PS Audio UltraLink DACs

5/5 (7 Reviews)


Product Description

D/A processor


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Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ddowney a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: May 1, 2008

Bottom Line:   
Very strong signal, but not harsh, soft sounding, clear, subtle, lots of punch. Voices and leads sound very analogue like. Even Jimmy Hendrix -Star Spangled Banner sounds smooth and not harsh. You can play this really loud and there is no shrillness like other digital machines.

I don't know what the other dacs in this price range sound like, but for a little more if you can pick one of these up you will be very pleased. It is extremely well built i.e. expensive parts.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   canuck audio mart



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by newyorkjosh a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 9, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Killer unit - way ahead of its time. I bought this back in '94-95 when the UltralinkII was coming out, so the Ultralink I's were on discount. I brought home a demo of the CJ DAC1 to compare, and I already had an Audio Alchemy DDE+ and DTI Pro. Transports used were Phillips CD80 and an Optimus 3400. The rest of the system downstream: ARC SP14 Preamp to an ARC Classic 60 tube amp with KT-91 output tubes to ProAc Response 2s. All cables MIT 330 & MH-750 Shotguns.

The Ultralink blew the field away. Liquid and sweet at the highs, with vivid U-R-There midrange and huge slamming bass. The Ultralink brought me within shouting distance of the big Wadia and Theta rigs I'd been hearing in the salon big rooms. The ultralink excelled on rock, jazz, classical, and small acoustic ensembles alike. It was just a completely killer product that made a vinyl junkie like me start enjoying digital. I still have it and use it ALL THE TIME. I just love my ultralink. Here's how I've found to tweak it:
1) Use the AA DTI Pro - a jitter reducer between the transport and DAC. This is the biggest tweak of all.
2) VanDenHul "The First" cable as digital cable. Actually I've had good results with all kinds of digital cable. I have VanDenHul MD102 in there now, and like Kimber Illuminations D60 and Kimber Lightspeed too. "The First" is just a great value and utterly neutral.
3) Isolate it. It likes a bag of lead shot on top and sorbothane pucks or inner tube underneath (this is pretty much universal for all non-tube gear).

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   Audio Advisor



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Yuh-Herng Chen a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: December 12, 2001

Bottom Line:   
I had been using SONY XA50ES for a while. A few days ago I found this baby (not Ultralink II) in a second hand store. I hook it up with my SONY and the change is dramatic. The sound is smooth and detailed. Excellent.

I compared this with an Audio Synthesis DAX (yes, an expensive British made DAC) in the store, I found Ultralink has more punch and clean sound. Maybe DAX can give a warmer sound (not lack of detail, though), I do not think one can top the other. Especially consider the price difference, Ultralink caught my heart.

AS mentioned by another reviewer, PS Audio do not support this product anymore. But I a very good respond from their customer service (Jonathan Hart). And I believe they are going to post some information on their website soon. I would give a thumb up for them.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $600.00

Purchased At:   Second hand store



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Lee a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: March 13, 2001

Bottom Line:   
My comments above were in reference to the Ultralink II, non-HDCD.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Lee a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: April 6, 2000

Bottom Line:   
When replacing an older, Stereophile-recommended Sony player, I borrowed a Counterpoint transport and DAC from a local dealer, along with a Theta Cobalt DAC and PS Audio Lambda drive. After extensive listening over a week's time, I wound up buying the PS Audio Lambda and the Theta Cobalt. After six months of searching, I found a PS Audio Ultralink II (non-HDCD). After listening to all of this I came to the following conclusions:

1. Bits are not bits. ANY combination beat out the Sony mid-fi player quite handily. Music was no longer a collection of notes, but a collection of sounds and harmonies. Details never heard before came out quite clearly. Recordings that had been muddy before became easily discerned. If your system sounds tired and everything has a "sameness" to it, try upgrading your front-end, whether analog or digital.

2. There are differences in DACs. The Theta is a good entry level DAC and is quite musical but it didn't have a very deep soundstage. The Counterpoint is extremely musical, soundstage is huge, and the midrange is SO sweet. The Ultralink finally won my vote. It did everything the Counterpoint did but seemed to have more punch and showed dynamic contrasts better. Too, I figured it my have some synergy with the Lambda transport.

In sum, since it's now only available on the used market, it's relatively cheap. It's built like a brick outhouse too, and I believe all versions come with both single-ended and balanced outputs.

Highly recommended.



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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1996




Reviews 1 - 5 (7 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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