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Verify. Forget about Trust.

The two most important items one must have are:

1. A means of ascertaining the actual speed the sound card is outputting.

2. A means of verifying (when this speed matches the sample rate of a file) that the output to the DAC matches bit for bit the content of the file.

There is little or no point in doing any further optimizations until one if confident that the music we purchased (possibly as modified deliberately by us) is actually reaching the DAC. Of course, once this has been achieved there is still the question of getting good sound because of more subtle and difficult problems, e.g. jitter and electrical noise. But if the wrong bits are getting out this is hardly important.

There are basically only two ways of getting the right bits out: trust or verify. Given the immense complexity and lack of transparency of all the software in a modern PC, (no matter what the type) and the track record of numerous vendors, IMO "trust" is an absurd concept. One is left, therefore with "verify".

Tony Lauck

"Diversity is the law of nature; no two entities in this universe are uniform." - P.R. Sarkar

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