apparently they rely on very old Philips IC's : PHILIPS TDA1541A TDA1541 DAC IC Non Oversampling 1PCS - eBay (item 110418328232 end time Jul-30-09 07:58:51 PDT)
they're supposedly the best coz they don't oversample, everyone know that Philips is the best brand in the world for audio IC
all these ppl mix upsampling and oversampling...sad, oh sad : Upsampling vs. Oversampling for Digital Audio — Reviews and News from Audioholics
and these "NOS" external DAC's are all over the internet :
Valab NOS USB Re-Clock DAC Low Jitter Dual 1ppm TCXO - eBay (item 270432797090 end time Aug-23-09 15:44:18 PDT)
they put a 1ppm clock on one of these legacy Philips chip : "It is a real vintage chip developed by Philips 2 decades ago. We choose it to implement our own NOS-DAC."
Valab Non-oversampling Dac (nos) Review - DTV Forum Australia - Australia's Leading Digital TV and AV Forum
I believe he's experiencing the 1ppm clock accuracy, but I don't see how a NOS legacy DAC from Philips can outshine an AK4396/PCM1792
I do not have anything against Phillips, they are one of a number manufacturers of IC's including 5 DA's. Their IC branch is NXP and they make 5 DA's for audio, specializing in applications such as low power and low cost, not at all in the state of the art. ALL those 5 IC's are noise shaping types (sigma delta), thus operating at very high clock rates!
If I recall correctly, Phillips was one of the driving forces towards up-sampling and over-sampling, and the Phillips engineer's name that comes to mind was Dykman (spelling?).
I took the time to explain why operating at high clock rates was such a MAJOR STEP FORWARD in technology. I understand that many non technical folks may have some difficulty understanding it, but I certainly tried to simplify the explanation while being solid and correct.
"Everyone know that Philips is the best brand in the world for audio IC". How about "everyone know that the cookie monster makes the best chicken soup"? This is a real good sales pitch: Just say "everyone knows that "XXXX" is the best in the world.
1ppm clock accuracy is another big baloney!!! You do not needs 1ppm clock accuracy. You need LOW JITTER. When a clock is around 590ppm (parts per millions) off, the absolute pitch is less then 1 cent. You can not find a piano tuner that can hear 1 cent - so how about .0017 of a cent? This is outrageously ridicules.
In the audio production side, we often need to have multiple gear operate synchronously (at the SAME clock rate), because over time (say a few minutes) different clock rate ACCUMULATE time error. For example, a 100ppm mismatch between clocks over one hour is .36 seconds. It would be real bad to have audio tracks off by .36 second. In fact, there are all sorts of phasing problems at much lower clock mismatch. So we DO lock (synchronize) clocks when it is needed in the audio production studio. But we do not need the clock accuracy to be anywhere near 1ppm! Not even 100ppm! There is nothing to be gained by going to 1ppm.
And if anyone is having difficulties understanding what I said, the music production clock is far less accurate then 1ppm. So given that the timing absolute accuracy in the recorded music is already way less than 1ppm, what can a 1ppm playback do for you?
Again: jitter is important, not clock absolute accuracy.