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This may interest you(just a little fyi): http://www.audiopolitan.com/blog/spdif-does-coaxial-digital-cable-length-matter/ My own experience involved connecting my CAL Alpha and Sigma DACs, to a CAL Delta(some two decades back). The AES/EBUs were both Kimber Orchids, of .5M and 1.5M lengths. Loved the 1.5M and returned the(terrible, with either DAC) .5M length. More:https://www.lessloss.com/lessloss-digital-cable-p-195.html
Unlike rodman, I use a .5m Kimber Orchid from my Wadia 8 transport to a McIntosh MDA 1000 dac and it sounds fabulous. FWIW, I posed the question of cable length to Kimber. Their response was, it didn't matter. Well everyone hears what they hear I guess. I've done numerous digital cable comparisons ( coax. bnc, toslink), and in the end I like you prefer aes/ebu with the Orchid being the one Iike best. I'm good forever now.
@denman - I’m curious: Have you tried a 1.5M Orchid, in your setup? If not, how do you know it wouldn’t sound better? Because the person that answered the phone at Kimber, said so? I could have saved quite a bit(almost $500.00, then), had there not been a major, audible difference in sound quality. Glad you’re happy though(sincerely)! I love my Kimber Selects(1030/phono stage and 1130/CDP).
rodman- I have not tried a 1.5m Orchid because I couldn't afford one. As you know they are pricey no matter what the length. I bought mine used, also they don't come up for sale often. I contacted Kimber after my purchase only because I'd read articles pertaining to possible refection issues related to cable length and wanted to get their input regarding the situation. Honestly since mine sounds so good, I doubt I would have looked for a longer one had they recommended it. If you believe that there's a specific cable length thats works best, then I submit the mfg. should only offer it in that length. The fact Kimber doesn't indicates to me what they said is true. I believe another possible reason my .5m works so well is the quality of the transport ( Wadia) and its signal transmitting ability. Anyway, it's a moot point as we're both happy with the sound we have with the cables used and thats what really matters.
I don’t think you stand to gain any improvement through a BNC cable vs. AES/EBU. Both AES and S/PDIF outputs on your N10 are governed by oven-controlled crystal oscillator (OCXO) clock, which determines the intervals at which information is sent to the DAC. The N10’s clock solves the problem of jittery S/PDIF outputs, which can cause a phasey effect that blurs the soundstage and results in a less precise image.
You already said, AES output sound better over USB, which means OCXO clock in your N10 is better than the master clock in your DAC.
Just continue to enjoy your great setup.
Although @lalitk's comments are wholly reasonable, the variability of quality of digital inputs is going to be DAC by DAC. Having established the N10 AES sounds better (as the master clock) than the Simaudio USB isn't the same thing as saying that AES > BNC.
IME, I've always found (correct impedance coaxial cable and correct 75ohm impedance connectors) BNC to be superior to RCA SPDIF, though I don't think that's very controversial anymore.
It wouldn't be too expensive to get or DIY a decent BNC cable and compare them, you never know - you might get a few more degrees like you did AES > USB.