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.





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? 

acmaier3:  boy somebody is trolling PS Audio.  What are you going on about?  This is a great DAC and your comments seem to be intended to slam PS Audio.  You have an agenda.  I have listened to this DAC for about 3 weeks.  It is amazingly good with great dynamics and soundstage..clean your ears or your mind.


I can understand being upset with a company that advertises that their DAC has streaming capabilities, but did not provide such capability.  Assuming that a MKII product has the same features as a MK1 product is on the consumer.  This assumes that the manufacturer provides information on the feature set of the MKII product.  I was very interested in the MKII DAC, but the timeline didn’t fit within my purchasing timeline.  I never wanted a DAC with streaming capability.