PCM56 NOS Circuit

The PCM56 NOS Circuit in Digital Audio: All You Should Know

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PCM56 NOS Circuit – In the fast-paced world of digital audio, audiophiles often seek ways to capture the rich and organic sound of analog recordings.

The PCM56 NOS (Non-Oversampling) circuit is a unique approach that has gained popularity among enthusiasts for its ability to deliver a warm and natural sound reminiscent of vintage analog systems.

In this blog post, JonakyBlog will explore the PCM56 NOS circuit, its principles, advantages, and its impact on the modern digital audio landscape.

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Understanding the PCM56 NOS Circuit

The PCM56 NOS circuit is based on the PCM56 digital-to-analog converter chip, which was developed by Burr-Brown (now owned by Texas Instruments) in the late 1980s.

NOS refers to the absence of oversampling, which means that the digital audio signal is not processed at a higher frequency than the original sample rate.

In traditional digital-to-analog converters (DACs), oversampling is employed to improve the resolution and reduce the effects of quantization noise.

However, the PCM56 NOS circuit takes a different path by preserving the original sample rate and embracing the subtle imperfections that add to the analog-like sound.

Principles of the PCM56 NOS Circuit

The PCM56 NOS circuit’s charm lies in its simplicity and rejection of digital processing.

When a digital audio signal is fed into a PCM56 NOS DAC, it converts the binary data directly to analog without any intermediate upsampling or filtering.

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The absence of oversampling means that the DAC processes the signal at the original sample rate, which is often lower than that of modern digital audio.

The PCM56 NOS circuit operates in the time domain rather than the frequency domain, allowing it to maintain the timing and phase integrity of the original audio signal.

This preservation of timing and phase coherence contributes to the organic and natural sound that resembles the warmth of analog recordings.

Advantages of the PCM56 NOS Circuit

#1. Analog-Like Sound

The PCM56 NOS circuit is revered for its ability to reproduce a warm and natural sound reminiscent of vintage analog systems.

It retains the harmonic richness and smoothness often associated with analog audio.

#2. Simplified Design

The absence of oversampling and digital filtering simplifies the design of the DAC and reduces digital artifacts that can affect sound quality.

#3. Timing and Phase Coherence

By operating in the time domain, the PCM56 NOS circuit preserves the timing and phase information of the audio signal, contributing to a coherent and realistic soundstage.

#4. Musicality and Emotion

The analog-like sound of the PCM56 NOS-circuit imparts a sense of musicality and emotion to the audio, making it a favorite among audiophiles who prioritize the soul of the music.

Impact on the Modern Digital Audio Landscape

In the era of high-resolution digital audio and advanced oversampling techniques, the PCM56 NOS-circuit stands as a counterpoint, offering an alternative sonic experience that appeals to audiophiles seeking the character of vintage audio.

While some may argue that oversampling and digital filtering can improve accuracy and resolution, the PCM56 NOS-circuit focuses on musicality and a more emotional connection to the music.

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In recent times, a resurgence of interest in NOS DACs has emerged among audio enthusiasts and DIY audio communities.

Vintage PCM56 chips have become sought after, and many audio enthusiasts are building custom NOS DACs to rediscover the analog warmth that has captivated listeners for decades.


The PCM56 NOS circuit represents a departure from the conventional approach to digital audio, embracing the vintage warmth and musicality of analog recordings.

By preserving the original sample rate and operating in the time domain, the PCM56 NOS-circuit imparts a unique character to digital audio that resonates with audiophiles seeking an emotional connection to their music.

While the modern digital audio landscape continues to evolve, the allure of analog-like sound remains steadfast.

The PCM56 NOS-circuit allows us to rediscover the magic of analog warmth in the digital domain, bridging the gap between past and present and immersing listeners in a rich and soulful musical journey.