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Opinions Needed, part 1: S/PDIF vs. 24 bit DACs

Since I bought the Tascam US-428 I have been eyeing that little yellow S/PDIF input. One of my synths (Motif 7) has S/PDIF out option should I choose to buy it. However, the synth also has 24 bit DACs, which sound great going into the 428.

My question: what sonic advantages does a S/PDIF have over a 24BIT DAC? Will there be a total elimination of noise? Is there any reason NOT to record via S/PDIF?

My primary goal is to get the purist possible signal into my DAW. Your insights are most appreciated.



Ang1970 Fri, 12/07/2001 - 16:34
The spdif input on the US-428 accepts full 24 bit signal. This is the same signal that the keyboard creates before it goes to the DAC output of the keyboard, which would then have to be ADC'd again at the US-428 to make it digital again. You lose absolutely nothing from using this connection (as long as the wiring is correct and there are no clocking problems). The only reason to go DAC to ADC would be maybe you want to patch an outboard effect in (such as compression or eq), and record it to "tape" that way. Or maybe the DAC>ADC adds some funky type of distortion to the signal that you might find pleasant. Go ahead and give it a try. Maybe you won't even be able to hear the difference, if the DAC and ADC are clean enuf.