[linux-audio-user] External DAC for mastering use?

Anahata anahata at treewind.co.uk
Thu Mar 18 11:32:42 EST 2004

On Thu, Mar 18, 2004 at 06:49:03AM -0800, Mark Knecht wrote:
> I will also point out that you would not, I think, be able to hear the 
> direct effects of your choice of dither in this setup. All audio you 
> send to this unit would have to be dithered so all you could do would be 
> make a comparitive judgement.

While that may be true, it's the same problem whether the DAC is
internal or external, if it's 16 bit in both cases.

> Over the top of all of these points, I think you want to be pretty 
> careful choosing your D/A. They do sound different.

So the choice is between:
- an internal DAC that may be of indifferent quality and pick up
  noise from the PC's internal electrical environment.
- an external DAC that will be electrically isolated from the PC and
  will have nice clean power but may have clock jitter problems.

Aren't external DACs usually purchased as an upgrade to the internal DAC
of a CD/MD/whatever? I would expect the sound quality to be noticeably
superior or there'd be no point in buying it.

Of course, that's what salesmen call "telling the customer what he wants
to hear", so it not guaranteed to be true :-)

anahata at treewind.co.uk       Tel: 01638 720444
http://www.treewind.co.uk    Mob: 07976 263827

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