I may be wrong but....I think the Motorola 56367 is the state of the art.
5 responses Add your response
A lot of times, it's not so much the decoder's used, but how well the support circuitry is used. I've seen less then optimum parts perform better than highly specialized parts that were implimented in a poor design. Having said that, a designer / company that starts off with higher grade parts may be more likely to have better results than someone else trying to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear : ) Sean
I'm not sure about the 56367 being the state of the art. The $30,000 Mark Levinson No. 40 is arguably a state-of-the-art product and they use the SHARC processor from Analog Devices.
I don't believe DD/DTS are bit-exact decompression algorithms. Therefore one processor that decodes a DD/DTS bitstream may produce a different set of digital samples than some other processor. That would imply that different decoders will have a different sound. However, all DD/DTS decoders have to be certified by Dolby/DTS, insuring some level of quality, before being allowed to claim compatibility or use the logos.
Also, any post processing that goes on (beyond decoding), such as bass management for example, would certainly alter the sound. And as Sean pointed out, the supporting electrical circuitry will also have an audible effect. Power supply, clocking, DACs etc.
Dave, 30,000.00 dollars, holy cow.
Here's the cost for the SHARC processors......
"Per-unit pricing in quantities of 10,000 units for the ADSP-21267 is $9.95, for the ADSP-21266 is $14.95, for the ADSP-21365 is $19.95, and for the ADSP-21364 is $24.95."
Although, from specs alone the SHARC's are very impressive processors and they may very well be the better of the two.
For comparisons sake, 50,000 Motorola 56367's are sold at about $15.00 each.
Sonny, of the three you listed, I only have experience with the Classe. It is a fine product and an excellent performer but...I have only heard the same for CAL and Theta. I am in complete agreement with the previous statements. The sum and implementation of the complimentary circuitry/parts is probably more important than the processor in and of itself.