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.





Latest update on my journey towards the  PSA DAC Mk2. Actually it is more like several steps back and not forward.😖

The Holo May is burning in nicely at around 200 hours in, and my PSA SACD Transport was delivered yesterday (which is the reason that I am on this particular trip). You can imagine my excitement!!

I got the PS Audio Perfect Wave SACD transport installed, and then I discovered that it could only play CDs and not SACDs. I could not activate the SACD layer as the command wheel on the machine seems to have been wired wrongly or there was a software glitch which prevented the SACD layer from activating ... in a brand new machine!! The technician of the distributor tried and he could not do so either. I was and am so utterly disappointed in PS Audio. Where is the quality control that one would expect of a world class producer of high fidelity audio equipment? 

Within 4 hours of installation, the SACD transport was on its way back to the dealer. I have of course asked for a replacement. Not sure whether PS Audio will agree. Not sure whether I will get my money back if PS Audio disagrees. Buyer beware indeed. I have a strong suspicion that I will be heading to the Consumer Claims Tribunal in the near term.

With this development and the continuing issues with the PS Audio DAC MKII (read the posts on the PSA forum to fully understand), I think that I am going to throw in the towel as far as PS Audio goes. But I acknowledge that this may be my frustration talking .... we will see I guess.

The saga continues ....

The PS Audio DirectStream MK2 is half-baked to be polite. They originally shipped these with audible humming. Mine was delayed in fulfillment for three months as they were probably revisiting this bad, noisy design - meanwhile they already charged my card for the device. I was trading in a device with the network Bridge II (guess they couldn't get Gen 1 right there either) for the MK2 but at no time did they  mention the network and wifi cards were ONLY for firmware - the network connections cannot be used to stream music from ANY service whatsoever. 


Generally people would say don't have a network card in a DAC for audio quality - specious but possible deterioration. A network card for only firmware? That is nonsensical based on cost and effort to integrate such a system.


So either PoS Audio (aka PS Audio) was:

1. Too cheap to pay for audio streaming service certifications

2. Didn't actually build a way to connect the ethernet and DAC - stupidity

3. or both


So they are charging substantially more than the previous edition for less functionality meanwhile you MUST buy a separate streamer. 

You're so fortunate actually - PoS Audio will sell you a separate overpriced streamer!!!


Don't keep everyone in suspense. Aren't you going to mention the response from the head of PS Audio when he suggested that you email him directly about your concerns. I understood from the PSA Forum that PSA was providing an RMA so that you could return the MK2 DAC since the product didn't meet your needs.

@sdl4 Paul Gowan responded to me several times. He insisted the nearly useless network connectivity was never intended as a bridge. Not believable. Paul did say the website materials needed clarifying about the network only supporting firmware updates and zero services streaming.

Paul couldn’t identify any other products on the market that only use network capabilities for firmware and nothing else but he mentioned they have two more products coming out like this (no mention of which).

PSA support and Paul both mentioned that “over time they discovered” the MK1 bridge II was noisy but not how leaving a network card in the machine would prevent noise this time (nor omitting the bridge would solve this). It’s incomprehensible that a mature audiophile company wouldn’t be testing products for noise before they ship… The logical inconsistency of an audiophile company with many products on the market that require expert engineering to avoid problems with noise wasn’t addressed either. How they and others (Levinson, Devialet, etc.) selling integrated amplifiers without noise issues was also not addressed.

When you consider the facts and timing, the only logical conclusion is cost and the opportunity to sell their first dedicated streamer. Paul also basically admitted the network system might be too expensive to warrant use only for firmware updates.



I recognize your frustration in not getting a product that you expected would have a built-in streamer. I hope you find a DAC/streamer that you will enjoy.

My situation is a little different. When I bought my original DS DAC, I already had an excellent Innuos streamer/server and chose not to install the Bridge II to provide an Ethernet connection for my DAC. I knew from early information about the MK2 DAC that it would not include a built-in bridge, so that was never my assumption or preference. Knowing that periodic updates for the MK1 required use of an SD card, which was not a very elegant solution, I welcomed the ability to update the new MK2 via a network connection. 

Now that I have the MK2 and can listen to it in my system, I am very happy with how natural and non-fatiguing it sounds, while also providing realistic transparency and detail. It's a great DAC, and I'm sorry your situation didn't allow you to enjoy its beauty and musicality. However, there are lots of great DACs and streamers out there, and I'm sure you'll find something with the sound quality and features you're looking for.