Digital Audio Cable: Optical or Coax

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by mgs333, Jul 23, 2005.

  1. mgs333

    mgs333 New Member

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    Which should I get to connect my dvd player to the receiver? Currently I connect via analog cables but i'm looking for digital connections since i got a new receiver.
     
  2. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    both result in the same quality... Digital is digital. Use whatever is cheaper/better-suited for your situation.
     
  3. Harry V. Gina

    Harry V. Gina How did your family do in Katrina?

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    Sonically there won't be a difference, but I prefer coax because the connection is usually sturdier and less likely to come loose if something gets shifted around.
     
  4. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

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    Coax also can deal with tight bends and long runs better too. If you kink a fiber cable you are pretty much stuck buying a new one. If that happened with a coax cable its no big deal.
     
  5. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    Not sure what Jollyogre and tim are talking about, as their are certainly sonic differences between cables, especially in the digital realm. Here are some explanations about them, some are paraphrased from an expert from another forum:

    The crystal lattice bond structure in a copper cable needs some time to "burn-in" so that the microvoids in the lattice have a chance to realign and fill. This is due to vibration, bending, etc that happens during transport of the cable. Give it a few days and you should be alright. You also gotta be sure, especially with digital, that you have quality dielectrics and insulators, or else you might have huge jitter errors, even on standard run lengths. Whether or not the clock on your DAC can handle such errors could be a problem, and I suggest some burn-in time as well, so that it accommodates itself to the unique characteristics of the copper cable. Oh, also be wary of the low-level granularity effect present on cables with a lot of microvoids. But, after playing them for about 100 hours this should go away.

    Some of these effects are present in a similar form on optical cables as well, but express themselves differently. For instance, because they use photons and not electrons, photons can get stuck if the fiber isn't of high enough quality. With optical cables you also have to be especially careful of EMI and ESI. They also require less burn-in as a result of the plastic/glass fiber being more conducive to remolding than copper to fix the lattice structure.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. amill94

    amill94 OT Supporter

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    I use optical for shorter more direct runs. Longer runs, with bends I use digital coax.
     
  7. deadbody85

    deadbody85 New Member

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    I don't see how there could be a difference in sound quality. I would think with digital that the signal either gets there or it doesn't, what does it matter how it got there?
     
  8. Rob

    Rob OT Supporter

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    Based on the post above he is talking more about jitter than lost data. In a digital stream context jitter is when the bits in the stream of data do not get there in the order they were sent it. This is fine if there is a buffer before the DAC that is larger than the largest ammount of jitte. If it is not there could be sound quality issues.

    But honestly, I have NEVER heard of something like that happening. :o
     
  9. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    If you're referring to my post at all, I find it hilarious that no one realized I was joking... I hope not many "knowledgeable" members read it. I've never heard of "context jitter". You're not referring to just plain jitter, right? Because, that's definitely not the definition of plain ol' digital jitter.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2005
  10. Rob

    Rob OT Supporter

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    :rofl:

    The idea sounded real.
     
  11. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    lol, see what a little word twisting can make people believe? That's why the cable industry is RICH.
     
  12. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

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    I started reading it then stopped after maybe a paragraph. I was about to blast you for being a tool then decided to just drop it. I'm glad I dropped it. Its hard to remember who actually believes that crap and who knows better. :rofl:
     
  13. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    Yes, because if you blasted me we would have gone on a long back and forth game of me playing dumb. Albeit would be entertaining.
     
  14. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

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    :rofl: That would be fun to watch.
     
  15. MovieMan84

    MovieMan84 Here we go

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    I found this part particularly entertaining. Putting "moving with your aunt and your uncle in Bel Air" would have been less obvious, but I was still entertained :)
     
  16. giovanna145

    giovanna145 New Member

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    Wow, much props to Veonake. I noticed the big words and smelled some BS but I just kinda skimmed through it cuz that's what I do when people use big words. U got a bright future my friend. Hopefully one of those big cable companies could hire you for their marketing ploy :bigthumb:
     
  17. pharcyde183

    pharcyde183 Nissan by nature

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    i just use whatever RCA cable i can find and plug it in. Never had any problems using an audio RCA cable for digital haha :hs:
     

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