theeyealtering wrote:Yeah, a guy in a hifi store told me today that coax was best. Not sure why.
There are three/four standardish digital connects USB:
High bandwidth, though it has electrical issues, and if its on a shared bus there are link saturation issues. Can be better than other digital connections that don't have great clocks, can be worse especially on cheaper laptops.
synchronous: Prone to jitter, needs decent clock or jitter correction, bandwidth limited to 24/48khz ish.
asynchronous: Far less prone to jitter but less correctable if there is, heaps of bandwidth 24/192mhz+. Drivers and hardware can impact on sound greatly, usually jitter and noise. S/PDIF
Coaxial: Has the higher bandwidth enough for 24/192mhz with ease, however has electrical issues, such as ground loops. $20-30 is the absolute limit of whats needed to be spent unless in high EM environment or a long run, keep cable below three meters if possible.
Optical: Doesn't have electrical issues, limited bandwidth 24/192mhz is the max usually better glass fiber cables can have double the bandwidth, prone to jitter (needs a good clock), needs a good cable, needs a good socket on both ends. In perfect situations, with great connectors on both pieces of equipment, and with high end glass toslink/optical cable, with a good clock either internal or an external unit. Optical surpasses coaxial with ease though at great/extreme expense. Cable quality has a huge impact;
Low end plastic<Monster<low end glass<high end plastic<high end glass. To beat coaxial you'd probably need to spend $100-200 (don't buy monster, it isn't that great especially for its price).
(single strand plastic<mutli strand quartz glass<multi strand plastic<single strand glass (from memory)). Monster gets a lower mark because its fancy connectors can cause problems. AES
Pro version of above, have slightly different connections, but not much advantage outside of recording and production.
XLR: theoretically slightly better than coaxial, I don't have much knowledge about this as I don't intend to use it ever.
Ethernet: Bandwidth advantages, error/jitter correction advantages, potential latency issues.
optical: same as above different electrical standard