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.


@gavin1977 given all the DACs you've tried, would you say the Directstream MK 1 is close to offering a nice wide soundstage with good imaging and "musicality" - whatever that word means to most people - as good as a great R2R ladder-based DAC like the Holo?  If so, $1600 to $1800 would indeed be a bargain. Thanks. I was looking at a $2100 Pontus II but wondered about this one for $1800 and if would be in the same ballpark. 

@moonwatcher yes that is kinda what I’m indicating, system synergy still counts as always through. “Musical’ to me means that it’s got enough detail to be realistic, but no so much that it’s etched - you can just listen for hours and not get fatigued. Directstream is a smooth performer, with amazing soundstage and imaging and separation - but might be too smooth for some.

I could describe the Holo DAC’s in a similar way, but for me whilst they soundstaged really large the images were too diffuse for me. May didn’t last 2 days in my system and I sold it on.

Terminator would be interesting, more likely similar flavour. Schitt Yggdrasil is a favourite of mine as well.

Well, I bit. If you're interested I would suggest you order soon. They're out of the black ones and (I think) the network cards. I wanted black but, emboldened by the above poster getting one for $1600 I offered $1500 for a silver one and they accepted. Yggy LiM has been my favorite DAC so far so we'll see how this one strikes me. It's strictly for my headphone rig and will be feeding a McIntosh tube amp, and then a pair of HifiMan Susvaras.

@shooter41 please do post your feedback on here of Directstream vs LiM.  I found LiM to be really good, but it is a little dark.  Directstream has the same richness/wamrth to the sound, but isn't dark.  Apparently More is Better removes the darkness of the LiM, but I've never investigated MiB.  Singularity DAC will be interesting from Schitt when it is eventually formally announced.  

The Directstream dac Mk1 is excellent especially with the Jkrichards mods such as the APS nickel transformers, the VOCM mod and the external power supply going to analog power supply board which fits perfectly into the back of the dac. Highly recommended!