Originally Posted by MrViolin
I don't think that this was the question that I intended to ask, but what is total harmonic distortion? Will a DAC/amp w/ less THD generally perform better?
THD is ratio of power of total amount of harmonic distortion vs power of fundamental frequency.
I think you should read up on harmonic distortion first. Typically, the most common real world example is the guitar amplifier (and its also the most extreme). The distorted guitar sound comes from harmonic distortion.
This seems to work well for guitars as a single instrument, but you don't want something like this happening with your songs because firstly, there are a lot of instruments in a song which means all these distortions add up, and secondly, the purpose of (most of) the audio equipment is to reproduce the sound as accurately as possible.
So low(er) THD generally means true(r) to the source. Whether low THD in amps is desirable is debatable, some like the warm sound that tubes produce because of small amounts of harmonic distortion.
A common measurement used is THD+N, with an added Noise component.
Edited by proton007 - 12/17/12 at 9:06pm