[LAU] Sample rate vs. SNR

Charles Z Henry czhenry at gmail.com
Wed Jan 23 22:50:50 UTC 2013

On Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 4:10 PM, Len Ovens <len at ovenwerks.net> wrote:

> I have been reading what I can on audio interfaces... I am thinking there
> are very few good ones. I am thinking that some parts of the system are
> vastly over priced like ADAT and MADI interfaces, both of which seem to
> cost about 10X (at least) what they should cost... like how come a Gb NIC
> is well under $100 and MADI PCI(e) card (100Mb) is $800? Even figuring in
> scale that is way too much. ADAT (even slower... only 8 channels in one
> direction at a time) which uses the same parts as s/pdif is $500 (and
> up)... though I guess one could call that the price of keeping obsolete
> interfaces around.... right in there with vintage gear :)

I tend to agree.  I brought up the idea a while ago (but stalled on my own
ability to follow through) of a open-hardware design for audio interfaces

I realize the ADC and DAC quality is important.  You can find many possible
24bit sigma-delta converter ICs, but it's difficult to compare between them
in the early component selection stage.
You need another chip to interface with ICs, aggregate the channels,
buffer, packetize, and transfer the data, for which I was looking at FPGAs.

Another idea is to build 24bit sigma-delta converters ON the FPGA with some
external components.  I have a good feeling that arrays of ADCs and DACs
could be built more cheaply and with predictable quality using this method.

I think the only way forward to bring some sense to audio hardware
manufacturers is to have a decent alternative, accomplishing the same tasks
with a verifiable hardware/software bill.

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