22nd July 2015 -
PS Audio DirectStream DSD DAC. HiFi News Review.- Author:
PS Audio’s new ﬂagship DAC represents a new paradigm in audio according to its designers, as it converts incoming PCM data to DSD. Might this be hi-ﬁ ’s Holy Grail?
THE BEST DSD I’VE HEARD
As someone who has always considered Sony’s claims regarding the ‘superiority’ of DSD over hi-res PCM somewhat disingenuous, I have to say I was blown away by the sound of the DirectStream when listening to recordings actually recorded in DSD. Indeed, when listening to ﬁles downloaded from Channel Classics I witnessed the best sound quality I’ve ever heard from these DSD recordings. With other DoP-ready DACs I’ve heard in my system, I’ve been underwhelmed by them, ﬁnding their sound rather too soft and lacking transient ‘snap’, with subjectively blunted dynamics. I actually thought the sound better – more vibrant and lifelike – when the recordings had been converted to 96kHz or (even better) 192kHz/24-bit PCM ﬁ les. But this was not the case with the DirectStream.
As I continued to explore my music collection, enjoying the DAC’s uncommon civility even with ‘tortracks’, I found myself concluding it might well be manna from hi-ﬁ heaven for many analogue lovers who ﬁnd digital audio ‘sterile’.