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View Full Version : SB3 Digital only mods - Is it worth the money



nicoleif
2008-04-06, 02:39
I am considering the Dig only Mod from Boldercables.com (price 250$) to work with my newly purchased regulated PSU (a cheap one - 30$). BUT the little feedback I have been able to find leaves me uncertain of the benefit?! Has anyone tried this mod on their SB3?

Rodney_Gold
2008-04-06, 06:22
Whats wrong with the digital output right now that you need to spend a further $250 to "fix"?

nicoleif
2008-04-06, 07:54
Whats wrong with the digital output right now that you need to spend a further $250 to "fix"?

If there is a way of getting notebly better sound using the dig output, then it is worth a try!

SuperQ
2008-04-06, 11:01
Yes, but the key word you're using is "notably". AFAIK none of the mods have stood up to the blind test. That means that no improvements have been shown to do much, besides cost more, and make you feel better about spending money.

Personally, if I had $250 to burn, I would buy some new CDs. :-)

jsharper
2008-04-06, 11:41
Can someone help me understand the concept of tweaking/modding/improving the digital interfacing of audio gear? Doesn't the PCM audio data either get from the source to the DAC/receiver 100% intact or it doesn't? And if it doesn't, isn't that a flaw in one of the devices or the transport cable? Is the SP/DIF architecture so fragile that there are often bit errors in the received data?

If my ethernet network started corrupting data, I wouldn't start modding the magnetics of my ethernet cards and switches to improve the analog signal on the wire; I'd send it back to be replaced under warranty or throw it out and replace it with working gear.

Apparently I am missing something.

mikeselectricstuff
2008-04-06, 12:08
Can someone help me understand the concept of tweaking/modding/improving the digital interfacing of audio gear? Doesn't the PCM audio data either get from the source to the DAC/receiver 100% intact or it doesn't? And if it doesn't, isn't that a flaw in one of the devices or the transport cable? Is the SP/DIF architecture so fragile that there are often bit errors in the received data?

If my ethernet network started corrupting data, I wouldn't start modding the magnetics of my ethernet cards and switches to improve the analog signal on the wire; I'd send it back to be replaced under warranty or throw it out and replace it with working gear.

Apparently I am missing something.

Yes - the data is either right or not. Unlike ethernet, as far as I recall, SP/DIF does not have any error detection/corrrection built in, however at the data rates and distances used, it shouldn't need it.
There is however an additional issue of jitter, i.e. slight differences in the time at when each bit arrives. A decent receive-end will have its own timebase to resynchronise the data, making it immune to normal jitter levels. If tweaking the digital output makes an audible difference, this is due to inadequacies at the receiving (DAC) end, and any efforts in improvement should be spent there.

bhaagensen
2008-04-06, 12:08
Can someone help me understand the concept of tweaking/modding/improving the digital interfacing of audio gear? Doesn't the PCM audio data either get from the source to the DAC/receiver 100% intact or it doesn't? And if it doesn't, isn't that a flaw in one of the devices or the transport cable? Is the SP/DIF architecture so fragile that there are often bit errors in the received data?

If my ethernet network started corrupting data, I wouldn't start modding the magnetics of my ethernet cards and switches to improve the analog signal on the wire; I'd send it back to be replaced under warranty or throw it out and replace it with working gear.

Apparently I am missing something.

The only technical explanation for it that I know of has to to with the j-word. Jitter. So its not about getting the same bits in and out, its about the timing.


EDIT: I was too late.