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In Reply to: RE: Best dac I have ever heard posted by ahendler on February 23, 2017 at 06:21:19
Except, how can you be certain what are the technical cause(s) for what you feel that you subjectively perceive? Even should you be able to reliably detect between DAC boxes employing a full resolution converter and those employing sigma-delta converters, that may be do to some correlated secondary system implementation factor, and not due to the converter technology itself. I'm not declaring that you cannot reliably tell a difference, I'm questioning how you can reliable assigned that difference to the converter type. This reminds me some of declarations by some that they can hear the difference between bipolar and MOSFET power amplifier output stage devices.
How can you be certain it is not the chip that is determining the differences I hear? I have owned 4 ladder dacs and 2 delta/sigma dacs and have heard many more dacs at shows and at my audio club. The differences I hear are always there. One area that I believe causes some of the difference besides the chip is the digital filters that are used used in ds dacs vs no digital filter in ladder dacs.
Actually a good point.
But there was never much debate of bi-polar vs. MOSFET. If there was, it was brief and died-off a long time ago.
The movement (back) to ladder-DACs has been going on for years - and still growing. I suggest this is due to noise dropping, overall, in the processor. Differences can now be heard.
In my piece, I said the 1-bit processor sounded very good - I have heard it. But IMO, the ladder-units sounded more natural inc. longer instrumental decays.
I also questioned the value of extremely-expensive units that use cheap chips and (one) adding a digital volume control.
UPDATE: I found another pure-resistor 'best' -CEC DAO 3.0.
Yes, it was discovered that so-called MOSFET mist was often due to the driver stage not having a low enough output impedance to minimize the distortion produced by the MOSFET's non-linear gate capacitance. In other words, was due to an device type specific implementation issue, not to the device type itself. This is akin to DACs, which are comprised of far more sophisticated technologies than is an power amp. Many factors are in play including, clock jitter, digital interpolation filter, I/V circuit, analog output filter, analog output amplifier and supply regulation and isolation. Differences in sound can be due to any of those factors and not simply to the converter type.
It seems to me that some audiophiles are too anxious to claim perfect knowledge of the technical causes behind some subjective listening experience when they don't actually possess such knowledge. I think it interesting that some other audiophiles also claim perfect knowledge of the technology with respect to the listening experience, but instead to argue that there are, in fact, no subjective differences to be heard. My view is that both are wrong.
I never know that about MOSFET amps. Thanks for the info!
But if there's a *pattern* of ladder-DACs sounding similar, then (better) than delta/sigmas, we have something. As noted by users here and the resurgence of resistor-types, in general.
But you are so quick to ignore this. Then, fiercely defending cheap chips. Not too many would do that, as we're seeing...
At the risk of sounding like an objectivist, which I'm not, perceived patterns could be real or imagined. Sometimes, we do recognize a real pattern but misidentify the cause, as I had
pointed out in the MOSFET mist example earlier. One of the facts you learn in statistics-101 is that correlation does not automatically prove cause-and-effect. For example, just because a rooster crows just before sunrise doesn't indicate that the rooster crowing is making the sun rise. We must be careful not to fall for such logical fallacies.
...and you are so quick to mischaracterize what someone else has written. I have not fiercely defended sigma-delta. I have accurately and fairly commented on it's objective advantages as well as disadvantages. Furthermore, I've not made one comment about the subjective sound quality of any of the converter types. You, on the other hand, have done all those things in favor of R-2R. So...
So we'll ignore the comments (here) and the industry's return to ladder-DACs as stat-theory. Good job.
And (below) you said 'don't be hard on engineers'. Defending the delta/sigma programmers....
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