Paul Davis paul at linuxaudiosystems.com
Wed Aug 11 18:18:06 UTC 2010

On Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 2:08 PM, Bob van der Poel <bob at mellowood.ca> wrote:
> I finally got my s/pdif output on my motherboard working and find the
> audio audibly cleaner than previous attempts with various analogue
> solutions. My desktop speakers have a digital input, so any noise,
> etc. would be the fault of that, not the computer. ??
> What I'm wondering: Is digital out via the MB about as good as it
> gets? I'm thinking that I could get an expensive <insert name of card>
> pci card ... but why? Any signal (digital or analogue), no matter how
> clean, it puts out can't be better can it than the digital straight
> out of the MB?

digital is digital, so the actual data being delivered by S/PDIF or
ADAT or MADI or any other digital protocol/format will be identical.

but the key to the sound is the digital->analog conversion step and
then any degradation/noise/distortion that occurs in the analog domain
after that.

so, s/pdif gives you a pure path out of the machine, as pure as
anything else, but you could use better converters and/or a better
analog signal path and still see a difference. that is partly what
some (not all) of the out-of-the-box solutions offer.


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