All about our best and most affordable little Digital to Analogue converter.
First and foremost, it’s the perfect DAC to connect to the USB outputs of your computer – either Mac or PC and run into headphones and any stereo or home theatre system.
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With any headphones it will sound dramatically better – the uDSD has much more competent and capable digital to analogue conversion than just about every computer. And the headphone amplifier section and volume control contribute greatly to effectively driving all breeds of headphones – large or small.
The uDSD also has a high quality stereo output intended for connection to your amplifier. These have a 2V fixed output which means you get the best full range signal, independent of that sent to headphones. Added to this you’ll see a digital coaxial output – the uDSD is a neat way to convert from USB to Coax. With its native DSD-format decoding capability, uDSD is ideal for upgrading existing high-end non-DSD DACs. Likewise to any home cinema amplifier.
If you run powered or active speakers the uDSD is a great way to make them sound better – just connect via the front headphone out connection as this will give you volume control – the power from this output is perfectly suited to this application.
For those who like a bit more background, although under the NuPrime banner, the uDSD is the forth and best iteration of the highly regarded NuForce uDac which has improved greatly through the original, Mk2 and Mk3 versions. That said, while the uDAC was very much an evolving product, there are much greater differences with the NuPrime uDSD – both physical and soundwise.
You’ll see the uDSD is much more substantial than the uDAC – while still small enough to sit in your palm, the solid aluminium casework encloses some serious audio circuitry. The previous mini USB socket has been replaced by the larger standard version which now means we can use much better sounding USB cables such as Kimber.
As well as being able to improve on the input connection and accordingly sound quality, you’ll also find that the uDSD makes it worthwhile to go further with stereo interconnects to your amplifier – this will reveal just how good the uDSD actually is. Irony abounds as most of the cables we have to do this cost more than the uDSD. But it’s a measure of just how much you are getting from NuPrime that you’ll be able to easily hear these improvements – the uDSD produces a wealth of music and deals with more formats than products costing far more.
This is high resolution at entry level pricing – Supporting the latest high-resolution music formats,the NuPrime uDSD, is capable of decoding sample rates ranging from 44.1kHz to 384kHz (PCM) as well as native DSD decoding ranging from DSD 64 up to DSD 256. Connect it with good quality cables, plug in your best headphones and prepare to be impressed. An absolute essential for anyone with an expanding high resolution library on their laptop.
NuPrime uDSD $NZ$350 including GST.
More about DSD. Direct Stream Digital is one of the two main formats for high resolution digital audio. Nuprime are making a point of being compatible with, and making the most of both DSD and PCM. The best site to find start with DSD downloads is nativedsd.com – last time we looked they they were offering 531 albums with 7,322 tracks from 29 labels in Direct Stream Digital. Also worth investigating is the Acoustic Sounds DSD selection.