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Beosound Core Optical vs. PowerLink sound quality

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pig30n
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pig30n posted on Wed, Oct 27 2021 7:08 PM

Hi beoworld,

This thing is bugging me for some time now and to be honest I didn’t find a clear answer in the forum, nor I understand my findings.

I have the following setup:

Core -> Transmitter 1 -> BL 17 + 18 + 19

Anyone noticed a sound quality difference between Core’s PowerLink and Optical outputs ?

There’s a clear difference even in sound volume. The volume on the optical output is lower. Also, is barely audible at levels 30 and below, muting away pretty steep, whereas on PowerLink it stays very consistent at any level. Even at 5-10%.

Sound quality wise, over optical it feels more bright and narrower than PowerLink. Also, BL19 bass feels somewhat shy but that’s probably because of the volume difference.

The one thing I find better over Optical is the overall lower background hiss from the amplifiers.

No matter the chosen output, the signal arrives digital to the speakers.

Intriguing is the fact that over PowerLink the signal suffers a DA-AD conversion but over Optical the signal stays digital all the way to the speakers.

For testing, have both PL and Optical cables plugged between the Core and Transmitter. With your favorite music playing, unplug/plug only the PowerLink cable from the back of the Transmitter. It will cycle between PL and Optical inputs pretty fast exposing the the sound quality and volume differences. PL has priority over Optical so when both connected the sound only comes from PL.

My cables are:
For PowerLink: Supra Cables CAT8

For Optical: Lyndy Premium

Both cost somewhere around 20€/meter.

Tested on two Beosound Cores and also with a “generic” Hama optical cable. The results are the same. Transmitter has the “RCA and TOSLINK gain” option set to 0.

I know it sounds absurd but I’m thinking of getting a very expensive optical cable just for the sake of testing this further.

I was expecting at least the sound volume to be the same over both inputs.
Hope someone will shed some light here :).

Cheers!

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LuffeDK
Not Ranked
76 Posts
OFFLINE
Bronze Member

pig30n:

Hi beoworld,

This thing is bugging me for some time now and to be honest I didn’t find a clear answer in the forum, nor I understand my findings.

I have the following setup:

Core -> Transmitter 1 -> BL 17 + 18 + 19

Anyone noticed a sound quality difference between Core’s PowerLink and Optical outputs ?

There’s a clear difference even in sound volume. The volume on the optical output is lower. Also, is barely audible at levels 30 and below, muting away pretty steep, whereas on PowerLink it stays very consistent at any level. Even at 5-10%.

Sound quality wise, over optical it feels more bright and narrower than PowerLink. Also, BL19 bass feels somewhat shy but that’s probably because of the volume difference.

The one thing I find better over Optical is the overall lower background hiss from the amplifiers.

No matter the chosen output, the signal arrives digital to the speakers.

Intriguing is the fact that over PowerLink the signal suffers a DA-AD conversion but over Optical the signal stays digital all the way to the speakers.

For testing, have both PL and Optical cables plugged between the Core and Transmitter. With your favorite music playing, unplug/plug only the PowerLink cable from the back of the Transmitter. It will cycle between PL and Optical inputs pretty fast exposing the the sound quality and volume differences. PL has priority over Optical so when both connected the sound only comes from PL.

My cables are:
For PowerLink: Supra Cables CAT8

For Optical: Lyndy Premium

Both cost somewhere around 20€/meter.

Tested on two Beosound Cores and also with a “generic” Hama optical cable. The results are the same. Transmitter has the “RCA and TOSLINK gain” option set to 0.

I know it sounds absurd but I’m thinking of getting a very expensive optical cable just for the sake of testing this further.

I was expecting at least the sound volume to be the same over both inputs.
Hope someone will shed some light here :).

Cheers!

I might be wrong but I have a feeling that B&O speakers are “tuned” towards powerlink connections. 
Powerlink to my BL50’s sound very good. 

seethroughyou
Top 100 Contributor
UK
975 Posts
OFFLINE
Bronze Member
Toslink is a type of galvanic isolation so it will be free of electrical noise if that is even an issue. As you’re going digital all the way through rather than doing an unnecessary conversion to analogue and back to digital, optical might be preferable. I’ve tried toslink versus analogue powerlink to my BL90 and not sure I could discern a difference probably because the ADC is so ‘transparent’. If you can stay digital throughout that’s better in theory.

.

 

 

Present: BL90, Moment, Core, BL6000, CD7000, 7000, Essence Remote.

Past: BL1, BL2, BL8000, BS9000, BL5, BC2, BS5, BV5, BV4-50, Beosystem 3, BL3, DVD1, Beoremote 4.

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