Addicted to Fun and Learning
- Nov 16, 2021
- Dallas, TX
Thanks for clarifying about R2R DACs, which makes sense but is unfortunately the sole conclusion I could glean from your text—I tried my best to get through it, but it was obviously an example of the sort of insider jargon commonly spoken amongst high level audio scientists. I’ve been around here for quite awhile, and I hope I’ve been sufficiently transparent that I’m not an electrical engineer, just a lifelong enthusiast with an excess of curiosity about what’s going on under the hood. I am for sure always eager to learn.The power supply in any digital device has the critical job of dealing with square waves switching into loads. The loads being the next IC downstream. As each load in the circuitry draws power they can affect the power supply loading in ways that are detrimental to the entire unit. Inductors are used on the power supply rails and are placed as close as possible to the loads/ICs power input(s). The inductors reduce the amount of square wave feedback that would usually reach all the way back from the ICs to the power supply where they would affect the other ICs due to the power supply having square waves riding on the output. A R2R design is digital on steroids and whether they are conserving space by using a toroidal transformer or designing for shock and awe I don't know but the power requirements of the R2R are so much more demanding for what is already a demanding task.
But through no fault of yours, your explanation soared way over my head—it kinda brought to mind what would happen if I read my progress notes to one of my patients in an effort to educate them about their diagnoses and prognoses. My shop talk would offer them minimal insight, but could easily terrify them.
Perhaps the intimidating tone was due to some perception that I was being snarky to you in my original question, which was absolutely not my intent—and if I came across that way I apologize. I hope you’ll make note that I did start by asking if this power supply requirement was specific to R2R DACs, as it didn’t make sense to me for DS DACs. And thankfully you eventually got around to confirming that in your final sentence, so all is well!
I’ll never have the fund of knowledge to comprehend the rest of what you wrote, but that’s ok. The most important lesson I learned from the exchange is that there’s just one more byzantine, technological complication with R2R ladder DACs that renders them all the more tragically inelegant and obsolete, and baffles me even further that some folks still treat you like hopeless rubes for not shelling out ten grand to own one. What could they possibly be thinking, really? Anyways, peace and happy holidays! —Steve