Some brands play games with specifications to impress potential buyers and I'm not sure all the stated S/N ratios for competing CD players are on a level playing field (A weighting or not, etc.). I trust Emotiva to provide a component that is about as dead quiet as humanly possible anywhere near the price of the ERC-3. Hopefully Keith or Lonnie will chime in here to comment on Emotiva's published spec of 94dB's, which is perfectly fine with me. My ERC-2 is spec'd at S/N: ≥100dB (A weighted）. Discussing the A weighting effect is beyond my limited functioning brain but it looks like a little inconsistency in S/N spec references between the ERC-2 and ERC-3. I would think they are actually very close to the same level.
I like a lot of what Ken Rockwell writes on cameras and audio equipment, simple, down to Earth and no BS. Some will disagree. A few here might think this article boarders on heresy, but I think his comments are right on! I especially like his thought:
Any flaws, like with any medium, are because people rarely record well enough to them to use all the range of which CD is capable. If aa CD doesn't sound fantastic, that's because you've got a flawed recording, not a flawed medium. It's no better than whatever sound people choose to put on it. As a medium, the 16-bit 44.1 ksps (kilo-samples per second) CD is capable of more dynamic and frequency range than music itself, but what comes off of course is only as good as the producer decides to put on it. Plenty of CDs sound awful, especially today, but that's not the CD's fault.
A CD has a maximum signal to noise ratio of 93 db inherent to the CD format. It seems to me to claim a measurement greater like 100db that means one needs to have A CD to play and measure that is somehow not a CD.
Edit: also there's other ways of doing measurements. For instance A-weighting allows you to get a number that is higher than the actual unweighted number. It's like saying you have two pies but since you are human and can cross your eyes, you now have three pies . It is a legitimate way of measuring but it is doing it on some sort of curve supposed to fit the human ear.
Basically you can get a higher number than before. An 80db SNR suddenly can become 92 db!
Also there's other ways of tweaking results or simply ommiting what bit they are talking about or plain out fibbing. For instance I have a creative audigy 2 zs soundcard. It comes with a sticker that says 124 db SNR. Hehehe. No, it doesn't. My asus xonar essence st - which by the way is a very nice sound card - also has a wonderful figure like that including a measurement graph to back it up. But <sigh> no, it doesn't. Other people instead of measuring it at the outputs will measure just the SNR of the DAC or just report the theoretical SNR of the DAC itself (without the rest of the circuitry) reported by the manufucaturer. Voila 120 and 130 db SNR dacs!
Last Edit: Sept 17, 2014 15:08:15 GMT -5 by garbulky
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The specs S/N specs were just updated a week ago. I spoke to Lonnie about this and he personally confirmed it was posted erroneously. The correct specs are now shown on the website and are S/N Ratio: 104db unbalanced, 110db balanced.
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Musical Fidelity M6si Emotiva ERC-3 Sony TC-WA7ESA Golden Ear Triton One