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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I made my mind on what set up I want, an Energy RC-Micro 5.1 and a Denon AVR-791 (I know is 7.1).


So I would like to know which cable should I order from monoprice to connect these "guys".


Also I plan to connect my PC Optical Audio output to the Denon so I will need an optical cable too.


And last but never the least I will need some HDMI cables.


Thank you
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nehemoth
So I made my mind on what set up I want, an Energy RC-Micro 5.1 and a Denon AVR-791 (I know is 7.1).


So I would like to know which cable should I order from monoprice to connect these "guys".


Also I plan to connect my PC Optical Audio output to the Denon so I will need an optical cable too.


And last but never the least I will need some HDMI cables.


Thank you
Monoprice has great prices! But I would go with Bluejeans Cable which are made in the U.S. and better quality, they use the broadcast industry Belden design. I have their HDMI Series-F2 wire connected to my bluray player to plasma.

http://www.bluejeanscable.com/
 

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When I use optical/toslink cables it's worth using glass (not the typical plastic) optic path. Just use care when placing it in your system...no sharp bends or it will crack the glass inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Rex /forum/post/19639404


When I use optical/toslink cables it's worth using glass (not the typical plastic) optic path. Just use care when placing it in your system...no sharp bends or it will crack the glass inside.


Didn't know that.


Thank you
 

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^^^


or, he could just go with "what works", and spend a couple bucks on a generic toslink cable... or use whatever he has lying around...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Rex /forum/post/19639404


When I use optical/toslink cables it's worth using glass (not the typical plastic) optic path. Just use care when placing it in your system...no sharp bends or it will crack the glass inside.

BS.


Do you have an articulable reason why?

 

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The highest end DVI cables for longer runs use multi-mode glass fibers or very high quality Hard-Polymer Clad Fibre in the optic path. Why not have similar design quality for an audio toslink. Especially considering prices have come way down and now start in a similar price bracket to cheapo toslinks.


The manufacturers of high end DVI cables choose glass over cheap plastic. I'm sure they have their reasons. Will glass preserve the integrity of the light path better? This would be a question for the manufacturer. The glass toslinks utilize 280 glass fiber optic conductors and micro-polished glass lens terminations in the glass toslinks. Somehow I would rather have a polished glass lens. We all know how glass ages but time sometimes isn't as kind to plastics. I have read that pastics used in a toslink can become hazy with time...who knows for sure.


Have you even listened to a glass vs plastic optic toslink cable? Unlikely... To me glass sounded better.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Rex /forum/post/19670093


The highest end DVI cables for longer runs use multi-mode glass fibers or very high quality Hard-Polymer Clad Fibre in the optic path. Why not have similar design quality for an audio toslink. Especially considering prices have come way down and now start in a similar price bracket to cheapo toslinks.


The manufacturers of high end DVI cables choose glass over cheap plastic. I'm sure they have their reasons. The glass toslinks utilize 280 glass fiber optic conductors and micro-polished glass lens terminations in the glass toslinks. Somehow I would rather have a polished glass lens than plastic. In a similar price range I would go glass. We all know how glass ages but time sometimes isn't as kind to plastics.


Have you even listened to a glass vs plastic optic toslink cable? Unlikely... To me glass sounded better.

Just what I thought. A load of completely unsubstantiated, anti-science garbage that has no relationship to any kind of actual fiber-optics engineering for this application.


And no, I don't make it a habit of sticking toslink cables in my ears, so I can't say I've ever "listened" to one.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles /forum/post/19670156


Just what I thought. A load of completely unsubstantiated, anti-science garbage that has no relationship to any kind of actual fiber-optics engineering for this application.


And no, I don't make it a habit of sticking toslink cables in my ears, so I can't say I've ever "listened" to one.

Really, why don't you enlighten us with your knowledge and experience of why plastic performs just as well as glass. Tried little, compared nothing, yet full of irrefutable bitter opinions....the typical AVS school of thought.
 

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The bandwidth of the Toslink SPDIF interface is not very high.


Glass-based fibers generally have less loss out of the fiber and less attenuation in the fiber, compared to POF. Glass fibers also AFAIK are not made in the appropriate size for Toslink, and must be bundled together. They are also significantly more fragile than POF, which is a concern for consumers who are not trained to handle fiber-optics properly, though admittedly POF is also rather fragile and I've seen POF fiber broken and cracked many times in audio systems, which ocassionally does cause failures.


But as far as SPDIF in the home, there is really no performance difference that is at all relevant between the two. Even a shattered Toslink cable is very likely to work just fine. SPDIF is basically all-or-nothing, if the link is working and you're getting audio, there is no link performance difference to be had by using a different fiber or a different cable. And at the distances we're talking for interconnects in the home, which is generally just a few feet, worrying about loss in the fiber is uninformed nonsense.


As far as DVI cables go, DVI cables are made out of copper. Interfaces exist to push digital video in DVI, HDMI, and SDI formats over fiber, but at the consumer level those are generally arbitrary interfaces. Uncompressed HD video formats like these also are orders of magnitude higher in bandwidth than SPDIF which is a very simple, rudimentary, and uncomplicated audio link which provides almost nothing in the way of serious engineering challenges, and the Toslink inputs/outputs cost literally pennies.


Either glass or plastic has really no bearing at all realistically on the performance of the SPDIF interface. Unless you are experiencing actual audio dropouts, or total cable failure, there is absolutely no difference whatsoever.


Your rambling conjectures about the possibilities of differences are totally uninformed, and are thoroughly irrational.


It's like worrying about the tread pattern on the tire on your wheelbarrow. Just because tires matter a lot in high-performance racing cars, it doesn't thus logically follow that tire quality is universally a crucially important attribute across the board. SPDIF is a wheelbarrow as far as interfaces go: it's low-bandwidth, very straightforward, and provides very little in the way of actual challenges.


This is not the case in entirely different situations like high-bandwidth data, video, etc and where cables are being pulled hundreds or thousands of miles, and optical performance becomes crucial.


If you want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on improving the handling performance of your wheelbarrow, feel free. But don't come onto an AVScience forum and make up a bunch of nonsense and start recommending things to people when you don't know what you're talking about.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles /forum/post/19670552


It's like worrying about the tread pattern on the tire on your wheelbarrow. Just because tires matter a lot in high-performance racing cars, it doesn't thus logically follow that tire quality is universally a crucially important attribute across the board. SPDIF is a wheelbarrow as far as interfaces go: it's low-bandwidth, very straightforward, and provides very little in the way of actual challenges.

that is a GREAT (not just good, but GREAT) analogy... "spdif: the wheelbarrow of the audio world"...



when you really think about it, spdif really IS the wheelbarrow of the audio world... has worked really well connecting devices for a LONG time with no issues... a regular old workhorse... rarely (if ever) fails, despite the amount of abuse it may take (unless you are silly enough to use glass in an application that doesn't call for it
)...


well done, cw...



+1 to the rest of it as well...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles /forum/post/0


The bandwidth of the Toslink SPDIF interface is not very high.


Glass-based fibers generally have less loss out of the fiber and less attenuation in the fiber, compared to POF. Glass fibers also AFAIK are not made in the appropriate size for Toslink, and must be bundled together. They are also significantly more fragile than POF, which is a concern for consumers who are not trained to handle fiber-optics properly, though admittedly POF is also rather fragile and I've seen POF fiber broken and cracked many times in audio systems, which ocassionally does cause failures.


But as far as SPDIF in the home, there is really no performance difference that is at all relevant between the two. Even a shattered Toslink cable is very likely to work just fine. SPDIF is basically all-or-nothing, if the link is working and you're getting audio, there is no link performance difference to be had by using a different fiber or a different cable. And at the distances we're talking for interconnects in the home, which is generally just a few feet, worrying about loss in the fiber is uninformed nonsense.


As far as DVI cables go, DVI cables are made out of copper. Interfaces exist to push digital video in DVI, HDMI, and SDI formats over fiber, but at the consumer level those are generally arbitrary interfaces. Uncompressed HD video formats like these also are orders of magnitude higher in bandwidth than SPDIF which is a very simple, rudimentary, and uncomplicated audio link which provides almost nothing in the way of serious engineering challenges, and the Toslink inputs/outputs cost literally pennies.


Either glass or plastic has really no bearing at all realistically on the performance of the SPDIF interface. Unless you are experiencing actual audio dropouts, or total cable failure, there is absolutely no difference whatsoever.


Your rambling conjectures about the possibilities of differences are totally uninformed, and are thoroughly irrational.


It's like worrying about the tread pattern on the tire on your wheelbarrow. Just because tires matter a lot in high-performance racing cars, it doesn't thus logically follow that tire quality is universally a crucially important attribute across the board. SPDIF is a wheelbarrow as far as interfaces go: it's low-bandwidth, very straightforward, and provides very little in the way of actual challenges.


This is not the case in entirely different situations like high-bandwidth data, video, etc and where cables are being pulled hundreds or thousands of miles, and optical performance becomes crucial.


If you want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on improving the handling performance of your wheelbarrow, feel free. But don't come onto an AVScience forum and make up a bunch of nonsense and start recommending things to people when you don't know what you're talking about.

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.


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.


"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.


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.


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.


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.


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.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Rex /forum/post/19671508


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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
"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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.
 

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The only performance difference i have seen with toslink cables had to do with the connector. Once on a Fry's sourced optical cable the connector was so crappy that it would slide out.. which is a rare occurrence with optical cable.


If you 'feel' like an expensive optical cable is better then go for it. I promise you that the only difference you will notice is the balance in your checking account.
 

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Getting philisophical about the state of mankind and one's right to give an an opinion regarding differences of two types of optical cables sounds nuts.
The sorry state of mankind is how humankind generally treat eachother. Generally not very good, and your responses in this thread are a nice example of this. Sometimes I think people use this site as a place to vent and displace in.



A glass optic cable starting price is very low and not that much more $ than a moderately low priced quality plastic cable. At a minimum you get high quality glass fiber path, higher quality glass lens, and everyone I have tried had a very secure connection to the component (unlike pack in cables), which 39centstamp has accurately stated. From a build quality stand point, you can not say plastic is better, from a connection standpoint, the glass will be better than a pack-in plastic, which I am sure you are talking about here.


Sound quality difference? There will always be differences of opinion. On your system there may be none. On my system there was, but it is likely we have very different systems. If you compared glass and plastic and then concluded there is no audible difference then that would be fine, but here you have compared nothing yet your opnions are so absolute. Not very scientific at all. Last I checked "rudimentary" science theory dictates: hypothesis, test, data analysis. At AVS it goes theory based on what we read/or choose to read then irrefutable bitter opinion with no testing or comparing... then bash all those that oppose your untested theory. Now that's what is sad.
 

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Don't take anything in a forum personally.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Rex /forum/post/19677811


Getting philisophical about the state of mankind and one's right to give an an opinion regarding differences of two types of optical cables sounds nuts.
The sorry state of mankind is how humankind generally treat eachother. Generally not very good, and your responses in this thread are a nice example of this. Sometimes I think people use this site as a place to vent and displace in.



A glass optic cable starting price is very low and not that much more $ than a moderately low priced quality plastic cable. At a minimum you get high quality glass fiber path, higher quality glass lens, and everyone I have tried had a very secure connection to the component (unlike pack in cables), which 39centstamp has accurately stated. From a build quality stand point, you can not say plastic is better, from a connection standpoint, the glass will be better than a pack-in plastic, which I am sure you are talking about here.

Assuming for just a moment that using a glass Toslink cable does provide slightly less optical loss over the short distances we're talking about. It still has zero impact whatsoever on jitter or anything that might plausibly become audible. And unless there were an actual break or failure in one of the cables, that slight difference in optical loss would not have any difference on the PCM signal itself, because with fiber the "amplitude" is not relevant at all as long the signal remains recoverable.

Quote:
Sound quality difference? There will always be differences of opinion. On your system there may be none. On my system there was, but it is likely we have very different systems.

Did you do a test to determine this? Was it controlled?


Clearly you did not.


And I'm not willing to get into a pissing match over systems. I have more than $20K in my theater system in an acoustically treated room. And I've been in the field of high-end AV for a number of years.

Quote:
If you compared glass and plastic and then concluded there is no audible difference then that would be fine, but here you have compared nothing yet your opnions are so absolute.

Have you ever done a blinded test of anything? I actually have administered and participated in a rigorous blinded test of high-end speaker cabling (costing more than $20K) in one of the world's best audio systems (anywhere at any price). And speaker cabling is actually FAR more likely to have any kind of actual impact compared to SPDIF over fiber which is even simpler and more straightforward, and far less complicated in application than speaker cable, which itself is one of the least complex parts of an audio system.

Quote:
Not very scientific at all. Last I checked "rudimentary" science theory dictates: hypothesis, test, data analysis. At AVS it goes theory based on what we read/or choose to read then irrefutable bitter opinion with no testing or comparing... then bash all those that oppose your untested theory. Now that's what is sad.

You missed the first step, which is gathering information and resources from which you then form and test a hypothesis. You clearly lack an understanding of both the signaling in question, and the physical interface and how that might affect the signal.


This is a SCIENCE forum. If you are of the opinion that the laws of physics do not apply here, PROVE IT.


Until you do a properly administered and rigorous listening test that establishes audible difference between Toslink cables, your opinion remains unsubstantiated, anti-science, anti-knowledge nonsense. I don't have patience for it, and it has no place on this forum.


If you have a legitimate claim, then feel free to post your testing methods and results for public review.


But of course you have never actually done a test on this, so you have neither theory nor any actual evidence or observation to support this load of crap.
 

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Unlike most people I have done plenty of well conducted blind tests and posted some of the results on AVS. I do plenty of research on everything hometheater related and have done so for over 25 years. I have used optical on a Toshiba HD player for a few months and now use analog out of an 09 to an MC12...but I heard a difference with glass. Build quality and less loss is fact, is going from plastic to glass audible in a 2 meter cable...that's an opinion.


Speakers and the room are clearly the most critical, that is why I treated my room and use EW speakers.
 
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