The new guy has a question....

I have a Denon 3910 and a Sunfire Theatre Grand II processor. I assume they each have a digital to analog converter. If I go from the CDP to the PRO with a digital cable (either digital coax cable or toslink cable), does that mean I am using the DAC in the PRE/PRO to do the conversion? If I use RCA type cable does that mean the conversion is being done by the CDP?
I have tried it both ways and the RCA cable improves the bass noticably. Also, the results are the same with my Motorola digital cable box when I switch between toslink and RCA. Am I right about which DAC is being used being dependant upon which cable is used? Thanks for your help.
You have it exactly right. RCA L&R is analog, so the D-A conversion is happening in your Denon. Coax/toslink is digital, so the conversion is happening in your pre/pro. As far as the CATV box, the same applies--if the RCA you are talking about are the analog L&R connections (usually red & white), as opposed the the single RCA coax digital output (usually yellow or orange). If its the single coax, you might be hearing the difference between the digital interfaces, although the standard reckoning is that digital coax usually sounds better than toslink...
As Edessilva posted that is what happens with these connections. I'm not familiar with your processor. Is it possible that the difference in bass responce is due to the processor's or other component's bass management settings?
Edesilva.....thank you for clearing that up for me. I have been pondering that question for a while. Sometimes ya just gotta ask!
Unsound....I have read that I should use the digital connections whenever possible. I was surprised to hear the analog RCA connection sounding better. Maybe it IS in the bass management as you suggest. Or, maybe just a matter of which component has the better DAC??? I will check the bass management on both units. I appreciate your help.
While in theory using the digital connection should be preferable, in practice it can be something altogether different. The theory assumes that all things are equal. It's quite possible the one DAC may be superior to the other. It's quite possible that in a particular circumstance one transmission vehicle is superior to the other. Check the bass management settings and then use what works best for you.
I assume that the Sunfire SS Processor does its thing in the digital domain, which means that, if you put in an analog signal it is digitized, processed, and reconverted to analog for output. This would mean that the Sunfire A/D and D/A hardware is in the loop anyway. It ought to be best with digital input, thereby avoiding a D/A and an A/D step.
I would use the digital out on the Denon for movies and let the Sunfire decode those. For music...most multichannel players I've used (not your manual) sound best if you use their multichannel outputs for everything else.

The Sunfire has a DB-25 input for this so you would need an RCA/DB-25 type cable (you can have one made, or...there are a few ready-maids on the market). This is a pass-through input on the sunfire. This does defeat the Sunfires sub outputs though so may not be for everyone...depends on how good the players bass management is.

Also, the Sunfire sounds best if you use it's balanced outputs...even if you have to use an XLR-RCA adaptor to an unbalanced amp...blacker background, less noise.

If you do use the Sunfires other analog inputs...tone controls are active, you can add or subtract bass if you like. Sub outputs and settings are also active for these inputs if I recall correctly...again, read the manual for both components.

Hope this helps a little

Thanks Dave. I have already done everything you suggested except for using the digital connection for movies only. I will give that a shot. When I compared digital to analog connections for music, I was comparing 2 channel analog vs. 5.1 analog vs. digital coax. 2 ch. analog was the winner with better bass. By the way, Monster makes the RCA/DB-25 adapter. I think the difference I hear is probably in the bass management settings. I will be experimenting with that later this evening. Cheap entertainment for a Friday night, huh? Hard to come by in this hobby!