Notes on Audio Digital-to-Analog Converter designs and related technology (2016 update)

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If you're a current DIY hobbyist or professional/manuf. engineer of high-performance digital-audio gear, what modern choices do you have in selecting DACs and related technology?

Delta-Sigma DACs (modern/in-production):

Multibit and Non-Delta-Sigma (modern/in-production):

Multi-bit and Non-Delta-Sigma (not-in-production / classic / new-old-stock):

  • Philips TDA1541A (common on eBay, and/or thru Chinese sources)
  • Philips TDA1545A (common on eBay, and/or thru Chinese sources)
  • Philips TDA1387 (common on eBay, and/or thru Chinese sources)

Discrete R2R DACs (modern/in-production):

Digital Filters (oversampling/reconstruction)

  • FPGA (aka DSP): algorithm-based, custom-programmed software, used since late 1980s by Wadia (DigiMaster), Theta, etc.
  • Discrete audio DFs: no longer manuf'd (last in-production stand-alone digital filter was TI's DF1704); older examples: Yamaha, NPC, Philips SAA7220, Pacific Microsonics (PMD100 and PMD200, "HDCD")

  • Digital filter adapters (kits for DIY projects; by

Upsampling (Sample-Rate Conversion):

Output Stages (multi-pole filters, buffers, I/V, etc.):

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This page was last updated: Thursday, 2016-12-22 17:42 PST