Technical & Editorial

AVR – Audio Video Receiver – Build Quality: Part III – Component Choices for a High Performance Design


Building a Pre/Pro with Pre-Designed Boards

Often the company designing a Pre/Pro may not have the staff to implement all diverse functions found in this product category. Vendors often use pre-designed PC boards to speed the design process, but the cost is higher than if the design is done internally. It is likely that the analog functions highlighted in this article will be taken on by the company that sells the product. Third- party PC boards that perform the DSP and HDMI functions are often found in Pre/Pros with limited production runs. The cost of designing these boards in-house far exceeds what could be recovered at these low production volumes.

Kuusama Audio specializes in PC boards for Pre/Pros with Cirrus DSPs at the center:

Momentum Data System specializes in providing PC boards for Pre/Pros with TI DSPs at the center. The last page of this document shows how the company's PC is interconnected:

The Momentum Data Systems (MDS) DSP board cited in the document (DAE 77) includes an ASRC between the two DSPs. This, or similar, Momentum Data Systems boards can be identified in several premium-priced Pre/Pros. Some Momentum Data Systems boards have lower cost DACs on the board to simplify a prototype design. I have been surprised to see MDS boards with these DACs included on some very expensive Pre/Pros. MDS sells production boards with the data converters removed. Regardless of the design quality of the analog electronics and the parts quality, the DAC performance will dominate the terminal characteristics.