RCA...toslink isn't even in the same ball park!
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I've read that toslink can be better, but the audio companies do not use top quality components for the signal receptacles on the back of each unit. It is cheaper to use sub-commercial grade receptacles. I use the RCA output on my DVD player for digital signals. Just curious, is DVD-A capable of being output as a digital signal? Or is it only SACD that has to be output as analog? My Sony S9000ES has to send the SACD signal out as analog.
Fatparrot is right...... RCA connection has much less noise and jitter.
btw: the reason to use an outboard processor is because the built in ones use the cheapest chips available on the market, assuming that anyone that uses them has a very simple system. Use them until you feel like spending more money.
In answer to both you and Argent, I believe that, at least at this point in time, you cannot output a 24/96 digital signal from a DVD-A disc played on a DVD-Audio player, and it is a software issue, not a hardware one. So an outboard DAC would help 16/44 redbook CD playback (if the unit plays CDs), but wouldn't help the higher resolution signal you're paying the extra money for with the DVD-A discs.
The TOSLINK vs. RCA has come up several times. I find it interesting that everyone seems to forget that the MSB Link DAC works *very* well with toslink (and yes, I have owned 2 MSB Link DACs in the past); in fact, many professional reviewers have been impressed. I talked to Stan Warren ( the "S" is PS Audio and the founder of Super Mods ?) to get his take. Apparently, the problem with toslink isn't in the cable but in the separation of the transmitter and receiver. He has a mod where the trasmitter is connected to a cable running from the transport. Thus, the receiver and transmitter are essentially connected together with virtually no distance separating them. I don't think he frequents these forums, but if he does, hopefully he will give his two cents.