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diy digital incon shootout.. A RESULT!

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by Gordon @ Convergent AV, Mar 29, 2003.

  1. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I'm at Elliots just now (yes its Gordon, Convergent AV posting from Elliots laptop).

    I have been here lending him a scaler till his HD-Leeza appears. I also brought down some digital incon to try against his own...Here are the results...

    We are currently rebuilding the DVD player after Having to completely strip it down and re-solder broken tracks on PCB...OOPS!:laugh:

    Gordon
    REAL RESULTS TO FOLLOW
     
  2. Matt Horne

    Matt Horne
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    This will be intersting...

    Just as a aside... finally tried out 2 of elliots cables for my LD setup and played through the DTS The Frighteners..

    Never have I had such a grin on my face.. the sound was amazing.. so clear detailed and forceful.. a wonderful improvement ove the old cables... not tried it with my dvd player yet.. I think I have a few LD's to replay first!

    Matt
     
  3. groundy

    groundy
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    Careful Gordon - Elliot might have one of those password storing programs - he'll be masquerading as Gordon F from now on :D.
     
  4. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    While I was down at Elliots I decided to bring down some diy digital incons to try. Elliot has Canare 75ohm RCA phono’s he fits to his digital leads and I have previously used a great solder plug I found, quite by accident, in a parts catalogue. This solder plug has proved to be the best sounding plug when used on analogue incons I’ve made up.

    I took down with me

    1x1m digital lead using these solder plugs and the cable Elliot and I use for digital incons.
    1 x 1m digital lead using these solder plugs and a FAR EAST copy of the cable Elliot and I use for digital incons.

    I had a further trick I was going to do to the lead to see if I could make it any better but didn’t have time and we wanted to find out a few things about these cables anyway. Namely, is the copy as good as the original and secondly are the crimp plugs better than well soldered ones.

    The reference digital incon was from a UK spcialist electronics manufacturer and is regarded as one of the best digital incons available.

    We started by playing the reference against the copycat cable. The copy cat cable was better. It was easer to follow the notes, bass was more delineated. Next we played the copycat against original cable. The original was better. We did this a couple of times to comfirm, going in both directions. Not as big as the fist difference but the original allowed us to hear the music more clearly. During this dem we had some problems. You see my solder plugs have a slightly oversize signal pin and Elliot was having real problems getting the thing in the socket. So much so that after our testing finished and the lead was removed it ripped the contact up off borad separating the PCB signal track and resulting in NO digital output..oops. Two attempts at completely dismantling the DVD3300 and we managed to do a solder job on underside of PCB to go from pin location to a suitable point on circuit.

    Lastly we compared the two originals, one soldered one crimped. This was a BIG difference. The crimp lead was MUCH better. I was very surprised. The detail in instruments and voices really came out. The changes in pitch of notes was much more delineated. It was better. DAMN! I now need to spend a few hundred quid on a crimp tool and some plugs.

    Equipment used was a DVD 3300 from Denon a Lexicon MC12 and some crappy Genelec active tat speakers that Elliot seems to think are quite good.
    :laugh:

    Gordon
     
  5. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    What are the solder phonos that you use Gordon?

    I was thinking of getting some of the Shark phonos from Maplin, but if these are better it will be worth giving them a go.
     
  6. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Yippy, another one for crimps. We'll get everyone there in the end.;)

    What still surprizes me is for so little money people can have a GREAT upgrade just by doing the basics correctly. Well done guys. :clap: :clap: :clap: Keep up the good work.
     
  7. X3ELS

    X3ELS
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    It was a real eye opener, just go's to prove that careful component matching is king.

    Bugger spending all that money on expensive interconnects, it really is totally unecessary.
     
  8. X3ELS

    X3ELS
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    A certain well known UK hi-fi / AV manufacturer visited the shop 2 days ago (April 1st). Who is also a manufacturer of digital interconnects (fairl expensive ones).

    I bet him a free lunch that i could play him a cable that i had made that would outperform theres, with ease. After 30 secs of one track on each cable I was on my way to Wetherspoons with my wallet left at the shop :clap: :clap: :clap:

    Said manufacturer wants one of these cables for analysis, no way was my reply!!!
     
  9. Branxx

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    Very interesting guys. It appears that different cables introduce jitter into digital stream.

    What would be even more useful if the digital stream is fed back into a digital recorded recorder (or an audio PC) and resulting captured files compared.

    Is the perceived improvement audible only on PCM streams, i.e. CD music or can you hear the same for AC3/DTS?
     
  10. X3ELS

    X3ELS
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    The difference is obvious on PCM streams, i have not sat down and compared with movies, however i am sure there would be noticable improvements here to.

    Matt Horne noticed a big difference from his LD player running DTS. Generally there seems to be a much tighter bass line on all music and seperation is greatly imroved.

    I was Mr Sceptic on these matters until Gordon showed me a mains lead and then i started fiddling with cables :) :)
     
  11. Branxx

    Branxx
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    I have a player that can simultaneously output SPDIF optical, coax and AES/EBU. Can anyone lend me (sell me) cable?
     
  12. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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  13. Jase

    Jase
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    Couple of Elliot´s cables have found their way to Spain so I´ll be testing them out this afternoon.:)
     
  14. X3ELS

    X3ELS
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    What were your findings Jase :)
     
  15. Jase

    Jase
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    Excellent!:smashin: Certainly better than my current Chord Prodac Silver Plus. The cable brings out more detail, things like background vocals are easier to pick out, treble seems better as well, less harsh.

    Also got one of Mark Grant´s digital cables and that´s also an improvement over the Chord in much the same way.

    Both are excellent cables and well worth auditioning.:)
     
  16. X3ELS

    X3ELS
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    Good stuff, glad your pleased with it :)

    The results seem to be pretty unanimous.
     
  17. PGL

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    Could anyone send me a price for a 0.5m Digital Interconnect for my CD to receiver (both Marantz, if it matters?)? Thought about doing it myself but having read the above, looks like crimping is the way to go - but I'm not buying a set for one cable......

    Cheers

    Paul

    :cool:
     
  18. MuFu

    MuFu
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    Hmm... anybody got any more comments with regard to this? I have observed very noticeable differences between different digital interconnects with linear PCM streams but never with AC3.

    I don't see any reason why there should be. Anybody?

    MuFu.
     
  19. Branxx

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    I hav tried X3ELS' 5m coax SPDIF vs my very ordinary 5m AES/EBU digital connection. I had slight inclination towards AES/EBU that may be due to volume on AES/EBU being slightly higher.

    If pressed I would say I cannot detect any obvious difference. This can also be due to very high precission clock used in RME Audio sound card. I played PCM and DTS streams.

    X3ELS's cable is well put together and is more riggid that the usual variety.
     

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