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Topic: spdif vs 3.5mm output sounds very different (Read 413 times) previous topic - next topic
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spdif vs 3.5mm output sounds very different

I recently decided to upgrade my sound setup, so I got a pair of HSU-HB1 speakers as well as a Yamaha RX-V383 receiver (no subwoofer yet but hoping to do that when the budget allows). I'm kind of new to the higher end audio world so please correct me if I use incorrect terminology.

Anyway, I was experimenting listening to my music using the dac on the receiver via s/pdif connection vs my computer's sound card via 3.5mm output and noticed a huge difference in some of my music. For example, listening to this song, on the s/pdif connection the audio seems to randomly drop out or otherwise have issues with consistency in its dynamics - around the 2:20 - 2:50 area it is particularly obvious (the audio nearly completely disappears at 2:40 for me). This doesn't happen using my computer's 3.5mm output.

Is there any way to go about figuring out why this is? Is it more likely due to the receiver's dac, the computer's sound card, or something else? It's hard for me to tell if this is how the recording "should" sound or if there's something wrong with the s/pdif connection or the receiver's dac.

Thanks for any advice!

Re: spdif vs 3.5mm output sounds very different

Reply #1
Should have thought a little more before I posted I guess. I realized I can send the receiver a bluetooth signal to rule out whether the receiver's dac is causing this behaviour. When I played that clip via bluetooth, I didn't get the weird issues with dynamics, so I'm thinking there's probably something wrong at some point in the s/pdif pipeline (the cable, the receiver, or the computer).

Not really worth it for me to spend time to pinpoint exactly what is causing it, for now it's easiest for me to just avoid using s/pdif, although if anyone has similar experiences I'd be happy to hear about them.

Re: spdif vs 3.5mm output sounds very different

Reply #2
Easiest first step is to try a different S/PDIF cable.  What sound card, and can you describe in more detail the S/PDIF path?  What type of output on the sound card are you plugged into?

Re: spdif vs 3.5mm output sounds very different

Reply #3
I had a dropout problem with the SPDIF input on my Behringer speakers. The signal would drop out or auto mute at low levels. But this defect was only happening at the 44.1 sampling rate, and could be worked around. You try connecting another device with a SPDIF input in place of the receiver, and see if it has the same problem, or switch between electrical and optical cable if possible. At short distances, the cable is unlikely to cause problems. SPDIF works fine over audio cables.

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