Originally Posted by G-Rex
Amazing what one can drum up in an hour of research. Are you an engineer specializing in fiber optics? Not likely. Paraphrasing bits and pieces from the internet does not make you or I an expert on this topic. I still say with a careful consumer the higher quality piece is often the one made of glass which should hold up better with time. If your happy with your $3 pack in toslink, no big deal as it is pretty much disposable at that price point. If I were paying $50 or more I would want the best quality product for the price.
I'm not sure why anyone would be paying $50 or more for a 2-3 meter Toslink cable.
You stated that "Glass-based fibers generally have less loss out of the fiber and less attenuation in the fiber." The end result is they can pass the signal with better signal integrity...at least in very long lengths. Can this result in an audible change in a normal length cable of 2 or 3 meters? Opinions would differ here. I know you all here like to simplify things and say it's all or nothing regarding such a signal. There is another school of thought that states it's not quite that simple.
What school of thought is that? It must be a pretty bad school. Optical loss is basically the same thing as amplitude in an electrical signal. SPDIF is PCM, amplitude has zero relevance to the signal itself, as long as the signal is recoverable. That's the fundamental basis of digital signaling. The amplitude doesn't matter, because the amplitude doesn't carry any signal information.
"It's not just 1's and 0's, it's the timing!
There is a fundamental difference between the transfer of computer data and digital audio signals. Computers are able to transfer digital data without loss, because the data moves in the robust form of blocks, which do not depend on specific timing between the sending and receiving devices. However, digital audio signals are continuous streams of data, which are quite fragile, since the digital processor must remain perfectly locked onto the timing of the signal to avoid data losses.
This is true in this specific instance of PCM over an SPDIF interface. But it is not relevant here with fiber optic cabling, because we're dealing with basically very close to the speed of light. Timing is in no way effected by the fiber. Timing, you might be curious to know, can
actually be affected by the capacitance of copper cabling, and can measurably affect jitter. Audibility of that is an entirely different question.
The Limitations of digital audio processors and cables create timing errors known as jitter, which remove portions of the audio signal and replace them with noise and distortion. Cables tend to round off the square waveforms of the signal, making them less clear to the processor, thus increasing jitter. This rounding effect varies greatly among cables and a truly superior digital audio cable can make great improvements in sound quality.
Again, big difference between copper and fiber. Fiber does nothing of the sort. Feel free to explain what "optical capacitance" would be...
This happens in copper cables, not fiber.
WireWorld digital audio cables utilize unique designs specifically developed to minimize jitter by providing sharper, cleaner leading edges on the digital waveform. At each price level, they provide the lowest jitter available, producing distinct improvements in clarity, image focus, smoothness and dynamic range."
This is from the WireWorld web site, but I have read this countless times and also from the engineerring side of the fence. Not going to spend an hour rummaging through the internet to debate this.
If that is being applied to fiber, it's complete bulls**t. If it is being applied to copper, it is marketing mumbo-jumbo. All that really should say from an engineering perspective is a pf/F figure for cabling capacitance.
Glass toslinks do sound different than cheapo plastic pack-in toslinks that you guys swear by. Too bad no one is open minded enough to give them a try here. If only the glass ones were under $5.
Let me know when you do a controlled test that 1) measures any difference at all. Then, once you do that, let me know when anyone does a controlled listening test showing any audible affect of the difference in #1. You will never get to #2, btw.
Your annoyed tone does not come from my "rambling conjectures", it comes from the fact that there is another side to the story that you guys HATE to hear about, especially when it's done in a logical manner.
I don't hate to hear about it at all. I'm just annoyed that the school system in this country has so failed so many people at basic scientific rigor, and rudimentary intellectual endeavor. People will accept nearly any claim, no matter the ridiculous nature of the claim. Even further, people like yourself will actually go out and make arguments about claims they really don't understand at all, and that are completely nonsensical.
I always hear the same nonsense, and it's completely unsubstantiated garbage. There are lots of instances where cabling quality has an impact, in some cases a very significant impact. This is NOT one of those cases. And watching a complete logical failure play out as a result of our "everyone has the equal right to any opinion they want, regardless of degree of ignorance" culture just makes me sad for the state of mankind.