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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if there was any difference in sound quality when passing a digital signal using a mini plug or a dedicated coax/optical output on a sound card?


I have heard both and preferred the dedicated coax/optical output to the mini plug output, but I didn't do a direct comparison so my ears may have decived me!


Any preferences here on which sounds better?
 

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For DD / DTS it shouldn't matter, as these are sent as packets of data, they either make it or they don't. For PCM (CD's, computer .wav's etc) it could make a difference as the clock the DAC uses is part of the signal (search for jitter).


A good coax or optical should have an edge over the mini-plug as the mini-plug isn't impedeance matched to the 75 Ohm SPDIF standard and could introduce noise or timing errors.
 

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â€For DD / DTS it shouldn't matter, as these are sent as packets of data, they either make it or they don't. For PCM (CD's, computer .wav's etc) it could make a difference as the clock the DAC uses is part of the signal (search for jitter).â€


Actually both DD/DTS and PCM are sent as packets over S/PDIF and the DAC clock is derived from the S/PDIF for both.


The difference is PCM is linear and DD/DTS is compressed requiring a side-track through a decoder before the resulting PCM is mated with the incoming S/PDIF clock at the DAC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Cliff Watson



Actually both DD/DTS and PCM are sent as packets over S/PDIF and the DAC clock is derived from the S/PDIF for both.


The difference is PCM is linear and DD/DTS is compressed requiring a side-track through a decoder before the resulting PCM is mated with the incoming S/PDIF clock at the DAC.
Sorry I am a bit flustered, my brain isn't working full speed tonight;)


So would there be any noticeable difference between the two outputs with either of the signals?


Thanks:)
 

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â€So would there be any noticeable difference between the two outputs with either of the signals?â€


A properly designed Coax/optical circuit should provide better audio quality that the typical miniplug connector.
 
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