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16 bit portables

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
well, the d25s thing got me looking for alternatives. my ears tell me that 16 bit dacs sound more like music than 1 bits. anyway, i've found two which claim 16 bit-ness: RCA RP2010 and Memorex MD3020. the Memorex seems to be out of production. the RCA is said to be available from valcoelectronics.com no references that i could find here on head-fi. wondering whether: i) any other currently available 16 bit-ers out there, ii) whether either of these is worth exploring.

post #2 of 3

Re: 16 bit portables

Personally, I don't think you can determine how good a given DAC is going to sound based on whether it's a single or multi-bit design. The first single bit DACs were largely unimpressive not because they were single-bit, but because they were the first such designs. There are good single bit DACs (I love the one in my Onkyo Integra DX-C 606), and there are good multi-bit DACs.

If you want to go on generalities, pick a DAC that utilizes some oversampling. This should result in a less-distorted high treble range, because it allows engineers to avoid 'brick wall' type filters. But it's better to pick a player because you think it sounds good; picking one based solely on design principles doesn't mean you'll get one you like.
post #3 of 3
Don't bother with these things.
The number of bits on a portable DAC tells you nothing about the sound quality at the end. Most of the PCDP use 1 bit DACs because they're slightly cheaper and easier to implement.
The sound quality IMO depends to a larger degree on the headphone amp then on the DAC used.
Also, as Russ says, there are very good 1 bit designs also, for instance Marantz CDP all use Philips one bit chips.
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