PS Audio will shortly launch a phono converter, or NPC, this has two separate and parallel signal path formats in one chassis with a single user interface.
The PS NPC combines an analogue RIAA phono preamplifier with a high resolution analogue to digital converter (ADC). The unit is capable of simultaneously producing both a balanced analogue audio output as well as a digital PCM or DSD output in multiple formats.
The NPC can be used as a standalone A/D converter through its auxiliary analogue input, a digital output phono preamplifier feeding a DAC or computer, or as a purely analogue phono preamplifier. Simultaneous analogue and digital outputs are available on the NPC. Connections to a preamplifier, DAC, or computer are simple and direct.
Using appropriate software on a PC, NPC owners can RIP their entire vinyl collections to their computers at 192/24 PCM or up to double DSD rate.
Reclocked 192/24 as well as 64X and 128X DSD can be sent over S/PDIF through either the USB or coaxial output and direct DSD and PCM streams are available through the I2S output. Use of the DoP (DSD Over PCM) protocols are standard on the NPC.
The phono preamplifier’s gain stage is a low-noise THAT 1583 featuring 60dB of programmable gain and noise specified at 1.9nV/√Hz, with bandwidth to 1.7mHz. This stage forms the interface gain device between the phono cartridge and the NPC and its output feeds a passive RIAA EQ stage.
Following the EQ stage is a new class A all FET discrete gain block featuring a combination of JFET and MOSFET devices in a low open loop design. The A/D converter is the Burr Brown PCM4222 . For PCM the NPC gives a full 24 bit 192kHz output while the DSD option handles 64X or double DSD at 128X oversampled rates. The output of the PCM4222 is passed through a PS Audio Digital re-clocking Lens removing added jitter from the datastream.
Users can record either DSD or PCM through either Mac or Windows machines using an off-the-shelf program such as Audacity. Because DSD is sent using DoP, Audacity or other recording programs handle the files as if they were standard digital audio WAV files. DoP does not alter the DSD data; instead it cuts it up into acceptable packets that look like PCM but are not. The pure DSD stream is maintained perfectly for future playback. Recorded files play directly on your computer using a program like Foobar for Windows OS and Pure Music for the Mac operating system. Users can also stream these files directly to a DAC via USB from the computer or Ethernet with an appropriate server.
MSRP for the NPC is $1,895 in the United States. Shipping begins September, 2013.