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USB to SPDIF converters shoot-out : EMU 0404 USB vs. Musiland Monitor 01 USD vs. Teralink-x vs. M2Tech hiFace - Page 51  

post #751 of 1712

Click here! :)

You have really great taste on catch article titles, even when you are not interested in this topic you push to read it
post #752 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarKu View Post
yay, my hi-face was shipped , will post some impressions after i will have it in hand
Nice. Keep us updated
post #753 of 1712
slim.a please don't forget to compare similar price range products if you can.
I am sorry I'll mention this, I know you know that but to compare a more than $100 glass cable to a less than $20 plastic cable won't be fare!
post #754 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by slim.a View Post
I promise I will try to get my hands on a proper glass toslink
However, this will only be fueled by curiosity from end as I will be using the Teralink-x for my testing. My reference transport (the hiface) has a BNC output and my reference DAC (the dac19mk3) is optimized to work best from its BNC input (Kingwa mentioned somewhere that he measured a jitter that is 20x higher from the optical input in comparison with the BNC is his DACs if I remember correctly).

Well depeding on the system, difference between digital cables can go from not audible to very audible. It depends on many characteristics to draw conclusions. Sometimes even the direction of the cable can have an effect on the sound : Stereophile measured a difference of 1350ps in jitter just by reversing the direction of the cable (see here : Stereophile: A Transport of Delight: CD Transport Jitter). So it is hard to draw definitive conclusions from his findings (change in cable is more audible than the change in source).
got it! besides, you're only as strong as your weakest link....the computer interface jitter, the wire itself, EMI/RFI interferences(which would be an asset for toslink, as my place would appear to be plagued by the neighbors wifi ), how the cable plugs were installed, the S/PDIF receiver jitter within your external DAC, whether the cable is true 75Ω, etc etc.

all I'm saying is that glass toslink uses the same silica material as the genuine optical fiber...that can easily carry 100 Gb/s over 7000km: Optical fiber - Wikipedia

I don't quite see how you could possibly transport a digital signal any better than through silica toslink, especially w/ such low bitrates on such low distances...and I have to admit that I'm BLOWN AWAY by my Firestone Spitfire(using LT1028AC LPF opamps) on its discrete linear regulated "Supplier" PSU:



and many ppl state that glass toslink kills coax...so I'm just saying that it'd be a good call for a shootout against your top range coax cables....besides such a cable costs $20, so it'd make for a cheap -and possibly most enriching- experiment
post #755 of 1712

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post #756 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeperry View Post
and many ppl state that glass toslink kills coax...so I'm just saying that it'd be a good call for a shootout against your top range coax cables....besides such a cable costs $20, so it'd make for a cheap -and possibly most enriching- experiment
Well, rosgr63 just offered (in a PM) to send me one of his glass optical cables so that I can try it We'll see how glass toslink compares to high-end coaxial and other optical cables after all ...
post #757 of 1712
ok, great news! what length? how many strands?
post #758 of 1712
3m 280 strands, it's this one sold to me by kawai_man: 3m SonicWave™ Glass TOSLINK® Cable

and if that's no good I have another 1m glass optical cable I can send to slim.a for evaluation.

lee believe me I still prefer the sysconcept one which is under $18 for 1m!

And I can assure you all if slim.a doesn't like either of them he'll say so and I trust his judgment 100%
post #759 of 1712
oh ok! well, if the 2m AudioQuest VMD-XR on the NG COAX sounds any better than this 6ft 280 strands glass toslink on the CMI8768, it's gonna be a riot ^^

but prolly the CS8414 in my DAC is a major bottleneck anyway....but a pretty damn good bottle nevertheless

what's the other 1m cable that you have? the shorter the better indeed.
post #760 of 1712
lee don't forget much depend's on the DAC's design.

With one of my DAC's there isn't much difference between hiface/Stereovox XV2 and Optical.
Another of my DAC's exhibits reduction in performance from FW400/hiface-Stereovox XV2/Optical.

Thats with my gear and a pair of well used, tired and worn out sensors (ears!).
post #761 of 1712
I just don't see how optical can sound better than coaxial.
From what I read pretty much everywhere there is less jitter with Coaxial.
Also, when it comes to high quality POF, there is no need for Glass optical fiber. Also it is cheaper.
post #762 of 1712
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by punk_guy182 View Post
I just don't see how optical can sound better than coaxial.
From what I read pretty much everywhere there is less jitter with Coaxial.
Also, when it comes to high quality POF, there is no need for Glass optical fiber. Also it is cheaper.
Coaxial vs. Optical:

In theory, I totally agree with you: in high-end and properly designed audio, I don't see how optical can outperform coaxial. Optical involves 2 extra steps (a conversion from electrical to light and then from light to electrical) that increase the jitter. So Even if there is zero loss in the transmission line (ie cable) there will still an increase of jitter because of the 2 extra steps.
If optical (whether glass or plastic) was the superior method, ultra high end companies such Esoteric, Mark Levinson, Reimyo, DCS, ... would be advising their customers to use optical instead of coaxial. In the many many reviews I read about very expensive DACs ($10,000+) I don't remember anywhere someone suggesting that optical was the way to go. Usually BNC or AES are the top performers.
It is only on isolated cases (and usually on less expensive gear) that some people say that glass outperforms coaxial.

However, since there are always surprises in this hobby, I decided to do a trial myself. Also, who knows, the gear I am currently using might benefit from a good optical cable?


Glass vs. Plastic:
I pointed out this discussion to Joseph from Sysconcept to have his opinion on glass vs. plastic optical cable and I copied below his reaction to leeperry's post:

"...all I'm saying is that glass toslink uses the same silica material
as the genuine optical fiber...that can easily carry 100 Gb/s over
7000km: Optical fiber - Wikipedia"

This gentlemen is wrong!
You can not compare 9um cable to 1000um glass cable that is compose of
many small strands of glass fiber.

Ask him to find you a manufacture what will make him, Glass Toslink
Optical Cable longer then 10meters ?
Most of them will NOT make Toslink Glass Cable longer than 7-meters.
Why? The reason is those Glass Toslink cable have Very High attenuation.
Why, because they are compose of small strands of Glass cable, and only
the "core" of the cable transmits the light. Cable is composed of Core
+Cladding+Coating; the light that enters Cladding and Coating is lost.

So the comparison "leeperry" did, quoted above is very misleading :-/


So it seems that the superiority of glass vs. plastic is not a clear cut after all ... So a good plastic cable could outperform a poor glass cable. My intent is not to start an argument about glass vs. plastic, but it seemed necessary to show that not everybody thinks that glass is the ultimate and only way to go.


Conclusion

As always, there are no absolute in this audiophile hobby and it is interesting to continuously learn about new ways. My personal opinion is that optical cables will work better in some cases (where a 100% isolation from the source is necessary) and coaxial cables would work better in the others.
Of course, is such as thing as a DAC that is 100% immune to jitter existed (I don't say it doesn't or that it won't, I just personally never come across one), we would not need to worry so much about those digital cables
post #763 of 1712
A few months back when I contacted Joseph with a similar question this is what he said:
QUOTE
=====
Yes, some manufacture charge extra especially for glass optical cable
but glass optical cable has very high attenuation as it is composed of
small glass strands; therefor nobody will make you length longer then
8meters (I think)
We can make you Toslink Cable over 25-meters and it will still work, so
make your own judgment.
In addition, what counts is not low fiber attenuation (ours is
Attenuation less 0.15dB per meter @650nm) and very important part is the
finish type. We polish our cable on 0.3um film and most other
manufacture including more expensive one terminate their cable by hot
glass or knife.
Yes, those cable will work or short distance and you can hardly tell the
difference but they will fail on longer distance transmission in length
over 20meters, or if you try to connect the two cables together via
female to female adapter especially the fiber with hot glass
termination. The tip of these cables are round, so when you try to
connect two cables together only the tips are touching an the rest of
the surface is air to air transmission which gives you very high
attenuation loss.
UNQUOTE
======

So hopefully that concludes the glass/plastic optical cable question.
I am waiting for slim.a's ABX though.
post #764 of 1712
Just a brief digression back to the original topic. I really appreciate your honest review of the USB to SPDIF converters that started this thread. I have a huge collection of cd's ripped to flac files on computer hard drives and have been trying for years to find a way to play them on audiophile equipment. The best of those cd's sound great on just about anything, but most have a very definite edgy quality played thru even the best of DAC's. The Terralink-X did just what you said it would and allows me to enjoy a huge collection of cd's played thru a usb hub linked to a PS Audio Digital Link 3 with level 3 Cullen mods. The harshness in the upper registers that has plagued me for the last 3 years with several decent DAC's is completely gone. I am not entirely sure why, since the PS Audio DAC upsamples everything to 192, but the combination of the Terralink-X thru an RCA coax link to my DAC sounds terrific on even my old cd's. By the way, the RCA coax is audibly better than the optical link. Makes me want to try the new PS Audio Perfect Wave DAC in the native mode. (When I next have a few grand to drop on their system I know this is probably heresy, but I think that all the upsampling aggravates the harshness of the standard 44.1 cd recordings.
post #765 of 1712
Quote:
Originally Posted by punk_guy182 View Post
I just don't see how optical can sound better than coaxial.
From what I read pretty much everywhere there is less jitter with Coaxial.
Also, when it comes to high quality POF, there is no need for Glass optical fiber. Also it is cheaper.
A lot of computer transports don't have pulse transformers on the coaxial out, therefore the optical is better on those soundcards (breaks ground loops.)
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