Connection alternatives with PS Audio DAC

I would like to know if I can connect directly, not through the computer, with a PS Audio Direct Stream DAC to play music from both TIDAL and Qoboz, can I connect through airplay via a latest generation iPad without losing quality in audio quality or what other solution can you provide me in order to get the maximum audio quality?
What I am looking for is to manage all my libraries, from TIDAL and Qoboz getting the MAXIMUM QUALITY audio with my PS DirectStream DAC Factory Refreshed which is connected to a power amplifier via balanced cables and the amplifier is connected to very good speakers.

If you have the Network Bridge option installed you can use it a upnp streamer directly connected to your lan

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It won’t matter… The Direct Stream DAC converts all incoming PCM to DSD…
You are making a presumption that Audirvana does something negative to the TIDAL and Qobuz streaming data… Which is incorrect…

How are you connecting the DAC to the computer now?

If you are seeking the “maximum audio quality” from this DAC you will connect it with a decent but short USB cable directly to your computer running Audirvana where attention to power/ground/earthing noise and RF and EMF mitigation is the focus, in concert with attention to mitigation of acoustical anomalies presented by your listening environment that have great influence on the final interpretation of the playback.

Did you order your Direct Stream DAC with the Network Bridge II option as @stefano_mbp suggests? If so, and you need to place the DAC away from the computer, just use Audirvana UPnP … It’s my opinion that a network connection compromises the digital-audio code in the LAN transmission, as there is no error-correction of digital-audio signals in the Ethernet or UPnP protocols.

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

First of all, thank you very much for your comments.
Yes, I purchased the DAC with the Network Bridge II.
I am currently connecting through an application called MC Control to manage my Tidal and Qobuz libraries through my Iphone via airplay, but I don’t know if there is a loss of sound quality?
Which is better and what is the value for me to use Audirvana? connected via a computer through a high quality USB cable? or Audirvana UPnP I am looking for the best sound quality plus a good management of sound libraries / authors.
Please note, as in most homes, the PC that I would connect to the DAC would be connected via wifi to the network.
I look forward to your comments.
Yours sincerely

… but why using AirPlay instead of UPNP? AirPlay is 16/44.1 only and there is another potential loss as music goes first through your smartphone/tablet and then via AirPlay to the dac.
In your MConnect Control you can choose Ps Audio/Network Bridge as UPNP device and stream directly to it.
In a UPNP environment the control app (MConnect Control) receive from the server the music files addresses then send those addresses to to UPNP renderer (PS Audio/Network Bridge) which request the server those files using those addresses and then play them, no music file goes through you smartphone/tablet

A gross presumption… especially so, when speaking of “maximum audio quality” among serious audiophiles… :wink:… Are we now rationalizing down to “…looking for the best sound quality plus a good management of sound libraries / authors”. over a network?

How far away is your DAC from the computer?

As @stefano_mbp suggests, attach the DAC to a wireless access-point and use Audirvana UPnP… I believe you will get best buffering and packetizing operations using Audirvana… Also, you will get the option to apply up-sampling and use plug-in DSP.

This statement below seems incorrect:

The MConnect control app resides on a computer (iPhone, iPad, etc,) that manages the transmission of the files, so you are at the mercy of how well this application handles the digital-audio code signal…

For best results and quality of service without drop-outs, your WiFi network must be robust and unfettered, Most audiophiles today will choose some form of hardwired + optical distribution scheme…

There is an optical USB solution available (previously presented here in the Community Forum by @Jud )

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

Sorry but you’re wrong, that’s not how upnp works

UPnP is a transmission/communication protocol that requires a proprietary packetizing format and communication handshake… This is managed by the symbiotic control application (MConnect or Audirvana) running on the platform OS and hardware architecture topology…

TIDAL and QoBuz do not transmit their files via UPnP, these are delivered via proprietary transfer protocols and handshakes. The control application must first un-pack the TIDAL or Qobuz files and then re-packetize the data as a UPnP protocol compliant file format delivered to the output bus controller(s) of the hardware platform.

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

the gentleman asked a simple question that was promptly, properly answered by @stefano_mbp

Welcome to the forum @Jesse , a Ethernet UPNP connection will work fantastically.

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This is debatable…

In what context does this provide “the MAXIMUM QUALITY audio with my PS DirectStream DAC Factory Refreshed” in the streaming of TIDAL and Qobuz content?

This is what was posed as criteria:

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

Hi. There is a way to send a signal to your DAC using Audirvana that will measure considerably better in terms of distortion and noise than transmitting over Airplay. I think (on a subjective basis - just my own ears and not necessarily yours) that I can hear a difference with Audirvana. You can try Audirvana for yourself, and see whether you believe you hear a difference. If not, good, you’ve saved some money. :+1: If you do hear a difference, great, then you know you are getting value for what you are spending. :slightly_smiling_face:

So far I’ve seen people in the thread debating WiFi vs. direct transmission over USB. With your DAC, I would do neither of these. An I2S signal over HDMI cable from computer to DAC will allow you to use a higher resolution signal to the PerfectWave, which results in better distortion and noise measurements. Whether you hear any difference versus, for example, USB, is of course purely up to you.

The settings I would use with Audirvana and an HDMI cable into the PerfectWave would be to set Audirvana to upsample to DSD256, which is the highest resolution the PerfectWave will accept over I2S. (Over USB it is limited to DSD128, and using the Network Bridge II the limit is 24/192 PCM.) Try the B7, B8 and C modulators to see whether you hear any difference, and if so, which one you like best.

The above is what I would do to get the best sound from Audirvana and the PerfectWave. Try it and see what you think! :slightly_smiling_face:

Not true… there is no error correction on the I²S bus… and you are creating a longer signal-path to the DAC architecture than is designed into the platform topology for ultimate performance… There is increased potential for noise induced on the digital-audio signal… The I²S bus on this DAC is primarily for connecting a SACD/CD player.

:notes: :eye: :headphones: :eye: :notes:

It’s pretty easy to understand that since there is no SACD or CD player that produces a DSD256 signal, whoever designed the I2S inputs did not have only those in mind.

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It is there because high-end SACD/CD players have I²S outputs… This has been a convention for many years… It is a mistake to use the I²S port for anything else, especially since it has the Network Bridge II installed…


It sure has, but did you know people are playing not just silver discs but files and streams these days? :wink:

Pretty obviously an input that is designed to accept DSD256 is not made with just disc players in mind.

Now you may think it’s a mistake, but considering how cheap and ubiquitous HDMI cables are, I think this is a decision our friend can be trusted to make for himself. He’s the one listening, so he’s the one who gets to decide. Right? :person_shrugging:

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The OP needs good information, and using I²S on this DAC is a mistake, for the reasons I described above… The DAC supports raw and DoP DSD256 and 705.6kHz… It does all of its input processing at 225.792MHz and signal processing at 56.448MHz… output is a pure 1-bit low-pass filter.

Okay… There is a question looming… Is this DAC loaded with the MKII and “Mount Massive” firmware?.. if not, DSD128 is nothing snivel about on a DAC of this quality and with its proprietary DSD-centric processing power… And it is a mistake to utilize the I²S connection for all of the reasons I’ve described above…

Jesse, is this an original Direct Stream or the Mark 2 version?

This copy below, from the webpage answers part of the question… Now, does it have MKII/Mount Massive firmware installed or not?

DirectStream DAC Factory Refreshed

](DirectStream DAC MK1 – PS Audio)

In response to the incredible demand for our highly sought-after Directstream DAC MK2, we are delighted to announce that we have a collection of preloved Directstream DAC MK1 units. At PS Audio, we consider it a true privilege to offer these units the opportunity to find a new loving home. We take great pride in our processes. Each unit undergoes a comprehensive inspection by our expert technicians, ensuring its great condition. Factory refreshed units may have cosmetic blemishes. Furthermore, we conduct thorough functionality tests to guarantee its optimal performance. To provide you with complete peace of mind, we offer a one-year guarantee. For more information about our factory refreshed warranty details, please see our warranty page here: Warranty and Returns – PS Audio.

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