Optical vs. Coaxial???

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by smoking_gunn, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. smoking_gunn

    smoking_gunn
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    Hi all!

    My question is simple: Which is better for dvd playback? Optical digital or coaxial digital???

    I asked in my local hifi store today, and I was told that on short distances coaxial is better while on long distances optical is better...

    As I've found out that I want to use analogue cable for my cd player, I have to sell one of my digital cables, and keep one of them for my player.
    My player is 10 cm away from my reciever, so if I have to trust my hifi store, coaxial is suggested...
    Do you agree? Which one should I keep? Optical or Coaxial.

    Thanks, DanishDrummer
     
  2. bob007

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    I think you should keep the optical, signals that travel at the speed of light will give the player more time to eliminate all the jitter. Coaxial transfers the 0's and 1's via a small electric current, therefore coaxial is slower, especially when the demand for electric is high, round about tea time.

    Joking apart, doubt you will notice any difference in which lead you keep.
     
  3. rjw

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    There may be some truth to this, although this would generally be for definitions of "long" well outside the realms of any normal AV setup.

    Keep whatever you've got already.

    And prepare to don a flame-proof suit.
     
  4. Ian J

    Ian J
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    There's one easy way to find out and that's to play with them both and see what you think. I doubt whether you'd notice any difference.
     
  5. groundy

    groundy
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    I've always believed in buying decent mid-range cables. Most of what I own is by QED. However if I'm being truthful to myself, I can't say I've ever noticed the difference - other than build quality and reliabilty offcourse.

    I recently changed from an Optical Cable (1m run by Keene) to a Coaxial Cable (0.85m run by Ecosse) and I was extremely shocked at the audible difference. The very fact I noticed any difference at all was a surprise to say the least, but the Coaxial Cable showed a marked improvment in bass and overall fullness.

    Maybe the Keene Optical Cable was just crap but the Ecosse (Producer) only cost £20 anyway.

    As Ian said, try both and decide for yourself. Afterall it'll be your ears doing the listening......unless you've had some kind of weird ear-transplant in the past :D.
     
  6. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    I have tried various electrical cables up to a few hundred quid, if you hear a difference you have better ears than me.

    as far as optical vs electrical goes i would tend to use the electrical (coaxial) cable, one less conversion to do.
     
  7. iwilson

    iwilson
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    I truly pity those cursed with golden ears :D

    There was some guy who did a test using a metal coathanger, can't remember the link now but found a post on another forum discussing the issue.


    "We have spent months on this forum talking about cables to carry the digital audio between a DVD Player and a Receiver or Pre/Pro. The net of these debates is that "IT DOES NOT MATTER". Use fiber optics, use coax or use a piece of "coat hanger wire". The signal out of the DVD is digital and is forward error corrected by one of the most powerful error correcting codes in existence, Reed Solomon.

    Data integrity is protected by a series of cyclic redundancy checks (CRCs) that cause data retransmission until an “error-free” block is transferred. The Reed Solomon encoding used on AC-3 digital audio makes the CRC process look like “kids play”. This coding will detect and correct 1,000 bits of errors in 10,000 bits of data if necessary. A nice clean “1” with sharp edges and a flat top is no different that an extremely dirty “1” with ragged edges and a top that looks like the Rocky Mountains – it’s still a “1”.

    About 3 months ago, a team on another forum ran a 2 hour test where they connected a DVD Player to a Pre/Pro using a piece of coat hanger wire. The results after 2 hours of continuous operations – not a single error do to waveform degradation or timing inaccuracy. They made these measurements using equipment supplied by Dolby. Therefore, don’t get caught up in the marketing hype. Use a 75-ohm coax cable; it is less expensive than fiber (TOSLink). In fact, if you happen to have one of those cheap RCA/RCA cables (i.e., the ones with the yellow plugs on each end) lying around, this will work as well as a $100 cable and probably as well as a good grade of coat hanger wire.

    As a side note, there is no such thing as a "digital coax cable". This is a marketing label. An electron traveling through a wire has no idea that it is the carrier of analog or digital information. I thought you might want to know."
     
  8. groundy

    groundy
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    Unfortunately most of my coat hangers are plastic, with the notable exception of a few heavy duty wooden ones for my suits. As such, I think I'll stick with my branded cables :rolleyes:.
     
  9. gizlaroc

    gizlaroc
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    I use satellite coax cost me 30p for a metre and 79p for the rca plugs.

    job done ;)
     
  10. Confucius

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    Listen, then choose.

    If you can't hear the difference then what does it matter? :)

    No-one can tell you what your own ears (and brain) can sense.
     
  11. Reiner

    Reiner
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    I think you should keep the optical, signals that travel at the speed of light will give the player more time to eliminate all the jitter.

    I doubt that it will eliminate anything, especially not jitter which may already have been introduced in the transport.

    Coaxial transfers the 0's and 1's via a small electric current, therefore coaxial is slower, ...

    Why? Optical undergoes additional conversion so I would argue that also takes time and "slows things down".
    But take a guess at what speed electrical current travels!?

    ... especially when the demand for electric is high, round about tea time.

    Perhaps you should get your own generator then ... :D


    Personally I think there is no audible difference between the optical and coaxial connection (nothing wrong with trying it yourself though) .
     
  12. juboy

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    Being a bit of a cable-geek (more for my own amusement and reduction of bank balance than scientific interest), I've used several optical and coaxial 'digital' cables over the years (ranging from under £20 to over £100) and, to my ears at least, there is one that has outperformed them all quite noticeably... as Groundy has said, the Ecosse 'The Producer' is an excellent cable and, for once in cable land, is a total giveaway at £18.99 for the 0.8m length.

    http://www.hifibitz.co.uk/Warehouse/details.asp?ProductID=ECOPRODUCER080
     
  13. squarris

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    I was in an A/V store in Sevenoaks recently and I asked the salesman which optical cable he suggested I get to go from my dvd to my amp and he suggested that I buy the expensive cable because "I would notice the difference".

    I asked him why the expensive one was better bearing in mind that the signal is error corrected and he said that it "just sounds better".

    I guess it was asking too much for a bit of impartial advice from someone trying to sell me something.

    :(

    I bought the cheap one and then tried to get a refund for my chocolate teapot.
     
  14. Guest

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    I remember the last time this subject came up !!!!!..

    Still, good way of trimming membership eh?

    ;)

    Adzman.


    Happy New Year to everyone.
     
  15. cybersoga

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    I'm using an Ixos coaxial cable because it looks better. at last! somone who's honest!
     

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