Is digital contamination that big of a deal?

Is digital contamination from our servers, DAC's etc... that big of a deal as far as that alleged "digital contamination" being transferred from whatever digital component into our other gear?
no cell phone's much bigger deal.
it's not advised to carry it in the pants pocket. it may jeopardize genitalia performance quality. try to wear it on necklace or chest pocket if you have.
No..The air we breathe, the water we drink and the food contaimination is much bigger deal. Just enjoy what's coming at you.
Digital gear can generate a lot of RF noise that can have negative effects on other nearby gear. Its gotten much better in recent years but still something to be aware of. Really good sound is all about minimizing noise and distortion.
....... No
unplug your tv, dvd player, processor, computer etc and see if it helps...
Wow! Gon is sure getting surly! Thanks Mapman, I appreciate the mature response. And yes! you are correct - the more quite one's system gets the better it does sound. I discovered that by inserting one Stage 3 Kraken power cord to my pre amp. That was a big deal! soundstage depth, layer of instruments and more accurate timbre! That's why I'm wondering if I should run a "digital" PC to my digital gear or just a "regular" high quality PC? There are a few PC manufactures that make "digital" PC's but most don't, so I'm just wondering what people that have ACTAULLY LISTENED to the different types of PC's have experienced with digital cords vs. regular high quality PC's?
Nice consideration Keithmundy. That is something that I might benefit from also. A good digital PC.
"That's why I'm wondering if I should run a "digital" PC to my digital gear or just a "regular" high quality PC?"

It can make a difference. Using reasonably affordable Pangea ac14se power cords for noise control made a large noticeable difference with both of my DACs in both systems. With my tube pre-amp as well but perhaps to a lesser degree.
Almarg has commented on this subject before, but since I'm no EE, I'll try to explain why the digital signal should be kept separate from the analogue components.

As I understand it, some of the electrical noise generated by a digital component can be fed back into it's power cord, then thru the wiring of a power strip or any other device it is plugged into, eventually reaching the system. That is why some power strips or power conditioners have a digital only input; to isolate that signal. I assume that a digital PC is designed to capture and isolate any feedback of digital noise.

As I said, I've learned a lot from the experts on the forum, so feel free to add to my explanation. Whether or not the noise is audible is system and listener dependent.
Yes. IME, it's audibly a Very big deal. It's true that digital noise, for example, can certainly be transferred between components through the interconnecting wiring, but much of it is also radiated through the air and therefore physically from component to component. BTW, not only are digital sources particularly noisy, but they themselves are the most sonically susceptible to the very type of noise they radiate. But, YMMV?? The effects of such electrical noise (analog or digital) are system or listener dependent?? If I may say so, this is actually not Truly the case at all. In fact, I've come to realize from firsthand evidence that Everybody's system is Absolutely CHOKED with all manner of electrical noise. Let me put it this way: if, say, for any reason and under any circumstance, you make a change in your system in order to see if there is any audible improvement due to electrical noise reduction (you substitute a PC, try a filter or power conditioning device, move components around, or whatever) and no meaningfully audible change occurs, then it is for one (and Only one!) reason: the change you made was simply not effective enough to audibly reduce any noise, period. IOW, all of this is to say that, if you did all that, and you drew the conclusion that noise is simply not an issue, that would in truth be both drastically premature and entirely false, actually. Some products will work wonders to uncover this for you, while others little or not at all...and can even make things worse in a few cases...very much buyer beware. In fact even among audiophiles who think there may be some truth to electronic noise reduction, there's very little working knowledge of possible solutions and this is ripe for the scam artists to move in and claim whatever they want. Proceed there with all caution.

While we're at it, "dirty power" (or "contaminated") is actually is rather a misnomer. It makes us think that once power (AC or DC) has been "contaminated", then there is no way to restore it to a corrected condition without some form of filtration (as you would with drinking water). But, the fact is that electrical noise always dissipates over distance. It's like when a placid and slow-moving river with all its water moving at the same rate, regardless of depth, encounters a steeper ground gradient that's randomly lined with large rocks and boulders, creating rapids ("noise"), but then, at the end of that passage, resumes its flow as a steady, slow-moving river again. No "filtration" is needed in this case other than a sufficient distance from the rapids. If a sawmill is operating locally the AC will be contaminated, but beyond about a 5-mile radius things will have returned to what we'd call normal. The larger the current and the higher the voltage (and also the greater the noise), then the greater the distance required to return electron transfer states to normal. Lowrider is correct in that electronic noise is bi-directional - it moves upstream as well as down. Additionally, noise reduction, for example, has been loosely associated with dedicated system Romex lines from the circuit breaker box. Dedicated lines themselves actually cannot reduce any noise except by physically locating (by way of a longer connection to the box) the system from the rest of the noise in the home. But, my point in this paragraph is really that if you see a manufacturer specifically using the terminology of "dirty" or "contaminated" power and use them as if they were validated terms, that should be your first red flag. They have picked up these terms from audiophiles in forums who are still struggling with noise reduction concepts and are plainly out to use their ignorance against them.

Alright, so what causes the noise? Every circuit on earth vibrates, the exact frequency of which is dependent on a number of things. But, they do vibrate. Like that occasional AC, utility-pole transformer that you can hear humming from more than 50 yards away...or the hum you can feel on your preamp's transformer. Some circuits will seem to hum more than others and some will be vibrating on a level too weak for us to detect. In audio equipment the vibration compromises the performance of all the parts (resistors, caps, diodes - everything). IOW the noise is necessarily self generating. Not only is that true for all our components, but in fact every appliance or electronic device that is plugged into your home. Every coffeemaker, alarm clock, cellphone charger, wifi router...everything. Remember, the noise tends to dissipate over distance, so things on circuits on the opposite side of your home from the breaker box leak less noise back to the box (where it is from there redistributed all over the house and, in the process, back to your components [the box is a kind of grand central station for your noise sources]).

Very few audiophiles may have firsthand reason to realize it at present, but I will say that electronic noise is not merely "a problem" for us. IME, it is THE Single, Largest Obstacle for realistic sound (and video) reproduction in this hobby and in this industry, period - regardless of what Anyone paid for their system. The potential gains to be had out of this approach are in fact enormous. It is an exceedingly difficult thing to overstate. I say that not so much out of enthusiasm (which I have), but out of the insights I've managed to gain from the sonic results I've achieved with it, over the last 5 years.

As with Lowrider's post above, the immensity of this field of study is limitless really, and I, too, am not truly any expert. It has taken me a while, but the cumulative effects of the firsthand experiences I've had over the last few years have at least allowed me to finally "get it".
I had a fellow 'phile demo me last week the difference on his Maggie system with cable/internet box on and off.
There is a diff, nothing I would lose sleep over but its there.
I live in a big city with humungous power transmission lines about 3/4 of a mile away , From about 10AM to about 7pm there is a steady decline in my system, again not the end of the world but noticeable .
I've found MIT Z PC with its filter modules to help some.
"I've come to realize from firsthand evidence that Everybody's system is Absolutely CHOKED with all manner of electrical noise."

From my experience, I would say if you want the best possible sound our of your gear, noise issues associated with digital gear must be addressed on way or another.

IMHO, noise associated with digital gear is in most cases the secret reason why digital gets a bad rap with audiophiles, not the gear or format itself.

So best to consider it an issue and address both noise levels in the wiring and in the air.

Here are some things to cover:

1) keep physical space between components, and digital gear in particular

2) when in doubt use power cords and ICs that offer isolation/shielding from noise

3) If possible, plug analog source and amplicication components into a separate outlet from digital gear and from any other inherently noisy home items, things like flourescent lights, microwaves, computers and peripherals, etc. Separate circuits are even better if possible.

4) Do some resaerch on gear before buying to determine if users report any unusual noise issues with specific digital or switching gear like Class D amps. Newer design Class D amps tend to have better noise controls designed into them than the early models from just a few years back.
How big a deal it is depends on the quality of one's audio system and it's ability to resolve fine detail, as well as the listener's ability to discern small differences.

Good point Twb2, like a drop of food color in a glass of water compared to that same drop in a 10 gallon container. In some systems, just doesn't matter, and others can be a problem.
Harry Pearson recommended turning off your CD player while playing vinyl 25-30 yrs ago! But I never heard a difference. Either my system or my ears aren't resolving enough I guess.
06-11-15: Chazro
Harry Pearson recommended turning off your CD player while playing vinyl 25-30 yrs ago! But I never heard a difference. Either my system or my ears aren't resolving enough I guess.
Not necessarily, by any means. From a technical standpoint I see no reason whatsoever to expect two systems comprised of different designs but having equally good musical resolution, and similar sonic characteristics, to necessarily be similar in their sensitivity to digital noise.

In addition, keep in mind that digital noise is comprised of a vast number of different frequency components, that are simultaneously present. The magnitude of each of those frequency components, as they may exist at potentially sensitive locations in the system, will vary greatly depending on both the design of what is generating the noise and the path by which it is coupled to those locations. And the noise sensitivity of the circuitry at those locations will be different at different frequencies, and that variation of sensitivity at different frequencies will vary widely among different designs.

My perception over the years has been that many audiophiles make the mistake of conflating the musical resolution of a system, and sometimes also the hearing acuity of the listener, with sensitivity to hardware-related effects. There is obviously some relation, but one that is loosely correlated at best.

The bottom line, put simply and IMO, is that it's all very unpredictable.

-- Al
Yep, its a real issue in general so worth being educated about and alert to but lots of variables in play case by case so YMMV and it might in fact not be that big of a deal in most cases on the grand scale of things.

In my particular case, with multiple systems that play in multiple rooms, I find it always to be an issue to some extent but how much varies depending on exactly what I am listening to. The negative effects are typically greatest in cases where one is doing highly critical listening in good conditions with good gear that is well matched and performing well otherwise and a good recording to start with.
Wow! Thank you all for the thoughtful, insightful responses! It's great when you hear from good people with helpful input. What got me thinking about noise in my system and that I needed to get my system more quite was when I auditioned a completely passive (yet completely over the top expensive!) Stage 3 Concepts Kraken power cord. Brian Ackerman of Aaudio put just one Kraken power cord on my Pass Labs XP-30 preamp and man was I amazed! That one cord just to my preamp made such an impact on the sound of my system! I was completely blown away. The depth of the sound stage increased. One could hear instruments actually behind the other instruments - layering of the musicians - and the timbre of the instruments was so much more real. A wood drum stick hitting the metal rim of the drum actually sounded like wood! - not just a noise. These were things that I was trying to achieve with IC's and speaker cables. So this got me thinking.... For one thing, I realized that my system was actually pretty darn good. The information was always there it was just being masked. Now, my system sure seemed quite even before the Kraken power cord. I could never hear any noise when the system was on and no music playing. With the system playing music there was no indication of any "noise" either. My system appeared to be dead quite. So I started to think about what this passive power cord was doing to my system to make it sound the way that it did. The only thing that it could be was that the cord was some how making my system more quite/removing noise to where I could actually start to hear what my system was actually capable of. Yes, I think this whole area of making our system more quite, be it electrical or mechanical, are areas of big gains yet to be fully realized in the high end community. Thank you all for taking your time to respond.
As you've found out, a lower noise floor starts with your basic components.
The digital noise you asked about is yet another area of the system one needs to address.