Multiple Coax and Optical Sources


#1

How do you guys deal with having multiple coax or optical sources given that the DAC only has one of each?


#2

Personally I use a Nirvis DXS (http://www.nirvis.com/dxs.htm) which is a cross point 16 coax/optical in x 8 coax/optical out switch with a configurable auto input select. They aren’t available now, but they are great. If you see one on the used market I recommend it (tho it only supports up to 24/96 over the coax.)

I also use my video switcher to switch the coax/optical that I watch to a single coax/optical output.

There are plenty of converters/switches out there. For example search “TOSLink switch” or “coax switch” at Amazon, …


#3

I have a four-input optical switcher with remote control from eBay, and a Harmony remote.


#4

Wouldn’t a switcher introduce more jitter? Have you compared sound quality with and without the switcher in place?


#5

A physical switch (or relays) isn’t likely to introduce any jitter if it’s reasonably well built. Analog switches don’t have to be a problem either.

A box that regenerates the signal may or may not have more jitter than the source.

But jitter isn’t likely to be much of a problem with the DS. The real issues are probably more related to ground loops and how they affect the rest of the system. The more things you tie together the more opportunity for ground loops.

As usual one needs to see for themselves whether a change affects one’s own system. I don’t have a problem here with the various S/PDIF routing I use.


#6
Ted Smith said

But jitter isn’t likely to be much of a problem with the DS. The real issues are probably more related to ground loops and how they affect the rest of the system. The more things you tie together the more opportunity for ground loops.

When you say jitter isn't a problem do you mean the DS is immune to the USB reclocking tweaks that are popular too or only with coaxial and optical inputs?

I do use a Wyred 4 Sound Recovery and find that it does make a difference with the DS.


#7
yacheah said
Ted Smith said But jitter isn't likely to be much of a problem with the DS. The real issues are probably more related to ground loops and how they affect the rest of the system. The more things you tie together the more opportunity for ground loops.

When you say jitter isn’t a problem do you mean the DS is immune to the USB reclocking tweaks that are popular too or only with coaxial and optical inputs?

I do use a Wyred 4 Sound Recovery and find that it does make a difference with the DS.


The question was about S/PDIF and TOSLink not USB. But in general the DS is relatively insensitive to jitter. When jitter is reasonably well handled then groundloops are still an issue and even a perfect DAC that is completely immune from jitter can’t compensate for all ground loop issues. I’m not saying that the DS is perfect, I’m just recommending that people could concentrate on minimizing groundloops (or at least their area) rather than worrying so much about jitter. In USB’s case in particular there are also issues with the VBUS line noise as well as potential groundloop issues and potential jitter issues (there are also other problems with USB, but they are even harder to describe.)

#8
Ted Smith said

The question was about S/PDIF and TOSLink not USB. But in general the DS is relatively insensitive to jitter. When jitter is reasonably well handled then groundloops are still an issue and even a perfect DAC that is completely immune from jitter can’t compensate for all ground loop issues. I’m not saying that the DS is perfect, I’m just recommending that people could concentrate on minimizing groundloops (or at least their area) rather than worrying so much about jitter. In USB’s case in particular there are also issues with the VBUS line noise as well as potential groundloop issues and potential jitter issues (there are also other problems with USB, but they are even harder to describe.)


I think the fixation with jitter has been ingrained by the audiophile press since the inception of digital. I guess as far as jargon goes, it sounds sexier than ground loop.

So you are saying that ground loop aside, I can get away with using a old CD transport (which incidentally I was thinking of replacing because the clocking technology may be obsolete or getting a Wyred 4 Sound Remedy Reclocker in between) with the DS, so long as it is linked via SPDIF or TOSLINK?


#9

There’s a big difference between jitter, electrical noise and RFI, but all of them can be transformed one into the other by many things in our systems.

Some have found that some (well respected) reclockers make things worse with the DS. If TOSLink has the bandwidth you need (i.e. you don’t play 176.4k or 192k much) then I’d use it. It’s always worth trying jitter reducers, digital isolators, etc. for yourself but there might be more cost effective improvements for your system.