Burr Brown 1704

Is the Burr Brown Pmc 1704-k the best ever produced.?

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Not sure if it’s the best, but certainly Naim preferred it for it’s sound quality in their high end products. But as Steve Sells mentioned in an article on the ND555 that uses this chip, probably the last implementation as stocks run out.

The best what?

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They’ll find others. TI’s Burr Brown brand is still used a lot in other very high end gear. And some of that gear sounds fantastic.

I’d not worry. My limited experience with current BB chips (1795) is that they are still excellent.

Yes, I think the K-version was the best of the 1704s. It was used by Naim and other hi-end manufacturer’s (from memory I think totalDAC, Aqua HiFi - they both replaced it with their own FPGA-based R2R DAC:s).

The TI PCM 1704K was arguably the pinnacle of traditional ladder sign magnitude DACs… but the world has moved on… however as we know much of the performance comes from the supporting circuitry, and that can take years to optimise for a particular device, and Naim clearly have their design patterns, and it will take quite a big investment by Naim to move away to a more capable DAC and have the same or better performance than is currently achieved… but I’d be surprised if those developments are not underway… because after all the PCM1704K is officially obsolete, and has been for a few years now…


I’ll think you’ll find the BB1704-K not obsolete from a performance perspective, but rather a manufacturing one. The laser trimming is an additional process delta-sigmas don’t need, which makes their implementation quicker and thus less costly. The movement away from r2r chips was always driven by price not performance.

So, yes, yes it is.

Well they are old devices now and relatively bandwidth constrained by modern high end standards… although Naim do push their performance envelopes by bypassing their inbuilt 1704 reconstruction filters… but sure within their performance envelope Naim certainly squeeze every drop out from them and harness that ever so slightly curtailed attractive sound from them
TI have moved to even more resolving and higher bandwidth architectures as you would expect with advances in fabrication and design since the days of the old Burr Bown Corporation prior to TI’s acquisition back in 2000. I look forward to hearing what they can sound like when Naim learn to harness the new high end TI devices like they did with the vintage PCM 1704Ks… or Naim might even jump from TI… but I think much of the chipsets they use are from TI so I kind of think unlikely.

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