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System-Wide SINAD?

mdsimon2

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If speakers are the bottleneck and they can only achieve a SINAD of about 60dB then why do we even care if our amps and dacs can do much better than 60dB?

While in general I agree that speakers will be limiting from a distortion standpoint your DAC / amplifier will determine noise level. Very easy to have audible hiss with a moderately noisy DAC (say 100 dB SNR at 2 V output) combined with a high gain amplifier (29+ dB) and moderately sensitive speakers (90+ dB).

Michael
 

kiwifi

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If speakers are the bottleneck and they can only achieve a SINAD of about 60dB then why do we even care if our amps and dacs can do much better than 60dB?
I have always subscribed to the notion "garbage in, garbage out", so I try to preserve as much of the information content from the source to final output.

I spent 30 plus years doing everything I could to get that pristine signal to my speakers, before finally biting the bullet and treating the room. Having done so, I now realize that I should have started with the room and worked backwards towards the source!
 

Mart68

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I have always subscribed to the notion "garbage in, garbage out", so I try to preserve as much of the information content from the source to final output.
This is a hangover from vinyl where if the turntable was rubbish or not properly set up then its performance would be the dominating factor.

Trouble is many people cannot get away from that and assume that the source of their dissatisfaction must be the digital front end. Even though they have speakers whose best use case would be for firewood. And often the listening room is almost empty of furnishings and highly reflective.

Then they see that their DAC gets measured here and comes in low down on the SINAD rank so they think a DAC with better SINAD is the answer. When of course it isn't they decide measurements are worthless and start looking at R-2R DACs, DACs with tubes, re-clockers, jitter-busters, isolation feet, expensive USB cables, grounding boxes and so on.

Ranking by SINAD isn't really helping it's adding to the confusion as this thread shows.
 
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