- Amplify the signal to where we want it in terms out loudness. This ranges anywhere from 2 to 10 times what comes in, with an average closer to 3.
- Remove any common mode distortions and noise - that is if we are using a balanced DAC configuration
- Add any additional low pass filtering the designer may wish to add
- Make sure there is no residual DC on the output to feed into a preamp or amplifier
- Buffer any analog style volume control if the DAC has one
- Provide sufficient linear performance to never negatively effect the performance
- Provide a single ended and balanced output (if the DAC has this)
- Have output current capabilities sufficient to drive long lengths of cables without degradation
- Mute the output for any pops or startup noises occur
Duties of the output stage
The analog output stage of a DAC is a critical element in the DAC's construction. It has a number of duties to perform and there are seven ways from Sunday to perform them: all important and all critical to the sonic success of the DAC. From the output of the current to voltage converter we run the stepped signal through a low pass filter that cleans up all the jaggies we had from the DAC output. Now we have a rather limited bandwidth analog signal we need to pass through the output analog stage and make sure we do the following:
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