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Optical?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by NorthST, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. NorthST

    NorthST
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    Which is the best for sound optical or phono leads?

    Sorry to ask such a dumb question but I really am useless with cables.
     
  2. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Hi NorthST,
    Optical and Coax cables carry digital signals.
    Phono/Analogue leads carry analogue signals.
    There is very little between an optical(TOslink) cable and a Digital Coax cable.
    For example:
    If you run an optical cable from your DVD player to your AV amplifier you will send a digital signal to the AV Amp. The Digital to analogue conversion will be done by the AV AMP Bypassing the DVD Player.
    If you run L/R analogue cables from the DVD Player to the AV Amp the Digital to Analogue conversion will be done by the DVD Player.
     
  3. Troon

    Troon
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    Knightshade is right: you will not hear the difference between optical and electrical digital connections, assuming you meant the coaxial digital connection when you said "phono leads". If you meant the analogue phono connections, the answer depends on which unit has the better DAC. In the case of surround formats, unless your player has a 5.1 (six phono sockets) output, and the amp has a similar input, you'll only get the proper surround signal over the digital connection.

    The oft-quoted theory is that coax digital is better than optical in the average application, because the cheap plastic-cored optical cable used ends up with very imprecisely-timed signals coming out the other end. The multiple, different-length paths end up with an effect akin to shouting down a large-diameter pipe: lots of complex reflections and echoes.

    For the short lengths usually employed, this is probably moot. If I were running any significant distance of optical line, I'd probably try to get a decent single-mode glass cable instead.
     

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