This new PS Audio converter is an upgrade to the manufacturer's famed Nuwave. 'Upgrade' is actually an understatement, because it took Bos Stadtherr and Paul McGowan from the design department of the US firm one year to complete this Nuwave DSD.
When you first look at it, you see little difference from its ancestor. You can only see the new input selector (I2S) and the DSD mode's LED. The rear panel features RCA and XLR outputs (symmetrical), the four digital inputs and the IEC outlet. The housing's flawless format, design and finish make it a genuine PS Audio product 'made in Boulder, Colorado'.
The internal architecture is crystal clear. It includes a circuitry and a large toroidal transformer. The stage has a famous and efficient Sabre ES9012K2M converter. It processes all digital signals from 16 bits/44.1 Khz to PCM 24 bits/192 Khz and DSD up to 5.2 Mhz! Audio files can be processed on PC or Mac via a standard audio software programme (Amarra, Footbar…). The I2S input is hard to find on a DAC of this price. It advantageously separates the digital audio signal from the clock's, thus reducing jitter. Signal processing is simple and efficient. PS Audio cleverly chose not to oversample it to preserve the signal's integrity. The power supply is oversized. It includes a mighty toroidal transformer and over 15 000 uF filtering. 7 circuits perform voltage-regulation.
We were already in love with the former Nuwave version. And clearly this DSD version lives up to our expectations. We tried it with a CD drive with a Coaxial cable and a MacBook Pro with a USB cable. With all formats, it blew our mind with its dynamics and timbre quality. Reproduction is beautiful and very authentic. The soundstage is impressively wide and deep! Yet it remains precise and stable. The bass has an outstanding articulation and range for this price range. The mids and treble live up to expectations, they are clear, detailed and warm enough to make you oblivious to the fact that you are listening to digital!
You will be able to upgrade your CD player and open up new opportunities in terms of new digital formats and sources (computer, server, BlueTooth transmitter)...
Within this price range, this converter is unrivalled in our opinion! Highly recommended! Franck
Digital inputs: 1 x Optical, 1 x Coaxial, 1 x USB, 1 x I2S
DSD: Single and double rate DSD
Standard mode: Native
Coaxial & Toslink: 192kHz, asynchronous
USB & I2S: 192kHz, asynchronous
I2S: DSD direct
Output stage: Class A hybrid
Circuit: Symmetrical from input to output
Output filter: Passive, no capacitance on output signal
Frequency response: 10 hz-20 Khz (-0.3 dB)
Clock: Low jitter
Power supply: High current analogue
Regulators: 7 voltage regulators
Stabilisation: High speed diodes
Filtering: 15,000 mF ESR/ Capacitors
Dimensions: 355.6 x 215.9 x 69.9 mm
Weight: 6 kg