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Both my receiver and DVD player give me the choice to use either optical or digital coax. The cable in either case will be no more than 2m. Which should I choose?
 

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Well, If you've got a radio tower in your backyard go for the optical. Otherwise use Coax, it costs less and is more resilient. Also, it is not certain whether the RFI a coax *may* pick-up could actually be transmitted to the receiver.


Kirk
 

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The possiblity exist for it to pick up some RFI. Now usually this digital coax cables are shielded. So unless you have an F-111 jamming the signal at say about a miles range you should be fine. =D
 

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I use coax on my system. I A/B'd it with optical - coax was definitely better.
 

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There can be a difference, and you can hear it. Optical goes through another step in decoding, so they are not the same, and a lot of how well an optical handles this is based upon the quality of the RX/TX optical signal decoder, that can cause the process to create a more "digital" sounding soundstage. Usually that's due to the quality of the optical transistor in the RX part as well as perhaps transistors that follow in the signal path. In essense, something happens during the decoding process by inferior optical decoders to take away the smoothness capable with a good quality digital coax.


Obviously, the price range of the component can enter into the quality of the RX/TX component parts used, and consequently, the greater possibility this difference could be substantial.


Lex

CATCables.com
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Lex
There can be a difference, and you can hear it. Optical goes through another step in decoding, so they are not the same, and a lot of how well an optical handles this is based upon the quality of the RX/TX optical signal decoder, that can cause the process to create a more "digital" sounding soundstage. Usually that's due to the quality of the optical transistor in the RX part as well as perhaps transistors that follow in the signal path. In essense, something happens during the decoding process by inferior optical decoders to take away the smoothness capable with a good quality digital coax.
I couldn't read this BS without responding. Yes there is another step when you go optical because the digital signal has to be converted to light and then from light back to the digital signal. However, because it is digital there is no change to the original signal. If it were an analog signal then yes optical could take away some of the "smoothness" but because it is digital the signal out is the same as the signal in (i.e. it does not "drop" bits).


People are very ignorant and biased about this issue so alot claim that there is a difference. As long as there is a clean connection there is no difference.
 

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Craig,


There is no need to get personal, we are just sharing opinions here.


I understand what you are saying; 1's and 0's are 1's and 0's - however there is something to the situation that Lex brought up.


I am not an audio engineer so I can't explain why in technical terms, however there is something that happens when the signal gets converted from the light to the copper systems. I think it might be something around signal degradation - I don't know.


What I do know is that an audible difference exists between music transported over coax and optical on my system. Coax sounds better to me.


Have you tried this yourself on your system? If so, what were your results? I would be interested in hearing about it.
 

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there have been many, many arguments that digital is digital and it doesn't matter how it gets there. These same arguments are typically used for cable questions such as yours and for transport questions like how sound coming digitally from one CD player could be different from another CD player (nothing analog done by either player).


I personally do not hear any difference, but I do understand the arguments better these days.


With computers and digital data the 1's and 0's are conveyed accurately regardless of transport quality, however differences can occur with variations in timing. If each bit (1 or 0) is delivered in 5ms intervals and one bit comes a little late while another is a little early (not transposed, just bad rhythm) the computer can afford to wait a moment so all ducks are in a row. When feeding this stream into a D/A converter, however, the breakups in rhythm can create timing errors (jitter) and distort the resulting analog waves causing a supposedly audible fluctuation.


It seems to me (being a PC guy) that these slight problems would not only be inaudible, but also irrelevant if there is even a very small buffer in the mix.


Anyway, the punchline is that a computer can copy files perfectly because it doesn't need to have all the data conveyed in a precise amount of time (like the length of a song) while a transport/cable/whatever can mess up the data because it has to come in EXACTLY the right time.


jake
 

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Hasnt this been discussed so many times already that we have limited any responce to threads on this to "use what fits better in the space" or "use whichever you receiver has the most of"


Personally for me there is no difference. I use optical from my dvd player because it doesnt move. On the other hand i use digital coax from my htpc because its a long cable run and goes outside my ht cabinet.
 

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This has been discussed ad infinitum in this and other forums! :(

Quote:
As long as there is a clean connection there is no difference.
That of course, is patently mis-leading as there are other considerations. Do a search in this forum.
 

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Mike, thanks for your opinion on the personal nature of what was said.


Craig, I don't really appreciate your choice of words. Maybe this topic is just a hot button for you, I don't know. Obviously, you have a lot of posts here, and under normal circumstances must be an ok guy.


I expressed my professional opinion pure and simple, yet backed up by scientific opinion, and wasn't condemning anyone else's opinion.


Additionally, as a cable professional, I believe I am due professional courtesy according to the rules, not to be flamed such as you did. I am sure if I called this to a moderator's view, he would handle it appropriately. But that's not my style to run and tell.


Just FYI, I know what my own ears hear, but my technical explanation came from information received from an Electrical Engineer, not some snot nosed kid that doesn't know his capacitors from his resistors-


Lex

CATCables.com
 

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You guys want to totally crap your pants? Check out THIS link. The interconnects are ONLY $4300/Meter/pair and the speaker cables are ONLY $3300/Meter/pair. Yes, that is THOUSANDS, this is NOT a misprint!
 

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If there is a difference in the sound, could one of you guys point me to a study where they used a large pool of people in double blind tests and the majority were able to spot the difference?

Im gonna go out on a limb and say no (suprise me!).

Have any of you actually done a REAL SCIENTIFIC comparison? A/B is worthless, you can't have any idea what one is being played. You have to isolate all variables.

Im sure this has been debated on forums over and over, I would think by now someone might have given it a try and conducted a real test. Not these BS comparisons where you might as well say you can hear a fly fart from 50 yards away in the middle of a hurricane.
 

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Lucky,


Don't know of any scientifically conducted tests of the sonic differences between coax and fiber.


I have never done a scientific test myself.


Can you please point me to the scientific test that you read that concludes that A/B is worthless and in what context is it worthless? I'd like to read it. ;)


The comparisons are not BS because they are not presented as scientific and they are presented as anecdotal. Therefore they stand.


This is a friendly conversation among audio lovers who are sharing their experiences and knowledge levels. If you have something positive to add to the conversation I would like to hear it.










;)
 

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 Heres a pretty good answer.


For a good chuckle, read THIS .


Reminds me of people tasting wine and giving their opinion.
 

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Mike: I cannot say in particular about A/B tests, but any drug company testing a drug gives to half the people a placebo. What we hear, see, taste, feel, can be influenced by ourselves and by what others say. I think that is Lucky's point.
 

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First of all I aplogize for my previous response. I didn't mean it to be a personal attack. It just caught me at the wrong moment and it does happen to be one my hot buttons.


I have read most of the posts in these forums about this issue and am constantly amazed at the mis-imformation that is spread and stated as fact.


I personally cannot tell any difference. I have done some tests with friends who claim they could here a difference and the results tend to show that they can't tell either. It wasn't a scientific test so who knows.


I'm an engineer and I understand the principles behind this issue and there are no apparent reasons for an audible difference between the two. Yes there could be jitter but that is more an issue of the equipment being interconnected than an issue with the interconnects.


I would love to see some scientific study regarding this and maybe someday when I'm bored I'll perform the experiment myself.


Sorry if I offended anyone.
 

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Regarding Marissadad's link to feedback on power cables. Not wanting to start an all out flame war, how can these even make the slightest difference? With however many MILES of transmission lines between them and the provider?


Ill look at this in the idea that these were audio/video cables. The real difference in cables is the amount of signal loss. This can be effected by a list of variables like for example termination, capacitance and resistance.


Now say these people are using there own power producing devices, balanced power and such. With this in mind the quality of cable could come into effect BUT none of the components within the devices ever see line power. If they are using high end equipment (of course they are if they use 250 dollar power cables) then these devices would already have power supplies designed to filter even the worst of power.


The power supply in these devices would function just the same if there was a .1% signal loss compared to a .000000001% signal loss on the ac line.


Now lets say that everything I have posted is completly incorrect. Lets say that signal loss does make a difference. A good portion of this loss would come from the actually "port" on the device the cord plugs into, and on the other side where it plugs into the wall/conditioner. Would they not see better results in connecting the power cord directly to the PCB in the device and tying direct to the 120v feed from the wall/conditioner using no breaks in the line?!?!?


I can understand if you have an inexhaustible supply of money and you purchase these cables. This is a very small part of the population. I would argue that the majority of the people that purchase these cables have fell victim to clever marketing and ill advised acquaintances.


Without getting angry can anyone point me out where I'm wrong?
 

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I've read the pros and cons of wire and cables for years now. I've used both and I truley believe there are far too many other variables that can, ultimately (depending on your HT situation), make this issue a coin-toss.


For example, take audio cables for instance. What's more important, the use of "decent" mid-priced digital cables, or fiberoptic cables? Well I guess it depends. What kind of HT do you have? Do you have an upscale HT complete with sound absorbing wall, no pics on the walls, etc? In other words, you may want to invest money in the room itself before debating over cables. I'd like to hear some feedback from the enginners and audiophiles in the crowd on this, please.


Speaker wire - same deal. "Decent" mid-priced stuff, in my view, MAY be the way to go unless have an upscale HT. I just don't think it matters enough to pull your hair out if your "HT" has painted drywall walls, pictures all over the place, etc. Sound is going to be bouncing all over the place in these set-ups anyway. Heaven forbid your "HT" is in your bedroom, family room, etc. Again, I'd love to hear feedback from sound engineers, audiophiles, etc.


I do have a question though. My current set-up has all my audio/video components immediately adjacent to my screen. Therefore all my cables are relatively short (nothing over 6' or so). I'm in the process of buiding a more upscale HT and my components will be in a side wall, over 10' away from the screen (I'll therefore need about 20' of various cable). Obviously I will have to invest in new cables, etc.


Are there any big issues I should be aware of? For example, will I be shelling out thousands of dollars for "decent" cable? Any suggestions on where I should purchase from (love to save money). Thanks!!
 

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There are numerous companies selling good cables for a decent price. You do not have to purchase the most expensive or most popular cables to get great performance. Read the specs that the cable makers post. research which specs are important and read between the lines. Spend the money on what counts the most. Quality of the parts not marketing or fluff. The prettiest/flashiest cable means absolutely nothing when it comes to sound/picture except we can probably guess where the cable maker placed his priorities.

For video cables ( component and composite) you cant go wrong with top of the line Belden or Canare cables. These are broadcast quality cables usually using pro grade connectors( Canare/King etc..). Built to perform and last. No frills performance for a lot less than the boutique cables.

Here are a few Component/composite cable makers:
http://www.Rhinocables.com - Belden 1694a cables
http://www.Wickedcables.com - belden 1505a cables
http://www.KustomKables.com - assorted Canare cables
http://www.avcable.com - variety of cables - mostly Gepco brand
http://www.Markertek.com - assorted pro quality cables.


Digital:

Rhinocables.com - Belden 1506a

Wickedcables.com - Belden 1505a

Kustomkables.com - Canare brand

Diycable.com - Belden 1506a

Boldercables.com - Belden 1695a


Most of the above makers sell a complete line of cables from Video, digital, analog audio, subwoofer to speaker cables. Some even sell as a DIY kit. Most are custom cable makers who can supply any length required with you choice of connectors. The above is just a partial list to get you looking in the right direction.
 
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