Spdif output from stream or CD player

Thank you in advance for your patience regarding my attempt to get my head around spdif.
My DAC, an ANK 4.1 accepts both usb and spdif. My streamer, an ifi stream has both usb and spdif output. My CD player, somewhat vintage, N.E.W. Ventura analogue and digital out. ( manual includes no info on digital out). My usb connection from stream to DAC works flawlessly. Spdif from either STREAM or CD player does not play. A quick test with an inexpensive dvd player with a digital out, using the spdif to DAC does work.
Quick look at signal emanating from CD player vs DVD player on scope does show different looking signals. Whereas the CD player output appears to have multiple frequency domains within the output signal, the dvd output appears different, more uniform. I have no way of analyzing the output signals, just observe on the scope. Should this all just work, or are there different standards and incompatibilities in spdif signal transmission?


Digital outs on CD players are normally very standard.

Either coax on cables, or toslink optical. - and 44.1/16 bit.

There are usually no adjustments, so hard to see what could be wrong (unless it’s just broken). Some DACs can be fussy about exact sample rates - so it is sometimes possible not to get a sync.

The DVD player may be outputting at 48k, although again there usually aren’t any adjustments.

The streamer is more complex as it may well have a digital volume control (as does roon), and can likely output at 192k (I think your DAC is limited to 96k), although the defaults are likely to output at the same frequency as the source file. So do check the volume control isn’t all the way down and there is no mute.

You can limit the max sample rate to 96k in roon device setup.

Is there a ‘sync’ / sample rate light on the DAC?

You can see what roon is sending by clicking in the coloured lamp to the right of the title to see the signal path.

Are you enabling and outputting from the Stream using the SPDIF output (inside Roon) as you get two. One for USB and one for SPDIF.

I use both outputs to different DACS and both work perfectly for me. If going USB into Zen DAC and SPDIF into FIIO K5 PRO and very happy with both options.

What cable are you using for the S/PDIF connection? It needs to be a 75Ω digital cable.

Thank you for the responses. Cable marked as:

Transparent Premium 75 ohm Link – Triple Shielded – E199644 Type CL2 (UL) 75 0 C
Not exactly sure why, but the CD player digital out is now working. I replaced the tubes, made some minor adjustments on the CD player….plugged the unit in and now… it’s working! Tubes are part of the analogue output so they are not the fix. Have some theories, but for now, hey, it’s working. With the DAC, it ounds really nice. I’ll leave things be, for now. Will tackle the ifi stream spdif out later. The ifi offer some software switches within the settings which I will play with. The STREAM usb output does sound very good already, so I am not in a hurry. Listening IS the goal.

This has been a great learning experience. Thank you.