USB vs TOSLINK/SPDIF

debk · 4367

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Offline debk

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on: March 20, 2015, 12:46:57 AM
Aside from the fact that the USB input has a couple  higher data sample rates, theoretically is there any difference in sound qualitiy assuming the same data sample rate?

On a personal basis at a sample rate of 44.1Khz I can't hear a diffrence between the tow types of inputs.  I haven't made the comparison at any of the higher sample rates, though I did have a high rez DSD track I  tried over USB that sounded incredible.

Thanks


Debra

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Offline Doc B.

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Reply #1 on: March 20, 2015, 06:12:05 AM
My experience was that the inputs sounded really close, pretty much identical. The cables used might have some influence as I think I heard some very subtle differences when we used different cables. Hence our offering the Supra USB cables with the early orders. 

I'm getting a DAC set up on my Win8.1 workstation next week. I have both TOSLINK and USB and I will do some comparisons.

Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Offline John Swenson

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Reply #2 on: March 20, 2015, 09:37:21 AM
I'll the tests I have done have the two S/PDIF inputs (optical and coaxial) sounding identical. The optical is on the edge for doing 192 reliably, some of my sources work and others don't. Many optical outs don't do above 96. For the ones that do go higher you may or may not get 192 to work depending on the source and cable. All the ones I tried that did above 96 worked at 176.4.

The USB input does appear to be a little more sensitive to source and cabling, at the worst it sounds a little worse than the S/PDIF inputs, at the best it sounds a little better.

Personally I go back and forth between optical and USB, I usually have mine hooked up to a Squeezebox Touch, which can do both, in the listening room I usually use a Supra cable which gives the best results, but in the lab I use optical because I am constantly swapping stuff around, when turning the DAC on and off and doing all kinds of weird things it frequently requires me to reboot the Touch, but with optical I just leave the Touch on spewing out its stream, when I plug in the DAC it just starts playing.

So for best sound I go with USB, but in a situation where it is going to be unplugged frequently I use optical.

John S.


John Swenson
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