New or Old DAC


I currently have an older Theta front end. Data ll transport & Chroma HDCD. I like it, even though it is old and discontinued. I would like to update my DAC first , I am looking for a Theta Pro Gen va. I know the sound of the older Theta stuff and like it. But, are there any newer DAC's out there in that $1K (used) price range that can really give an equal or better performance than the Pro Gen Va? Do the newer anti jitter (re-clocking) DACS fall into that price range?

thanks, mike
mikedaniels
This question, new vs. old DAC, has been asked many times before, I suggest you search the Digital archives.

To some up all previous post, there is no 'right' choice. Some prefer the superior digital section of the newer models, and some prefer the superior analog output section of the older models. You pays your money, you makes your choices....happy hunting.

Cheers,
John
I can't see any reason why an older model would have a "superior" analog section? I can't imagine that any older DAC could hold a candle to current models.

The improvements in digital processing are an order of magnitude better in new DAC's and I can't see that there has been any regression in analog technology. It is either equal to, or quite probably better, depending on the company.

I would say that if you get a Benchmark, Bel Canto, Cary, Bryston, or similar you will be shocked at the improvement.

Good luck.
I am currently using a Cambridge Dacmagic. I can honestly say, after owning numerous high quality DAC's, this one is much better in ALL respects. Previous DAC's owned: Levinson 36, Classe DAC-1, Electrocompaniet, EAC DSP-7000 and Parasound DAC-2000.
As per the previous replies, I would look for a newer designed unit. I highly recommend the Dacmagic.
i personally think older theta dacs do rival and outperform many of the current dacs. they are not your typical dac animal and unless you have had one, it is hard to understand that. if you already know you like that sound, go for it...or save up for a gen viii2! i am in a similar circumstance and am pretty sure i will be getting a cb3 next (moving from casanova) but likely preowned with older dacs.
08-31-09: Macdadtexas
I can't see any reason why an older model would have a "superior" analog section? I can't imagine that any older DAC could hold a candle to current models.

The reason behind this philosophy is depreciation. Digital gear depreciates rapidly, like computers. So you are not comparing a $1K current model to a 5 year old $1K model, you are comparing a $1K current model to a $4K 5 year old model, which will sell used today for about $1K.

A $4K DAC will have better materials, expecially in the analog output stage than a $1K DAC. This was true 10 years ago, 5 years ago and today. Some feel that the latest digital chips make all the difference, (such as yourself). Some feel that the newer chips are just buzz-kill for the computer generation, and that the analog output stage is the most important part of a DAC (such as myself).

Remember, no one puts tubes, fancy caps or resistors in the digital to analog convertor, these premium parts go in the analog output stage.

Using automobiles as an analogy, it's like choosing whether to buy a new Kia with a powerful V12 engine in it, or a older used Porsche with a V8 in it......same price for either. Each will have it's proponants.

Cheers,
John
Thanks for all the responses. Unfortunately, buying used, one will only hear the product after you bought it. I guess that's one of the reasons I have stayed with the older Theta stuff...I know it. I have read different opinions comparing old to new. And staying within that $1K area, I continually read that the old ie. (Theta Pro Gen Va) still outperforms some of the newer $1K stuff like the Bel Canto. I read one thread that stated the Bel Canto was not even in the "Same League" as the Pro Gen Va. I would be very disappointed if I spent my $1K on a newer DAC and did not like it. I'm one who always (against better judgment) bought the used Porsche over the newer Honda, expensive to keep running, but man, what a ride!
I spoke with Jerry Ozment, designer of Audio Logic DACs and other highly regarded DAC about 4 to 5 years ago. At the time, he felt it was unlikely that there would be any significant improvements in digital processing that would improve upon what was available then for Redbook. Now I have no idea if it is true or not, but I suspect he knows a thing or two about DACs and that was his take. He thought that improvements would be had on the analog output side of things. I know that newer is newer, and the market needs it, but it is possible that digital processing might have gotten as good as it was going to get a few years back, at least with the Redbook standard. Now, higher rez formats in the future, that is a different story altogether, where I do excpect we will see improvements on that front. Waiting for the day we can download most anything in super hi rez, and be done with silver discs, of any kind.
Jmcgrogan2:

"Remember- no one puts Tubes, fancy caps or resistors in the Digital to Analog Converter, these Premium parts go in the Analog Output Stage."

Sorry to disagree, my Space Tech Lab DA-64XT DAC utilizes an STR-104 Tube Rectifier. This Rectifier does have two very, very large Tubes that supply power to all of the components within the DAC.
No problem with you disagreeing with me Pettyofficer, that's part of what makes this hobby fun. FWIW, your tube rectification is in the power supply section, which is also analog based, not in the digital or digital to analog conversion stage. Yes, it may supply power to that stage, but it is in the analog domain, and it supplies power to the analog output stage too.

I don't even own a DAC anymore, I gave up on digital seperates about 8 years ago when I rediscovered vinyl. I do own a highly modified cd player though. It's a $3.5K cd player with about $4K worth of mods in it, all in the power supply, input/output hardware, wiring and analog output stage (which has a dual triode tube buffer stage). It still has the same DAC's. I've owned this for a couple of years now, and I can't say that I've heard anything new from digital that would cause me to run out and spend mucho dinero on a new one.

That's just me though, whatever gets YOUR toes tapping is YOUR own personal answer.

Cheers,
John
Digital or Digital to Analog Conversion Stages run off of what power source, Pyramid Power, or a real tiny Zero Point Module (imported from Stargate Atlantis from another Galaxy somewhere no-less). Must be one hell of an Import Tax. Since when is Direct Current, "Analog Based"? There are Direct Current Power Supplies to Digital Microprocessors, unless these things run off of a vacuum.
Isn't there a trial period with the Benchmark DACs? If so, it would be interesting to compare with your Theta.
Jmcgrogan2- I am still awaiting an answer! How is A.C. Current that has been Rectified to D.C. Current, and is Voltage Regulated, and now supplies Analog as well as Digital Stages, Analog Based? Direct Current is Direct Current regardless if it is supplying Analog or Digital Stages, perhaps at a different Voltage, but it is still Direct Current! What is your basis of, "Analog Based" in Direct Current?
09-12-09: Pettyofficer
Jmcgrogan2- I am still awaiting an answer!

Sorry, I don't know what you are looking for. I didn't know that you were awaiting an answer, as I still don't know what you're saying. I'm still trying to figure out how tube rectification in the power supply or DC has anything to do with different DAC chip sets, that I thought this thread was about. Better to spend your $$$ on the latest DAC chip set vs. other parts (power supply, analog output stage, etc.). How it veered to AC vs. DC is beyond my comprehension.

Are you are saying that the DAC chip set is more important than the power supply or analog output section of a DAC? If so, then we just agree to disagree. If you are trying to stress the importance of a power supply or tube rectification, you are preaching to the choir. If this makes no more sense to you than your posts did to me, then I suggest we both just move on with our lives.
I wish i could have bought the Theta Gen. V when it first came out, as it rivaled the best Krell and Levinson DACs at a fraction of the price, but the Theta V(at 5-6 grand) was still more than I could afford. I demo many times, and I really thought the sound was realitic and as good as it could get or needs to be. IMO, the TOP DACs from the 90's still hold up well sonically to the run-of-the-mill DACs made now. (Im shure some of the price no object DACs are much better now, but the parabolic price increase is another story.)

IIRC, Theta was doing D-A conversion with custom software with a generalised DSP chip set and not going with the typical Burr-Brown, Crystal, or Analoge Devices chip sets that were favored by most of the "me-too" digital designers.

I've been looking for a used BALANCED VERSION Gen V ever since and they are hard to get. They have a stong demand in the used market. I think most sysems would benefit from one.
Jmcgrogan2-Sorry, I am still trying to translate what you are saying into something that makes sense. You classified DC Power to an Analog Stage as being, "Analog Based". Since when if both Analog and Digital Stages are based on DC Power Supplies. There is no difference in the Power Supply to either, other than the designed Voltages. DC is DC, regardless if it is supplying a Digital or Analog Stage. There is nothing special about the DC Power Supply to an Analog Stage that sets it apart from the DC Power Supply to a Digital One. Your claim that, "no-one puts Tubes, fancy Caps or Resistors in the Power Supply to Digital Stages as opposed to Analog Stages" is a bogus claim. Both Digital and Analog Stages recieve the same DC Power (at different regulated Voltages) from the same source, the AC-DC Rectifying Stage. This Stage, if Tube Rectified, supplies DC Power to both Analog and Digital Stages. There is nothing that sets this DC Power apart when supplying an Analog Stage as opposed to an Digital One, other than the underlying Regulated Voltage. It is bogus to claim that DC Power is anything else (Analog Based What?) other than simply DC Power! There is no real difference, other than Voltage, and it is simply wrong to imply that there is a difference! This is a fact, not a matter of agreeing to disagree, and stop using that as an excuse to support an bogus arguement! Your false statement IS the issue, stop trying to distract from that by using the issues of this Thread as cover! You are not fooling anyone, least of all me! Obviously, I am going to have to keep an eye on you! Your Statement was false, Period. You are not going to be able to diplomatically slime your way out of this one! Busted, with your hands firmly in the Cookie Jar, lets see you try to charm your way out of this one! I have a firm grip on you, and I am not letting go! You haven't a clue as to how the Power Supply works in any Stereo Component, more or less a CD Player/Processor, do you?
If this makes no more sense to you than your posts did to me, then I suggest we both just move on with our lives.
Jmcgrogan2

Pettyofficer, I read the first line of your response, and I just thought I'd re-post from my last reply.....life's to short. Enjoy yourself.

Cheers,
John
You want the short version? Analog based DC Power is a completely bogus and twisted concept. Analog based DC Power, this is your word construct, not mine! It is something that would be constructed by someone who has no idea of how a Power Supply works in any Stereo Component. It sounds like someone who doesn't know what he is talking about, trying to pretend like he knows what he is talking about. Life is too short to have the wool pulled over one's eyes. I enjoy myself more when someone is NOT seriously trying to jerk my chain. Life is too long to allow such a gross conceptual error to continue!
Jmcgrogan2

Not much need to read beyond the first line or two from Po's posts. I haven't been able to either. He is however part of our community and he certainly does take this hobby seriously...
Great! Analog based DC Power exists, the Earth really is flat, the Moon is really made of Green Cheese, the Loch Ness Monster really exists, so does Big Foot, the Land of OZ really exists, and Smoking actually improves your health! Are there any other Myths out there that someone wants to carve into reality? I don't want to be part of a Community that conveniently lives in complete denial of Reality, one that chooses to ignore that Man hiding behind that curtain in the Land of OZ! You just can't make things up as you go along, and then get offended when someone challenges your Fantasy with a healthy dose of reality! Perhaps this is all nothing more than Angel Dust Flashbacks to the Land of OZ. Just one request, can I be there when anyone decides that they can fly, and jumps off a cliff to prove it? I know, I am the idiot for even concidering the downside of this endeavor! How dare I insult anyones attempt at this brave exercise! I am the one who's logic is flawed! I'm not being very nice and dyplomatic about this example of absolute stupidity! I am calling the Men In Black, you have got to be the nuttiest excuse for an Alien from another Planet! No wonder that you will believe just about anything you read and hear, no matter how much Reality exists to the contrary. You don't want to read beyond the first line or two, because it would really upset your existence in a Fantasy World! Analog based DC Power does not exist, it is a Government Conspiracy to get you to buy more expensive Stereo's to help support the Economy! Is that enough Fantasy for you to now believe, I can just as well make it up as I go along! Wait, they have found me, they are pounding at the door! It is the Government, they have come to get me! Make sure more people are informed of the Conspiracy, gotta go!
REALLY!
I am still awaiting an answer! How is A.C. Current that has been Rectified to D.C. Current, and is Voltage Regulated, and now supplies Analog as well as Digital Stages, Analog Based? Direct Current is Direct Current regardless if it is supplying Analog or Digital Stages, perhaps at a different Voltage, but it is still Direct Current! What is your basis of, "Analog Based" in Direct Current?

Seems pretty apparent, at least to me, that all John meant is that the circuitry (or at least most of the circuitry) in most power supplies is analog circuitry utilizing analog components.

Regards,
-- Al
Old DAC's are simply not as good as newer ones, even across price ranges, it's that simple. The underlying technology has advanced so much, it's not even close. The signal processing is so much improved through the new chips sets and firmware, that even the best analog output stage couldn't make up the difference.

BTW, who care, just listen to vinyl!!
Almarg-The Power Supply to Analog circuitry, as well as Digital circuitry, comes from the same source. It is Direct Current from the Rectifying Stage. This Direct Current isn't Transmogrified if it is supplying an Analog circuit instead of a Digital circuit. How do you Transmogrify Direct current anyways? Jmcgrogan2 claims that no-one uses Tubes, fancy caps or resistors in the Power Supply to a Digital Stage as opposed to an Analog Stage. The point is completely bogus, since both Digital and Analog Stages both run off of the same power source, Direct Current from the Rectifying Stage! Hello, Tubes are used for Rectifying AC to DC to supply Analog and Digital Stages! My System does exactly that, and it is certainly not the only one that uses Tubes for the Rectifying Stage. Direct Current is not Analog based, regardless of whatever analog circuitry is being supplied by this direct current. If I must, I will supply a list of Manufacturers and their Model numbers that utilize Vacuum Tubes in their Rectifying Stages. I guarantee you that there will be more than just a handful. This spans Amplifiers, Pre-Amps, CD Players, Digital Processors, you name it! The issue was never Analog Circuitry, it was fancy Resistors, capacitors, and Vacuum Tubes! All of these are used in a Rectifying Stage to supply Direct Current to both Analog and Digital circuitry-FROM THE SAME SOURCE!
Thanks Ben and Al. FWIW, you are right on the money Al, that is what I meant, but it's like pissing into the wind with some folks.

It seems to me that the only excercise that Pettyofficer is getting is jumping to conclusions. ;D
Hopefully he'll switch to decaf.

Pettyofficer, I can't even read or understand what you're writing, try inserting some breaks into your tirades.

You can do this by hitting the 'Enter' key twice.....try it. Your rambling may be less tedious and could even make you look more human. I will credit you for not mis-using the CAPS LOCK key.....those posts are also very difficult to read.

Cheers,
John
PettyOfficer -- I agree with at least most of your previous post, but I think that a misunderstanding may have arisen in this thread due to the term "power supply" being used by different posters to mean different things.

No one is saying that the dc current itself is "analog based." What is analog based is the circuit that generates it. The rectifying stage circuit IS the power supply, and it is an analog circuit.

The term "power supply," as used by most electrical engineers (of which I am one), and as I believe John was using the term, refers to a circuit, consisting of the rectifier, resistors, capacitors, etc., that you alluded to.

I can see how the words "power supply," in normal English usage, could be interpreted as referring to the current which is generated by that circuit, but it seems pretty clear that is not what was meant in this case.

Regards,
-- Al
Thanks for further clarifying what I was alluding to Al. I'm glad you were able to understand my interpretation of 'power supply'. Always good to have an EE handy to straighten out miscommunications. ;D

Cheers,
John
It sounds like someone who doesn't know what he is talking about, trying to pretend like he knows what he is talking about. Life is too short to have the wool pulled over one's eyes. I enjoy myself more when someone is NOT seriously trying to jerk my chain. Life is too long to allow such a gross conceptual error to continue!


I don't know. There may still be a conspiracy unfolding....at the very least, some real chain-pulling – and at worst, truly gross conceptual error…

Life IS too short for (this) type of behavior….
I don't know. There may still be a conspiracy unfolding....at the very least, some real chain-pulling – and at worst, truly gross conceptual error…

Life IS too short for (this) type of behavior….

Huh? What are you talking about, Ben? Or are you just trying to be inflammatory?

-- Al
Al, it appears as if Ben is replying to Pettyofficer's 2nd post on 9/15/09. I give Ben credit if he can read through all that stuff, he's a better man than I am. I saw a wall of hieroglyphics and just gave up.

I think you cleared it up well Al, and I think it's now time to put this thread to bed. I now wish I had just bailed after my first reply.......sigh. Apologies to Mikedaniels for turning this thread into another mess. That's why I suggested to search the archives, this mess happens quite a bit with many questions, including this one.

Cheers,
John
Like John says…

I guess I neglected to include the Insert-Humor-Here tag; albeit inflammatory humor.
Almarg-

"The Rectifying Stage Circuit IS the Power Supply, and it is an Analog Circuit"

Then if the Rectifying Stage Circuit IS the Power Supply, and it utilizes Tubes, then Jmcgrogan2's claim that no-one uses Tubes-fancy Caps-or Resistors in the Power Supply for Digital Stages is completely bogus. Is there supposed to be a separate Rectifying Stage for both Analog
and Digital Stages? Can no-one see the contradiction, or did I.Q.'s just drop sharply on this Thread? A Rectifying Stage, that uses Analog circuitry, to convert AC to DC, whose DC Output is never the less NOT Analog based- what is so difficult to understand about this? Am I going too fast for everyone? S-h-o-u-l-d I s-l-o-w i-t d-o-w-n f-o-r e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e? Maybe if I took the Vacuum Tubes out of the Rectifying Stage of my DAC, and shoved them in Jmcgrogan2's dark place. Then broke them off, perhaps then he would get the point that they are NOT simply part of my imagination! Try Rectumfying that! Almarg- what are you trying to tell me- that no DAC in existence can utilize Vacuum Tubes in its Rectifying Stage as a Power Supply to its Digital Circuits? And you agree with Jmcgrogan2 in this regard? If you really are an EE, I would suggest that you stick to working on Solid State circuits, because you are apparently as clueless as Jmcgrogan2! Where do I get off of this Flat Earth Society Thread anyways?
Almarg- what are you trying to tell me- that no DAC in existence can utilize Vacuum Tubes in its Rectifying Stage as a Power Supply to its Digital Circuits? And you agree with Jmcgrogan2 in this regard?

No, I did not say that, and you are quite correct that audio components of all kinds can and often do utilize tube-based rectifier stages/power supplies, which in some components may supply power to digital as well as analog circuits.

JMCGrogan2: Remember, no one puts tubes, fancy caps or resistors in the digital to analog convertor, these premium parts go in the analog output stage.

Pettyofficer: Sorry to disagree, my Space Tech Lab DA-64XT DAC utilizes an STR-104 Tube Rectifier. This Rectifier does have two very, very large Tubes that supply power to all of the components within the DAC.

Again, I think there is a misunderstanding here. You (PO) were referring to the DAC component in the sense of the entire component, while John was referring (I believe) to "digital to analog converter" in the sense of the dac circuit or chip within the overall component (as distinguished from the power supply within the overall component). Notice his reference to the analog output buffer stage (as distinguished from the d/a converter stage), which would seem to confirm this interpretation.

Then if the Rectifying Stage Circuit IS the Power Supply, and it utilizes Tubes, then Jmcgrogan2's claim that no-one uses Tubes-fancy Caps-or Resistors in the Power Supply for Digital Stages is completely bogus.

If that is what John meant, then yes, he was clearly wrong. But I suggest that you consider the possibility that, as I indicated immediately above, he was using the phrase "digital to analog converter" in a different sense than you interpreted it.

Regards,
-- Al
Almarg-
I am going to try this one more time. It doesn't matter if one is refering to the DAC as the entire component or strictly the the "digital to analog converter" dac circuit or chip! There is no distinguishing the power supply within the overall component. Everything that is the Component, as well as what is part of the component, is fed Direct Current via the Rectifying Stage. The ONLY thing that gets fed anything else, Alternating Current, is the Rectifying Stage itself. The ONLY difference to the power supply of each part of the Component is the Voltage, and Capacitance of the DIRECT CURRENT via the Rectifying Stage! The DAC Circuit is supplied DC from the same source, the Analog Output Stage is supplied DC from the same source, that source being the Rectifying Stage. There is no distinction, other than Voltage and Capacitance, between the power to the Analog Output Buffer Stage and the D/A Converter Stage. Other than Voltage and Capacitance, Direct Current is Direct Current no matter what it supplies. Why do you and Jmcgrogan2 insist that there is a distinction between Two Direct Current Power Supplies that come from the same source? Do you not concider the Direct Current Output of the Rectifying Stage as being part of the Power Supply that we are refering to? Other than Voltage and Capacitance, what is the specification of the distinction between two Direct Current Power Supplies that you are refering to? Wave Amplitude and Cycles Per Second? Two Direct Current Power Supplies, one to the Analog Stage, one to the D/A Converter Stage, what is the distinction other than Voltage and Capacitance? Need I remind anyone that these two DC Power Supplies come from the same source?
This is basically the same logic and reason, as concidering the Lungs as not being part of the Human Circulatory System. If you eliminate the Lungs from the Equation, just what is the Circulatory System circulating?
Sorry to notice the gap in your logic and reason being as wide as the Grand Canyon. The best that I can do is offer you a shovel.
Why do you and Jmcgrogan2 insist that there is a distinction between Two Direct Current Power Supplies that come from the same source?

We don't (or at least I don't, and I don't think John does either). I suggest that you re-read my previous posts.

Need I remind anyone that these two DC Power Supplies come from the same source?

No, you needn't remind anyone. My point is that I don't think anyone has said anything to the contrary.

Regards,
-- Al
Pettyofficer: Sorry to disagree, my Space Tech Lab DA-64XT
DAC utilizes an STR-104 Tube Rectifier. This
Rectifier does have two very, very large Tubes
that supply power to all of the components
within the DAC.

Nice try Almarg, components within the DAC refers to the D/A Converter Chip Set amongst other Circuits, not the entire Component. Notice the use of the "Plural" version of component, meaning more than one. Notice the use of the word "within" meaning inside. Perhaps I am really going too fast for everyone, or is everyone trying to pull a fast one over me! You are going to have to try a little harder than that!
I was a pettyofficer in the US Navy years ago and after hours spent a great deal of time drinking heavily as well.

Glad to see the tradition continues.
Almarg-everything that you and Jmcgrogan2 have suggested-can only lead to one conclusion. That you and him both believe that there is a serious distinction between the DC Current Supply to the Analog Stage as opposed to the Digital Stage. If not-why then bring up the issue of Vacuum Tubes being used in one or the other, when Vacuum Tubes are being used to supply power to both? Just what the Hell is your point? Mine is very simple, when Vacuum Tubes are used in the Rectifying Stage of a DAC, they become part of the power supply to both the Analog and Digital Stages! Someone is obviously NOT just strictly using Tubes in the Analog Stage as opposed to the Digital. If the Rectifying Stage is Solid State, and Tubes are used elsewhere, then Jmcgrogan2's statement might make sense. Why is this so hard for everyone to understand?
Audiofeil- perhaps YOUR tradition continues after you served
in the U.S. Navy years ago. Atleast I can abreviate "U S"! It is that funny looking key on your keyboard with an arrow pointing to your right (your military right-damn it) with a weird little dot just below it. I seem to remember being able to carry my liquor a whole hell of alot better than you. I think you need to sleep it off!
Mine is very simple, when Vacuum Tubes are used in the Rectifying Stage of a DAC, they become part of the power supply to both the Analog and Digital Stages!

Agreed 100%.

Why is this so hard for everyone to understand?

It isn't hard to understand -- in fact no one disagrees with your point. The problem is that you refuse to accept a reasonable interpretation of our posts, and continue to insist that our posts were saying something unreasonable and obviously wrong.

That is my last word on the subject.

Regards,
-- Al
Thanks Al, You read me correctly. I gave up on Pettyofficer....either English is not his first language, or he has been drinking excessively as Bill suggests.

Either way, I again apologize to Mikedaniels, and I hope he took my original suggestion to search the archives, as this thread has deteriorated into garbage. If we're all very lucky, the moderators will just delete it. Don't be afraid to ask another question though Mike, but search the archives first.

Cheers,
John
"Remember, no one puts tubes, fancy caps or resistors in the digital to analog convertor, these premium parts go in the analog output stage."

Perhaps you should have said.
Remember, no one puts tubes, fancy caps or resistors in the digital to analog convertor, these premium parts go in the analog output stage and the "Power Supply"!!

Improvement in the power supply can make a Huge differnce!
Should also mention that 99% of Digital gear will use switching power supplies which are known to induce noise and are very dirty as far as power suppies go.

A Space Tech Dac "DOES NOT" use switching power suppies, it uses a Linear Power Supply!
Bernie, in hindsight, you are correct, I should have been more specific. I did not realize that someone could misinterpret the digital to analog covertor chip to mean the power supply. Live and learn. I also agree with you on the importance of the power supply.

This is my last word on the subject too.

Cheers,
John
I am an older DAC chip guy. I just finished a DAC design by Pedja that uses a TDA1541A Philips chip. The chip went out of production in or about 1995. I found and use the TDA1541AS2 chip (premium grade), a very hard chip to find. Another great older DAC chip is the Burr Brown PCM63. The PCM63K is Burr Brown's premium chip. Cd's are recorded in 44.1 khz and at 16 bits. This is all the info that in on a CD. A better circuit design and good DAC chip make a good DAC unit. Some older units are very good as well as newer designs, but there is still only 16 bits of info so an 18 bit-24 bit DAC chip will not get more info off a standard CD.

Anyway my choice is a newer design using and older DAC chip. Zanden is a company that does this at a very high cost.
Jmcgrogan2- No-one is misinterpreting the Digital to Analog Converter chip to mean the Power Supply. Just don't understand how you can eliminate or exclude the Power Supply from the Digital to Analog Converter Chip Circuit. We are supposed to exclude any concideration of the Rectifying Power Supply Stage in discussing Tubes, fancy Caps or Resistors? If any of these are used in the Rectifying Power Supply, then they cannot be excluded from being part of the Digital to Analog Converter Chip Circuit. The Power Supply to ANY Circuit, IS PART of that Circuit! To argue otherwise, is being in denial of basic Electrical and Electronic Theory. There is no misinterpretation, bad English, or Drinking problem. There is simply YOUR inability to connect the Rectifying Power Supply TO the Digital/Analog Converter Chip Circuit. The Circuit will not work very well if it is SEPARATED from its Power Supply, but perhaps I am mistaken (hic!), and I need a whole HELL OF ALOT more booze to finally see things from your point of view!
Almarg- if you really are an E.E.- then you already know that the Power Supply to any Circuit, including an Digital to Analog Converter Chip Circuit, IS PART OF THAT CIRCUIT! Any distinction or interpretation WILL NOT CHANGE THAT FACT! You have got to have SOMETHING to conduct Current over the GAPS of your so-called "Distinctions" within a Circuit. Distinctions don't conduct current very well! I seriously doubt that your Distinctions would even insulate me from getting zapped if I were to touch a live circuit! Must I force you to actually touch the live Circuit of a Digital to Analog Converter Chip, and get zapped, before you will acknowledge that that Vacuum Tube Rectifying Stage DOES INDEED carry one hell of a punch? Since perhaps I don't understand English, I am mistaken there as well! If you want to continue working on live Circuits, thinking that Distinctions will insulate you from getting Zapped, perhaps I am indeed the Idiot for challenging your line of thought! Please, don't let me interfere with your work any longer!
Everyone-you can give up on me, but please don't give up on the Laws of Physics, nor Electrical and Electronic Theory! You might live a little longer, and you just might avoid earning that Darwin Award! The Power Supply to any Circuit is separate and distinct from the Circuit it supplies, well I guess there is no sense in unplugging anything then. Everything will be perfectly safe when playing around in a live Circuit! I would not recommend practicing Electrical Safety in accordance with the Electrical Theory of Jmcgrogan2 and Almarg, unless of course, you are the Frankenstein Monster! Face it Gentlemen, neither one of you are exactly Nicholas Tesla. You will indeed conduct Electricity! If you don't believe me, I have a special Posthumous Award for the both of you!
PO must be off his meds again.
Cajunpepe-
Please tell me that you don't prefer the sticking of of a fork in the Electrical Outlet, the same as your two friends Jmcgrogan2 and Almarg. Hey guys, there are only so many Darwin awards to go around! So exactly what kind of drug am I supposed to take to convince me that this is a safe exercise? Is there one that can completely destroy ones survival instinct? You keep on taking it, I think that I will pass!
You guys like playing around with a live circuit, because you believe that a Rectifying Power Supply is irrelevant? You might want to try putting your hand in a bucket of water while you do this, if you want to kick it up a notch, or you could even join hands! That should give you a nice, warm, fuzzy, and tingly feeling! Something told me that you, Cajunepe, would be a big masochistic fan of self imposed SHOCK TREATMENT! Just don't get hooked on it, you don't have that many brain cells to spare!
Damn it all, I guess that I will just have to split that Darwin award amongst the three of you! You guys could try something a little more safer and still get your kicks, something like Skydiving or Bungie Jumping! I guess you guys just like that tingling feeling too much!
You too, Cajunpepe, will conduct Electricity, but by all means you can go on argueing wth me till Hell freezes over that you don't! What do I know, I'm on Drugs!
Jmcgrogan2-SNAP!

Almarg-CRACKLE!

Cajunpepe-POP!

Is that noise my breakfast cereal, or my Drugs kicking in? If it is neither, then (ZAP!) someone is spasming on the way to becoming a crispy critter! Naw, couldn't be, I must be drunk or my inability to understand English must be affecting my hearing! Why am I argueing with a trio of crispy critters anyways? Maybe they still have some arguement left in them, the way they are still happily jiggling on the floor? Is that a grimace or a smile on their faces? Oops- eyes just burst out of their sockets-they must be happy! I will be happy too, just as soon as I take some more drugs,but I don't think that I will be as happy as those three! Atleast they look happier!
Reading through this, I don't feel like Pettyofficer got a fair shake. He pointed out a glaring mistake and got nothing but evasive and attacking responses. Attacking his typing doesn't seem to resolve the issue. Also, the fact that you guys are having trouble reading a paragraph worries me about the quality of anything written on Audiogon.

His frustration may have roots in the fact that he is right and no one has sided with him or admitted their error.

"Face it Gentlemen, neither one of you are exactly Nicholas Tesla."

hah!
Reading through this, I don't feel like Pettyofficer got a fair shake. He pointed out a glaring mistake and got nothing but evasive and attacking responses. Attacking his typing doesn't seem to resolve the issue. Also, the fact that you guys are having trouble reading a paragraph worries me about the quality of anything written on Audiogon.

His frustration may have roots in the fact that he is right and no one has sided with him or admitted their error.

"Face it Gentlemen, neither one of you are exactly Nicholas Tesla."

I lack the knowledge to refute the technical aspects provided here in PO’s statements. I took a mild jab at his good character based solely on his approach – which is, needless to say, quite “over-the-top!” It is his “approach” that leads some to question PO’s medications and dosages - which in itself, really needn’t be viewed as an insult – given that statistics indicate a good portion of this very community is taking meds (those kinds of meds).

A simple word of advice for PO….brevity.