What to Look For in ADC or DAC? - Gearspace.com
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What to Look For in ADC or DAC?
Old 24th November 2009
Gear Maniac
hakim's Avatar
🎧 10 years
What to Look For in ADC or DAC?

Hi All,

I wanted to know what it is you look for when comparing ADCs or DACs? I know that often manufacturers print a lot of crap that doesn't actually give the goods but sound nice to consumers. What is the real story with these devices and how can one tell a quality unit from a model that is cutting corners despite price.
Old 24th November 2009
Lives for gear
rumleymusic's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 10 years
Yeah those numbers are usually just taken from the components manufacturers data sheets and don't really represent how it sounds.

Besides fast transient response and clarity, the sound stage is how I really judge DA's especially. I want to be able to pick out every element in the music in the stereo field with accuracy. Budget DA's smear the sound stage with muddiness due to poor analog components and make mixing/mastering a crapshoot at best.

For an AD, I just want hear clear detail with tight bass and fast transients. The clearer and punchier the sound is, the better. Of course, some people would prefer the analog smoothness to disguise the intense "digital sounding" clarity. There are good AD's of both types.

That's my $.02 on that.
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