- Feb 14, 2008
In theory all DACs should sound the same and in practice they do too. With a handful of pathalogical exceptions already mentioned. Of course, we don't just have to theorize about the output of a DAC, we can actually measure the output in practice!I can perfectly understand how "in theory" all DACs should sound the same, but in practice - they do not.
Yes, indirectly. In fact that's the whole point of a DAC. I say "indirectly" because the output of a DAC is an analogue (voltage) signal and that signal is analogous to the sound pressure waves.Do DACs need some circuitry to generate the voltage that approximates the sound?
It does indeed have a noise level. The total noise level of even cheap mediocre DACs is below -100dB and below -110dB is not uncommon. So, if you're listening at peak levels of 100dBSPL (which I would NOT recommend!), the DAC noise would be at 0dBSPL, you think "that is easy to perceive"? But there's more, in all likelihood the recording you're listening to has a noise floor of about -60dB or higher. Do you think it's "easy to perceive" noise that's 100 times below the level of the noise on the recording? It's not that difficult to test in practice.This circuitry does have a different noise level that is easy to perceive (in many cases) and then the speed of the response of voltage (and current modulations).
If the discussion is about DACs, how does discussing a totally different piece of equipment "perfectly belong to this discussion"?The case in points are USB DACs (definitely the amps are there integrated, but formally they should perfectly belong to this discussion to satisfy even the strictest moderation )
Why?Here is a nice reference that I hope that you will love and appreciate as scientific objectivists: https://andyaudiovault.com/100-dongles-battle-royale/
Personal anecdotal experience is obviously not acceptable evidence here, especially when it contradicts the actual facts. The differences between IEMs are orders of magnitude larger.Then what I can add is that my personal experience with USB DACs is quite similar - they can be very significantly different to a point that you can feel you are listening to a different IEM (please do not start about "faulty designs).
Speed/time is definitely not an issue. The fastest transients have a rise time of around 40-50 micro secs, 16/44.1 has a resolution of about 55 pico secs, so just under a million times "faster" than necessary. The bottleneck in this regard most definitely isn't a DAC, it's the speakers/HP drivers that have to deal the laws of physical motion, inertia for example.My limited take is that the speed of the response to reproduce fast transients require good circuitry, as one of the bottlenecks, especially with such small footprints and limited power, and I would be curious to hear different opinions.
Indeed and that's because some people come here, spout utter nonsense that's completely contrary to the simple scientific facts taught in middle school and then use ad hominem attacks when they're called out on it. The solution is simple: Don't try to turn SS into an amusement park!More like an amusement park not a SS