Originally Posted by Patrick82
They don't sound the same, the difference to me is huge
but other tweaks make a bigger differece and those need to be done first. Cheap Toslink to me still sounds acceptable and sometimes I like it more than Valhalla because it is jittery and bright without having background noise, it makes it sound like real life, Toslink is great! When I tried a cheap yellow RCA video cable I heard background noise in music, it needs proper shielding. The impedance also needs to be exact for it to work properly. Toslink doesn't have these problems. It's a great match for mp3 because mp3 is too smooth so the jitter from Toslink compensates for it and makes it sound like real life.
So a $20 Toslink is sometimes better than $2000 Valhalla.
MP3 is too compressed to even come near real life sound.
Some devices are optimized for mp3, so it still sounds acceptable, when you switch to a real good system, you'll hear what you're missing!
Electronical transport doesn't have as much losses as analog cables have, therefor analog cables have to be much better to be as good or better! Sometimes, a converter has compensation for the loss in digital cables as well, like computer transports have.