Intoxicating Sound, MQA Decoding, 10x Upconversion, Pure 2x DSD from Every Input: Roon-Ready PS Audio PerfectWave DirectStream Junior DAC Has Built-In Bridge II, Raw SACD Capability
Transform your existing digital library, optimize the potential of high-resolution downloads, play back MQA, discover magic previously hidden on your CDs, and experience pure 2x DSD from every digital input with the cutting-edge PS Audio PerfectWave DirectStream Junior DSD DAC. You'll hear sound that is unbelievably rich, warm, full, transparent, natural, and dynamic. Offering 85% of the performance of its internationally acclaimed predecessor (PerfectWave DirectStream) at a significantly cheaper cost, the Roon-ready DirectStream Junior features the identical Ted Smith-designed Spartan 6 FPGA programmable architecture and almost the exact same input array as its big brother. A built-in PS Audio Bridge II for uncompromising network audio and music streaming – as well as a super-low-jitter master clock, balanced solid-state output, zero-loss volume control knob, and remote control – comes standard. This is what high-end digital music should be all about: Fun, addictive, insightful, emotional, endlessly engaging. Fully balanced, and equipped with a hefty linear power supply, the U.S.A.-built DirectStream Junior also drives power amplifiers and touts easily upgradeable firmware.
"The DSJ, like its Father...delivers on the three Rs: rich tonality, robust dynamics, revealing of low-level detail, textural information and spatial cues. What a winner!"
– John Darko, DAR, Knockout Award
Two years in the making and a winner of a Golden Ear Award from The Absolute Sound, DirectStream Junior boasts a hand-written and personally voiced layout in which not a single off-the-shelf DAC chip is employed. All input data is first upsampled to ten times the standard DSD rate before converted to 5.6MHz (2x DSD) and passively output through a passively filtered solid-state analog section. That's right: PCM and DSD are both upconverted to a pure DSD analog stream. DirectStream Junior is also prepared to play SACD raw via the forthcoming PS Audio DirectStream Transport. This groundbreaking ability changes what's possible from SACDs and Blu-ray discs. Complete DSD-based operation, full 50-bit output, no active filtering, hand-selected parts, and an entirely hand-routed PC board are just some of the design-based choices responsible for why DirectStream Junior makes digital music sound so lifelike, vivid, and three-dimensional. Find out what you've been missing – and enjoy the security of our 100% Money-Back Guarantee – by ordering from Music Direct today.
“In my system, the Junior delivered a refined, musical, yet detailed sound that was never aggressive but always involving.”
– Steven Stone, The Absolute Sound, 2018 Golden Ear Award
"Nothing I have heard at this price point thus far has had the word 'analogue' floating in my ears from the start of listening. Enthusiastically recommended."
– Eric Neff, Hi-Fi+
Pure 2xDSD from Every Input
Put DSD into DirectStream Junior, you get DSD. Put PCM (how CDs are recorded) into DirectStream Junior, you get DSD. DSD sample rates are 64 times higher than those used to create CDs and are a far more analog-like encoding and decoding process than PCM. DirectStream Junior converts all digital inputs, including PCM, to pure 1-bit DSD, in an elegantly simple path. In the process, the PCM feed becomes more linear and less edgy. Never-before-heard musical details are released from all digital audio recordings. Millions of CDs and high-resolution downloads will gain new life and be saved from obsolescence.
Upconverts PCM to 10x DSD Before 2x DSD Output
Converting PCM to DSD can be an easy exercise using any number of computer software programs. Properly converting PCM to DSD, and in such a way as to reveal missing details in the music, is a serious technical challenge. To handle this properly, DirectStream Junior utilizes 66-bit fixed-point FIR filters, eliminates headroom issues common to PCM, flattens noise response in the 20-100kHz region, uses coefficients optimized for best sound rather than faster processing speed, and optimizes hardware-specific operations not possible in software. Unlike other processors, DirectStream Junior unifies all inputs (PCM or DSD) at 10x DSD, then uses a true single-bit double-rate DSD core engine. True DSD core engines (compared to the standard multi-bit Sigma-Delta converters followed by random lower quality multi-bit converters) offer advantages in simplicity, linearity, and in analog-like overload characteristics that avoid PCM's hard-clipping potential and a PCM processor's propensity to mask subtle details.
Single-Bit DSD-Based D to A Converter
Most of today's sophisticated DACs are IC-based instruments that use off-the-shelf-chips with multi-bit Sigma Delta-based designs. While these are relatively simple to design and produce, they don't often give the best results. Because they are one-chip systems, compromises are made in their architecture. DirectStream Junior takes both PCM and DSD, upsamples the data, and converts it to single-bit DSD before outputting pure music regardless of input format for the data. The results of this design can be heard in increased musical information.
Uncover Previously Hidden Detail and Incredible Information from Your CDs
DirectStream Junior converts everything to DSD, even PCM, before delivering the music to your system. This approach, coupled with careful design, low jitter, and a simple and direct signal path, has the benefit of uncovering details buried in the music you may not have realized are even there. CDs come alive with subtle details that were never apparent with your older DAC. They will sound more like high-resolution audio than you imagined, closing the gap between higher-resolution PCM and DSD copies. No longer do you need to consider replacing your CD library because once you hear what's truly on your discs, you may not need to upgrade to a higher-resolution copy. The difference is that obvious and significant.
Passive Filtering and High-Speed Analog Buffering
Most modern DACs use some form of active tube or solid-state output stage to amplify, filter, and drive the DAC's output. DirectStream Junior takes a different approach: Passive filtering with high-speed, high-current analog buffering. 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 for the single-bit, double DSD output of DirectStream Junior. When you listen to DirectStream Junior, you never are accosted by added bright, hard glare in the music as happens with many op-amp-based designs. Instead, clean, pure music flows from DirectStream Junior directly to your preamplifier or power amplifier.
Bit-Perfect Volume and Balance Control: No Loss of Resolution at Any Volume
Designer Ted Smith perfected a 100% bit-perfect volume and balance control built into DirectStream Junior, enabling users to control the output level when feeding directly into a power amplifier or preamplifier. Hence, there is no loss of resolution for any volume setting, a feature unique amongst the majority of DACs. The ability to eliminate the preamplifier in the system without any resolution loss is a major benefit to DirectStream Junior's outstanding musical performance.
Single Low-Noise, Low-Jitter Master Clock Produces Amazing Clarity
Typical high-end DAC designs use more than one master clock. There are often separate clocks for USB, Audio and others, causing challenges for system designers trying to synchronize the clocks. A single master, low-noise, low jitter clock designed for DirectStream Junior by Crystek means the need for synchronization is eliminated, jitter levels are reduced, and music is delivered with a clarity rarely heard. And, with DirectStream Junior, for perhaps the first time, sources of just about any quality and jitter level sound nearly identical. For example, you can take a cheap DVD player's digital output, connect with DirectStream Junior, and have sound quality unthinkable for such a poor source.
Asynchronous High-Speed USB and Network Access
DirectStream Junior can match up to either a computer or a home network. If a network connection is desired, DirectStream Junior comes equipped with the Bridge II. Connect to a NAS or computer with ease, and control your music with an iPad, iPhone, or Android device. You can also connect directly to your computer via USB. DirectStream Junior provides a fully synchronous 24-bit/192kHz path for USB-based audio, supporting up to 32-bit/192kHz and single- as well as double-rate DSD. Using a quality USB cable between DirectStream Junior and your computer provides an instant media server that can be controlled through any number of handheld devices like an iPod, iPhone or Android using a 3rd-party controller program.
Proper Polarity from All Your Music
Polarity (phase) control on the remote control allows users to select normal or inverted polarity for every input and for every performance. Sources and music have no standard for absolute polarity. Some CD players and sources invert polarity so that a disc you believe is inverted actually is correct played on a specific device and incorrect on yet another. To fix this problem, you can assign each input on DirectStream Junior to switch to the proper polarity when you activate that input, through the menu system.
Directly Plays Into Power Amplifiers or Preamplifiers
DirectStream Junior offers the ability to play directly into either your preamplifier or power amplifier through either its balanced or single ended outputs. You can select the optimum gain setting through DirectStream Junior's setup menu, or from the remote control, to match your amplifier and loudspeaker's sensitivity. If you choose to go through a preamplifier, it's easy to set DirectStream Junior at maximum level (or any level you wish) to match the preamp's gain. DirectStream Junior's unique zero-loss volume control maintains full resolution bit-perfect performance at any volume setting from the lowest to the highest levels.