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Old 19th November 2006, 02:07 AM   #1
Flash53 is offline Flash53  Germany
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Default Watts Audio PAM16 DAC?

Someone knows the Watts Audio PAM16 DAC? This DAC was developed by Robert Watts (DPA) and is completely different in design than most other DACs. It doesnīt use typical DA converter chips but FPGA chips and discrete resistor network, Pulse-Array or WTA-Filter is the name of the technology. Also a HDCD chip is used but no upsampling. The same technology was used in some Chord DACs (DSC1500E and DAC64) and it seems itīs something similar than the DCS. Of course itīs not that advanced (and expensive) as the Chord or DCS but interesting I think. 5 years ago this DAC did cost about 2500 Euro now I can get one for less than 1000 Euro. Maybe someone knows this DAC and how good it is especially in compare to todays DACs.
When this DAC was released I saw a test in a German magazine but I never saw one until now. It seems the sound is very natural and detailed but the question is if todays DAC can do that better.
I have a TEAC VRDS 25x CD-Player and now I want going with an external DAC. Something in the 1000-1500 Euro range is what I can afford. Some years ago I had a Parasound DAC-1600, a Proceed ...? DAC and a DIY DAC here for testing but I didnīt like them in compare with the TEAC internal DAC. Now Iīm trying again. I think here in Germany there arenīt very much DACs available currently, at least I have not found yet very much in my pricerange and not a single here in my area. I think the Benchmark DAC1 is not what I want, the Lavry DA10 maybe. From what I read I think about the Stello DA220 MKII and yes that Watts PAM16. Yet have to see a shop selling the Stello here. Regarding DIY-DACs I havenīt seen one yet to my liking, maybe it just wasnīt the right one until now.
Iīm sure I could do some tweaking on my TEAC but to be honest I donīt want soldering on that one. I still have that magazine with the test and pictures of the Watts and from what I can see you could do some improvement with Oscon or Blackgates caps and a second transformer for splitting digital/analog power supply. Four LM317/337 voltage-regulators are used already.
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