Opinions on PS Audio Direct Stream DAC (Mk 1)

PS Audio is clearing out factory refurbished Direct Stream DACs, the original version from 2014 or 2015, for about $1800. I'm wondering if I could get opinions on this DAC. It's old technology as far as digital goes, but it got nice reviews when it was new. It can do DSD64 and DSD128. It upsamples everything internally to DSD.

I'm interested in musicality and musical involvement, especially dynamics (macro and micro), accuracy of instrumental timbre and extracting the beauty out of the recording, low noise floor and high resolution.


Can’t be beat for the price.  I have the DSJr. and I haven’t heard anything equally priced that is better.  Enjoy!

@krelldog - what Yggy did you have?  Certainly seems this is a bargain for a quality DAC at this price point.  

I got my PS Audio DSD MkI direct from PS Audio as a refurbished unit, but at about $3,400.00. They gave me a 30 day return policy, and I believe a 1 year warranty. Thought it was a good deal then, and still believe it was. 
It arrived in near-perfect condition, with factory manual, remote control, etc.

But TMR’s deal for a factory refurbished unit is I think, an insanely good deal. That the op was able to deal that down to $1,600 is an incredible bargain. 
Good job, congrats to the op!





YES !!!! Buy it. I have one for over 4 years and a friend recently bought one and had it shipped to his home in Japan !

Previous DACs I’ve owned/tried - Sabre, Topping (yuck), Naim, almost all of the Chord DACs, Tambaqui, T+A DAC 8, Holo Audio and Schitt Yggy (OG and LIM).

Overall Directstream is the best DAC I’ve owned, reason it’s so good is that it’s super natural and smooth - there are no aberrations to distract you. It’s very musical.

The only thing I would say is that Chord or Schitt DAC are a potentially better match for you if you run solid state amplification - solid state amps don’t sound as quick to me as tubes and need a little bit of injected pep which Chord and Schitt do. But with tube amps the Directstream sounds divine. Huge soundstage.

I read the ASR review and was put off, I bought one really cheap and never regretted it. I now know that I’m in the beauty camp, not the zero distortion ASR camp.  But what would you rather have, bragging rights about 0.00005% distortion and off the chart SNR, or amazing music?