Obviously the kit comes with the double RCAs, but is it better to use the optical connections instead to link the whole system together? Would this result in a better sound through the whole system?
Both the analogue and digital outputs are excellent quality. However, the digital outputs are even higher quality than the analogue RCA outs.
If you’ve got the X1800 mixer, which has digital inputs, then it’s worth getting a digital cable for each layer of each SC5000 deck. Don’t go wild on the high priced digital cables - unless you’re running the digital cables across some very dirty, high current power cables, or similar, you’ll get little benefit between a $20 digital cable and a $80 digital cable.
The main difference will be that using the digital output, you’ll lose one AD/DA conversion in the audio chain. And no matter how good the converters are, it’s always best to have as little as possible.
The output from the player is digital. That signal is offered directly to the digital out of the player. If you use the player RCA outputs, that digital signal has to be transferred to analogue. This is DA (Digital->Analogue) conversion.
If you use the digital input on the mixer, the digital signal from the player stays digital through all the other things (EQ, FX, etx.) and goes to analogue only shortly before the RCA/XLR outputs of the mixer. So only one DA conversion total.
If you use the RCA inputs on the mixer, the analogue signal (already converted from digital by the player) gets converted back to digital for all the nice stuff the mixer does (EQ, FX, etx.) and then converted back to analogue for the main outputs, meaning a total of three conversions.
Also as Gee said, the digital cable and the signal that goes through it are much less prone to noise and interference.
In short, if you CAN go digital, do so!
Prefect, thank you. I did think that was the case but couldn’t be certain. The cable length doesn’t even need to be 0.5m as it is only straight from the SC5000 to the X1800, though its save me money anyway on buying 4 Neos!!
That’s perfect, thank you. I did suspect that but wanted to confirm, the Denon manuals aren’t the best!!! I only need 0.5m on each anyway as the are running straight from the SC5000 to the X1800 right next to it, and the digital cables will be cheaper than the Neos I was going to buy!!
That’s a great answer and one that a Luddite like me can understand, thanks very much.