NuWave DSD directly to S300? Noise?

Hello, I just recently purchased a NuWave DSD DAC and I’m really enjoying it so far. I currently have it directly connected to my PS audio s300 via balanced connectors. Is this a good idea or should I have the NuWave connected to a preamp first and then to the power amplifier?

My only source at the moment is a bluesound node 2. One of the reasons I’m asking who this is I now have an audible noise coming from my speakers that can be heard at least five to six feet away that was never there before, and I believe it’s affecting the low level resolution and detail. I’m wondering what’s causing it.

I tried switching out the balanced connectors with RCA connectors and the noise doesn’t go away. I was wondering if there’s a chance the noise is now there because of the DAC directly into the power amp. When I had the Node 2 connected to the s300 directly before the new DAC this problem didn’t exist. Any thoughts or advice?

Just as an update…I’ve been doing a bit of research around the forum and it does indeed seem like the introduction of a preamp in the system COULD be a fix. I may try this, but it’s a bit frustrating that I cannot fix it another way without having to introduce another component into the system if I’d prefer not to. I’ll have to try this out. Plus, my preamp doesn’t have balanced so I won’t be able to use the nice balanced interconnects I just got to run from my NuWave to the S300.

Anyways, any other thoughts would be appreciated. I obviously don’t have the luxury the owners do of the directstream to lower the noise floor 20db with the push of a button so I’m s.o.l. there.

Do you get the noise with the bluesound disconnected? You might reach out directly to PS Audio support to see what they say.

I haven’t tried that yet (disconnecting the Node 2), but I will. Process of elimination! Though I do have my cables dressed quite well so I doubt it is that, and all good quality cables too that never gave me any issues before.

Sometimes components interact in unexpected ways. I have a NuWave DSD but normally use a pre-amp. When I was breaking in my M700 amps I connected it directly to the amps and used software volume control on my Auralic Aries. I never noticed any noise but a lot of the time I was playing pretty softly so the fact I did not notice any noise is not dispositive.

What preamp are you currently using?

When I had the Node 2 directly into the S300 the noise wasn’t there. Now it’s at least 3-4 times as loud. I’m currently running coax from the Node 2 to the NuWave…I might try swaping that output to a toslink and see what happens.

I’m using an old Rogue Athena tube preamp (my main preamp before I got a BHK). This is my second system. Trying Toslink is an excellent idea.

Thanks. I’ll try it tomorrow hopefully and post back my results - I’ll insert my NAD 326bee as a preamp as well via RCA’s and see what that does as well among the other options.

The DAC is really low noise so once you eliminate these other possibilities, let us know if you need any help. We’re here for you if you need.

Will do, thank you for the follow up, Paul. I’m sure it’s something in my setup - I’ll try to get to the bottom of it.

Hi Paul, I did quite a bit of experimenting and was able to isolate the problem and the noise is now gone, but it’s revealed another problem I have that I need to upgrade:) It’s definitely not the fault of the NuWave DSD DAC (as I’m sure you likely knew!). I’ll post my more detailed response to Ted Smith as he helped walk me through some of the possibilities. Thanks, as always, for the help!

I know this is an older thread…but I thought I’d post my observations nonetheless. Curiously, after further critical listening I can confirm in my setup that the NuWave DSD DAC sounds best directly into my Stellar S300 bypassing the NAD 326bee’s preamp section.

However, there is an audible hiss that goes out several feet away from the speakers, and is BARELY discernible from the listening position (approx 10 ft away). Nevertheless, I hear more detail and the sound is better even though the audible noise is all but gone with the NAD 326bee connected as the preamp. Curious!

Maybe I need a better preamp (Gain Cell DAC!), or maybe this is the best way for me to listen with my Node 2 connected as the source since I don’t hardly listen to anything else. I’m not sure. I’ll be very interested to hear what a better preamp can do when the time comes, but as it stands now more noise doesn’t necessarily equal worse sound!

That’s hard to wrap my mind around…