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GALA DAC - New Product, Coming Soon

orchardaudio

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PS this has probably been said so many times but,

If you have your product in a final state on the market in the future, can you please dim or simply eliminate the blue LEDs? They are the opposite of professional looking :D
You must have missed it earlier, two of them will be removed and the remaining one dimmed. This is so you can at least tell that the unit is on.
 

watchnerd

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No other DAC will get a SNR of 130dB and a preamplifier level output of 5Vrms for less than $349.

Also at this price point you will not get any designs with dual DAC chips that completely eliminate crosstalk.

I will make another video emphasizing these points. Will post later.
Okay, that's a start.

Next questions:

Why do those stats matter to me?

Tell me why 5V preamp voltage is superior to the standard 2V line level.

Tell me why SNR of 130 dB matters if it is below the noise level of the recording.

Good marketing translates better specs into value statements, otherwise it's just over-engineering.
 

orchardaudio

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Okay, that's a start.

Next questions:

Why do those stats matter to me?

Tell me why 5V preamp voltage is superior to the standard 2V line level.

Tell me why SNR of 130 dB matters if it is below the noise level of the recording.

Good marketing translates better specs into value statements, otherwise it's just over-engineering.
Let's see if I can get this right.

Amplifiers have defined gains, so 5Vrms will get you more power with same amplifier, since power is is square of voltage 5V will be 6.25 times more power from same amp, vs 2V.

SNR is important because it will reduce noise in the whole system. Since noise is additive you want to eliminate noise in every component in the audio chain. Thereby increasing overall system performance. And with GALA you can get rid of the preamp eliminating a noise source completely.
 

watchnerd

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Delicious over-engineering with a cherry on top :D
That's true, but that's a different niche than $349.

Appealing to consumers who want 'the best, bar none' is a different market segment, the realm of Porsche and super cars, or in the audio world, $20,000 electronics.

This is why the original ODAC had such brilliant marketing -- budget price, but selling itself as 'objectively good enough -- why pay more?"

One has to decide if one is appealing to rational thinking or vanity.

(FWIW, I'm a marketing director at a big giant company)
 

watchnerd

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Let's see if I can get this right.

Amplifiers have defined gains, so 5Vrms will get you more power with same amplifier, since power is is square of voltage 5V will be 6.25 times more power from same amp, vs 2V.

SNR is important because it will reduce noise in the whole system. Since noise is additive you want to eliminate noise in every component in the audio chain. Thereby increasing overall system performance. And with GALA you can get rid of the preamp eliminating a noise source completely.
Can I?

What's the use case?

Because I don't see any analog or HDMI inputs, so getting rid of the preamp isn't going to work if I have analog sources or other inputs.

Is the GALA meant for desktop usage? If so, where is the headphone jack?

Is the GALA meant for usage in a stereo rack? If so, why do I want a volume control at all when I probably already have one?

And speaking of volume, how is that implemented? Digital? How many bits? Floating? Analog? Pot or resistor ladder?

See what I'm getting at?

You need to really really sharpen who the ideal user is and where/when/how they should use it.

Because otherwise it could be seen as lacking key features.
 

watchnerd

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Let's see if I can get this right.

Amplifiers have defined gains, so 5Vrms will get you more power with same amplifier, since power is is square of voltage 5V will be 6.25 times more power from same amp, vs 2V.
BTW, this is wrong thinking.

A power amplifier designed to hit maximum power output with a 2V line input, i.e. hit 0 dBFS, isn't going to get louder or better if connected to a 5V input. In fact, you're more likely to overdrive it and cause distortion at the input.

Standards are standards for a reason.
 

orchardaudio

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BTW, this is wrong thinking.

A power amplifier designed to hit maximum power output with a 2V line input, i.e. hit 0 dBFS, isn't going to get louder or better if connected to a 5V input. In fact, you're more likely to overdrive it and cause distortion at the input.

Standards are standards for a reason.
Another reason for the volume control, so you can set the DAC to match your amplifier input. And with 5V output it will match up to any amp, and allow maximum dynamic range.
 

watchnerd

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Also, you have XLR outputs.

Are you intending to connect to consumer spec XLR devices or pro spec XLR devices?

If pro devices, what voltage are you calibrating to 0 dBu?
 

watchnerd

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Another reason for the volume control, so you can set the DAC to match your amplifier input. And with 5V output it will match up to any amp, and allow maximum dynamic range.
No...that's not how gain staging works.

You need to calibrate the 0 dBu reference points to avoid over-driving and inducing distortion.

Example: I can set my active monitors to 0 dBu at .775V max input.

Anything more that that overdrives them.
 

watchnerd

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And worse:

If your pot hits max output at 5V, and I only need .775V to hit 0 dBu, that means I'm spending the entire time fiddling around at the lowest settings on the potentiometer, which is both terrible ergonomics and also not usually where most pots are most linear.
 

orchardaudio

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No...that's not how gain staging works.

You need to calibrate the 0 dBu reference points to avoid over-driving and inducing distortion.

Example: I can set my active monitors to 0 dBu at .775V max input.

Anything more that that overdrives them.
That is why you use the volume control to set GALAs output to .775V.

And I know of multiple amplifiers that have inputs higher than 2Vrms.

One device cannot match everything because not all manufacturers use the same specs or adhere to he most standard ones.
 

watchnerd

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That is why you use the volume control to set GALAs output to .775V.

And I know of multiple amplifiers that have inputs higher than 2Vrms.

One device cannot match everything because not all manufacturers use the same specs or adhere to he most standard ones.
And how do I calibrate the GALA output pot so that I'm not spending my time in only the first few degrees of the volume dial to get .775 V?

If I want .775 V max output, I want that to be when the pot is all the way to the right. How do I calibrate the GALA pot to do that?

As for "multiple amps having inputs higher than 2V"...well, some do, most consumer ones don't. Why risk distorting, overdriving, or even damaging downstream components?

This isn't a simple case of "more volts is better".
 

orchardaudio

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And worse:

If your pot hits max output at 5V, and I only need .775V to hit 0 dBu, that means I'm spending the entire time fiddling around at the lowest settings on the potentiometer, which is both terrible ergonomics and also not usually where most pots are most linear.
The pot only sets a digital attenuation level, in 0.5 db steps fro 0db to -80.

At .775V you are -16db, so you are no where near the low end of the pot. And actually at -16dB you would be right in the DACs sweet spot.
 

watchnerd

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The pot only sets a digital attenuation level, in 0.5 db steps fro 0db to -80.

At .775V you are -16db, so you are no where near the low end of the pot. And actually at -16dB you would be right in the DACs sweet spot.
Okay, that's fine.

But if I only want .775V, why do I care about having 5V max output?

Or if I set my monitors (Dynaudio LYD) to their least sensitive setting, which is +12 dBu at 3.1V input, what do I need 5V for?

You said 5V is "better", but it usually isn't useful because most pro gear (and you have XLR connectors, so that seems to indicate pro pairings) can't accept 5V input.

See my point about the need to translate the specs into something useful?

Otherwise, at best, you have a high voltage output that is irrelevant or, worse, could even damage downstream equipment.
 

orchardaudio

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Okay, that's fine.

But if I only want .775V, why do I care about having 5V max output?

Or if I set my monitors (Dynaudio LYD) to their least sensitive setting, which is +12 dBu at 3.1V input, what do I need 5V for?

You said 5V is "better", but it usually isn't useful because most pro gear (and you have XLR connectors, so that seems to indicate pro pairings) can't accept 5V input.

See my point about the need to translate the specs into something useful?

Otherwise, at best, you have a high voltage output that is irrelevant or, worse, could even damage downstream equipment.
Ok so how would you phrase it?
 

pos

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I don't get the patronizing tone here, it is uncalled for IMHO :confused:

@orchardaudio, an interesting alternative (or addition!) to the volume pot would be a 4 positions selector with adjusted (and precise) resistors corresponding to known digital attenuation and maximum output levels, eg +4.2dBu (2dBV, 1.26Vrms), +8.2dBu (6dBV, 2Vrms),+12.2dBu (10dBV, 3.16Vrms), +16.2dBu (14dBV, 5Vrms)
That is what I intended to replace the pot with when I was considering your DAC.
 

orchardaudio

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I don't get the patronizing tone here, it is uncalled for IMHO :confused:

@orchardaudio, an interesting alternative (or addition!) to the volume pot would be a 4 positions selector with adjusted (and precise) resistors corresponding to known digital attenuation and maximum output levels, eg +4.2dBu (2dBV, 1.26Vrms), +8.2dBu (6dBV, 2Vrms),+12.2dBu (10dBV, 3.16Vrms), +16.2dBu (14dBV, 5Vrms)
That is what I intended to replace the pot with when I was considering your DAC.
What I can do is have the pot give those 4 levels.

Or preconfigute the maximum level to be one of the one of those 4 or any other level in 0.5dB increments.
 

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