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What's the definitive story on Toslink 24/192?


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It doesn't have "sound" as it is just sending bit-perfect data out over Toslink. And it is good at precisely that as you can see from my earlier messages.

 

 

 

I am both software and hardware designer, as you can see from my DSC1 DAC design etc. I've been designing building ADCs and DACs for 20+ years now.

 

My background is in passive sonar systems and industrial measurement systems. (plus of course DIY audio for myself since 80's)

 

 

I am also a measurement, control and acoustics person and a professional engineer with previous access to some

of the most sophisticated measurement systems.

 

It pains to see posters with knowledge talk about the merits of mid-fi systems as a means of developing audio

software along the bits are bits line.

 

This contradicts my 40 years of interest in audio and exposure to many high end digital systems for which power

supply, clock performance and transmission protocol including impedance matching and cabling matter as much

as software.

 

Our difference in opinion perhaps reflects the reason (not known till now in certain cases) as to why I have never

been attracted to testing and buying some audio software suites.

 

I am currently playing a system in which, just powering the music ssd with a superregultor changes the sound from

good to very good, using usb into the W4S2DSD.

fmak

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I am also a measurement, control and acoustics person and a professional engineer with previous access to some

of the most sophisticated measurement systems.

 

So why don't you measure and fix your systems so that they are less sensitive to data transmission details?

 

It pains to see posters with knowledge talk about the merits of mid-fi systems as a means of developing audio

software along the bits are bits line.

 

If Mytek, Fostex, exaSound, TEAC, Resonessence Labs, etc. are "mid-fi", I'm completely fine with that. Because my software is designed to improve sound of these kind, and even more inexpensive DACs like the iFi iDSD Nano and Schiit Loki. Trying to improve sound of iDSD Nano by developing on dCS Debussy which doesn't even support DSD256 would be moot.

 

I know some people use my software on expensive DACs like Playback Designs, dCS and MSB, but I don't have such hardware and I'm not going to buy it for testing. I do objective evaluation of technical performance of my software using digital domain analysis up to 200+ dB dynamic range to ensure that it is good enough even for a DAC cooled down to space temperatures.

 

I have not seen a proof that some more expensive equipment would be technically superior, other than having fancier case work. And usually those don't have support for things I need, like 8-channel output at DSD256 like the exaSound has.

 

This contradicts my 40 years of interest in audio and exposure to many high end digital systems for which power

supply, clock performance and transmission protocol including impedance matching and cabling matter as much

as software.

 

I didn't say it doesn't matter. Do you have some substantial objective evidence that anything in my system wouldn't be technically good? Price tag, IOW "high-end", doesn't mean anything in that regard.

 

I am currently playing a system in which, just powering the music ssd with a superregultor changes the sound from

good to very good, using usb into the W4S2DSD.

 

Go fix the W4S2DSD so that it is not sensitive to such things. That just emphasizes that there is some horrible design flaw somewhere.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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So why don't you measure and fix your systems so that they are less sensitive to data transmission details?

 

 

 

If Mytek, Fostex, exaSound, TEAC, Resonessence Labs, etc. are "mid-fi", I'm completely fine with that. Because my software is designed to improve sound of these kind, and even more inexpensive DACs like the iFi iDSD Nano and Schiit Loki. Trying to improve sound of iDSD Nano by developing on dCS Debussy which doesn't even support DSD256 would be moot.

 

I know some people use my software on expensive DACs like Playback Designs, dCS and MSB, but I don't have such hardware and I'm not going to buy it for testing. I do objective evaluation of technical performance of my software using digital domain analysis up to 200+ dB dynamic range to ensure that it is good enough even for a DAC cooled down to space temperatures.

 

I have not seen a proof that some more expensive equipment would be technically superior, other than having fancier case work. And usually those don't have support for things I need, like 8-channel output at DSD256 like the exaSound has.

 

 

 

I didn't say it doesn't matter. Do you have some substantial objective evidence that anything in my system wouldn't be technically good? Price tag, IOW "high-end", doesn't mean anything in that regard.

 

 

 

Go fix the W4S2DSD so that it is not sensitive to such things. That just emphasizes that there is some horrible design flaw somewhere.

 

This post guarantees that I shall not in future respond to any post that you make.

 

What you have said and suggested are nonsensical.

fmak

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I am not therefore interested in a continuing conversation.

 

This post guarantees that I shall not in future respond to any post that you make.

 

Thank you!

But ... you will be back again .... and again ... and again.

 

 

@Miska:

Don't feed trolls ;-)

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If your devices cannot do 192k with Toslink, they obviously have substandard Toslink implementation. Pretty simple.
I'm not sure I'd say that it is substandard, since the standard was, I believe, only intended to support up to 24/96.

 

I will say that I hadn't noticed that my Benchmark DAC was limited to 24/96 over optical though, since I don't have anything which will transmit 24/192 over an optical connection.

 

I did have one of those Xonar cards here recently, though I did not try to use 24/192, and replaced it with a Creative card due to ASUS' terrible drivers on Windows.

I think the Creative card is limited to 24/96 over its Toslink output. Most of my other optical sources are only 16/44 or 16/48.

 

I agree with everything else you have said though.

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Very interesting thread since here we're started talking about optical toslink! It was always said - don't use toslink because of jitter, use USB instead ;-) I am using optical for years and think that at first you have galvanic isolation by default, so hard to achieve on USB properly without sonic degradation. Second on short runs I don't think you will ever hear any jitter. Those two things are superior to USB technically IMHO. Third, optical is in hardware, since USB in software. I am not trying to say which one is better, just stick to the technical facts.

--

Krzysztof Maj

http://mkrzych.wordpress.com/

"Music is the highest form of art. It is also the most noble. It is human emotion, captured, crystallised, encased… and then passed on to others." - By Ken Ishiwata

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I'm not sure I'd say that it is substandard, since the standard was, I believe, only intended to support up to 24/96.

 

Originally it was just up to 48 kHz sampling rate. Now it's up to 125 Mbps, which is good to 768 kHz.

TOSLINK - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

But I have not been following actively when things have been changing. 96k data rates were needed for the 5.1 DD and DTS support at DVD-times.

 

Same hardware is used for ADAT Lightpipe in pro-environments, which is probably main driver behind higher data rates beyond 25 Mbps. But MADI is taking over it as optical studio connection.

 

Regarding connectors, the newer mini-Toslink connector (3.5 mm plug) has very precise fit and thus can be more accurate than the older square connector.

 

I will say that I hadn't noticed that my Benchmark DAC was limited to 24/96 over optical though

 

Is it really limited there, or just by the specs? Of course it could be using one of those 16 Mbps modules.

 

I did have one of those Xonar cards here recently, though I did not try to use 24/192, and replaced it with a Creative card due to ASUS' terrible drivers on Windows.

 

I have never even tried it on Windows, but I've heard from many sources that the Windows drivers are not very good. On Linux it works very well and exposes quite a bit of functionality such as switching the digital filters if you'd like to play with the DAC. (no need to install any drivers on Linux, driver is included in the mainline kernel)

 

I think the Creative card is limited to 24/96 over its Toslink output. Most of my other optical sources are only 16/44 or 16/48.

 

Many Creative cards are limited to 96 kHz, because their DSP processor internally seems to be only 96 kHz capable.

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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Is there a significant cost reason why manufacturers aren't pitching a next generation, faster Toslink? In telecom, optical is standard for Gigabit or faster speed

connections. Metal conductors aren't used because of signal loss/degradation at high speeds.

There's probably little demand for it because Toslink is already sufficient for most audio applications.

We're more likely to see this with video, where HDMI is really being pushed to its limits now.

 

I'm surprised/disappointed to see that Thunderbolt has not made any progress since its initial release now. Thunderbolt 3 is supposed to double the bandwidth at the end of 2015, but I'm not sure how they achieve this (Thunderbolt 2 used channel aggregation to go from "10Gbit/s" to "20Gbit/s") and I bet it's still using copper instead of the original 100Gbit/s optical cable.

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^ but bits are bits.

 

We are way of track gents. I was wondering why Benchmark couldn't source a suitable 24/192 connector that's all.

 

Got me thinking.

 

If Benchmark don't want to do it, what's really going on??

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^ but bits are bits.

 

Yes, bits are bits. And hi-fi DACs are devices which attempt to turn those bits into an accurate analog representation with mind-boggling accuracy in terms of microvolts and perhaps even nanoseconds. As such, they tend to be vulnerable to "noise" (volts) and "jitter" (timing variations) resulting from their connection to the transport which is feeding them their data. Toslink clearly doesn't have electrical noise problems, but it can be pretty challenging in terms of jitter.

 

If you ever want to hear what jitter sounds like, compare a cheap toslink source into a typical DAC - especially from about 3-5 years ago, with the Wolfson 8804/5 or CS logic SPDIF receivers - with a really high quality coax source into the same DAC. Send the same bits. They won't have the same "quality" at the output.

 

More sophisticated DAC designs are starting to overcome this problem, to the point where my preferred input on my new DAC is in fact the Toslink one.

 

We are way of track gents. I was wondering why Benchmark couldn't source a suitable 24/192 connector that's all.

 

Got me thinking.

 

If Benchmark don't want to do it, what's really going on??

 

That's a great question. My first reaction: HDMI, USB and network streaming.

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I was wondering why Benchmark couldn't source a suitable 24/192 connector that's all.

 

I don't see how they could not source a 24/192 connector (receiver - transmitter?). The SOtM has a high speed Optical out is at 12.8 Mbps (NRZ) and newer gear uses 25 Mbps (NRZ) Optical outs and ins which would be even faster. I can buy a 25 Mbps NRZ receiver and transmitter for around a quarter. Maybe it's a certain speed that matches their circuitry is not available. For instance, I couldn't find any 12.8 Mbps connectors because the speed has gone up to 16 Mbps and 25 Mbps.

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My other thought is maybe since Toslink doesn't make them anymore there are issues with the Chinese replacements. The quality of the optical connecter I had in a new Chinese Spdif convertor looked horrible though I had no issues with it. Just speculation on my part.

Dahlquist DQ-10 Speakers DQ-LP1 crossover 2 DW-1 Subs

Dynaco Mk III Mains - Rotel 991 Subs

Wyred W4S Pre Gustard X10 DAC

SOtM dx-USB-HD reclocked SOtMmBPS-d2s

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I can live with differing opinions on Toslink vs coaxial vs USB etc - but I cant live with someone telling me that my 'mid-fi' gear isnt worth bothering with. I dont know if there is an answer to the elitism in this hobby, but could someone please set up a forum (the 'gon ?) dedicated purely to wankers convinced that it should be all about how much you spent ? The wanker in question makes his presence felt across several forums, so I guess there's no escaping him - perhaps I need to take a week's holiday and contemplate my navel.

Just one more headphone and I know I can kick this nasty little habit !

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I can live with differing opinions on Toslink vs coaxial vs USB etc - but I cant live with someone telling me that my 'mid-fi' gear isnt worth bothering with. I dont know if there is an answer to the elitism in this hobby, but could someone please set up a forum (the 'gon ?) dedicated purely to wankers convinced that it should be all about how much you spent ? The wanker in question makes his presence felt across several forums, so I guess there's no escaping him - perhaps I need to take a week's holiday and contemplate my navel.

 

The elitism is tiring isn't it. A favorite of mine is "your gear/kit is not resolving enough".

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The elitism is tiring isn't it. A favorite of mine is "your gear/kit is not resolving enough".

 

I can even live with that, but the 'mid-fi' putdown is worse than that - it's basically saying that those of us who haven't spent 'X' dolllars would have been better off with a K-Mart 'stereo' and a subscription to TAS. Arthur Salvatore would be proud.

Just one more headphone and I know I can kick this nasty little habit !

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I would also argue that you can hear most problems on most systems if you know what to listen for.

 

As Miska said, many of the problems that people claim require a system that is "resolving enough" actually mean that the system has a problem which is making something that should be inaudible, audible.

But because they spent a lot of money and now have this problem which their cheap system did not, they assume it means the system is now extremely resolving and sensitive to things like different digital cables.

 

An example of that might be where USB peripherals connected to a PC are creating an audible noise over your speakers.

I've seen it happen before, and even used a system where there was a subtle high-pitched noise every time the mouse was moved.

That does not mean your system is amazingly resolving, it means that you have a problem with your system which needs to be fixed. (most likely related to grounding/isolation)

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There are too many manufacturers to list. But I've been using modules from Sharp.

 

GP1FAV53RK0F | Plastic Optical Fiber | Sharp Microelectronics Europe

GP1FAV55TK0F | Plastic Optical Fiber | Sharp Microelectronics Europe

GP1FM55HTZ0F | Plastic Optical Fiber | Sharp Microelectronics Europe

 

Toslink was originally designed by Toshiba, but when it became generic standard as optical audio connector the modules are now manufactured probably by at least ten different companies. And the most common connector these days, the "mini toslink" which is combination of 3.5 mm electrical audio plug/jack and optical connector has nothing to do with Toshiba. These are used on Mac's and for example on the Xonar DX sound card (combined mic input / optical output).

 

So these days, there's no relation between "Toslink" and Toshiba. :)

 

Those Sharp modules appear to be unavailable for sale in the USA. Is there some kind of intellectual property problem with Toslink clones over there? Can you point to any other options?

 

Also since I'm posting can I ask whether the TORX1701(F) would work as a general purpose consumer audio receiver, or is its "minimum" 20Mbps signal rate an actual minimum below which it won't work?

 

Thanks!

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  • 2 years later...

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