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Can compressed audio (internet streams, MP3's etc.) damage audio equipment?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Can a highly compressed, ****** digital sources like MP3 damage components, particularly the DAC?

I'm not familiar with the engineering behind most any electronic equipment let alone the technical operation of a DAC so please bear with my ignorance.
post #2 of 5
No, just your [sarcasm] ears [/sarcasm].
post #3 of 5
It's hard to imagine how it could. Of course a pure DAC cannot generate listenable sound from an MP3, which is, by definition, encoded/lossily compressed. DACs (strictly speaking) convert pulse code mosulated digital (ie PCM) into sound. SOmething has to decode the MP3 into PCM before the DAC can handle it.

I would expect that feeding something other than PCM into a DAC would yield either silence because it doesn't even look like a signal to the DAC or weird noise . . .
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
My lack of technical knowledge causes me to fall back to an emotional standpoint rather than a rational, educated one. So with this topic for example, I tend to think of it like an organism, that it responds to its environment by dynamically adapting in order to be as efficient as possible, (similar in the way that if a human is sedentary, muscles undergo atrophy), so I then apply this to something like a dac, because it can process relatively complex signals, but also simple signals, and if it worked similarly to something I understand more, i.e the human body, its ability to accurately process more complex signals would in a sense undergo some kind of atrophy.

So I guess that's where my paranoia stems from.

Thanks for your post JHaz, it helped to make me feel more comfortable.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbarian887 View Post

Can a highly compressed, ****** digital sources like MP3 damage components, particularly the DAC?

DACs not ever, speakers with some exceedingly remote possibility.

DACs are defined in such a way that they can't be damaged by a even vaguely reasonable input signal which is digital. You could damage a DAC by applying a significantly incorrect voltage to it, but that would damage it as soon as it was powered up, not by any particular input signal.

To most people a DAC is an audio component, so its operating environment is pretty tightly constrained. Some DACs can probably tolerate having an AC power line attached to their signal input or output terminals, but many might be damaged by such gross abuse.
Edited by arnyk - 2/25/13 at 1:27pm
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AVS › AVS Forum › Audio › Audio theory, Setup and Chat › Can compressed audio (internet streams, MP3's etc.) damage audio equipment?