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Cristian Anelli: "Compared to all others DACs on the market*, one of the main criteria for our converters' different sonic approach is the elimination of digital filtering. In 2005 we started to research a different solution from the ubiquitous up/ oversampling which so dominates the digital era. We realized that the heart of the sound was not just the elimination of digital filtering but the quality of the PCM signal transmission. Surely the so-called jitter issue is relevant to final sound quality but it is far from the only aspect which affects digital playback. That's why we developed an entirely new circuit which only later became identified as DFD or direct from decoder. This circuitry is purely made from logic gates. The La Scala MKII's DFD circuitry is more sophisticated than the La Voce's. Galvanic and magnetic separation are achieved with high-speed opto-couplers which you can find beneath the BB PCM1704-K board. This allows ground potentials to be completely separated for the digital and analog stages. In addition it provides for an accurate cleaned-up PCM signal spike. Common to both models is a realistic but relaxed sound with the highest precision in the time domain to generate an outstanding soundstage with lots of ambience. For conversion we purposely rely on pure multi-bit R2R ladder ICs exclusively. About the sonic differences of the converter modules for the La Voce:

* I imagine Metrum Acoustics and Audial for just two would beg to differ. Their DACs don't employ any up/oversampling or digital filtering either. Decks from AMR include NOS mode as an option and there are more, notably those inspired by the original Kusunoki paper like 47lab or Audio Note UK. - Ed

"Module code D165: The Analog Devices AD1865 provides a precise sound with a fresh sense of rhythm.

"Module code D101: The Philips TDA1541A** offers a relaxed sound with a terrific midrange full of nuances.

** (For this IC Pedja Rogic's notes have interesting information. "Simultaneous data protocol was used by Philips back in the days of the TDA1540 as the only mode it could be operated in. The TDA1541 then 1541A came later when the I²S protocol was standardized. Thus the TDA1541/A are I²S compatible. But since they were made to be compatible also with previous Philips CD hardware originally intended/designed to work with the TDA1540, they can work in simultaneous data mode... The primary reason I moved to this mode on the 1541 was its convenience when working with up to 192kHz sampling frequencies. Simultaneous mode utilizes two separate data lines, one per channel because the TDA1540 was a single DAC where each channel necessitated its own data signal. Since in this case stereo data are not multiplexed in one line as with I²S but run simultaneously, the frequencies for both master clock and bit clock can be twice as low at any given sampling frequency. Once I ran this chip in simultaneous mode and took regular audio performance measurements, I was very surprised to see its jitter performance better than I’ve ever seen it before.")

"Module code D104K: The Burr Brown PCM1704-K (to replace the previous D704 with the PCM1704) has a new PCB layout and top-level surrounding parts to sum the qualities of the Analog Devices and Philips boards. The result is an extraordinary bass articulation, a smooth midrange and a huge holographic soundstage.

"Most important for any modern DAC is to avoid obsolescence. Our philosophy allows all our customers to replace converter modules and benefit from future board modifications as soon as they become available."