I think most modern DACs are transparent and nothing they add or take from the music can be heard. We can get an idea of the magnitude of the very small effects such equipment has on the sound by listening at home in your familiar system to see if you can identify the sound of my DAC and ADC combo when magnified ten times over!
I've extracted ~90 second clips from 4 tracks off CD. This has never come out of the digital domain or been near any method that could add jitter or other nasties.
I have also made another copy of each sample that has been played through my DAC and then recorded by my ADC, 10 times in a row. That means anything the DAC and ADC process adds or removes from the music will be magnified ten times. Ten times! This took a long while, lol. The only unusual thing I did was add about 1.5dB HF EQ to make sure the top end it didn't droop down too much after 10 passes.
The identify of the files has been hidden and mixed up to reduce bias.
Now if the DAC and ADC does anything untoward to the music it should certainly be audible in this example and you should easily identify which file is the digital rip and which has been through the DAC and ADC.
Please DO NOT post your results as it can influence what others think and others may want to try this test in the future. If you wish to know the identity of the files then send me a PM.
If you have a preference towards one of the samples, you can reduce the chances it is an unconscious bias by using this ABX comparator. It will allow you to identify X as A or B a number of times and count how many times you spot the files correctly. There us a video showing how to use the program in the next post.
Here are the files:
Sample 1 - Jazz:
Sample 2 - Metal:
Sample 3 - Classical:
Sample 4 - Speech:
This is the system used to make the 10x DAC to ADC recordings. DAC is BehrignerMods modified DCX2496 and ADC is BehringerMods DEQ2496.