here is a quote I read on diyaudio and struck me as odd... until I try:
Recently, I discovered that the s/pdif outputs of all my audio interface devices are a lot inferior to the digital output from my Philips universal dvd player ($90).
The Philips makes the sounds better in every aspect, particularly cleaner, from having less noise / jitter. You can easily hear differences from a headphones set. My reference system includes the OMZ DAC/HEADAMP/PREAMP and the JVC DX1000 cans. The interface devices I tested include:
1. M-Audio Firewire Solo <= sounds the same as to the USB version
2. M-Audio Audiophile USB <= cheaper than the Firewire version
3. Creative 5.1 Live!! USB <= the noisiest s/pdif output
4. Creative Audigy2 PCI card
5. On-board optical s/pdif <= the second lowest rank
6. Philips universal DVD player
A friend of mine even re-comfirmed my discovery by transferring his lossless music files to a CD for testing. He was so surprised by the differences
I doubt that there exists a perfect s/pdif audio interface on a computer. Now I'm back to an old-fashioned machanical transport, for the best reproduction.
Someone said to me "That's what a Mac is for". Another one said "Get the $1,299.99 RME Fireface 400 or the $185 ESI Juli@ card". But I'm very doubtful about them too.
The CD/DVD transport technology has become very well known, and the components have been mass production for years. you can proove this yourself by watching Spider Man 3 with 5.1 DTS sounds at home, using any universal DVD player (bundled with your HT system)."
Do anyone solved this problem. The difference are so huge is like passing from low-fi to mid-fi for fuck sake!