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

Digital Optical OR Digital Coax???

Discussion in 'Receivers and amplifiers' started by goose2000, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. goose2000

    goose2000 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I have been unsure of what the BEST type of cable to use for exchanging Digital signals, whether it be Coax or Optical. I am currently using both types on my Denon AVC-A1SRA Surround Amplifier. But cannot pick out the better sound.

    So give your opinions on what you think is better...

    Optical or Coax

     
  2. ghost640

    ghost640 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Hi Goose, just noticed your thread, I've been looking at the same issue over on the Denon 2805 Setup thread.

    http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/138419

    I've found lots of discussion on the Home Theater and Sound and Vision sites. Bottom line seems to be that there is little acoustic difference between the two. Optical inputs seem to be more sensitive to damage than Coax, but Coax might be susceptible to electrical interference.

    Most of the users seem to think that the extra layer of conversion to a light signal and back is a non-issue.

    I'm still undecided, but leaning towards coax.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2005
  3. ghost640

    ghost640 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I did finally pick up a digital coax cable, $16 for a 6 ft cable, compared with $26 for the optical version by the same company. It sounds great, and I've replaced 5 cables with one! Too cool.
     
  4. havingfun

    havingfun Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I had a same dilemma for a very long time. Honestly though, I can't tell the difference between the two. When I tried to listen very carefully, I seemed to notice the very slight difference but not enough to prefer one over the other as far as sound quality wise in my ears and experience. All my digital hookups in my pre/pro is used up but if I have a choice, I tend to use coax more than optical due to its sturdiness and its cost especially long one. Several my other friends did tried to convince me one way or another but I still can't tell difference enough to prefer one sound over other, they just sound little different but not necessarily better.
     
  5. ghost640

    ghost640 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    When you think about it, the cable is just sending bits, 0s or 1s, into the DAC. There's really no issue of quality involved, and I doubt if the DAC can tell the difference. Hence, your ears can't either!
     
  6. d-rock

    d-rock Guest

    I tend to agree with most on this thread: you can't tell the difference. I use mostly optical since my Sony amp has four of these and only one digital coax.
     
  7. d-rock

    d-rock Guest

    I tend to agree with most on this thread: you can't tell the difference. I use mostly optical since my Sony amp has four of these and only one digital coax.
     
  8. Nixxter

    Nixxter Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    I'm running a Panasonic 6.1 that supports both. One of my DVD players has both types of outputs. Using high quality cables, I found optical to be slightly superior over coaxial - especially with the 3 rear speakers. I guess it depends on not only your "ear" but also the system and speakers you're using, as optical cables do cost more. I'm running high end, so the extra $10 is worth it to me. However, a less expensive system may not make a noticable difference worth the extra cost.
     
  9. wolfniggr

    wolfniggr Regular member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,080
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    46
    Optical is better. Coax is prone to interference. Just be careful with the optic cable because if you bend it too much, you'll ruin the fibers inside and not get a true signal if you even get one at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2005
  10. p5yco

    p5yco Guest

    a good quality coaxial cable is best, try qed, ixos or van den hul. however the difference can be apparent more so on high end equipment only. hope this helps
     
  11. Razz1234

    Razz1234 Guest

    I still fail to see how a "high-end" system is going to show any difference in how it recieves 1' and 0's. This is a "digital" transfer of 1's and 0's. This is not an analog input that can effect the way a sound waves are transfered.

    I think the only way anyone could hear a difference is if they are using a faulty coax or optical cable.
     
  12. spongeman

    spongeman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    can i just say that whoever thinks quality isnt affected obviosly knows nothing about hifi and electronics. digital quality IS afffected by using different cables, as the transient response will change. in a coax cable if the impedance isnt correct or there is too much capacitance in the cable bits will be lost, or "late" in arriving. getting the impedance right is critical for decent quality and is what sets quality cables apart from the rest.
     
  13. Razz1234

    Razz1234 Guest

    I have tried switching input signals on my Denon 3805 ($1,200) between a high end coax and a middle/low end optical cable. The signals were coming from my Yamaha CX-1 player ($1,200 now $450). This was sent out to my Paradigm Reference 80v.2 speakers......everything here is basicaly entry level high end and me and three other friends who love audio could not HONESTLY tell the difference. We could notice a slight decrease in volume when using the optical cable but nothing else. One of my friends is a true audiophile and owns a good $25,000 stereo setup. He also was pretty suprised when we put it to the test too.

    I don't just say stuff here, I try it out before popping off!
     
  14. spongeman

    spongeman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    yes that is often the case, but it will depend on your speaker setup. if you can try listening with a pair of electrostatic headphones and see what you think!
     
  15. havingfun

    havingfun Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Messages:
    45
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    I too own electrostatic headphone and tried out the optical and coaxial cable. And yes they do sound different to my ear but not enough difference to prefer one over the other. I believe it's matter of which sound you prefer.
     
  16. Razz1234

    Razz1234 Guest

    i don't have electrostatics...but i do have a pair of Senheiser HD600, I too noticed a slight change, but couldn't tell witch one i like better.

    IMO, not worth the $100 top line digital coax cable. Most systems could benifit far better buy using that 100 bucks elsewhere. Especially lots of the guys here who are newer to HT and don't really have much.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2005
  17. navi95

    navi95 Regular member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Messages:
    233
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    26
    Im quite new to this subject but I think the difference is mainly on how long the cable is that you need. Apparently Coaxial works better if you have longer wires and optical if you need it for shorter distances.

    I read this sumwhere and Im not sure if this is 100% true.
     
  18. spongeman

    spongeman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2005
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    11
    how does the 3805 sound? i was considering getting one when they first came on the market but decided against it.
    i have to say im a bit dubious about the auto-setup, dont know if i would trust it
     
  19. a-vman

    a-vman Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    The 3805 is the best receiver on the market in its price range. Probably outruns most in the $1500 -2000 range. Auto set up is great, but you should use a camera tripod for the mic. Don't just set it on the back of a soft sofa. Also remember the 3805 does not come with the mic.
     
  20. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2003
    Messages:
    6,011
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    116
    A lot of people spend a lot of time arguing over Coaxial and Optical. In a sense they are pretty similar. However, really, it is not a question of Optical or Coaxial digital cables, but of the quality in the cable used. I have used both Optical and Coaxial in my home cinema system (Marantz SR7500, Marantz DV8400, Pure DAB Tuner, Arcam CD player, Pani L700 Projector, Monitor Audio Silver 7.1) and have found equally good results with bith. I used Q.E.D. cables, which were pretty expensive.

    Now we can get into the whole argument about more expensive cables being a waste of time. However, let me say this. I went from a £50 ($90 roughly) Component Video cable, to a £100 ($180 roughly) DVI cable to a £300 ($550) High Quality Component Cable. I have to say the difference in each stage was amazing. All you technies out there will prob wonder why i went from a DVI back to a Component cable, but trust me, the quality is evidently much better.

    The Denon is a great system by the way...

    Chris
     

Share This Page