Coaxial vs Toslink Optical on DSD Sr

Is there any difference in sound quality between the coaxial vs Toslink optical cable inputs on the DSD Sr?

I stream Deezer HiFi music from my Sonos Connect to my DSD Sr to my stereo system. I have been using the optical audio output on the Sonos Connect to my DSD Sr. I just found out that my old Sonos Connect is being obsoleted and replaced with the new Sonos Port which only has a coax output and no optical option. I will have to use a coaxial cable.

Is one method really better than the other or is it a wash?

Only that coax can carry electrical noise into the DAC. You could get a cheap coax to optical converter from eBay and continue to feed your DAC with noise-free data.

Is there any sound quality downside in using a coaxial to optical converter?

A drawback to me in using such a powered device is that I’ve run out of outlets on my surge suppressor to plug it in to.

Personally I think you’ll notice no difference to using your existing Sonos via optical. The majority of audiophiles will tell you that toslink is always the inferior option. But on the DS DAC it’s my favourite input.

I find that optical cables tend to sound brighter than coax, my guess being extra induced jitter. One well known hifi manufacturer thinks it pointless to convert to optical and back again. However, optical can provide a useful barrier to earthing problems.

Some useful and cheap converters can sound ok (e.g. I used to use CYP AU-D2s) but for real quality you need something like the Wyred4Sound Remedy reclocker - that’d convert your CD quality to 96/24 using a femto clock - however the W4S box is not cheap.


Why bother with Toslinks and converters and such. In my experience, coax sounds better anyway, with a good digital coax cable. I have the top of the line Audioquest quartz fiber Toslink cable and still was not as good as running cheaper Kimber D60 silver coax. And some devices cannot output more than 96khz through Toslink. You can get great sound from a coax interface, so if you don’t have Toslink, don’t worry about it.


Thanks for the replies!

One major thing to consider is the Toslink input on the DSD is sadly limited to 24/96. The Coax can do 24/192 and DSD64. I forgot about this until today when my new device only had a Toslink output. So a new device is on it’s way with a proper coax output and the required Wireworld 8 Coax Cable.


Not quite correct, the part used is only speced to 96k (and that’s also likely the case in the source device too.) But 192k works for most people when they use TOSLink cables a little better than those that come with a Blu-Ray player. Many of us use TOSLink that way.

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Kinda feeling lately that there are no absolutes as far as one type of cable over another. Too many variables. And this is leaving the connected equipment out of it.


I bought a Kanexpro HDMI Audio Extractor that takes an HDMI input from my Oppo 105 player and pulls whatever digital signal is available up to 24/192 and sends it out a Toslink output. I connected a very fine and expensive Toslink cable (can’t recall the brand, I have had it for a couple of years) to the DSD and got 24/96 when sending the Kanexpro a 24/192 signal.

The previous model of the Kanexpro offered both Toslink and Coax so I ordered one of them to solve the problem.

Please tell me how I can get more than 24/96 out of the Toslink input. Try another cable? That could take time. I gotta believe you know what the story is Ted. I mean, it is you. :slight_smile: But that was my experience just today…

I notice a very slightly narrower soundstage with Toslink when compared to Coax, as well as perhaps a little less cleanliness to the treble. It’s not a night and day difference, but its still audible.

Also, Toslink is unreliable above 24/96 resolution. At 24/192, at best it cuts-out a lot, and at worst, it doesn’t work at all.

A source can’t tell what’s possible via AES3, S/PDIF or TOSLink. I.e. if the DAC is saying 96k then the source decided to send 96k. Either that source is refusing to send 192k over TOSLink, perhaps there’s some configuration issue or you are getting burned by DRM (Digital Rights Management), but you aren’t getting burned by an inherent property of TOSLink.

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No, it can work very well. But that depends on a lot of variables, I have a cheap cable that doesn’t work at 176.4k or 192k. I have an entry level Audioquest TOSLink cable that does 176.6 but not 192k and all of my other TOSLink cables that I didn’t get with some component work completely reliably. That certainly isn’t the case with all sources, but it’s worth trying.

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Buy a Shunyata Sigma Coax cable and be prepared to be blown off the charts. Try one from Cable company’s lending library before you buy.

WWorld platinum is also a great coax.

It is and if not for the Sigma would have been my go to top recommendation for a coax.

The purpose of this box is to defeat DRM and allow the Oppo to send full bitrate over the digital output which it in fact does. It is not intended for pirate activity, just a means to allow you to use your gear how you wish to. There are many units of this type from inexpensive to very expensive.
With a very deep amount of respect for you, yes indeed, I think the DSD is where the line got drawn. The new device I ordered will allow me to use Coax. So I ordered a 8 series Wireworld coax cable with the new device. I’m just having fun here, no big deal.

There is no metadata about sample rate etc in AES3, TOSLink etc. (There is room for a few sample rates in the spec, but since it can’t be right for a lot of interesting PCM rates no one uses it.) So the DS only reports what it sees: it counts the number of samples seen in a second to report the sample rate and it looks for non-zero bits in the bottom of each sample to report the bits/sample. If the DS says 24/96, then that’s what’s being sent on the other side.
Further there’s no feedback or back channel from the DS to talk about what’s accepted, so the DS can’t tell the source to use, say, only 24/96.

No, your source made the decision to only send 96k for some reason.

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