FAQs > Nativ Wave: USB DAC & Headphone Amp

  • Do the volume control & gain settings work for both audio & headphone outputs? Read More

    The volume control on the Nativ Wave DAC & Headphone Amplifier works for both the analog outputs and the headphone output. The gain settings are for the analog outputs only.

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  • What audio input do you recommend? Read More

    To achieve the best sound quality we recommend to connect your digital audio source — such as the Nativ Vita or PC/Mac — via USB to Nativ Wave.

    Here is why:

    The fundamental problem with S/PDIF and AES is that they both “fold” digital audio data and clock signals into a single bit stream. The clock doesn’t have a cable of its own, and must be “extracted” from the incoming bits by logic in the receiving device. This process is typically performed by a circuit called PLL (phase locked loop) which adds a certain amount of jitter.

    Adaptive or isochronous USB makes the computer the bus master, which then controls the rate at which the data is sent to the “downstream” audio device. The audio device is slaved to the computer clock. This is actually worse than a connection via S/PDIF or AES.

    The Nativ Wave DAC — like most serious audiophile DACs — features an asynchronous USB mode. In this mode the DAC becomes the bus master, and no longer has to rely upon noisy clocks generated by the computer or its USB interface logic. To eliminate jitter the Nativ Wave DAC uses an ultra-low jitter master clock generator. The master clock oscillator is placed right next to the D/A conversion chips and directly provides them with the clock reference. This clock distribution concept guarantees the best possible jitter performance.

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  • Why are you using a Burr Brown DAC and not the ESS Sabre? Read More
    The ESS series is a fully integrated D/A solution with integrated processing. Many brands use them as they are much easier to implement compared to a design with separate components (such as DSP, FPGA and TI DACs). Although they deliver impressive specs they are not always very well perceived by the audiophile community. Some say they are very good at delivering impressive numbers, but not the best for reproducing music. In our humble opinion the TI Burr Brown DSD1792A DAC provides superior musicality to ESS based solutions.
     
    Another big plus is that the DSD1792A allows real DSD decoding, while the ESS converts DSD data into PCM. Using the DSD1792A gives us complete control over the data path and processing chain, and allows us to implement our proprietary algorithms in the DSP to deliver an amazing music experience.
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  • How do I connect Nativ Wave? Read More

    The Nativ Wave USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier has the following inputs and outputs:

    Nativ Wave USB DAC Connectivity

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  • What is the output power on the headphone amplifier? Read More

    The Nativ Wave USB DAC features an audiophile-grade headphone amplifier with 2 terminals:

    • 1x 6.35mm (1/4”), 2 Ohm
    • 1x balanced 4-pin female (XLR), 4 Ohm

    The output power (max) is rated at:

    • Unbalanced, 32-ohm load: 1,750mW
    • Balanced, 300-ohm load: 750mW
    • Balanced, 600-ohm load: 375mW

    The maximum output level for the 2 gain settings is:

    • High:
      4-pin XLR (balanced), 0dBFS: 15Vrms,
      RCA (unbalanced), 0dBFS: 7.5Vrms
    • Low:
      4-pin XLR (balanced), 0dBFS: 4Vrms,
      RCA (unbalanced), 0dBFS: 2Vrms
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  • Where is the headphone jack located on Nativ Wave? Read More

    The Nativ Wave USB DAC has 2 headphone connectors located on the left side (1x unbalanced 6.35mm, 2 Ohm + 1x balanced 4-pin female (XLR), 4 Ohm) . They are covered by a magnetic cover plate.

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  • What are the power requirements for the Nativ Wave? Read More

    The Nativ Wave USB DAC & Headphone Amp requires three voltages that are delivered by the Nativ Pulse Linear Power Supply:

    +/-15V delivered as linear power:
    +15V and -15V for the analog section: D/A converters, Master Clock generator and analog circuits.
    +15V and -15V must provide a max. current of 500mA

    +12V delivered as switching power:
    +12V for the digital section: digital receiver, FPGA, DSP as well as front panel controller and display. 
    +12V must provide a max. current of 1A

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