Audio Alchemy XDP, DTI vs modern dacs?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Kristofferabild, Sep 8, 2019.

  1. Kristofferabild

    Kristofferabild Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    For years I have been using my Squeezebox Touch with an old Audio Alchemy XDP, DTI & Power 2. It is based on an old Philips Dac 7 chip. I believe this is 1bit a Bitstream chip.

    Now that is being replaced by a Bluesound Node 2i. It has a new 32 bit Burr Brown dac.
    What sort of improvements can I expect?

    This is the dac in the the Bluesound.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
  2. Davey

    Davey very clever with maracas

    SF Bay Area, USA
    The DTI/XDP combo was a pretty nice DAC for the times, low jitter and a pretty nice discrete analog output stage. I think the DAC 7 chip was the best of Philips bitstream D/A convertors of the time too.

    The Bluesound is also a bitstream D/A convertor, as are almost convertors now, but of course much more highly integrated and programmable to provide all the control needed in an audio system, and able to work at higher frequencies and process higher word lengths. Whether that results in better sound is your call. It will surely sound a lot different than the old AA gear, and is much more convenient for a modern streaming setup.
    Kristofferabild and rodentdog like this.
  3. Kristofferabild

    Kristofferabild Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Setup the Node 2i yesterday and let me just say that it sounds a lot different!
    I do miss the black background and laid backness of my old setup. However the new setup has more details and upfront sound. Maybe I will get used to it...If not I will install the old dac again even though it is only 16bit.
    I only have about 10 albums in High Res so not that big of a deal.
  4. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    That's the basic difference between new and old DACs and well built and cheap DACs as you have described. The new DACs are more resolving than the old DACs. And better built DACs have a warmer, more full sound. So you have a new, but inexpensive DAC and it delivers what you hear. That is from including new digital chips but not larger and higher quality power supplies and analog stages. A new high end DAC would include those as well, and you would get both higher resolution and a more full sound. It all costs more, so despite technology leaps, you get what you pay for.
    rodentdog and Kristofferabild like this.

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