PS Audio is now shipping a new ultra high-end DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter). The $7,999 PerfectWave DirectStream DAC MK2 is the successor to the original version, which claims to deliver a new level of sonic excellence in digital audio playback, along with easy setup and the convenience of remote-control operation. Its built-in volume control enables it to function as a digital preamp and can be directly connected to a power amplifier.
The DirectStream DAC MK2 employs a FPGA (field-programmable gate array) using PS Audio-designed software, rather than standard off-the-shelf integrated circuits. This FPGA design enables the software to be custom-tailored for the highest level of audio performance, and the software is user-upgradeable to accommodate any potential updates.
The DirectStream DAC MK2 converts all input signals to a high-sample-rate 50-bit version, which is then converted to pure DSD and then to analog. The DIrectStream DAC MK2 accommodates PCM sources up to 705.6 kHz and DSD up to 256. PS Audio claims its extreme processing power of the FPGA design has significant sonic benefits, yielding a remarkably natural sound with extraordinary resolution, depth and dynamic impact and complete freedom from digital artifacts.
The PS Audio DirectStream DAC MK2 claims to eliminate noise and jitter by galvanically isolating every input, output, ground, and power connection in addition to its fully balanced architecture. It offers a host of inputs including two I2S, two balanced, coaxial, optical and USB inputs. The DirectStream DAC MK2 also provides balanced and single-ended analog audio outputs. It features an all-new attenuator architecture for maximum signal quality at any volume level, and can be connected directly to a power amplifier or used in conjunction with a preamplifier.
The DirectStream DAC MK2 is easy to set up and use, thanks to its streamlined front panel menu display and full-function remote control, which can also be used to operate other PS Audio components.
Like every PS Audio product, meticulous attention has been paid to parts selection and construction. The PerfectWave DAC MK2’s elegant design matches other PerfectWave components, and it’s available in silver or black.
- Two I2S, two balanced, coaxial, optical and USB inputs
- Exclusive FPGA circuitry offers superior sound quality and user upgradeability
- Balanced and single-ended analog outputs; fully balanced design from input to output
- Accommodates all PCM sources up to 705.6 kHz and DSD up to 256
- Built-in volume control enables use as a preamp
- Galvanically isolated inputs, outputs, and ground and power connections
- Remote control or front-panel operation; remote can be used to operate other PS Audio components
- Plug-and-play with no configuration required
Price & Availability
The PS Audio PerfectWave DirectStream DAC MK2 is currently available for $7,999 at psaudio.com (USD) in silver or black.
|DirectStream DAC |
|DirectStream DAC MK2|
|Unit Weight||22 lbs [9.97 kg]||21 lbs [9.53 kg]|
|Unit Dimensions||14” x 17” x 4” [ 36cm x 43cm x 10cm]||14” x 17” x 4” [ 36cm x 43cm x 10cm]|
|Shipping Weight||31 lbs [14 kg]||30 lbs [13.6 kg]|
|Shipping Dimensions||20.5”x 24” x 10” [52cm x 61cm x 25cm]||20.5”x 24” x 10” [52cm x 61cm x 25cm]|
|Input Power||Model specific 100VAC, 120VAC, or 230VAC 50 or 60Hz||Model specific 100VAC, 120VAC, or 230VAC 50 or 60Hz|
|Digital audio inputs||I2S(2), Coax, XLR Balanced, TOSLINK, USB, Network Bridge slot||I2S (2), Coax, XLR Balanced (2), Optical, USB|
|Sample Rates||Optical (TOSLink): PCM 16 and 24 bits at 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz and 96kHz|
XLR (AES/EBU)S/PDIF (coax)– 44.1kHz to 192kHz 16bit, 24bit, DSD 64
I2S, and USB — 44.1kHz to 352.8kHz 16bit, 24bit, DSD 64, DSD 128 (I2S DSD 256 with Sunlight update)
|Optical (TOSLink): PCM 16 and 24 bits at 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz and 96kHz|
S/PDIF (Coax and XLR): PCM 16 and 24 bits at 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz and 192kHz
DoP64 Dual XLR: PCM 16 and 24 bits at 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz and 352.8kHz
DoP64 and DoP128 I2S: PCM 16 and 24 bits at 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 352.8kHz, and 705.6
DoP64, DoP128, DoP256, DSD64, DSD128, and DSD256 USB: PCM 16 and 24 bits at 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 352.8kHz, and 705.6, DoP64, DoP128, DoP256, DSD64, DSD128, and DSD256
|Analog Audio Output|
|Connector||RCA/XLR Unbalanced /Balanced (X2)||RCA single ended or balanced, XLR balanced|
|Output level, low||0.282 VRMS Balanced|
0.141 VRMS Single Ended
|Output level high, maximum||2.818 VRMS Balanced|
1.414 VRMS Single Ended
|4 VRMS Balanced|
2 VRMS Single Ended
|Frequency Response||20-20KHz +/- 0.25dB||20-20KHz +/- 0.25dB|
|THD&IM @ 1KHz (full scale)||<0.03%||<0.1%|
Passive audio transformer, fed by high current, high speed analog amps producing double rate DSD.
Passive audio transformer, fed by high current, high speed analog amps producing double rate DSD
|Format||PCM or DSD||PCM or DSD|
|Sample rate (PCM)||44.1kHz, 48.0kHz, 88.2kHz, 96.0kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 352.8kHz||44.1kHz, 48.0kHz, 88.2kHz, 96.0kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 352.8kHz; 705.6kHz|
|Word length (PCM)||16b, 18b, 20b, 24b||16b, 18b, 20b, 24b|
|Data rate (DSD)||Standard (2.8MHz) or Double (5.6MHz) DoP as well as raw DSD on I2S and USB inputs||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.||effectively 100%, residual immeasurable. No input PLLs, FLLs.|
|Synchronous Upsampling, all inputs||28.224MHz||56.448MHz for 48k, 96k or 192k; 11.2896MHz for all others|
|Digital Processing S/N ration||>146 dB||Upsampling > 210dB, volume control and Sigma Delta Modulator: > 330dB|
|Digital Volume Control||Zero loss of precision||Zero loss of precision|
|Analog Conversion method||Delta Sigma (DSD) Single-bit double rate||low pass filter DSD256 (quad rate DSD: single bit DSD at 11.2896MHz)|
|I2S Digital Input|
|Format||PCM or DSD. DoP on all inputs as well as raw DSD on I2S inputs||PCM or DSD. DoP on all inputs as well as raw DSD on I2S inputs|
|USB Digital Input|
|Connector||USB “B” Type||USB “B” Type|
|Format||PCM or DoP v1.1 (DSD over PCM)||PCM, DoP v1.1 (DSD over PCM), or Native DSD|