PerfectWave SACD external dac

Do I need external dac if I use the xlr outputs?

Yes, you do. It’s just the transport.
As stated on the product website: ‘Send the raw DSD layer of SACD into your I2S input DAC so you can hear, for the first time, what’s long been unavailable to external DACs in these high-resolution discs.’.

This might be confusing a bit, as PSA is probably promoting the I2S port. Read on under ‘Application’ to understand why: ‘PST will deliver the raw DSD layer of copyright protected SACD directly into your PS Audio DAC through I2S.’

The two XLR Balanced outputs you mention are for PCM and DoP digital data transfer to the dac, where use in tandem is for double-rate DoP.
The signal on either output is not analog. For that you’ll need an additional dac.

PST is “just” a disk spinner for CD and SACD (even through, it has feature to support higher rate), it output digital signal only. So just like any digital source, PST needs a DAC.
PST has different type of output:

  1. SACD playback needs I2S to a compatible DAC
    Is it worth buying a PST without a DS DAC? - #19 by waymanchen11
  2. CD playback on any output.
  3. Data file playback (via USB key or Data disk), can play high rate. However on DSD file playback,
    a. pure DSD single goes via I2S,
    b. DOP (DSD over PCM) on other connection, but need a DAC can decode DOP.
    However, data file playback is not what PST is good at.

PST pairs with DSDAC nicely. I have DSDAC first, so added PST to play CD/SACD seems straight forward. If I don’t have DSDAC, but need a SACD player, for the similar price as PST, I can find very nice one, such as Marantz SA10 sacd player, which has same disk drive mechanism as PST.

I have a teac dsd cd player, but it can not play sacd, it can play dvds with dsd files, but not real sacd. So im just looking whats available to play sacd.

You might consider a gently used PSA DMP transport.

I purchased one used from a fellow forum denizen a while back and have been very pleased with it.

You have to be comfortable with buying a product that is no longer in production, but these can be had used for what I consider to be a reasonable price.

Good luck with your search.

And the DMP will also need a DAC.

I see. Since SACD is encoded, usually, the transport and dac need to be able to “handshake” in order to play SACD. PST is the only transport I know be able to de-code SACD before passing dsd signal via I2S to non-PSA DAC.
I don’t have SACD before I bought PST. I was looking for a CD player to replace an aging one which uses SONY driver. So with the budget I have at that time, I decided to put my money to a “good” dac, and repurpose my Sony dvd player as “cd transport”. I don’t think transport is important at that time, since after all, it just a disk spindle! My Sony dvd + DSDAC gave very nice CD sound, compared to my CD player. However, after I got the PST, my CD becomes alive. Never thought a “just a disk spindle” can make such difference. I start to collect SACD. First SACD I bought is PSA’s “Out of thin air”, but with my PST+DSDAC pair, CD and SACD playback seems no difference to me. Other SACD I have bought since, the CD sound as good as SACD. This might due to I don’t have a high-end system to resolve the difference.

Correct…I didn’t think about the OP maybe trying to buy a SACD Player as opposed to a Transport.


On my systeem cd’s sound very well Indeed, but sacd’s have the upper hand with their added refinement.

Don’t know what your price point is…but this could be an end game player for many:

Good luck.

I‘m willing to spend 500€ on a disc playing device.

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Yeah. there are many options. But some of them are really weird looking. SACD playing DVD players with 103 SINAD :confused: … don’t know if it’s worth it … as I also don’t have any sacks, bu have some xrcds :smiley:

Have a Oppo 205 for SACD, CD, and DVD Audio (btw, its internal DAC does quite well streaming and playing hard drive dsd files).

Are there others currently sold (new) that play all these formats?

Esoteric used to have one, but dropped it.

XRCDs are just plain Redbook 16/44 discs though.

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I have an Oppo UDP-205 as well. Really no one has duplicated that Swiss army knife of audio since. . . . Some players come close, but I’m not sure they sound as nice.

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The Teac PD-501HR has it shortcomings but its fun playing dad files. Also the day seems amazing. But sadly no real SACDs supported :frowning:

Yes, comes close. . . but no SACD. And some with SACD. . .don’t allow you to access the DAC for files or transports or appleTV etc.

I too am using an Oppo '205 D(isc) P(layer) for playing SACDs and also DSD files downloaded from, all in multichannel (5.0 or 5.1 channels)… For years I’ve been feeding the digital signal to my Marantz '8805 pre/pro via HDMI, but this spring I eliminated the '8805 from the signal chain… I now drive 7 channels (including 2 subwoofers) of poweramps directly from the '205… Eliminating the pre/pro has produced the highest-quality sound my system has ever produced.

I still use the '8805 and a Panasonic 4K Blu-ray for movies; that’s a 7.0.4 multichannel system… (It’s zero subwoofers because I drive my two 18"-driver Rythmiks by the main left/right channels.)

Switching from one subsystem to the other subsystem requires moving 2 XLR-ICs between the DP and the pre/pro and flicking two switches on my multichannel poweramp… This takes about one minute, one advantage of being able to walk behind my frontend equipment rack.

The '205’s front-panel USB port will accept and decode 2-channel and multichannel DSD up to what’s called DSD128 and PCM files up to 96/24. ‘DSD128’ is double-speed DSD, known commonly as DSD5.6 rather than the original DSD2.8.

I had hoped to build a truly hi-end SACD-playing system with a PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player (PSA’s only DP with 3 I2S outputs for multichannel signals), but I discovered that 3 PSA DACs will not syunchronize their 3 output levels… So I created the Oppo DirectDrive system… It really does sound excellent and is well worth the small cost and inconvenience… Of course, this can be done in 2-channel even easier.

All too complicated. I remember some time ago I just had my amp connected to external sound card from my pc… now too many boxes :DI hardly use my cd player, but feel like want to have the opportunity to play a sacd, but want to keep number of boxes to minimum. My DAC doesn’t have i2s, so there is no use to buy any “transport”, because that means I have to buy two boxes.