1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Optical or Coaxial?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by Da_Rude_Baboon, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Messages:
    492
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +55
    I'm just taking my first tentative steps into the world of home cinema seperates and am unsure what type of audio interconnect i should buy. I have purchased the Mordaunt Short Genies, which are still waiting to be wall mounted, and have a Denon AVR-1905 on back order.

    Basically i dont know if i should get an optical cable or a digital coaxial cable to link my DVD player (Philips DVDR80) and the AV reciever?

    Also my TV (Panasonic 28PB50 i think..) doesnt have enough scart sockets for everything i was planning to connect. Would i be better getting a scart switching box or using the video inputs of AVR-1905 to connect everything?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. richhaywood

    richhaywood
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Messages:
    29
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    East midlands
    Ratings:
    +1
    I have had the same dilemma, however i went to sevenoaks who said that ideally you should use the digital coaxial rather than the optical, which is what im using. Basically the dvd would normally ouput a voltage down the coaxial, but using the optical is has to convert this to light, then when it gets to your denon it'll have to convert it back to a voltage again.

    So basically use coaxial which cuts out the conversion process
     
  3. pjclark1

    pjclark1
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,411
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Thailand
    Ratings:
    +271
    co-ax or optical, it don't matter, it's digital
    The Tv is likely to only have 1 RGB SCART socket (AV1), and 1 s-video SCART socket (AV2) but you might be able to loop the RGB scart through the other RGB equipment.
     
  4. Reiner

    Reiner
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2000
    Messages:
    3,315
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Location:
    Germany
    Ratings:
    +13
    Based on my experience (I just tested a couple of weeks ago) there is no audible difference between optical and coaxial. Coaxial is however better from a mechanical point of view while optical avoids ground loops.
     
  5. Da_Rude_Baboon

    Da_Rude_Baboon
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2005
    Messages:
    492
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +55
    Thanks for the replys. :thumbsup:

    TV has 3 scart sockets, 2 RGB and 1 s-Video.
     
  6. CfP

    CfP
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Hate to burst your bubble richhaywood, but the same conversion has to be done for coaxial transmission of digital signal as for optical, just the medium (cable type) is different. The conversion is TTL (Transistor to Transistor Logic (5V) to whatever).

    Optical converts it to light pulses.
    Coax converst it to different voltages (up to 1.66mv from memory).

    These voltages represent either a 0 or a 1. That's how digital is.

    If you want to know more, go to the website of the IC manufacturers for your TOSLink or COAX IC convert and read their spec sheet, you'll see it's no different for one to the other.

    CfP
     
  7. Dfour

    Dfour
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,998
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Bracknell
    Ratings:
    +85
    IMHO I have found coax cables sound better than optical cabels.

    Mark Grant makes superb quality cables for :beer: money. Look under the power buys forum for his stuff
     
  8. pjclark1

    pjclark1
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Messages:
    4,411
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Thailand
    Ratings:
    +271
    or use 1/2 a phono stereo pair and save yourself a load of dosh.
     
  9. alexs2

    alexs2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    13,896
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,674
    Given that the SP/DIF standard requires a 75ohm termination,and that few if any signal interconnects intended for stereo interconnect use offer that,there is the obvious potential for mismatching there,and it is theoretically very undesirable.
    Cheap digital interconnects are readily available,and will mostly circumvent that issue.....having said all that,and with respect to the comments above regarding optical Vs coaxial,for most purposes,and in the lower price levels,most people would be hard pressed to hear any difference.

    It certainly can be an issue with more revealing systems.
     
  10. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    9,748
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Ratings:
    +270
    Sorry, but I do not believe that an impedance mismatch is going to be a problem at all in a short cable (1m/1.5m). Use the wrong cable on a 20m run and, yes, you might see/hear a problem.
     
  11. alexs2

    alexs2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    13,896
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,674
    I should have known you'd be along to argue the toss on that one.... :D

    Believe or disbelieve,it doesn't really matter,as my post made perfectly clear,by saying it is a POTENTIAL problem,that is THEORETICALLY undesirable,and most likely inaudible with most systems.

    Just to add to it I would say that with a transport/DAC/upsampler and amp combination in a moderately high price bracket,it is worth getting the impedances matched correctly.
     
  12. Reiner

    Reiner
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2000
    Messages:
    3,315
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    61
    Location:
    Germany
    Ratings:
    +13
    Well, I think to hear a difference between a digital interconnect and an analogue one, used for the coaxial connection between DVD player and AV amp - but only with PCM (CD-Audio), not with DD/DTS.

    Anyhow, "digital cables" are not too expensive, in fact video leads can be used as they also have an impedance of 75 Ohm.
     
  13. richhaywood

    richhaywood
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Messages:
    29
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    East midlands
    Ratings:
    +1

    Thanks for clearing that up, just shows that i don't have a clue either, looks like i'll be sticking with my optical cable that i bought off ebay.
    I say this as i borrowed a friends digital coaxial and found no difference what so ever.
     
  14. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
    Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2004
    Messages:
    9,748
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Ratings:
    +270
    I'm glad that you were able to confirm that there is no audible difference between optical and co-axial connections. :)
     
  15. caleb

    caleb
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    Messages:
    368
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Cape Town (Ex Holmfirth Yorkshire)
    Ratings:
    +3
    The Toslink optical cables have many drawbacks particularly that where to make the cables / connectors affordable the "professional" opticals were cheapened.

    IMHO a coaxial digital connector gives the best sound - and YES you can hear the difference.

    Caleb
     
  16. alexs2

    alexs2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2002
    Messages:
    13,896
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Ratings:
    +1,674
    Obviously this will produce the usual responses,but I find myself having to agree with you,but I'll qualify it by adding that the difference is clear with equipment capable of doing so....that isn't intended as any criticism of some systems,merely that some aren't going to be capable of doing so.

    As I'm sure you have,I've tried both with my AV32R and with the DAC/upsampler I have,and coaxial is much better.
     

Share This Page

Loading...