Originally Posted by Remonster
Why would it matter? Once anything is recorded digitally, it's nothing more than a series of ones and zeroes representing an audible signal. All a DAC has to do is convert those ones and zeroes into an analog waveform. That is the beginning, middle and end of a DAC's job.
Just because you spent money on a new DAC (five times) and think you heard an improvement each time, doesn't make it necessarily so. The unfortunate reality is the human brain is easily deceived by preconceived notions, but there is no arguing with the science.
I want to be clear about one thing: I am not saying every single DAC sounds the same as every single other one, many of them seem to have been built with equalization (for example a bass boost) that makes them more pleasing to audiophiles who think it's a good idea to buy an entire chain of components which each colors the sound, but the majority of mainsteam DACs (especially when it comes to the ones found in AVRs) are just designed to do their job without artificially coloring the sound and among those, you will never, ever hear a difference.
There are major differences in DACs for their electrical performance specifications..
See the below link..http://www.cirrus.com/en/products/d-a_converters.html
Next check the 1st DAC, CS4334 now compare its specs to the CS 4398, the differences are quite significant.. As you may know Crystal/Cirrus Logic is one of the larger supplier of DACs to the audio, automotive and CE product segments.
For your info..
The cost difference in 100K qtys the cost of the 4398 is 8x the cost of the 4334..
Another good demo comparison for DACs is to take an iPod and AVR that can play its iPod audio digitally
Denon, Pioneer and Onkyo have models that can do this. Next connect a simple 3.5 m/m cable > RCAs from the iPod Line Out to a stereo input on the AVR, also connect the OE iPod cable through USB. Select a good quality audio track and compare the analog audio to the digital audio, there is a very big audible difference.
Keep in mind, the audibles differences are not just the DAC but related to the overall circuit design, however this part is a major contributor to the sonic differences..
Just my $0.02...