1’s and 0’s

January 7, 2023
 by Paul McGowan

How simple life in the digital domain seems.

It’s just 1’s and 0’s.

No one has to worry about waveshape and transition points to make sure timing is correct.

And jitter? Power supplies? Noise?

It’s just 1’s and 0’s.

Let me take my tongue out of my cheek long enough to remind us that as simple as the idea of digital is, getting it right can take a lifetime of work and design, and then still, you’re a mile away from perfect.

Just ask DirectStream MK2 designer Ted Smith.

That old refrain I so often hear of just 1’s and 0’s is like telling a bricklayer building a wall there’s no need for skill or craftsmanship.

All the bricks are the same.

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77 comments on “1’s and 0’s”

  1. So Paul, when is Ted going to give us the low-down on the new DS Mk2 DAC?
    Any chance that you can persuade him to do a half-hour presentation?? 😀

  2. I capitulated expecting significant improvements in overall sound quality from „better“ highres DACs after having tested several mega bucks units. Maybe I haven’t found yet the most mysterious “synergy” for my system. However I get better sound from better cables, galvanic isolation, room treatment and of course from better loudspeakers. Not to mention: better recordings/better mixes. I still can compare the sound of my first portable battery driven CD player (Technics SL-XP-7) with my actual digital chain. The differences aren’t huge at all. There always was an inherent weakness of early CD players not buffering the data read from the optical disc and the error correction schemes (instead of “bit perfect” rereading schemes). My notebook playing the data from RAM buffers made better sound than every CD transport I had. Similar problem with amps. No significant improvements in sound quality unless you switch to vacuum tube amps. No wonder that there are today CD players and DACs featuring vacuum tube stages.

      1. No Sir! But last week I could make my regular comparisons with an Aavik D-580 via top tier loudspeakers from Børresen driven by an Aavik I-800. The shoot out before was made with the top tier MSB DAC – the local PS Audio distributor here is also the distributor for MSB. As mentioned earlier I highly appreciate the possibilities offered by digital equalizer technologies!

        1. Andreas Koch formed ‘Playback Designs’ back in 2008.
          I’m pretty sure that you would know where he fits in to
          the story of Digital Audio 😉

          1. My first external DAC ( http://www.museatex.com/bidat.htm ) was designed by Ed Meitner (Museatex, EmmLabs) and Andreas Koch (originally ReVox/Studer) is said to have cooperated with Ed Meitner whose first SACD-transport was a simple repackaging of a Philips transport feeding his SACD DAC via fiber-optical interconnects. Not a jawdropping improvement in sound quality compared to my old BiDAT. 🙂

              1. There are so many “famous” and most bright engineers in digital audio, indeed, see also Bruno Putzey, Lars Risbo, Rob Watts (Chord) etc., etc.. And I am pretty sure they have created most innovative solutions featuring the best technical spec. But why buy their creations if I cannot hear any or only minor improvements in sound quality or can’t achieve any mysterious “synergy” (compensations of inherent individual deficiencies of each link in the chain) with my audio chain? By the way: the advancements in digital video technology are clearly visible!

                1. I listed Rob Watts as well as Ted Smith & Andreas Koch along with “etc., etc.” further down in my 5:24 am post.
                  I could’ve included Ed Meitner, Bruno Putzy, Lars Risbo & about another fifteen brainiac audio electrical designing geniuses, but I decided to go for “etc., etc.” for the sake of expediency.

                  You state above, “But why buy their creations if I cannot hear any or only minor improvements in sound quality or can’t achieve any mysterious ‘synergy’…”
                  I asked you if you had auditioned the Playback Designs – ‘MPD-8 Dream DAC’ & you said, & I quote, “No sir!”
                  So, if you haven’t auditioned (heard) said ‘MPD-8 Dream DAC’ yet, then how do you know that it won’t deliver ‘the goods’??
                  I feel that your judgement may well be premature, sir 😉

                  Furthermore, as far as “only minor improvements in sound quality” are concerned, we all know that that is just a simple law…the ‘Law of Diminishing Returns’ in high-end home-audio…but you already know this fact.

                  1. When did I pretend knowing that Playback Designs DACs don’t sound better than any of the DACs I could check? But among my few audiophile buddies there are some who could check DACs (from dCS, CH Precision, Trinity, Grimm, etc.), DACsv I never had the chance to check. And guess what: they all came to the same conclusions as me! However we all have our own stereo system with completely different components. And shouldn’t every designer of high-end loudspeakers have the best 4xDSD or 32/768 DACs when voicing their designs?

                    1. I didn’t say that you pretended anything.
                      Clearly you can’t say “…if I cannot hear any…improvements in sound quality…” if you haven’t heard the damn thing…hello!!
                      I said nothing about pretending…I said about judging without listening…where’s the pretending?
                      I think that you may have missed my point.

                      Anyway, it is what it is.
                      If you can’t find sonic satisfaction from high-end gear, then you might as well buy a transistor radio & be done with it 😉 ✌

  3. My impression is that digital audio – first in the form of CD and then streaming, took less than 10 years to get to a point that it was good enough for the vast majority of people, including audiophiles. Auralic quickly became a major player in streaming audio was only founded in 2009. Gilad Tiefenbrun reinvented Linn about 20 years ago as a streaming based business, which he achieved in about 5 or 6 years, and he still only about 50. The reality is that digital audio is heavily software-dependent and software engineers are often at the top of their game in their late 20s and 30s. The dCS RingDAC was developed by very young engineers in the late 1980s and the basic design was largely unchanged until last year.

    The high-end audio people will continue indefinitely to make increasingly expensive products for a small and diminishing number of wealthy customers, far beyond the reach of the average person. Julie Mullins recently wrote an article along these lines in Stereophile.

    A lot of this is to do with wealth distribution and increasing wealth inequality in the USA, where high-end audio seems to flourish most, as the buyers are increasingly aged audiophiles, mostly well over 60, with lots of of money. In contrast, in younger economies like Central Europe and Asia, you see much more rapid and affordable product development, and a lot more innovation. My digital audio was designed by people in their 30s, like Nuno Vittorio who founded Innuos in 2009 when aged 33, so he’s still mid-40s.

    1. That Stereophile article you mentioned popped up on my header page this morning, can’t imagine why. 😉 It’s an interesting read.

      https://www.stereophile.com/content/re-tales-28-hi-fi-market-health-check

      From where we are now it looks almost inevitable that the higher end market will decline due to diminishing customers, but the future is notoriously difficult to predict, so it will be interesting to see what actually happens.

      All the bricks are the same or each brick is unique? It depends on your viewpoint.

      1. What did Bob Stuart ever do of positive consequence? Very expensive Meridian stuff, with accumulated losses of over $40millon before selling the MQA intellectual property in 2015 for about $20million to a new company, which has accumulated its own losses of around another $40million.

        MQA was a bare-faced attempt to load DRM fees on HD audio and has been a spectacular failure.

        Meridian seems to have done better since he left, they are now into distributing high-end AV installation brands, i.e. selling other people’s products. https://www.distributedbym.com

        Meridian acquired Sooloos in 2008 because Danny Dulai believed streaming needed a dedicated hardware platform and chose to partner with Meridian. They made some products, I almost bought one, but Dulai and his partner left after 4 or 5 years, deciding streaming was not hardware dependent, and created Roon. So, if anything, Meridian missed out on being perhaps the biggest player in the streaming market.

        1. Hi Steven or is that Steven
          Apologies if my post offended you and prompted your vehement response.
          However I personally have benefitted from the knowledge and innovations brought over many years to our common interest by Robert Stuart.
          I have no intention of entering a debate on the value of his contributions to my world of music pleasure.
          I am happy with MQA and the extraordinarily high number of old albums that have been improved by record labels using the process.
          Everyone to their own views in moderation please!

          1. Dear David,
            Steven means no animosity, it’s just his very forthright way of expressing himself.
            Once you come to know him you will realise this & just let it slide…or not 😉
            (One man’s vehement response is another man’s casual mentioning)

      2. The first time I heard a Meridian CD player, it sounded somewhat better than other players that I auditioned. Prior to the Meridian, I couldn’t bear the horrendous, shrill, ridiculously bad CD players that were on the market until close to the approach of the new century for me to purchase my first CD player. Finally, a company that made digital reproduction sound musical… Wadia. There may have been other companies like Sony that finally broke through the barrier of terrible digital sound at that time as well that I didn’t know about.

        Today, there are so many great digital devices available from multiple design houses that my head is spinning. I hope the MK2 lives up to expectations as I believe it will. There is a lot of stiff competition now, most of which are incredibly expensive.

        1. In the first years after CD was launched lots of companies brought out their own machines. Meridian’s neighbour Cambridge Audio brought out the first 2-box (transport/DAC) CD player in 1985, a few months after Meridian’s first player. I bought my first player in 1983 and my second, in 1990, was an excellent Marantz unit (there was an optional external DAC) that I used for 8 or 9 years.

          MQA compression was originally designed for streaming HD audio and very quickly that need disappeared. If you read their annual filings they make clear that their intention was to tie up manufacturers and the major record labels in licensing agreements, to the extent of giving the major labels shares in MQA. This plan failed. It was a brazen attempt at DRM.

          I have no idea about MQA sound quality, I’ve never listened to an MQA file. I was signed up to Qobuz before MQA existed and have listened to the studio masters that they offer.

          1. Stephen… I like Paul had subscriptions to both MQA and Qobuz and we both canceled MQA because something sounded ‘not right’ to my ears and it wasn’t worth my time to continue that subscription when Qobuz seems to be what I was looking for. I wanted to make the comparison though.

            With regard to Cambridge and Marantz players, I was so disgusted with what I had heard by then that I just dropped the idea of digital during the course of those years. I was happy with my analog system until one day I visited John Rutan in New Jersey who is a dealer that truly cares about the sound of music. He sat me down to listen to the Wadia 830 model when I had no intention of purchasing and I was stunned to hear something that approached the sound of quality music reproduction and I purchased it in an hour after he had played me enough music that I felt confident that I wouldn’t be returning it. Years later I noticed on YouTube videos that both Paul and Nelson had Wadia 850 or 860 models in their office systems.

            We each have our own histories in the journey for sonic perfection.

            1. Sorry for misspelling your name Steven. That’s Siri at work. I believe you are five hours ahead of me as I live on the East Cost of Florida and I’m still bleary-eyed when I dictate my comments. I usually have to correct them three or four times mostly because of Siri. It’s a bad habit that I have but this site is the first one I go to when I’m checking my email and watching the latest news at the same time.

              Neil

            2. In 1999, around the time you bought your Wadia I bought Primare C30.2 and used it for 10 to 12 years as my only source. It was the last CD player I used. My listening space at the time did not merit more than a fairly basic system, as we had young kids. The situation now is different, and I have house to myself for a few days!

        2. I still have my Meridian 508.24 CD player that I bought in 1998. It was at the time rated A+ by Stereophile magazine, and it is a great-sounding player. I replaced it with a PSA DSMP and DSDAC that bettered it in resolution, but there is a warmth and musicality about the Meridian 508.24 that I still appreciate.

          1. I heard the Meridian CD Player somewhere in the early 90s. I don’t think it was the same model because our hearing can’t be that different. It certainly wasn’t terrible as what I heard in the past but it was still not what I was looking for.

            1. The .24 near the end of the 90s was an upgrade to the .20 and had more resolution and refinement. But as with all components, they won’t be to everyone’s taste.

        3. The first and worst sounding Sony & Sharp CD players STILL sounded WAY better than my best audiophile pressed vinyl fffft hmmmm ttttthp records!

          What was that old Buggles tune?
          Digital killed the analog war…?

          Or was it:
          Hello, is it me you’re looking for?
          By Vinyl Ditchie?

          1. That’s one man’s opinion. Opinions may differ and I take exception to what you said.

            IMHO, Vinyl still rules but it’s a pain in the ass to deal with.

            I stream, play CDs and vinyl in that order. Vinyl Records are only about 5% of my listening time. CDs are about 50–70% of my listening time and the remainder is streaming.

          2. I have to agree with you here Kip.
            My first little AU$400 Toshiba CD player left my Luxman PD-264, Pickering XVS-3000 & vinyl collection for dead.
            For me vinyl has been dead since 1987.

            1. Hey, some of us will advance with the technology available and some of us will spend endless dollars to try to make a steam engine compete with a 2023 corvette. What ever floats your bigship.
              Personally, I’m on board with whatever improves upon the previous technology.
              I just wish I could live long enough to see what successes our current DSD limitation.
              Because no doubt there will be a next level audiophile source beyond DSD.
              I can’t wait.
              But vinyl lovers will never admit it could improve on their 1930s technology.
              I admire your dedication.
              I’m somewhat perplexed, but I admire your persistence.

                1. I’m not saying I’d 100% use it, I just crave the advancements in tech.
                  I recall seeing a video demonstration in a lecture hall – a guy has what looks like a 12′ x 12″ sheet of aluminum with 2 wire connected to it. He connected the wires to an amplifier and then panned it around the room There was complete silence until the sheet was perfectly perpendicular to the listener. (Including the camera dude) It wasn’t audiophile quality sound but it was pretty dang good.
                  Infinite applications but likely nothing I’d ever use. But pretty cool stuff. Mind you this was years ago & I have never heard anything come of it so maybe I got duped by a load of hooey.

    2. Your one more post about high end as a metier of making extremely expensive stuff for few rich people made me think about what’s so different with it compared to other metiers.

      I think the key is, that in high end audio the late and expensive steps make a comparably big and essential difference and this difference is quite easy to perceive for everyone who’s receptive.

      It’s not so with skiers, tennis rackets, cameras, TV’s, cars, bikes etc. There 95% of the reachable performance can be achieved for a lot, but not insanely lot of money.

      The nice thing is, in high end audio it also doesn’t necessarily need that insanely lot of money, but instead very informed choices and deep knowledge, which is difficult to develop. This again is an option that doesn’t help much in other metiers.

      Regarding younger vs. older engineers I don’t have an overview. My feeling so far would be, “old” experience still rules (for achieving top sound quality today) and other very positive examples like Darren are rather exceptions. I don’t think the mass of younger professionals are any worse in creativity etc., but I think they often have other priorities. I think when the experience of those mastering legends, audio design legends etc. dies out, we’ll often loose things that won’t come back…just as it partly already happened. But that’s just a vague feeling and only based on interest and priority of candidates, not their creativity or capability.

      1. Seems that dCS was able to or was related to the designer of the Ring DAC in the 1980s. From what I’ve read, this circuit design came from a remarkable idea that was brought to fruition by
        dCS to make their incredible sounding digital components. Lately, I’ve been hearing that this market of ultra expensive digital audio components is shrinking. I find this hard to believe with all of the ultra-wealthy people in the world that we never heard of that probably keep these companies going by having the ability to purchase this type of expensive gear.

          1. If these high-end digital components survive the competition and maintain their stature over the course of the years, they may very well become classic pieces and may hold their value and in some cases increase it. Over all of the years that I have traded up or sold some of my older gear, I found out several years later that the prices skyrocketed and I still live with the regret of not holding on to my Nakamichi Dragon or my Threshold 4000 to name but two.

              1. That was an aside to my reply jazznut.
                Sorry that you misunderstood. Guess I was trying to prove my point about the SQ of Wadia. I still love mine. It’s still so musical and reproduces quality cd recordings beautifully.

        1. I am going to go out on a limb here and say something that might upset a number of people here. 😮

          I know exactly how the ring DAC works. Was it a clever idea? Yes. Does it sound good? Yes. Has it continuously been tweaked to get better sound out of it? Yes. In today’s world is it overly complex and overly expensive for what it does? Yes. You can achieve the same results ( or perhaps even better results ) as the ring DAC gets just using FPGA’s a la Ed Meitner, Andreas Koch and Ted Smith.

          Now, does the spartan industrial appearance of the PST and DS MK2 DAC come anywhere close to the elegant sweeping look and expense of the individually machined front facades of the dCS Vivaldi stack? Of course not. So, if have $100K+ and you want great digital sound and you want a digital system that has a stunning appearance then get the dCS Vivaldi stack. But, if you want the same great digital sound and do not mind gear the has a spartan appearance check out PS Audio.

          1. I currently only MK-1 now and since I have learned to use some of the Roon DSP algorithms, I’m thrilled with the SQ.

            I take no issue with what you’re stating Tony. You dig deeper into researching the technology way more than I do. Just can’t afford the MK-2.

          2. Hi Tony,
            Absolutely!
            That’s the theory that I go with, including
            the spectre of the law of diminishing returns.
            Audio is for your EARS.
            If you want something pretty to look at
            then go & buy a painting, ffs.

      2. I mainly see – when it comes to high-end gear – most expensive materials (gold, silver, pure copper, cabinets milled from a solid metal block, fastest transistors (GaN), carbon-fiber cabinets for loudspeakers or most exotic mix of materials, incredible expensive and complex footers or driver’s membranes coated with exotic tungsten or zirconium, handmade transformers and coils) and totally different and often most contradictory design approaches but in the end it’s all about: can I hear an improvement without (!) being biased or letting me fool by marketing claims?

      3. You can go to a good dealer and buy an excellent audio system without knowing anything about audio equipment other than what sounds good to you and what doesn’t. To my knowledge this is how a lot of the better audio is sold in the UK. The dealers also do the installation and fine tuning. You are buying their experience.

        The sceptics will say the dealers are only here to rip you off. If there did that they would not be in business very long.

        The best way to keep the cost sensible is to buy good equipment and keep it for many years. Every manufacturer will try and convince their customers to buy the latest model, just as PSA is pushing people to change from Mk1 to Mk2 DAC. If you have enjoyed the Mk1 for years, why not keep it? There is always something better or more expensive. My gut feeling is that the scope for improvement is limited primarily by the quality of the listening pace, and for many people their space does not merit an expensive system, and many choose to use headphones instead.

        1. Regarding the first two paragraphs:

          I think with very few positive exceptions, that’s only true up to a certain level of performance. The dealer will sell you what by his experience (or because you tell him) he feels you want and is enough to please you. And he perfectly stays in business with this.

          It’s enough to sell you (not meant personally) stuff up to a little better standard than you already know, then most are satisfied.

          What he in contrary would need to do is show you how great it can get for a moderate price level and that you should measure your demand by that if you pay more. This means quite some selection and setup effort for him and limits his chance to sell you expensive stuff with less effort that sounds worse.

          1. Not my experience. The two dealers I favour do demonstration days, usually supported by a manufacturer, so their potential and actual customers have an idea what is possible, even well beyond their means. This builds a long-term connection. The dealer builds a knowledge of the client’s musical tastes and their listening space and can make recommendations within a budget.

            Most long-term business relationships are based on a deep understanding of individual customers. Audio should be no different. My dealer sells $1m systems, but he had not problem phoning me up and coming round and setting up a $1,000 subwoofer.

            Online selling puts the burden on the consumer to research if they cannot get to listen to a product and the manufacturer to devise an effective marketing strategy.

            1. After two decades of doing the bricks & mortar store retail thing…admittedly not the high-end stuff…I really think that the PS Audio concept of 30 days home audition makes the most sense…to me it does.
              If I asked for a 30-day home trial here in Australia I be laughed out of the store, except for maybe 2 or 3 stores as Australia slo-o-o-owly catches up with how things are done elsewhere on the planet…so what’s new?

            2. That’s what a high-end dealer should be doing. It’s not only the product, it’s the service that they back you up with.

              Once you find an excellent dealer or several excellent dealers never let go. You can always find a piece of equipment that they don’t carry somewhere else but they are your lifeline.

        2. One can keep the cost sensible by optimising what is in front of you – I started my digital journey by acquiring the best Yamaha CD player of the day; which after very lengthy conditioning, and heavy tweaking of the rest of the setup threw up full 3D, etc, sound … what it achieved was so very far ahead of the nonsense you heard in any hifi shop of the times – I wondered how long it would take for the industry to get to the point of producing that quality as standard fare …

          Well, it’s turned out to be decades – while waiting for this, and still waiting :-() , I learnt a lot by steadily going down market; tweaking lower and lower cost combos of gear, pushing each setup to the point of adequately accurate playback – meaning, you heard far more of the recording than you did of the signature of the gear used.

          Unfortunately, as pointed to by a few in this thread, digital is absurdly sensitive to noise and interference, from everywhere – only the most diligent tweaking gets rid of all of this.

          There’s *always* room for improvement – and the listening space is *not* part of that. An extremely high value for money rig, very, very carefully optimised, can be created these days which will “blow your listening space out of the water” – that is, the sound of the recording completely takes over, dominates the acoustic you’re in; it renders where you’re listening to it irrelevant.

          1. Noise is the big issue with digital and I keep it very simple and easy. My modem is connected to a switch with 2xSFP. 15m fibre cable goes to a TPLink media converter and 1m CAT6a to Innuos Zen. 1m usb into audio system. All units powered and isolated by a Puritan conditioner and power cables. That’s it.

            This is all basic stuff. PS Audio use Innuos, which are very well designed for low noise. The TPLink is powered by a battery, but a low noise iFi 5v power supply would be fine. An iFi PowerStation would also do the Puritan isolation very well.

            I could replace the $30 TPLink with a $500 audiophile version, but I’m not going there. Replace the $10 Blue Jeans CAT6a with some expensive AQ? No thanks.

      1. The Duck just dropped down and you just won $100.00.

        Groucho Marx… “Say the secret word and win $100… It’s a common word, something you hear every day.”

        In today’s world we need to use more than one word and these two words are mighty powerful.

  4. Beat the marketing people and die hard lobbyists for suggesting that technology and media with 0‘s and 1’s sound accurate, neutral and therefore perfect from start without any add. effort needed, can’t have recording, transport or copy loss and last forever.

    Positively seen this is the early and continuous enthusiasm of optimists, negatively seen it’s the shallowness and narrow-mindedness of technology nerds and lobbyists.

    Great to have people like Ted who get this technology near its marketing claim after 40 years 😉

    1. Ted Smith, Rob Watts, Andreas Koch, etc., etc.
      The true winner is the designer who can get the best
      sound quality from their DAC, at the lowest retail price-point.
      That’s the opinion of this ex-HiFi retail salesman 😉

  5. Paul,

    Just a point of grammatical pedantry. You’ve inappropriately used the apostrophe in the title of today’s post. The ‘1’ and ‘0’ are not possessive. They’re representing ‘more than one’ 1 and ‘more than one’ 0 so the title should be written as “1s and 0s” or, if you don’t like the way that looks, “ones and zeroes” or “ones and zeros”. While I’m at it, the Ss should not be capitalized. 🙂

    1. I’m with ya. Grammar sometimes must suffer for clarity. Magnepan 3.7is going to be mistakenly read wrong, thus it shalt be typed as 3.7i’s.
      I have a pair of 3.7i’s.
      Not:
      Spring had sprung
      The grass has ris,
      I wonder where my 3.7is.

  6. I have to disagree with the poster that says most of the really expensive gear is sold in the United States, most of the manufacturers of that type of gear say they sell more of it in Asia.

  7. As captivating and simplistic Paul’s post is I still know that digital tech, especially inside a DAC is extremely complex stuff.
    I don’t take it for granted, especially the DAC I have. 🙂

    1. When you truly consider the sort of processing that is going on inside Delta Sigma DAC chips or FPGA’s…there’s some amazing sh!t going on right there!

      1. Couldn’t agree more and Rob Watts of Chord Electronics is really at the forefront of Field Programmable Gate Array tech designs and applications in D/A circuits. He’s an impressive mind.

    2. Concerning the HF problems I would compare CD-players/DAC with those highend FM-tuners featuring a lot of heavily shielded modules inside the box – as I can see it in my very old ReVox B-760. This was the first “digital’ tuner designed by ReVox and I really wonder why ReVox/Studer totally missed becoming too the leader in digital audio technology having had huge competencies in HF audio gear and having produced some of the finest FM-tuners. Maybe Andreas Koch can tell us!?

      1. I had all the B series Revox gear, too, taken over for short time from my father. It was mechanically fascinating, the cassette deck, the tuner, hard to say goodbye from this point of view.

        1. I still have and use my B-790 TT and B-760 as „reference“. The B-790 has been heavily tweaked and upgraded (power supply now in an external box, better and longer internal phono cable for direct connection with the phono pre, IR remote control, cylinder-piston damper instead of silicone bellows). Unfortunately no chance to add a record weight or outer platter-ring. Thus for warped records a Shure V15 III with brush-damper is a must. The reliability and solidity of those old ReVox designs is exemplary.

      2. That’s a great question paulsquirrel.
        In my younger days Revox was like a household name to audiophiles.

        The brand is missed by many of us. Thanks for bringing the name Revox back to my attention.

  8. There’s two important things about digital where it’s simply NOT the case that “bits is bits”.

    Where “bits is bits” is true is inside processing chains; these play with bits, do computations with them, store them. As bits. No errors whatsoever (in the absence of cosmic rays and the like). If you’re multiplying a bunch of bits by another bunch of bits, how you do the multiply will have no effect on the result except the amount of time to create it and the amount of power needed.

    Where “bits aint bits” is in analogue to digital and digital to analogue conversion. This is classic analogue circuitry, and it has all the weaknesses of analog – difficult to engineer repeatability, stability; subject to power supply noise; you name it. And it responds well to skilled designers.

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