Does a DAC need a large/strong power supply?

I see these inexpensive DACs on ASR that get great reviews, but people say they're not that good because of a weak power supply. Is this mostly true? Does a DAC sound better with an overkill power supply?



I might just try one out, but this thread is my first step in this quest, not my last.

Charles has the answer, experience the difference for yourself. I'd suggest the dacs with lesser power supplies may resolve very well, lack in substantive, analog like sound qualities. This has been my experience and others based on subjective reviews I've observed.


My only direct experience was Perpetual Technologies digital setup from many years ago, Between Modwright and my own mods, this was Frankenstein setup, nearly every part changed over the years, lots of power supply mods as well. PS mods were important, better filtering and  greater supply resulted in higher resolving, more natural sound quality, greater micro/macro dynamics.

Yes, experience it yourself @koestner, but keep in mind comparing two products with very similar sounds requires more than just swapping them in and out and getting an impression. A simple small volume difference will create far more of a sound difference than swapping the two DACs ever will as will anything that impacts frequency response. Saying that, your Schiit Yggdrasil has some questionable performance that is far enough off "accurate" to be audible. You asked about power supplies? Well the ones, objectively in the Yggdrasil are really crappy ... or at least the ability of the product to negate the effects of the power supply. The effect is the same. Also appears to be issues with single ended (RCA outputs) that are substantial (easily could be audible). You won’t note it as a flaw, but it will sound different from something else if compared. Being acclimatized to what you have, something new and different may not be viewed better, especially when it is a frequency response change.


If I am not mistaken, after being constantly pilloried, for good reason, in ASR reviews, Schitt went out and bought some proper test equipment and fixed their design issues. Their later DACs measure much better.

When someone first decides to get into Hi-End HIFI they are usually shocked by the prices. Well ASR plays up to this with you can get a $15k DAC for $150.00 and all cables sound the same and the like.

As others have said the only things you can trust are your ears and ASR completely discourages listening tests because they are

Yeah I would really enjoy listing to a cheap a$$ DAC with terrific specs rather than a DAC packed full of world class components that measures like a donkey’s hind leg but sounds divine.

Please remember tube amps normally have around 1.5% distortion but most people love them, so the tiny amount of DAC distortions being measured are irrelevant if you’re running tubes or even SS for that matter.

And in answer to your question, all equipment benefits from good power, low noise power supplies.