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View Full Version : Any reason why a SB3 playing FLAC out Toslink would sound different than a CD player?



DrewSB
2009-06-12, 15:57
Let's say you have a SB3 connected via Toslink to a receiver and are playing FLAC files ripped from a CD. Is there any reason this would not sound identical to the same CD being played through a decent CD player's Toslink output?
Both players should be sending identical bits to the receiver, or am I missing something?

Mnyb
2009-06-12, 20:48
Let's say you have a SB3 connected via Toslink to a receiver and are playing FLAC files ripped from a CD. Is there any reason this would not sound identical to the same CD being played through a decent CD player's Toslink output?
Both players should be sending identical bits to the receiver, or am I missing something?

No thats how it's works, it might even be better than a CD player a good ripping software outperforms any cd player, google EAC dBpoweramp accurate rip cd-paranoia and other variants. Nowadays you can get bit perfect rips without any problems.

However if you use Replay gain tags it's going to come out at different
levels so to get bit perfect output. Volume adjustment smartgain and similar functions should be off and the squeezebox should be set at 100% volume.

Don't use software that do volume "normalization" that alters the signal
the Replaygain system is only tag information, so it can be turned off by the player.
(iTunes use a similar system called soundcheck ? I think)

The squeezebox digital output works with 24bit so it pads up 16 bit words, the volume control also works in the 24 bit domain so in most cases a reasonable volume adjustment would not damage sound quality in practical use.

How ever bit perfect has it uses and can easily be achieved if you want it.

Nonreality
2009-06-13, 00:35
Volume level on your inputs are also one of the things that fool people all the time. Even audiophiles get fooled into thinking on source is better than another and then find out that the input level was louder on it. I know from personal experience, not that I'm an audiophile or anything. It had me going until I discovered it.

Robin Bowes
2009-06-13, 07:52
DrewSB wrote:
> Let's say you have a SB3 connected via Toslink to a receiver and are
> playing FLAC files ripped from a CD. Is there any reason this would not
> sound identical to the same CD being played through a decent CD player's
> Toslink output?
> Both players should be sending identical bits to the receiver, or am I
> missing something?

Yes, you're missing something.

The signal is transmitted over an analogue medium and the signal timing
information is embedded in the bitstream and must be decoded by the
receiver.

If the timing information can not be re-created accurately it can cause
differences in sound between different digital sources, and even
different digital cables.

Try googling "jitter".

R.

JadeMonkee
2009-06-14, 17:48
Also Google for any test showing that jitter actually makes an audible difference. You probably won't find anything.
The posts above say it all; yes you can get a bit perfect copy from CD to DAC using a squeezebox and good ripping software to rip the CDs to flac.
No need for an expensive CD player at all.
The DACs on the Squeezebox Classics are probably the best you can get in that price range, and have had very favourable reviews.
If you want a player with a built-in high-end DAC, try the Transporter.
If you already have a DAC, then a squeezebox classic will do a better job than any CD player.

radish
2009-06-15, 06:29
If anyone wants to discuss the effects (or lack thereof) of jitter, you probably want to head over to the Audiophile forum :)