How bad is toslink? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 54Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 42 Old 04-10-2019, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 1
How bad is toslink?

I know this is a very, very common topic of discussion, but please don't kill me because I haven't been able to find on the internet the answer I was looking for.

The backstory to me asking this is: I just bought an integrated amplifier (Onkyo TX-8250) to use with a pair of speakers (Klipsch RP-160M).
I'll mainly use it for: music, via spotify or USB storage, and movies, genetic pc audio (YouTube, videogames etc) and other random music, from my PC.

Now, here's my question: how bad is the s/pdif toslink connection?
Because it's the one I'd use to connect my pc to the amplifier.

Is audio quality so bad through that that I need to dispair and send this amp back, and spend 100€ more on the better model (TX-8270) which also has HDMI?
Or, since it still would be 2.0 audio without any support for Dolby/DTS, there wouldn't really be any difference?

Please be honest with your answers, because I really need to understand if it would be worth to spend those 100€+shipping back of the old model to have an HDMI input in lieu of the optical one...
And thank you in advance for your answers
DarkSphere00 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 42 Old 04-10-2019, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 1
I don't know how to edit the main post, so I'm writing here.

The real main thing I'd use my PC for is watching movies, with 2.0 audio, so the only thing I really care about is: will there be much difference in just 2.0 channel audio between Toslink and HDMI?
DarkSphere00 is offline  
post #3 of 42 Old 04-10-2019, 05:06 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Sonoma County, CA
Posts: 2,370
Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1378 Post(s)
Liked: 940
No. Optical (Toslink) is fine. You won’t hear a difference.

Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
Russdawg1 is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 42 Old 04-10-2019, 05:43 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 210
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 155 Post(s)
Liked: 31
Your system is not revealing enough to be bothered by toslink. In other words, you're fine.
DarkSphere00 likes this.

Setup #1: GoldenEar Triton Reference --> Parasound Halo Integrated --> Allo DigiOne Signature, LG OLED C7P 65
Setup #2: Elac Debut B6.2 --> Akitika GT-102 --> ??

tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php, www.dpreview.com/forums, www.bimmerfest.com/forums
Shangri-La is offline  
post #5 of 42 Old 04-10-2019, 06:01 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Glimmie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 9,086
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1017 Post(s)
Liked: 923
TOSLINC will support uncompressed 2 channel PCM audio to 96K, which is better than CD. For movies you always have a PCM 2.0 track at 48K available.

Also supported is Dolby Digital AC3 5.1 which is compressed but still very good.

What HDMI audio buys you is more advanced compression formats that are better than AC3 and more channels including Atmos. But as you are just using 2 channel PCM, there is really no benefit going to an HDMI audio interface over TOSLINC.
Glimmie is offline  
post #6 of 42 Old 04-11-2019, 04:14 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 1
Thank you all very much!

This has been much helpful, with all the bad talk you can find online about toslink...
I felt that it was just the audiophile kind of difference (which requires much more expensive equipment and is a very subjective experience), but since it's my first setup I was starting to think I wasted my money...

Thanks again!
DarkSphere00 is offline  
post #7 of 42 Old 04-11-2019, 10:13 AM
Advanced Member
 
bing!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 526
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 292 Post(s)
Liked: 218
Ive always read that coax is better than Toslink, but I havent really compared them. I just go with the "better" option at the get go, or settle for the available connection after that.

"brilliance is not knowing all the answers. it's about asking the right questions."
bing! is offline  
post #8 of 42 Old 04-11-2019, 11:01 AM
Senior Member
 
qirex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 430
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 107 Post(s)
Liked: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by bing! View Post
Ive always read that coax is better than Toslink, but I havent really compared them. I just go with the "better" option at the get go, or settle for the available connection after that.
They use are the same format [S/PDIF] so they should carry the same data and sound the same. Optical can theoretically have the advantage of not being susceptible to ground loops or RF interference but in real world environments I doubt it happens often.
fill35U, 3db and m. zillch like this.
qirex is offline  
post #9 of 42 Old 04-11-2019, 11:25 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Ratman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Collingswood, N.J.
Posts: 18,755
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2073 Post(s)
Liked: 1916
I've read that one is better than the other.
I've tried and use both.
Assuming well constructed cables and properly working equipment, there is no "audible" difference between the two.
3db, m. zillch, Graustark and 2 others like this.



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
Ratman is offline  
post #10 of 42 Old 04-11-2019, 11:54 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Alex F.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,223
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 840 Post(s)
Liked: 458
Quote:
Originally Posted by bing! View Post
Ive always read that coax is better than Toslink, but I havent really compared them.
I have read this many times as well going back at least 20 years. In 2017, after purchasing a Teac UD-503 DAC, I conducted a test by connecting my Yamaha CD player's coaxial and optical outputs to the DAC, which fed its analog output to my McIntosh integrated amp. The coaxial and optical cables were both from Acoustic Research (six-feet long). Using my usual test CDs, I compared the two digital outputs many, many times. I did not take any measurements, but the volume level appeared identical when switching rapidly from one to the other via the DAC's convenient remote-control capability.

The result? I could not hear any difference. None. Tonality, soundstaging, imaging, detail, bass slam, midrange smoothness, treble extension, etc.--every sonic parameter sounded the same. I could not hear even a slight difference.

I do not know, though, if the outcome would have changed by using a different CD player and/or DAC.
Graustark likes this.

Music room: Cary SLI-80 tube integrated amplifier, McIntosh MA6500 integrated amplifier, Quad 99 preamp, Quad 909 power amp, Acoustic Research AR9 loudspeakers, Yamaha CD-N500 CD player, Teac UD-503 DSD DAC, Phase Linear 8000II linear-tracking turntable.
Theater room: Panasonic 65S60 plasma television; Yamaha RX-A2020 (preamp section); Adcom GFA-5503 and GFA-5400 amplifiers; Polk LSi25, LSiC, and LSiF/X loudspeaker system; Velodyne FSR-18 servo-subwoofer.
Alex F. is online now  
post #11 of 42 Old 04-11-2019, 11:56 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
m0j0's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,064
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 428 Post(s)
Liked: 324
m0j0 is offline  
post #12 of 42 Old 04-11-2019, 12:17 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 415
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 243 Post(s)
Liked: 212
How bad is TOSLINK? Well, the connectors are a terrible design...

These days especially, there shouldn't be anywhere close to audible differences. *Measurable* differences are usually due to the individual equipment, not the protocol. Some sources have measured slightly better or worse with one vs. the other, even between the different types of output from the same source. Likewise, there are often easily *measurable* differences between receiving DACs.

Plastic vs. glass fiber for TOSLINK is a non-issue. Heck, you can get plastic TOSLINK cables rated for 32bit/384kHz.

The point about ground loops is a valid one. In my system, I use TOSLINK and a pair of cheap converters to get the analog signal to the dedicated rack for the subwoofers. The sub system and the main system each have their own dedicated subpanels for power. I wanted complete galvanic isolation, figuring that would be a particularly susceptible and bad place to have hum and buzz from a ground loop.

USB should be technically superior because it can be asynchronous. With TOSLINK or S/PDIF the clock is part of the signal, so it's more susceptible to jitter. In practice, the difference is negligible.

Audio data is pretty much a trivial exercise compared to Ethernet/Wi-Fi. Nothing to lose sleep over.

Sources/processing: stack of stuff that if it isn't vintage now, it will be soon!
Amps: stacks and stacks of old iron
Main speakers: big DIYSG
Surrounds: Bose graveyard
Subs: a bunch

Last edited by fill35U; 04-11-2019 at 12:23 PM.
fill35U is offline  
post #13 of 42 Old 04-11-2019, 12:29 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Glimmie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 9,086
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1017 Post(s)
Liked: 923
Optical interfaces have higher jitter than equivalent bandwidth copper interfaces. This is standard telecommunications engineering knowledge to which TOSLINC is no exception. But I highly doubt this slightly increased jitter is causing any audible difference in modern HiFi gear.

The ground loop advantage is also weak. If you simply have a player into a DAC/amp to speakers and no other components connected, then the ground isolation may help especially if the CD transport and DAC/amp have three wire power cords. But as many systems have more components connected, you have ground loops anyway. And fortunately most home HiFi system ground loops are not bad enough to be audible.
Glimmie is offline  
post #14 of 42 Old 04-11-2019, 02:17 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
Ratman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Collingswood, N.J.
Posts: 18,755
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2073 Post(s)
Liked: 1916
Generally... there are no audible differences.
Hopefully the next thread started won't be, "How bad is coax?"



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
Ratman is offline  
post #15 of 42 Old 04-12-2019, 05:36 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
balky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 289 Post(s)
Liked: 207
Digital information is digital information regardless of the data transport medium in use...

Jitter might become an issue, if for example you connect SPDIF on a motherboard directly to your external DAC, and you are not able to set your external DAC to receive digital clock from an external source. On most PC Motherboards, SPDIF generally uses its own internal clock.
USB SPDIF is different in that it leaves it up to the destination device to dictate the digital clock.

For the rest SPDIF / toslink is a good as it gets for transporting 2-Channel digital audio information.

The talk about the connectors kinda moot... 0s and 1s will remain as such, and if there is a physical issue with the connector, nothing will work, but as long as it works, there will be no such thing as audio sound quality being degraded due to a bad connector.
balky is offline  
post #16 of 42 Old 04-12-2019, 07:18 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
shivaji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: So. California
Posts: 2,311
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1092 Post(s)
Liked: 1012
Well the latest seems to be HDMI connectors, with fiber optic cable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDi7...&frags=pl%2Cwn
shivaji is offline  
post #17 of 42 Old 04-12-2019, 11:39 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Glimmie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 9,086
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1017 Post(s)
Liked: 923
Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaji View Post
Well the latest seems to be HDMI connectors, with fiber optic cable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDi7...&frags=pl%2Cwn
Yet another demonstration of how HDMI cables look different. Yup, a cell phone or consumer camera pointed at a monitor in a room with ambient lighting or worse yet windows exposing sunlight.

Due to the data scrambling and encryption utilized on HDMI, there is absolutely no way the cable can alter image quality. If the data is corrupted, the pixel is lost and turns white or green. With enough errors the image just drops out.

Anyone who understand the HDMI interface from an engineering perspective knows these claims and demonstrations are simply not possible. If you get a stable image free from zits, that's as good as it gets. No cable swap is going to improve that.
Graustark and fill35U like this.
Glimmie is offline  
post #18 of 42 Old 04-12-2019, 11:44 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
m. zillch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,505
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4530 Post(s)
Liked: 3353
How "bad"? Toslink, named after its inventor, TOShiba, is the best form of digital connection assuming it will carry the signal you wish it to. [Bandwidth limitations won't let it carry some high bitrate signals such as multi-channel, uncompressed sound and of course video, like HDMI will carry]. Optical transfer has several real world advantages:

- 100% immune to ground loop noise, sometimes a faint hum, noise or buzz in the music's background you don't initially notice but do so upon critical listening*
- 100% immune to EMI/RFI, sometimes a faint noise or buzz in the music's background you don't initially notice but do so upon critical listening*
- the only connection where you can tell if you are receiving a signal out of its tip, or if the source is dead/not transmitting, by simply looking at it with your bare eyes.

* There are many sources of noise with the device's self-generated thermal noise and the source recording itself being the most prevalent, so don't assume noise you hear in your system is due to this, it usually isn't, but it potentially can be.
ChromeJob likes this.

Last edited by m. zillch; 04-12-2019 at 02:14 PM.
m. zillch is offline  
post #19 of 42 Old 04-12-2019, 04:11 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked: 1
First of all, thank you for all your answers: they have been enlightening, and I also very much appreciate your personal experiences: to me, they're worth more than on-the-paper data.

I was asking about TOSLINK exactly because I will be connecting my PC to the receiver (Onkyo TX-8250) via the optical port of the motherboard.

I've read too that coax is often considered better than TOSLINK because it tends to have less jitter, however PCs don't have coax output so it doesn't really concern my precise case.
Also, if you tell me that you've tried both coax and optical together and could not hear any difference, I have absolutely no reason not to trust you.

Regarding the clock, I don't really know about how it works except for the basic concept of it...
In my case, the DAC is inside the receiver/amplifier, but I think that it still will be controlled by the motherboard, will it not? I hope that it won't give problems, and my ignorance about this is what made me have doubts in the first place.

In any case, when my setup will be ready (and, due to recent unexpected circumstances, unluckily it won't be particularly soon...) I'll be able to test and if you're interested tell you what I'll find out and think of the difference between using as inputs my PC via Toslink, USB mass storage directly inside of the receiver and lastly Spotify over the network.
DarkSphere00 is offline  
post #20 of 42 Old 04-13-2019, 02:29 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
balky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 289 Post(s)
Liked: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkSphere00 View Post
First of all, thank you for all your answers: they have been enlightening, and I also very much appreciate your personal experiences: to me, they're worth more than on-the-paper data.

I was asking about TOSLINK exactly because I will be connecting my PC to the receiver (Onkyo TX-8250) via the optical port of the motherboard.

I've read too that coax is often considered better than TOSLINK because it tends to have less jitter, however PCs don't have coax output so it doesn't really concern my precise case.
Also, if you tell me that you've tried both coax and optical together and could not hear any difference, I have absolutely no reason not to trust you.

Regarding the clock, I don't really know about how it works except for the basic concept of it...
In my case, the DAC is inside the receiver/amplifier, but I think that it still will be controlled by the motherboard, will it not? I hope that it won't give problems, and my ignorance about this is what made me have doubts in the first place.

In any case, when my setup will be ready (and, due to recent unexpected circumstances, unluckily it won't be particularly soon...) I'll be able to test and if you're interested tell you what I'll find out and think of the difference between using as inputs my PC via Toslink, USB mass storage directly inside of the receiver and lastly Spotify over the network.
As long as the DAC inside your receiver is able to accept clock from an external source, the SPDIF on your motherboard in this case, you will be fine.
You will be able to tell as soon as you have it working and listening.
balky is offline  
post #21 of 42 Old 04-13-2019, 05:12 AM
Advanced Member
 
Schubeedoobee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 501
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 233 Post(s)
Liked: 392
Tos sucks... but you need a revealing system to hear the jitter.

Astell&Kern Futura SE100-Klipsch x11i-Klipsch x20i-Focal Clear
Pioneer SC85-NOS Valves NBS Preamp-NOS Valves Magnequest VRD
Klipsch Cornwall-Heresy II Signature-SW115-La Scala II 70th
Wyred4Sound DAC 2v2se 10th Anniversary-OPPO UHP203
Samsung PN64D8000-LG C7/65"
Schubeedoobee is offline  
post #22 of 42 Old 04-13-2019, 09:56 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
m. zillch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,505
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4530 Post(s)
Liked: 3353
Jitter is the high end audio retailers' go-to bogeyman, used for scaremongering purposes. I'm not claiming it doesn't exist, it does, but in modern day, name brand gear it is generally not an issue even with dirt cheap digital gear, say a ~$100ish CD player for example. [And it doesn't matter who's ears you use, on what gear, with what song, as long as the test is double blind, level matched, and time synchronized.]
ChromeJob, fill35U and 3db like this.

Last edited by m. zillch; 04-13-2019 at 10:05 AM.
m. zillch is offline  
post #23 of 42 Old 04-13-2019, 01:04 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 268
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 137 Post(s)
Liked: 174
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schubeedoobee View Post
but you need a revealing system to hear the jitter.
you'll also need a few hundred thousand more years of human evolution for the brain to develop the countless new neural pathways required to perceive it.
Osirus23, Graustark, 3db and 1 others like this.
2WheelsWillTravel is offline  
post #24 of 42 Old 04-13-2019, 02:57 PM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
m. zillch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,505
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4530 Post(s)
Liked: 3353
An important rule with optical connectors is to never use them on a plasma TV or all the plasma will eventually drip out and ruin your image.

April fools (2 weeks late).
wassup and darknite9099 like this.
m. zillch is offline  
post #25 of 42 Old 04-13-2019, 05:49 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 415
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 243 Post(s)
Liked: 212
Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
An important rule with optical connectors is to never use them on a plasma TV or all the plasma will eventually drip out and ruin your image.

April fools (2 weeks late).
I'm glad you added that disclaimer, because I have a plasma TV with a TOSLINK cable plugged in at the bottom. I was actually concerned for about half a second (you gave me the jitters!).
3db, darknite9099 and Lp85253 like this.

Sources/processing: stack of stuff that if it isn't vintage now, it will be soon!
Amps: stacks and stacks of old iron
Main speakers: big DIYSG
Surrounds: Bose graveyard
Subs: a bunch
fill35U is offline  
post #26 of 42 Old 04-16-2019, 12:58 PM
Senior Member
 
MTVhike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: North Shore of central Long Island, NY (Stony Brook)
Posts: 264
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 173 Post(s)
Liked: 37
I read the audioholics link provided by m0j0 and came to the conclusion that early TOSlink had problems, but recent ones got rid of them. The article was written 15 years ago, so I guess any TOSlink device or cable purchased since then is probably OK. I'm talking about audio only. The only example I have for which I have a choice is the connection between my TCL TV and an inexpensive soundbar. I can choose between TOSlink, analog 3.5mm, and, (I think), one or more other interfaces.
MTVhike is offline  
post #27 of 42 Old 04-18-2019, 01:13 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
balky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 289 Post(s)
Liked: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schubeedoobee View Post
Tos sucks... but you need a revealing system to hear the jitter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Jitter is the high end audio retailers' go-to bogeyman, used for scaremongering purposes. I'm not claiming it doesn't exist, it does, but in modern day, name brand gear it is generally not an issue even with dirt cheap digital gear, say a ~$100ish CD player for example. [And it doesn't matter who's ears you use, on what gear, with what song, as long as the test is double blind, level matched, and time synchronized.]
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2WheelsWillTravel View Post
you'll also need a few hundred thousand more years of human evolution for the brain to develop the countless new neural pathways required to perceive it.
If you don't know or realize it, boomy / muffled mid bass, lifelessness in audio and harsh top end are some products of jitter in digital audio.

Do you really need a revealing system to hear that? You probably don't know what to listen for, or maybe need a checkup...
Is it really used for scaremongering? Some know it all heard it all always come forward with such blanket statements and expects everyone believe because a blind test has revealed to them that all amps and DACs and whatever sound the same so long as there is a perfect level match.
For these guys, a $50 DAC is the same as a $1,000 DAC, you've only wasted $950 of your money.

AVS is been like this for quite a while
balky is offline  
post #28 of 42 Old 04-18-2019, 01:22 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
m. zillch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11,505
Mentioned: 44 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4530 Post(s)
Liked: 3353
Quote:
Originally Posted by balky View Post
If you don't know or realize it, boomy / muffled mid bass, lifelessness in audio and harsh top end are some products of jitter in digital audio.
This is incorrect [except perhaps for the words "harsh top end"]. In the rare circumstance when jitter is objectionably high it is generally manifested to the ear as noise and distortion. Although it can be measured independently, jitter will also show up as part of a unit's overall "THD + N" spec.
3db likes this.

Last edited by m. zillch; 04-18-2019 at 02:04 AM.
m. zillch is offline  
post #29 of 42 Old 04-18-2019, 03:50 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
balky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,231
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 289 Post(s)
Liked: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
This is incorrect [except perhaps for the words "harsh top end"]. In the rare circumstance when jitter is objectionably high it is generally manifested to the ear as noise and distortion. Although it can be measured independently, jitter will also show up as part of a unit's overall "THD + N" spec.
"Harsh top end" and "rare" aren't two things that go alongside each other when talking about digital audio playback...

I'm not a digital audio scientist, and not really interested in playing around with words... "when jitter is objectionably high" is so vague an expression to me that I find it really hard to understand whatever that means.

I'm kinda done debating this one...
balky is offline  
post #30 of 42 Old 04-18-2019, 07:47 AM
Member
 
plasma_fan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 194
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Liked: 69
I compared the toslink (with a chromecast audio which are accused of being super high jitter) and the asyncronous USB inputs on my DAC there is a difference. BUT its the kind of difference that if someone walked into the room and I had to explain what I was doing I would be embarrassed to explain and try to point out the difference. I cant imagine anyone noticing any issue without a direct A/B test AND a desire to try to listen to that sort of thing. Also the difference could be in the DAC and not the source/cable.

For what its worth the difference I heard (think I heard?) was subtle, extremely subtle, basically an imperceptible harshness on the toslink that the USB input didn't have, but what I FELT was an overall more natural feel to the sound. When I put my brain back into 'enjoy the music' mode instead of 'listen for sounds' mode, there was no perceptible difference and both sounded great. End of my personal anecdote, toslink is 100% fine.
plasma_fan is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply 2-Channel Audio

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off