Review: PS Audio SL3 DA converter
This being my first dac, I decided to wait a while and get used to it before listening to other external DACs. I'd been using a Rega Planet because I read a bunch of reviews from people that thought it was awesome. I always liked it, but it wasn't till the owner of a local audio shop made me take this home (along with the Lambda Two transport.)
Boy, what a difference a DAC makes. Before I even hooked up the transport, I put a coax between the Planet and the SL-Three. I also hooked the Planet into another set of RCA inputs so I could quickly switch back and forth. It was like someone was standing next to the speakers with a 40lb cotton ball when I was on the Planet's input. The soundstage immediately got about 10ft wider and the level of detail was remarkable. Never tedious though. I also like the ability to use XLR, Coax, or TOSLink as a digital connection. I've got the ZuCable Ash-110 between the Lambda and SL3 and it is truly remarkable. I love being able to try 3 different cables between them and switch out depending on my software selection. More often than not, I keep it on the XLR setting. Speaking of software...
The ability to play an HDCD is a pretty cool thing. I'd always approached them with a "bah-humbug" attitude and never really actively searched out a DAC with that available. I was immediately searching my entire collection to see what they sounded like. The first one I ran across was "Garth Brooks - Live in the Big Apple." It was like I was at the show. The extra little 'umph" that the HDCD encoding gives is a very nice addition. Later, finding more classical and jazz software in HDCD was on the agenda and I'm in love with this thing.
The case was a little "tinny" so I took it apart and used some deadening mat to cover the inside of the case. It now "thuds" like the transport and I'm not sure that I gained anything by doing that, but it matches so I'm happy. I'd reccomend this transport to anyone that is looking at it.
PS Audio Lambda Two transport
Classe' CP-47.5 preamp
ProAc Tablette 2000 speakers
ZuCable Wax speaker wire
ZuCable Varial XLR Interconnects
Conrad Johnson DA3
Rega Planet (v1 - internal DAC)
Sony XA20ES (Internal DAC)