PsAudio DirectStream DAC MK2

9,520.00 inc V.A.T.

For the past 8 years, the PerfectWave DirectStream DAC has been recognized throughout the world as a reference standard. We are proud to introduce its successor, the PerfectWave DirectStream DAC MK2.

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 utilizes user-upgradeable software based on handwritten FPGA code. At its core, the MK2 utilizes 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 as well as an all-new attenuator architecture for better system level matching with six levels of attenuation that are automatically selected based on the requested volume level allowing DirectStream MK2 to be used as a preamplifier, directly feeding a power amp.



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.


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.


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]

Power requirements

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

Sample Rates

Optical (TOSLink): PCM 16 and 24 bits at 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz and 96kHz

S/PDIF (Coax and XLR): PCM 16 and 24 bits at 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz and 192kHz

DoP64 Dual XLR: 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

Data Handling

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 ratio 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

Connector HDMI
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

This DAC is an excavator. It digs details out of….

This DAC is an excavator. It digs details out of records I am very familiar with especially red book CD’s. A good example of this is the Byrd’s 8 Mile High. I don’t know how many times I heard this track but I never noticed that when the guitar starts playing in the left channel it rattles the drum kit. I enjoyed the MK I and the two iterations before it but I always felt my vinyl rig sounded better. The digital was convenient and opened up more more potential music via streaming but I preferred the sound of vinyl for reference playback. Now I am not too sure if this is the case.

– Iwin 1949

First listen on MKII for about 20min. Musically it’s unbelievable.

First listen on MKII for about 20min. Musically it’s unbelievable. Something unexpected was big diff in bass. Sounds like a bit more, but what is there is so sweet and clean. Same with Hi pitched guitar strings, they are so pin point.

– Brian Fitterman

striking out of the box and better on every level

The difference between MK1 and Mk2 was striking out of the box and better on every level. The Mk2 is hands down the best bang for the buck.

– Straightwire

it is superior to DS1 in every way

The MK2 in my system is fully broken in, and it is superior to DS in every way. The sound is fuller with no hole anywhere. I got a fuller image and sound stage between the speakers than from DS. I adjusted my speakers, so they toe in less. It is not because I have experienced any problem, but because I did not lose any fullness and gained a wider soundstage.

– D Chang

Blown away

600 hrs into the MKII and blown away every time I turn in on. Many friends have come by for a listen during beta testing and will be ordering now that it is live.

– a26guy

you would have to pry this MKII from my cold dark hands to let this thing go

Ok, you would have to pry this MKII from my cold dark hands to let this thing go. I’m not going to use any analogue comparisons because it’s better than that In my humble opinion. I’ve be an audiophile ( if you call it that) for almost 60 years and this is the best sonics I’ve ever heard. Waiting for the incoming now. I could talk about soundstage and micro dynamics, noise floor, blah, blah, blah. But this unit is worth every penny. I don’t think you need mega cables to make it sound great. It just lets the music in, I’m a happy camper.

– Denny

I sent the MKI back to PS Audio immediately

Mine went back last week. Even with the MKII fresh out of the box, I wanted to sent the MKI back to PS Audio immediately, the improvement in the sound and performance was so profoundly better with the MKII.

– Clifton


Let’s start with I2S. Audioquest Carbon HDMI between PST and Mk II. Fabulous imaging, super wide and deep sound stage, instruments sound so right! Listening material includes multiple Octave SACDs, Blood, Sweat and Tears Columbia SACD, and Reference Records HRX 176/24 Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances. Stunning.

– Monticiollo

13.6 kg
52 × 61 × 25 cm