S/PDIF optical vs coax? It is my understanding that there is no difference with short cable runs. That and when using a jumper, there is no need to run the VCC line.
S/PDIF vs coax. This is an ongoing debate. I find optical cables to be inexpensive and easy to run. Coax can be a pain if you do not have a crimper and RCA ends to crimp on. Adapters are usually extremely over priced. I have used both, I hear no difference.
Digital vs. stereo? Using a single 3.5mm jack is it possible to send a 5.1/7.1/10.2 signal? Typically when I hear "stereo" I think analog left/right. Multi-channel audio uses L/R, SL/SR, and C/Sw which again supports thinking that jack can only send analog 2 channel?
A single jack can support only 2 channels. See my earlier post re: multichannel.
Techie/Audiophile question: If my assumptions about these signals is incorrect, how does S/PDIF Coax carry a raw digital signal over just 2 wires?
Digital is completely different than analog, rather than a varying voltage/current it is a binary voltage switching consisting of 1s and 0s only. These bits can be multiplexed together using time division multiplexing. For example the devices would both conform to a standard method of transmitting/receiving. A byte of data would be sent for CH1, then a byte for CH2, then CH3... to CH8. 8 bytes have been transmitted and the cycle restarts at CH1. If additional channels (3-8 or 7-8) do not exist, then blank entries would be transmitted to be consistent. This is a simplification but essentially how it works.
For my next MD area I am looking to really focus on audio reproduction, so am hoping to learn some and get some recommendations. Outside of the SB fatality series I wouldn't know where to begin looking.
avrfreaks? perhaps for audio card recommendations. I used to use high-end turtle beach cards, I don't think they exist anymore.