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Upsamplers, DACs, jitter, shakes and analogue withdrawals, this is it.

RE: Best processors -but best tech ?

DACs are probably the most complex consumer stereo component. As such, it is exceedingly difficult to assign technical cause to subjective listening result. On top of that, digital signal processing is a non-intuitive technology. Concepts like sampling itself, dither, and noise-shaping are just a few which are commonly misunderstood. What intuitively makes sense with analog often is incorect with respect to digital. For example, analog processing typically exhibits increasing distortion with increasing level, while digital processing typically exhibits decreasing distortion with increaseing level. For another, adding noise (dither) reduces digital distortion. In addition, audiophiles often believe that simpler is necessarily better, so, more digital processing is necessarily worse than less digital processing. Except, that isn't necessarily, or even typically, true with digital.

There's little that seems 'natural' about a digitally sampled system in the first place. More digital processing can be better than less, and often is, but it depends on the implementation details. R-2R (only one kind of multibit), or some other multibit converter technology isn't inherently superior to 1-bit sigma-delta, it depends on the details. 1-bit sigma-delta converters inherently exhibit perfect linearity, but also exhibit very high quantization noise. Full resolution multibit converters are the opposite, they exhibit low quantization noise but less than perfect linearity. Multibit sigma-delta is a hybrid of the two, intended to bring together the benefits of each technology while minimizing their drawbacks.

It would be convienent if we could determine a laundry list of technologies which would ensure our obtaining subjectively satisfying sound from a given prospective component, but I know of no such list as yet.
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Ken Newton



Edits: 02/21/17 02/21/17 02/21/17 02/21/17 02/21/17 02/21/17 02/21/17 02/21/17 02/21/17

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