Gentlemen. I write about my wonderful DAC3 which is working fine. I realise that Dr. Bews can service anything and everything in the DAC but not of course the chip. Do chips wear out? If so what is the meantime between failure please? Are there replacement chips? Am I worrying about nothing? Help!
Do chips wear out? More likely they burn out, which is more accurate but not particularly helpful. More relevantly, do they burn out on the DAC3? None to date that I'm aware of.
However at least one of the few DAC3 units was cannibalised by an unscrupulous second owner to get the chip out. It was replaced by an inferior chip which in turn required the sourcing of a replacement as close to the original Ultra Analogue as possible.
The Ultra Analog D/A converter, is not totally replaceable. A replacement D20400A from USA does technically work, but makes the sound slightly different from the original issue.
A defective D/A converter chip is obvious since either you lose the Analogue signal or there is very obvious noise (comparable with the signal) on one or both channels. Roland (email@example.com) in Singapore has replaced the D/A converter in his DAC3, so he would be a sensible person to contact if the D20400A needs replacement with the chip from the USA.
Are you worrying about nothing?
Yes, I believe you are.