Since its groundbreaking introduction 8 years ago, the PerfectWave DirectStream has stood alone as one of the most remarkable DACs ever built. We are excited to share with the world the next generation of this technological wonder, the PerfectWave DirectStream DAC MK2. Unlike the vast majority of high-end DACs based on off-the-shelf IC technology, DirectStream MK2 is handwritten, discrete, galvanically isolated, perfection-based conversion that uncovers all the missing information hiding in your digital audio media. CDs, streaming audio, high-resolution PCM or DSD based media are expertly upsampled in the DirectStream MK2 to twenty times DSD rate and output as pure analog directly into your amplifier or preamplifier. There has never been a better sounding DAC at anywhere close to the price of DirectStream MK2. The ground breaking DirectStream DAC was the first choice of thousands of critical listeners worldwide, and now with the introduction of the MK2, that legacy will continue.
DirectStream MK2 converts every one of its galvanically isolated input signals, both PCM and DSD, to a high sample rate 50 bit version which is further converted to pure DSD for its final conversion to pure analog. Use of twin FPGAs rather than an off-the-shelf DAC chip provides immense processing power, resulting in a complete lack of digital glare, and allows the owner to download our free operating system updates as they are released. With every free upgrade to the operating system, new levels of resolution and audio magic will enrich and make new this remarkable D to A converter.
DirectStream MK2 is the heart of a highly resolving true reference quality digital audio-based system. It handles all PCM sources up to 705.6 kHz, and DSD up to 256. Its zero-loss digital volume control now features 100% galvanically isolated input, outputs, and power supplies.
The Class A+ Stereophile rated DirectStream DAC just got a whole better in the MK2 version by solving one of the biggest problems in digital audio: noise and jitter from incoming sources. Thanks to a radical new technology the DirectStream MK2 DAC eliminates incoming noise and upsetting jitter by galvanically isolating every input, output, ground, and power source of this remarkable new DAC. Once delivered through these clean and noise free inputs the MK2 converts any digital input format from CDs, servers, computers, and streamers, into a pure DSD format and outputs perfect analog directly to your power amplifier or preamplifier. Whatever the format, sample rate, or the medium, the DirectStream MK2 provides a pure output that fulfills the promise of high-resolution analog performance from digital sources. DirectStream MK2 is the work of PS Audio’s digital audio guru, Ted Smith. Unlike conventional DACs that rely upon off-the-shelf DAC chips, the DirectStream MK2 is hand-written onto a pair of FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Array). This allows far more precise and accurate processing of the digital signal, resulting in significantly better sound quality and upgradeability in the field. Periodically, Ted Smith’s continual research into digital audio reproduction nets another breakthrough in performance. DirectStream MK2 DAC owners are given it free in the form of a downloadable upgrade. In this way, DirectStream MK2 owners can be assured that their unit will continue to improve over time. Hear what’s been missing in your music for all these years. If you know the sound of music and instruments and want to hear what’s been missing on your discs, then this DAC is right for you.
DSD TO ANALOG
Converting the ones and zeros of digital audio into music we cannot distinguish between live or recorded is an art. Most of today’s sophisticated DACs are IC based instruments using off-the-shelf-chips that rely upon Multi-bit Sigma-Delta functions to process the incoming digital audio. While these are relatively simple to design and produce, they rarely give the best sonic results. DirectStream MK2 takes a different approach by first converting all galvanically isolated digital audio signals into a purer form of digital audio known as DSD. DSD is a far more analog-like encoding and decoding process than the classic CD based PCM. In fact, most modern A/D converters used to make recordings are DSD based already. The DirectStream MK2 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. When you listen to the DirectStream MK2 you never are accosted by added bright, hard glare in the music as happens with many active designs. Instead, clean, pure musical magic flows from the DirectStream MK2 directly to your preamplifier or power amplifier.
OUTPUT AND VOLUME
Most modern DACs use some form of active tube or solid state output stage to amplify, filter and drive the DAC’s output. The DirectStream MK2 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 feeding a high-performance passive audio output transformer. The upgraded output transformer in the MK2 is specially designed to act as both the final 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 that is fed directly into the DirectStream MK2’s zero-loss volume control. Designer Smith perfected a 100% bit-perfect volume and balance control that’s built into DirectStream MK2, enabling users to control the output level when feeding directly into a power amplifier or preamplifier. The ability to eliminate the preamplifier in the system without any resolution loss is a major benefit to DirectStream MK2’s outstanding musical performance. Imagine going to a recording studio and listening to a master tape of any recording made. This is the experience the DirectStream MK2 provides its owners who enjoy a renewed sense of enjoyment and discovery when listening to everything in their library: CD’s, downloads, DSD.
Unit Weight: 21 lbs [9.53 kg] Unit Dimensions: 14” x 17” x 4” [ 36cm x 43cm x 10cm] Shipping Weight: 30 lbs [13.6 kg] Shipping Dimensions: 20.5”x 24” x 10” [52cm x 61cm x 25cm]
Input Power: Model specific 100VAC, 120VAC, or 230VAC 50 or 60Hz
Power Consumption: 25W
DIGITAL AUDIO INPUTS
I2S (2), Coax, XLR Balanced (2), Optical, USB
Optical (TOSLink): PCM 16 and 24 bits at 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz and 96kHz
S/PDIF and AES3: PCM 16 and 24 bits at 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz and 192kHz; DoP64
Dual AES3: 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 single ended or balanced, XLR balanced
Output level high, maximum: 4 VRMS Balanced
2 VRMS Single Ended
Output Impedance: <100Ω/<200Ω Frequency Response: 20-20KHz +/- 0.25dB
THD+N @ 1KHz (full scale): <0.1% Output Stage: Passive audio transformer, fed by high current, high speed analog amps producing double rate DSD
Format: PCM or DSD
Sample rate (PCM): 44.1kHz, 48.0kHz, 88.2kHz, 96.0kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 352.8kHz; 705.6kHz
Word length (PCM): 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
Input jitter reduction: effectively 100%, residual immeasurable. No input PLLs, FLLs.
Input Processing: 225.792MHz
Signal Processing: 56.448MHz
Synchronous Upsampling, all inputs: 56.448MHz for 48k, 96k or 192k; 11.2896MHz for all others
Digital Processing S/N ration: Upsampling > 210dB, volume control and Sigma Delta Modulator: > 330dB
Digital Volume Control: Zero loss of precision
Analog Conversion method: 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
USB DIGITAL INPUT
Connector: USB “B” Type
Format: PCM, DoP v1.1 (DSD over PCM), or Native DSD
Transfer mode: Asynchronous