Re: Big boxen big bucks
I bought a cheap Tripath for a low-fi solution (ceiling speakers in the kitchen area).
I still don't have it connected up to the ceiling speakers, but I did try it out with some hi-fi speakers just for fun.
The results were surprisingly good.
I can hear a difference between the Tripath and my Marantz amplifier but it isn't much compared to the cost difference.
On the subject of subjective hearing - isn't one of the key areas the DAC?
I suspect that the DAC in say a mobile phone (or even a PC motherboard or sound card) isn't designed for the highest fidelity sound reproduction, but more for cheapness, size and power use.
However good the digital, it does have to be converted at some point to analogue and I suspect that a poor conversion may negate any significant differences between the digital formats.
I bought a stand alone DAC to test this and I can convince myself that I can hear a significant improvement in the sound when playing through my PC and USB to the DAC.instead of using the on-board DAC.
Haven't tested it with phone or tablet yet, though.