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Concensus - Optical > Coax for sound?  

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I prefer optical/toslink. In addition to the possibility of a ground loop hum, I've also had problems with coax, where I'd get an audio dropout when the light in the kitchen was turned on/off. Plus, there's the fact that some soundcards supposedly send an out-of-spec voltage on coax. Coax digital can also sometimes be susceptible to interference.

The only downside to Toslink is that the cables might be a little more fragile, but I think if you're even remotely careful this should be a problem at all. I've certainly never broken one.

Toslink cables might be a little more expensive, but if you go with the RadioShack brand cost shouldn't be too bad for short runs.

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Jeff Kohn
http://home.houston.rr.com/jeffkohn
My DVD Profiler Collection

[This message has been edited by JKohn (edited 06-10-2001).]
post #2 of 7
You'll certainly *not* get a consensus, so don't expect one. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif But I believe that the great majority of audiofiles prefer coax, due to most optical cables introducing too much jitter. I've not had a ground loupe problem with coax, but I'm sure it can happen...
post #3 of 7
I'm much happier now that I have my PC connected via toslink. Plus I had a $100 toslink cable sitting in a draw. When I had the regular DVD player I found that coax sounded better for music and the toslink better for movies. In any case the difference sound wise is minimal.


Jeff
post #4 of 7
Im certaintly no expert, but Ive read in other places that the optical-jitter induced along the toslink connection was largely due to defective parts in some early av receivers. Its not inherent to the transmission medium, but due to the way the early recievers handled the data once it was inside the component. Ive heard most dependable sources say that optical is just as reliable as coax nowadays though. I think you have to look at each source in a case by case basis.
I run a optical out from my aureal card for dvd's and such, but I also use the coax on my hipix. Because I only have the one coax input, i switched my toshiba6200 dvd player from coax to toslink, I can't tell any difference!

The optical on the aureal is nice cause it lest me dub minidisc thur the toslink connection without any fuss. That card can alos be had for less than 25 bucks most places..

Hey Jeff, Remember me, you helped me with the denon reciever and the deftech speakers a while back.
Thanks again.
K
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Hey Jeff, Remember me, you helped me with the denon reciever and the deftech speakers a while back.
Yes, I remember. We exchanged some email after crossing paths on one of the newsgroups, right? I seem to recall talking you into spending more $$ than you had originally planned, I hoped that worked out for you. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

It sure is a small world. I hang out here a lot more than the newsgroups now, though. All the spam and flame-wars on alt.home-theater.misc got really annoying. This forum is a much more friendly (and informative) place.



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Jeff Kohn
http://home.houston.rr.com/jeffkohn
My DVD Profiler Collection
post #6 of 7
Few, that explains why I don't remember.

Jeff
post #7 of 7
I am in the process of selecting a quality sound card for my HTPC and have seen several posts here indicating that 'ground hum loops' can be a problem with coax feeds from an HTPC to a receiver/amplifier. Is there a concensus that optical feeds are generally better/less troublesome that coax for digital music transfer? Are there any shortcomings of optical?

Thanks in advance!

SFC
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