NuWave Phono Preamp and DS DAC combo: how to play PCM?


#1

I own a PS Audio DirectStream DAC (DS DAC) w/Bridge II and connect it to an integrated amp (PrimaLuna HP). I only listen two sources: streaming Tidal via Roon to my Bridge II, and a Rega P6 with Rega MC Phono Preamp. I’d like to connect my DS DAC directly to a power amp and bypass the PrimaLuna altogether. I can keep my Rega P6 in this system (I think) if I get the PS Audio NuWave Phono Preamp, and connect it to the the DS DAC using the I2S or digital COAX (ancilary question: is there a prefered connection method between the I2S or digital COAX)? I understand the NuWave phono preamp will output either DSD or PCM, but if I digitally connect the NuWave to the DS DAC, won’t the PS Audio DS DAC convert all incoming digital signals to DSD? In other words, if I prefer to hear my vinyl in PCM, is there a way I can do that through the DS DAC, or is everything converted to DSD?


#2

Hi,
Even without involving the NPC in the equation. Everything you play through the Directstream DAC is converted to Quad Rate DSD at the output. That is where the magic of the DAC performance comes from. PCM raw has never sounded as good as PCM converted through the Directstream DAC. I own an NPC too. I use I2S to the Directstream and USB to the computer for recording purposes. I love my NPC too!


#3

Thanks! What record player do you have hooked up to the NPC? Also, do you notice any difference using the NPC’s analog vs digital outs?


#4

I use a VPI HW-19 Mk 2 with a Souther Linear Tri Quartz tonearm and a Ortofon Super OM-30 cartridge with custom Petersen interconnect cables. I only use the digital outputs as i have no preamp in my system. My Directstream DAC is control center of my system. I have made excellent sounding recordings of some of my favorite records and with the Vinyl Studio removing all the ticks and pops.


#5

Do you have a different power amp you plan on using?
Why do want to hear your vinyl in PCM? The only advantage to PCM is if you are going to digitize your vinyl, as you can’t remove pops and ticks in DSD.
One question is a simple one, the I2S connection is the best of all the readily available inputs.
You could start by getting the NuWave phono preamp, and use your ears to decide which codec sounds better. Depending on which Rega phono preamp you have, it could be an upgrade, or a sideways, or down grade. I believe you could get a 30 day trial.
That is where I would start if you don’t have any time limits.