# Delta-sigma vs “Multibit”: what’s the big deal?

#### RayDunzl

##### Major Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
Does old instruments like analog synth that generates triangular or square waves cannot be rendered digitaly?
Digital should have no problem with those waveforms, other than the limitation on the infinite frequency series involved in their pure form.

Getting a square to come out of a speaker in a room is problematic. Triangle may be less so.

#### DonH56

##### Technical Expert
Technical Expert
Patreon Donor
Thank for explaining.
Then if some natural instrument contains natural aliasing
1. does it means that digitally we cannot render it accurately and that the natural aliasing will be removed?
2.Does natural aliasing exists?
3. Does old instruments like analog synth that generates triangular or square waves cannot be rendered digitaly?
There is no "natural aliasing"; that is a by-product of too low a sample rate for the bandwidth required and not filtering the out-of-band signals. Read the data conversion threads I linked earlier that explain with pictures and all.

Triangle and square waves can be represented by a series of sine waves properly weighted in amplitude and phase. (There is a thread on ASR showing how a square wave can be built from a series of sine waves.) As long as their bandwidth is less than one-half the sampling rate they can be completely reproduced by a digital system. That is to say every signal we can hear...

Really, if you can't be bothered to read even a few posts on the threads here describing this stuff, I (again) see little value in recreating it all again in this or one of your other threads. It is a diversion from the main point of this (and other) threads when the background material is provided elsewhere on ASR (and many, many other places). Without the background provided in those introductory threads and other reference material you will find it hard to follow and we find it disruptive. Maybe that's the point? It's like picking up a college calculus text without knowing the basics of algebra or trigonometry, or going to a forum discussing vector calculus and asking what a right triangle is, and why can't it use angles other than 90 degrees because 90 degrees seems unnatural...

#### Bluespower

##### Active Member
The topic is to discuss about multibit vs delta sigma.
I don't see the point of opening this thread if you think all questions are silly because it's already proven that Delta sigma is better. You shouldn't close your eyes on the fact that despite good measurment and tehnical superiority of delta sigma some prefere multibit.
Then
Let's consider that technically and theorically and on measure delta sigma is the best.
So
1. Delta segma is better technically Ok
2. Why do some people still prefer miltibit ?

If you have no interest on answering the second question then this thread is a non sense.

I just try to understand what make people like multibit better.

I find silly to say delta sigmac dac are better on test so let's not consider why some prefer multibit.

You think all people that enjoy multibit nos dacs better are crazy or what?

#### SIY

##### Technical Expert
Technical Expert
Did you look at the xiph video that was linked? It will give you some of the background you are claiming to lack.

Why do some people still prefer multi-bit? That's more a question of psychology than engineering.

#### Bluespower

##### Active Member
There is no "natural aliasing"; that is a by-product of too low a sample rate for the bandwidth required and not filtering the out-of-band signals. Read the data conversion threads I linked earlier that explain with pictures and all.

Triangle and square waves can be represented by a series of sine waves properly weighted in amplitude and phase. (There is a thread on ASR showing how a square wave can be built from a series of sine waves.) As long as their bandwidth is less than one-half the sampling rate they can be completely reproduced by a digital system. That is to say every signal we can hear...

Really, if you can't be bothered to read even a few posts on the threads here describing this stuff, I (again) see little value in recreating it all again in this or one of your other threads. It is a diversion from the main point of this (and other) threads when the background material is provided elsewhere on ASR (and many, many other places). Without the background provided in those introductory threads and other reference material you will find it hard to follow and we find it disruptive. Maybe that's the point? It's like picking up a college calculus text without knowing the basics of algebra or trigonometry, or going to a forum discussing vector calculus and asking what a right triangle is, and why can't it use angles other than 90 degrees because 90 degrees seems unnatural...
We see easily that a square wave will have ringing on the'link i posted comparing akm and ess filters .
I can easily guess that a squarish guitar distortion would suffer from this ringing. Then for this it seems obvious than nos filterless will render it better. Filterless means no digital and no analof filter.
I'm the only one here that try to understand why some prefee multibit. If you don't want to find why then ok i don't try to have ideas.

#### Bluespower

##### Active Member
Did you look at the xiph video that was linked? It will give you some of the background you are claiming to lack.

Why do some people still prefer multi-bit? That's more a question of psychology than engineering.
Ok so close the thread it's non sense. I thought the goal was ro have a better understanding of what topology make it sounds more pleasant or less pleasant. Pleasant for your computer analyzer is more important than pleasant to your ears ok so let's stop. Bye and sorrry for trying to understand. I see no poinr of buying top notch good measuring stuff if i enjoy better less good measuring stuff.

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#### Thomas savage

Moderator
The Watchman
Patreon Donor
The topic is to discuss about multibit vs delta sigma.
I don't see the point of opening this thread if you think all questions are silly because it's already proven that Delta sigma is better. You shouldn't close your eyes on the fact that despite good measurment and tehnical superiority of delta sigma some prefere multibit.
Then
Let's consider that technically and theorically and on measure delta sigma is the best.
So
1. Delta segma is better technically Ok
2. Why do some people still prefer miltibit ?

If you have no interest on answering the second question then this thread is a non sense.

I just try to understand what make people like multibit better.

I find silly to say delta sigmac dac are better on test so let's not consider why some prefer multibit.

You think all people that enjoy multibit nos dacs better are crazy or what?
There's no way of knowing why some folks prefer multibit dacs and as far as anyone here is concerned there's no technical reason for their preference.

You have thrown out a bunch of things much of which stems from a degree of misunderstanding that you don't seem to want to address. Instead of reading or watching the information that's been presented you just try another tact.

We can't help you anymore. If you have other areas of interest concerning audio feel free to enjoy other topics.

Cheers

#### RayDunzl

##### Major Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
We see easily that a square wave will have ringing
That's probably mostly due to the ultrasonic frequencies being missed.

Then for this it seems obvious than nos filterless will render it better. Filterless means no digital and no analof filter.
Your speakers are a low pass filter. "Ringing" will reappear.

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#### SIY

##### Technical Expert
Technical Expert
I thought the goal was ro have a better understanding of what topology make it sounds more pleasant or less pleasant.
Big assumption there. Any actual evidence of any discernible difference?

#### Bluespower

##### Active Member
No the threads not being closed as it's not just for you. It's for anyone who wants to contribute.
But you all know the answers and are not open minded to think on new elements for better understanding. You made this thread just for prooving that multibit has not any advantage it seems. Then there cannot be interesting debates here. Saddly. Trust your computer i trust my hears bye bye.

#### Thomas savage

Moderator
The Watchman
Patreon Donor
But you all know the answers and are not open minded to think on new elements for better understanding. You made this thread just for prooving that multibit has not any advantage it seems. Then there cannot be interesting debates here. Saddly. Trust your computer i trust my hears bye bye.
I did not make this thread , it was started by a member. No one here has a issue with your preference for multibit dac , if by intresting debates you mean folks making up non technically correct blurb to match their listening preferences then yes your right no one here’s interested .

As it is everyone has patiently gone through all your suggestions and spent their free time answering all your questions while you seem to have no intrest in following upon the information that’s been linked in.

Given the generosity you have been shown your attitude here is unacceptable to me and really rather insulting to our members. Iv asked you a few times to give it a rest and invited you to participate in other areas but you seem only interested in harassing guys on this hobby horse topic so I'm removing your posting privilegs.

#### DonH56

##### Technical Expert
Technical Expert
Patreon Donor
We see easily that a square wave will have ringing on the'link i posted comparing akm and ess filters .
I can easily guess that a squarish guitar distortion would suffer from this ringing. Then for this it seems obvious than nos filterless will render it better. Filterless means no digital and no analof filter.
I'm the only one here that try to understand why some prefee multibit. If you don't want to find why then ok i don't try to have ideas.
It depends upon the rise and fall times of the edges of the square wave. It is easy to generate edges that exceed the frequency passband of the filters, or the frequency content of musical instruments or audibility for that matter. But virtually every recording and playback chain includes ultrasonic filters so again such high frequencies would not be present in the recording. And I am not sure what you mean by "render it better" -- the postulated square wave, the ringing? A NOS filterless DAC cannot reproduce reproduce signals above one-half the sampling frequency without aliasing; nor can any DAC. Look up Nyquist Sampling Theorem (Or Nyquist-Shannon Criteria). So any high-frequency content above 22.05 kHz (assuming standard 44.2 kS/S converters) will be "folded" or "reflected" around the Nyquist rate (one-half the sampling rate) and re-appear as new signals (not in general harmonically related to the original signals) at lower frequencies in the ADC (recording side). At the output, images appear, again related to the clock frequency and signal frequency, so again you get new frequencies not in the original source. That is a a significant source of distortion if you eliminate the anit-image filters.

In the real world there is always a filter present somewhere; no real system has infinite bandwidth. It may happen in your preamp or AVR after the DAC, the power amplifiers, the speakers, or your ears.

You are now introducing "filterless" NOS which means there will be images present that are not there in the original recording. That presents the system with high-frequency energy not present in the original source and well beyond the abilities for most speakers to reproduce properly (if at all) let alone our ability to hear them. You are in essence choosing your distortion.

You are arguing multibit is better but not providing any technical basis for that assertion and your posts prove a deep lack of understanding of , and in many cases misunderstanding of, basic sampling theory and signal processing analog or digital. And then refusing to take a look at some of threads here and elsewhere that would help you learn. Your goal mainly seems to be to prove you are right and waste all of our time endlessly trying to explain first principles that you choose to ignore. You would not have to guess if you would pursue some of the resources offered to you.

IME/IMO, like tube amplifiers, the most likely answer (look up Occam's Razor) for preferring multibit is that people like the added distortion. Multibit converters tend to have higher noise floor and higher distortion that "fills in" signals and may make the music sound "richer" or "fuller". Consider a subwoofer; if you play a 40 Hz tone you probably do not really "hear" it as much as "feel" it. Add second and third harmonics, creating tones at 80 and 120 Hz, and all of a sudden the sub sounds louder and you hear it much more readily. You are hearing distortion but the sub may sound better to you because of that. Multibit converters do essentially the same thing, and by removing the anti-image filter after the DAC you can add additional modulation products (distortion) from other components, including the speakers, to appear in the audible band. Those distortion terms can change the sound and you might like it that way.

There is one caveat: noise modulation is a real thing that occurs to a greater extent with delta-sigma designs than conventional designs. By most measurements it is at such a low level that it is inaudible, but plenty of audiophiles disbelieve measurements and feel their ears are better. And plenty of marketeers prey on that assumption.

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#### graz_lag

##### Major Contributor
You're wrong Thomas we just regressed into photography discussion
When I play my photos from my Pentax to my TV set, I see them a little bit scrambled, is it due to the jitter thru the USB cable ?

#### solderdude

##### Major Contributor
The topic is to discuss about multibit vs delta sigma.

1. Delta segma is better technically Ok
2. Why do some people still prefer miltibit ?
A: you would do well to read up on this whole digital thing and not just on websites that have a high tolerance for subjective babble.
You could also listen to the wise words of DonH56, who designs DAC shit (not Schiit), and knows a thing or two... maybe three... about this subject.
He tries to explain things to you and writes it down so maybe other people with similar questions could benefit/understand it.

Your questions, however, have nothing to do with those differences at all. They are just silly questions that pop up in heads of people that heard a bell (erm.. filter) ring but doesn't know what the clapper (test signal) is .

2: People prefer MB over DS for a similar reason as they prefer cable brand A over B.
It could also be they prefer rolled-off upper treble (in case of proper reconstruction-filterless NOS 44 or 48 recordings).
It could be for a zillion reasons they can think/dream/be sure of.

One can turn the question around and ask why many people prefer SD over MB.

#### Frank Dernie

##### Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
The topic is to discuss about multibit vs delta sigma.
I don't see the point of opening this thread if you think all questions are silly because it's already proven that Delta sigma is better. You shouldn't close your eyes on the fact that despite good measurment and tehnical superiority of delta sigma some prefere multibit.
Then
Let's consider that technically and theorically and on measure delta sigma is the best.
So
1. Delta segma is better technically Ok
2. Why do some people still prefer miltibit ?

If you have no interest on answering the second question then this thread is a non sense.

I just try to understand what make people like multibit better.

I find silly to say delta sigmac dac are better on test so let's not consider why some prefer multibit.

You think all people that enjoy multibit nos dacs better are crazy or what?
I have a theory .
If you look at the shortcomings of multi-bit, which vary from one implementation to another but are there in all of them, including higher levels of distortion and poorer linearity.
Also those without a reconstruction filter, or one of the non-accurate ones, spurious additional “music” is added and often the high frequencies are rolled off.
These are all “features” of LP playback so it is entirely possible, in fact I think it is the only conclusion supported by the facts, that some/many listeners simply find it sounds more like they expect.
The idea that it can do something with transients which DS can not is demonstrably untrue. Square waves and transients do not cause ringing in DS systems.
The whole ringing saga is a red herring and you should forget about it.
People who like NOS prefer a bit of added distortion, no other plausible explanation has yet been put forward by anybody as far as I have seen either here or anywhere else.

#### RayDunzl

##### Major Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
I have a theory.
Me too.

They can just look so ordered, and professional, and complicated...

It just has to be good!

#### stereo coffee

##### Member
Manufacturer
Digital should have no problem with those waveforms, other than the limitation on the infinite frequency series involved in their pure form.

Getting a square to come out of a speaker in a room is problematic. Triangle may be less so.
Yes very problematic - basically don't try it ever !. Rather if you have to test square waves through an amplifier
do so with an oscilloscope and seek the advices before doing so, of the manufacturer of the amplifier as to the
correct procedure. That said it is arguably one of the best test waveforms ,being quite a brutal test.

#### RayDunzl

##### Major Contributor
Central Scrutinizer
Yes very problematic - basically don't try it ever !
Well, I don't have a problem sending squares to my amps.

I can measure in the air with a mic, but don't have an interface for speaker voltages, and my signal level measurements are (somewhat) polluted with noise...

Anyway, from an older post:

"Fooling around...

This shows the spectrum of the harmonic series of a 10Hz Square wave here at Neverland East, out to the umpteenth odd harmonic.

The noise floor of my long cable from the preamp to the the PC is the dark stuff at the bottom.

I never expected to see this many frequencies in the series, I figured they would disappear much sooner.

This goes to about the 1,150th odd harmonic of 10Hz.

Bleh."

#### Dialectic

##### Major Contributor
Patreon Donor
Yes very problematic - basically don't try it ever !. Rather if you have to test square waves through an amplifier
do so with an oscilloscope and seek the advices before doing so, of the manufacturer of the amplifier as to the
correct procedure. That said it is arguably one of the best test waveforms ,being quite a brutal test.
If the output level is not too high, I don't think a square wave poses any particular danger of destroying equipment. When one uses certain effects pedals with a guitar, the intentionally distorted output often is an approximation of a square wave. Yet the amps and speakers survive....