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Old 8th November 2011, 12:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by alant4321 View Post
Thank you for information. It is welcome to anyone referring more supporting documents. In order to this research, you need “source + equipment + audience”. My questions are:
1) How did Meridian get 21-bit source?
2) Where is this research paper located for public reference or the ref. no. and date of Journal?
Here is the link: http://www.meridian-audio.com/w_paper/Coding2.PDF
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Old 8th November 2011, 12:39 PM   #12
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Ive also been around to look for the best chips, to be able to make the best DAC possible. But there is more to it than just specs.

If you consider the Sabre DAC, then be aware, that it needs an I/V converter.
And the output is so hot, that your only choise in fact is an op-amp for I/V.
Then you are throwing yourself in the arms of the op-amp manufacturer.
The Sabre is not recommended with i.e. passive I/V, because performance deteriorates quickly with higher impedance.
BB1794 is another good alternative, and this might even perform pretty nicely into a passive I/V.
The AD 1955 will not, it needs an op-amp.

So to get the good performance of the top of the pop DACs further down the line, you most likely need to use op-amps for I/V. Otherwise performance will not be that good.
That could actually make some of the other makes more interesting, i.e. AKM, CS and maybe others.
CS is quite close to the performance of both BB and AD as far as regarding THD+N. The filter in the BB1794 is some steps deeper than in their competitors, but that is mainly due to AKM and CS widely professional use.
As a deeper filter will make more delay, and cannot be used on stage due to that.
Also the voltage output opens up for discrete designs, which I would prefer over op-amps at any time. Mostly due to the free choice of using NFB or not.

So after all, one should look at the final resolution in the analog output.
Stereophile are normally exited when they find something like 20 bit resolution in the analog output of a digital device.
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Old 8th November 2011, 04:41 PM   #13
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There are several axis upon which the audio DAC chip universe might be fundamentally divided.

Axis 1: Sigma-Delta DACs vs. the resistor-ladder class of DACs. The sigma-delta DACs almost universally have superior measured performance, well, at least up to a 20kHz measurement band-limit. They employ noise-shaping feedback to attain their very low measured THD. The Trouble is, as we all know, often in high-end audio there is little apparent correlation between measured perforformance and subjective performance.

Axis 2: Current-output DACs versus voltage-output DACs. Voltage-output DACs are usually more convenient to implement, but much depends on how they are achieving their voltage output - as far as perceived sound quality is concerned.

Axis 3: DACs with internal digital filters (most of them) vs. DACs either without an internal digital filter or one which can be bypassed (few of them). I view this as probably being the most important axis, as I feel that the sound quality of a DAC is much more determined by the digital filter implementation than by the DACs converter circuit.


I feel that the number of bits of input resolution supported by a DAC has next to no bearing on it's sound quality. I also feel this is true of audio bandwidth beyond 20kHz (or even lower). Of the many problems in attaining subjectively good digital playback, sample resolution beyond 16-bits and high-frequency reproduction beyond 20kHz are near the bottom. What I mean by this is that whatever it is that works against digital audio producing the gestalt of real instruments is not related to CD's 16-bit resolution or 20kHz audio bandwidth.
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Old 9th November 2011, 02:53 AM   #14
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sorry kurt but that is misinformation at best and complete ******** at worst. the 3vrms (which is a pretty standard balanced line level output, its others that are too low and need gain to meet the standard) output of the sabre is completely usable with any well designed discrete solid state IV stage.

the 32bits of sabre are not about using 32bit audio, although you can, its about giving the filter and volume control (if desired) headroom.

does it reject jitter perfectly? no it doesn't, you can still hear differences between different i2s and spdif sources, but it does a better job than any other dac i've used and consistently gives both measured and audible results superior to any other i have used too, even without opamps. if you can't make the 3vrms output work for you with a discrete stage you are doing something wrong

I saw you just before singing up sampling's praises

Last edited by qusp; 9th November 2011 at 03:01 AM.
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