Analogue or Digital interconnects?


J Stevens

I have just upgraded my amp to a model that has d/d and dts decoders onboard, have connected the dvd and amp by a digital lead, previously I had the dvd connected to the amp by phonos as the amp only had the 6ch inputs and no decoders, but the dvd player did. The sound I am experiencing now is dreadful, what has happened?

I have read lots about digital leads, Optical and coaxial, which is best, and a few posts about jitter and dacs etc. So are analogue connections better than digital ones? I understand that dac stands for "Digital to Analogue Converter" but when connected by phonos are the dacs not used? If not, then I can understand why the analogue sounds better, a direct signal with no conversion necessary and that's why the sound reproduced from equipment using digital leads and dacs sound infearior.

What about jitter, have read that jitter can be present in the amp, dvd player and digital leads, coaxial being the worse offender, Is jitter only a problem when some sort of conversion is going on? So by connecting by phonos does this cancel out the possibility of having jitter present in the sound side of things?

I will be connecting my equipment back by phonos, I thought that digital was the way to go, but having listened to what it has done to my relatively modest system no thanks.


You're still using DACs whichever way you do it - the old way used the DACs in the DVD player, while the new way uses those in the amp. Without knowing the makes and models, I don't think anyone could even take a guess at which unit has the better DACs. The difference in any case isn't usually night and day!
Also, without knowing what the old and new amps are, it's hard to say what the problem might be.

What exactly is wrong with the sound compared to previously, to make you describe it as dreadful?

A couple of things you might check are:

Is the DVD player setup to output bitstream on the digital port?

Is the amp setup properly - ie subwoofer YES/NO, speakers LARGE/SMALL etc etc?.

J Stevens

The old amp was Yamaha 595 and the new one a Yamaha 630.

Have set speakers to small and LF to sub.

DVD set to bitstream.

Everything is set the same except when using the onboard decoders on the amp connected by a digital lead it sounds lifeless and clinical compared to using the onboard decoders on the dvd connected by phonos.

Doesn't SACD just use phonos as it sounds better?

Have connected the phonos back and re-set dvd to use onboard decoders again, and have decent sound back again. I would say 10% - 15% better using phonos. I can only put it down to the digital lead, don't think digital it's as good as it's made out to be myself.


I can see where your coming from mate, because I think a good analogue picture is heaps better than a digital one.

I also think Vinyl is better than CD. :D

These 0's and 1's have a lot to answer for. ;)


what is the dvd player?

It sounds like the dacs in the amp are being a nuisance.....cant think qyuite why.



Originally posted by J Stevens

Doesn't SACD just use phonos as it sounds better?

SACD uses phonos because there is no digital standard as yet, so you need to rely on the decoder in your player.

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