Emm Labs NS1+ DAC2X

Hi community,

I just received my new NS1 (Emm Labs) Attached via the Optical Link (Orange Wire) With my DAC2x (V1).

The NS1 and NUCLEUS (Rev B) are communicating within an ethernet network, using an audiophile switch (Silent Angel - BONN 8).

The installation within my system is a no brainer, Roon Software recognizes immediately the NS1. Y tried some DSP options : and I Get the “Green Point” (High Quality) with my DSD musical files, but "Blue Point "(Enhanced) even with 24/96 PCM formats.

First impressions after a few hours of functioning ; great silence and great presence of all the Musicians. Live recordings sound so real.

Are there other happy fews with this stuff among the community ?


hi patrick,
i use also an emm labs ns1 but with a da2 dac (v1).
the combo sounds great with the optical interface.
i tried also an aes cable from hb cable design because i had it already in use with my previous bridge.
it sounds also very well but not so open than the fiber.
in case the recording is a bit harsh the aes cable is the better solution…
it seems that the ns1 is not that often in use by others until now.
i think because it‘s optimized for the emm labs dacs…
kr guenter

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Halo Gunter,

Until Now, I thought I was the only guy among the community, using Emm Labs Stuff :slight_smile:

Now i cumulate about 100 Hours of functioning with my NS1, and the Burning-In continues…

My Dac2C (V1) has no Screen, so the Optical (EMM Optic) output is useless and generates “Clic” and “Clac” spots. My dealer advice is to upgrade in “V2”. Still in “V1” , I use the AES/EBU channel with great pleasure and no extra noise.

The optical output is separated between the RS232 cable (Datas for screen information) and the Optical Cable (Orange) used for digital signal. As a consequence, this output is the best and more neutral output for DA2 or DV2 Dacs only. Harsness is due to non completed Burning-In.

My dealer makes démos (using AES/EBU channel) with other Brands (Moon, Devialet,…), and the NS1 rules the musicality as “the Boss”.


PS , I have been told that the “V2” upgrade for DA2 is a “Killing”.

hello again,
i‘m waiting for the conditions of the upgrade of the da2.
until now it‘s not clear how much it costs and how it will be handled.
the dac2x v2 works well with the ns1.
a friend of mine has tested it for some time.
so if you want to use the fiber go for the upgrade.
in case you want to get nearly the same sound quality as with the fiber you need to spend more money for the aes cable than for the upgrade.
i‘m using the ns1 since mid of march with no problems.
mostly with the fiber…
the display shows only the input and sample rate and this is also not correct in every case. there is a known bug in the firmware of the display. in case of using the fiber higher sampling rates are always shown as dsd64 even if they are pcm. using an aes cable everything is correct.
version 2 shows then additionally track infos in the dac display.
but thats not important for me.
lets see whats happens…
kr guenter

btw: what else du you use for reproduction of your music?
how have you played before you got the ns1?

Hello Guenter,

I currently use an “exotic” configuration : Behind My NS1/Dac2X , is settled a passive preamp (Java HiFi) from New Zealand, then an English 250 DR Naim Audio amp feeding a pair of French Apertura Variations.

Ok, I’ll Go for a V2 upgrade.

Before NS1/Dac2X i used a Nucleus directly feeding a Japanese Dac Korg DAC-DS-10R. I must confess that the NS1/Dac2X is a very very big step forward.


Hello Günter,

V2 Upgrade done upon my DAC2X, has to burn in first, but powerful sound yet.

ok. sounds great. have fun :slight_smile:
next step would be the da2 :wink:

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Hi everybody

New Firmware released for the NS1 (3.7.67) , Who tried ? Any difference ?


it runs for hours without problems with roon.
it works also with upnp.

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OK, Sounds Good.

Thanks Günter, I upgrade…

Hi Günter

A New NS1 ’ S release is published and installed : 3.9.0.

Did you noticed any quality increase ? In My System, lightly more details (specifically side guitars).


hi patrick,
it is running since friday but I would have to lie if I had noticed improvements. but it works well as before.
i tried to connect with wifi via usb stick just to test how it performs. and had a longer conversation with the product manger. result was: it seems that it is not working as promoted :unamused:
cu günter

Thanks Günter,

Seems that new releases are coming…


Hi Günter,

I hope you feel Well in this particular times.

I’ll Receive a “Lifatec Fiber Glass” cable very soon. (the original Orange cable is broken).

But since the last NS1’s Upgrade (3.9.0), I can now Inject DSD64 thru The AES /EBU Cable . WAOUH What a sound quality…

Untill Now, I used The DOP Strategy within my Roon Nucleus, I got the Green Point (Top of The Top) and only one (44,8 Khz) light on the front of the Dac2X.

Amazingly, without DOP strategy (so Direct DSD within the Roon Nucleus), I got The Blue point (Enhanced Quality) and the display of the 2 light (44,1 & 44,8 Khz) on the Dac2X front.

Which strategy do you use regarding the Roon’s parameters ?

Best Regards

hi patrick,
everything is fine. and how about you?
what do you mean with dop strategy? do you resample everything to dsd64?
afaik the dax2x can only play dsd64 over dop and this worked also with the old firmware of the ns1 via optical and aes interface. i used sometimes in parallel an aes cable and also with dsd64 music with success.
native dsd was never possible with dac2x. only over dop.
i think you mixed somthing up: there is a 44,1 khz led and a 48 khz led for the two base frequences. and if you play dsd both of them are lighted and also if you use the optical interface.
i use no resampling. so the dsp is diabled. i play the original signal and let the da2 do the work. for my ears the roon dsp does not improve the sound. i had sometimes the impression that resampling to dsd make it a little bit softer. that is mostly not my preference.
the dsp has only something to work if i play dsd128 or dsd256 albums. but i have not many of such files.
cu günter

hi again,
btw, what happend that the optical cable is broken?
cu günter

Hi Günter,

1/ The original optical cable got disconnected from one ST Connector. In fact the wire was not broken, but disconnected accidentally when I removed it from the Dac2X.

2/ About DSP strategy, i think my previous Message was not clear enough. I’ll re-explain differently :slight_smile:

Strategy N° 1 : I ask the DSP within the NUCLEUS to convert DSD64 in PCM 24/176,4 (before injection to the NS1). Result is That

  • The DSP indicates a final sound quality with the Green point (High Quality)
  • The DAC2X says it is PCM (44,8Khz only led lighted)

Strategy N° 2 : I ask the DSP to inject DSD64 in direct (To the NS1). Result is that

  • The DSP indicates a final sound quality with the blue point (Enhanced)
  • The DAC2X says it is DSD (both 44,1 & 44,8Khz led are lighted)

Both strategy imply AES cable. The strategy n° 2 brings the best audio quality, but I expected logically the “Green Point” as final quality analysis for ROON ?

Is it more clear Günter ? And what strategy (or DSP filters) do you use within your ROON DSP process?


hi patrick,
i‘m using no dsp conversion.
it’s completely disabled.
for my ears it‘s the best solution.
the da2 makes a good work :wink:
a green point says that resampling results into good quality.
a blue point says that the original signal is used.
in my case it’s always blue except i play dsd128 or dsd256.
then roon shows a green point and the dsp resamples to dsd64.
that’s the maximum the da2 can receive via optical or aes interface.
you can also listen to dsd64 with the optical cable.
so no need to invest in an expensive aes cable :wink:
cu günter

Thanks Günter,

So, Impatient to test my new Optical fiber. I’l tell You.

Happy Xmas.