Considering a Used NuWave DSD


#1

I’m considering a used NuWave DSD for a second system in the house and wondered if anyone would offer their experience.

Second system is simple with decade old Parasound and ELAC speakers.

I don’t expect it to offer what my DS Jr. does but, based on reviews, the NuWave DSD seems to be voiced in a way I would like. I don’t have any DSD content so that capability is irrelevant - this would be for 16/44 most of the time.


#2

I used the NuWave DSD for a couple years in my secondary system and I loved it. As you said it’s no DSJ, though I would not hesitate for any reason to use one again.

Which Elacs are you running? Most of their more affordable speakers should work quite well with the detail and clarity that the NuWave DSD offers.


#3

I would use the NuWave DSD with ELAC UniFi UB5 (the bookshelf).


#4

Should be a perfect fit :grin:

If you don’t have any DSD files and don’t plan on buying any either, I would also keep the NuWave DAC (the predecessor to the DSD version) in mind. The sound signature is quite similar and you could probably save $100 or more going for it second hand over the NWDSD.


#5

Just a word or caution. The NuWave DSD has no volume control so you’ll either need to use an integrated amp or preamplifier. Not sure which Parasound unit you’re using so i figured I’d mention this. Alternatively you can use software volume control from your source component (if it has this), but this is a less than ideal solution


#6

Parasound preamp and amp.


#7

I owned the DSD for several months and really enjoyed the sound. That being said, I upgraded to the Gain Cell DAC and never looked back. Nonetheless, you may want to consider something like Audirvana with its PCM to DSD conversion which the DSD would accepts. IMO, this sounds better than PCM. But then again it depends on what your source is (laptop, something like a SOtM SMS 200, UltraRendu, MicroRendu, etc).

Still, I think you’d be quite happy with it. Very good sound.


#8

I hate to ask for descriptors but would you be able to tell me the differences you heard between the NWDSD and Gain Cell?


#9

No problem at all! I’d have to say overall that the sound is more detailed and musical. Granted, it’s not a night/day difference, but it’s still very easy to hear. I hear more subtlety in the music, voices have more nuance to them and are more believable, and the speakers dissappear even more with the soundstage pushed even further back from the speakers - thus increasing the believability (so to speak) that I’m listening to live music).

Though, part of this is certainly due to the fact that I wasn’t only hearing a better DAC, but also a better preamp than the preamp I was using before (NAD 326 bee). Plus, things got even better when I went from unbalanced ic’s to balanced interconnects.