RightMark Audio Analyzer is intended for testing the quality of analog and digital sound sections of any audio equipment, be it a sound card, portable MP3 player, consumer CD/DVD player, or a speaker system. The measurements are conducted by playing and recording test signals passed through the examined sound section, using frequency analysis algorithms. I thought it would be fun and interesting for us to test our DACs and see how they measure up to the published specifications. I should mention that RMAA isn't the sharpest tool on the test bench. It's free and has its quirks, but it seems perfectly capable of testing a DAC as fed by a computer. My soundcard is the Asus Xonar U7 and my DAC is the Rega DAC-R. My soundcard has a published input signal-to-noise ratio of 110 dBA, so this limits its ability to test anything with a higher SNR. My Rega DAC-R has a published signal-to-noise ratio of 105 dB, so the soundcard should be able to measure it accurately. Below are the test results for my Asus U7 soundcard (first column), followed by the Rega DAC-R tested three times at 16/44, 24/96, and 24/192. You can see that the U7's dynamic range is recorded as being 112 dBA which is close enough to the published 110 dBA (both 110 and 112 dBA = 18 bits). Rega states the DAC has a SNR of 105 dB and, under 24/96 and 24/192, RMAA gives it 103.8, which is essentially the same as 105 dB (both ~17.5 bits). However, it looks like there is some discrepancy with the 16/44 results. I would expect noise level and dynamic range to both be ~96 dBA but the dynamic range recorded by RMAA is 91.8, or 15 bits of resolution. I will have to double check that! The Rega DAC-R has 3 filters, described in the Stereophile review as: "'standard', 'extended', and 'gradual'... The extended filter extends to the maximum response allowed by the sample rate. The gradual filter rolls off sooner than the standard filter". I used RMAA to check the frequency response of the 3 filters, fed by a 24/96 RMAA test signal. Here we can see: Standard Extended Gradual Subjectively, I prefer the sound of Filter 3. It's interesting to see that Filter 3 removes the most ultra-sonic information. The filters behave similarly at 44 kHz, with Filter 3 rolling off from 19 kHz. I hope some readers will find this interesting and I would love to see your own results with your DACs! You need the following: RightMark Audio Analyser: Latest News. Audio Rightmark » A USB soundcard with line-in An external USB DAC. An analogue cable to connect your DAC to your soundcard's line-in. First perform a loop-around test with your soundcard to set a reference. For this you need to connect the analog inputs of your soundcard to the analog outputs, and this way it measures the DA-AD path of your soundcard. It sends a test signal through the chain and analyses that. It can only analyse it's own test signals. Try to run this test first to get yourself familiarised with RMAA. It's performed by pressing the button with the loopback cable in the RMAA software. Then, connect your DAC to your computer so that audio is being transferred to the DAC (whilst recording remains with your soundcard). Connect the DAC's analogue out to the line-in on your soundcard, and perform the test again. This time, you are sending the test signal from your computer to your DAC, which is outputting it in the analogue domain to your soundcard to be recorded. You will now have two results: The reference loop-back test for your sound card, and the results of your DAC as fed by your computer. Make sure you do both of these tests at the same resolution and sampling rate. 24/96 should reveal the full extent of your soundcard and DAC's dynamic range. You can also repeat the test at different resolution and sampling rates to see if the data changes. If the 16/44 data for my DAC is correct, then it looks like it performs better at higher resolutions. Looking forward to seeing your results!