NuWave Phono Converter


#1

I am officially announcing the NuWave Phono Converter today. The NPC is born.



We’re not sure how to classify this yet because it’s somewhat of a new category of products: a phono stage and a multi-input A/D converter all in one box.



So you have two parallel chains of amplification going on: a complete analog phono preamplifier from input to output and a complete A/D chain from input to output - and the ability to switch the A/D between the output of the phono stage or a set of RCA connectors on the back for a line input.



The A/D converter is a true DSD based device with a PCM, DoP and USB translator feeding a Digital Lens on the output side.



On the analog chain we have some major improvements to our classic phono design - using a 3-stage purely analog chain with our passive RIAA between the first two gain modules in the path. The last analog gain module is our new all FET discrete output stage we’re going to be using in the new power amp. The input is a new THAT programmable balanced gain stage, and the entire analog chain is fully balanced input to output. It’s pretty amazing sounding. You have full control over gain and impedance for the cartridge.



The output of the RIAA curve, before it goes into the third stage, is routed to the A/D input via a two-position switch that chooses either the phono output or the extra set of RCA connectors for line input. This allows you to choose either phono or line - where you can plug in anything you want, like perhaps a tuner or tape deck.



The output of the A/D, which as I mentioned is DSD, can then be selected to go straight out as DSD in either standard or double DSD rate through either the I2S outputs, the USB output or the S/PDIF coax output. If you go S/PDIF through the coax output it is translated into the DoP format which breaks the pure DSD into acceptable chunks that are enclosed in PCM agreeable chunks. If you then have a DAC that can recognize this format, the headers are thrown away and the pure DSD bits are put back together to form a pure DSD stream. For those of us without DSD capabilities we can also translate the DSD to pure PCM so any DAC can accept it. Choices for PCM are anything from 44.1kHz 16 bits up to 192kHz 24 bits. You can select, via the front panel display, any bit depth of any sample rate you wish. There’s no upsampling going on since the converter is always running at double DSD rate and we go do some math to get what we want.



After all is said and done digitally we then run it through a Digital Lens reclocking circuit to clean everything up and remove any last vestiges of dither.



I can tell you that what’s blowing me away is that there’s nearly no difference between all analog straight into the power amp vs. PCM through the PWD straight into the power amp. That’s an amazing feat pulled off by our engineering team. Hats off to our chief engineer Bob Stadtherr for pulling off a minor (major) miracle.



More to follow as we progress. Launch date August 2013. Price $1995.


#2

Hi,

Is it controllable with a WiFi app? Will we be to rip the LP to our hard drives?

I think these are important features that many will be interested in.

All the features so far sound like a home run.

Steven B-)


#3

Nice! B-)


#4

@sgrowan It will be able to RIP to your computer, there is no wifi connection to the device.


#5

Great news, Paul. Better start saving my pennies. When will we be able to upgrade our PWDs to accept the DSD stream?

-Pb


#6

That’s a lot of pennies, but I have the feeling that it will be worth it for someone who has a good vinyl collection. I like the combination of a high quality phono preamp and a flexible ADC in the same box. Hopefully… the layout is such that the digital side does not interfere with the phono preamp.



J.P.


#7

THAT stage is a gain stage from THAT semiconductors. The gain is programable from the front panel. The impedance is set in the rear with a DIP switch.



I’ll show you an older picture of the rear panel before we did the final one - this picture shows the wrong name and we’ve changed some of the connectors.

Attached files


#8

@wingsounds13 Indeed a lot of pennies but there’s also a lot packed into this baby. The paths are completely separate and isolated - so if you just wanted to upgrade from the GCPH, for example, buying the NPC would be a no brainer because this analog stage kicks ass! Really amazing sounding.



You’re also ready to go digital whenever you want. You can RIP vinyl to your computer in either DSD or PCM or just use your DAC as the main interface to the system like I do with the PWD.


#9

I don’t suppose the change of the connector had an XLR aux input perchance? Or is it limited to SE?



–SSW


#10

SE


#11
SE


Dang. I'll tell you why later. Obviously there wasn't enough real estate for a balanced connector there, but it could almost work . . .

--SSW


#12

Paul,

I still believe that Wifi remotes are very important in equipment today. Having owned a preamp that switched impedences and gain settings for both moving magnet cartridges and moving coils via remote control is an outstanding feature. It is ceetainly a pain to use dip switches etc to control these features. Especially if one has to open up the equipment and shut it off when ever adjustments are warranted.

I really think these features would push it over the top.



I hope the days of IR remotes are done far. Wifi remotes through an Android app or IOS app are the way of the future.



I also believe that a PS Audio Mother App that nests and contains each individual app for each piece of PS Audio equipment. It would be beautiful in PS Audio Blue with the logo in the middle and a place for each individual app to reside along the outside. Under the PS Audio main app would reside the apps for he PWT, PWT, Wavestream, jRemote, the NuWave DAC, NuWave Phono Converter, PowerPlants, Amplifiers, eLyric, etc. it would keep the customers in the PS Audio stable.

I can see this glowing on my iPad now.

Steven B-)


#13
sgrowan said: It is ceetainly a pain to use dip switches etc to control these features. Especially if one has to open up the equipment and shut it off when ever adjustments are warranted.

DIP switches are trivial to use. Here, they are also nicely located on the outside.

Not being tied to an iThing, I prefer a dedicated remote - if one is even needed.

#14

Hi,

To me, having to stop playback, reach behind, crawl behind the equipment, remove it from the rack, open up the case, look at the manual, etc is nothing but a unnecessary pain in the. . .

Tablets are here to stay. Wifi is here to stay. Ever tried to program a universal remote? Who likes have a stack of remotes cluttering up everything?

Really,

I have 5 remotes for the home theater system. A huge pain.

If all manufactureres equipped their their devices with wifi and issued an app- Simplicity!

The Oppo 105 has a beautiful app for iOS and Android.

Most main stream equipment today comes equipped with both.

A lot of high end equipment has their own apps as well.

This is the way of the future and PS Audio should step up.

Steven B-)


#15
sgrowan said: Ever tried to program a universal remote?

Yup. Easy. The tremendous control over layout and functions is also fun.

I have no objection to others' dependency on their iThing. I prefer having other options however.


#16

Elk,

Which Uni do you use? I’ve never read about or seen any easier than the Logitech Unis and I and many others detest them.

Steven B-)


#17

Wow, this looks like the product that might just finally win me over, and I have also been planning to digitize at least a lot of my vinyl but so far haven’t sprung for anything fancier than the little Furutech-ADL DAC/ADC to do it with. (nor have I gotten the time, but that’s the nature of the situation. :))


#18
The output of the A/D, which as I mentioned is DSD, can then be selected to go straight out as DSD in either standard or double DSD rate through either the I2S outputs, the USB output or the S/PDIF coax output. If you go S/PDIF through the coax output it is translated into the DoP format which breaks the pure DSD into acceptable chunks that are enclosed in PCM agreeable chunks. If you then have a DAC that can recognize this format, the headers are thrown away and the pure DSD bits are put back together to form a pure DSD stream. For those of us without DSD capabilities we can also translate the DSD to pure PCM so any DAC can accept it.
But does the PWD II have DSD capabilities?


#19

The remote issue won’t go away and there are a number of good points here. I personally don’t like the wifi remote because of the mobile devices themselves. For example my iPhone would be my remote and I have to unlock it, then it has to connect, then I am ready to do something. If I just want to change the volume that’s a major pain in the butt.



What I will agree with is radio vs. IR. I hope that as we progress we can eliminate the IR sensors in all our equipment and go to RF receivers so the pointing issue is gone. That’s on my list to do for sure, but wifi I am not convinced is viable and user friendly.



The NPC has no remote.


#20

@rlabarre cue Paul to announce PS Audio are working on a new DAC capable of accepting DSD input…