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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I've actually been told that coaxial digital audio is /higher/ quality than what you get across the optical digital audio cables (assuming equivalent cable qualities of each, I guess). Of course, I can't tell the difference between my two different optical audio cables (one is Monster Cable's Interlink 100, the other is Interlink 400), or between either of them and my DVD player's coaxial (Monster Cable as well, of course). I guess my ears just aren't good enough :)
    • As far as I understand the difference is very subtle . The digital signal on the coaxial cable is transmitted with a clock signal in the transport. The optical is not timed. This does not matter for DVDs as its encoded signal has an internal clock, so whatever transport is used, the DA converter always uses the internal clock to properly time the decoding.

      CDs do not have this internal clock in the encoding, so clock skew on the CD can be transported over optical, but not over coaxial. This only matters if your CD plater is iffy and produces clock skew to begin with. So in the general case, there is no difference. And then all your components need to be very good to detect the difference.

      It is very interesting to test this out. I have a CD player with analog out and digital out, as well as a DVD player with both. My amplifier can take coaxial and digital inputs for both, so I have three DA converters that I can use to decode CDs and six transports.

      In the end my listening ears preferred the DA from the (very good) CD player over the other two, the amplifier was reasonable but not great and the DVD was downright awful with CDs. So now I am hooked up with analog RCA/tulip cable from CD to amp and digital optical from DVD to amp. The DVD is just a reader for the audio, it does a great job on the video decoding though. The amp does the DTS/DD 5.1 decoding and is great for disturbing the neighbours.