Tuesday, 10 May 2016

High Quality Digital to Analog Converter (DAC)

Digital to Analog Converter, also known as DAC is the heart and soul of any exquisite digital music player such as Compact Disc (CD) Player, Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) Player, Blu Ray Disc (BD) Player and the Digital Audio Player (DAP).

There are some manufacturer which consistently makes excellent DAC Chip. From the legendary great sound of Texas Instrument BurrBrown 1704U-K, the grand images of Asahi Kasei Microdevices AK 4497EQ, the smoothness of Wolfson WM8741, the sweet sound Cirrus Logic 4398,  the lush sound of Analog Devices 1955, and the ultra detail  of 32 Bit ESS Sabre Reference 9018.

ESS Sabre in Sennheiser Orpheus

The implementation of high quality DAC Chip in any highend digital player is very important. Beside DAC chip we  need to pay attention to build better power supply and better analog preamp stage.
Lampizator Design

So we can summary in order to make decent DAC we need:

1. High quality DAC Chip 
(they must have high signal to noise ratio, very low jitter and accurate clock)

2. High quality Power Supply 
(they must have reliability and stability to power)

3. High quality Analog Preamp Output 
(they must have good design and good implementation) 

Audio GD DAC
Theta DAC
Many highend manufacturer (in alphabetical order) such as Apogee, Antelope, Audio GD, DCS, Esoteric, Gryphon, Lampizator, Linn, McIntosh, Naim, Meridien, Synaestec, Theta, Wadia, etc have their own proprietary design for their line up.  Some are using specific DAC chip, the others using specific tubes or specific transistor for analog preamp section. The sound quality result from the great DAC sometimes gave us goosebumps about the feeling of being right there at the concert!

May, 2016 All rights reserved

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