Do SMT parts sound worse than through hole?

June 18, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

7 comments on “Do SMT parts sound worse than through hole?”

  1. Attention: John Price,
    Please read the June 18 reply by ‘Dees’ at 1:57am at the ‘Ask Paul’ presentation
    titled, ‘Why Sound Comes From Behind The Speakers’, posted on June 15.
    This will confirm for you that the PS Audio – ‘Sprout’ integrated amplifier is
    indeed wholly manufactured in China.

  2. What I heard was this: There is no fundamental difference between surface mount and through hole technology. Products that use processors or FPGAs are more or less obliged to use SMT. Some of the components that PS want to use in analog stages are only available in wire-ended form, so here construction necessarily has to be through hole. It follows that some of the better-sounding products might be using through hole, but this is simply to accommodate the best component selection.

    1. Good morning Mark!
      Your observation, makes a whole lot of sense.
      The higher end audio components that are analog, will use the threw hole stuff.
      But for most of our electronics we have and use today, is all surfis mounted.
      If you’ve ever opened up a smart phone, then you’ve seen all of that inside the phone.
      Some dacs are in deed put together like that.
      I don’t know how they’re doing it, but I hear that Korg is using all threw hole components in all of their products.
      If I’m wrong, then please correct me.

      1. John Price,
        You’re probably wrong.
        You usually are.

        Btw, have you sold any loudspeakers yet?
        And will you call your DSD recording studio. ‘Pipedream Studios’??

      2. Hi John. I haven’t seen a statement from Korg to say that they are changing back to through-hole construction. It might well be true for specific retro products, but I think that in general SMT is here to stay. Contemporary processors and FPGAs are only available in surface mount packages, and the manufacturing costs for SMT are very much lower than for through-hole. I work for an electronic equipment manufacturer and the cost of SMT assembly is normally only 10 to 15% of the parts cost. 95% of our components are SMT, with a small number of awkward parts that have to be hand soldered.

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