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Your most hated audiophile-related misconceptions? - Page 12

post #166 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strangelove424 View Post

This is a cool thread. My pet peeve is when people treat digital signals like they were analog. A series of bits as clearly defined 1s and 0s doesn't have the same demands as an open-ended frequency wave. Optical cables don't need gold plated tips, and aren't effected by EMI. I can understand the reasoning for signal chain OCD if you're passing along analog signals (which are finicky and sometimes appear to abide by mystic principles) but when audiophiles apply the same rational to digital is makes them seem out of touch with technology.  

True, but I've found that the really cheap optical cables that lack gold plating (even the cables I see at Wal-mart these days have gold plated ends) usually fall apart or don't stay plugged in very well. ph34r.gif

I'm not attributing this to the gold plating, it's just something I've observed about very cheap optical cables. Usually if the manufacturer springs for a bit of gold on the tips, the cable is put together half decent.

And coax is certainly subject to EMI, although my understanding of digital transmission is that it's basically all or nothing. You go from a few errors per hour or whatever (which is typical) and experience no signal degradation, and then move up to many errors, and the signal just goes away. There is no "snow" phase where the signal is somewhat intelligible through the interference. This is based on lectures/papers I've absorbed over the years on Ethernet (and more recently QAM and ATSC) - it may be somewhat misapplied to S/PDIF, I2S, AES/EBU, etc.
post #167 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


True, but I've found that the really cheap optical cables that lack gold plating (even the cables I see at Wal-mart these days have gold plated ends) usually fall apart or don't stay plugged in very well. ph34r.gif
I'm not attributing this to the gold plating, it's just something I've observed about very cheap optical cables. Usually if the manufacturer springs for a bit of gold on the tips, the cable is put together half decent.
And coax is certainly subject to EMI, although my understanding of digital transmission is that it's basically all or nothing. You go from a few errors per hour or whatever (which is typical) and experience no signal degradation, and then move up to many errors, and the signal just goes away. There is no "snow" phase where the signal is somewhat intelligible through the interference. This is based on lectures/papers I've absorbed over the years on Ethernet (and more recently QAM and ATSC) - it may be somewhat misapplied to S/PDIF, I2S, AES/EBU, etc.

Well, if I'm perfectly honest, I use some gold plated opticals too. rolleyes.gif Got them from Amazon for cheap though, and admit that despite the moot bling, it's built like a tank. I use that on my mac, which has to make a long 16ft run to the receiver. I have a PC as well, and have a somewhat cheaper cable on it made of plastic and doesn't fit as snug, but it works just as well audio-wise. Not as confidence-inspiring for the long term though. I'd definitely agree that gold plated SPDIF cables are typically better built. I haven't bought any opticals from Monoprice yet, but I discovered them recently because of you head-fiers, and it's changed my life forever. LOL I'll probably try their optical cables next time around. 

 

I haven't studied up on this much but yes I think coax is vulnerable to EMI but like you said either the bits get there or get there with errors, in which case (from the little I've read) I believe the accepting device can ask for the data again, and if the data is thoroughly degraded (such as from heavy interference, scratched disk, etc.) that's when you start to hear the nastiness. 

post #168 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strangelove424 View Post

Well, if I'm perfectly honest, I use some gold plated opticals too. rolleyes.gif  Got them from Amazon for cheap though, and admit that despite the moot bling, it's built like a tank. I use that on my mac, which has to make a long 16ft run to the receiver. I have a PC as well, and have a somewhat cheaper cable on it made of plastic and doesn't fit as snug, but it works just as well audio-wise. Not as confidence-inspiring for the long term though. I'd definitely agree that gold plated SPDIF cables are typically better built. I haven't bought any opticals from Monoprice yet, but I discovered them recently because of you head-fiers, and it's changed my life forever. LOL I'll probably try their optical cables next time around. 

I haven't studied up on this much but yes I think coax is vulnerable to EMI but like you said either the bits get there or get there with errors, in which case (from the little I've read) I believe the accepting device can ask for the data again, and if the data is thoroughly degraded (such as from heavy interference, scratched disk, etc.) that's when you start to hear the nastiness. 

IIRC S/PDIF does not have a resend ability - it isn't bidirectional. So either data arrives or it doesn't. ph34r.gif
post #169 of 201

FYI, the idea about viewing the transmission in terms of an analogue square wave signal came from a manufacturer of digital equipment. The more I've researched it, the more complex it gets. Regardless, I've had good results with better USB to S/PDIF converters and some casual measurements I've done suggest I'm not out of my mind in thinking so. We could call this my pet peeve -- the idea that digital audio is just 1's and 0's as if all the electrical properties of it aren't important and in spite of numerous engineers who say otherwise.

post #170 of 201

Thread Titled "Beats any good?"

 

Post 1: M50

Post 2: M50

Post 3: M50 way better

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Post 5: m50

post #171 of 201
Quote:
FYI, the idea about viewing the transmission in terms of an analogue square wave signal came from a manufacturer of digital equipment. The more I've researched it, the more complex it gets. Regardless, I've had good results with better USB to S/PDIF converters and some casual measurements I've done suggest I'm not out of my mind in thinking so. We could call this my pet peeve -- the idea that digital audio is just 1's and 0's as if all the electrical properties of it aren't important and in spite of numerous engineers who say otherwise.

 

 

The optical signal from my PC's sound card plays a bit louder than my Mac, and both of those are louder than the SPDIF coming out of my Playstation. Not necessarily cleaner, but louder, which in effect requires less amping, and less harmonic distortion.The only thing I can attribute this to are stronger LEDs to drive the signal off the computers. I'd agree that it's not quite as simple as 1s and 0s, but for every kind of technology used in the delivery chain there are scientific principles clearly at work, and they can't be applied uniformly across the board.   


Edited by Strangelove424 - 10/14/12 at 6:36pm
post #172 of 201

The fear of equalizers. Also lack of of acknowledgement that it's really easy to delude the auditory perception.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Strangelove424 View Post

 

 

The optical signal from my PC's sound card plays a bit louder than my Mac, and both of those are louder than the SPDIF coming out of my Playstation. Not necessarily cleaner, but louder, which in effect requires less amping, and less harmonic distortion.The only thing I can attribute this to are stronger LEDs to drive the signal off the computers. I'd agree that it's not quite as simple as 1s and 0s, but for every kind of technology used in the delivery chain there are scientific principles clearly at work, and they can't be applied uniformly across the board.   

Most definitely not the case. It could be a different bit depth or pre-processing.

post #173 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

FYI, the idea about viewing the transmission in terms of an analogue square wave signal came from a manufacturer of digital equipment. The more I've researched it, the more complex it gets. Regardless, I've had good results with better USB to S/PDIF converters and some casual measurements I've done suggest I'm not out of my mind in thinking so. We could call this my pet peeve -- the idea that digital audio is just 1's and 0's as if all the electrical properties of it aren't important and in spite of numerous engineers who say otherwise.

+1.

Digital is very basically just 1's and 0's, but it isn't quite that simple in implementation.
post #174 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Currawong View Post

FYI, the idea about viewing the transmission in terms of an analogue square wave signal came from a manufacturer of digital equipment. [...] We could call this my pet peeve -- the idea that digital audio is just 1's and 0's as if all the electrical properties of it aren't important and in spite of numerous engineers who say otherwise.


I think the transmission of a digital signal , can be compared to morse code for humans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morse_code)  With morse, it would be hard to make a confusion between a dot and dash, unless not properly done. Same logic would apply , with the transmission of a digital signal. The 0 & 1 are transmitted in a significantly different way, so that it's nearly impossible for the receiver to make a mistake (unless something is defective).

post #175 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strangelove424 View Post

 

 

The optical signal from my PC's sound card plays a bit louder than my Mac, and both of those are louder than the SPDIF coming out of my Playstation. Not necessarily cleaner, but louder, which in effect requires less amping, and less harmonic distortion.The only thing I can attribute this to are stronger LEDs to drive the signal off the computers. I'd agree that it's not quite as simple as 1s and 0s, but for every kind of technology used in the delivery chain there are scientific principles clearly at work, and they can't be applied uniformly across the board.   

 

The SPDIF has a loudness? Isn't that a digital signal? What are you plugging the optical and SPDIF signals into? I doubt either requires more amping than the other. One may require you to turn the volume knob farther, just to achieve the same output level, not to produce an actual higher output.

post #176 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenja View Post

The fear of equalizers. Also lack of of acknowledgement that it's really easy to delude the auditory perception.

 

Most definitely not the case. It could be a different bit depth or pre-processing.


I agree seeing as windows, mac osx and linux handle audio completely differently. It is more of an OS issue.

post #177 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by extrabigmehdi View Post


I think the transmission of a digital signal , can be compared to morse code for humans (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morse_code)  With morse, it would be hard to make a confusion between a dot and dash, unless not properly done. Same logic would apply , with the transmission of a digital signal. The 0 & 1 are transmitted in a significantly different way, so that it's nearly impossible for the receiver to make a mistake (unless something is defective).

Not quite. With digital you do drop samples and you do have a given error rate, depending on the tech (with Ethernet you have collisions, for example, which destroys the datarate). But where cable vendors get wacky is suggesting that somehow there's a super-position available where the receiver gets the wrong bit and this will massively shift the audio output, which isn't the case - if the signal degrades to where the receiver can't make sense of 1 or 0, it just unlocks and declares the signal invalid. You may get temporary drop-outs that result in pops or clicks also, but it's very quickly going to go from "everything is working perfectly" to "here's a few intermittent pops" to "no audio" - there isn't a "smeared, static, dry sounding" state like a bad FM signal.

A good way to understand the differences is to look at how NTSC reception differs from ATSC reception - one has a very wide spectrum of "works" to "snow" and the other goes from basically crystal clear to a blank screen.

Some more information, for those interested:
http://www.epanorama.net/documents/audio/spdif.html
This was also interesting:
http://www.komarix.org/per/computers/spdif
post #178 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post


A good way to understand the differences is to look at how NTSC reception differs from ATSC reception - one has a very wide spectrum of "works" to "snow" and the other goes from basically crystal clear to a blank screen.
 

And if it weren't like that maybe I'd be able to pick up ABC with my antenna. Perhaps if I get a $500 coax cable for it then I'll be able to...

 

 

Good example though. 

post #179 of 201
I think the digital discussion breaks down when there is some idea that there is something *better* than just cleanly getting the 1s & 0s from one end of the cable to the other. If the digital signal is clean and the timing is right, I think that's as good as it gets. Now, what the DAC does with it after that is a whole 'nuther kettle of fish.
post #180 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

I think the digital discussion breaks down when there is some idea that there is something *better* than just cleanly getting the 1s & 0s from one end of the cable to the other. If the digital signal is clean and the timing is right, I think that's as good as it gets. Now, what the DAC does with it after that is a whole 'nuther kettle of fish.

Also the analog output section of the DAC has to be considered pretty seriously, and I feel like in a lot of discussions about digital almost always center on the DAC chip itself (or themselves, if a multi-chip design), or the interface from the digital source to the digital sink. And basically ignore that big'ol analog output stage, the power section that feeds all of that, and the quality of the data that's being sent digitally. That's kind of a pet peeve I guess too.
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