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I'm getting ready to add an H701 to my install and tidy up wiring, etc. I have an AI-net Alpine HU, but unfortunately I bought the W900BT w/o optical a month or so before the W910 came out (doh!).

Ideally I would have liked to run an optical connection, especially because next year I would like to do some more competitions. My first thought (which I may still do), is just add a S624 (I think this is the model #) changer an run the optical from it. But it's another device to install, add complexity, cost, etc.

So I got to thinking, other than a lower noise floor, what are the advantages of an optical connection? I know you are eliminating a D/A and A/D conversion, but the 900BT has a pretty decent Burr Brown 24bit DAC and I assume the H701 has a good conversion as well. Especially since I am running a 6ft AI-net cable to underneath the driver/passenger seats with like 3ft RCA cables. Will it make a noticeable difference in a situation like this? And subsequently, how would running an optical connection with lower noise etc. on my current Massive Audio amps (decent, but not great amps with gains set appropriately, but not at min) compare to running an AI-net connection and using a very low noise amp like the JL HD series, and making sure to have way more power such that I could maintain lower gains and thus noise.

These are just some interesting tradeoffs and comparisons I have been thinking about and wanted to see if anyone had any input.
 

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In my experience the optical made a some difference in SQ not a lot, maybe a lower noise floor too, but I always used higher end amps, so I never had noise issues from the amps to begin with.

Other than the pops, and other BS associated with the H-701 itself.

It's not likely going to be enough to fix noise issues with the amps, I would maybe look into buying a quality line driver like the Tru SSD.

The JL HD amps are very nice, but also come at a higher price point than the massive amps, but they are Dead Nuts quite, run cool, dynamic, and reliable.
 
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