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PS Audio NuWave DSD DAC


PS Audio

Moon Audio

DACs,Digital Music Players,DACs,

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The NuWave DSD is an affordable breakthrough DAC (digital to analog processor) from PS Audio.

Based on the acclaimed Sabre 32 bit Hyperstream architecture, the NuWave DSD accepts inputs from any digital source including I2S, coax, TOSLINK and USB, playing both asynchronous PCM (up to 192/32) and DSD (single or double rate) through our exclusive class A hybrid output stage with either single ended (RCA) or balanced (XLR) connections.

The NuWave DSD handles USB, I2S, coax and optical digital PCM up to 192kHz 24 bits, single and double rate DSD, and features a class A hybrid output stage with remarkable sound quality.

Main bonus on this improved DSD DAC:

  • the double-rate DSD over USB and I2S, and the Sabre Hyperstream architecture, which is very well-regarded all around.

  • plus, all this for under $1300 is a DEAL.


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Digital Streaming Quality - Important Notice:

The available digital audio stream depends on your device and operating system.

For a list of compatible devices please visit

*Note that some devices need 3rd party software to function. 

PS Audio's most affordable D to A Converter gives up little in the way of features from their larger and more expensive version, the DirectStream. Fully asynchronous on its inputs, the NuWave DSD can take just about any type of input, at sample rates and bit depths to match current high resolution standards and output pure analog through a class A hybrid output stage.

Like the DirectStream before it, the NuWave DSD produces a seamless 3D soundstage from even normal CDs. Hand-tuned and personally voiced by Paul McGowan, the improvement in sound quality over other DACs is astonishing.

All input signals are taken into the NuWave DSD in Native Mode without Sample Rate Conversion (SRC).

The input is a simplified FPGA known as CPLD (Complex Programmable Logic Device), which discovers sample rate and format. reclocks all incoming data, reduces jitter, waveshapes data output to the DAC chip, and utilizes high speed/low gate count logic to reduce propagation delay for faster throughput. 

32-bit ESS Sabre Hyperstream

The DAC chip itself is the acclaimed 32-bit ESS Sabre Hyperstream architecture with an output that is passively filtered to reduce transient distortion.

Power Supply

NuWave DSD’s power supply includes a massive analog transformer, 7 regulators, properly-bypassed high-speed switching diodes, and a massive 15,000 mFd of storage capacitance.

Output Stage

The output stage is a unique Class-A configuration, fully balanced and direct coupled hybrid array (utilizing both discrete semiconductors and ICs), with an extended bandwidth of -3dB at 60 kHz.

Native Mode

The NuWave DSD allows you to stream bit perfect digital audio, both PCM and DSD, in a number of different ways, including music stored on your computer.

All incoming musical data are fed directly into a simplified FPGA in Native Mode, without the degradation typical of sample rate converter chips, common among DACs.

Native Mode decodes any resolution audio from 44.1kHz/16 bit all the way up to double rate DSD with no processing by an SRC.

The incoming data are identified, organized and prepared for proper delivery to the ESS Hyperstream DAC by the custom CPLD on the NuWave DSD’s input.

Asynchronous USB for PCM and DSD

The NuWave DSD features a high-resolution USB path based on the same XMOS technology found in the PS Audio DirectStream DAC.

Asynchronous and capable of 24 bit 192kHz performance for PCM and single or double rate DSD, the NuWave DSD USB input sounds every bit as good as the best digital audio is capable of.

The NuWave DSD accepts inputs from any digital source including I2S and USB from your computer and connects to your system’s preamplifier with either single ended (RCA) or balanced (XLR) connections.Used with any CD player or transport, the NuWave DSD produces a seamless three dimensional soundstage from your entire CD library. Connected to your computer, running music management software like iTunes, Bit Perfect, Amarra, or JRiver and an iPhone or Droid controller, the NWD becomes your center for streaming high resolution music at the touch of a finger. Performance as well as musicality are never compromised. Hand tuned and personally voiced by Paul McGowan, this fine audio instrument will bring the listener years of musical bliss.

I2S input

For the first time in an affordable DAC from PS Audio, PS Audio has included an I2S input.

I2S is the native format of all CD transports and many servers.

I2S (pronounced I squared S) features separate clock and data signals from the source. Typically, these clock and data signals are multiplexed together to be transmitted over a single cable in a format known as S/PDIF (Sony Philips Digital Interface), or AES/EBU (Audio Engineering Society/European Broadcast Union).

Once received in multiplexed form, the DAC input must untangle the clock and data and once again separate them. I2S solves the problems associated with unravelling data of S/PDIF and AES/EBU formats. I2S outputs are sent via an HDMI cable and sources with I2S outputs can be purchased from PS Audio as well as other manufacturers.

Active vs. passive filtering

Once the digital audio data has been processed through the NuWave DSD’s ESS Hyperstream 32 bit DAC, it’s time to turn them into music; in comes the analog filter and 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. The NuWave DSD uses all passive analog filtering giving the output a sweet, open sound unencumbered with harsh digital artifacts.


Have Additional Questions?

Find answers to common questions on our guides.



Additional Info

Used with any music management software like iTunes, Bit Perfect, Amarra, or J River and an iPhone or Droid controller, the NWD becomes your entry into the world of high-end streaming digital audio.

  • Four digital inputs
  • Single and double rate DSD
  • CPLD input (FPGA) lowers jitter, waveshapes, reduces propagation delay
  • Native mode standard
  • No added Sample Rate Conversion
  • I2S input
  • 192kHz asynchronous coax and TOSLINK inputs
  • 192kHz asynchronous USB< input/li>
  • DSD direct through I2S
  • High current class A hybrid output stage
  • Fully balanced input to output
  • Passive output filter lowers transient distortion
  • Direct coupled without any capacitors in output signal path
  • High bandwidth output stage -3dB 60kHz
  • Low jitter clocks
  • High Current oversized analog power supply
  • 7 voltage regulators
  • High speed power supply diodes
  • Massive 15,000 mFd low ESR capacitors
  • ESS Hyperstream


Color Options Black  
Voltage Options Japan 100V
  North America 120V
  Europe/Asia 230V
Main Power Input   IEC C14
Accessories Included Line cord(s) US (NEMA 5-15P) (all versions)
    Schuko (CEE7/7) (230V version)
    UK (BS1363) (230V version)
Digital Audio Inputs Coax (RCA)  
  Optical (Toslink)  
Analog Audio Outputs RCA (unblalanced)  
  XLR (balanced)  
Coax Input PCM 44.1KHz – 192KHz  
Optical Input PCM 44.1KHz – 96KHz  
I2S PCM 44.1KHz – 192KHz  
  DSD single rate (2.8KHz) and double rate (5.6MHz)  
USB USB2.0 Asynchronous Audio  
  PCM 44.1KHz – 192KHz  
  DSD single rate (2.8KHz) and double rate (5.6MHz)  
Maximum Output Unbalanced 2.8VRMS
  Balanced 5.6 VRMS
Output Impedance Unbalanced 100Ω
  Balanced 200Ω
Frequency response   10Hz – 20KHz +0/- 0.3dB
THD 1KHz, 0dBFS < 0.01%
  20-20KHz, 0dBFS < 0.2%
  1KHz, -10dBFS < 0.01%
Noise   <-80dBV
Power Consumption   <10W
Weight 11.5lbs  
Dimensions 8.3" x 2" x 14" (14.7 with connectors) (WxHxD)  


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