Anyone compared NAD C 390DD digital inputs (XLR/RCA)? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-15-2013, 05:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,

Regarding the NAD C 390DD direct-digital amplifier, has anyone compared the sound quality of its XLR and RCA digital inputs? All first-hand experience is welcome, but I'd prefer hearing from those who have used the same source component, i.e., one with both XLR and RCA outputs.

Thanks!
Eric
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-15-2013, 09:22 AM
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has anyone compared the sound quality of its XLR and RCA digital inputs?

These are analog inputs, not digital.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-15-2013, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Are you familiar with the NAD C 390DD? It amplifies digital signals from, for example, the digital output of a CD transport or player (converting those signals into the analog domain at the speaker outputs). The C 390DD does not even accept analog signals without adding a daughter card purchased separately.

The backplane of the C 390DD has, I think, two coaxial digital inputs (RCA connectors) and one AES/EBU digital input (XLR connector).

I'm asking whether anyone has compared the sound quality of the amplifier via these two digital inputs, preferably from the same digital source (i.e., one with both RCA and XLR digital outputs).

Thanks,
Eric
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-15-2013, 10:24 AM
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Are you familiar with the NAD C 390DD?

Yes, are you?
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The backplane of the C 390DD has, I think,

...apparently not.

Are you aware that this amp uses different optional input modules...but you didn't specify which one.

You're now asking if there's a difference between SPDIF and AES? why do you think there would be?
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-15-2013, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Below is a photograph of the backplane of the C 390DD without MDC cards (accessory modules). Without adding MDC cards, the C 390DD has no analog inputs at all.

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v62), default quality

The C 390DD is, natively, a digital amplifier. That is why I have not specified MDC cards--I wouldn't use them.

The AES/EBU and S/PDIF formats may treat the electrical signal differently; their electrical specifications are certainly different. I don't know whether any electrical differences will translate into audibile differences; that's why I'm asking.

Thanks,
Eric
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-15-2013, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Balisarda View Post

Hello all,

Regarding the NAD C 390DD direct-digital amplifier, has anyone compared the sound quality of its XLR and RCA digital inputs? All first-hand experience is welcome, but I'd prefer hearing from those who have used the same source component, i.e., one with both XLR and RCA outputs.

Looking at the doc http://nadelectronics.com/download.php?120810144609-NAD_C_390DD-DataSheet.pdf|DataSheet%20-%20C%20390DD%20Direct%20Digital%20Powered%20DAC%20Amplifier

We can see that the XLR digital input is for AES/EBU while the RCA inputs are SP/DIF.

Not unexpectedly they accept the same sample rates and data formats, which is no surprise to informed parties since devices with both of these inputs implement them as different input coupling circuits to the identical same signal processing including the line receiver. I've done extensive technical testing of a number of other devices that had both kinds of inputs, and there were no signficiant differences in technical performance or sound quality.

However, I can pretty much guarantee that they will sound different in a sighted evaluation! ;-)

There's only one way that these inputs could possibly actually sound different and that is if the NAD C 390DD was a total and unmitigated POS.

I suspect that the 390DD is a quality piece.

In most cases SPDIF and AES/EBU inputs can be used interchangeably with the same source of either kind with a simple adapter, electrical differences notwithstanding.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-15-2013, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you kindly for a straightforward answer to my question.

Sincerely,
Eric
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