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.


Well, I'm liking it a little better. It doesn't just do gentle transients - it can slam pretty hard on drums etc. It's shocking how much musical expression it's finding in my old 16/44.1 recordings, often poorly made compared to the DSD files audiophiles prefer now. (My favorite conductors, orchestras, performers etc. are mostly found on old CDs I purchase used from EBay or Amazon.) It hasn't proven itself to me yet -- that is, I'm not convinced the music expression is accurate to the original performance - but I'm definitely sitting up in interest.



Singularity DAC will be interesting from Schitt when it is eventually formally announced.  

Can you provide a bit more details on the new DAC from Schitt you are referring to?

I was listening to my Yggi+ LIM on my slightly bright Magnepan LRS+ with a CODA #16 amp, and I was thinking how good this setup sounded. 

My downstairs system is now in need of a DAC, something with a little bit more detail would fit nicely. The Yggi+ MIB is what I am thinking of now getting. In the past, was planning on getting a very expensive DAC but I think those funds are better served by getting another CODA amp.


Old technology? You are dead wrong! It’s fpga based. I preferred this dac over many others costing 2-3x more at the time. I used Ethernet, never usb. If you want to increase the sound quality of the mk1 DS sr dac, get their airlens and use the i2s interface. I’m using the Revelation Aufio Labs prophecy i2s cable. Maybe next steps would be to modify some of the internals of the mk1, but in no hurry.

Also, with the later firmware releases, I think you can get dsd256 and higher resolutions. 

@yyzsantabarbara there’s stuff around on HeadFi and YouTube on Singularity. To be honest if you need a slightly darker sounding DAC to match your speakers then I’d probably stick with the LiM - put the money elsewhere for a bit until things move on.

@gavin1977 Thanks. I am not replacing my LIM. I use that in my office with my Magnepan LRS+ and RAAL CA-1a headphones, it sounds great on both slightly bright speakers.

I am looking for a slightly less dark DAC for my other system. That is where the interest on the MIB DAC arises. I would have 2 Yggi's, the LIM and MIB. 

I will look in Headfi for more into. I think Mike Moffet posts there.