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Are Burr-Brown and Crystal DACs really that good?

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Anonymous
September 3, 2005 2:34:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

Marketing material for audio equipment often boasts that the equipment
contains either BB or C DACs. Are these chips really that good? Is there
any objective way of deciding?
Anonymous
September 3, 2005 11:12:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Fri, 02 Sep 2005 22:34:42 -0700, hoarse with no name <no@2spam.com>
wrote:

>Marketing material for audio equipment often boasts that the equipment
>contains either BB or C DACs. Are these chips really that good? Is there
>any objective way of deciding?

It's called a specification sheet, and Wolfson DACs appear to be the
current state of the art. Of course, they would be - they were
developed in Scotland! :-)
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
September 3, 2005 11:22:41 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Stewart Pinkerton" <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:15jih11lsjgk25c7euvbsb43sb99ha206l@4ax.com
> On Fri, 02 Sep 2005 22:34:42 -0700, hoarse with no name
> <no@2spam.com> wrote:
>
>> Marketing material for audio equipment often boasts that
>> the equipment contains either BB or C DACs. Are these
>> chips really that good? Is there any objective way of
>> deciding?
>
> It's called a specification sheet, and Wolfson DACs
> appear to be the current state of the art. Of course,
> they would be - they were developed in Scotland! :-)

Here's a collection of Woflson DAC specs:

http://www.wolfson.co.uk/products/digital_audio/dacs/?f...

The best has 112 dB dynamic range.

Both Crystal and AKM have DACs with 120 dB dynamic range.
Related resources
Anonymous
September 3, 2005 4:00:31 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sat, 3 Sep 2005 07:22:41 -0400, "Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com>
wrote:

>"Stewart Pinkerton" <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote in message
>news:15jih11lsjgk25c7euvbsb43sb99ha206l@4ax.com
>> On Fri, 02 Sep 2005 22:34:42 -0700, hoarse with no name
>> <no@2spam.com> wrote:
>>
>>> Marketing material for audio equipment often boasts that
>>> the equipment contains either BB or C DACs. Are these
>>> chips really that good? Is there any objective way of
>>> deciding?
>>
>> It's called a specification sheet, and Wolfson DACs
>> appear to be the current state of the art. Of course,
>> they would be - they were developed in Scotland! :-)
>
>Here's a collection of Woflson DAC specs:
>
>http://www.wolfson.co.uk/products/digital_audio/dacs/?f...
>
>The best has 112 dB dynamic range.
>
>Both Crystal and AKM have DACs with 120 dB dynamic range.

Lost your specs, Arny? The one favoured by Arcam is the WM8740, which
even my ancient eyes perceive to be specified at a SNR of 117dB for
each half of the dual DAC, when used as a single-ended pair.

I commend you also to this link:

http://www.arcam.co.uk/downloads/upsampling%20multidac....

where you can see how Arcam use the WM8740 in parallel differential
pair mode to achieve 120dB dynamic range in their upsampling
'MultiDAC', with SOTA linearity. Admittedly, this is compromised
somewhat by the rest of the gear to achieve a system SNR for the whole
player of a mere 113dB, but that ain't too shabby for a Redbook
player.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
September 3, 2005 4:00:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Stewart Pinkerton" <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote in message
news:6h3jh1hqke67a2lg3qekbg4e0bi480fnqj@4ax.com
> On Sat, 3 Sep 2005 07:22:41 -0400, "Arny Krueger"
> <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:
>
>> "Stewart Pinkerton" <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote in
>> message news:15jih11lsjgk25c7euvbsb43sb99ha206l@4ax.com
>>> On Fri, 02 Sep 2005 22:34:42 -0700, hoarse with no name
>>> <no@2spam.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Marketing material for audio equipment often boasts
>>>> that the equipment contains either BB or C DACs. Are
>>>> these chips really that good? Is there any objective
>>>> way of deciding?
>>>
>>> It's called a specification sheet, and Wolfson DACs
>>> appear to be the current state of the art. Of course,
>>> they would be - they were developed in Scotland! :-)
>>
>> Here's a collection of Woflson DAC specs:
>>
>> http://www.wolfson.co.uk/products/digital_audio/dacs/?f...
>>
>> The best has 112 dB dynamic range.
>>
>> Both Crystal and AKM have DACs with 120 dB dynamic range.
>
> Lost your specs, Arny? The one favoured by Arcam is the
> WM8740, which even my ancient eyes perceive to be
> specified at a SNR of 117dB for each half of the dual
> DAC, when used as a single-ended pair.

OK, but Wolfson's 117 < Crystal and AKM at120.

> I commend you also to this link:

> http://www.arcam.co.uk/downloads/upsampling%20multidac....

> where you can see how Arcam use the WM8740 in parallel
> differential pair mode to achieve 120dB dynamic range in
> their upsampling 'MultiDAC', with SOTA linearity.

How about keeping this comparison a matter of apples and
apples? IOW let's compare stereo chips to stereo chips.
*ANY* chip can be used in groups to improve dynamic range
if the individual chip noise contributions are
uncorreleated.

> Admittedly, this is compromised somewhat by the rest of
> the gear to achieve a system SNR for the whole player of
> a mere 113dB, but that ain't too shabby for a Redbook
> player.

Forgetting briefly that no 16 bit system can have more than
about 96 dB dynamic range.
Anonymous
September 3, 2005 8:39:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"François Yves Le Gal" <flegal@aingeal.com> wrote in
message news:h3djh1p6jqn32ktkcmp1hd55ec4jqdvg3h@4ax.com
> On Sat, 3 Sep 2005 07:22:41 -0400, "Arny Krueger"
> <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:
>
>> Here's a collection of Woflson DAC specs:

>>
>> http://www.wolfson.co.uk/products/digital_audio/dacs/?f...

>> The best has 112 dB dynamic range.

> Meep.

> http://www.wolfson.co.uk/products/digital_audio/dacs/WM...

The 120 dB here is for a composite device configuration that
would work equally well with the competitive chips from AKM
and Crystal.

What I did miss is the 117 dB number for the same device on
the page I listed above. Well, it was early and before my
first cup of coffee for the day. ;-)
Anonymous
September 3, 2005 9:59:43 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

On Sat, 3 Sep 2005 11:24:56 -0400, "Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:

>What I did miss is the 117 dB number for the same device on
>the page I listed above.

Did you ?
:-)
Anonymous
September 4, 2005 2:49:15 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.tech (More info?)

"Arny Krueger" <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote in message
news:k9-dndAoq8gLIoTeRVn-tw@comcast.com...
> "Stewart Pinkerton" <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote in message
> news:6h3jh1hqke67a2lg3qekbg4e0bi480fnqj@4ax.com
>> On Sat, 3 Sep 2005 07:22:41 -0400, "Arny Krueger"
>> <arnyk@hotpop.com> wrote:
>>
>>> "Stewart Pinkerton" <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote in
>>> message news:15jih11lsjgk25c7euvbsb43sb99ha206l@4ax.com
>>>> On Fri, 02 Sep 2005 22:34:42 -0700, hoarse with no name
>>>> <no@2spam.com> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Marketing material for audio equipment often boasts
>>>>> that the equipment contains either BB or C DACs. Are
>>>>> these chips really that good? Is there any objective
>>>>> way of deciding?
>>>>
>>>> It's called a specification sheet, and Wolfson DACs
>>>> appear to be the current state of the art. Of course,
>>>> they would be - they were developed in Scotland! :-)
>>>
>>> Here's a collection of Woflson DAC specs:
>>>
>>> http://www.wolfson.co.uk/products/digital_audio/dacs/?f...
>>>
>>> The best has 112 dB dynamic range.
>>>
>>> Both Crystal and AKM have DACs with 120 dB dynamic range.
>>
>> Lost your specs, Arny? The one favoured by Arcam is the
>> WM8740, which even my ancient eyes perceive to be
>> specified at a SNR of 117dB for each half of the dual
>> DAC, when used as a single-ended pair.
>
> OK, but Wolfson's 117 < Crystal and AKM at120.
>
>> I commend you also to this link:
>
>> http://www.arcam.co.uk/downloads/upsampling%20multidac....
>
>> where you can see how Arcam use the WM8740 in parallel
>> differential pair mode to achieve 120dB dynamic range in
>> their upsampling 'MultiDAC', with SOTA linearity.
>
> How about keeping this comparison a matter of apples and apples? IOW
> let's compare stereo chips to stereo chips. *ANY* chip can be used in
> groups to improve dynamic range if the individual chip noise contributions
> are uncorreleated.
>
>> Admittedly, this is compromised somewhat by the rest of
>> the gear to achieve a system SNR for the whole player of
>> a mere 113dB, but that ain't too shabby for a Redbook
>> player.
>
> Forgetting briefly that no 16 bit system can have more than about 96 dB
> dynamic range.

And ignoring the fact that you could play very few practical sound systems
loud enough (or would want to) to actually hear wideband noise at -96dB.
Furthermore, with the production values used to manufacture many commercial
music CDs, they could put all their useful information in 10 bits with no
loss of data (a provocative statement, but not flame-bait).
!