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.





@markmuse - same points on simple logic to you - PSA were the ones that said the MK1 Bridge was noisy - send me your email and I'll forward the support note where they said the MK1 Bridge II was noisy. So they regularly ship noisy products but are supposed to be a leader in noise suppression eg DS power plants. They aren't scientifically testing their products or they are testing them but just don't care the products are noisy - don't see much room in between. Which do you think it is? 

@acmaier3 - Well, because you asked about the sufficiency of my education in regards to my reading comprehension and logic… Yes, I have a law degree from a top 5 law school and am admitted to two state bar associations. I think my reading comprehension and logic are sufficient to get by in life.

Not sure what to tell you here… no one else was confused about the product. The unit never shipped with a network streaming card.  I never saw anything from PS Audio claiming as such and I’ve been following the development and release of the MK2 over the last couple years.  

Best of luck to you on your journey. 👍

@oczed  I enjoyed your post. A calm, logical response to criticism is always welcome!

The Airlens was to be their streaming component. PS Audio has a reasonable trial period. Many years ago Paul was 75% engineer and 25% marketeer. Perhaps we could fairly suggest that this ratio has moved towards marketing. Following threads at the PS Audio Forum made me aware of how audio companies have been struggling with supply and cost. I also have Ted to thank for making their I2s implementation clear, which runs counter to what I’ve taken as Paul’s I2s explanation, which made me think that clock signals were being sent to and used by the DAC via I2s.

Listening review of the MK2 vs. Chord TT2 and PS Audio MK1. Not really worth the effort to consider the MK2 I'm sad to say. The sound was lacking in dynamics, depth, and detail. The sound stage was fine but then again I have nearly full range towers for that. Listened across a wide range of music from cutting edge indie - Dirty Projectors "Right Now" to Zepplin II to Coltrane "Giant Steps" at 196kHz on Qobuz. One of the telling moments of reproduction isn't musical but a playing mistake about 2.65' in on Giant Steps when the string is misplayed off the fingerboard - you can here the non-musical quality for a second which creates a nice juxtaposition. The clarity of the detail in the high horn notes and the cymbals shone on the TT2.  The deepness and detail of the bass were both severely limited in the MK2 by comparison.  

A five month wait to ship it while sitting on my money to receive a device that is noisy and doesn't have any purpose for it's network card. Maybe one day they will make the network card do something. Actual sound couldn't hold a candle to the Chord TT2. I'm not sure I would say it is even better than the MK1. Maybe PSA can upgrade the firmware and decoding algorithms to improve it's competitiveness but why wait?