At DACT we make use of Surface Mount Device (or just Surface Mount) components in our products.
DACT believes strongly in using SM components for high quality audio equipment. We make extensive use of Surface Mount resistors and capacitors. Compared to normal leaded resistors and capacitors, the SM counterparts are much smaller. As they have no leads, the signal path becomes significantly shorter. DACT also uses SM components because of the extremely low series inductance associated with this technology. Besides, because SM components are physically small, the layout can be very compact. This helps minimize both stray inductance and capacitance on the PCB or in the connecting wires.
Given the advantages of SM components over their leaded counterparts, it is obvious that we use SM resistors for our stepped audio attenuators. As a result, our attenuators are more compact than any that uses leaded resistor networks. And the sound? - better judge for yourself!
If you would like to study a more scientific explanation about the differences between conventional leaded resistors and Surface Mount resistors, click here.
The physical size of SM components make SM capacitors very suited as power supply bypass capacitors for active components like transistors and IC's. The SM capacitors can be placed very close to the active devices’ power supply input, in order to keep the connecting PCB trace inductance at a minimum. This improves high-frequency bypassing, reduces distortion and increases the bandwidth. Therefore, SM capacitors are used in our active preamplifier modules.
The only disadvantages using SM components are of practical nature rather than technical. For high accuracy and reliability, SM components should be mounted and soldered by machine rather than by hand. Besides, for some of the special SM components used by DACT, the component manufacturers require large order quantities. So while SM components offer technical advantages over leaded components, it requires a production of a certain scale to make it feasible to use them.