Analog or optical for music and movies?? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 11-04-2013, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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I have an older denon receiver (4802R) with no Hdmi. I have been using optical for years now. I have an oppo blu-ray player on the way and want to use analog to take advantage of the higher resolution audio formats. What kind of difference in music and movies will I hear going from optical to analog? Will analog produce a better sound? Please let me know your thoughts on this. Also, for those of you who use analog, what cables would you recommend going with that are good, but not over the top expensive (no more than $100)? If there is a better place to post this question, please let me know where. Thanks guys.
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post #2 of 21 Old 11-04-2013, 09:53 PM
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What differences you will hear are debatable. Most listeners cannot tell the difference between vanilla flavored Dolby Digital 5.1 sound and the newer Dolby-HD 5.1. I'm guessing you might hear more difference between the two DACs than between the audio formats.

As for cables I buy my cables from MonoPrice. Great prices and quick shipping and they always seem to have what I need. You'll need 6 RCA cables for a 5.1 setup and you will be hard pressed to spend $100 for 6 cables there.

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #3 of 21 Old 11-06-2013, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks knucklehead90. I'm a little hesitant to buy from monoprice. My brother bought analog cables there and they didn't work properly. Does anyone else have any suggestions on what brand of analog cable to buy? Thanks.
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post #4 of 21 Old 11-07-2013, 04:47 AM
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+1 to monoprice.com. I've bought quite a few cables and interconnects from them and I haven't had a problem with any of them.

A well-regarded, but pricier, source is bluejeanscable.com.
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post #5 of 21 Old 11-07-2013, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVKIK View Post

Thanks knucklehead90. I'm a little hesitant to buy from monoprice. My brother bought analog cables there and they didn't work properly. Does anyone else have any suggestions on what brand of analog cable to buy? Thanks.

You do know that monoprice offers a lifetime warranty on cables, right?
Quote:
Warranty Period:

- Switches and other electronic products: 1 year
- Cables and non-electronic products: Lifetime
- Printer Toners: 1 year

monoprice warranty

If not monoprice, check out amazon basics brand. I've used 'em before, no issues what-so-ever.

I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!
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post #6 of 21 Old 11-07-2013, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVKIK View Post

Thanks knucklehead90. I'm a little hesitant to buy from monoprice. My brother bought analog cables there and they didn't work properly. Does anyone else have any suggestions on what brand of analog cable to buy? Thanks.

I purchased 3 pair of these cable for 5.1 analog from my DVD player to receiver. they work great and are very inexpensive.
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021814&p_id=2864&seq=1&format=2

If you feel better by paying a lot more then buy these cables.
http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/6channel/index.htm

Afro GT
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post #7 of 21 Old 11-07-2013, 12:51 PM
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Everyone else has you covered on cables so I'll try to comment on your digital vs. analog question. Unfortunately, you will only know the better route by trying them both. The good news is that interconnects are relatively cheap so you can buy both types of cables and try each setup. Since audio is a preference and each persons' setup is unique, there is no way anyone can tell you which is the better route for you.

I can tell you my experience, but you'll have to understand this is in no way a recommendation for either setup for your situation. I have both the Oppo 93 and 95. It must be noted that my room is a dedicated room for audio. It is sealed and is fairly well treated acoustically and my speakers are properly positioned for optimum sound reproduction with no regards to WAF. For dedicated music listening, I prefer the analog path in my room. For movies I have to use the digital path since I need to use the surround and bass management provided by my receiver to fully utilize all my speakers and subs. There isn't a huge difference though except for the MUCH more prominent bass with the digital connection since I'm using multiple subs vs. just my tower speakers. I would be perfectly happy listening to music in either mode, but analog has an ever so slight edge in my setup. My receiver is a Denon 4311 with Audyssey MultEQ XT32. With Audyssey enabled the digital path sounds VERY similar to the analog path from either Oppo. With Audyssey disabled, the difference is immediately noticeable. Disabling Audyssey causes the audio to sound a little harsh and thin compared to having it enabled.
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post #8 of 21 Old 11-09-2013, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVKIK View Post

I have an older denon receiver (4802R) with no Hdmi. I have been using optical for years now. I have an oppo blu-ray player on the way and want to use analog to take advantage of the higher resolution audio formats. What kind of difference in music and movies will I hear going from optical to analog? Will analog produce a better sound? Please let me know your thoughts on this. Also, for those of you who use analog, what cables would you recommend going with that are good, but not over the top expensive (no more than $100)? If there is a better place to post this question, please let me know where. Thanks guys.
Optical vs analog won't make a difference they both use a s/pdif signal, the down side to that is that you probably won't get to here the higher resolution audio formats because this connection does not support them. It handles PCM and some compressed 5.1/7.1 signals.
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post #9 of 21 Old 11-09-2013, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info guys. It is much appreciated.
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post #10 of 21 Old 11-09-2013, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PretzelFisch View Post

Optical vs analog won't make a difference they both use a s/pdif signal, the down side to that is that you probably won't get to here the higher resolution audio formats because this connection does not support them. It handles PCM and some compressed 5.1/7.1 signals.

You are mistaken. Analog and optical are not one in the same. You are confusing analog with digital coax. Optical and digital coax are the same, but not analog. S/PIF signals are digital and use the receiver's DAC to process the sound. Analog outputs use the source device's DACs. In this case it's an Oppo. Analog will allow for whatever audio codec that is supported by the source device. So with the Oppo, the OP will get full uncompressed audio formats that are present on the disc.
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post #11 of 21 Old 11-09-2013, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by duc135 View Post

You are mistaken. Analog and optical are not one in the same. You are confusing analog with digital coax. Optical and digital coax are the same, but not analog. S/PIF signals are digital and use the receiver's DAC to process the sound. Analog outputs use the source device's DACs. In this case it's an Oppo. Analog will allow for whatever audio codec that is supported by the source device. So with the Oppo, the OP will get full uncompressed audio formats that are present on the disc.
your right I misunderstood what he ment by analog. But with an analog connection what 5.1 signal will come though on the Oppo?
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post #12 of 21 Old 11-09-2013, 01:29 PM
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your right I misunderstood what he ment by analog. But with an analog connection what 5.1 signal will come though on the Oppo?

The Oppo is capable of full 7.1 DTS-HD MA via its analog outputs. This will be the same for all DVD/BD players. Whatever the player can decode, it will send out that signal via the analog outputs if it has them. It is no different from your receiver. The only difference is where the decoding takes place.
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post #13 of 21 Old 11-09-2013, 05:37 PM
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With an older receiver you won't get bass management, bass/treble controls etc with the multi-channel analog connection but you will get Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio. Since your 4802 doesn't have room correction I'm pretty certain "I" would prefer the m/c analogs over the optical connection. As others have said, try it both ways and see which you like the best. It will only cost you the price of the cables. I use2 sets of Comonent video cables for my m/c analog connection. I also use a couple of them for my analog audio connections. Usually they're AR (Acoustic Research) bought off ebay. Component cables are dirt cheap right now. Look at these.

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/MS290/ACOUSTIC-RESEARCH-Ms290-Master-Series-Component-Video-Cable-3-Ft/1.html

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/PR192/ACOUSTIC-RESEARCH-Pr192-Pro-Ii-Series-Component-Video-Cable-12-Ft/1.html

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/MCV600CV4/MONSTER-CABLE-600-Thx-Ultra-Component-Video-Cable-4ft/1.html

http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/ETHEXSCV1/ETHEREAL-EXS-CV-Silver-Plated-4x-Shielded-Component-Video-Cable-3.2ft/1.html

For two channel music I prefer Pure Analog. Your Oppo has dedicated two channel outputs.
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post #14 of 21 Old 11-09-2013, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by gene c353 View Post

With an older receiver you won't get bass management, bass/treble controls etc with the multi-channel analog connection but you will get Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio.

Even more reason to use the analogs outputs on the Oppo as it has bass management for its analog outputs.

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Your Oppo has dedicated two channel outputs.

Depends on the model. Only the 95 and the 105 has dedicated stereo outputs. The 93 and 103 only has 7.1 MC outputs.
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post #15 of 21 Old 11-09-2013, 06:55 PM
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Thanks for pointing that out. I knew the $300 BDP-80 didn't have the stereo outputs but I thought all the others did. Kind of disappointing for a $499 player but...

An older receiver can still sound great. I've had many, many receivers and dvd/br players over the years and perhaps the best sounding of them all was an H/K 7200 (which did BM through the m/c analogs), an Oppo 83SE and an Audiocontrol Rialto m/c EQ.
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post #16 of 21 Old 11-09-2013, 07:03 PM
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Only the 95 and the 105 has dedicated stereo outputs.
The BDP-83 also has dedicated stereo outputs.
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post #17 of 21 Old 11-09-2013, 07:11 PM
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The BDP-83 also has dedicated stereo outputs.

Thank you.
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post #18 of 21 Old 11-10-2013, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again guys. I'm going to order some analog cables sometime this week. Not sure where I will get them from. There are so many places. Is it strange that mono price has them for around three bucks a piece? Could they be really that good at that price or is the price that good? Also, is it true that I will hear more of a hissing sound coming out of my speakers by using analog outputs? I read that a few times now. Guess I will find out. Thanks again guys.
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post #19 of 21 Old 11-10-2013, 06:46 PM
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Another vote for the Blue Jeans Cables.
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post #20 of 21 Old 11-10-2013, 07:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVKIK View Post

Thanks again guys. I'm going to order some analog cables sometime this week. Not sure where I will get them from. There are so many places. Is it strange that mono price has them for around three bucks a piece? Could they be really that good at that price or is the price that good? Also, is it true that I will hear more of a hissing sound coming out of my speakers by using analog outputs? I read that a few times now. Guess I will find out. Thanks again guys.

I've been using those Monoprice analog cables for my CD players for years. They work fine. I don't get any hiss on my receivers.

For the price you really don't have anything to lose.

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post #21 of 21 Old 11-11-2013, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVKIK View Post

Thanks again guys. I'm going to order some analog cables sometime this week. Not sure where I will get them from. There are so many places. Is it strange that mono price has them for around three bucks a piece? Could they be really that good at that price or is the price that good? Also, is it true that I will hear more of a hissing sound coming out of my speakers by using analog outputs? I read that a few times now. Guess I will find out. Thanks again guys.

I've also used Monoprice analog cables (the Premium ones) and they're fine. Only issue I had was a couple of them started losing their grip after being plugged and unplugged a few times. Quite a few times actually (I swap out gear quite a lot). But for most people they would work quite nicely. Tartan cables from BluJean cables are also nice.

There might be a tad bit of hiss with analog cables if you turn the volume all the way down and put your ear to the speaker but that's the nature of the beast. It's in-audible under normal listenning volumes and distances.
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