Aren't they just chips?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Wayde_R, Sep 15, 2003.

  1. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    This forum is great btw! Thanks for all the great dialogue, I've been reading past discussions and a lot of Vince's guides, they're very well written for the layman.

    I've always had a bias toward heavy components with real transformers in their power supplies made from genuine minerals from mother earth. I loved my modest separates stereo stuff for years and years. But now I'm starting to enter the digital/multi channel age (little late, yes). I have a natural tendency to believe in the 'old ways' heavy components, wide but short circuit paths unobstructed by extras, effects, processors or whatever. So all this talk of DD and DTS processing as well as DAC all sort of make me sweat, I see it as a necessary evil at best.

    My question is, are there quality differences in these 'chips'? Are some dacs/processors etc made to be 'better' hi-fi quality (higher conductive materials greater current capacity etc) than others outside the sum of their firmware or specifications? Or is it possible that a 16/44.1 PCM chip is just a 16/44.1 PCM chip? Aren't all IC's going to be basically the same? Is it possible some manufactures get their processors from the same factories churning out generic chips?

    What I'm getting at is my 'real world' application of collecting hi-fi equipment (I laugh when I hear of a $6K component called "pretty-good-for-the-money"). I'm always looking for the 'cheaper' way out. I feel that the playback device might be permitted to be the weakest link. If your DVD player for instance is just using a digital output and the receiver is doing the processing, isn't the only thing the player doing is reading the code off the media and porting a flat (digital) signal out to be processed in a higher quality component? Thus giving it less opportunity to muddy your acoustic waters?

    On the same token, if a dolby surround processor is only passing a flat analogue signal through a series of copyrighted processes found on ICs isn't the acoustic damage already being done to your precious audio signal whether it's a $100 add-on processor or a $2K pre/processor? Can you get away with spending less on a cheaper add-on surround processor (without getting carried away and buying complete garbage) if you're only going to use it for movies anyway and it won't be heard for music?

    I hope I've expressed myself clearly. I have friends who collect hi-fi that don't feel any urge to make the playback device or processors nearly as high grade as the rest of their components.

    Thanks
    Wayde
     
  2. AaronBatiuk

    AaronBatiuk Second Unit

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  3. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks. This is a lot of information. I've copied it into a text file so I can refer back to it, it's a lot to digest. But I suspected some might be made better than others, but didn't know they actually have different calculations and sample differently. This is interesting. Thanks for the spending the time to post this.

    Wayde
     

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