - I left the old cord in and taped it to the bottom of the case.


@adriaan - At some point I'll replace the Bridge II but I'm not sure when. The Ultra Neo looks like a good choice.