There are three unbalanced analog line-level inputs as well as one balanced XLR input. itâs there, but not very emotionally engaging. I also downloaded a few dozen audio files in various DSD sample rates onto my Mac mini. This last point, however, is not a clear cut and only detectable from a careful A-B comparison. A right-click of the mouse gives a user the option to make the NuWave the default recipient of the audio signal. PS Audio Sprout100 Very early on in my TAS tenure, in Issue 259, I had the pleasure of reviewing the original Sprout integrated amp, and it delighted me so much I bought the review sample. The USB connection was needed to test the DSD playback capability of the GCD. To use it to its fullest, I subscribed to Qobuz Sublime, with resolutions up to 24-bit/192kHz. It is a versatile preamplifier that provides both pure analog and digital input switching. On your smart device, youâll have to download the Mcontrol App, to work as an interface between the DSD and your network. Full-range Speaker Systems vs. Satellite-subwoofer Combinations, Schiit Audio Freya+ Preamplifier and Vidar Amplifier Review, Andover Introduces Spindeck Belt-Drive Turntable, Astell&Kern A&norma SR25 Digital Audio Player Review, Audio-gd Vacuum HE1 XLR Tube Preamplifier Review, Audio Research LS28 Triode Stereo Preamplifier Review, Starke Sound A8.350 8-Channel Power Amplifier Preview, Introducing the DALI RUBICON 6 BLACK EDITION, Cambridge Audio doubles the power with new Edge M monoblock power amplifier, BLUESOUND ADDS NEW SURROUND MODE LISTENING OPTION, PreSonus Eris E3.5 Powered Speakers Review, Andover Audio Spinbase Turntable Speaker System Review. If I played an SACD (stereo) out to the DSD from my OPPO UDP-203, the OPPO down-sampled the DSD signal to 88kHz. Only these two types of inputs can be used to process the DSD signals, while the others can only process the PCM signals. In those aspects, it handily beat out the Audiolab P-DAC portable headphone amplifier (MSRP $199) that my son normally used. Review: PS Audio Windom DirectStream DAC with the Innuos Statement Posted on July 17, 2020 October 23, 2020 Author Jack Leave a comment If there has ever been a product that didnât need another review or award it is the PS Audio Windom DirectStream DAC available in black or silver that retails for $6,000. Even though the GCD might not be the best in all the things that it does, nor does it pretend to, it seems to do everything right. Obviously, it is not a fair comparison, as the PerfectWave DAC II carried more than twice the price tag of the GCD. The GCD is rather heavy for a preamp. The GainCell varies the gain as the means of controlling volume without additional circuitry in the signal path, hence preserving the signal purity. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. The I2S inputs on the DirectStream do not accept regular HDMI signals. The Stellar GainCell Preamp/DAC (GCD) reviewed here is from the PS Audio Stellar line, which represents the company’s affordable-tier products. PCM (384KHz max), DSD64 (DoP), DSD128 (DoP), (Analog Unbalanced) 1 stereo pair (Analog Balanced) 1 stereo pair Moreover, with 30 days home-trial offer and generous trade-in policy, this is a must audition product for someone looking for modern affordable preamp/DAC. The PS Audio PerfectWave DirectStream DAC lets me hear more into my music and has me enjoying and exploring all different genres. Transparent, great tonal balance, and good dynamics are some of the nice traits of the sonic characteristics of the GCD. Music should transport you from your daily grind and make you just enjoy the sound. Like the PerfectWave DAC, the new DirectStream DAC provides a wide variety of digital inputs: SPDIF on coaxial RCA and TosLink inputs, USB, AES/EBU on an XLR connector, and two I2S inputs on HDMI connectors. The separation among instruments in the track was portrayed excellently. That sonic life really improved with the last digital preamplifier I reviewed earlier this summer and I attributed that improvement (amongst other things) to the DAC. The higher sample rate does not create new information from the original signal but allows for better filtering algorithms which allow for more of the detail of the original signal to come through. I set the DAC volume to a Fixed 100, so the volume was controlled by the Emotiva preamp. With the promise of more free firmware updates in the future, I feel confident that those who own PS Audioâs PerfectWave DirectStream DAC will be glad they invested in it. I recommend going to their site and downloading as many free samples as you can. The Stellar GainCell preamp/DAC, with its full-width (17″) aluminum chassis and low height profile, sports a minimalist appearance (like the other components in the Stellar line) that looks modern and elegant. The San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas playing Ives and Copland – This SACD has an astonishingly good sound quality and the Copland Organ Symphony is made up of devilishly syncopated rhythms and heavy jazz influences. The I2S and USB inputs can handle up to 384 kHz PCM and 5.6 MHz DSD signals. What I love about this recording is the fact that you can hear the venue they play in. In general, the music seems more organic, and more, for lack of better description, musical. Windom sounds more open, more 3D-like with better staging and air between the musicians. The sense of depth, when the organ joins in, is impressive. I noticed sonic improvement with the time I spent recently with a powerful Class-D amplifier that really added punch and body to my system. 5: October 2020, Setting Up a Bryston BDA-3.14 Streaming DAC and Qobuz Streaming Service â A How-to Series, Part 2, Setting Up an AURALiC ARIES G1 Streamer and Qobuz Streaming Service – A How-to Series, Part 1, DCI-P3 Color â What It Means in Todayâs Ultra HD World, AVR-Audio Video Reciever-Build Quality: Part V. Does Your Projector Display Accurate Color, and Why Is That Important? I noticed a few differences between the two firmware packages. My CD collection was sounding like sonic wallpaper…. The volume level of one of the analog inputs can be set fixed for home-theater passthrough input, which is a convenient feature for home-theater integration, allowing the surround processor to control the volume of the two front channels when this input is selected. Really, itâs a DSD world out there, but you have to look for it! The GCD is supplied with a relatively small infra-red remote control, which can be used to switch on/standby the device, select the input, adjust the volume level or mute the sound, select the filter or phase for the digital playback, and dim/un-dim the LED display. The sound of the musical instruments accompanying the singer seemed to emanate steadily from the stage-space surrounding the singer with believable width and depth. Designed by Darren Myers, the brains behind the forerunning Stellar phono pre-amplifier, the M1200âs Class D â¦ 1 & 2, Janos Starker, György Sebök (Speakers Corner 180g) Subscribe Overall image presentation had good focus and tended to be slightly laid- back. The blue logo light on the front left side of the panel lights up and serves as the on/off switch. The digital inputs include one I2S, two S/PDIF coax, one optical, and one USB. Our magazine, which began with the publication of the SECRETS Primer, is available exclusively on-line and offers to our readers an extensive information resource about home theater and high-end audio. Itâs awesome, and every audiophile cliché you can think of applies. With a price tag of $1699, this seems to be a lot of product for the money and its multi-function nature can help reduce the clutter in one’s whole hi-fi system by reducing the number of component boxes in it. Campfire Audio Dorado 2020, Vega 2020 review (and podcast) November 24, 2020 Oldâs kool: Dynaudioâs limited edition Heritage Special November 23, 2020 HELMâs Bolt is a $99 portable DAC for Spotify, MQA November 20, 2020 Analog preamplifier with DAC functionality in one chassis. When new firmware is ready, you can go to PS Audioâs website and download it onto the provided SD card. Audio bliss awaits me, so letâs get into the listening session next. DACDAC Review 2019DirectStream DACDSDFeaturedPS Audio, Jim Milton has been interested in high fidelity since his college years in the late 70's. In the US, the company relies on the direct-sales approach for its business, offering the purchase of its products with 30- day return privilege and all shipping costs covered. PS Audio should be applauded.