Another story about TDA1541A: 384 kHz

Can this old gem get there?

read more

Back to the roots: 14 bits (of TDA1541A)

By measuring standard low level performance at -60 dBFS (dithered sine wave), there was practically no difference between its regular 16 bit, and this 14 bit “mode” of operation. Noise floor, on the other hand, is somewhat higher, roughly speaking 6-12 dB, and that is what you would expect, given 2 bits difference.

read more

Transformer coupling pros and cons (in a nutshell)

Purely sonically, transformer coupled output has more calm presentation, with more quiet background, and somewhat more precise soundstage. On the other hand, transformers can lack some definition at the most bottom end. Still, possible benefits and shortcomings depend also on the environment.

read more

Cermet potentiometers

Audial Model A uses cermet potentiometer as premium part. The reason is simple: cermet is sonically clearly superior to any other potentiometer type. Cermet potentiometers are still however relatively unknown, so more information follows.

read more

Model A volume control

Model A uses the low impedance shunt potentiometer. This article brings more details about this ultimate volume control.

read more

Model A, one year later: Binding posts

Model A now sports copper plated copper binding posts. Here is why.

read more

Sweet spot of amplifier power

According to the common wisdom, relation between amplifiers’ power and their supposed sound quality may look like relation of equivalence. “The more the better.” The truth is, the best sound quality is associated to certain working conditions, which also implies certain power. Insisting on (often redundant) more power, actually can and does compromise sonic properties.

read more

Designing the ultimate monolithic amplifier

A sum up of more than decade of designing and living with chip based power amplifiers.

read more

Sound of harmonic distortion

Harmonic distortion is one of the basic and most common ways to objectify sound quality of audio device. Yet, there is no consensus on its audibility. Here are several examples of distorted sinewave, to help your own understanding.

read more

Data and signal: are we progressing?

Are bits still just bits? Actually, notable part of improvements achieved in the digital audio in last two decades happened due to designing for higher signal integrity criteria. So not that much for instance in the area of converter chips, which were during this time developed mostly to lower production costs. As a result, even if Philips D/A chips from 80′s are in many areas still unsurpassed, today it would be unimaginable for any serious design to repeat layout or clocking schemes as they were done in Philips CD players from 80′s (or majority of players from that time, for that matter).

read more