PS Audio Breathes New Life Into SACD

Posted on 25th September, 2016

PS Audio Breathes New Life Into SACD

After eight years of development, PS Audio has an exciting new product that promises to breathe new life into the SACD. The PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player unlocks the true potential from the DSD layer buried deep on a SACD.

Replacing the PerfectWave Transport:

DirectStream Memory Player is a universal transport, capable of playing multiple types of optical discs including, Blu-ray audio, DVD-Audio, AVCHD, SACD, HRx, CD, CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, DVD±R DL, BD-R/RE, as well as stored data through its USB digital input.

Paul McGowan, PS Audio's main-man explains that even CD performance is enhanced to a degree once thought unobtainable, “narrowing the gap between Red Book CD reproduction and high resolution PCM and DSD. Played through DMP, ordinary CDs take on new life, with improved dimensionality, soundstage width and depth, improved dynamics (both micro and macro), increased low level harmonic information, and richer tonal balance.”

PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player

But the true asset of the Memory Player is its ability to unlock the protected DSD layer that exists on SACDs. The layer was previously accessible, but only able to be decoded by internal digital-analogue convertors. PS Audio has now managed to extract this layer, and through a licensing agreement, pass this stream to PS Audio's DirectStream external DACs.

Based on a proprietary handshake protocol between DMP and PS Audio DACs, through our advanced I²S interface, pure DSD is streamed to, and processed in, the same reference quality DAC used by mastering engineers.

The DirectStream Memory Player (DMP) is one of the first transports to provide external access to the pure DSD layer on SACD. DMP can do this, legally, because the raw data stream cannot be copied. DMP owners with PS Audio’s DirectStream DAC, or DirectStream Junior, can access this encrypted layer through our unique I²S interface. Once connected, DMP authenticates the presence of a PS Audio authorized DAC and, for the first time, listeners can get closer to master tapes than ever thought possible.

PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player Rear

PS Audio say they have reduced the margin between high-resolution digital formats, and what can now be achieved from the humble CD released nearly 35 years ago, and SACD format first released by Sony and Philips in 1999. In that time, there's not been a lot of evolution of the format as the industry shifted focus to the digital file medium.

PS Audio's video here best explains the DMP.

The DirectStream Memory Player was announced today, however pricing and availability has not been released at time of writing.


  • Universal Disc Player
  • Blu-ray audio, DVD-Audio, AVCHD, HRx, SACD, CD, CD-R/RW, DVD±R/RW, DVD±R DL, BD-R/RE
  • Memory Player Transport
  • SACD DSD layer available through I2S output to PS DACs
  • Advanced Digital Lens Technology
  • 6-channel digital coax outputs
  • 6-channel digital I2S outputs through HDMI style connector
  • XLR AES/EBU stereo digital output
  • USB data input for stored digital media
  • Cover art
  • Full color LCD touch screen
  • Artist, track title information
  • Extremely low jitter output datastream
  • Large analog power supply
  • Separate power regulators
  • FPGA signal processing
  • Near-field latch placement
  • Multi-channel synchronization with PS DACs
  • Network connection for My PS
  • Zero setup, just plug and play
  • Remote control

More information will be added as it comes to hand.

PS Audio is available from Specialist Retailers.

Marc Rushton's avatar

Marc Rushton

English born but now residing down under, StereoNET’s Founder is still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the International Hi-Fi Show.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi
Tags: ps audio  directstream  memory player  magenta audio