Computer Audiophile Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers)

Chris H

Junior Member
Shelby1420, the easiest way to look at the digital filter is that it removes the switching frequency from the analog waveform. These filters aren't perfect, which is the reason why some prefer upsampling of the source material. This creates a higher switching frequency which many argue has a positive effect since it aliases the noise outside the human hearing range. The waveforms I've attached are examples of the digital versus analog equivalency (pre versus post filtering). Without the filters in question the analog wavefore would look like its digital counterpart...which is ugly. Digital components that are known for sounding grainy are often because of poor filtering techniques or power supply jitter (which is another subject for the next installment!!!).

Chris H

Junior Member
TubeHiFiNut;n13353 said:
dewdude - Whatever the measurements may show, I trust my ultimate measuring tools - my ears.

That's the beauty of The Haven: We can all discuss our experiences, observations, conclusions, etc. without arguing about things or being told that we can't possibly hear what we know we hear.

YMMV..... :)
I think arguing about audio is like arguing religion...everyone is right! Arguing about physics is another story!!!

RH 67

Active Member
Being new to digital audio (one year) i have read most about what has been written about the subject. What i have learned is that what i have read and real life hands on personal experience do not always make sense, i guess it goes back to if all equipment have the same measurements then they should sound the same, well we know this is not true.

During the last year i have listened too at least 20 different DAC`s and have been loaned 10 DAC`s from the manufactures and friends to use in my system for a period of time and i can say that each DAC sounds different. Another aspect of digital audio that i have found compared to analog is that every change made in the systems chain can make an immediate and noticeable difference in SQ, USB cables, speaker cable, inter-connects, WAV vs FLAC, PCM vs DSD, JRiver vs HQPlayer, MAC vs PC all can change the sound coming out of the speakers, digital to me seems to be more sensitive to small changes compared to an all analog system.

A good digital system takes time as i have found from experience as does analog. I believe that a digital system is very sensitive to even the smallest of changes to ones system and to those saying that someone like myself is making a bigger thing out of it is only going by what they read and have not gotten their hands dirty with first hand experience.

If one is thinking about entering the digital realm i feel it is less important on how it all works and more important to listen to people who have the the experience with the format in real life, those with out an agenda, those with first hand experience, those who can say that they have actually tried this or that for themselves and not relying on some white paper document.
I've been a member of a local audio club on and off for more than twenty years. These are wonderful places to experience new gear, make new friends, and discover great music. As the years have passed, the typical playback source for club meetings has gradually transitioned from vinyl and open real tape to CD/SACD, and now to a PC or tablet transport and USB DAC. Whenever we were hosting a program with a PC transport source, the presenters would often be pounded with questions from the audience about computer audio since even as late as 2014 this was a completely new area for the majority of club members.

To help cut down on the number of questions asked during the meetings and therefore have more time for listening and fellowship, I typed up a Computer Audiophile Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers) document. While I have not yet finished the document, I thought I'd share a link here for members of Audio Haven who are just getting started with computer audio. I can't promise that all of my answers are 100% correct--most are fairly well researched while others are just my personal opinion. Still, I hope some find it helpful. Comments, suggestions, and corrections welcome. :-)

This forum topic may also be used for posting questions that I've not thought of (which I'll try to answer with help from the many knowledgeable folks here). Enjoy.
I am new here, am I somehow missing the link? I can't find the FAQ.