One of PS Audio's Best-Sounding Products Ever
The NuWave DAC is the first of a new breed of affordable high-end digital to analog processor from PS Audio. Based on the company's acclaimed PerfectWave series, the NuWave DAC (NWD) accepts inputs from any digital source including USB (up to 192 kHz/24-bit asynchronous) from your computer and connects to your system's preamplifier with either single ended (RCA) or balanced (XLR) connections.
Used with PS Audio's free eLyric Music Manager software and iPhone app, iTunes, Bit Perfect, Amarra, J River or any music management program, the NuWave becomes your entry into the world of high-end digital audio music.
Performance is superb at anywhere near the NWD price and there's good reasons why as you'll discover. In fact, the NuWave DAC is one of the best sounding products we have produced in our 23 years of building DACS. Sweet, open spacious and effortless, this device will bring the life back into your music and all at the touch of a finger.
High-end All the Way
The NWD features the latest fully balanced generation of 192 kHz/24-bit resolution Burr Brown engines with 123 dB dynamic performance and rated THD a stunningly low 0.0005%.
It comes with differential outputs, an eight-times oversampling filter, native mode, XMOS asynchronous USB processor, new low jitter clocks providing exceptionally lifelike audio.
PS Audio engineers based the NWD around a solid high-performance DAC engine, state-of-the art XMOS processor and then designed an all new input circuit based on the PerfectWave low jitter clocks, a 100% discrete output stage and a huge power supply to finish it off. This is true high-end. You won't find any chip op amps in this product.
The NWD allows you to stream bit perfect digital audio in a number of different ways, including music stored on your computer. Featured in the NWD is the choice of native mode or upsampling mode.
Native mode decodes any resolution audio from 192 khz/24-bit and down, to its full integrity with no processing added by bypassing the NuWave's upsampling processor completely The resulting improvement to sound quality sets new levels of performance for DACS anywhere near this price.
Should you wish to upsample, it's no problem. A new high-performance upsampling engine and low jitter clocking mechanism has been added to the NWD providing 192 kHz/24-bit performance for any input and any incoming sample rate, lowering jitter at the DAC to vanishingly low levels.
192 kHz/24-Bit Asynchronous USB
The NWD features PS Audio's new high-resolution USB path based on the same XMOS technology found in the PerfectWave DAC. Asynchronous and capable of 24-bit/192 kHz performance, the NWD USB input sounds every bit as good as the best that digital audio is capable of.
Using a high quality USB cable between the NWD and your computer you create an instant media server that can be controlled through any number of hand held devices like an iPod, iPhone or Android using a 3d party controller program. Your entire music library can be managed by iTunes, J River, eLyric, Windows Media Player, Foobar, Pure Music, Bit Perfect, Media Monkey or Ammara (to name a few) for ease of use.
Active vs. Passive Filtering
Once the digital audio data have been processed through the NWD's input stage, it's time to turn them into music and this is the job of the analog filter and the output stage. Most DACS use an active filtering system to clean up the output of the internal DAC but this can add a harsh bright sound to the music.
In the NWD PS Audio uses all passive analog filtering and discrete current-to voltage-conversion, giving the output a sweet open sound unencumbered by harsh digital artifacts.
FET Discrete Output Stage
The real challenge to keeping the music open and analog-like is staying away from chip op-amps and current to voltage converters. Chip op-amps are used by the vast majority of all high-end DACS. While good, they just don't have the openness and sweetness of an all discrete, high voltage class A circuit.
The NWD features a 100% 'Class A' discrete, high voltage, FET based output stage. Here PS Audio uses luscious, analog-sounding FETs at the input and low-noise powerful bipolar transistors for the gain and high current low impedance output stage. Everything is direct DC coupled, so bass is stunning in its power and impact, as well as the all important midbass region, where the human ear is sensitive to any alteration in sound quality.
The NWD is a 'Class A' fully balanced design that uses an output stage configuration similar to that of a power amplifier. This is important to the sound quality of the DAC, because driving even medium lengths of analog interconnect cables can be a sonic challenge if this critical stage is not designed properly.
Offered on the read of the NWD are both balanced XLR and single ended RCA cables, driven from this high current low impedance output stage.
The All Important Power Supply
If you want high-end performance you need a high-end power supply. The last thing you want is an anemic sounding musical presentation – but with the right power supply, you get the fullness of the music in all its glory. Inside the NWD is a huge transformer, coupled to many thousands of microfarads of capacitance, Linear Technologies regulators, and high speed, low noise diodes. PS Audio has taken every effort to make the NWD as good as it gets through careful power supply design.
Built in Boulder
The NWD is in a beautiful industrial design based on the PerfectWave series. It's a half width of a PWD and the same length. This beauty feels just right when you pick it up. It's built as solid as it gets, and best of all, it's hand-crafted right in Boulder, Colorado by people who care as much about audio as you do.