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PS Audio DirectStream DAC and Streamer

£4,830.00 £4,025.00
SKU
DirectStream DAC
Free UK Delivery
12 Months
New
48 Hours
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SPEAKER CABLES:

A quantity of 2 means you will receive a pair of speaker cables e.g. for your front left and front right speakers. By entering a quantity of 1, you will get a cable for a single speaker e.g. centre speaker and this option also enables you to vary the length (and termination) of your cable for each speaker.

OTHER CABLES:

A quantity of 1 means you will receive a single cable in the case of aerial, satellite, subwoofer, digital coaxial & optical cables and a pair of cables in the case of 2 rca to 2 rca analogue audio cables.

NON-CABLE PRODUCTS:

A quantity of 1 means you will receive 1 of the specified products.

Available

Need help? Call us on 0800 772 3688 or 0208 905 1555

Prefer email? Contact us via sales@futureshop.co.uk

Introducing DirectStream DAC, both Stereophile and Absolute Sound’s Product Of The Year. Handwritten, discrete, perfection based conversion that uncovers all the missing information hiding in your digital audio media for all these years. CD’s, downloads, high-resolution PCM or DSD based media are expertly upsampled in the DirectStream to twenty times DSD rate and output as pure analog directly into your amplifier or preamplifier.

PS Audio DirectStream DAC and Streamer

 

Introducing DirectStream DAC, both Stereophile and Absolute Sound’s Product Of The Year. Handwritten, discrete, perfection based conversion that uncovers all the missing information hiding in your digital audio media for all these years. CD’s, downloads, high-resolution PCM or DSD based media are expertly upsampled in the DirectStream to twenty times DSD rate and output as pure analog directly into your amplifier or preamplifier.

Classic PCM based DACS, including many of today’s DACS that can also process DSD, tend to cover up some of the subtle musical details buried deep within digital audio music; a problem inherent in their architecture. DirectStream solves this problem by employing a pure DSD single-bit approach for both PCM as well as DSD media. This means that your entire library of music can finally reveal all the music and subtle low-level details buried deep within its core.

Imagine going to a recording studio and listening to a master tape of any recording made. This is the experience DirectStream provides its owners who enjoy a renewed sense of enjoyment and discovery when listening to everything in their library: CD’s, downloads, DSD.

Features

  • Pure 100% DSD based D to A Converter
  • Fully upgradable through software releases
  • Resolution perfect volume and balance controls built in
  • Upsamples PCM and DSD to 20x DSD rate
  • DXD support
  • Purely passive transformer coupled output
  • Improves imaging and soundstage
  • Simple, direct signal path with one master clock
  • Hand written filters, processors and upsamplers
  • Immune to incoming jitter problems from different sources
  • Increased digital headroom
  • No off-the-shelf IC DAC chips used
  • Uncovers musical details masked by typical PCM based processors
  • 7 digital inputs
  • Full MQA, Tidal (including Masters), Spotify, VTuner, Qobuz, and Roon ready with optional Bridge II
  • Fully balanced from input to output
  • Color touch screen

Pure 100% single bit DSD based D to A Converter

Most of today’s sophisticated DACs are IC based instruments using off-the-shelf-chips that are Multi-bit Sigma-Delta based designs. While these are relatively simple to design and produce, they don’t often give the best results sonically. Because they are one-chip systems compromises are made in their architecture that found in DirectStream’s custom based architecture. DirectStream takes both PCM and DSD, upsamples the data and converts to single-bit DSD and then outputs pure music regardless of input format for the data. The results of this design can be heard in increased musical information presented to the listener at every opportunity.

Purely passive output stage

Most modern DACs use some form of active tube or solid state output stage to amplify, filter and drive the DACs output. DirectStream takes a different approach: passive. In one of the simplest, elegant and musically correct executions of an output stage, high-speed class A video amplifiers are used as the final switch for the single-bit, double DSD output of DirectStream; feeding a high-performance passive audio output transformer. The transformer is specially designed to act as both the galvanic isolation between the DAC and the outside world as well as the primary low pass filter required to present a perfect, low distortion, low noise output signal. When you listen to DirectStream you never are accosted by added bright, hard glare in the music as happens with many active designs. Instead, clean, pure music flows from the DirectStream directly to your preamplifier or power amplifier.

Resolution perfect volume and balance controls

Designer Smith perfected a 100% bit-perfect volume and balance control that’s built into DirectStream, enabling users to control the output level when feeding directly into a power amplifier or preamplifier. That the volume control is completely bit-perfect means there is no loss of resolution for any volume setting, a feature unique amongst the majority of DACS in the world today. The ability to eliminate the preamplifier in the system without any resolution loss is a major benefit to DirectStream’s outstanding musical performance.

Simple, direct signal path with only one master clock

Typical high-end DAC designs use more than one master clock as you can see in the drawing we provided on the Overview page. There are often separate clocks for USB, Audio and others, causing major headaches for system designers trying to synchronize the clocks. DirectStream obviates the problem by basing the entire design on one master clock of extraordinarily high quality. Used is a low phase noise, low jitter clock designed for DirectStream by Crystek. Using this advanced approach the need for synchronization is eliminated, jitter levels are reduced and music is delivered with a clarity rarely heard.

Immunity to jitter from sources

Sources have always had a major impact on sound quality with DACS. Transports, computers, CD players, cables all make a significant impact on performance into a typical DAC. This problem has been significantly reduced with DirectStream. Now, for perhaps the first time, sources of just about any quality and jitter level sound nearly identical. For example, you can take a cheap $30 DVD or CD player’s digital output, connect with DirectStream and have sound quality unthinkable for such a poor source. Performance levels no longer are dependent on the quality of source or connections; certainly not to the degree they have been in the past. Yes, cables and sources still make a difference, but with DirectStream that difference is reduced to nearly background noise. Whatever you use to play or stream your music now sounds as good as it gets.

Asynchronous high-speed USB

DirectStream can match up to either a computer or a home network. If a network connection is desired, there’s is the optional Network Bridge available that slides right into the rear panel of DirectStream and adds an additional input. You can also connect directly to your computer via USB. USB communication, if handled properly, can have every sound quality advantage of a dedicated CD transport or Network Bridge. DirectStream provides a fully synchronous 24-bit 192kHz path for USB based audio. Using a good quality USB cable between DirectStream and your computer, like a quiet MAC Mini, provides an instant media server that can be controlled through any number of handheld devices like an iPod, iPhone or Android using a 3d party controller program. Your music can be managed by iTunes, Bit Perfect, Pure Music or Ammara for ease of use.

Polarity inversion

A handy feature on DirectStream is the polarity (phase) control. This touch screen option (available on the remote as well) allows users to select normal or inverted phase for every input and for every performance. Sources and music have no standard for absolute polarity, a fact easily demonstrated by switching polarities on the as the music plays. Many Audiophiles mark their discs in phase and out of phase and are very careful to select the proper phase before playing each disc. Some CD players and sources themselves invert phase so that a disc you believe is inverted actually is correct played on a specific device and incorrect on yet another. To fix this problem you can assign each input on DirectStream to switch to the proper polarity when you activate that input. Touching this control is the same thing as reversing the loudspeaker connections of both loudspeakers (+ to -) at either the amplifier or speakers. All live acoustic music is in absolute phase but some recordings may accidentally be made inverted and should sound more realistic and pleasant when you correct their phase with the switch.

Play directly into your power amplifier or preamplifier

DirectStream offers the ability to play directly into either your preamplifier or power amplifier through either its balanced or single-ended outputs. You can select the optimum gain setting through DirectStream’s setup menu to match your amplifier and loudspeaker’s sensitivity. If you choose to go through a preamplifier, it’s easy to set DirectStream at maximum level (or any level you wish) to match the preamp’s gain. But should you choose to eliminate the extra electronics of the preamplifier, DirectStream is more than capable of driving the power amplifier directly. DirectStream’s unique zero-loss volume control maintains full resolution bit-perfect performance at any volume setting from the lowest to the highest levels.

Hear more than you ever imagined from CDs

DirectStream converts everything to DSD, even PCM before delivering the music to your system. This approach, coupled with careful design, low jitter and a simple and direct signal path has the benefit of uncovering details buried in the music you may not have realized are even there. CDs come alive with subtle details that were never apparent with your older DAC; details you never knew even existed. CDs sound more like high resolution audio than you ever imagined, closing the gap between higher resolution PCM and DSD copies. No longer do you need to consider replacing your current CD library because once you hear what’s truly on your discs, you may not need to consider upgrading to a higher resolution copy at all. Yes, it is that obvious and significant.

Optional Network Bridge II

The new PS Audio Bridge II makes high-end fun again and connects DirectStream DACs over the home network. This is the best sounding music input on a PS Audio DAC, better than even USB. Bridge II offers gapless play, stable performance, lower jitter and the freedom to enjoy digital audio collections, either PCM or DSD, with high performance at the touch of a finger. The Network Bridge II and DirectStream DAC combo will allow you to build a musical library your friends and family can enjoy for years to come.

With the Network Bridge II installed, you can focus on what you really want: music and the joy of a high-end audio system.

 

DirectStream is built in the United States by hand. Local manufacturers use sophisticated PCB building machines to populate and test the multi-layer boards used in DirectStream. It takes a number of companies and a lot of skill and equipment to build something this sophisticated. From high tech x-ray technology to place the FPGA IC on the board, to automated pick and place machines to add parts in just the right spots, each of the four PCB’s used to build a DirectStream are built, tested and delivered to PS Audio's Boulder Colorado facility by handpicked US vendors.

The chassis of DirectStream is a metal sculpture that is by far the best PS Audio have ever built. A combination of aluminum and steel, DirectStream weighs in at 20 pounds of elegance and beauty. The top cover is a hand painted, hand polished piano black high density material that has been lavished over for hours. And has the look and feel of a fine Steinway piano. The PerfectWave series is assembled, programmed and tested at their production facility in Boulder Colorado. There is a measure of pride of workmanship that goes into every one of these PerfectWave products and it shows from the moment you open the unit up and plug it in. This is one gorgeous piece of equipment and just the beginning of the most beautiful natural sounding audio equipment you have ever had the privilege to own.

 

 

"The DS DAC is an intensely enjoyable piece of gear that allows you to connect deeply with your music. Its biggest strength is its ability to make music sound natural and real. Refined tonality, dimensionality, dynamics, and grunt - it has it all. And to my pleasant surprise, this was the first DAC I’ve reviewed where I could optimize the Ethernet input to a level of sound quality close to that of USB.

Did the DS DAC surpass its competition in every attribute? No it did not, but that’s not how I measure success. The DS DAC’s success comes from having earned a spot on the shortlist of any audiophile shopping for a DAC in this price range. And just like thousands of delighted current owners, I fully expect many more will find it to be the one that speaks best to their soul. Highly recommended!"

Audiophile Style - July 2019

"Attaining the performance provided by the PerfectWave transport and DirectStream DAC even five years ago would have cost multiples of the PS Audio Duo. This potent, engagingly musical front end will allow you to rediscover the plethora of CDs in your collection with a fresh, more organic and dynamic take. And with the millions of CDs flooding the used market the PerfectWave Transport and DirectStream DAC will be a great musical partner standing by your side for years to come."

Positive Feedback -  June 2016

"The first thing I noticed about the DirectStream DAC’s sonic characteristics was its ability to capture a sense of space. Even recordings that had seemed a bit flat had some air around them, and those with already well-defined soundstages had those soundstages more precisely defined, with more information about the recording venue.

The DirectStream DAC also captured more mechanical detail, more information about the physical process of playing back music. That includes a variety of things, for example, the noises a guitar makes when it’s playing music. And I could hear more clearly how a vocalist articulated words and phrases. In addition to the physical details, the DirecStream DAC captured a ton of harmonic detail that made instruments and voices seem more realistic, instead of cardboard imitations of instruments. If the recording contained lots of harmonic details, I could hear those reproduced in accurate proportions."

The Absolute Sound - August 2014

"The real magic of this DAC may centre on its handling of PCM material—material the DAC gives greater smoothness, fluidity, dimensionality, and elegance than it might otherwise have had. I don’t mean to suggest by this that traditional PCM playback methods cannot or do not sound perfectly good in their own right, because they certainly can and do. But if PCM playback has an identifiable ‘failure mode’ it might be that PCM files can at times sound a bit flat and 2-dimensional, while exhibiting subtly edgy and/or mechanical qualities that tend to hold the listener at arm’s length from the music. ... I will tell you that it makes these sorts of playback problems better—and sometimes eliminates them almost completely."

Hi-Fi+ - August 2015

 

 

Specification

  • Input Power: Model specific 100VAC, 120VAC, or 230VAC 50 or 60Hz
  • Power Consumption: 30W
  • Mains Power Input: IEC C13
  • Digital audio inputs: I2S x2, S/PDIF Coax x1, AES/EBU XLR x1, Optical x1, USB 1x, Network Bridge slot
  • Sample Rates: I2S & USB - 44.1kHz to 352.8kHz 16bit, 24bit, DSD 64, DSD 128 // Optical - 44.1kHz to 96kHz 16bit, 24bit // AES/EBU XLR & S/PDIF RCA - 44.1kHz to 192kHz 16bit, 24bit, DSD 64
  • Analog Audio Outputs: RCA x1 stereo unbalanced pair, XLR x1 stereo balanced pair
  • Output Level (Low): 0.282 VRMS Balanced // 0.141 VRMS Single Ended
  • Output Level (High): 2.818 VRMS Balanced // 1.414 VRMS Single Ended
  • Output Impedance: 100Ω / 200Ω
  • Frequency Response: 20-20KHz +/- 0.25dB
  • THD&IM @ 1KHz (full scale): <0.03%
  • Output Stage: Passive audio transformer, fed by high current, high speed analogue amps producing double rate DSD
  • Data Format: PCM or DSD
  • PSM Sample Rates: 44.1KHz, 48.0KHz, 88.2KHz, 96.00KHz, 176.4KHz, 192KHz, 253.8KHz
  • PCM Word Length: 16b, 18b, 20b, 24b
  • DSD Data Rates: Standard 2.8MHz or Double 5.6MHz DoP as well as raw DSD on I2S and USB inputs
  • Input Jitter Reduction: effectively 100%, residual immeasurable. No input PLLs, FLLs
  • Input Processing: 170MHz
  • Signal Processing: 50MHz
  • Synchronous Upsampling: 28.224MHz
  • Digital Processing S/N ration: >146dB
  • Digital Volume Control: Zero loss of precision
  • Analogue Conversion method: Delta Sigma (DSD) Single-bit double rate
  • I2S Digital Input Connector: HDMI
  • I2S Digital Formats: PCM or DSD. DoP on all inputs as well as raw DSD on I2S inputs
  • USB Format: PCM or DoP v1.1 (DSD over PCM)
  • Transfer Mode: Asynchronous
  • Unit Weight: 22 lbs [9.97 kg]
  • Unit Dimensions: 14” x 17” x 4” [36cm x 43cm x 10cm]
  • Shipping Weight: 31 lbs [14 kg]
  • Shipping Dimensions: 20.5”x 24” x 10” [52cm x 61cm x 25cm]

 

About PS Audio

PS Audio is now based in beautiful Boulder Colorado, with engineering, sales, marketing, production and administration facilities nestled up against the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

PS Audio is still family-owned and operated, a tradition they are proud of.

Products are engineered in-house from the ground up using some of the most sophisticated design and evaluation tools available. PS Audio are strong proponents of utilizing the latest technologies in service of building state-of-the-art high-value music products for their customers.

PS Audio's core products are all hand-built to investment level standards in their modern production facilities in Boulder Colorado. PS Audio is a proud employer of more than 30 local artisans who design, build and make their products available all over the world.

From their family to yours, let’s keep the spirit of great music and performances alive and well.

 

Specification

  • Input Power: Model specific 100VAC, 120VAC, or 230VAC 50 or 60Hz
  • Power Consumption: 30W
  • Mains Power Input: IEC C13
  • Digital audio inputs: I2S x2, S/PDIF Coax x1, AES/EBU XLR x1, Optical x1, USB 1x, Network Bridge slot
  • Sample Rates: I2S & USB - 44.1kHz to 352.8kHz 16bit, 24bit, DSD 64, DSD 128 // Optical - 44.1kHz to 96kHz 16bit, 24bit // AES/EBU XLR & S/PDIF RCA - 44.1kHz to 192kHz 16bit, 24bit, DSD 64
  • Analog Audio Outputs: RCA x1 stereo unbalanced pair, XLR x1 stereo balanced pair
  • Output Level (Low): 0.282 VRMS Balanced // 0.141 VRMS Single Ended
  • Output Level (High): 2.818 VRMS Balanced // 1.414 VRMS Single Ended
  • Output Impedance: 100Ω / 200Ω
  • Frequency Response: 20-20KHz +/- 0.25dB
  • THD&IM @ 1KHz (full scale): <0.03%
  • Output Stage: Passive audio transformer, fed by high current, high speed analogue amps producing double rate DSD
  • Data Format: PCM or DSD
  • PSM Sample Rates: 44.1KHz, 48.0KHz, 88.2KHz, 96.00KHz, 176.4KHz, 192KHz, 253.8KHz
  • PCM Word Length: 16b, 18b, 20b, 24b
  • DSD Data Rates: Standard 2.8MHz or Double 5.6MHz DoP as well as raw DSD on I2S and USB inputs
  • Input Jitter Reduction: effectively 100%, residual immeasurable. No input PLLs, FLLs
  • Input Processing: 170MHz
  • Signal Processing: 50MHz
  • Synchronous Upsampling: 28.224MHz
  • Digital Processing S/N ration: >146dB
  • Digital Volume Control: Zero loss of precision
  • Analogue Conversion method: Delta Sigma (DSD) Single-bit double rate
  • I2S Digital Input Connector: HDMI
  • I2S Digital Formats: PCM or DSD. DoP on all inputs as well as raw DSD on I2S inputs
  • USB Format: PCM or DoP v1.1 (DSD over PCM)
  • Transfer Mode: Asynchronous
  • Unit Weight: 22 lbs [9.97 kg]
  • Unit Dimensions: 14” x 17” x 4” [36cm x 43cm x 10cm]
  • Shipping Weight: 31 lbs [14 kg]
  • Shipping Dimensions: 20.5”x 24” x 10” [52cm x 61cm x 25cm]

UK Delivery

 

1. We use Royal Mail 1st Class Services as a Standard Postage Option

Orders received before 4.30pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays) are usually dispatched the same day by FIRST CLASS post (unless premium postal or timed courier services are selected), subject to stock availability. Over 98% of our orders are usually delivered the next working day including Saturdays.

Standard delivery is usually within 2-3 working days, although 98% of all orders are delivered the next working day including Saturdays . In extreme cases, such as delivery to the Highlands and Islands, this may take 3 days.

All items are fully insured and come with an invoice from Futureshop.co.uk. We use the Royal Mail for delivery of small packages and DPD or Interlink Express for items that weigh over 2KG. Items over 2KG are fully insured and will usually be delivered within 48 hours of placing your order Monday to Friday subject to stock availability. For International orders, we use FedEx Services where customers have selected this option.

Please note, special orders for non-standard cable lengths or custom-made cables may be subject to longer delivery time-scales. This may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

We offer 'Free UK delivery on orders over £99' subject to the following terms & conditions:

  • Applies only to orders with £99 or more of items (including VAT at the UK rate), at FutureShop.co.uk
  • Free Delivery on orders over £99 utilises Royal Mail First Class postal service for items weighing under 2KG. For items weighing over 2KG, we use DPD next working day services which deliver from 9.00am to 6pm within mainland UK (excludes Royal Mail Special Delivery Services and timed next day delivery services by UK Mail).
  • Applies only to deliveries to addresses within mainland UK and Northern Ireland addresses. Applies only to orders that are to be delivered to a single Mainland UK delivery address.
  • You will not be eligible for free delivery on your order if any items are cancelled or returned for a refund, bringing the total order amount below £99. Where items are returned, the refund due will be the cost of the item less any postage costs.
  • We reserve the right to change or discontinue 'Free delivery on orders over £99 promotion at any time.
  • FREE DELIVERY FOR ORDERS OVER £99 OFFER DOES NOT APPLY TO TRADE CUSTOMERS.

Free Delivery on orders over £99 utilises Royal Mail First Class postal service for items weighing under 2KG. For items weighing over 2KG, we use DPD or Interlink Express next working day services which deliver from 9.00am to 6pm within mainland UK.

Free Delivery for orders over £99 excludes Royal Mail Special Delivery Services and timed next day delivery services by DPD or Interlink Express.

 

Royal Mail 1st Class Shipping DPD Next Day Delivery

 

2. Special Delivery UK - Guaranteed Next Working Day

We have 99.9% of the UK covered With Royal Mail Next Day Special Delivery. We guarantee delivery to most UK addresses by 1pm the next working day. This includes Northern Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey. Some places take longer to deliver to but we still guarantee delivery within three working days by 5.30 PM.

For the Next Day Special Delivery service, orders must be received by futureshop.co.uk by 4.30pm weekdays. Orders after the 4.30pm deadline cannot be guaranteed for same day dispatch.

Please note, Royal Mail Special Delivery for next working day may not be possible where non-standard cable lengths are ordered. If this is the case, the item will be shipped via The Royal Mail Special Delivery service as soon as the cable is custom made.

For orders weighing over 2KG, we reserve the right to ship items using Next Day Pre-Noon Courier Services where Royal Mail Special Delivery option has been selected.

 

Royal Mail Special Next Working Day Delivery

 

3. Channel Islands & Northern Ireland

We accept orders from all Channel Islands including Alderney, Jersey, Guernsey and Sark. Unless you select a premium service, Items weighing under 2KG are delivered using our standard UK delivery option above. For items weighing over 2KG, a surcharge may be applied for all deliveries to the Channel Islands as well as Northern Ireland.

 

European Countries

Deliveries to EU member states are subject to 20% VAT. We offer the following shipping services:

  • Royal Mail First Class International Untracked Airmail Services - Items are usually delivered within 10 working days.
  • Royal Mail First Class International Tracked Airmail Services - Items are usually delivered within 3 to 7 working days.
  • DHL Express International - Items are usually delivered within 24 to 48 hours. DHL orders must be received by 3:30pm for next day service to most destinations in Europe
  • Federal Express International Priority - Items are usually delivered within 24 to 48 hours. FedEx orders must be received by 3.00pm for next day service to most destinations in Europe
  • Federal Express International Economy - Item are usually delivered within 48 to 72 hours

 

Royal Mail International DeliveryRoyal Mail International Tracked DeliveryFedEX Express Economy International DeliveryFedEX Express Priority International DeliveryDHL Worldwide Express International DeliveryDHL Econmy Select International Delivery

 

Worldwide - Excluding UK & Europe

Deliveries outside of the EU are not subject to 20% VAT and so the 20% tax on items is automatically deducted when you login or register.
We offer the following shipping services:

  • Royal Mail First Class International Untracked Airmail Services - Items are usually delivered within 15 working days.
  • Royal Mail First Class International Tracked Airmail - Items are usually delivered within 10-15 working days.
  • DHL Express International - Items are usually delivered within 48 hours. DHL orders must be received by 3:30pm in order to ship items the same day, subject to stock availability.
  • Federal Express International Priority - Items are usually delivered within 48 hours. FedEx orders must be received by 3.00pm in order to ship items the same day, subject to stock availability.

Where the actual weight of the package significantly exceeds the shipping cost charged on orders, we may write to you for an additional shipping charge. For larger orders, items may be shipped in multiple packets.

 

Royal Mail International DeliveryRoyal Mail International Tracked DeliveryFedEX Express Economy International DeliveryFedEX Express Priority International DeliveryDHL Worldwide Express International DeliveryDHL Econmy Select International Delivery