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Comprehensive Objective Analysis of Digital to Analog Conversion in Consumer and Professional Applications

A six-year project measuring performance of over 400 Digital to Analog Converters (DACs) brings insight into the range of performances and prices in this device category. Measurements show that full audible transparency has been achieved in many DACs at reasonable costs, based on off-the-shelf IC DACs. Consumer DACs lead in this regard over those intended for professional applications. Custom/discrete DACs have not been seen to bring an advantage in either performance or cost. Suggestions are made to improve functionality and performance of measurement equipment and standardization of output voltages in DACs.


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