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.





My hope is that other companies will come out with a CD/SACD transport.  It may be a long shot, but I just can't pull the trigger on products that seem to have issues after going into full production.  At the price PS audio is charging for their transport and dac I would expect perfection.

I asked PS Audio for information on their DirectStream MK2 DAC regarding the Ethernet connection, the units hum, HDMI, etc. As noted below, their LATEST software update FIXES the hum issue. Please see his response below:

“The network board inside is only for future software updates. It is not for streaming. The DAC itself does not have the ability to stream. You need a separate streamer to send it the signal. Currently the updates are downloaded from our site and are put onto a thumb drive which is inserted into the DAC. The OTA updates through the network connection is expected to be released soon.

The DAC has no HDMI connections. The I2S ports use an HDMI cable but they are completely different.

The noise that is heard through the DAC is now fixed with the latest software update. This hum/buzz was only heard if you ran the DAC directly into your amp with no preamp. If you use a preamp, you cannot hear it at all”.

NOTE: I have no information when their latest software will be released.


I am expecting delivery of my DS Mk2 next week. I ordered it some time ago and have been waiting for them to be available. It has been clear to me from the beginning that unlike the Mk1 there is no capability to stream directly and that the card slot is for software updates only. I am having a little trouble understanding how you misunderstood this other than by making an assumption based upon the Mk1 capability. 

@markmuse reread my posts - PS Audio offered a trade in on their DAC with a bridge but there is no mention of this loss of functionality on the website. Please reference this information. I’ve been a tech product manager for over 20 years. When you remove functionality you tell your customers. It’s called transparency and critical to maintaining the trust of your customers. Shipping products without scientific audio testing that results with hum and noise, as widely reported, should be proof enough this machine and company aren’t  worth it. There’s also no mention anywhere that the network OTA updates don’t work yet. A DAC with a network card for only firmware updates that doesn’t actually do firmware updates is less than useless. 

Oh the update of the 2.6.2 firmware. Requires a drive smaller than 8GB with FAT32 - you’re welcome PS Audio, happy to guide your QA and document teams for $$$. 

 The fix for the noise issue Stereophile mentioned, according to the release notes,  is a filter. A digital filter that changes the output bc the machine is noisy. Another proofpoint PSA isn’t doing scientific testing and their QA is weak.