PS Audio Direct Stream MK2 DAC

While researching the PS Audio Direct Stream MK2 DAC on the PSA Forum, I came across this:

"Regarding “hum,” Ted said: “ You had the opportunity to return your device if it was wasn’t acceptable. I don’t know how one could claim to have been screwed…….”

Not only that, this “hum” was a known feature, as it was discussed early and often in the beta thread. Paul even went so far as to claim every component PSA has ever produced (or at least, every component on his shelf) has this hum."

Further, Ted himself says:

"The hum is coming from the piezoelectric response from a few critical capacitors in the power supply. The device was designed with a component that wouldn’t cause this problem, but supply chain problems forced us to design in a slightly older version of the part which caused the hum. Unfortunately, the new and old parts aren’t footprint compatible, so we’re stuck with the older version for a while even when the newer parts become available again."

Ted is Ted Smith, the" Chief Digital Dude" at PS Audio.

Question to all PSA DS MK2 DAC owners, do you hear a hum?

All in all, do you think it would be better to wait for a while until the problem sorts itself out - OR - is it "much ado about nothing" and I should just go ahead and get the PSA DAC?

I am leaning towards waiting .... But I am interested to hear your views too.





@lwin @vernv @fittebd @dchang05 @ozon8r Thanks for confirming that there is no hum on your MK II DACs, and for confirming how very good the MK II is! However, due to the fact that there is no 30 day trial period in Malaysia, and exchanges are also dicey (from a consumer perspective), I have decided to wait for about a year before acquiring the MK II. In the meantime, I will be saying hello to the Holo Audio KTE Spring DAC! 

@lalitk  @speedthrills @deadhead1000 Sadly, I am in agreement with you gents. Decided to wait for PSA to iron out the problem, confirm its been resolved and then make my purchase, hopefully in 2024. Will be dreaming of it though!!

@mikedc Based on the statements made by PSA, i.e. that the hum is a "feature", and that they had informed their own forum of the issue even before releasing the DAC, it looks unlikely that they will swap out the faulty part. Not exactly the best way to reward early adopters ... Hope they do though.

“I will be saying hello to the Holo Audio KTE Spring DAC! ”


I believe this would be a sound move, I’ve heard nothing but high praises. Which version of Spring DAC you would be auditioning? 

@dcpillai Not sure where you saw its a feature.  Ted Smith mentioned that all large transformers hum.  

That being said there 1 person complaining about the hum.  A few others confirmed if they put their ear next to the device they can hear something.  Most say nothing.  A whole lot has been made by a little.  As I said, I have a Jan Production run unit.  Not a beta... but it is an early run.  ZERO hum.  

it is 8k, a whole lot of money.  Many dacs to consider in that price.  Overseas does make other brands a bit more economical and easier to get. 

if it was not for the incredible trade in (full value) from PSA I probably would not have been able to swing this unit.  the MK1 was a class A component for years.  With steady updates.  I look foward to getting many years with the MKII.  Twice as much memory to work with.  All inputs are isolated.  More features to come (yeah some say promised from start but they went production already)  

I have pointed many to the MK1 for good deals online and with the forums help there are so many tweaks (with the help of lead designer Ted) you can buy and DIY that makes it as close to you can get to the MKII.  its an amazing value.

But your KTE is too. I ordered the RED streamer.  6 week wait.. 

I have owned 2 PS Audio products - first the DS Jr DAC, then the Stellar phono preamp. Fremer gave that phono preamp an excellent review and I bought it when they had a promo on it. He mentioned hum problems with it, which he said he was able to resolve, without explanation. I also had the hum problem. At some point one of the channels stopped working and I sent it in for repair under warranty. When I got it back I no longer had the hum issue, so I don’t know if they figured out a way to fix the issue and did it when I sent it in for service. I sold the DS Jr DAC about a year ago and bought a Holo Audio Spring 3 DAC. Even though it can’t be upgraded, I have been very happy with the sound and found it to be a big improvement. I don’t know how the Mk II DAC sounds, but I believe it costs about twice as much as the Spring 3. A lot of DAC choices out there these days.

I’m curious about the Air Lens streamer and have been waiting a long time for it to become available and see how it compares to the Lumin U2, another option I’m considering.

reading this, I find I do hear a hum from some of my components if I literally have my ear touching, or a fraction of an inch away...nothing from one or two inches away