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PS Audio's DirectStream Junior


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Interesting note from the product page:

Soon DS and DSJ owners will enjoy pure SACD

 

 

And there is another compelling reason for you to step up to DirectStream or DirectStream Junior. SACD raw. In October of this year PS Audio will launch DirectStream Transport (DST). DST will play SACD in raw DSD if connected to either DirectStream or DirectStream Junior through their I²S inputs. For the first time, you will truly appreciate what has been buried on your SACD, DVD-A, and BluRay Audio discs.

 

 

DST will stream pure DSD from SACD only with connected FPGA based DirectStream DACs.

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I really like what PS Audio has done with these dacs using FPGA but I still think the price is too high. I think Schiit and others have really hit the mark in terms of dac pricing.

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What's the difference between this and the "senior" DirectStream?

 

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk

 

The simplest way to answer that is to quote our press-release, which details how DS and DSJ are the same---and how they're different:

 

Following the success of DirectStream, designer Ted Smith was given a challenging design brief for a new model: same basic architecture as DS in a smaller,PerfectWave-style chassis, built-in network bridge, and performance at least 80% that of the original. As usual, Ted did all we asked, and then some. All it took was two years of work.

 

By simplifying the power supply, output circuitry, display and user-interface, we've managed to produce a unit with 85%---not 80%--- of the detailed, natural sound that has made DirectStream a reference standard for reviewers and recording engineers worldwide...and even included our Bridge II, while we were at it. All for $3,999, a full 41% less than the cost of DirectStream including Bridge II.

  • Both use identical FPGA architecture
  • Both upsample all inputs to 10X DSD rate
  • Both can be upgraded by downloading new firmware (DS uses SD cards; Junior, USB sticks)
  • Both will have firmware updates released simultaneously

The question most will ask regarding DirectStream Junior is, "But how does it sound?"

 

Junior possesses the DS's basic character: full,rich,warm, never electronic or "digital". Both models make the most of standard Red Book discs, and uncover a wealth of music long-buried in music libraries. Many listeners, when hearing CDs played through DS and Junior, assume they're hearing hi-res downloads.

 

Where the two DACs differ is in the areas of spatial accuracy, transparency, separation of instruments, soundstage width, and treble accuracy. We'd estimate that Junior provides 85% of DirectStream's performance in those areas, and without hearing the original, listeners will find it hard to believe that anything could possibly sound better: Junior is that good. Ultimately, DirectStream is better than Junior, but compared to any other DAC near its price---Junior can safely hold its own.

 

I hope that helps.

 

Cheers, Bill

40-year veteran of the audio biz/Director of Marketing, PS Audio

Editor, Copper.

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What's the difference between this and the "senior" DirectStream?

 

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk

 

This is on their website "While DirectStream Junior does not share DirectStream’s touch screen, larger power supply, or taller chassis, it does share remarkable performance uncovering all that buried treasure in your digital music collection. "

 

It retails for $4K vs the senior's price of $6K.

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This is on their website "While DirectStream Junior does not share DirectStream’s touch screen, larger power supply, or taller chassis, it does share remarkable performance uncovering all that buried treasure in your digital music collection. "

 

It retails for $4K vs the senior's price of $6K.

 

Doesn't sound like anything to yield any sonic difference.

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I don't get it. What market place or additional customers are they hoping to expand into with a 4k DAC similar to their already 6k one? All they are doing is making it harder for folks with the used 6k DAC to sell in the 4K range.

There is just too many choices, and good ones at that, in the 2.5k and below market.

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I don't get it. What market place or additional customers are they hoping to expand into with a 4k DAC similar to their already 6k one? All they are doing is making it harder for folks with the used 6k DAC to sell in the 4K range.

There is just too many choices, and good ones at that, in the 2.5k and below market.

 

The Junior fills out their DAC product line - between the DirectStream on the high end ($5,999) and the NuWave DSD ($1,299) at the more affordable side of the market.

 

Time will tell how it does vs. the many other DACs on the market.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1GPtrINDXXFW9Nm7A7YJ6Jsiu54hKXD7vUmrAbtwrSG0/edit?pref=2&pli=1#gid=0

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From Bill Leebens' post above detailing the differences, I'd suggest that simplifying the power supply and output circuitry could certainly have an impact on sound quality.

 

Absolutely. As stated in the press-release, while Junior does possess the basic character of DS, ultimately, DS has more detail, sense of space, and so on.

40-year veteran of the audio biz/Director of Marketing, PS Audio

Editor, Copper.

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Interesting note from the product page:

 

Sounds like some of the SACD Transports (and DACs) from Ed Meitner's EMM Labs.

They also offer (offered) that feature - playing SACDs into an EMM Labs DAC.

 

My EMM Labs CDSD SACD Transport + DAC6se works that way.

A fine way to listen to SACDs. :)

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Yup. That's a good set-up, and Accuphase has a transport/DAC pair that will do it as well.

 

Last time I checked, the Meitner set-up ran about $22,000 for the pair, and the Accuphase gear was even more.

 

Let's just say DirectStream paired with the DirectStream Transport will be less. A lot less. ;->

40-year veteran of the audio biz/Director of Marketing, PS Audio

Editor, Copper.

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No complaints at all about a manufacturer filling out their range, especially if one can get access to the "house sound" of the DAC, as it were, at a cheaper price point

 

Also I think the addition of volume control (I assume that's what the knob is?) and The Bridge does create value over and above a vanilla DAC at the same or close spend and of course there is the benefit of an upgradeable FPGA instead of a chip that's out of date in 6 months!

 

I think Chord too are going down the FPGA route too with the Dave although I don't think you can upgrade the firmware

 

Regardless of the above it does seem clear that changing the power supply and output board does lead to a change (I hesitate to say deterioration!) in the sound if those are the only real changes between the Junior and the Full Fat Version

 

 

 

Sent from my D5803 using Tapatalk

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I would be in the market for a junior version of the DS , having heard the DS playing DSD(not a priority for me) and PCM files....but i think there are other DACs i would choose to buy that would satisfy my musical and sonic priorities for $1000 less.....if junior is only 80-85% of DS's performance

 

 

A new entry in the DAC market from PS Audio - the DirectStream Junior.

Said to have 80% of the performance of the DirectStream plus a built in bridge for $3,999.

 

Available in March 2016.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]24174[/ATTACH]

 

DirectStream Junior | PS Audio

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I don't get it. What market place or additional customers are they hoping to expand into with a 4k DAC similar to their already 6k one? All they are doing is making it harder for folks with the used 6k DAC to sell in the 4K range.

There is just too many choices, and good ones at that, in the 2.5k and below market.

 

This was my though exactly. Seems like the market for DACS would be the same for a 4k & 6k unit, there doesn't seem to be 2k worth of differentiation.

Jim

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This was my though exactly. Seems like the market for DACS would be the same for a 4k & 6k unit, there doesn't seem to be 2k worth of differentiation.

 

If you include the Bridge II with the DirectStream (it's built in to the DirectStream Junior), then it's the difference between $6,899 (DirectStream + Bridge II) and $3,999 (DirectStream Junior with Bridge).

 

That's almost a $3,000 price difference. Definitely worth pondering. :)

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Interesting note from the product page:

 

Ummm. what does this mean, are they just saying that it plays DSD via the I2S input without the need for DoP? BTW, the Sonore Signature Rendu already is capable of streaming "raw DSD" (DSD 64 and DSD 128) to the DirectStream DAC via I2S.

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To not break Sony's copy protection on the SACD, PS Audio need to implement a proprietary solution and at the same time make sure that the bandwith required is catered for. The native SACD content from the discs played back from each of the three I2s outputs on the PWT mkII can only be decoded by the DS senior and junior (as it seems). The DS converts everything to DoP anyway upon arrival.

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Ummm. what does this mean, are they just saying that it plays DSD via the I2S input without the need for DoP? BTW, the Sonore Signature Rendu already is capable of streaming "raw DSD" (DSD 64 and DSD 128) to the DirectStream DAC via I2S.

 

I think they are trying to say that with the DST you will be able to stream raw DSD from an SACD directly to DS and DSJ. That is significant to many people with SACD collections, I think. No need to rip SACDs.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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I think they are trying to say that with the DST you will be able to stream raw DSD from an SACD directly to DS and DSJ. That is significant to many people with SACD collections, I think. No need to rip SACDs.

 

Hasn't everybody already ripped their SACDs! I sure have. There are plenty of folks out there with SACD ripping services... seems so archaic to play a disc directly...

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                                                                                           SONORE computer audio

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