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Trying to identify unique characteristics of various DAC chip brands ...

Mogami Cables


Active Member
Jan 5, 2010
Realm of The Immortals
So as we know that there are a huge number of DAC offerings. Its not possible for all the people to demo even a few. And yet we want to buy the best.

If we could know one unique characteristic for various DAC chip brands (e.g. AKM or Burr Brown) it would help the buyer build a system better suited to themselves.
I know that it depends on the overall implementation. Yet the core DAC chipset must be having some uniqueness about it which would merit an implementation that enhances its uniqueness.

Sorry if this is very simplistic but at least it could serve as a starting point.
(And having been born in India, simplification has become a basic trait now)

With whatever little experience I have, I contribute here. Perhaps if many people chip in, an answer would emerge.

1) AKM - Emotion (present in my M-Audio Audiophile 2496)
2) Burr Brown - Balance of various aspects of music (from ASUS XONAR D2X)
3) Cirrus Logic - Affordability (Xonar DX & DG)
4) ESS Sabre - Details ? (Never heard but read in reviews)

What do you think ?
Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Jun 9, 2011
Overall implementation is also important part. Sometimes same chip sounds different just because of that. Even you can find same chip in high-end or low-end systems but both sound differently. As per my experience or can say in my set-up below chips sound:

1. Wolfson (Warm, Melodious) which I like and using right now.
2. Burr Brown (Close to Wolfson, but balanced. Not warm, not bright) in my AVR and sounds good.
3. Cirrus Logic (Neutral, Direct sound, slightly bright) Didn't like much, replaced with Wolfson.