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Help on Intrepretation of 'dual mono' DAC

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I'm another of those wishing-to-get a DAC long-time lurkers that needs some help with understanding lingo.


I was ready to pull the trigger on a Schiit Bifrost when I learned about the Geek Pulse. The Geek Pulse X looks interesting but some of the marketing lingofrom the Geek Pulse web site throws me:



In order to accomplish a true balanced design, we have to nearly double the internal components, including the DAC IC and the analog signal amplifiers. This means that Geek Pulse X uses a dual mono (sometimes called “mono-mono") design. There are other internal component upgrades as well. Geek Pulse X will employ Nichicon Muse capacitors in the decoupling stage, and the analog stage will feature a dual mono, high-bias class A module with high-precision, non inductive Caddock resistors.


This version of the Geek Pulse clearly has distinct left and right channel outputs for both XLR and RCA. Does a 'dual mono design' mean that (1) the XLR and RCA outputs still put out true stereo [meaning separate left/right channels] but each pair of outputs has a dedicated chip/circuitry, (2) dual mono design outputs the exact same thing for thing from the left and right channel outputs, or (3)something else. If it is something else, what does it mean?


Scenario (2) makes no sense..why get a DAC if part of listening experience would mean no longer having distinct left/right channels.... Yup, I have done Google searches, found the term thrown around while implying how great it is...but have yet to find an explanation of the term with a 'DACs-for-Dummies' approach. Any assistance forum regulars can provide is appreciated.

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The "dual mono" approach has been used in hifi for many years, mainly with amps. The objective is to have as many dedicated components as possible for each channel although one component could handle both channels. Most DAC chips can output two (and more) channels, but some DAC makers decide to use one chip for each channel. Only one power supply is required, but some stereo amps use one for each channel.


The most consequent solution using this approach are for example mono power amps in seperate enclosures. You would need two of these for stereo. "Dual mono" has been used two descripe two mono amps in one common enclosure (and with one single power cable and switch).


In case of a dual-mono DAC, the way of designing the device has no incidence on the type of signal that is being output or the way the device must be connected. It handles the left and right channels, just like any stereo DAC. So it's your description 1) that applies.


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