If only 2.0 (no subwoofer(s)), then optical carries it lossless.
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If you want to use your DAC and 2-channel system for TV/Internet movies, then you are stuck with 2-channel. You can set the optical output from the TV to PCM 2-channel in the setup menu. In this case, I would highly recommend reclocking the optical cable from the TV with a Synchro-Mesh reclocker and then a good silver 1.5m BNC coax to your DAC. This will reduce jitter and improve clarity significantly. You can also drive the same Synchro-Mesh with your Oppo for CD playback and switch between TV and CD player to get the benefit of the low jitter for both. The Oppo must also be set to 2-channel for Blu-ray movies if you want to use your DAC for blu-rays.
If you want Dolby Digital from the TV then I highly recommend using the iFi SPDIF iPurifier from Amazon to reduce jitter of the Dolby Digital signal. Like the 2-channel SM above, the iPurifier accepts Toslink in and out or coax in and out. Run a Toslink optical cable from the TV to the iPurifier and then a 1.5m BNC coax with RCA adapters to your SS processor/amplifier. You cannot use your Auralic DAC for this.
If you use your Oppo for Dolby Digital Processing, you must have the 5 speaker or 7 speaker/amplifer system to support it. If you only have 2-channel, then stick with the DAC and reclock with the Synchro-Mesh.
I highly recommend this Toslink cable:
Always buy BNC terminated high-end cables for coax and use RCA adapters. Always get at least 1.5m length.
My question is that if I anyways have only a 2-channel music system set-up through which my TV sound plays, does it matter whether I use the optical out from my TV or the more advanced HDMI ARC?
The Toslink optical output will be better than the HDMI for driving your DAC and particularly if you reclock it with the Synchro-Mesh. This will elevate both your movie and CD sound quality significantly.
The iFi only works when there is a ton of jitter, which Amir could only get by actually inducing jitter with his AP, most real-world performance actually had the iFi adding low frequency noise.
Thanks all for your comments and clear direction in moving forward.
mzkmxcv - That is clear and very heartening to hear. I am not considering the iFi anyways as below but thanks for the article.
audioengr - Many, many thanks to such a detailed and very specific solutions. I do not want a 5.1 channel set-up and hence am assuming the iFi iPurifier is not needed for me. The reclocker is an interesting piece of equipment and I am amazed that you are so sure it will have a significant impact on performance. Just one question there, you say it will have a big impact on the picture and the sound. However, the Reclocker will not have an input for the video as the digital output from the TV only carries audio. So how will it impact the video in that case? Also I have a Leo GX Master clock with my Auralic Vega G2 DAC. Does that already do the function of the reclocker in some way. Sorry I forgot to mention that earlier.
Look forward to more information on the above.
Sorry I reread your earlier comment and you said sound from both movie and CD. I love your confidence in the product. Can the Sychro-mesh be used in HK where the voltage is 220V and not the 110V as in the US. Also since I already have high quality Coax and Toslink now (connecting my Oppo and TV to the Auralic DAC), I will only need a Coax cable to connect the Synchro-Mesh out to the DAC. I already have a very high-end Coax with me now. Please can you send me a quote for the product with shipping to HK Island. Thanks again.
Direct measurements are more telling. However, if the output of the DAC is worse, shouldn’t the direct measurements be worse as well? Also, Amir states in the review that it’s caused by its switching power supply and small enclosure; it does reduce large amounts of jitter better than cheap DACs, but it’s own native design flaws introduce low-level noise as well.
Also, the output of the DAC is what’s most important, as that’s what’s going into your preamp/amp.
I know you have measured the jitter out of a SONOS Connect, but have you ever measured the jitter when gone through a DAC, even a “cheap” one like the Topping D30? I know you show your $700 reclocker reducing it to ~7psec, but the D30 on it’s own would reduce it pretty well on its own.
I also belive you greatly over-emphasis the audible benefits of your reclocker vs a good DAC on its own. Keep in mind that your room’s noise floor likely doesn’t even allow you to fully resolve 16Bit, I don’t see how you can make audibility claims of 7psec (around -130dB down for 16/44.1), and especially when music is playing, maybe with test tones if you were in an anechoic chamber. Not saying many old/new DACs have great jitter suppression, but most modern ones do reduce it better than CD quality.
I tried surround and decided it was a waste of money. Some folks just love surround sound. Not me. To me, the questions seem 'theoretical' like 'I am missing out on something I do not need or want, but should I want them?"
The answer is no, don't worry about stuff you don't need.The two channel mix is designed for two channel. That other stuff is all for surround. And really cannot fit into two channel any better than you now use it. (for the purists, yeah if the op spend many thousands it might be better. But that is the audiophile solution spend money. lots of money!! and it will get a little better..LOL)
Can the Sychro-mesh be used in HK where the voltage is 220V and not the 110V as in the US. Also since I already have high quality Coax and Toslink now (connecting my Oppo and TV to the Auralic DAC), I will only need a Coax cable to connect the Synchro-Mesh out to the DAC. I already have a very high-end Coax with me now. Please can you send me a quote for the product with shipping to HK Island.
Yes, the AC adapter has different plugs and universal voltage rating. I sell world-wide. I also offer a fast-reacting LPS for the SM that has a Hynes-based voltage regulator. Hynes is famous for his excellent discrete regulators, coming from the UK actually.
As for coax, if you don’t have a BNC-terminated coax with RCA adapters as needed in a length of at least 1.25m, you will need 2 new cables. My Standard BNC cable is very affordable and pure silver. Aerospace grade. My Reference cable is exceptional and very liquid sounding.
Go to the Empirical Audio website and click on "contact us" to send me an email and I will send you a paypal invoice.
Not saying many old/new DACs have great jitter suppression, but most modern ones do reduce it better than CD quality.
CD quality (from a CD player) is a low-bar for me. My digital is much better than that. There is no way that I would have gotten best of show several times with a CD player in the system.
I have had a lot of different DAC's in my system since I modded them for many years. None of them were jitter immune, none. I have heard from customers that the Benchmark DAC3 is jitter immune, but I have not heard it in my system.
I’m assuming you mean jitter immune as in total suppression, or at least past 24Bit. I’m talking at least a fair deal of reduction.
You state the 96dB of dynamic range that unditered 16Bit offers is too low. Can you explain how you can hear noises of around 5 decibles in a room where the noise fooor is roughly 30dB? The hum of a lightbulb at 2m away is ~10dB I believe.
Also, it may be a different measurement technique than what you’ve used for your Syncro-Mesh, but here is the picosecond amount of jitter when using a Topping D10 as a USB to Toslink convertor, and not using a J-Test like you’ve stated many times.
My room is specially designed and treated. However, it does not require anything special in the room to hear the difference between 20psec of jitter and 7psec of jitter. It only requires a system with a really low noise floor and low distortion, such as my own. My system has zero ground-loops and minimal analog stages. One analog stage in the DAC and two stages in the tube SET monoblock amplifiers. Simple is better.
You state the 96dB of dynamic range that undithered 16Bit offers is too low.
What? I never said this.
The plot you show is still through a DAC, not a direct measurement.
Send me the Topping converter and I’ll post the actual jitter from it.
I recently tested two other USB converters that are well-regarded, including the Singxter SU-1. The Jitter from the Singxer was 4nsec and the other was 500psec. A far cry from the 10psec from my own USB converter.
You state the 96dB of dynamic range that undithered 16Bit offers is too lowWhat? I never said this
CD quality (from a CD player) is a low-bar for me.
CD is 16Bit, which if undithered has a noise floor averaging -96dBFS.
Let’s say your room is so well treated with components so quite that your noise floor is 14dB across the spectrum (even though that’s unlikely), that would still not allow you to hear the benefits of 24Bit over undithered 16Bit, unless the music is mastered with unity being 110dB, which would be uncommon as 105dB is usually what’s chosen (-30dBFS C-weighted with slow measuring registering 75dB).
Thats not even accounting for dithering, which can make it better than 110dB.
I think that is a “direct measurement” as you would call it of the $90 Topping D10, RMS jitter of ~127psec vs what you measured the iFi Purifier at ~100psec, and peaks jitter of ~397psec vs what looks like 336psec. And again, measurements show some added noise of the iFi, but it’s below -110dBFS (thought you may agrue that’s audible).
If using RMS, that’s a dynamic range of ~92.3dB vs ~94.3dB.
If usinf peak, that’s a dynamic range of ~82.5dB vs ~83.7dB.
Of course, it’s not the same setup nor same measurement gear; so a 1:1 comparison shouldn’t be held under scrutiny.
For $100, here is how the $100 Allo DigiOne measured.