This is a bit of an overdue followup to my last post, DACs and the Differential Dilemma. I describe here one solution to the standoff between single-ended and differential primacy discussed there.
Most high-performance modern DAC ICs have differential outputs, even those targeting single-ended consumer applications. It’s a great way to reduce even-order nonlinearities in the chip’s conversion and output stages, and it gets you around 3dB better SNR.
But in most systems that support both “balanced” (i.e., differential) and RCA (i.e., single-ended) outputs, there is an existential battle between the two for primacy.Continue reading “DACs and the Differential Dilemma”
In this installment of the Joys of Low Voltage Audio series, I want to present some considerations and techniques to help you work with one of the biggest quirks found in RRIO opamps.Continue reading “Joys of Low-Voltage Audio: Avoiding input stage crossover”
In the third installment of this series, I want to talk about one of the device types you’re almost guaranteed to encounter in low-voltage audio: the rail-to-rail opamp. More specifically, I want to talk about the terminology around rail-to-rail opamps and the techniques used by IC designers to achieve rail-to-rail behavior. So let’s start by answering a fundamental question.Continue reading “Joys of Low-Voltage Audio: R2R terms and techniques”
The scenario: You’ve been hired to do some design work, you’ve submitted the deliverables, and they were accepted. You maybe even got paid. The client later comes back and asks you to change something in a way that you think breaks the design in an unacceptable way. What do you do?Continue reading “Design bind: Can you make the logo bigger?”
A few years ago, I developed an audio gain cell that was exceptionally fast for a fully discrete circuit and quite clean. That design ended up being adopted commercially, including by Audio by Van Alstine, who are using it in their DAC MK 5 and Vision preamplifier. I like to think that this gain cell is a key factor behind why the owner of a well-regarded manufacturer of luxury loudspeakers called the AVA DAC MK 5 one of the best sounding DACs he’d ever heard and a model for other manufacturer’s to live up to.Continue reading “More module talk”
I had a discussion recently with someone about a not entirely uncommon situation consultants can find themselves in. You get hired to solve a problem, but the reason they have hired the work out rather than do it internally is because they aren’t really committed to making the project a success. What do you need to know to best deal with this situation?Continue reading “Designed to fail: An absence of commitment”
In an earlier post, I talked about how I entered the world of low-voltage audio and my commitment to delivering the best possible performance subject to that constraint. In this post I’d like to consider some strategies for generating power in your LV application.Continue reading “Joys of Low-Voltage Audio: Power strategies”
I just discovered that I got a mention in Doug Self’s book The Design of Active Crossovers for the work I did a while back on loudspeaker crossovers. If you don’t know who he is, he’s one of the big names in British audio engineering. He’s done work for Cambridge Audio, TAG-McLaren Audio, and other respected brands. Feeling warm and fuzzy.
It turns out the world of low-voltage audio is a lot of fun, and I’d like to start sharing some of my journey through it.
I suspect everyone has a different reason for entering this world, lending each story a different color and set of priorities. Mine goes something like this.