The biggest problem is audio manufacturers in the business of integrating DAC chips are at the mercy of the big chip foundries.
As a DAC designer I see this as an opportunity, not a problem. I agree a lot of the designers think like this - but then there are
others who break the mould. Vincent Brien's 'TotalDAC' is one such. Cees at Metrum got away from using a DAC targeted at
audio - its still from a big foundry, but it demonstrates that designers aren't limited to what the big chip companies design
specifically for audio. A lot of the fun comes from re-purposing alternative and non-mainstream parts in my experience.
Of course they and the jounals have to defend the modulator technology, they have no choice as you can't develop a business plan based on an integration of an onsolete or "planned obsolete" chip. So I empathize with the attempts to change the subject and direct this read off tangent.
Businesses don't though have to depend on business plans (and VCs, etc. etc.). They
can grow organically. But sure there's a good helping of defensiveness around trying to
support established habits with all kinds of smokescreen BS. Rather than say 'yep, its
the only way we could raise finance by doing it this way.'.
With DC, the ground is just as important as the regulator side. These high frequencies are inaudible in themselves but they 'cause instability in the wonderful analog circuitry we design, and that we hear.
Yep - the myth of 'ground' is widespread.
I am by no means an expert but know that a PCM1704 with the BPO & servo defeated (big slow caps on the pins) with good discrete power regulation paired with a antique PMD100 and a modern <3ps spdif transport (Jocko Legato) is at a level where a S-D can't compete for my ears.
If you listen for yourself you're more of an expert than someone relying on 'established practice' and
We all have different preferences and subjectivity plays a huge role with audio, but it is time for the DAC integrators to start pushing back to their suppliers and listening to their customers.
Tell TI " we don't want these modulators." Tell Analog Devices "your Sharc + AD1955 model isn't interesting our customers". Tell "ESS nice try but not what we want."
Its certainly one approach, but I doubt that they're in the mood for listening. They're driven by the majority
who don't much care about the sound quality (perhaps the 'iPod generation' ?). Big companies are compelled
by law to put shareholders before customers in the USA.
Instead of all the audio integrators trying to outsmart each other with jitter babble, maybe they should team up, listen to customers, and tell the big chip companies to wake the f up
I myself prefer the approach of disrupting their businesses by gradually stealing their customers. Then when
they wake up its because their company has lost its revenue stream...