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First post, by darry

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This is not directly retro related, but it may affect people seeking parts for vintage audio gear or those considering any new equipment built around AKM parts .

https://www.audioholics.com/news/fire-destroy … io-chip-factory

Reply 1 of 6, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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It's a good thing that all employees were safely evacuated during the fire. The potential scarcity of high end DAC doesn't concern me though. Unless my speakers are JBL Everest or Yamaha NS-2000s, I see no point of using megabuck DAC with its own master clock and what-have-you. Yes, JBL titanium dome tweeters are quite picky about upstream components, but not that picky.

The ones who should worry are the manufacturers of modern amplifiers and AV receivers --typical modern gears with built-in DAC, because AKM is also a major supplier of DAC chips for such product.

Luckily my primary amp is vintage. No DAC chip, no blue tooth, no bell and whistles. Nothing more than old fashioned thirty pounds of solid audio, and I like it that way.

Kreshna-Aryaguna-Nurzaman-Sansui-AU-7900-Herbie-Hancock.jpg
Kreshna-Aryaguna-Nurzaman-Sansui-AU-7900.jpg
Luckily, my most favorite amplifier doesn't have internal DAC.

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.

Reply 2 of 6, by darry

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Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote on 2020-12-08, 04:04:
It's a good thing that all employees were safely evacuated during the fire. The potential scarcity of high end DAC doesn't conce […]
Show full quote

It's a good thing that all employees were safely evacuated during the fire. The potential scarcity of high end DAC doesn't concern me though. Unless my speakers are JBL Everest or Yamaha NS-2000s, I see no point of using megabuck DAC with its own master clock and what-have-you. Yes, JBL titanium dome tweeters are quite picky about upstream components, but not that picky.

The ones who should worry are the manufacturers of modern amplifiers and AV receivers --typical modern gears with built-in DAC, because AKM is also a major supplier of DAC chips for such product.

Luckily my primary amp is vintage. No DAC chip, no blue tooth, no bell and whistles. Nothing more than old fashioned thirty pounds of solid audio, and I like it that way.

Kreshna-Aryaguna-Nurzaman-Sansui-AU-7900-Herbie-Hancock.jpg
Kreshna-Aryaguna-Nurzaman-Sansui-AU-7900.jpg
Luckily, my most favorite amplifier doesn't have internal DAC.

Indeed, it is good news that there were no casualties. Lots of people will likely find themselves at least temporarily unemployed .

What also worries me is the potential future of AKM . Their parent company is likely quite solid , but something like this will take months to recover from and, during this time competitors will likely be getting their parts into new designs, so AKM are bound to lose market share .

Additionally, there aren't that many high end DAC/ADC manufacturers. Excluding AKM; TI, Analog Devices, Cirrus Logic , ESS and whoever they have absorbed over the years are all we have left, AFAIK . Competition generally being a good thing, this not ideal.

Reply 3 of 6, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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darry wrote on 2020-12-08, 05:34:
Indeed, it is good news that there were no casualties. Lots of people will likely find themselves at least temporarily unemploye […]
Show full quote
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote on 2020-12-08, 04:04:
It's a good thing that all employees were safely evacuated during the fire. The potential scarcity of high end DAC doesn't conce […]
Show full quote

It's a good thing that all employees were safely evacuated during the fire. The potential scarcity of high end DAC doesn't concern me though. Unless my speakers are JBL Everest or Yamaha NS-2000s, I see no point of using megabuck DAC with its own master clock and what-have-you. Yes, JBL titanium dome tweeters are quite picky about upstream components, but not that picky.

The ones who should worry are the manufacturers of modern amplifiers and AV receivers --typical modern gears with built-in DAC, because AKM is also a major supplier of DAC chips for such product.

Luckily my primary amp is vintage. No DAC chip, no blue tooth, no bell and whistles. Nothing more than old fashioned thirty pounds of solid audio, and I like it that way.

Kreshna-Aryaguna-Nurzaman-Sansui-AU-7900-Herbie-Hancock.jpg
Kreshna-Aryaguna-Nurzaman-Sansui-AU-7900.jpg
Luckily, my most favorite amplifier doesn't have internal DAC.

Indeed, it is good news that there were no casualties. Lots of people will likely find themselves at least temporarily unemployed .

What also worries me is the potential future of AKM . Their parent company is likely quite solid , but something like this will take months to recover from and, during this time competitors will likely be getting their parts into new designs, so AKM are bound to lose market share .

Additionally, there aren't that many high end DAC/ADC manufacturers. Excluding AKM; TI, Analog Devices, Cirrus Logic , ESS and whoever they have absorbed over the years are all we have left, AFAIK . Competition generally being a good thing, this not ideal.

I'm not really familiar with DAC market. How dominant is AKM market share in motherboard's built in DAC? How much this disaster would affect the computer market?

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.

Reply 4 of 6, by darry

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Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote on 2020-12-10, 07:31:
darry wrote on 2020-12-08, 05:34:
Indeed, it is good news that there were no casualties. Lots of people will likely find themselves at least temporarily unemploye […]
Show full quote
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote on 2020-12-08, 04:04:
It's a good thing that all employees were safely evacuated during the fire. The potential scarcity of high end DAC doesn't conce […]
Show full quote

It's a good thing that all employees were safely evacuated during the fire. The potential scarcity of high end DAC doesn't concern me though. Unless my speakers are JBL Everest or Yamaha NS-2000s, I see no point of using megabuck DAC with its own master clock and what-have-you. Yes, JBL titanium dome tweeters are quite picky about upstream components, but not that picky.

The ones who should worry are the manufacturers of modern amplifiers and AV receivers --typical modern gears with built-in DAC, because AKM is also a major supplier of DAC chips for such product.

Luckily my primary amp is vintage. No DAC chip, no blue tooth, no bell and whistles. Nothing more than old fashioned thirty pounds of solid audio, and I like it that way.

Kreshna-Aryaguna-Nurzaman-Sansui-AU-7900-Herbie-Hancock.jpg
Kreshna-Aryaguna-Nurzaman-Sansui-AU-7900.jpg
Luckily, my most favorite amplifier doesn't have internal DAC.

Indeed, it is good news that there were no casualties. Lots of people will likely find themselves at least temporarily unemployed .

What also worries me is the potential future of AKM . Their parent company is likely quite solid , but something like this will take months to recover from and, during this time competitors will likely be getting their parts into new designs, so AKM are bound to lose market share .

Additionally, there aren't that many high end DAC/ADC manufacturers. Excluding AKM; TI, Analog Devices, Cirrus Logic , ESS and whoever they have absorbed over the years are all we have left, AFAIK . Competition generally being a good thing, this not ideal.

I'm not really familiar with DAC market. How dominant is AKM market share in motherboard's built in DAC? How much this disaster would affect the computer market?

Motherboard market is probably nearly 100% Realtek or Realtek + ESS these days . I was thinking more about pro audio, higher end consumer DACs, AV receivers, possibly cameras . AFAICR, my 20+ year old VS-880EX and DPS12 both use AKM converters as does a lot of newer semi pro and higher audio equipment.

Reply 5 of 6, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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darry wrote on 2020-12-10, 08:21:

Motherboard market is probably nearly 100% Realtek or Realtek + ESS these days . I was thinking more about pro audio, higher end consumer DACs, AV receivers, possibly cameras . AFAICR, my 20+ year old VS-880EX and DPS12 both use AKM converters as does a lot of newer semi pro and higher audio equipment.

I wouldn't worry too much, pro audio gears are usually designed and built to last. Even if it took months for AKM to recover and replenish its inventory of spare parts, chances your gears would stay fine during those months.

AV receivers are more worrisome, though. New AVR models may switch to other manufacturers due to unavailability of AKM chips following the disaster. In fact, we may see "AKM version" and "non-AKM version" of the same AVR model across different batches. However, is it necessarily a bad thing? I mean, are other manufacturer's DAC chips necessarily worse than AKM DAC chips?

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.

Reply 6 of 6, by darry

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Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote on 2020-12-12, 19:15:
darry wrote on 2020-12-10, 08:21:

Motherboard market is probably nearly 100% Realtek or Realtek + ESS these days . I was thinking more about pro audio, higher end consumer DACs, AV receivers, possibly cameras . AFAICR, my 20+ year old VS-880EX and DPS12 both use AKM converters as does a lot of newer semi pro and higher audio equipment.

I wouldn't worry too much, pro audio gears are usually designed and built to last. Even if it took months for AKM to recover and replenish its inventory of spare parts, chances your gears would stay fine during those months.

AV receivers are more worrisome, though. New AVR models may switch to other manufacturers due to unavailability of AKM chips following the disaster. In fact, we may see "AKM version" and "non-AKM version" of the same AVR model across different batches. However, is it necessarily a bad thing? I mean, are other manufacturer's DAC chips necessarily worse than AKM DAC chips?

I do not think the competition is necessarily worse than AKM, just that AKM being out of commission for so long (6 months or likely more) could be enough to reduce their market share low enough to lead to them to drop out of certain markets .

I mean, if I was a manufacturer forced to switch over from AKM to another DAC/ADC provider, what incentive would I have to rework my production line again to use AKM parts once they become available ? Additionally, who would even consider using AKM parts in a new design knowing said parts will be unavailable for a while ?

IMHO, this is going to hurt AKM for a very long time and might actually cause them to no longer be a significant player in the DAC/ADC market .

EDIT: I agree that these part are reliable, so worrying about potential lack of parts for repair purposes is likely unwarranted .