The NWD features the latest fully balanced generation of 192kHz 24-Bit resolution Burr Brown engines with 123dB dynamic performance and rated THD a stunningly low 0.0005%. It comes with differential outputs, an 8 times oversampling filter, Native mode, XMOS asynchronous USB processor, new low jitter clocks providing exceptionally lifelike audio. Our 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 192khz/24bit and down, to it’s 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 192kHz 24 bit performance for any input and any incoming sample rate, lowering jitter at the DAC to vanishingly low levels.
192kHz 24 asynchronous USB
The NWD features our new high-resolution USB path based on the same XMOS technology found in our PerfectWave DAC. Asynchronous and capable of 24 bit 192kHz performance, the NWD USB input sounds every bit as good as the best 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. And, if you haven’t experienced the pleasure of scrolling through your library of hundreds, perhaps thousands of tracks with full cover art on an iPad or Droid, you really haven’t experienced what so many are enjoying. With the NWD and a USB cable you can join the fun of streaming audio, up to 192kHz 24 bit resolution, using nothing more than your computer and a hand held device to control and play your entire music library.
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 we use all passive analog filtering and discrete current to voltage conversion giving our output a sweet open sound unencumbered with 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 and 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 we use luscious, analog sounding FET’s 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 is 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.
Inside the NWD is a huge transformer, coupled to many thousands of microfarads of capacitance, Linear Technologies regulators and high speed, low noise diodes. We have taken every effort to make the NWD as good as it gets through careful power supply design.
It is here, in this all important power supply region, where voices and instruments take on what is known as proper “bloom” and give us the illusion of being right in the room with us. The last thing you want is an anemic sounding musical presentation – but with the right power supply, you get the fulness of the music in all its glory.