Tag Archives: DAC’s

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Switch quality

Here’s one of those brave posts where I air my laundry and open myself to criticism and ridicule.

Ain’t life grand?

I am often asked if network switches and routers impact audio quality while streaming. And as a secondary question on the same subject, does it matter whether streaming is transmitted via WiFi or Ethernet?

I find this particular can of worms really intriguing because it’s close to the same question of whether power matters. So, let’s start with that.

The power debate often starts with the questioner’s arms folded, his head cocked to one side, and the mouth humorously pursed as if listening to a child explaining Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. “So, let me get this straight. The power coming into my house makes my system sound different than the power going into my neighbor’s house, right? And worse, my neighbor’s power usage might affect the sound quality in my house? And, we agree there are hundreds of miles of cables connecting everything together?”

I am just as incredulous when it comes to how bits get delivered from far away servers: servers that distribute those bits not in order like ants marching to food, but in chunks taking circuitous routes before accumulating at our DACs.

Tomorrow, let’s take a look at the question in more detail.

Asheville, Walnut Cove, Biltmore Forrest and Western North Carolina’s Audio and Home Theater specialists present Cane Creek AV and Paul McGowan – PS Audio, Intl.

Valuing value

How do we place value on things? One simple method is to compare costs to benefits. I paid this in exchange for that.

When we look deeper into the subject the exchange dynamics get more complicated. Two DACs retailing for the same dollars are very different value equations. One may be feature-laden and performance-shy, while the opposite might apply to another. Then still, a high-value product might be a combination of both.

I would wager to say every company has their own set of valuations. We all know companies that place their highest value on aesthetics and casework just as we know companies that put performance above all else.

When we started our company in 1974 casework was the least of our worries. Our first product lived in a Roi Tan cigar box for much of its life. It wasn’t until orders started coming in that we began figuring out what the chassis would even look like—a look more dictated by what we were capable of manufacturing than obeying an aesthetic vision.

We all make value judgments when it comes time to making a purchase decision.

What are your value criteria for audio products?