“it displays a sweetness and warmth which consistently locks into the heart of a musical performance.” Ian Harris, Hi Fi Plus
The DLIII is an award winning DAC that accepts inputs from any digital source including USB from any computer and connects to your system’s preamplifier with either single ended (RCA) or balanced (XLR) connections. Used with our eLyric Music Manager software and iPhone app, the DLIII becomes your entry into the world of high-end digital audio music. Perhaps no other affordable high-end solution gives this much fun and value.
Performance is unmatched at anywhere near the DLIII’s price. In fact, the Digital Link III is the best sounding affordable DAC we have ever produced in our 21 years of building media players. Sweet, open spacious and effortless, this device will bring the life back into your music and all at the touch of a finger.
The DLIII is high-end all the way
The DLIII is a killer DAC featuring the latest fully balanced sigma delta digital to analog converter, the TI PCM1798DB at its heart. This stunning new generation of 192kHz processors from Texas Instruments features 24-Bit resolution, 123dB dynamic performance and its rated THD is a stunningly low 0.0005%. It comes with differential outputs and an 8 times oversampling filter, providing exceptionally lifelike audio.
Our engineers based the DLIII around this amazing DAC engine, and designed an all new input circuit and receiver, a 100% discrete output stage and a huge power supply to finish it off.
This is true high-end. You won’t find any chip op amps in this product.
Input circuitry and sample rate conversion
So much today is recorded onto computers, distributed audio and hard drive systems that have designed the DLIII as a media DAC. Media DACS allow you to stream digital audio media into the DAC in a number of different ways, including music stored on your computer. But getting that music to sound right is a challenge, one our engineering group prides itself in doing right.
The receiver in a DAC is a critical component. It takes the digital audio from the source and cleans everything up so it can be presented to the DAC itself. From here it is converted to music we can actually hear through our speakers.
In a high-end, yet affordable Media DAC like the DL III, the use of sophisticated sample rate converters is the key to cleaning up the digital audio stream in preparation for conversion to music.
The DLIII relies on some of the best and lowest jitter sample rate converters in the world and the what comes out of them is pure musical bliss.
“If you get a chance to control this DAC with an iPad, grab it. It’ll change everything about your musical enjoyment.”
The output stage is the key
Once the sample rate converter has cleaned up the digital audio data it is sent to
the DLIII’s balanced internal DAC and its output is fed into our unique output stage.
The output of the internal balanced D to A converter needs to be changed from a power output to a voltage output that a preamplifier can deal with. This point of conversion is absolutely critical to the sound of the DAC and PS Engineering has designed an innovative approach to a classically tough problem.
Instead of using harsh and digital sounding chip op amps to perform the conversion, a 100% discrete hand built conversion stage is implemented. The result of using discretes rather than chips is remarkable. Openness, richness and a full body to the sound of instruments and voices is an unmistakable benefit to discrete conversion.
Active and passive filtering
Once the digital audio has been converted to analog audio that we can now hear as music, it’s necessary to filter out few remaining digital artifacts that are left over from the conversion process. To do this we need a filter.
There are many types of filters but PS Engineers understand that the most musically satisfying type of filter in this situation is a passive one. Passive filtration does not rely on transistors and extensive circuitry to work – instead, the path is simple clean and straightforward and the music comes through completely unscathed and ready to listen to.
FET discrete output stage
Music out of the filter section needs to get a little louder to match up the what your preamp would like to see. To handle this we use an amplification stage that has been labored over for the last 35+ years. The real challenge is to keep the amplifying process as sonically harmless as possible and to do this, PS Engineers stayed away from op-amps yet again, and built a 100% class A discrete FET based output stage. This high-end stage uses sweet sounding FET’s at the input and low noise powerful bipolar transistors for the gain and output stage.
Everything is direct coupled so bass is stunning in its power and impact as well as the all important midbass region where the human ear is sensitive to any alteration in sound quality. It is here, in this all important region, where voices and instruments take on what is known as proper “bloom” and give us the illusion of being right in the room with us.
Last, but certainly not least, is the power supply. Everything we do to help the sonics of our product be the best in the world would be for naught if we had a small power supply. We’ve seen everything from the wall mounted transformer supplies (shudder) to power amp size power supplies. Bottom line is this: if you want high-end performance you need a high-end power supply.
Inside the DLIII is a huge transformer, coupled to many thousands of microfarads of capacitance, Linear Technologies regulators and high speed, low noise diodes. We have taken every effort to make the DLIII as good as it gets.