downgrading from digital coax to composite, what kind of dif?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Tyler Cookson, Mar 20, 2004.

  1. Tyler Cookson

    Tyler Cookson Stunt Coordinator

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    Title explains it. With the new stereo reciever I am getting, it has no digital inputs at all which upsets me. What kind of difference will I see from downgrading from digital coax to composite (even if I do use excellent RCA's). I am using just some random sony dvd player I got for $100 from ccity, and running polk lsi9 speakers.
     
  2. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    If its just a stereo reciever, you wont need a digital coax, since its not going to be in digital 5.1...

    So if you're going from a 5.1 reciever to a stereo speaker, you're losing a whole 3.1 channels only getting stereo and a SUB output (rather than a dedicated .1 for LFE)
     
  3. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Tyler: using the analog RCA outputs ("composites") on your dvd player can't be a downgrade because the receiver has no digital-to-analog convertors (DACs) to begin with.

    Unless the player has really lousy DACs then it should sound fine. And anyway, even if the receiver did have built-in DACs that does NOT automatically guarantee they would be better than your player's DACs. Usually when I use my Technics SL-PG4 CD player I use its analog outputs into my Technics SA-DA8 receiver--I figure the engineers put more effort into the player's 44.1kHz/16bit DACs and especially, the analog output stages*, than the HT receiver's engineers did with the corresponding parts in the receiver.

    There is a widely held misconception that everything that is digital is better than anything analog, and that is just not true (don't take that personally Tyler!). So personally speaking, if someone gave me the choice between a CD-R containing 12 songs in 128kbps MP3 form or 12 44.1kHz/16bit PCM tracks ("normal" digital) recorded from vinyl from a $250 turntable/cartridge combination, I would immediately choose the vinyl-sourced option.

    FYI: if possible, when watching a movie with a 5.1 soundtrack, use the movie's 2.0, stereo or Dolby Surround audio option. If you don't, the player will have to do what is called a "downmixing" operation to the 5.1 mix and this can possibly result in some strangely located sound effects or mismatched volume levels in the final two channel mix when played through only two speakers (and possibly phase anomalies too, but that's beyond the scope of this post! [​IMG] ).

    * The analog output stage is the special very low power amplifier in the dvd player (or CD/cassette deck/MD deck/etc. player) that generates just enough power to send a signal through an interconnect to the receiver or preamp. It has to accurately amplify the extremely small signals from whatever the source is (DAC circuits; tape heads; FM tuner circuits, etc), so it is very important that it is designed correctly. This stage can also be "tuned" to give the component whatever sound the designer wishes--warmish, bright, punchy, etc.

    LJ
     
  4. Tyler Cookson

    Tyler Cookson Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow. That is exactly what I needed. I appreciate that so very much.
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    Wait a minute, your question makes absolutely no sense!?

    Composite is a video transmission method. Digital coax is a digital audio transmission method.


    But I see what you mean, and yes tyler is correct, using analog stereo connections will get you a downmixed stereo track which should sound wonderful as it is. If available on the disc, try to use the dedicated 2.0 track, though usually one is not present.

    You will not be getting DD/DTS 5.1 of course, but since you have a stereo-only setup, the analog stereo output is the only option you have.
     

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