Why is there a big difference in my Analog & Digital Connection???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Salvador, Mar 9, 2002.

  1. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

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    First of all here is my equipment:

    Paradigm Studio 20's

    Denon 3802

    Soundblaster Audigy Platinum

    Monster cable Analog = minijack to rca

    Moster cable digital optical cable ($30)

    A month ago i was having serious buyers remorse because my studio 20's bass sounded anemic. Fiddling around with the equalizer settings only made it boomy and bright. I then discovered that when I switched from digital to analog connection the bass all of a sudden was present. i did notice though that some clarity was lost and the sound became softer or lost some of its snap. Needless to say, i want the clarity that the optical connection has along with the bass that the analog connection brings.

    Another funny thing is that when i do the spdif passthru when watching DVD movies using PowerDVD XP it sounds excellent. All the bass and clarit is there but when i use the analog connection in the same situation, the bass becomes overpowering and speech becomes less inteligible.

    Does anyone have a similar setup like mine who could help??? I'm really confused here. I just want to enjoy music and not worry about my system not reaching its full potential.
     
  2. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

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    ok wait, i just found out that my analog connection was +12db on the bass and my optical connection had +0db of bass and +4db on treble. Changed both analog and digital stereo to +12db and +4db and they sound virutally identical. I tried pure direct mode and I just plain don't like it. No life at all. So now it makes me wonder what all those direct mode loyalists are talking about. But then again i've never heard anyone say in this forum that they run their settings +12db for bass. So i guess this solves my problem, the sound is definately exceptional but not mind-boggling as was my expectation before. Maybe i'm asking too much from my bookshelves but they don't bottom out just as long as i don't push them over 100db on my spl meter.
     
  3. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Salvador, you might want to consider trying a good digital coax. Even one with silver in the recipe. You might be amazed at what it does for your digital reproductions.

    Lex
     
  4. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

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    doug, did you ever go from a non-silver to a silver digital wire config??? As a university student, i only have so much disposable capital and i understand that silver wires don't come cheap. If it does provide a dramatic improvement i will go for it but i strongly suspect that this change would only be lateral at best. I can hardly tell the difference from my analog connection to the digital one now that i have them properly configured. I might kill the cat inside of me this summer because i found a dealer that actually has no problems with home auditioning his wires so i'll get a pair of outrageously expensive wires and compare them with what i have now.
     
  5. MarcVH

    MarcVH Second Unit

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    Did I miss something, or did you say you're running Studio/20s as your only speakers? While they're great speakers (particularly for the size/price) I would think that adding a sub would provide much more bang-per-buck (literally) than diddling with cables.
     
  6. Sihan Goi

    Sihan Goi Second Unit

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    Direct mode, or analog bypass, when done right, can be good. I've experienced the so called "Direct" mode on the 3801 and it wasn't particularly impressive, but then again this is a mid-range receiver so you can't really expect much out of it. When you're using a digital connection, you're using your receiver's DACs, but when you're using an analog connection, you're using your soundcard's DAC. While the Audigy has 24/96 DACs, they're made by Philips, while your 3802's DACs are by Analog Devices I believe. If I'm not wrong, the 3802's DACs should be quite a bit better than your Audigy. Besides, all the noise in your computer probably doesn't do much good for analog signals, so I'd suggest keeping it digital for as long as possible.
     
  7. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

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    Marc, i'm in the process of saving up for an SVS. But yeah i only have the studio 20's at the moment. The bass coming out from these speakers isn't bad at all. My room being small probably helps in the bass department. I can pretty much live with it.

    Sihan, right now i switched to stereo mode with bass at +12db and treble at +4db. Switching back to analog and digital with identical settings, i couldn't tell the difference.
     
  8. Tan_N

    Tan_N Stunt Coordinator

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    Hypo-Pathetically speaking.. both a digital coax and fiber optic cable sends the same signal so they should sound the same.. but what I have noticed is that this is not always the case... A true fiber optic cable is made with glass. a 6 feet cable should be able to bend a few inches. The fiber optic cable you buy can be wrapped arround your fingers because it is made from plastic or silicon. A another reason for the difference in sound could be that it takes 2 different decoders to process the signal. the light from the fiber optic has to be converted to electric signals in the receiver and vice versa in the DVDCD player. Digital coax has been around for a while and that technology has been refined in most systems. The fiber optic option is usually an option that is thrown into a system without much thought. The sound that comes from the 2 imputs are totally different!! you should plug them both in and switch back and forth and determine which sound you like better.
     
  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Salvador, at your budget you shouldn't even think about silver cables, much less silver digital coaxial cables. [​IMG]
    Your system will always sound better through the digital connection because the digital to analog conversion in your sound card is not nearly as good as that in the receiver.
     

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