THE Digital Link is dead … but it’s not what you think – PS Audio‘s venerable digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) was already in its third reiteration and admittedly getting a little long in the tooth. So it’s been put to bed and in its place comes … hold your breath … the NuWave DAC.
Obviously, this half-width box is designed with the current generation of audiophile in mind, nodding approvingly at computer-associated audio. Apart from a coaxial and optical digital output each, it also has an asynchronous 24-bit/192kHz USB input, the path based on the XMOS technology found in PS Audio’s flagship Perfect Wave DAC.
Native listening mode is catered to, bypassing the NuWave’s upsampling processor – however, upsampling is also possible via a new high-performance engine that handles signals from any of the three inputs.
Unlike many DACs in the market, the NuWave DAC uses fully passive analogue filtering, which PS Audio says results in a sweeter and more open sound sans digital artifacts, unlike active filtering which can add some harshness to the results.
Flanking the digital outputs on rear panel are a set each of XLR and RCA analogue outputs.
The NuWave also features, according to PS Audio, “a 100% class A discrete, high voltage, direct coupled FET based output stage with low noise bipolar transistors for the gain and output stage.”
A good number of people will also be pleased to know that the DAC is handcrafted in PS Audio’s home in Boulder, and retails for a very pleasant US$995. It will ship in November, so ask your dealer to keep you in the, er, link.