Difference between cheap and expensive DAC - Page 4
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It depends on whether the distortion level reaches the threshold of audibility. The just detectable level of THD is 1%, however speakers often get as high as 6% and still sound decent. The ear is forgiving to some types of distortion.
It's fine if you are nostalgic for obsolete technology and like inaccurate sound reproduction
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I wouldn't be so harsh, but switching values or op-amps is only safe if the part you switch in is compatible. I'm not interested in valves, but people have reported improvements when switching op-amps that in fact are worse (you always gotta look at the whole implementation, not just one part in isolation!) or even caused instability... go figure.
Just another case of "you hear what you want to hear".
edit: Some manufacturers even write: "The circuit is not designed to accommodate any other tube and no other tube type will perform better."
Of course there's also manufacturers that will not tune the circuit for the stock valves and/or try to sell you other "better" items..
Edited by xnor - 1/4/14 at 1:42pm