Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

vinark wrote:
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.

Agreed!
And the bit test is very useful, to check if all is OK (especially for playback from a computer).
I miss it though in 48 kHz...

ADI-2 DAC - Neumann KH 310 A monitors

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Good Lord NO!

Giving an Audiophile (primed with BS) a Tool to measure a Parameter he/she doesn't know KACKE about,  would be akin to giving a 3yr Old Child a Sharp Knife!!

They will only Hurt Themselves.

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Some of those arguments sounds surprisingly like censorship: "we have to protect the common people from knowing to much" :-)

If the goal is to help setup this DAC to sound as good as possible, then a jitter measurement would help. But I get a feeling so called studio professional aren't that interested in sound quality so maybe this feature would be mostly appreciated by HiFi people. I know I would appreciate it.

54 (edited by Curt962 2019-02-27 21:02:40)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Magnus,

How did JITTER become your Mission suddenly, when only 10days Ago it was XLR Cables dominating your thoughts?

Adjust your Magazine Subscriptions.   They're not Healthy. smile

You know Magnus, I wanted to comment on your Song Selection from "Famous Blue Raincoat", but I guess Cables are more important than the Music that the ADI-2 was intended to reproduce.   Silly Me..

55 (edited by MagnusH 2019-02-27 21:06:39)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

My mission is the same in both cases: to try and make my HiFi system sound as good as possible. After all, thats what we audiophiles do :-)

That is an awesome record though, especially the first half of it. https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/41QU2ipuy3L.jpg

56 (edited by Curt962 2019-02-27 21:36:51)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Jennifer Warnes.  She was Good, and surrounded by equally Fine Musicians on the Recording.   There's a new (2007?) Mastering that gives up a bit in Dynamics, but who knows.   I'm on Work Travel.  Tidal is my "connection"

At home, I have the 1986 Original.   The "Sound" you hear at approx 0:43 is a SINGLE Synth Note.  Surrounded by "Bells/Chimes"

That Album Cover indicates a Re-Master.

See Magnus?  It is so much more Fun to stay on Point, and have a wonderful time re-exploring our Music Collections via the ADI-2.    My RME, gives me a Clearer Window.  I'll bet yours does too.

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=E9KkDqbEtMQ

Try this Track Magnus.   These people could Sing the Menu from a Chinese Restauraunt.  Here, they're referencing something of an Arpeggio.

This is just an Appetizer.  The "Spanky and Our Gang  "Complete Mercury Recordings" is a Wonderful Treat!!!   

Sometimes, it's like Eavesdropping on the Recording Sessions.  Out-Takes, and all

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

If you want to see toslink jitter with your eyes (sort of), play something and pull out the toslink on the DAC side and shine the light on a surface 3 cm away. If all the light took the same way (equally long) through the cable, you would see a very sharp focused and small point.

On the other hand, if the light bounces around and disperse as it traverse the cable, you will see a big red fussy blob. This is what I see, over 1cm big from a 3cm distance.

Hardly cutting edge measurement, but a fun little visualization :-)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

MagnusH wrote:

If you want to see toslink jitter with your eyes (sort of), play something and pull out the toslink on the DAC side and shine the light on a surface 3 cm away. If all the light took the same way (equally long) through the cable, you would see a very sharp focused and small point.

On the other hand, if the light bounces around and disperse as it traverse the cable, you will see a big red fussy blob. This is what I see, over 1cm big from a 3cm distance.

Hardly cutting edge measurement, but a fun little visualization :-)

Nope. What you see is refraction. It would happen even with the most advanced and expensive audiophile grade unveiling sound glass optical fiber (yes yes, even the one with golden plated connectors).

ADI-2 DAC - Neumann KH 310 A monitors

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

N00b wrote:

u see is refraction. It would happen even with the most advanced and expensive audiophile grade unveiling sound glass optical fiber (yes yes, even the one with golden plated connectors).

No, refraction would bend the beam, if the beam was focused and then refracted it would still be focused. Its the fact that it's not focused that indicates that all kind of bouncing and dispersion has been going on inside the toslink. With this in mind, its easy to realize that the light wont reach the receiver at the same time, creating a slope that somewhere along the way triggers a state change (0 to 1 or 1 to 0). Its somewhat similar to capacitance in electric cables.

Here is a good article about digital interfaces that covers jitter as well: https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques … nterfacing

A quote:

Of more practical relevance is the jitter that is induced in all cables and optical fibres. This comes about because cables inherently suffer capacitance and fibres suffer optical dispersion. In both cases, the effect is to blur the edges of the data pulses so that their timing becomes vague. The longer (or nastier) the cable or fibre, the worse the problem will be.

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

If this is true and this is a big if, then it still does not mean anything regarding cable choice. That is until you proof that one cable has worse? reflections ánd that that causes more jitter in the DA converter. Reflections  can be a product of cable width and cable length. Not price or quality. Jitter can be a product of the PLL of the DA and the one in ADI is great!
You could just as easily argue thet oxygen free copper is a bad idea cause oxygen gives the audio air....

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

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

We entered the area of jitter in cables, thats why I shown that article and did my little toslink-flashligh experiment.

I feel fairly certain that a typical plastic toslink will produce more jitter than a 470 strands glass fiber cable, but what I don't know is if the difference will be audible after the RME and SteayClock has done its work. Or even if there will be a difference at all (audible or not).

63 (edited by N00b 2019-02-28 16:48:56)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

MagnusH wrote:

We entered the area of jitter in cables, thats why I shown that article and did my little toslink-flashligh experiment.

I feel fairly certain that a typical plastic toslink will produce more jitter than a 470 strands glass fiber cable, but what I don't know is if the difference will be audible after the RME and SteayClock has done its work. Or even if there will be a difference at all (audible or not).

For that question you had a lot of answers, all saying NO DIFFERENCES. You can even test by yourself with the Bit Perfect test ; if the transmission is PERFECT, what do you expect more?

ramses wrote:

> 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.


ramses wrote:

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.

MC wrote:

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.


MC wrote:

[...] 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.

Plus the post of RMS support about Steady Clock and jitter suppression.

Even in the article that you've linked, they say:

However, when transferring digital audio between two devices [...] modest amounts of cable jitter have no effect whatever. The AES3 and ADAT interfaces are designed to accommodate a huge amount of timing variation and the jitter would have to be extraordinarily bad to cause any problems.[...]

For this reason it is advisable to make your A-D converter the system's clock master. In this way the A-D conversion is controlled by the converter's own clock, which is likely to be very stable and jitter-free.

And this article is 12 years old... So if jitter was not a problem with 2007 consumer devices, it won't be one in 2019 pro devices.

And a reminder by MC (who designed the DAC you have...):

MC wrote:

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...

100 ns, we are far far far from the speed of light scale...

Try the Bit Perfect test (it makes a lot more sense than your so called "flashlight test) and you will know...

And despite all being said here, if you are not convinced, so be it: enjoy your 470 strands glass fiber cable and its improvement in SQ... But like another said here, you'd better share that unveiling sound digital cable quality in an audiofool forum...

ADI-2 DAC - Neumann KH 310 A monitors

64

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

The 'refraction' in the cable is not an error, it is on purpose, how this kind of cable works. Same for multi mode glass fiber as used with MADI.

Regards
Matthias Carstens
RME

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Bit-perfect does not test jitter, and its jitter that can lower the sound quality. Hence my original question in this thread.

Jitter is also additive, so all sources of jitter adds upp. It takes the light 10 ns to traverse a 2 meter toslink cable of glass, about 15 ns if the cable is plastic. but this is for the part of the light that takes the shortest way, the parts of the light that bounces around a lot can take a lot longer, so we can easily reach 30-50 ns.

So a 2m plastic cable (if my math is correct) could add up to 50 ms of jitter in itself. Depending on the rest of the system, this could quite possible end up being audible unless corrected, especially considering it's not the only source of jitter (and likely not even the biggest).

So you see, once you look into it, its far from sure that a plastic toslink cable will sound identical to a glass fiber cable. Its not all "audiophile imagination" when talking sound quality and HiFi equipment.

And I have a (strong) feeling that a lot of answers that "plastic sounds identical to fancy glass" haven't actually compared or looked into in like this.

66 (edited by vinark 2019-02-28 17:50:17)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Quote: So you see, once you look into it, its far from sure that a plastic toslink cable will sound identical to a glass fiber cable. Its not all "audiophile imagination" when talking sound quality and HiFi equipment.

I thought the question was how does theADI2 sound with a cheap plastic or more expensive glass cable. According to MC, identical.
Is this the same for other devices? Some yes some not, maybe. But since the specs for the ADI jitter suppression are a known, you can rest assured if you would like.

For example I have an ADI-8AE, an old converter without steadyclock, so I run it on internal clock for that reason. But on occasion I have to sync it to adat, cheap plastic cables and I never heard a difference, but I have not looked for it too. But if something is wrong in my system I always notice it.

EDIT: Just for fun I looked it up in the ADI-8DS manual and PLL to adat is under 1ns same as on internal. So I can rest assured too. Only WC is worse under 4ns

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

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Yea, when I think about it this jitter should be somewhat similar to jitter caused by a less accurate toslink sender clock, so it should be handled well by SteadyClock in the DAC. Still going to try the fancy glass toslink I ordered though, but I probably won't hear much difference and will end up sending it back.

One thing though: if toslink is as jitter free as claimed on this DAC, and it obviously fully galvanic isolated, don't that mean that toslink is the best possible connection? No jitter, no electronic noise! Unless I am missing something, its not possible to improve upon.

Some of my HiFi friends who use fancy ethernet transports (costing $1000 or more) to get the best sound through USB won't like that. :-)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Yes a ground loop through electrical spdif is possible, but if you don't have that it is just as good as optical. Still steadyclock would take care of the jitter anyway ;-)

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

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

I play in my home-office, directly from a computer that I usually do other things on. So isolation is probably much more important for me than for most others. Using USB directly from the computer gives a less than optimal sound, very much improved by toslink or by going through an ethernet transport (I have an Allo USBridge).

Its not ground loops though (at least its not the typical hum), but more that the sound loses details and clarity, fussy background, etc. But I haven't tested this on RME DAC, so could be my old DAC that didn't clean up the signal properly.

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

This kind of thread is quite humorous in regards to how self proclaimed audiophiles are actually audio fools.

Music is primarily about a story that is put to a beat and the divisions within that beat.

At a sample rate of 44.1Hz there are over 1000 samples between each beat. 500 between eighth notes and over 250 samples between 16ths.

When you take audio quality to extremes as audiophiles tend to do, you have ask yourself are you really listening to music the way it is intended to be heard.

The idiom ‘Can’t see the wood for the trees’ springs to mind.

Here is a test for you all.

https://www.npr.org/sections/therecord/ … 1443799798

Ask yourself how long it takes you to decide on which one is the best quality.

Hopefully you will decide that all of the clips are good enough and that you have wasted too much time on something that really doesn’t matter that much, as the difference is not significant enough to be meaningful.

Getting back to the beat 1, 2, 3, ...

Rodney : )

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

71 (edited by vinark 2019-03-01 14:12:17)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

QUOTE: t a sample rate of 44.1Hz there are over 1000 samples between each beat. 500 between eighth notes and over 250 samples between 16ths.

Huh?
1000 samples per beat is 44 beats per second is 2500BPM. So this is already pure audio 44hz
120BPM is 2BPS. 1 beat 0.5s is 22500 samples. 120BPM is pretty fast.

Plus you are a little late to the party. Magnus the OP, was finally reassured that his new ADI2pro can handle a little jitter at the input.
There was nothing wrong with his question. If you buy a very hi end dac, do I need very good cables? Answer, no, just working cables. lol.

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

72 (edited by Rodney_Ferguson_75 2019-03-01 14:36:24)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

So my bad calculation in the previous message means that it is even less significant than what I proposed.

60bpm at 44.1Hz means that the are 4410 samples between each beat rather than 1000 like I stated previously.

Context is important to frame. Is the context the DAC or what the DAC is being used for? Wood for the trees.

Time to get back to some music.

Did you try the link for the audiophile or audiofool test?

Regards

Rodney : )

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

73 (edited by vinark 2019-03-01 15:26:31)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

60bpm is 1bps is 44100 samples.
And yes I have no problems with MP3 quality of 128kbs and up. Recognizing 128kbs is a skill, you have to know what to listen for.

But you are turning it into a debate again instead of a helpful forum!

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

74 (edited by Rodney_Ferguson_75 2019-03-01 16:24:44)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Helpful forum or debate, people will see it however they wish to see it.

The point being audio quality in cables -

What is it that you are listening to in music? Because if you are listening out for something that is imperceptible then you are probably listening to the machine (DAC, cables, computer) rather than listening to the music.

Audiophiles don't appear to hear music anymore, they listen to the quality of machines.

Pro-audio people still listen to music (the song content).

Sometimes I think people forget what the intended purpose of all this equipment is used for.


So on the helpful side to people who got dragged into this thread over a very simple question, which has been answered. How many hours have people spent arguing over insignificant details and totally forgotten why they bought the gear in the first place.

Restoring objectivity is helpful...is it not?

Regards

Rodney : )

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

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

vinark wrote:

Plus you are a little late to the party. Magnus the OP, was finally reassured that his new ADI2pro can handle a little jitter at the input.
There was nothing wrong with his question. If you buy a very hi end dac, do I need very good cables? Answer, no, just working cables. lol.

Well, lets just say I am a bit ambivalent: my logical scientific brain says that the +/- jitter that can happen due to cable will be handled by the reclocking in RME ADI-2. My audiophile brain however thinks: Lifatec, 470 strands of glass fiber, originally made for high-end medical purposes...have to sound awesome big_smile

76 (edited by vinark 2019-03-01 16:59:40)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

MagnusH wrote:

originally made for high-end medical purposes...have to sound awesome big_smile

It will sound clinical lol
Still interested in the results!

If you  say logical vs audiophile brain, it might be better to call it rational and irrational brain (left and right half). There are much better and more effective irrational things to do then cables. In that regard cables are a little bit like chemical sustances (could not typ dr*gs). I am not kidding. Being a musician, composer my main goal is to reach that part, not the logical part.
The thing is as a creator I don't have to use my DAC if I want more speciousness or warmth or whatever. I can just create it, with mixing, reverbs, delays, saturation and more.
Yesterday I had to move one speaker in my bedroom 20cm to the side. It sounded completely different and better. So maybe just move your speakers around and your seating position to keep your brain awake. Much cheaper and more effective then any DAC.

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

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

vinark wrote:
MagnusH wrote:

originally made for high-end medical purposes...have to sound awesome big_smile

It will sound clinical lol

Lets hope so, it could also end up sounding sick and in need of treatment etc smile

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Hi Magnus,

You might be venturing into the law of diminishing returns. I don't believe that one or two pieces of audiophile equipment will give you the results you are looking for.

As you probably already know there is a lot involved in getting a good (neutral) sound, so that you can hear a track the way it is intended to be heard. The irony of it all is that when you get the best possible sound you are still restricted to the quality of the original recording from the record company.

When I mean original recording, I am referring to how a track was recorded in the studio, including the performance, instruments, mics, desk, outboard processors etc and then how it was mixed and mastered.

I listen to music in a semi-treated room through Sonarworks Ref 4, feeding an ADI-2 DAC going to Genelec Speakers (correctly positioned) or through headphones (Open, Closed and IEM).

What I have noticed is that I really hear how something has been recorded by the musician and studio producer etc. This in itself accounts for the quality of a track.

You might also find that particular styles of music are either highly produced such as dance music or purposely underproduced such as punk. ska, rock, blues etc.

Just don't go too far in one direction regarding sound quality. Some stuff was mean't to sound low quality and raw no matter what type of music file it ended up on.

Regards

Rodney : )

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

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Rodney_Ferguson_75 wrote:

Just don't go too far in one direction regarding sound quality. Some stuff was mean't to sound low quality and raw no matter what type of music file it ended up on.

I want my HiFi to as faithfully as possible reproduce the music. You won't see me putting some sugary sweet tubes or similar to get my favorite bad-sounding music to sound better. In this regard, I am probably more like studio guys than many other audiophiles.

80 (edited by dr.larkos 2019-03-02 00:04:46)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Top audiophiles are getting there (here?). Audiophile guru, Alan Sircom, Editor-in-Chief of Hi-Fi+, the British sister publication of the US's The Absolute Sound, has met the ADI-2 DAC...and he loves it without any significant audiophile qualifications, to say the least (I am tempering my enthusiasm). Please, see link below.

dr.larkos

http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/rme-ad … amplifier/

81 (edited by Curt962 2019-03-02 03:24:05)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Quite a Positive Review, albeit conditioned with the Toxic "For the Price" comment.  I think the Reviewer was very pleased with the ADI-2, but...can't bring himself to disuade the Reader from purchasing an $8950 DAC,  which of course MUST be an Order of Magnitude better.  smile

(Advertising Dollars at Risk)

82 (edited by Luckbad 2019-03-02 08:12:48)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

MagnusH wrote:

If the goal is to help setup this DAC to sound as good as possible, then a jitter measurement would help. But I get a feeling so called studio professional aren't that interested in sound quality so maybe this feature would be mostly appreciated by HiFi people. I know I would appreciate it.

I'm an audiophile myself. That said, if studio professionals don't care about sound quality, what am I listening to? Using this ADI-2 DAC with nice cables I built going into an expensive amplifier (or one I built myself with a massive LC filter I built myself or an old linear power supply I repaired myself) isn't going to fix the terrible music that studio professionals keep making since they don't care about sound quality.

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Luckbad wrote:
MagnusH wrote:

If the goal is to help setup this DAC to sound as good as possible, then a jitter measurement would help. But I get a feeling so called studio professional aren't that interested in sound quality so maybe this feature would be mostly appreciated by HiFi people. I know I would appreciate it.

I'm an audiophile myself. That said, if studio professionals don't care about sound quality, what am I listening to? Using this ADI-2 DAC with nice cables I built going into an expensive amplifier (or one I built myself with a massive LC filter I built myself or an old linear power supply I repaired myself) isn't going to fix the terrible music that studio professionals keep making since they don't care about sound quality.

Of course they do, but their bosses care about making money. In the past it was FM radio ready, now it is/was the loudness war. It is al about grabbing the buyers attention on crappy systems under bad listening environments.
That we are not into esoterics though is because we have much better tools then a cable or a dac, to create the sound we want (lack for a better word, hear with our inner ear, need,etc). Mic choice, EQ's reverb, mic placement and the list goes on. All much more meaningful then the latest and greatest dac. With cables we worry more about a ruined take, because of cable failure then it's sound...

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

84 (edited by Curt962 2019-03-02 13:35:43)

Re: Best toslink for RME ADI-2 DAC

Loudness War.  It's certainly a factor in the Radio Biz.  Loud Songs get Spins!  Those Spins translate into Music Purchases by Listeners.

This site is fun.  http://dr.loudness-war.info

Not TRULY Dynamic Range being measured, but actually Crest Factor. (Avg RMS to Peak)   Nonetheless, if you feel as if you've been Aurally Bludgeoned by the latest "Pop Song", this data can help you understand why.