Originally Posted by mcnarus
The designs of the boutique brand you encountered was designed/engineered like that on purpose for intentional coloration I'm guessing?
Not necessarily intentional. I think it's more common that they simply don't know what they're doing.
From the blurbs I've read about "NOS DACs", these people know exactly what they are doing and think its the way to go.
It is all about creating a perceived difference. Back that up with sighted evaluations where everything always sounds different and you've got a working sales plan.
No-noversampling DACs alter the frequency response, for example,
Well, you can still use them with digital filters and get the good frequency response, which was how they were/are used by real engineers.
but I don't think that's why people make them. People make them because they are under the mistaken impression that oversampling itself causes audible distortion.
Yes, that's the myth. We had someone who was blurbing that scare storey/audiophile myth around here a few weeks back.
So they trade a non-audible distortion for an audible one. Dumb.
Like I said, there are non-oversampling DACs and the low sample rate digital filters to go with them. They existed back in the day when chips tended to slower and oversampling was not as easy as it is now. I believe one of the major DAC chip houses has a newly designed non-oversampling DAC in his catalog, with the non-oversampling digital filter to go with it.
Similarly, if you listen to what tube amp makers say about their products, and compare that to what measurements tell us their products actually do, you'll see a real disconnect.
In the end I think that most of the audible difference they actually deliver is due to the amps high source impedance. Same basic pitch, they make loop feedback sound like it escaped from one of the inner rings of hell, and it goes downhill from that.
If you want a high source impedance from your amps, just buy some 2,4,8 ohm power resistors and put them in series with your speaker cables! ;-)
And let's not forget all the boutique products that, for all their claims, don't actually sound different at all.
I would say that most separates and high end AVRs fit in that category. The funniest story I read recently was about a high end box that was a basically a rebranded mass market product, but had degraded Audyssey. You get to pay more for less, if you don't count the fancy name.