PS Audio - PerfectWave DAC

General Information

The PS Audio PerfectWave DAC will change the way you think about digital-to-analog converters. It accesses high-resolution digital audio data from multiple sources such as a CD transport, CD player, computer, network, or the Internet, and converts the data to natural sounding, highly musical analog audio. The PerfectWave DAC has one of the most sophisticate sample rate converters ever made, providing six choices of sample rate improvement through the front panel touch screen. As a music server, the PWD can access and control any compatible network source such as a network hard drive (NAS), or stream music directly off the Internet. As a preamplifier control center, the PWD connects directly to your power amplifier, controlling both the volume and selecting any of up to seven connected sources. In his joint review of the PS Audio PerfectWave transport and DAC in the August 2009 issue of England's Hi-Fi News magazine, Keith Howard notes, "The PerfectWave combination proved to be one of the finest CD players that I have heard. Effortless detailed and yet never cold or clinical, it spits in the face of all who say that CD is inherently unmusical." The combo won the magazine's coveted Editor's Choice award. The PerfectWave DAC has a simple faceplate containing a power button and a color LCD touch screen. Through the touch screen you can control an amazing number of features and functions. You can use the touch screen to select any of the seven digital inputs and assign any one of six sample rates and five filters that fit that input perfectly, and the choices will be memorized by the PerfectWave DAC. You can control the phase and the volume with a simple touch of your finger or press of the supplied remote control. You can even assign each of the inputs a custom name like "PerfectWave Transport" or "Music Server."

Latest reviews


1000+ Head-Fier
Review to come


Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Best DAC I've heard to date, fully balanced, pre-amp capability, firmware upgrades, network bridge upgrade
Cons: Expensive, huge, not asynchronous, weird I2s
I sold my PWD.  It's definitely NOT because I didn't like it; it's actually a terrible story and now I really regret letting it go, especially for the price I ended up getting for it :frowning2:
I haven't owned tons of DACs like some on these boards, but I've had at least enough to tell when one is something special.  The PWD is definitely one of these DACs.  I would say this even though it wasn't the ideal source for all scenarios; when feeding my pre-amp, a power amp, or powered speakers it seemed to lose its magic.
The PWD by no means perfect; the screen doesn't seem all that necessary, it's probably twice the size as it needs to be (have a look inside and you'll know what I mean), the USB is not asynchronous, and the network bridge is a very expensive proposition (haven't tried it myself).  If you do some digging you may find many of our senior members here who really enjoy this source and I'm going to say that all of its praise is fully well deserved.  For me I fed it with a Halide Bridge (NOT to be confused with the PWD Bridge) asynch USB converter, it turns out the pairing was a very good combo and I'm glad I made the expensive leap of faith for both pieces.
In retrospect this DAC just sounds right.  It made recordings sound significantly more alive and brought forth more details than I've heard from anything else; needless to say it was a very refreshing experience to hear in my setup. Although it's a very expensive piece of gear for most in this hobby, myself included, I think I will do my damndest to get another one sometime in the near future.  The PWD is just that good.
How did you end up with else 1900 . ...
Wonder how this stacks up against the Audio GD Ref 7.1 (PCM1704UK) and the new Ref 7.1 based on the Sabre ES9018 chipset


1000+ Head-Fier
Pros: Multiple inputs, balanced or SE outputs, very neutral, easy UI
Cons: Price?
One of the best high end dacs for the money if you can pick it up pre-owned. The product is well thought out, clean UI, excellent manual & shipping crates etc.
Not sure the accompanying PWT is worth the money  - although it works very well in I2S mode with the PWD. (I use an Oppo BDP-83 as well for SACD/DVD-A).
Very happy with this after owning for 2 months.


There are no comments to display.