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What's an example of a "good DAC"?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by EnsisTheSlayer, Aug 30, 2017.
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  1. Arpiben
    Thanks. I would have preferred to have digital attenuation but the DACs I know barely offer less than a 1 dB step.No choice than to cope with an attenuation chain at each DUTs ...
  2. bigshot
    This was bothering me while I was laying in bed last night, so I got up and did some googling on these DAPs. They are specifically designed to sound like that. They don't have oversampling, so instead of a clean brick wall filter to eliminate noise above 20kHz, they have an analogue rolloff filter at the top. The DACs in these are perfectly flat. The analogue rolloff filter is what is making them not flat above 10kHz. I'm sure the person designing this DAP knew exactly what effect that would have on the response curve, but decided to do it anyway for some silly audiophool theory about oversampling being not kosher. Pretty dumb.

    I'm still not convinced it would make much of a difference on the sound of the DAC, but clearly this is an example of deliberate inferior design. You can get a $20 USB DAC with oversampling. There's no reason to buy anything today with a design that dates back over 20 years. I notice these aren't being sold any more. I can see why.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
    JaeYoon likes this.
  3. castleofargh Contributor
    you identifying sound by DAC chip is IMO a pretty massive bias. a DAC is it's own product, not a case study of the chipset inside it. even less so when some chipsets actually offer a range of programmable customization that may or may not result in audible difference.
    Atleast I dont need and dont want to bias to any one dac said above. I use all of them. Also dac alone is not a product. Implementation of dac chip make a complete unit we call it dac. We cant hear so cant judge a dac chip alone(all of head-fier know it). So what is purpose of topic, to find a (sample of) good dac or a good implementation of the dac?
    I wont compare a dac of $100 and a $1000 one just because they own same CS4398 for example, as they are much difference price.
    I can said what I feel better, and ofcouse I will like it than others I have.
  5. bigshot
    I would think that the DAC chip itself does all the heavy lifting. It isn't that difficult to make an audibly transparent line level output. I know audiophiles focus on little stuff like that, but I don't think it really is an issue in the vast majority of cases. One thing I do know for sure is that price isn't a good determiner of quality.
  6. reginalb
    Firstly, yeah, they are definitely designed to do that. And it's definitely due to audiophile silliness.

    With regards to audibility, I definitely think it was audible to me when I first got my HiFiMan HM-601 and I was in my mid-20's. Don't know if it still would be for me, though. My ears don't work as well as they once did.
  7. Killcomic
    But... but... but $2000 cables!

    Really, that quote needs to be printed, framed and sent to every audiophile.
    JaeYoon likes this.
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