Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,024

    Secrets of Digital Sound 0's & 1's Revealed- Deal With It!

    I'm sure this will not change anyones mind on the subject, but I thought I'd pass this on for pause for thought, by someone in my opinion who seems to know things on the subject. I asked him specifically about Optical versus Analog Connections & if in his opinion all digital sound is the same. This is his response verbatim, not mine:

    "My experience is that not all players are equal as readers of data. When you connect to the Denon with RCA cables, you are counting on the DAC in the CD/DVD player to turn the digits into analogue. When you connect with the optical cable, you are using the DAC in the receiver. Part of it depends on which DAC is better -- but you are using the same reader and some do a better job of reading the 1s and 0s.

    I have a Sony consumer CD player and a Sony professional CD player plugged into the Benchmark (DAC). They sound close, but the professional player does a better job of getting the data and actually passing it on to the Benchmark. This is particularly true with CDRs

    By the way, it might be worth experimenting with using a a coaxial connection rather than the optical one since the standards for data transfer are not the same for the two kinds of cables."

  2. #2
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications
    Posts
    9,047
    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    I'm sure this will not change anyones mind on the subject, but I thought I'd pass this on for pause for thought, by someone in my opinion who seems to know things on the subject. I asked him specifically about Optical versus Analog Connections & if in his opinion all digital sound is the same. This is his response verbatim, not mine:

    "My experience is that not all players are equal as readers of data. When you connect to the Denon with RCA cables, you are counting on the DAC in the CD/DVD player to turn the digits into analogue. When you connect with the optical cable, you are using the DAC in the receiver. Part of it depends on which DAC is better -- but you are using the same reader and some do a better job of reading the 1s and 0s.

    I have a Sony consumer CD player and a Sony professional CD player plugged into the Benchmark (DAC). They sound close, but the professional player does a better job of getting the data and actually passing it on to the Benchmark. This is particularly true with CDRs

    By the way, it might be worth experimenting with using a a coaxial connection rather than the optical one since the standards for data transfer are not the same for the two kinds of cables."
    One of the great things about digital "readers" is that they operate at levels nearing perfection, if not absolute perfection. Even the horrible cheap ones.
    The entire computer industry has been relying on this fact for decades. Your computer has to read, send, and receive data perfectly every second of its operation.

    I think there is some merit to this person's claim though. Any errors would have to be dealt with and corrected in such a timely fashion so as not to disrupt the intended flow of data. Perhaps better players do this? Is it audible though? Can it be proven?

    For me, it's always been about DAC's. Easy to test at home, and noticeable differences can be produced. Early, mass market DAC's weren't the greatest. I'm told transports play a key role as well, though I admit to not understanding how.

  3. #3
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Anywhere but here...
    Posts
    13,641
    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    I'm sure this will not change anyones mind on the subject, but I thought I'd pass this on for pause for thought, by someone in my opinion who seems to know things on the subject. I asked him specifically about Optical versus Analog Connections & if in his opinion all digital sound is the same. This is his response verbatim, not mine:

    "My experience is that not all players are equal as readers of data. When you connect to the Denon with RCA cables, you are counting on the DAC in the CD/DVD player to turn the digits into analogue. When you connect with the optical cable, you are using the DAC in the receiver. Part of it depends on which DAC is better -- but you are using the same reader and some do a better job of reading the 1s and 0s.

    I have a Sony consumer CD player and a Sony professional CD player plugged into the Benchmark (DAC). They sound close, but the professional player does a better job of getting the data and actually passing it on to the Benchmark. This is particularly true with CDRs

    By the way, it might be worth experimenting with using a a coaxial connection rather than the optical one since the standards for data transfer are not the same for the two kinds of cables."
    Hi Ed,

    I think this is what most people here have been saying as well.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,672
    Errrrr yeah...that's the point that we've been trying to drive into your head for six months now.

    Why don't you ask this anonymous genius if he thinks you would benefit from a speaker upgrade?

  5. #5
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    X
    Posts
    2,213
    Ok, what have you done with the real Ed G?

  6. #6
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,024
    are we in the twilight zone The guy is basically saying that 0's & 1's may be read differently depending on the DAC's. People like the great Monyee or Wood Yee, whatever, say that it will all sound the same as there just 0's & 1's.

  7. #7
    Suspended markw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Noo Joisey. Youse got a problem wit dat?
    Posts
    4,676

    well, duh! you're almost there.

    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    are we in the twilight zone The guy is basically saying that 0's & 1's may be read differently depending on the DAC's.
    No, DACs don't read 0s and 1s. That's the job of the transport.

    The DAC only interperts them and, as has been said all along by many, many people here, they may be intentionally interperted differently to produce different sonic signitures, which CAN result in a different sound.

  8. #8
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Anywhere but here...
    Posts
    13,641
    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    are we in the twilight zone The guy is basically saying that 0's & 1's may be read differently depending on the DAC's. People like the great Monyee or Wood Yee, whatever, say that it will all sound the same as there just 0's & 1's.
    What those people have been saying is that optical cables just carry 1's & 0's. I don't see anything above that disputes that.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,024
    I guess we're interpreting things differently, no pun intended. If you're still saying that the same recording connected from a crappy $50 DVD player & say a #1,000 DVD player by optical cable to a good receiver will both sound the same, well we're back to stage 1.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Smokey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Ozarks
    Posts
    3,686
    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    I have a Sony consumer CD player and a Sony professional CD player plugged into the Benchmark (DAC). They sound close, but the professional player does a better job of getting the data and actually passing it on to the Benchmark.
    It might be worth mentioning that transport system doesn’t deal with 0s, and 1s only. The signal that contain 0s and 1s also include synchronization (an o’clock is embedded into signal) that tell DAC the precious timing of when 1s and 0s end or begin.

    So job of transport isn’t only to read 0s and 1s and deliver it to the DAC, but also to transport and deliver exact timing of clock (in micro seconds) the DAC need to interpret 1s and 0s at the correct timing. And this might partly explain why there might be discrepancy among transport systems depending on how precious (time wise) the delivery system is.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,672
    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    are we in the twilight zone The guy is basically saying that 0's & 1's may be read differently depending on the DAC's. People like the great Monyee or Wood Yee, whatever, say that it will all sound the same as there just 0's & 1's.
    That guy said nothing remotely close to that. You just don't get it, do you?

  12. #12
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,024
    From you, that's a compliment

  13. #13
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    6,721
    You guys are attempting to determine digital audio quality based on one component of many. ADC/DAC Filter design, how good the oversampling algorythm, how well jitter is controlled, and the quality of the error correction all contribute to getting good digital sound. Also the analog signal path post conversion also influences the sound of digital audio. The DAC is just one piece of many, and the quality of the audio cannot be determined by just one piece.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Grass Valley Cell based Pro HD A/V switcher
    Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 EQ module
    Audyssey XT32 Sub module
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    5 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    14 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surrounds
    3 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  14. #14
    Class of the clown GMichael's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Anywhere but here...
    Posts
    13,641
    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    I guess we're interpreting things differently, no pun intended. If you're still saying that the same recording connected from a crappy $50 DVD player & say a #1,000 DVD player by optical cable to a good receiver will both sound the same, well we're back to stage 1.
    What I was saying is that if you take the same CD player going to the same receiver and switch the optical cable you won't hear a difference unless one of the cables are defective, broken or not connected correctly.
    WARNING! - The Surgeon General has determined that, time spent listening to music is not deducted from one's lifespan.

  15. #15
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    2,003
    Has anyone had a cheap player and a high end player and played the same disc with the same cable and the same receiver within the same hour or so? I havent.
    Look & Listen

  16. #16
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    halifax,nova scotia,canada
    Posts
    1,088
    i conducted the following experiment with a friend of mine.We selected a piece of music that we were both very familiar with.First we used a playstation2 connected by a cheap optical cable to my Cambridge Audio 540r reciever in stereo mode.We played the song twice.Put the disc in my Cambridge Audio 540d dvd player connected by a $90.00 cdn coax cable,played it twice.We then moved on to my Arcam cd-73t cd player connected by a pair of $180.00 analog cables,we played it twice.
    Results were the playstation and dvd player were virtualy the same,if there was a difference,we could not pick it up.The cd player was of course far better than either.
    thanks
    bill

  17. #17
    Forum Regular Registered Member paul_pci's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,245
    The only side by side comparison me and Ed have been able to do was when he had the JVC. So when he gets his Panasonic, we can do side by sides with optical cables. I can even bring over my father's Toshiba DVD player for a 3rd side by side unit. Not that I expect this to finalize the issue, but hey, these threads are fun!

  18. #18
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    2,003
    Do it on a weekend and i might try to come by.
    Look & Listen

  19. #19
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    6,721
    Quote Originally Posted by musicman1999
    i conducted the following experiment with a friend of mine.We selected a piece of music that we were both very familiar with.First we used a playstation2 connected by a cheap optical cable to my Cambridge Audio 540r reciever in stereo mode.We played the song twice.Put the disc in my Cambridge Audio 540d dvd player connected by a $90.00 cdn coax cable,played it twice.We then moved on to my Arcam cd-73t cd player connected by a pair of $180.00 analog cables,we played it twice.
    Results were the playstation and dvd player were virtualy the same,if there was a difference,we could not pick it up.The cd player was of course far better than either.
    thanks
    bill
    This kind of test should have been conducted in a double blind setting. Sited tests always reveal biases, and are not very scientific at all. Secondly, this would have to be swithched much more carefully and quickly, any volume differences(and I am sure there were some) would have to be accounted for (louder signals always sound more dynamic to our ears). Also to support a more quicker switching as our auditory memory is VERY short. It is important that each digital output and analog output be level matched, or the test is useless.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Grass Valley Cell based Pro HD A/V switcher
    Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 EQ module
    Audyssey XT32 Sub module
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    5 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    14 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surrounds
    3 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  20. #20
    Forum Regular Registered Member paul_pci's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,245
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    This kind of test should have been conducted in a double blind setting. Sited tests always reveal biases, and are not very scientific at all. Secondly, this would have to be swithched much more carefully and quickly, any volume differences(and I am sure there were some) would have to be accounted for (louder signals always sound more dynamic to our ears). Also to support a more quicker switching as our auditory memory is VERY short. It is important that each digital output and analog output be level matched, or the test is useless.
    I could do a single blind for Ed where I would know which player is playing, etc. and he would not, but I don't think we could work out the double blind test.

  21. #21
    Forum Regular anamorphic96's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    553
    This is a great idea. Hopefully Ed will agree to it. It sure would answer alot of questions.

  22. #22
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    halifax,nova scotia,canada
    Posts
    1,088
    sir terrence

    The test was conducted as a single blind test.The other person involved does not have a strong audio knowledge level.He did not know what player was playing and their connection method would not mean anything to him.I just wanted to know which music sounded better to him.Not scientific i know but double blind tests are hard to do with two people.

    bill

  23. #23
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,024
    As someone on this board who I talked to today, said, unless I or someone else who bought
    another CD/DVD player or what have you, noticed an immediate difference in the first few minutes or so of playing a CD, chances are we wouldn't want to keep it for say $200 to $500 more. If anything the bias would be the other way. I realise this doesn't answer "testing" per se but I think if I had to analyze whether or not something sounds better for myself, I'd resell it, as it wouldn't be worth the extra cost to me.

  24. #24
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    6,721
    Quote Originally Posted by musicman1999
    sir terrence

    The test was conducted as a single blind test.The other person involved does not have a strong audio knowledge level.He did not know what player was playing and their connection method would not mean anything to him.I just wanted to know which music sounded better to him.Not scientific i know but double blind tests are hard to do with two people.

    bill
    I am still concerned about level matching. I know in my setup my DVD player has one level for the analog ouputs, and another for the digital outputs. A CD player could have a different output level from a DVD player even from its digital outputs. It is extremely important that levels be equal up to .01db or there will be a bias towards the loudest output. This is very important even if conducting a unscientific single blind listening test.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Grass Valley Cell based Pro HD A/V switcher
    Audyssey MultiEQ XT32 EQ module
    Audyssey XT32 Sub module
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    5 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    14 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surrounds
    3 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  25. #25
    Forum Regular Registered Member paul_pci's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    1,245
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    I am still concerned about level matching. I know in my setup my DVD player has one level for the analog ouputs, and another for the digital outputs. A CD player could have a different output level from a DVD player even from its digital outputs. It is extremely important that levels be equal up to .01db or there will be a bias towards the loudest output. This is very important even if conducting a unscientific single blind listening test.
    Good point. I've noticed that in my own system when running DVE thorugh the digital cable and through the 6-channel output. In Ed's case the first thing we might do is compare digital, but I know he's real interesed in how the DAC might change the sound quality.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Latest AudioReview Articles

Hot Deals

Latest News

AudioReview on Facebook