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Old 9th July 2009, 01:17 PM   #1
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Default What are the differences in DACs (IC)

I have been trying to find an answer to this question but have just come up with tons of marketing jargon etc.

What makes one DAC IC better than another? Its not signal to noise because the analog stage after the IC take away any of that.

Just wondering how a DAC can actually effect the sound of the audio coming out of it.

I am not considering filters or anything like that, just the DAC IC.

From what I see its takes the data in I2S or SPDIF etc and then extracts the audio information and sends that out an analog output.
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Old 17th November 2009, 08:20 PM   #2
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Oh man....its a long complex topics or should i say answer.
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Old 18th November 2009, 10:14 AM   #3
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Wikipedia might be the best place to start your inquiry, too much for a casual conversation.
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Old 18th November 2009, 05:02 PM   #4
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sorry, but why does the analogue I/V make the SNR of the DAC irrelevant?? doesnt make any sense to me. siure if you feed a clean and wide signal to a noisy analogue stage it will still sound like crap, but it would sound even more crap if you fed it something that contained less resolved information.
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Old 18th November 2009, 06:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crackerkorean View Post
I have been trying to find an answer to this question but have just come up with tons of marketing jargon etc.

What makes one DAC IC better than another? Its not signal to noise because the analog stage after the IC take away any of that.

Just wondering how a DAC can actually effect the sound of the audio coming out of it.

I am not considering filters or anything like that, just the DAC IC.

From what I see its takes the data in I2S or SPDIF etc and then extracts the audio information and sends that out an analog output.
If you consider just the DAC itself without the any supporting circuitry, then I can think of at least half a dozen properties off the top of my head that can affect the performance of the DAC.

1) Ability to attenuate/reject jitter.
2) Amplitude and frequency of the out of band noise.
3) Digital filter characteristics
4) Frequency response in audio band.
5) Supply - a 5V dac will have more room to swing about a bias point than a 3.3V dac.
6) And then of course, the obvious parameters such as DR, THD, etc etc.
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