We’ve been focusing on streaming audio recently and I want to take a bit of a break and spend some time exploring power and microphonics and I’ll tell you why: I have recently become fascinated with designing a new concept piece that I’ll tell you about in some detail as we go along as I am intrigued and want to spend time exploring this with you. I thought it might be interesting to walk along the development process so you can get a glimpse of how this happens. It’s certainly something that’s occupying my thoughts as of late.
The new product concept addresses two fundamental problems I always give a lot of thought to: power and microphonics. With respect to power I am sure you’ve heard me say that everything in our audio systems starts out as AC power and whether we use analog or digital, the job of our system is to convert AC power into music. Power is a subject I have always been quite passionate about but perhaps not many of you know about my obsession with microphonics.
So let’s start with power, then move on to microphonics and then I’ll fold the two into the new concept piece we’re working on and give you some insight into how this springs from a whacky idea to a real product that makes music come alive. Should be fun.
First, let’s start with some power basics. When I write that everything in our audio systems is really just AC power in a different form, what does that actually mean?
Think of a DAC has having two inputs: power in one, digital in the other. The output is music in analog form but the broader concept of power in one end and analog out the other is something I think needs a bit of attention to fully grasp.
Power supplies are import in any well designed product. Just look under the hood of any modern high end audio equipment and you’ll find nearly equal expense applied to the power supplies as well as the actual amplification and conversion electronics.
But getting our heads around the idea that the digital bits we put in one end of a DAC are merely there to control the AC power coming into the other end is a subject I’d like to spend some time on and starting tomorrow we will.