DAC <$10k buying advice, 3 choices
Jan 15, 2023 at 2:09 PM Post #121 of 134
They mastered the marketing, it's so simple.

Brutal reality shows that there is 6dB difference in SINAD. It's a lot.
https://goldensound.audio/2021/10/12/dcs-bartok-with-headphone-amp-measurements/
To be fair this was the previous stuff not the Apex module described in the statement about tools.
I imagine though that their statement was in reference to the mapper/noise shaping because yeah, basically no analog devices can measure as low in level as many modern noise shapers are able to work to.
Chord's one is accurate to -300dB for example.

Their statement references linearity in general which is a different story but the statement could be taken in many ways
 
Jan 15, 2023 at 2:30 PM Post #122 of 134
They mastered the marketing, it's so simple.

Brutal reality shows that there is 6dB difference in SINAD. It's a lot.
https://goldensound.audio/2021/10/12/dcs-bartok-with-headphone-amp-measurements/
They do noise shaping as it is integral part of Delta-Sigma algorithm, but they don't depend on digital gimmicks. The essence of ring-dac is dealing with errors on the resistors network in the analogue domain. There is a thread where dCS rep explain it in multiple posts, still roughly.
 
Jan 15, 2023 at 3:52 PM Post #123 of 134
I still think properly implemented native DSD dac is the most correct way to design dac as you don’t even need any digital filter - a simple analog LPF is all you need to recover the signal. You also avoid resistor error with R2R and waveform error if you don’t have a digital filter on the dac output.

But if we learned anything over the decades since the introduction of dac, the implementation (clock, circuit board, power, noise, analog output, physical construction, input buffer, output filter, etc) and quality of the incoming digital signal is 90%+ of the sound.
 
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Jan 15, 2023 at 3:54 PM Post #124 of 134
I still think properly implemented native DSD dac is the most correct way to design dac as you don’t even need any digital filter - a simple analog LPF is all you need to recover the signal. You also avoid resistor error with R2R and waveform error if you don’t have a digital filter on the dac output.
Converting the data to DSD in the first place requires a digital filter.
When playing DSD you don't need a digital filter on the DAC but that's just cause it was done earlier in the process and is effectively 'hardcoded' into the file so to speak, rather than having the DAC do it on the fly.
 
Jan 15, 2023 at 4:10 PM Post #125 of 134
I still think properly implemented native DSD dac is the most correct way to design dac as you don’t even need any digital filter - a simple analog LPF is all you need to recover the signal. You also avoid resistor error with R2R and waveform error if you don’t have a digital filter on the dac output.
Simple analogue lpf filter on a single resistor is gone since Sony had abandoned Bitstream CD players. Now all Delta-Sigma implementations are multi-stream (or multi-bit) 5 or 6 bits. There are errors on multiple resistors. It was a topic of my previous post about dCS ring-dac implementation.
 
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Jan 15, 2023 at 4:15 PM Post #126 of 134
Simple analogue lpf filter on a single resistor is gone since Sony had abandoned Bitstream CD players. Now all Delta-Sigma implementations are multi-stream (or multi-bit) 5 or 6 bits. There are errors on multiple resistors. It was a topic of my previous post about dCS ring-dac implementation.
Emm Labs and Playback are still making native DSD dacs.
 
Jan 15, 2023 at 4:20 PM Post #127 of 134
Converting the data to DSD in the first place requires a digital filter.
When playing DSD you don't need a digital filter on the DAC but that's just cause it was done earlier in the process and is effectively 'hardcoded' into the file so to speak, rather than having the DAC do it on the fly.
apples and oranges.
 
Jan 15, 2023 at 4:33 PM Post #128 of 134
Simple analogue lpf filter on a single resistor is gone since Sony had abandoned Bitstream CD players. Now all Delta-Sigma implementations are multi-stream (or multi-bit) 5 or 6 bits. There are errors on multiple resistors. It was a topic of my previous post about dCS ring-dac implementation.
1 Bit DACs are still in production. @chesebert mentioned a couple plus theres the PS audio one too.

Plus there's many DACs that whilst with normal pcm content will operate in a 'multibit' fashion, can indeed operate true 1-Bit when fed DSD content.

apples and oranges.
Its the exact same process
 
Jan 15, 2023 at 4:38 PM Post #129 of 134
Emm Labs and Playback are still making native DSD dacs.
I am not familiar with these brands. Are they limited to processing DSD source? A name would suggest it. How it is implemented they wouldn't tell you. I remember sound of Bitstream DACs, so I am sure no-one goes back this route. :)
 
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Jan 15, 2023 at 4:41 PM Post #130 of 134
1 Bit DACs are still in production. @chesebert mentioned a couple plus theres the PS audio one too.

Plus there's many DACs that whilst with normal pcm content will operate in a 'multibit' fashion, can indeed operate true 1-Bit when fed DSD content.


Its the exact same process
Same as in both use FIR filters but totally different filter coefficients and computational requirements and implementation issues. So apples and oranges.
 
Jan 15, 2023 at 4:48 PM Post #131 of 134
Same as in both use FIR filters but totally different filter coefficients and computational requirements and implementation issues. So apples and oranges.
I'm not sure what you mean, processing PCM to DSD is the same regardless of if it's done in software ahead of time or on the fly in a DAC. Of course not all filters/approaches are the same but a DAC that upsamples internally and another product/solution that does it externally could absolutely be using the exact same filter/modulator
 
Jan 15, 2023 at 4:58 PM Post #133 of 134
I'm not sure what you mean, processing PCM to DSD is the same regardless of if it's done in software ahead of time or on the fly in a DAC. Of course not all filters/approaches are the same but a DAC that upsamples internally and another product/solution that does it externally could absolutely be using the exact same filter/modulator
I’m taking about front end up sampling filter vs backend reconstruction filter. Are you trying to confuse people on purpose?

I think we are done here.
 
Jan 15, 2023 at 5:01 PM Post #134 of 134
I’m taking about front end up sampling filter vs backend reconstruction filter. Are you trying to confuse people on purpose?

I think we are done here.
The upsampling IS the reconstruction filter.
Unless by the 'backend' bit you mean the DSD modulator, but in either case again both can be done either internally on the DAC or ahead of time in software so long as computation power on either device is sufficient. The process of converting the redbook music to the end result DSD is not different regardless of where it's done.

Filter/modulator/rate differences apply but they apply to both and they could all be identical for any software/DAC you wanted to compare
 

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