Question about the max volume output of DirectStream DAC comparing to NuWave DAC

Dear sir,

I notice that my DirectStream DAC’s (DS) max volume output is about 5db lower than NuWave DAC’s.
Is that expected or there is something wrong on my DS? Could you help?

Here is way I used for test:

  1. Connect DS to amplifier via XLR output
  2. Connect DS to player via optical input
  3. Set max volume 100 on DS
  4. Set Level: High
  5. Place sound level meter TES-1350A at a distance of 15 cm in front of Left or Right speaker.
  6. Play 1kHz tone.
  7. Measure sound pressure level with TES-1350A
  8. Switch to NuWave DAC (optical input, Native)
  9. Measure sound pressure level
  10. Compare result between DS and NuWave.


“Standard” output levels for DACs are 2VRMS unbalanced and 4VRMS balanced. The DS output level is about 3dB lower than standard, 1.4VRMS unbalanced and 2.8VRMS balanced. I don’t know specifically about the NuWave, but PS Audio historically has been a little higher than standard so the difference between the DS and other PS Audio DACs is more than 3dB.


I see, thanks for the explanation :slight_smile: