PS Audio Direct Stream MK2 DAC

While researching the PS Audio Direct Stream MK2 DAC on the PSA Forum, I came across this:

"Regarding “hum,” Ted said: “ You had the opportunity to return your device if it was wasn’t acceptable. I don’t know how one could claim to have been screwed…….”

Not only that, this “hum” was a known feature, as it was discussed early and often in the beta thread. Paul even went so far as to claim every component PSA has ever produced (or at least, every component on his shelf) has this hum."

Further, Ted himself says:

"The hum is coming from the piezoelectric response from a few critical capacitors in the power supply. The device was designed with a component that wouldn’t cause this problem, but supply chain problems forced us to design in a slightly older version of the part which caused the hum. Unfortunately, the new and old parts aren’t footprint compatible, so we’re stuck with the older version for a while even when the newer parts become available again."

Ted is Ted Smith, the" Chief Digital Dude" at PS Audio.

Question to all PSA DS MK2 DAC owners, do you hear a hum?

All in all, do you think it would be better to wait for a while until the problem sorts itself out - OR - is it "much ado about nothing" and I should just go ahead and get the PSA DAC?

I am leaning towards waiting .... But I am interested to hear your views too.






Don't keep everyone in suspense. Aren't you going to mention the response from the head of PS Audio when he suggested that you email him directly about your concerns. I understood from the PSA Forum that PSA was providing an RMA so that you could return the MK2 DAC since the product didn't meet your needs.

@sdl4 Paul Gowan responded to me several times. He insisted the nearly useless network connectivity was never intended as a bridge. Not believable. Paul did say the website materials needed clarifying about the network only supporting firmware updates and zero services streaming.

Paul couldn’t identify any other products on the market that only use network capabilities for firmware and nothing else but he mentioned they have two more products coming out like this (no mention of which).

PSA support and Paul both mentioned that “over time they discovered” the MK1 bridge II was noisy but not how leaving a network card in the machine would prevent noise this time (nor omitting the bridge would solve this). It’s incomprehensible that a mature audiophile company wouldn’t be testing products for noise before they ship… The logical inconsistency of an audiophile company with many products on the market that require expert engineering to avoid problems with noise wasn’t addressed either. How they and others (Levinson, Devialet, etc.) selling integrated amplifiers without noise issues was also not addressed.

When you consider the facts and timing, the only logical conclusion is cost and the opportunity to sell their first dedicated streamer. Paul also basically admitted the network system might be too expensive to warrant use only for firmware updates.



I recognize your frustration in not getting a product that you expected would have a built-in streamer. I hope you find a DAC/streamer that you will enjoy.

My situation is a little different. When I bought my original DS DAC, I already had an excellent Innuos streamer/server and chose not to install the Bridge II to provide an Ethernet connection for my DAC. I knew from early information about the MK2 DAC that it would not include a built-in bridge, so that was never my assumption or preference. Knowing that periodic updates for the MK1 required use of an SD card, which was not a very elegant solution, I welcomed the ability to update the new MK2 via a network connection. 

Now that I have the MK2 and can listen to it in my system, I am very happy with how natural and non-fatiguing it sounds, while also providing realistic transparency and detail. It's a great DAC, and I'm sorry your situation didn't allow you to enjoy its beauty and musicality. However, there are lots of great DACs and streamers out there, and I'm sure you'll find something with the sound quality and features you're looking for.

@dcpillai wrote: "

Congratulations on acquiring the MKII @emailists ! Hope you manage to resolve the slight hum that you have found.

I have read that the Niagaras have a hum of their own in certain instances, but if I am not mistaken it is heard over the speakers, which does not seem to be the case with your setup.

Do let us know if any of your tweaks /  adjustments / upgrades eliminates the hum. Congrats and wishing you much enjoyment with the MKII!"

I have a Niagara 5000 and there is zero noise with it in my system.

Does the PS Audio mk2 DAC have an Ethernet board that allows you to stream from Qobuz, etc.? How are software upgrades installed? Thanks.

is the Ethernet board standard or an extra cost option?  Thanks.