Digital vs analog hookup for CD player

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Greg Kerber, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. Greg Kerber

    Greg Kerber Extra

    Oct 11, 2003
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    Likely a very dumb question- I have asked opinions on DVD players for CD audio and the replies often include that it depends on whether digital or analog out from DVD player. I am using cax digital but is this the best choice and I have also read of the option of using 6 channel analog to improve audio quality. Can someone give me a summary of this issue. Thank you.
  2. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

    Jul 8, 1998
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    The signal on a disc is digital. Before it gets to your ears, it must be converted to analog. That is the job of the D/A converter.

    You DVD player and your receiver both have D/A converters. If you use the analog connections from your player to receiver, then the player is doing the conversion. With a Coax or Optical connection, the receiver is doing the conversion.

    You may find that you prefer the sound of the D/A in one or the other, or they may sound the same. The best bet is to have them both hooked up, and give it a listen.

    As for 6 CH analog, that is a subject normally reserved for hi-rez (SACD and DVD-A) players. Is you player capable of these formats?

    If so, assuming you do not have one of the newer player/receiver combos with a firewire or DenonLINK connection, you MUST use a 6 CH analog connection to hear full hi-rez MC sound.

  3. Greg_Hammond

    Greg_Hammond Agent

    Jan 31, 2005
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    Brian makes a great point. Some people prefer the Digital-to-Analog converters in their DVD/CD players to those in their receiver, and in that case -- an analog audio connection between the DVD/CD and your receiver might actually "sound better" than a digital connection of either type.

    As far as digital connnections go - coax can be more accurate than optical because you skip the electronic-optical and optical-electronic conversions that would normally occur on both ends of the fiber optic cable. For longer runs, I'd use optical because there are no noise or grounding issues involved - for short runs inside an audio rack, I prefer coaxial.

    Brian also makes a good point regarding SACD and DVD-A. If you have a newer disc player that supports these standards, chances are excellent that you MUST use 6-channel analog audio connections between your player and receiver. Most receivers have a Multi-channel analog input, and that's precisely what kind of application would make use of it.

  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Jun 24, 1999
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    For regular CDs, the 6ch analog outs will make no difference at all. If your player is capable of hires audio, there should be a noticable improvement however, but this is also very dependant on the disc in question as the quality varies from title to title.

    My SACD player has great DACs, but my receiver has something called ADDC that utilizes multiple DACs when listening in stereo, so I generally listen to CDs via digital coax.

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