Originally Posted by olblueyez
Ok, so you are saying a coax can degrade the data stream and send misinformation to the dac. If the USB buffer on the receiving end receives incorrect data then where does the correct data come from, does it go back to the computer to fill in the blanks if you will? Your saying I should hear nothing if if it screws the pooch?
I'm saying if the coax cable transfers a digital signal it behaves exactly the same as a usb/hdmi/optical cable, they will all suffer from the same artifacts or degradation.
I'll quickly step you through the process of digital buffering:
A digital signal leaves your source (a computer or CD player) and is pumped into the cable as a stream of 1s and 0s.
The signal reaches your DAC (or ripping program, etc.) and is recorded into a buffer (usually a couple of seconds). This means the audio you hear is a couple of seconds behind the real time of your source signal. When the DAC or computer program notices a gap in the digital signal it reads from the recorded buffer and fills in the gap and refills the buffer. If the gap in data is larger than the buffer you will hear the difference as silence.
Have you ever used a portable CD Player before? Modern day ones has the exact same kind of buffer system. When you first load a disc into them you'll hear it spin up really fast, this is when it's filling the buffer. If you smack the CD Player and make the laser skip the data on the CD your buffer will compensate. Try smacking it a lot for a long time, eventually the audio will skip into silence. It's a very noticeable effect.