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Non-Linear Crosstalk in Personal Computer Based Audio Systems

IEC and AES standards provide comprehensive tests for the performance of Audio analogue to digital (ADC)and digital to analogue (DAC)converters for both consumer and professional applications. It is usually assumed that the ADC is more likely to degrade audio sound quality than the DAC. Tests on two samples of a professional quality PC based audio system are presented that show that a stereo DAC can introduce unexpected non-linear effects. These results suggest that the Standards should include a measure of interchannel non-linear crosss talk in the stereo DAC. Results are presented and a DAC-ADC loop test proposed to enable this measurement to be made without using additional test equipment.

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