PS Audio DL-3 DACs

4.67/5 (3 Reviews)

Product Description

D/A Converter

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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by phileserver39 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 31, 2011

Bottom Line:   
I spent quite some time reading reviews of several of the circa $1K DACs and ended up getting a great deal on this unit. It really blows away my Audio Alchemy as well as my top-grade consumer sound card the Asus STX.

I can't wait to hear this unit after the 60 hours of burn-in.

I highly recommend this unit especially since it can be had for around $600 brand new. I can't see that it would be worth it for another $400 to $700 to get the Benchmark or the Lavry.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by tcbi a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 23, 2009

Bottom Line:   
I bought the MD package which includes the DLIII, Wadia iTransport, and the Black Knight digital cable. This is a great package(with an ipod nano or classic) that would hold its own against any transport and DAC combo 3 times its cost.

My first listen was quite disappointing, harsh and thin sound with little bass. But I know it's matter of time before it sounds better my Cambridge 640v2 through a Yaqin tube buffer. So I run the burn-in track from the Stereophile test CD3 for 30 hrs before I listen again. Much better, but still not quite there yet. I listen again after 60 hrs, and it's now better than my 640v2-Yaqin.

I compared this directly to the Benchmark DAC1(which I bought online from a dealer with a liberal return policy), and preferred the DLIII. I felt the DAC1 is very slightly more transparent and has a tad higher resolution. This is not apparent without direct AB comparison and the DLIII is not lacking in any department. Imaging, soundstage depth and width are comparable.

The DLIII is warmer, more musical(to my ears), more analog like, has fuller bass, and is more enjoyable. It was a close call but, in the end, I returned the DAC1 and kept the DLIII.

Associated equipment:
Conrad Johnson PV14L pre
Odyssey Stratos amp
MAC Palladium ICs
Anticable speaker cable
Gallo Ref 3
Yaqin tube buffer

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2008

Price Paid:    $999.00

Purchased At:   Music Direct

Overall Rating:4
Submitted by Steve a an Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 2, 1999

Bottom Line:   
I have owned this processor for about 1 year, about the time the company went out of business. Nonetheless, I felt that their products were well-made and being a solid state piece of equipment with no real moving parts, most likely built for the long haul. The rest of my equipment includes a Sony CDP-CA7ES 5 disc changer, feeding a Theta TLC jitter box. I recently added a Musical Fidelity X-10D to my system as well (see my review there), and will comment on the DL-3 both before and after. My preamp is actually preamp/processor/3-channel amp (Adcom GSA-700), which was recently discontinued. Finally, my Acurus A150 amp drives a pair of Magneplanar MMG speakers with a Mirage powered subwoofer supplementing the bass.
The sound of the DL-3 prior to the X-10D was very clean and detailed. It uses a Burr-Brown 20 bit dac which is known for good low level detail. Although it claims to have a Class A output stage already, I did notice a significant smoothing of female vocals after adding the X-10D, perhaps at a loss of some soundstage depth. All in all, the results after adding the X-10D were mostly positive, and I have decided to keep it. New tubes may also make a difference.

The DL-3 accepts toslink, coax, and balanced digital feeds. As mentioned above, it seems very well-built. All in all, a worthy upgrade compared to the Sony's internal D/A.

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Duration Product Used:   an Audio Enthusiast

Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

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