• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Review and Measurements of PS Audio PerfectWave DirectStream DAC

tensor9

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 26, 2018
Messages
132
Likes
82
I'm actually curious as to how the DirectStream Jr., now discontinued, measures. It had the same basic design, but did not have transformer coupled outputs.
 

da Choge

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
Dec 31, 2018
Messages
117
Likes
124
Location
DFW
I skipped to this page after the first two, so maybe my comment is not either not correct or appropriate. On one hand, I am very happy to see that recently, ASR is reviewing what are considered by the "audiophile" community to be high-end well-regarded DACs. On the other, I am not too surprised about this DAC. When I kept reading the industry reviews about how all of the multiple new firmware updates of the PS DirectStream DAC were improving its sound each time so dramatically and marvelously, I began to get a little suspicious about the whole thing. Overall, very disheartening. But still trying to keep a little faith.
 
Last edited:

BillG

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
1,645
Likes
2,080
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
when I kept reading the industry reviews about how all of the multiple new updates of the PS DirectStream DAC were all improving its sound so dramatically and marvelously...

A couple of the talking points on its product page are as follows:
  • No off-the-shelf IC DAC chips used
In light of the performance analysis, they should have.
  • Purely passive transformer coupled output
I'm not a hardware person, but also according to the analysis, they blew it there, too... :p
 

Music1969

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
2,084
Likes
1,097
Ted Smith is the designer behind this DAC (a software guy who used to work at Microsoft the same time I was, turned hardware designer)

He may have been a software guy at Microsoft but he is also an Electrical Engineer, studying CS & EE at MIT.

1569217262528.png


https://forum.psaudio.com/t/cost-no-object-edition-of-ds-dac/6066/28
 
Last edited:
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
35,313
Likes
134,749
Location
Seattle Area
He may have been a software guy at Microsoft but he is also an Electrical Engineer, studying CS & EE at MIT...

View attachment 34224

https://forum.psaudio.com/t/cost-no-object-edition-of-ds-dac/6066/28
It doesn't look like he finished his degree program. This is from the bottom up of his experience/education on LinkedIn:

1569217533372.png


That is just three years at MIT and doesn't indicate a degree. Regardless, his next few jobs leading to Microsoft were all software and hence my comment.

All of this said, learning to design hardware and FPGA is hard from a person on his own so clearly he is smart and self-taught.
 

Music1969

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
2,084
Likes
1,097
That is just three years at MIT and doesn't indicate a degree.

It says "EE/CS"...

4 years, if you start at start of 76 and finish end of 79...

It doesn't look like he finished his degree program.


What makes you think this? Something in the LinkedIn that you screenshot?
 
Last edited:
OP
amirm

amirm

Founder/Admin
Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
35,313
Likes
134,749
Location
Seattle Area
It says "EE/CS"...

4 years, if you start at start of 76 and finish end of 79...

What makes you think this? Something in the LinkedIn that you screenshot?
It is a very common technique on resumes (and on LinkedIn) when you have not finished the degree program. You list the years and name of the university but don't put in, "BS in Electrical Engineering, BSCS, etc." Here is mine in contrast:

1569219660102.png


Again, I want to make sure this doesn't come as a ding against him. He is clearly a very smart guy, degree or not.
 

Final

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2018
Messages
42
Likes
50
I think, nontransparency is part of the business model for PS audio and many other manufacturerers. It sounds different, costs much money, therefore it's better. Had a PS audio HCA-2 power amp, back in the day. Reviewers stated: "Finally a non tube design that sounds like tubes".
Well, It had an agressive treble and a volumious and undifferentiated bottom end. Came through on everey recording. Measurements? Well they were poor to say the least. High distorition escpecially in the treble region and very low damping factor.
 

maty

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Messages
3,957
Likes
2,594
Location
Tarragona (Spain)
In those years, before the Bologna Plan (90's, EU), engineering in Spain lasted 5 years, and only 3 years the techniques. Architecture and Medicine 6 years. And the final year project involved about a year. Now are only four years the and pfc is a work of little demand. And in some Schools (Escuelas), to be able to present the PFC, you must to have the level 9/10.

The level of academic demand has fallen dramatically in Spain, even worse every year. I think the same in the rest of the EU.
 
Last edited:

maxxevv

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 12, 2018
Messages
1,785
Likes
1,847
I think, nontransparency is part of the business model for PS audio and many other manufacturerers. It sounds different, costs much money, therefore it's better. Had a PS audio HCA-2 power amp, back in the day. Reviewers stated: "Finally a non tube design that sounds like tubes".
Well, It had an agressive treble and a volumious and undifferentiated bottom end. Came through on everey recording. Measurements? Well they were poor to say the least. High distorition escpecially in the treble region and very low damping factor.

As in enigineering speak: " Different for the sake of being different".
 

BillG

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
1,645
Likes
2,080
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
studying CS & EE at MIT.

I worked with an MIT CS graduate some years ago, and the guy wasn't anything exceptional. So if you're putting that out there as some sort of indication of excellence, it's not in my experience - If they can get passing marks on the courses, they get the degree. It's just that simple, nothing more and nothing less.
 

maty

Major Contributor
Joined
Dec 12, 2017
Messages
3,957
Likes
2,594
Location
Tarragona (Spain)
I worked with an MIT CS graduate some years ago, and the guy wasn't anything exceptional. So if you're putting that out there as some sort of indication of excellence, it's not in my experience - If they can get passing marks on the courses, they get the degree. It's just that simple, nothing more and nothing less.
And this is how the technological race is being lost compared to other Asian countries such as Singapore, South Korea, China... Excellence, merit and love for doing things right are no longer valued as before in the West.

In Japan the University is also bad.

******* *******

BTW: today is Santa Tecla, the big Festival of Tarragona. :)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Tecla_Festival
 
Last edited:

Music1969

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 19, 2018
Messages
2,084
Likes
1,097
I worked with an MIT CS graduate some years ago, and the guy wasn't anything exceptional. So if you're putting that out there as some sort of indication of excellence, it's not in my experience - If they can get passing marks on the courses, they get the degree. It's just that simple, nothing more and nothing less.

You're jumping to too many conclusions. Ignore the MIT part (if that helps)...

Amir: "Ted Smith is the designer behind this DAC (a software guy who used to work at Microsoft the same time I was, turned hardware designer)"

Me: "He may have been a software guy at Microsoft but he is also an Electrical Engineer, studying CS & EE"

Nothing more, nothing less....

https://forum.psaudio.com/t/cost-no-object-edition-of-ds-dac/6066/28
 

VintageFlanker

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
2,519
Likes
6,501
Location
Paris
You're jumping to too many conclusions. Ignore the MIT part (if that helps)...

Amir: "Ted Smith is the designer behind this DAC (a software guy who used to work at Microsoft the same time I was, turned hardware designer)"

Me: "He may have been a software guy at Microsoft but he is also an Electrical Engineer, studying CS & EE"

Nothing more, nothing less....

https://forum.psaudio.com/t/cost-no-object-edition-of-ds-dac/6066/28
Anyway, I don't see the point to talk about the guy himself and his degrees...
The DAC is bad. Period. Nothing has to turn personal.
 
Top Bottom