PS Audio Directstream Jr digital to analogue converter

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PS Audio Directstream Jr

Digital has always, for me, had a detrimental impact on music that had many layered parts. The compression artifacts limited the spatial effects intended by the artists. Clannad’s Banba [RCA] utilises the layering process to great effect. On one song, ‘Na Laethe Bhi’, the layering creates the impression of dozens of voices in the chorus. Generally, the track has always seemed to be artificially enclosed as if the singers were in a smaller space than could fit the perceived number of people. They sounded almost crushed together. With the DSJ it was like the room had expanded. The scale increased markedly and the song had room to breathe. The effect was quite extraordinary and gave me the impression I was hearing the song as intended for the first time. Moya Brenna’s haunting vocals occupied a much vaster area centered among the accompanying chorus that seemed as wide as the sky. Imaging became spot on and the soundstage took on a depth and breadth I had not experienced previously. Chimes had room to float among the singers, strings had room to play! Thank you DSJ for giving this song back to me.

At £3,700 (with an included 1 year Roon trial subscription included) this is not an inexpensive piece of kit. However, the few units I have heard that can reach the analogue heights achieved by the DSJ have been either its bigger DirectStream brother or a handful of other products all coming in at several times the price. Nothing I have heard at this price point thus far has had the word ‘Analogue’ floating in my ears from the start of listening. Enthusiastically recommended.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Type: FPGA software upgradeable DSD DAC

Digital Inputs: AES/XLR Balanced, COAX, TOSLINK, USB, I2S, Ethernet

Sample Rates: I2S, SPDIF and USB – 44.1kHz to 352.8kHz 16Bit, 24Bit, DSD64, DSD128 TOSLINK- 44.1kHz to 96kHz 16Bit, 24Bit

Output low level: 1.41Vrms(+5dBV)/3.15

Output Maximum: 2.81Vrms(+8dBV)5.3Vrms (+12dBV)

Output Impedance: 100 Ohm/200 Ohm

Frequency Response: 20-20KHz +/- 0.25dB

Output Stage: Active high current, high speed analogue amps producing double rate DSD

Format: PCM or DSD

Word Length: 16b, 18b, 20b, 24b

Data Rate: Standard (2.8MHz) or Double (5.6MHz) DoP on all inputs as well as raw DSD on I2S inputs

Input Jitter reduction: Effectively 100%, residual immeasurable. No input PLL’s, FLL’s.

Input Processing: 170MHz

Signal Processing: 50MHz

Synchronous Upsampling: 28.22MHz

Digital Processing S/N ratio: >146dB

Digital Volume Control: Zero loss of precision

Analogue Conversion Method: Delta Sigma (DSD) Single‑Bit double rate

I2S Digital Input connector: HDMI

I2S Format: PCM or DSD. DoP on all inputs as well as DSD on I2S inputs

USB Digital Input Connector: USB Type B

USB Format: PCM or DoP v1.1 (DSD over PCM)

USB Transfer Mode: Asynchronous

Analogue Outputs: RCA/XLR Unbalanced/Balanced (X2)

Controls: a single button with multi touch menu access. One knob to control volume and move throughout the menu system.

Unit Weight: 8.1kg

Unit Dimensions: 36cm × 43cm × 6.98cm

Price: £3,700

Manufactured by: PS Audio

URL: www.psaudio.com

Distributed in the UK by: Signature Systems

URL: www.signaturesystems.co.uk

Tel: +44(0)7738 007776

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