Topic: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

I have a HiFi home-setup, with my computer acting as media player running Roon.

My DAC connects directly to computer, and to avoid electronic interference's from computer I prefer to connect with toslink. So now to my controversial question: does toslink cables matter to this DAC? Glass or plastic?

Looking at measurements, the answer seems to be no, but measurements don't always (or rather seldom) mimic real life.

An alternative would be to connect with USB through a ethernet transport (which would also be Roon endpoint), but if the DAC gives full quality with toslink (i.e. 192 khz and DSD64 with no jitter) it feels like a simple toslink connection is better (I never listen to anything above 192khz anyway). Quality ethernet transports are also a little expensive, and in my experience require fiber somewhere to isolate it, like the newly released Sonore opticalRendu for $1300.

2 (edited by ramses 2019-02-25 07:20:39)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

> does toslink cables matter to this DAC? Glass or plastic?

Standard TOSLINK cable is made of plastic and this is fully sufficient.

Although the standard tells not more than 10m, I can use this 15m cable without any issues up to 192kHz between UFX+ and ADI-2 DAC: https://www.thomann.de/de/mutec_optisches_kabel_15m.htm
Meanwhile I have two of these cables and no issues / transmission errors so far, therefore I can recommend it.
The plugs are also of good quality, perfect seating.

Cables with thicker sheath can have disadvantages. This here sits under tension in the socket when connecting 2 devices with each other in a rack. That's why I didn't like it so much and can't really recommend it: https://www.thomann.de/de/sommer_cable_ … el_15m.htm

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

On my previous DAC (Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital) the toslink cable mattered quite a lot, the no-name toslink cable I used first sounded much worse than the Supra I bought later, but I realize this depends on the DAC so thats why I ask for the RME DAC.

4 (edited by ramses 2019-02-24 20:34:48)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

You do not need to be worried. The cable doesn't matter, it's digital transmission.

Maybe your other DAC had other issues or you were simply a victim of psychoacoustic effects.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

ramses wrote:

The cable doesn't matter, it's digital transmission.

That is oversimplifying it a bit, yes its digital but without any error correction or error detection, and toslink is also easily affected by jitter:
http://www.dilettantesdictionary.org/defimages/jitter.gif

Poor toslink cables (and/or connectors) degrade the square signal which causes more or less jitter.

6 (edited by ramses 2019-02-25 07:19:57)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

RME's steadyclock technology eliminates the jitter and the D/A conversion in the ADI-2 Pro/DAC is being performed
with it's own internal clock.

Please inform yourself about Steadyclock technology, many thanks.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Buffering and reclocking the signal certainly helps, and a more accurate clock also helps, but I am unsure if it fully removes all problems. A poor cable can degrade the signal in such a way that it's not possible to reconstruct it. A simple example is how some toslink cables don't work in 192 khz while others do work. It's also not possible to correctly reconstruct a signal where the jitter is bigger than half the width of a clock-pulse (in that case, the buffering and reclocking will put the "bit" in the wrong "slot")

From a sound quality perspective, jitter degrades the sound quality (smears background, loses details, etc), which is why some toslink cables sound better on some DACs.

Which is basically what I am asking in this thread. Can the RME ADI-2 DAC compensate fully for poor cables and degraded signal? If it can't (and most DACs can't), then a higher quality toslink cable will sound better.

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Hi,

I bought my toslink cable from lindy.co.uk

https://www.lindy.co.uk/cables-adapters … able-p7284

Great cable with no problems with various lengths available.

Regards

Rodney

RME UCX + RME ADI-2 DAC
You can listen to a machine, but you won’t hear the music.

9

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

If the jitter is so high that the receiver can not read out the data correctly, then the transmitting unit would be no longer working at all - because its clock must be defective. You got all the nice information - why not calculate what jitter amount such a 'wrong bit detected' condition equals? Tip: more than 100 ns...

The example with 192 kHz is not accurate as it is not about jitter, but (usually) transmitters that are not specified to work at such a data rate.

Also, as stated over and over, such a situation would cause clicks. Not a whatever audiophile changed sound stage, depth, veil...

And finally, the ADI would display such a situation with LOCK instead of SYNC.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

10 (edited by Curt962 2019-02-25 03:50:41)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

MagnusH,

Cables?  Again?   Wirklich?

Man, Digital is 1's and 0's.  High or Low.  Either-Or.  There is no middle ground.   

Some Vendor might make the Argument that THEIR Cable is more "Analog Sounding" than the rest but it's Pure BullShit.   Their 1's aren't any straighter, nor are their "0's" any Rounder than a Meter of "Amazon Basic" Toslink could offer.

Buy a piece of TOSLink, and be done with it.  5 Euro max.

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

MC wrote:

The example with 192 kHz is not accurate as it is not about jitter, but (usually) transmitters that are not specified to work at such a data rate.

Also, as stated over and over, such a situation would cause clicks. Not a whatever audiophile changed sound stage, depth, veil...

And finally, the ADI would display such a situation with LOCK instead of SYNC.

I have a cable right here, and if I switch to it 192 khz don't work (same transmitter, same DAC). That cable works in 96khz and lower though. And from my understanding, SPDIF is a one-way communication, so no handshaking or "acks" send back from the DAC, which would mean that the cable degrades the signal to much for the receiver to make sense of it.

But that is a little beside the point, my question is if toslink cables sound different, provided they do work with the sample rate? It would actually be pretty amazing if they did, since the DAC would then need to be able to "undo" all degradation that occurred in the cable.

12

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

If you want to 'hear' a defective TOSLINK cable simply pull out the optical cable from the port VERY slowly.

Same transmitter - but which one?

In case the transmitter is a certified 192 kHz one then the cable is defective. It might have been bended (rolling over it with a chair) or does not have straight and polished (clear cut) surface where the optical light goes in and out. Throw it away...

I use only cheap optical cables and they all work at 192 kHz until I abuse them (see above).

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

As often with audio, the only way to find out is to try :-)

I ordered one of these, from what I read its a very good cable but without the high-end price (although its not exactly cheap either): http://www.lifatec.com/toslink2.html

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

I play directly from computer, so transmitter is whatever is on the Realtek ALS1150 (Toshiba TOTX178 from what I can google). Might be an idea to get a better one I guess (some cheap PCI express card perhaps). 6 mb/s data-rate is a little to close to 24 bit 192 khz sample rate.

15

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

That's what I meant (and a bit ridiculous as well). 192 kHz transmitter needs 25 mb/s. 96 kHz 12 mb/s. Yours (if correct) would only work up to 48 kHz.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

To clarify, the 6mb I said was megabyte and not megabit, but higher bandwidth means less prone to jitter. What I would prefer is to have a 15Mb transmitter and receiver, and then use glass fiber which supports those speeds.

17 (edited by ramses 2019-02-25 17:45:43)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Normal plastic TOSLINK cable supports 192 kHz up to 15m, even if there is a TOSLINK switcher in between.

Before buying glass fiber cable for TOSLINK I would check with RME whether this has no side effects.
Because glass has not the same dampening like plastic, not that you overload your receiving TOSLINK.

It could even have other advantages to use plastic TOSLINK cables, I could think of that they are more robust and have a better bending radius compared to glass fiber.

The audio material will at the end determine the sample rate. Upsampling won't give you more quality.
All this has been discussed already on this forum.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

When I get the Lifatec toslink cable I will test it. If it sounds the same or have some other problems, compared to my current cheap cable, then I will send it back (30 day money back). If it sounds better I will keep it (and I will report it here) :-)

Btw, differences in cables seems to be an area where studio people and so called audiophiles have very different opinions.

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

In the studio area people have technical background and know how our ears and brain work.

In the HiFi area you have usually to face these kinds of problems:
1. people who incorrectly transfer their experiences and procedures from analog technology to digital technology without really knowing how digital technology works (-> audiophile USB cables and alike ...)
2. are very receptive to industry advertising promises
3. The brain can only compare sound differences by fast A/B comparisons (in the range of 2 seconds).
4. Incorrect test methodology because the knowledge about psychoacoustic effects is missing. Wrong subjective impressions only lead to rumours spreading via forums until it becomes a pseudo-truth, which is actually not true at all.
5. Then HiFi is sometimes also a market of vanities. A cable that costs several hundred or thousand euros usually looks more stylish.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Well, I could make a list for the opposite, but seeing as I am on a studio forum I won't :-)

21

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

MagnusH wrote:

To clarify, the 6mb I said was megabyte and not megabit, but higher bandwidth means less prone to jitter. What I would prefer is to have a 15Mb transmitter and receiver, and then use glass fiber which supports those speeds.

The data sheet of the TOTX178 says 6 mb/s and that is Megabit, not Megabyte. Higher bandwidth in this case does not mean less jitter but being able to operate at those data rates at all.

The ADI-2 DAC has a 25 Megabit/s (Mbps) receiver and doesn't need glas fiber at all (see Ramses comment). We did tests with 10 m standard POF from ADI-2 Pro into a simple switch/repeater (no re-coding of the signal) into another 10 meters to the DAC at 192 kHz. Works flawlessly. So there is no need for uber-expensive solutions.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

22 (edited by Curt962 2019-02-26 03:37:15)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

As a Recovering Audiophile. I can attest to the Validity of the comments made by MC, and Ramses.

As fun as it can be to immerse oneself in a High End Audio Publication, it can also quickly lead the Un-Knowing Consumer to spend enormous amounts of Money on Gear that has Questionable Technical  Validity.    No Data whatsoever.   Just a Purely Subjective Asessment of "the Sound" 

In these Publications, the Most Expensive items typically Sound Better.

Next Month?  Your "Review Darling" component is rendered Worthless with just a few Keystrokes.   Your $10,000 Component has no more re-sale Value than a Brick.

I've been Screwed enough.   I feel quite Safe from the Outrageous BS right here!

Further, UpGrade-Itis can be a Problem, and  Audio Mags are like a Street Corner - Dealer, quite Expert in Pushing a "Need" for an Upgrade of some sort every few months.   As an End User in a Home Environment,  I have other demands on my Finances, and some "Quantum Technology Connector can go straight to He**

Who amongst Us would go a Doctor that Pushed such un-substantiated Sh*t Cures upon Us?

Just Venting.  smile

23 (edited by ramses 2019-02-26 07:54:15)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Thanks Curt.

MagnusH wrote:

Well, I could make a list for the opposite, but seeing as I am on a studio forum I won't :-)

If you did not understand my points, then it's clear why you have problems to understand our good meant proposals.

It also tells how good the lobby and advertisement work of the HiFi industry is. They only need to use the adjective "audiophile" in the advertisement (see the cable that you finally choosed) and when you read this you are automatically biased. The Mutec TOSLINK cable which I proposed is also perfectly fine, but it seems not fine enough for you, because it's simply missing some buzzwords.

And you really want to tell me here that you would be able to make a list for the opposite ?
If it's based on all this overhyped advertizements then I can only hope for you that you do not believe that yourself.

Magnus, please do not take it personal in any way. You are free to ask whatever you want.

But I am wondering. Why do you ask then in a vendor forum with professional people if you do not trust their expertise ?
Then it would be better to ask in one of the typical HiFi or analog forums where your expectations are better satisfied.
This would avoid a lot of unnecessary discussions that simply waste time for no reason.

Another thing, if the standards in the studio sector which produces the music that you hear would not be good enough, then you would have a much bigger problem on the consumer side than a "cable problem". This would mean that you whole HiFi components would be simply oversized (if studio would be that bad).

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

We are all experts
- Studio guys are experts in making unfinished music sound good
- Audiophiles are experts in making finished music sound good

I am not an expert in this DAC though, which is why I asked. But in my own experience, cables do matter for sound quality, even digital ones. However, toslink is a little special due to its inherit galvanic isolation, and some DAC manufacturers like Chord claims toslink is the best digital connection for their DACs.

So I choose to trust my own ears and ordered a cable that's I read good things about on forums, 480 strands or glass fiber, originally made for medical purposes. Its similar to some very high end toslink cables but much cheaper. If you guys are right, it won't sound better and I will send it back for a refund.

ramses: I perfectly understood the points you made, but surely you realize that points like those can be made the other way as well (i.e. from an audiophiles viewpoint about studio guys).

25 (edited by Curt962 2019-02-26 13:04:42)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Here you go!!  The "Clever Clock"    smile:)

For Years, Cables have been a Diversionary Tactic.  A Red Herring of Sorts. smile

Finally!!  The Secrets are Revealed! 

http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina41.htm

"Signature Edition" no less!    Who's Signature though I wonder...P.T. Barnum?

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

MagnusH wrote:

I perfectly understood the points you made, but surely you realize that points like those can be made the other way as well (i.e. from an audiophiles viewpoint about studio guys).

No they cannot - the reason being, that every claim made here by the "studio-professionals" in lack of a better term, can be measured and objectively verified. Your ears are not an objective source of reference - it is a source of opinion!

If we assume that a cable can somehow alter a digital stream in a way that positively and predictably affects the music - eg. a wider sound-stage, more defined instruments, and what not - the signal would have to be altered in such a radical and specific way, that anybody with even the slightest knowledge of digital audio theory knows this is impossible.

What if you bought some kind of audiophile usb cable, and used it to connect a harddrive containing word-documents; would the grammar improve? Would the colors of your family photos pop out more saturated? To suggest that a cable carrying digital information has some kind of property that translate to an alteration of the data in a way we perceive as positive change is absurd! It either works or it doesn't - and RME has test-files that you can use to verify that the audio is transfered and played back 1:1 identical with the source, whether your connection is optical, coaxial or by USB!

Take the red pill - and you will find this forum to be a vast source of knowledge ..

:: Producer / Engineer / Synth-whisperer @ FishCorp
:: RayDAT > 2 x ADI-8 QS | AES+SPDIF > ADI-2 Pro

27 (edited by N00b 2019-02-26 14:33:56)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Curt962 wrote:

Here you go!!  The "Clever Clock"    smile:)

For Years, Cables have been a Diversionary Tactic.  A Red Herring of Sorts. smile

Finally!!  The Secrets are Revealed! 

http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina41.htm

"Signature Edition" no less!    Who's Signature though I wonder...P.T. Barnum?

big_smile Thanks for this nice discovery!! I think I will make some purchases to enlarge my... soundstage.


Basken wrote:
MagnusH wrote:

I perfectly understood the points you made, but surely you realize that points like those can be made the other way as well (i.e. from an audiophiles viewpoint about studio guys).

No they cannot - the reason being, that every claim made here by the "studio-professionals" in lack of a better term, can be measured and objectively verified. Your ears are not an objective source of reference - it is a source of opinion!

If we assume that a cable can somehow alter a digital stream in a way that positively and predictably affects the music - eg. a wider sound-stage, more defined instruments, and what not - the signal would have to be altered in such a radical and specific way, that anybody with even the slightest knowledge of digital audio theory knows this is impossible.

What if you bought some kind of audiophile usb cable, and used it to connect a harddrive containing word-documents; would the grammar improve? Would the colors of your family photos pop out more saturated? To suggest that a cable carrying digital information has some kind of property that translate to an alteration of the data in a way we perceive as positive change is absurd! It either works or it doesn't - and RME has test-files that you can use to verify that the audio is transfered and played back 1:1 identical with the source, whether your connection is optical, coaxial or by USB!

Take the red pill - and you will find this forum to be a vast source of knowledge ..

Amen... You said everything.
I'm really glad digital domain and internet time allow us to think and to stop believing all the BS they sold to us in the 90's audiofool's magazines...
Those snake oil digital cables make me sick... Audiophile USB or Ethernet cables, golden plated TOSlink cables, people really don't think...

BTW I love this dialogue between a member of the Audioholics forum and the boss of Audioquest snake oil cables big_smile

ADI-2 DAC - Neumann KH 310 A monitors

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Noob,

Why stop at merely enlarging your "Soundstage"?  smile   

With such a Magical Device available, it seems the possibilties are endless.   Beware that Malfunction of the Clock could cause it to revert to "Shrink Mode"! 

29 (edited by MagnusH 2019-02-26 19:26:40)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Basken wrote:

If we assume that a cable can somehow alter a digital stream ...

Digital cables matter, but of course they are still bit-perfect. There are two things that matter beside being bit-perfect:
1. Electronic noise that traverse the cable and affect the analog stage of the DAC. This can easily be heard (and measured) by connecting a USB DAC directly to a normal computer with fans and stuff, compared to for example USB connected to a well engineered ethernet transport.
2. Jitter, which despite being bit-perfect (in a sense) causes the bits to align to wrong clock-slot. All cables degrade the signal (digital cables are analog, 1 are represented by +V or a light pulse), and the more a cable degrade the signal the more risk of jitter (or in extreme cases bit-loss).

USB cables are affected by both, ethernet by 1 (and in a roundabout way 2), toslink by 2, coax by both. How much a DAC is affected by this depends on the DAC, 1 can be partially solved with USB being galvanic isolated, 2 can be partially solved by rebuffering and reclocking internally in the DAC, or by using the DACs clock for the sender like in asynchronous USB.

This is why I personally prefer toslink connected to the DAC, since at the very least it completely solves 1, and 2 is the reason I started this thread. In my system, USB sounds worse than toslink (and I can toggle between them on preamp so easy to compare and do blind tests).

Surely you so called "studio professional" knows about this :-)

30 (edited by ramses 2019-02-26 19:27:49)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

All right, says someone who doesn't even get a TOSLINK cable without forum support...

Regarding your arguments for "audiophile" USB cables ..

- I am running my UFX+ and ADI-2 Pro with 5m USB3 cables. Never any issue with hum or whatever.
   If your environment should be so broken, then better spend the money to fix the root cause.

- If the clock is locked by steadyclock then it can not be the case that of all sudden a bit is being processed
  in the wrong "time slot" (or how did you say ..). Then communication would not be bit perfect at all.
  This has already been confirmed by RME in this thread, but you do not seem to learn.

I will not further react to any of your postings, it's wasted time.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win7 Prof, Cubase 9.5, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/DAC, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

I'm waiting for the day when some phony comes up with a can of audiophile air for the ultimate wifi transmission delivering unprecedented clarity and detail with a soundstage so deep and wide no cable can ever convey.

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

knatterton wrote:

I'm waiting for the day when some phony comes up with a can of audiophile air for the ultimate wifi transmission delivering unprecedented clarity and detail with a soundstage so deep and wide no cable can ever convey.

Already exists, or at least I have seen a photo of it (might be faked though) :-)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

ramses wrote:

I will not further react to any of your postings, it's wasted time.

Way to go, you might learn something new if you keep reading and that would be horrible.

And btw, bit-perfect and 100% free of jitter is not the same thing. Bit-perfect means all bits arrives as they should and in proper order, but not that they arrived in correct time.

Take toslink for example: it depends on the senders clock, no easy way to influence that (toslink is a one-way street), so if the sender is a little to slow or a little to fast than you get either buffer underrun or buffer overrun, unless the DAC adjusts its internal clock in which case you will get at the very least some jitter. Smaller variation in the senders clock can be handled by the DACs internal clock and a buffer, which I think is what the SteadyClock FS does, but it will never remove 100% jitter.

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

RME’s SteadyClock technology guarantees an excellent performance in all clock modes. Its highly efficient jitter suppression refreshes and cleans up any clock signal.

Usually a clock section consists of an analog PLL for external synchronization and several quartz oscillators for internal synchronization. SteadyClock requires one quartz only, using a frequency not equalling digital audio. Modern circuit designs like hi-speed digital synthesizer, digital PLL, 1 GHz sample rate and analog filtering allow RME to realize a completely newly developed clock technology, right within the FPGA at lowest costs. The clock's performance exceeds even professional expectations. Despite its remarkable features, SteadyClock reacts quite fast compared to other techniques. It locks in fractions of a second to the input signal, follows even extreme varipitch changes with phase accuracy, and locks directly within a range of 28 kHz up to 200 kHz.

The further improved SteadyClock FS technology offers even lower self-jitter, and uses a low phase noise quartz with jitter in the range of femto seconds. Thanks to the highly efficient jitter suppression, the AD- and DA-conversion always operates on highest sonic level, being completely independent from the quality of the incoming clock signal.

SteadyClock has been originally developed to gain a stable and clean clock from the heavily jittery MADI data signal (the embedded MADI clock suffers from about 80 ns jitter). Using the input sources of the ADI-2 DAC, SPDIF, ADAT or AES, you'll most probably never experience such high jitter values. But SteadyClock is not only ready for them, it would handle them just on the fly.

Also see here, info from 2004 on the older generation of SteadyClock with some nice graphs:
http://www.rme-audio.de/en/support/tech … yclock.php

Regards,
Jeff Petersen
Synthax Inc.

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Jeff wrote:

... being completely independent from the quality of the incoming clock signal.

Interesting read, and the quoted sentence certainly indicates that as long as a toslink cable works it will sound the same. I also saw a measurement on RME ADI-2 DAC that displayed jitter for USB and toslink, and toslink had less (not sure I believe that though, more likely some electronic noise on USB caused it to look that way).

That would mean that toslink is without doubt the best digital connection for this DAC due to galvanic isolation, unless you need higher sample rates that only USB can provide.

It will be fun to compare my current cheap toslink to the Lifatec one I ordered, see if theory and real-life matches (which is not always the case).

36 (edited by Basken 2019-02-27 14:39:28)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

MagnusH wrote:
ramses wrote:

I will not further react to any of your postings, it's wasted time.

Way to go, you might learn something new if you keep reading and that would be horrible.

And btw, bit-perfect and 100% free of jitter is not the same thing. Bit-perfect means all bits arrives as they should and in proper order, but not that they arrived in correct time.

You, MagnusH-sir, is objectively an ***** [Edit: no matter how that was meant, it is not seen as appropriate) - which is verifiable, by your lack of ability to understand simple math - yet alone science! Talking about "order" of bits in a signal?!

In this thread it has been explain to you (in verifiable terms) the conditions required for a digital signal "zero" to turn into a "one" by means of a digital transmission error, which requires jitter of up to 100ns .. a phenomenon that will in no way happen naturally, simply because of how (fast) light propagates in physical space - plastic as glass ..

.. and so - in the digital domain - for any kind of soundstage-expansion (or whatever audiophile phenomenon) to happen - multiple bits in tight correlation with the "main" signal will have to change .. consistently and persistently!

The concept of "stereo" is the *difference* of "information" between the channels, and for a perceived change in this relationship between channels .. affected by a digital transmission of 24bit frames interleaved through the same wire - optical as electrical - is batshit-crazy! No less!

So - i do advice you to accept measurements and science in general, or alternatively - in case you do not wish to learn anything usefull - join an audiophile-focused forum, which will agree of course with your line of thought without question ..

edit (by basken):
i do apologize for my use of language; i could have easily made my point in a less offensive way! i'll show some restrain from here on .. sorry!

:: Producer / Engineer / Synth-whisperer @ FishCorp
:: RayDAT > 2 x ADI-8 QS | AES+SPDIF > ADI-2 Pro

37 (edited by Curt962 2019-02-27 01:57:02)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

MagnusH,

Man. I feel Bad for you.   Audio, and all of it's Accessories, and Tweaks are Terrific Fun...but only when they make sense.

You came to this Forum where excluding myself, there are many, many knowledgable people to help you better understand the Technology, and thus provide you with the Tools to extract the BEST Performance from your Set Up. 

It seems though that you stopped by not with an interest in Learning more, but rather with an assortment of preconceived notions that you have Pontificated upon. and debated Ad Nauseum, whilst really only seeking Affirmation, and for the RME forum members to Rally around you as a Support Group. to Applaud, and Celebrate your every Purchase.   You know, this is a Classic instance where that is highly unlikely to happen. 

The Group tried to provide guidance.   Sorry it didn't work out for You.

Good Luck, and Enjoy your Cables.

38 (edited by N00b 2019-02-27 09:25:30)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

MagnusH wrote:
Jeff wrote:

... being completely independent from the quality of the incoming clock signal.

Interesting read, and the quoted sentence certainly indicates that as long as a toslink cable works it will sound the same. [...]

A. Toslink. cable. does. not. "sound".
And that's really a good news for physics.

It will work or will be deffective (and clicks will happen in this case, you will not lose fruity mediums or have a tiny soundstage or other idiofool BS).

And I also promise photons are not snobbish: they won't slow down because your fiber is in plastic, and create nasty jitter... Please think... roll

ADI-2 DAC - Neumann KH 310 A monitors

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Basken wrote:

In this thread it has been explain to you (in verifiable terms) the conditions required for a digital signal "zero" to turn into a "one" by means of a digital transmission error, which requires jitter of up to 100ns .. a phenomenon that will in no way happen naturally, simply because of how (fast) light propagates in physical space - plastic as glass ..

First of all, take a chill pill :-)

Secondly, jitter does not make a zero of a one (or the opposite), jitter is when the 1 or 0 is placed in the wrong time-slot. And that happens all the time, in pretty much all digital transmissions, to a varying degree. In fact, with a 1ns jitter and a femto clock, that would mean the bit is placed 1.000.000 slots away from its "correct" place, but in this case it won't matter much since its such a small time-error.

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

N00b wrote:

And I also promise photons are not snobbish: they won't slow down because your fiber is in plastic, and create nasty jitter... Please think... roll

I think I could give that "please think" right back at you. Light does not travel in the same speed in various materials, although in this case that won't matter much. What will matter is how much the light bounces around inside the cable, which will cause the light to reach the end of the cable at increments instead of all at once (i.e. the square signal won't be quite square anymore).

Now, how much extra jitter this creates, and if the DAC can compensate for the extra jitter or not, that I don't know. So I created this thread to find out, but so far the answers has been more like "listen to us, we know better than you" and "cables does not matter" which I know they do. Some childish insults has also been made, although I can give some back occasionally :-)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

I think the word time slot is not correct here. It suggests it takes the place of another time slot. There are no slots at jitter levels. There are slots if you want to call them that at sample level. At worst you could call it not exactly at the right time, but even this suggests a much to big problem. If you wiggle your head a little you create much much bigger variations.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Here is how I see it: the master DAC clock has a femto precision, lets simplify and say that means it has a 10 raised to 15 frequency of its square wave. It becomes simpler to understand if you look at it like bits are placed in that square wave at a low, which I call time slots (but in reality the bits aren't actually placed, they just arrive to the DAC chips at a slightly wrong time).

You can also see it like the source bitstream sample rate decides the "slots", in which case jitter is misalignment, and the with of the misalignment is the jitter.

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

The timing of the bits is irrelevant. It is the full sample wich is 2X24 bits plus extra data, which needs to be played back or recorded at the right time.

Someone should make a jitter plugin, that simulates jitter (yes that is possible, cause jitter is right level at wrong time, which is equal to wrong level at right time) and then people could AB it to hear which jitter level is perceivable.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

44

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

That software already exists, see here:

http://archimago.blogspot.com/2018/08/d … itter.html

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

45 (edited by MagnusH 2019-02-27 14:39:39)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

How perceivable jitter is depends a lot of the audio system and room acoustics, but on my previous DAC I noticed a difference in sound quality when trying different toslink cables, and the only thing that could cause changes in SQ is jitter.

Is it not be possible to add a jitter test in the DAC, similar to the bit-perfect test that already exists? Maybe clock-jitter is hard to measure, but jitter up to the DAC chip should be possible to measure if you know the source stream.

That would make the question I started this thread with really easy to answer, and it would be a great tool to optimize sound quality with (which both audiophiles and studio professionals should be interested in).

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

MC wrote:

That software already exists, see here:

http://archimago.blogspot.com/2018/08/d … itter.html

Thanks MC, nice read! I trust his conclusions, it takes a lot of jitter before it becomes audible.

@Magnus, if you don't do a true controlled blind test, you are just fooling yourself. Which is fine, we all do it all the time with all our senses.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Nahh, I never fool myself :-)

Just kidding, I know about expectation bias and placebo, but one way to get around that is to focus on a very small detail in the background of the music, and compare that at same volume. In this case I selected a faint background sound in the beginning of Jennifer Warnes Joan of Arc, 40 seconds into the tune if I recall correctly. That detail was not even possible to hear with the worst toslink cable (I would guess increased jitter masked it so it became part of the background noise).

Closing your eyes and trying to look in the direction of the leftmost sound, and then open eyes and measure distance, is a fairly objectively way to determine stereo width (not perfect, but better than just "listen").

48 (edited by MagnusH 2019-02-27 16:17:56)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

The more I think about it, the more I love the idea of an built in jitter measurement in the DAC, with results showing minimum, average and maximum jitter for the music-clip that was tested (this should obviously be a high quality recording of a complex tune, or maybe the same that's used by the bit-perfect test).

And of course not only for toslink but for all digital inputs. It would help in all kinds of situation, and I think a lot of users would find a jitter test very helpful.

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

And you think expectation bias can not cause you to not hear something that is there?  Did you read the article MC linked? One of the most interesting points is that even if the cable could make a difference with the ADi2 even then you could just as well like the one with more jitter best. Our ears  and brain have no purity measuring device build in...It is an absolute fact that people like distorted audio better then clean if it is not to much. Even that distortion makes details more audible. So the better cable you liked most could be worse jitter wise.
I hope you understand what I am trying to say...It is not pro's vs audiophiles. It is simply that ears and brains are not a measuring device. No matter what trick you try.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

MagnusH wrote:

The more I think about it, the more I love the idea of an built in jitter measurement in the DAC, with results showing minimum, average and maximum jitter for the music-clip that was tested (this should obviously be a high quality recording of a complex tune, or maybe the same that's used by the bit-perfect test).

And of course not only for toslink but for all digital inputs. It would help in all kinds of situation, and I think a lot of users would find a jitter test very helpful.

God no! We are already much to anal about digital audio...Not who has the largest...but the smallest jitter.
Really do read the article and at which point jitter becomes audible.

Vincent, Amsterdam
https://soundcloud.com/thesecretworld
HDSP9652+ADI-8AE  2X HDSP9632
Cubase pro10