digital outs vs analog outs

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff_Garcia, Feb 27, 2003.

  1. Jeff_Garcia

    Jeff_Garcia Agent

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    whats the difference in sound quality when u use the analog l & r rca output vs using optical or coaxial on the dvd player to listen to CD's?
     
  2. Benny G

    Benny G Second Unit

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    All normal CD audio is analog.

    If use the digital cables, the receiver will convert the digital signal to an analog signal. (i.e. the receiver's digital-analog converter will be used)

    If you use the analog cables, the DVD player will do the digital-to-analog conversion.

    Which one you should choose depends on the quality of your equipment. Most people will say DVDs player perform better conversion, so you should use the analog cables.

    I personally can't tell the difference when using the different connections.
     
  3. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Jeff,

    As the others have said- the difference really comes down to which component does the conversion.

    All audio on a CD is "digital"- and must be converted to an analog stream in order for you to listen to it. There is a component called a D/A converter that executes this job. Unfortunately, not all D/A converters are created equal- and all "color" sound to some degree.

    If you hook up from the analog outputs on the player, this means the digital stream is being converted to analog via the D/A converters in the player, and being passed analog to the receiver.

    If you hook up from the digital output on the player, this means the digital stream is being passed from player, and being converted to analog inside the receiver, using the receiver's D/A conversion.

    So it really comes down to a matter of pref. There are no hard/fast rules on which will sound "better"- as it will vary based on the relative quality of the components and the converters.

    Another variable here is that many receivers will digitally sample the analog signal coming in for functions like bass management and EQ. In which case, even if your player had wonderful converters, your receiver might muck up the works by resampling the signal back to digital and then back to analog again. Some receivers have a direct mode which allow passing the signal analog, without digitally mucking about with it- but this often bypasses bass management (and so no signal is sent to the sub).

    So the moral of the story is, try both- and use your ears.

    -vince
     
  5. Jeff_Garcia

    Jeff_Garcia Agent

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    that was very informative thanks!
     

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