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Latest DAC from PS Audio Compatible with DSD and PCM Content

PS Audio's latest audio solution is the company's competitively priced NuWave DSD DAC, which offers installation flexibility with optical, coax, I2S and USB inputs, and a choice of XLR and RCA outputs.

PS Audio says it developed its $1,299 NuWave DSD as a class leader in the $1,000-to-$1,500 DAC market.

Photos & Slideshow

Robert Archer · July 9, 2015

Since the early days of high-resolution audio, the Boulder, Colo.-based manufacturer PS Audio has established itself as a market leader offering dealers an evolving choice of reasonably priced external digital-to-analog converter (DAC) solutions. Reaffirming its position, the Rocky Mountain company has introduced its new NuWave DSD DAC.

According to the company, the NuWave DAC was developed through the experience it had gathered during the development process of its DirectStream DAC. Designed to serve dealers as a best-in-class DAC solution, the $1,299 NuWave DSD DAC is said to be fully asynchronous and capable of accepting PCM signals up to 32-bit/192kHz from any digital source—-including its I2S input (the optical input is limited to 24-bit/96kHz signals).

Moreover, PS Audio points out the product’s I2S and USB inputs are also capable of handling single- and double-rate DSD files to provide users with the ability to play their favorite music no matter what the file format. 

PS Audio explains its latest DAC employs a Complex Programmable Logic Device (CPLD) that discovers a signal’s sample rate and format. Then it reclocks all incoming data, while reducing jitter, and waveshapes the data output to the DAC chip. The DAC chip features a 32-bit ESS Sabre Hyperstream architecture that is passively filtered to reduce transient distortion.

Taking a closer look at the NuWave DSD’s power supply, the DAC features a large analog transformer, seven regulators, “properly-bypassed” high-speed switching diodes, and a total of 15,000 mFd of storage capacitance. The unit’s output stage utilizes a Class-A configuration that uses a fully balanced and direct-coupled hybrid array with discrete semiconductors and ICs.

Summing up the made-in-America NuWave DSD DAC’s performance, PS Audio says, “The NuWave DSD provides a class leading set of features, which still fit into the popular half-width chassis. While the ability to play DSD is big news for many users, the bigger story is the NuWave DSD’s incredible sound quality from existing CD libraries.”

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  About the Author

Bob is an audio enthusiast who has written about consumer electronics for various publications within Massachusetts before joining the staff of CE Pro in 2000. Bob is THX Level I certified, and he's also taken classes from the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Home Acoustics Alliance (HAA). Bob also serves as the technology editor for CE Pro's sister publication Commercial Integrator. In addition, he's studied guitar and music theory at Sarrin Music Studios in Wakefield, Mass., and he also studies Kyokushin karate at 5 Dragons in Haverhill, Mass. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Robert at

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  Article Topics

Audio/Video · News · Media · Slideshow · PS Audio · All Topics
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