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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Coax Spdif in and out is all I want in my sound card, the receiver will handle the rest.

You have to spend the big bux for the Audigy2 platinum to get Spdif in, and looks like the new M-Audio card doesnt have spdif in either.

Any suggestions?
 

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Dakyman,


Look for a review I did for a $30 Phillips dynamic edge. It has 2 internal spdif inputs and one coaxial spdif output.


Cheers,
 

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Dakyman,


Look in the minimalist audio card thread for a comparison of these cards.. DTS and DD out has not been confirmed for the Aopen card.


Kanefsky,


The Phillips dynamic edge sounds much better than an SB Live! for spdif out, both for passthrough and PC pcm sound. Search the forums for jitter....
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Alric
Dakyman,


Look in the minimalist audio card thread for a comparison of these cards.. DTS and DD out has not been confirmed for the Aopen card.


Kanefsky,


The Phillips dynamic edge sounds much better than an SB Live! for spdif out, both for passthrough and PC pcm sound. Search the forums for jitter....


The whole jitter argument was invented by the audiophile press (Stereophile, The Absolute Sound, et al) as a way of convincing consumers that they should spend $4K on a CD transport or $600 on a digital cable. It came from the same people that told you to paint the edges of your CDs green, to put them in the freezer, and to put Armor-All on them to improve the sound.


The SPDIF output is simply digital data. It's childs play compared to USB, ethernet, firewire, and every other digital data stream a computer deals with. Even if you believe that jitter affects the quality of the D/A conversion process, it's not applicable because a Dolby Digital or DTS signal is decoded, uncompressed, processed, and completely re-generated before it ever hits the D/A converters. Most likely even a PCM data stream ends up being buffered and re-clocked at least once before it hits the D/A converters.


--

Steve
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kanefsky
The whole jitter argument was invented by the audiophile press (Stereo Review, The Absolute Sound, et al) as a way of convincing consumers that they should spend $4K on a CD transport or $600 on a digital cable. It came from the same people that told you to paint the edges of your CDs green, to put them in the freezer, and to put Armor-All on them to improve the sound.


The SPDIF output is simply digital data. It's childs play compared to USB, ethernet, firewire, and every other digital data stream a computer deals with. Even if you believe that jitter affects the quality of the D/A conversion process, it's not applicable because a Dolby Digital or DTS signal is decoded, uncompressed, processed, and completely re-generated before it ever hits the D/A converters. Most likely even a PCM data stream ends up being buffered and re-clocked at least once before it hits the D/A converters.


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Steve
Then why does my M-Audio AP 2496 "sound" SO much better than a Creative Audigy I tried before ? ;)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by LCH
Then why does my M-Audio AP 2496 "sound" SO much better than a Creative Audigy I tried before ? ;)
Assuming they're outputting the same signal without any extra processing, it's most likely because you expected it to sound better. Let's see you pick one over the other in a double-blind test.


I did a double-blind test with some analog cables using my wife as a subject a few years back. She consistently picked one cable as sounding better than the other. When we went back and looked at the results, she was actually picking one cable half the time and the other cable the other half of the time. The test was setup so you didn't know whether you were listening to cable A or B at any given time. The order was randomized each time. If she had known when she was listening to cable A and when she was listening to cable B, I guarantee you she would have picked one of them consistently and it would appear as if there really were a difference between them.


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Steve
 

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Quote:
The Phillips dynamic edge sounds much better than an SB Live! for spdif out, both for passthrough and PC pcm sound.
And I am not talking subtle..it sounds much better...
 

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Steve,


I agree with you - nice to "hear" some common sense. It would be interesting to see an independant lab to a real double blinded comparision but the reality is it is in noboby's interest - the industry doesn't want it, the magazine's don't and the yahoo's with $5000 sunk into cables don't either :)


The only difference I have heard is with PCM transfer - but this is mostly due to the resampling issue.


Mike
 

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I have also noticed that everybody that notices on digital streams is comparing a creative labs card (SB or Audigy) with any other kind; Phillips, M-audio, Lynx, etc..


I wonder and would not be surprised if there is something "wrong" with creative labs. Is it possible that ANY digital output on a creative card is 48KHz?


Cheers,
 

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I also really disagree to the statement that all spdif cards sound the same, and that anything else is but subjective expectations etc. I have tried a lot of cards, and although, in principle, they should provide the same stream of digital audio, they sound very differently! This may be due to onboard components, output jongle quality / drivers etc. There is, however, NO DOUBT, that the Creative Live! (and also Audigy, I have yet to hear the Audigy 2 cards) series outputted low quality sound. The difference from using this card to a low priced Terratec was very noticeable.


If we are to follow the argument that all digital outputted data through the Spdif provides the same quality, why the are the so very different sound quality from various standard DVD-players? I would suggest that the people stating that it should be the same sound whatever card is used, actually tested a various pile of cards prior to stating that the people that actually have tested the cards are hearing what the want to hear!!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kanefsky
The whole jitter argument was invented by the audiophile press (Stereophile, The Absolute Sound, et al) as a way of convincing consumers that they should spend $4K on a CD transport or $600 on a digital cable. It came from the same people that told you to paint the edges of your CDs green, to put them in the freezer, and to put Armor-All on them to improve the sound.
No. Jitter is very real, and is a distortion mechnism in any sampled system. It was not invented by the audiophile press - although they have been guilty of promoting it beyond reasonable. The 'fault' of the audiophile community is in not addressing the problem properly - the fact that any processors are marketed that are sensitive to jitter *years* after the problem was known and understood is unjustifiable.

Quote:


The SPDIF output is simply digital data. It's childs play compared to USB, ethernet, firewire, and every other digital data stream a computer deals with. Even if you believe that jitter affects the quality of the D/A conversion process, it's not applicable because a Dolby Digital or DTS signal is decoded, uncompressed, processed, and completely re-generated before it ever hits the D/A converters. Most likely even a PCM data stream ends up being buffered and re-clocked at least once before it hits the D/A converters.
Sorry, but the spdif clock used to carry the DD/DTS stream is in virtually all cases used to drive the output DAC's. It might be 'cleaned up', but it will basically never be completely re-clocked. Doing so would require adaptive buffering/readahead, which really isn't possible in the general case unless you have some mechanism of syncing back to the video stream.


So, I agree that jitter *shouldn't* be a big problem, and that people can overstate the magnitude, but it is real. I don't necessarily buy the idea that it is completely responsible for sonic differences in digital gear, but it can have an effect.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dwk123
No. Jitter is very real, and is a distortion mechnism in any sampled system. It was not invented by the audiophile press - although they have been guilty of promoting it beyond reasonable. The 'fault' of the audiophile community is in not addressing the problem properly - the fact that any processors are marketed that are sensitive to jitter *years* after the problem was known and understood is unjustifiable.
The audiophile press didn't invent jitter. What they do is grab terms they don't understand out of engineering documents. Then they write pseudo-scientific articles and throw those terms around to justify buying a $4000 CD transport or a $600 cable (which coincidentally come from the companies that advertise in the magazine and give the reviewers free equipment).


Another example is the skin effect of cables, which they use to convince you that you need speaker cables that look like garden hoses :)


Quote:


Sorry, but the spdif clock used to carry the DD/DTS stream is in virtually all cases used to drive the output DAC's. It might be 'cleaned up', but it will basically never be completely re-clocked. Doing so would require adaptive buffering/readahead, which really isn't possible in the general case unless you have some mechanism of syncing back to the video stream.
Nothing fancy is needed at all. You can easily buffer a few bits and reclock the signal without introducing sync problems. Even if you buffer 16 bits, that's only 0.00036 seconds at 44.1Khz.


Here's a small box that reclocks the signal and does format conversion as well:

http://www.midiman.com/products/m-audio/co3a.php.


It costs $175 at zzounds.


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Steve
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Jon Eivind Lygren
I also really disagree to the statement that all spdif cards sound the same, and that anything else is but subjective expectations etc. I have tried a lot of cards, and although, in principle, they should provide the same stream of digital audio, they sound very differently! This may be due to onboard components, output jongle quality / drivers etc. There is, however, NO DOUBT, that the Creative Live! (and also Audigy, I have yet to hear the Audigy 2 cards) series outputted low quality sound. The difference from using this card to a low priced Terratec was very noticeable.
I've heard that Creative cards re-process the signal even when you're doing digital output. That's one possibility. Until you verify that you're listening to the same bitstream and you're doing a properly-designed double-blind study, I don't believe your subjective interpretations. Not only are your expectations a huge factor, but it's well known that a 0.5db difference in volume level or moving your speakers or your head 1" can make a significant difference in perceived sound quality.

Quote:
If we are to follow the argument that all digital outputted data through the Spdif provides the same quality, why the are the so very different sound quality from various standard DVD-players?
Again, I don't accept your premise. Most of the people making these claims are people that make their living off the companies that make the equipment they're trying to sell you.


I find it funny that a lot of the people making these arguments in this forum are using toslink optical digital outputs. Anyone who's been around for a while knows that toslink sounds like complete crap and you must use AT&T glass fiber optic or balanced XLR digital connections to get good sound :)


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Steve
 

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If your looking for optical out at a cheap price try the Zoltrix Nightingale Pro 6 sound card. Nice black PCB, gold plated connections, and optical in and out. I got it because I didn't want to spend a fortune on a sound card and I didn't like the creative labs solution with that big ugly 5 1/4" drive slot being taken up. Cost me about $55 but I think they can be had a little cheaper than that. I stream my almost 9 gigs of MP3 files to my surround sound receiver. Also use it for audio when playing AVI files on my TV. Sounds great, works just fine for gaming also. The card was hard to find probably a year ago when I ordered it but I did manage to find it, I forgot where I got it though but you could probably do a search on zoltrix here on the boards.
 

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quote:

"The whole jitter argument was invented by the audiophile press (Stereophile, The Absolute Sound, et al) as a way of convincing consumers that they should spend $4K on a CD transport or $600 on a digital cable. It came from the same people that told you to paint the edges of your CDs green, to put them in the freezer, and to put Armor-All on them to improve the sound."





Then how come my RME sounds better than M-Audio audiophile and Delta 410? I'm really wondering what the rest of your equipment? I mean if you using $50 TV set you'll be arguing that there is no difference between $10 video card and Radeon9700. By the way speaker cables could cost $15000 for one pair. Ridiculous price no question about but I bet you any money they sound allot better than those for $600, but not 25 time of course.
 

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 http://www.vmpsaudio.com/wulf.htm

While on the subject of setting up the RM 40, I noticed something unusual about these speakers that I can't explain, but can duplicate and then identify even under blind conditions. It likes fat speaker wires. Hey, watch your language - it's true. But there is some good news to this aspect of the story: The best speaker cable I've heard with this speaker will cost you about twenty bucks, depending on how long your run is. Like I said, I don't understand this but the best speaker cable for this speaker is 6 awg wire that you can buy at Lowe's.


Go figure. :)
 

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Quote:
The audiophile press didn't invent jitter. What they do is grab terms they don't understand out of engineering documents. Then they write pseudo-scientific articles and throw those terms around to justify buying a $4000 CD transport or a $600 cable
But alric is using it to justify a $30 pc sound card. Can't really fault him for being a tweak.


Now, if he told you to put a green marker on your dvd's... :)
 
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