AES/EBU vs HDMI Digital Outputs


It’s important to note that “expectation bias” works both ways, is a two-edged sword.

I too was educated about science the way that Elk was, and I too have found that the biggest revelation of my adult life is the discovery that I am less and less certain of the scope of my knowledge and also more open to new information about things that deeply interest me.


I have pointed out to dogmatic types that expectation bias dictates one will not hear what you do not want to hear. Unsurprisingly, this falls on deaf ears. :slight_smile:


I remember being very confused at school when we were presented with many models of, say, a transistor. It seemed strange that we had to first figure out which model to use. But the idea that you need to pick a model that’s appropriate for the specific thing you are investigating and that a wrong model choice could give erroneous results or worse misleading results was one of the more important things I learned in school.

The DS and most other interesting hardware wouldn’t work at all if we only paid attention to capacitance for capacitors, inductance for inductors, resistance for resistors, etc. We need to choose a model of each capacitor that includes other relevant items, e.g. it’s voltage rating, at least it’s parasitic inductance and series resistance and often it’s parallel resistance and (more often for electrolytic caps) multiple sets of these in parallel. I’m glad I mostly only need to pay attention to frequency, average amperage, expected changes in current for each trace in the circuit board (and the same for each of the traces that that get close to a given trace) in order to properly route it. Wire isn’t just wire - but it’s not magic or rocket science either.

People of good intent that think that LCR is all you need to know about cables will of course think we’re all nuts. But LCR isn’t all that matters with any component let alone cables and I’m not at all convinced that most of the anti cable (etc.) people that show up have good intent.


Just to add something that may be of interest to the original poster, I ordered an AES/EBU cable be made for me by my favorite cable builder, ArcticCables using the Van Den Hul 110 cabling and it has shipped to me. Soon I’ll be able to compare Redbook playback to the DSD from AES/EBU and HDMI using this cable and the HDMI HDMI AC-12 . . . . Should be interesting. I’ll get it in, burn it in a bit and then report back.


Thanks, Ted

I was surprised when I learned there were difference models for the same physical component. It seems so very strange.

I believe some anti-cable have good intent They have not heard any difference and the explanations they receive appear to them to be be magical thinking. Others are actively trolling. Most of those we see here are trolls.


Handled with class Ted.

He may even have had a word with himself at one point, who knows.
Hope so.


Just wanted to add that I got the Van Den Hul AES/EBU cable in and though I believe it is still settling in I like the sound. A slightly softer edge to the sound than the PS Audio HDMI cable I am using (and will still use for SACD). Subtle difference. I think at the moment I may just prefer this for Redbook playback to the DSD. We’ll see as it seasons. Anyway, now all the inputs of the DSD are in use except the second HDMI.


Are you connecting one at a time or leaving them all connected? Each can transmit gunk that affects the others, save optical.


I have them all connected. I hear zero difference in having them all connected or only one connected at a time.


I read what Ted had to say about this…I only have one connection, and it’s AES-EBU. I’m using a Shunyata Research Sigma cable. Nice.


As far as noise form other inputs goes as an absolute no other connected would be best. In reality having everything connected is not audible. If you don’t hear it than it doesn’t matter.


Trust me, I am not going to disconnect and connect each source. As you say it doesn’t matter, I hear no detriment, and I’ve been conquering my obsessive compulsiveness.


What fun is that??


I know that was meant in jest. . . but to be honest for me it’s more fun when that is in check than when it is in charge. (I don’t have that in a clinical sense, but I can be that way about some of my “passions”).

I’ve had the cable “in use” about 60 hours or more now and I think it’s settling in nicely if not all that it can be.

I’m enjoying it. As Ted aimed and has declaimed there really aren’t that many differences between the different inputs, but the HDMI/I2S does have an advantage, a whiff of what smells to me like “extra resolution” though it’s not. With SACD I love the HDMI cable I’m using, with Redbook this AES/EBU has just a hint of a softer edge to the sound that I am liking for this format. Enjoying the sound at the moment.