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if you use a digital out on a cd player is there a sound difference between players?


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51 replies to this topic

#1 of 52 OFFLINE   John-Miles

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Posted March 17 2003 - 02:39 AM

I am thinking it would be exactly the same between a 100 dollar player and a 5000 dollar player if you use the optical or coaxial output because then your receiver will do the decoding right?
Cheers

John

#2 of 52 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted March 17 2003 - 03:56 AM

John,

Are you trying to resurrect that CD jitter debate again?? Posted Image

_Man_

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#3 of 52 OFFLINE   John-Miles

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Posted March 17 2003 - 08:04 AM

No really im not Man, I just wanted to make sure. please no jitter talk here Posted Image
Cheers

John

#4 of 52 OFFLINE   Grant B

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Posted March 17 2003 - 08:48 AM

Pretty much.
I use Megachangers and the analog is not great... fairly cheap D/As.
The digital output sounds great thru the decoding in my preamp.
I am sure the $$$$$$ one has a better mechanism and higher quality parts, which might make a differnce depending on your hearing.
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#5 of 52 OFFLINE   John Royster

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Posted March 17 2003 - 08:48 AM

Check here for the official, non-answer.

http://www.hometheat....hreadid=122301

#6 of 52 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted March 17 2003 - 02:38 PM

I think so. There are good power supplies and bad. There are good lasers and bad. There are good transports, and bad. There is good vibration isolation, and there is bad. And there is jitter. Check out www.jitter.de/english/engc_navfr.html . They are selling a product, but it has the best description of what jitter is, and what can affect it that I've seen.

I think it was in the last issue or 2 of DVD Etc where they reviewed cheap-o DVD players. For the most part, you *do* get what you pay for. And don't forget that you can probably expect better reliablity out of a $5000 player vs a $100 player. Posted Image

If you go to the power conditoner reviews at Secrets, www.hometheaterhifi.com , and read through them all, you will find out that even the AC coming from your wall affects jitter, which can be bad enough that anyone can experience it even without expensive measurement equipment. A player with a better power supply will better be able to handle stuff like that.
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#7 of 52 OFFLINE   Todd Schnell

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Posted March 18 2003 - 03:11 AM

John,
To my ears, plain & simple there is an obvious difference.
Go test it for yourself.
Audition!

Todd

#8 of 52 OFFLINE   FrantzM

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Posted March 18 2003 - 04:16 AM

Hi

With a reasonnably good system you will hear the differences and they are not subtle. I do not know why at this point and I have not read or heard of a good explanation , yet
The same goes for a CD copy, the differences on a good transport are clearly audible.

Just listen you will be for a surprise.


Frantz

#9 of 52 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted March 18 2003 - 05:58 AM

You can't really discuss transport or other digital sonic differences without discussing jitter since that is 90-100% of the difference.

Quote:
Are you trying to resurrect that CD jitter debate again??


Man,

Good to see you on the Forum again - you never responded to my scientific papers on jitter...

Did I convince you?
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#10 of 52 OFFLINE   LanceJ

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Posted March 18 2003 - 07:10 AM

My one & only contribution to this discussion: This ain't the 50's anymore folks. Audio technology is a very mature field now.

Audio voodoo though is developing at a dizzying pace. Posted Image

Buh bye!

LJ

#11 of 52 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted March 18 2003 - 08:53 AM

Quote:
Audio technology is a very mature field now.


Based on the developments of the last five years, I doubt anyone really believes this anymore. Digital, in particular, seems to the the PC's price-performance curve or close to it.

Advancements in high resolution audio, tube circuit implementation, speaker cabinet quality, use of space age materials on everything down to the equipment rack, etc. all suggest a lot of room for advancement IMHO.

Posted Image
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#12 of 52 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted March 18 2003 - 09:10 AM

Lee,

You might've confused me w/ someone else (or misunderstood my view on the matter). I am not that skeptical about jitter or general differences between CD transports. In those couple recent debate threads, I was actually at least as skeptical about the validity of the few(?) DBTs done as jitter being audible. The arguments for jitter make enough sense to me although I don't feel they are all that rigorous. And I'm not sure reading those papers would really convince me much of anything. I'd prefer to just listen for myself like most anybody else and determine if I can appreciate the difference significantly.

In any case, I'm not really in the position to benefit much since I can't afford the time and $$$ on the audiophile hobby--at least not to such extent right now. My interest in these debates is more casual while keeping myself reasonably aware of how, what and where the audio world is going so that I can make better decisions when the opp arises.

_Man_

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#13 of 52 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted March 18 2003 - 09:22 AM

Quote:
prefer to just listen for myself like most anybody else and determine if I can appreciate the difference significantly.


I also like to base my opinions on what I hear but in some cases having a technical grounding as well can add value.

If you get familiar with jitter, I think you will find it is quite audible. The only way to prove to people is to create a low and high jitter test and let them listen and decide for themselves. I am actually working on that currently.

Posted Image
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#14 of 52 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted March 18 2003 - 09:36 AM

Yes, I saw your mention of creating a CD that demonstrates differences between high and low jitter audio. If you're making it freely (or cheaply) available to HTF members, I'd like to get a copy to listen for myself as well.

Still, even if jitter is rigorously proven to be very audible, it would really only help much if a 3rd party similar to the folks at the Secrets site provided jitter measurements for an extensive list of CD transports. In that event, I'd think market pressures would help make good quality transports more affordable and generally accessable for people like me.

And yes, I agree about wanting some technical/logical grounding for what I experience as well.

_Man_

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#15 of 52 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted March 18 2003 - 11:58 AM

Quote:
it would really only help much if a 3rd party similar to the folks at the Secrets site provided jitter measurements for an extensive list of CD transports


Stereophile and a number of industry people gather these stats already.

Posted Image
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#16 of 52 OFFLINE   Kevin C Brown

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Posted March 18 2003 - 12:59 PM

Lee- I always wanted to do the following:

I have a DAT deck and a CD-R/RW deck. I always wanted to try to get like a 10 or 20 generation copy from the original CD. Something like: original CD -> DAT -> CD-R -> DAT -> CD-R ... And then, on the last copy of the CD-R, I also put a 1st gen copy of the song too. So on 1 CD-R, *theoretically*, I should have a really good example of a "bad" jitter tune, and a good jitter tune. Never got around to it though. Posted Image

Posted Image

Or even just CD-R to CD-R. Record the CD-R, play it back in my DVD player to record on another CD-R, etc. Probably more likely it's bit perfect that way.
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#17 of 52 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted March 19 2003 - 03:32 AM

Quote:
I have a DAT deck and a CD-R/RW deck. I always wanted to try to get like a 10 or 20 generation copy from the original CD. Something like: original CD -> DAT -> CD-R -> DAT -> CD-R ... And then, on the last copy of the CD-R, I also put a 1st gen copy of the song too. So on 1 CD-R, *theoretically*, I should have a really good example of a "bad" jitter tune, and a good jitter tune. Never got around to it though.


I have travelled this ground before, but you would need to be careful with all these conversions for instance:

1. You must be consistent in using exactly the same DAC for conversion or you introduce converter differences.

2. You have to have low jitter recording on 1st gen copy or you will introduce jitter there and possibly wind up in a situation where you are comparing poor jitter to worse jitter versus low versus high.

3. Later generations do not always create higher jitter, it is situation and gear specific.

On our test we are recording on identical Alessis machines from an analog source, only variation is that a master clock that lowers jitter has been added to one. There is a few picosecond variation in mfg between the two decks to not enough to impair the order of magnitude difference we are looking for.

Also, it is good to try acoustic music as source material (from a clean and open mastering) so there is not so much going on that you cannot hear the time-based distortion's impact on individual instruments. Once you hear it, more dense musical material will be identifiable as well.

I hope that helps in your home brew tests.

Posted Image
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#18 of 52 OFFLINE   Craig_Kg

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Posted March 19 2003 - 11:29 AM

Unless the transport is so bad that it is introducing gross bit errors, the ONLY differences that there can be are entirely due to jitter. The form of the jitter can vary too, so 2 transports with the same level of jitter might not sound identical.

It is possible for a CD -> DAT or CD -> CD-R etc operation to reduce the jitter if the clocking on the production of the copy is better than that used in the original mastering.
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#19 of 52 OFFLINE   Lee Scoggins

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Posted March 19 2003 - 12:35 PM

Quote:
The form of the jitter can vary too, so 2 transports with the same level of jitter might not sound identical.


True. It is really the frequency curve of the jitter. When it affects the midrange and high frequencies as it normally does.

The fact is that any jitter above 20 picoseconds is audible.

Quote:
It is possible for a CD -> DAT or CD -> CD-R etc operation to reduce the jitter if the clocking on the production of the copy is better than that used in the original mastering.


Also true but rarely the case in my experience.
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#20 of 52 OFFLINE   KeithH

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Posted March 19 2003 - 10:50 PM

Lee said:

Quote:
You can't really discuss transport or other digital sonic differences without discussing jitter since that is 90-100% of the difference.


Absolutely. If folks want to discuss transports and don't want to discuss jitter, then they are just wasting their time. Sorry to be blunt, but it's the truth. Jitter isn't the only factor in making a good transport, but it is significant, and therefore, cannot be ignored.
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