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PS Audio's new DAC - NuWave - Page 7

post #91 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Dangerous View Post

I'm sticking with the impressions I posted earlier. In my experience the Bifrost, while a good DAC for the money, is not capable of keeping up with the level of performance offered by the NuWave, Gungnir, and Concero.

 

How does this NuWave compares to the new Uber Bifrost?

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post #92 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by zackzack View Post

 

How does this NuWave compares to the new Uber Bifrost?

 

I don't know how it stacks up against the Bifrost, but I can tell you the NuWave killed the Musical Fidelity M1 DAC (winner of The Absolute Sound magazine’s prestigious Product of the Year!).  I can't even listen to the M1 anymore. :(

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post #93 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

 

I don't know how it stacks up against the Bifrost, but I can tell you the NuWave killed the Musical Fidelity M1 DAC (winner of The Absolute Sound magazine’s prestigious Product of the Year!).  I can't even listen to the M1 anymore. :(

What makes it so special? M1 DAC is a favorite of many folks...

post #94 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by zackzack View Post

What makes it so special? M1 DAC is a favorite of many folks...

I haven't had the chance to hear the M1DAC but If I had to guess I'd probably say just the raw detail the Nuwave pulls out at it's pricepoint.  Not to mention a perceive dynamic boost from the slightly higher than average output voltage.  Though, maybe at the cost a little bit of naturalness when used with it's USB input at least.   I used it primarily with my Concero as a converter to the Coax input.  The Concero with it's linear phase apodizing filter engaged goes a long way in making the presentation more natural while still retaining the excellent detail and dynamics.

 

I no longer have the Nuwave since I sold it to buy a Burson Soloist, but eventually I'd like to either re-buy it, save some money and pick up a Bifrost Uber, or possibly the Rumored Burson DAC based on Conductor DAC section if it's not too outrageously priced.  I'm most curious of the end result of adding the Bifrost Uber to the Concero, but the Nuwave is also a known variable and one that I like very much.

 

That being said, certain aspects of the Nuwave's sound certainly seem to be polarizing.  It seems most will either love it, or consider it a very "meh" upgrade.

post #95 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWahl View Post

I no longer have the Nuwave since I sold it to buy a Burson Soloist, but eventually I'd like to either re-buy it, save some money and pick up a Bifrost Uber, or possibly the Rumored Burson DAC based on Conductor DAC section if it's not too outrageously priced.  I'm most curious of the end result of adding the Bifrost Uber to the Concero, but the Nuwave is also a known variable and one that I like very much.

 

 

Since many manufacturers are putting out official specs with different baseline reference (can they decide to list output power at 32 Ohm, instead of 50 or 8 ohm?), and worse, technical dodginess, it's very hard for me to compare one DAC/Amp to the other. 

 

What conclusion can we draw from looking at the size or weight of transformer (torroidal or otherwise)? Does that correlate to the amount of current the amp can deliver? Is the general guideline "the heavier the amp the better" really useful?

 

Great news regarding the Musician Class DAC. I have been waiting for that...

post #96 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by zackzack View Post

 

Since many manufacturers are putting out official specs with different baseline reference (can they decide to list output power at 32 Ohm, instead of 50 or 8 ohm?), and worse, technical dodginess, it's very hard for me to compare one DAC/Amp to the other. 

 

What conclusion can we draw from looking at the size or weight of transformer (torroidal or otherwise)? Does that correlate to the amount of current the amp can deliver? Is the general guideline "the heavier the amp the better" really useful?

 

Great news regarding the Musician Class DAC. I have been waiting for that...

 

 

Measurements, as supplied by different companies, are tough to compare anyway. Different test methodologies can lead to completely different results. And then some companies just speculate "theoretical" numbers based on datasheet specs, rather than any real measurements. Best to use those as a general guideline and not for direct comparison.

 

As for amp weight - it can be useful, but not always. An excellent design using "adequate" parts will tend to sound better than a mediocre design with overbuilt parts. 

post #97 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by zackzack View Post

What makes it so special? M1 DAC is a favorite of many folks...

 

Don't get me wrong, the M1 DAC is not bad at all, but the NuWave has more fidelity while not sounding dry.    I found the NuWave to be more alive than the M1 with darker background and more air/space in the music. Once you've lived with the NuWave for a few week and then switch back to the M1 you will then notice why the M1 falls behind the PS.

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post #98 of 128
Thread Starter 

I was considering the Nuwave for a while. I think I might hold out for a bit and get something like NAD M51 instead. Been reading very good revies for that. There's also the upcoming Yulong DA8 coming out. Although I'm guessing these two are most probably going to be better than the Nuwave by a decent margin. 

 

However, a shootout between Gungnir, Concero, NuWave, Audiolab M-DAC and Octave would be good - especially based on long term impressions where people have had these units for at least a month or two. Most of the polarizing opinions seem to be coming from the early impressions conducted in the first two weeks, where the DACs are still burning in and you're getting used to the sound as well. 

 

Also, has anyone gotten the Nuwave from a dealer for cheaper than retail? If so, what are the typical prices, especially in Canada?


Edited by Zoom25 - 5/19/13 at 9:04am
post #99 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

 

Also, has anyone gotten the Nuwave from a dealer for cheaper than retail? If so, what are the typical prices, especially in Canada?

 

I see them at Audiogon for less than retail. $795 seems to be the "unofficial" MSRP at this point. 

post #100 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom25 View Post

I was considering the Nuwave for a while. I think I might hold out for a bit and get something like NAD M51 instead. Been reading very good revies for that. There's also the upcoming Yulong DA8 coming out. Although I'm guessing these two are most probably going to be better than the Nuwave by a decent margin. 

 

However, a shootout between Gungnir, Concero, NuWave, Audiolab M-DAC and Octave would be good - especially based on long term impressions where people have had these units for at least a month or two. Most of the polarizing opinions seem to be coming from the early impressions conducted in the first two weeks, where the DACs are still burning in and you're getting used to the sound as well. 

 

Also, has anyone gotten the Nuwave from a dealer for cheaper than retail? If so, what are the typical prices, especially in Canada?

I've read good things about the M51 if your looking in that price range.  Though at $2k, I'd probably stretch for a demo or used PWD Mk2.  As far the Nuwave's price, you could always try asking a dealer if they'll mark it down or if they have floor demos.  When it was released there was a promotion where they sold them at about $800 or $700 with trade in.  Most used ones now seem to go for about $650 to $700.  Since you're in Canada, I'd give partsconnexion a try.  They gave me a pretty good deal on my Soloist.

post #101 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiGuy528 View Post

 

Don't get me wrong, the M1 DAC is not bad at all, but the NuWave has more fidelity while not sounding dry.    I found the NuWave to be more alive than the M1 with darker background and more air/space in the music. Once you've lived with the NuWave for a few week and then switch back to the M1 you will then notice why the M1 falls behind the PS.

 

Do you have any recommendations regarding amp pairing?

Boy, PS Audio gear is expensive in Asia...margin like crazy

post #102 of 128
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWahl View Post

I've read good things about the M51 if your looking in that price range.  Though at $2k, I'd probably stretch for a demo or used PWD Mk2.  As far the Nuwave's price, you could always try asking a dealer if they'll mark it down or if they have floor demos.  When it was released there was a promotion where they sold them at about $800 or $700 with trade in.  Most used ones now seem to go for about $650 to $700.  Since you're in Canada, I'd give partsconnexion a try.  They gave me a pretty good deal on my Soloist.

 

Yea, PCX is great, actually nearby where I stay. However, people out of my province/state get a better deal. There's sales tax on stuff here. Although when shipped outside, there's no tax.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by project86 View Post

 

I see them at Audiogon for less than retail. $795 seems to be the "unofficial" MSRP at this point. 

 

I'll keep that in the back pocket for future

post #103 of 128

Surprised to read all the negative comments here about the NuWave DAC. Went demo'ing the PerfectWave Dac Mk2 today and kind of told the sales guy he could go stuff the NuWave back in the store because of all the feedback I read here, but he insisted I demo it as well. Guess my surprise at the end of the demo when I walked out of the door with a significantly marked down NuWave DAC. Granted the PWD2 is fantastic, but the unit I was supposed to demo had some issues with its USB connectivity after it was upgraded with a Bridge module so I could only demo it together with a CD transport.

 

The demo system was the rather spectacular JBL Project Everest DD66000 speakers connected to a Mark Levinson No 333 with a Mark Levinson pre-amp. I had about 2 hours to myself to demo all sorts of music and it was pretty fantastic! I really liked the black background of the NuWave DAC and its great bass extension and pinpoint imaging. I was surprised at how many elements of the PWD2 manifested itself in the NWD and whenever I convinced myself that I heard something in the PWD2 that I haven't heard before, on going back to the NWD again I could always find the same kind of detail. The PWD2 just takes everything another notch up when it comes to sound staging, smoothness and imaging. In the end looking at the price difference I think the NWD is a great bit of kit.

 

Would have been nice to do some A/B comparisons with the Audiolab M-DAC, but mine has been sold on long since. The store is going to fix the issues the PWD2 and then next week I should have it available for a home demo for a day or 2. Looking forward to it!


Edited by daerron - 6/27/13 at 12:34pm
post #104 of 128

Keep in mind most of our impressions were with high resolution headphones like the HD800, not speakers.

 

DAC's can sound quite different with headphones vs. speakers.

post #105 of 128

Your comments are definitely noted and valid. After listening on their studio setup, they allowed me to setup my notebook rig with my Project Sunrise ii amplifier and HE-500s and demo the NWD and PWD Mk2. Unfortunately I couldn't demo the PWD Mk2 from my notebook and only through the CD transport on the headphones as the DAC had issues with its USB output. They did have a CD in their collection that I was very familiar with so it helped with the comparisons. I was kind of suprised that the differences were quite noticeable through the Project Sunrise ii, I guess this little amp is much better than its price would suggest.

 

Interesting thing for me when listening on the high end speaker setup was always being aware that I was listening to digital music. I could hear this even with high resolution 96khz downloads which was also a bit of a surprise. There is some sort of glare in the sound. This was noticeable on both DACs. Wonder whether that is what vinyl supporters refer to? This wasn't noticeable on my headphone rig, so guess the studio speaker setup was far more resolving of source material, but I suppose it better be at many multiples the cost! biggrin.gif basshead.gif


Edited by daerron - 6/29/13 at 2:37pm
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