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Optical or Coaxial Digital Interconnects?

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by flexiondotorg, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. flexiondotorg

    flexiondotorg
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    Hi,

    I am at the point where I want to start connecting my new equipment together with new, better quality, cables. I am interested to know if other Arcam owners have a preference for using the Optical or Coaxial inputs/outputs?

    I only ask becuase my previous experience with a (very old, circa 1999) Pioneer DV-626 DVD player suffered with really poor audio quality via optical, yet coaxial was fine. Numerous cables were tested at the time and coaxial cable of any quality out performed optical.

    As you can see from my signatue I will be connecting a DV78 to an AVR250. Thanks in advance for any advice and guideance.
     
  2. jamie110

    jamie110
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    Just my two penneth worth.....

    i was also pondering this choice, and after reading magazines etc was convinced that Coaxial was a better way to go........

    Now, I have moved my DVD player to far for the coaxial cable to reach and had to use a 3 metre Optical connection.......

    Both were fine to be totally fair, but somehow i prefer the optical link, to my very untrained ears it just sounds richer?

    Just for comparison sake, I use a Sony DVPNS999ES DVD and a STRVA333ES receiver.

    I am sure some people will come back with the pros and cons, and some technicall stuff!

    Cheers
     
  3. flexiondotorg

    flexiondotorg
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    Thanks for the feeback. Anyone else got anything to add?
     
  4. johndon

    johndon
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    I've got a DV79 connected to an AVR300 and I've tried both the optical and coaxial connections and, to be honest, can't tell the difference. I'm currently using the coax connection but only because I needed the optical for something else.

    John
     
  5. Greggles

    Greggles
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    Over the years I have experimented with various optical and electrical digital connections. I currently use Russ Andrews DV-60 "hyper-pure silver" digital interconnect between DV29 and AV8. I use the AV8's optical connections for Sky+ and DVD recorder.
     
  6. sploo

    sploo
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    I seem to remember reading an article that stated there were problems with the early optical systems (can't recall the reasons right now). It did also state that the problems were now largely resolved.

    Sorry I can't be more specific (memory... old... fading...), but, as johndon indicates, there's probably no real difference.

    I'm currently running a HTPC and a DVD/CD player to an AVR300 via coax, and a PS2 via optical - just use the connection that's easiest!
     
  7. Dean_S

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    Surely coaxial is the best way, because converting an electrical signal to an optical one (& back again at the other end) can only cause additional jitter.

    Dean
     
  8. deaf cat

    deaf cat
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    I am afraid I only have a coax o/p so I only compared the various grades of coax cable, and to my amazement the £70 cable sounded better than the £20 cable - I was thinking its only 1001001111's etc going down the cable so it would not matter what the cable was. And still even more amazed the £120 sounded even better and so on......

    So borrow and have a listen to the different cables, get someone else to change them over, and make sure you do not know which one you are listening to, so you do not automatically think the £200 one is better.
     
  9. hedrick@rutgers

    hedrick@rutgers
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    I believe the problem is that the optical cables didn't have enough bandwidth. This is counter-intuitive, since I'm used to fiber optics being used for multi-gigabit data. However apparently the audio optical technology is different: it uses LEDs rather than lasers, and (at least in the early implementations) plastic rather than glass fiber.

    I spend a few hours searching for information on the Internet. The best evidence seems to be that there are more dangers in the optical technology, but that good current implementations are indistinguishable from coax.

    I don't see any reason you couldn't use a 3 meter coax cable.
     
  10. flexiondotorg

    flexiondotorg
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    Thank you all for the advice and information. Very helpful, I will now arrange to borrow a selection of coax and optical cables for a home test.
     

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