Which connections to use with a cd player?


Unregistered guest
Which conncetion provides the best quality and what makes one output better than the other?

you can connect CD player through analog or digital. To decide which, you need to listen to the difference yourself because it depends on wheter the DAC on your CD player is better than the one on your receiver. If the DAC on your CD player is better, then do analog; if the receiver is "more expensive" :-), then digital. Of course, better to listen both way and decide.

After that choice has been made, and if you decide to go with digital connection, you'll probably have to choose between optical and coxial outs(if your CD player has both). In my opinion the coxial out is better, because first it's more sturdy that you don't have to worry about not laying out the cable right, as opposed to the optical connection. (the optical will get jitters if the cable is, for example, getting a "wrong turn" somewhere)

Secondly, using the optical connection, the source needs to convert digital signal to light pulses first, then carry that signal through cable, and on the other end converts the light pulse back to digital. In my mind, it's one more process to go through for the signal, and more succeptable to errors.

Hope this helps.

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 158
Registered: Sep-04
As a general rule of thumb, I'd disagree with Mr Anonymous here. In my view, the analogue outputs of CD players are usually better than going via the digital output and the AV amp's DACs due to the added jitter of the buffering that's done on the way through (whether it's coax S/PDIF or optical). This usually results in better cohesion and timing with the analogue outputs. That said, using the AV amp, you're likely to get some better separation or 'air'.

I went into this in some detail in the 'Confused on Connections' thread.

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