After participating in the SHM Magic thread, and enjoying the Jitter thread that crapfrom the past started, I'd like to move on to the next component in the chain: The DAC chip. My profession has given me great faith in CD media itself and the ability of even moderate systems (within spec, of course) to read and transmit digital data properly. With that in mind, I have always assumed that any audible differences between CD players would have to be attributed to the analog side. (If you don't share that same assumption, my question on DACs is probably still valid. For the sake of the conversation, if you want to picture the bitstream as coming from a gold-foil, super-clear-plastic, green marker traced CD over a golden spdif rca cable, then picture it that way.) The question that lingers for me is: Has anyone ever done any testing to determine how different DAC chips sound? I concede that a DAC Magic might sound different than a Benchmark DAC-1 which might sound different than a Bel Canto, but how much of that is attributed to the analog side, and how much is the chip itself? To ask another way, has anyone ever done any extensive testing on whether or not a Cirrus Logic DAC sounds substantialy different than a Burr Brown, or a Wolfson, or any of the other chips? Personally, I just haven't had enough exposure to enough equipment to be able to say one way or the other. I'm definitely interested in the topic, though. I do remember reading somewhere (possibly the Audio Critic) that the Benchmark DAC-1 measures near perfect but I don't know if the same can be said for other DACs that use the same chip.