Ok for a change which cables do you recommend for Digital coaxial or optical audio??

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by djinn, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. djinn

    djinn
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    Hi, have both optical and digital coaxial outputs on my DVD player. Want the best sound possible to be output between the player (Pioneer DV535 and amp Marantz SR5200)....

    What are your suggestions for cables for under #50.00 - only nees 0.5 to 1 m cables.
     
  2. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    For coax (the best connection) you could try:

    IXOS 105 £25 1m

    or

    Chord Cable Co. Codac £42 1m

    The IXOS is a very good lead but the Chord is excellent. Depends how much you want to spend.
     
  3. Guest

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    All digital interconnects will sound exactly the same providing the signal is getting through ok. The sound is sent in encoded packets.

    It's all 1s and 0s. No matter how cheap your cable is if a 1 leaves the player then it will arrive as a 1 at the amp.
     
  4. djinn

    djinn
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    That is very interesting Cream, you are right about that scientifically, I had not thought about that. So what is all the talk about better sound, or this sounding better than that - merely a placebo effect??
     
  5. Guest

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    It is exactly that. If people expect to hear a difference then they will hear one.

    Of course the hi-fi industry won't tell you this because it's not in their interest. They'd rather tell you that an expensive DVD player sounds better than a cheap one, when in fact they all sound exactly the same because, for sound at least, all the player is doing is taking the data straight off the disc and sending it to the amp, with no processing of it whatever.

    And don't get me on speaker cable.....!
     
  6. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    The onlt thing that can really affect digital coax leads is RFI. So if you get a decent lead it will be well screen/shielded and keep the signal pure.
     
  7. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    In which case I'd like you to compare a cheap £79 job from Richer Sounds with something like a Proceed PMDT £7k. You'll need to have some hearing problem not to hear the difference.
     
  8. Guest

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    I've explained why they would sound the same.

    Would you like to explain why they would sound different? Just one technical reason would do.

    Just one...
     
  9. RATMARK

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    Got to disagree cream,quality does improve with outlay.of course the law of diminishing returns comes in sooner or later,you cant compare £100 decks cd or dvds with £400/£500 machines unless im thick and just waste money upgrading' i can can tell the difference. and cables do improve sound,you dont have to spend a fortune to get the best out of your kit:eek:
     
  10. Guest

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    Cream, you've been spending to much time in your club next to the speakers. Stick to the pills your doctor perscribed
     
  11. Guest

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    Witless abuse I can get anywhere on the net. I was hoping someone would have a technical argument.

    All I want is a technical reason why one DVD player would sound better than another one.

    Come on, surely somebody's got one! There must be loads! After all you've spents lots of money because you believe it's true.
     
  12. Guest

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    I'm sorry cream. i guess you could say cables are just like people. Some are just more sensitive then others. Your analyses is not exactly thorough, digital waves can be corrupted. so if your presumption is that it simply comes out in o's and we get it back in 1's, then that's just a load of number 2. you want the purest signal you can achieve, and the better cable, the better delivery of the signal.
    As far as you wanting a 'technical' debate, the old goes out as 0's and comes back as 1's is a bit simplistic. All the research say's it matters there are cables that are £1500 a meter and up, used by hi-end users and recording studies . As an owner of a small business i know that you can't survive for very long on a con, sooner or later you've got to deliver. It's not an argument to say it goes out as o's and comes in at '1s, so all cable is the same . Your rudimentary understanding of digital signals does not stand up.

    A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. (i should know ,i've none)
     
  13. Kevin Bracey

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    I'd say that there are a few potential issues here. In a PCM digital link from a CD/DVD player, raw data is being sent. The chance of any bit of data being corrupted is absolutely insignificant, unless you have a seriously faulty cable or a LOT of interference. However, the DACs in the amp are relying on the timing of the signals, and "jitter" in the transport or cable could cause a small amount of analogue distortion, due to parts of the waveform arriving early or late. I've got no real idea how large this effect is in practice - I suspect the accuracy of the DACs is more significant in most cases.

    Now, in the case of Dolby Digital or DTS data, a compressed data stream is being sent, in which timing has to be derived separately within the transport and the decoder. They have to stay in sync over the long term, meaning that the basic time-base has to be accurate in each - losing sync may lead to occasional drop-outs (or subtle pitch shifts occasionally, if the decoder speeds up or slows down to regain sync). However, there is no scope for continuous distortion due to jitter, and again, the chance of the data being actually corrupted is microscopic.

    I would say that the benefit of optical connection is simply that the CD/DVD and amp can be electrically isolated (if you have no other leads going to the amp), thus possibly reducing electrical interference effects. Also, you've got one less wire trailing behind your kit to interfere with all those poor, sensitive analogue audio and video signals.
     
  14. bob007

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    Opical versus Coaxial
    Question:
    What is the audible difference?
    After all, they are just sending a bunch of zeros and ones from one place to another, what makes one better?

    Answer:
    Each cable does indeed carry the same signal, a simple stream of ones and zeroes - seems like that should be easy. In theory the different types of digital cables (coaxial, TOSLINK optical, and others) should not have any audible differences. However, in theory rarely translates to in fact, which is the case with these cable types.

    The task of sending ones and zeroes through the wire is fairly simple. A coaxial cable sends an electric signal with its voltage or lack there of representing the digital bits. An optical cable (TOSLINK as used by most people) sends pulses of light to represent the same bits. The optical TOSLINK cable uses thin, clear plastic fibers to transmit the pulses of light. The problem with this design is that the light tends to bounce around inside the cable, especially when the cable is turned in fairly tight curves or extends long distances. As the light bounces around, it throws off the timing of the signal. A digital signal''s series of ones and zeroes should arrive in a very exact time frame. When the bits do not arrive at quite the right time we encounter jitter. Jitter is simply a timing error, but this timing error can create audible distortion. So transmitting the bits is not the only job of a cable, minimizing (or not introducing) jitter is another important task.

    Coaxial cables are subject to jitter problems, it is not an issue for TOSLINK cables only, however, coax cables tend to suffer from less jitter problems. Thus is the signal is the same but the coaxial cable introduces less distortion in the form of jitter timing errors the coax connection can produce a more perfect signal. Is there a difference? Yes. Is it audible? It can be. Should you be concerned? Not overly. If you have the option between coaxial and TOSLINK digital connections, go the coaxial route. If you have no option, the differences are subtle and TOSLINK works fine as a transmission format for digital bits.
     
  15. Matt

    Matt
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    Has anyone ever connected two cables to a signal generator, and put them through a two channel oscilloscope and compared the two input signals? I was thinking about this on the way to work today. Would be interested to see how much difference thre was between a proper digital cable and a bit of electrical flex or even phone cable.
    Might have to have a word with the engineering department downstairs and see if i could borrow one for a bit.
     
  16. AOD

    AOD
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    One comment I recall hearing many moons ago was that coax was preferable over TOSLINK as the LED emitters (non tech speak, the bits that generate the light that gets sent down the cable) were fairly "sluggish" in their response to incoming signals.

    Of course presumably not all LED's are created equal, so maybe some are better than others.

    Another comment I recall was that coax had a higher potential bandwidth compared to TOSLINK.
     
  17. dmckillop

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    ...and I would have thougth that any digital signal would utilise some sort of error correction (CRC). Besides that nothing is going to interfere with this signal it's light not RF.

    How much do these cables cost? Do they actually try to sell premium cables?
     

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