Optical Audio Outputs. Is there audible differences or are they all the same?


Im not wondering about cables but the output. Lets say I put an AQ Diamond optilink from my small budget blu-ray player to a top of the line high system end system. Do i have to consider the "quality" of the output from the blu-ray player?
coree

"Do i have to consider the "quality" of the output from the blu-ray player?"

Yes. The transport, like any other component, is very important to playback quality. Part of the quality is how you connect the transport to your dac. (I'm assuming you are talking about sound quality and you're using something like an Oppo or Marantz universal player to play audio formats like CD). I'm also assuming you're using Toslink and not AT&T ST Type. I see that I2S has been resurrected so I'll bring ST up just in case.

The most important thing you need to know about Toslink is that it has a bad reputation. And to be honest, the bad reputation may, or may not, be justified. It goes back to the 80's when CD was new. I don't remember the story word for word, but Toslink (Toshiba Optical Link) was put on some CD players as a digital out because Toshiba wasn't able to use the RCA SP/DIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) connection due to licensing issues. Toslink was always considered (by the high end community) as very inferior to sp/dif. Everyone avoided it like the plague until recently, because of HT becoming more mainstream.

The reason I'm going on about all this, is that people like myself, that have been into high end audio during the 80's and 90's, have a natural bias against Toslink. The minute someone mentions Toslink to someone like me, a little light in my head goes off. Sometimes I see the word Death light up, and other times I see Bose. There are a lot of people that have this natural bias against Toslink, and to be fair, I'm not sure if its justified. You need to know this because for all I know, they may have Toslink sounding great. Most of us have never given it a chance. 

"Lets say I put an AQ Diamond optilink from my small budget blu-ray player to a top of the line high system end system."

Why would you ever do that?

Dave 
http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f6-dac-digital-analog-conversion/opinions-universal-serial-bus-ind...

see the comment by mansr especially
Post removed 
@mgreen27 .. despite your negative opinion of mansr, his post on that CA thread makes sense:

Toslink has the advantage of providing complete electrical isolation. On the other hand, it is more prone to clock issues, mainly jitter. Which connection will serve you best depends on your requirements and the particulars of your system.

If he elaborated he might have mentioned most DACs which use optical these days have enough jitter rejection to easily negate the nasties like those from the early Toslink iterations. For example, Rob Watts from Chord Electronics weighed in on this topic a couple of years ago in regards to their QuteHD DAC and stated because of their FPGA implementation the sound quality was equal across all inputs.

Your earlier post in this thread is spot-on in my opinion. There is much unnecessary bias against optical and the seeming knee-jerk reaction from audiophiles, as quoted below, sums in perfectly.

The reason I’m going on about all this, is that people like myself, that have been into high end audio during the 80’s and 90’s, have a natural bias against Toslink. The minute someone mentions Toslink to someone like me, a little light in my head goes off. Sometimes I see the word Death light up, and other times I see Bose. There are a lot of people that have this natural bias against Toslink, and to be fair, I’m not sure if its justified. You need to know this because for all I know, they may have Toslink sounding great. Most of us have never given it a chance.

I’m not advocating for Toslink optical BTW, I just believe many audiophiles steer others unnecessarily away from a connection method which may in fact be quite useful (electrical isolation). So, @coree, as usual in our hobby it’s system dependent. Yes, you should consider the quality of the output of your Blu-ray player if you care about good sound, but don’t shy away from using Toslink because many dismiss it out of hand.


There is some brands with excellent optical cables with very low jitter as QED, Chord , Audioqest act.

I was very suspicious about the sound quality of optical cables in the past but not anymore good optical cables can be as good as coax ones.The optical cables made of glass are better than the fiber ones but consider to be expensive.
Hmmm .. @mgreen27's post was removed. Curious.
I'm told via the grapevine that Toslink (optical cables) essentially must be kept very straight because any kind of bending will restrict the light signal. It is for this reason optical cable are traditionally kept very short (2 feet?). The aforementioned stated I have no personal experience with optical cabling.

wtf,

How does that happen? A guess manser has an account here as well.

"@mgreen27 .. despite your negative opinion of mansr, his post on that CA thread makes sense:"

Just to clarify, I wasn't singling out that quote specifically. I was just pointing out his overall method of communication. His primary motive in any conversation is to be right regardless of facts. If you challenge anything he says, he either ignores the comment, or talks and says nothing. "I don't know why you would think that.", "That's not what I meant.", etc... Stuff like that. He'll keep talking in circles while implying that he's right and you're wrong, and never give you a straight answer. I just don't trust people like that.

the grapevine does not understand light waves

I don't know mansr but he seems knowledgable - I do agree that Toslink should have no jitter problems nowadays.

I am giving information so the OP can avoid the unspeakable horror of actually listening to music
@mgreen27 .. apparently a moderator felt your post to be inappropriate for some reason. Interesting because I’ve seen worse here. Whatever.

@randy-11 .. "unspeakable horror of actually listening to music"? Hahaha!