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Optical Cables

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by chrisw, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. chrisw

    chrisw
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    Are optical cables the best way to connect? I've always had my DVD/PS2 connected to my amp via an optical cable mainly to reduce the number of wires at the back of my system. Is this a good way to connect or can it be improved upon?
     
  2. Troon

    Troon
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    It's as good as you'll get. Some claim a co-ax digital connection is better, but no-one's produced evidence or test results. Make sure your cable is clean and well-constructed. Glass is better than plastic but very expensive.
     
  3. loadsofleads

    loadsofleads
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    If you have a modern DVD and amp, 'i link' ('Denonlink' on Denon equipment) would be the only 'better' option. As Troon states, some people swear that coaxial is better than optical, but I must admit I can't hear the difference, but with 'i link' I can :eek:
     
  4. bobbypunk

    bobbypunk
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    Now maybe someone can tell me i'm wrong but I was told optical is best for retaining signal quality over distance whereas coaxial is better as the signal remains electrical from player to amp so is better over usual lengths. But saying this I too could not claim to hearing much difference on equivelant quality cables, except with I-link but thats a different story altogether!
     
  5. Troon

    Troon
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    Most of what you've been told is partial information, at best.

    Glass optical is great for long distances, but is very rare in domestic situations. The cheapo plastic waveguide used in virtually all SPDIF applications is pretty poor over long distances due to dispersion - transitions get smeared over time, causing timing problems (jitter). This is insignificant over the couple of metres in a home setting, though.

    Keeping the signal electrical is of no importance. There is no inherent loss in converting to and from optical, although bad implementations of converters are possible, of course: as are bad coax driver circuits!

    As the signal content is the same, I also don't believe that there is any audible difference between i.link (IEEE1394/Firewire) and SPDIF. Try a blind test where you don't know which is connected.
     
  6. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    You should be able to hear a difference between IEEE and SPDIF, they work in very different ways.

    When done correctly there will be little or no difference between Toslink (optical) SPDIF and Coax (electrical) SPDIF, unfortunately no everyone does it correctly hence...

    Denon link is a good idea and I also think is better but it is down to the timing information that is also sent over the link, like word clock ot Tag sync link cable, not the data transmoission method per se but if you have got it use it!!.
     

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