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View Full Version : Optical vs digi coax



btnhfan
08-07-2006, 02:52 AM
I knew this had to be incorrect, but I have been wrong.
My friend said that rca is the same as optical or digi coax, but I thought no way because of surrond.

1 RCA cable is not nearly the same as a digi coax or optical, as someone claimed.


Im deciding between one of each, and it goes from the pc to the receiver, 3.5 ft at most.

Thanks.

1loudsuv
08-07-2006, 02:56 AM
from what i know it goes optica>digital coax>rca

but to me the digital coax looks like a single rca????

psyrex
08-07-2006, 03:06 AM
- Digital is the type of signal passed on the wire, it's not the wire itself.
- The wire can be an optical cable, a RCA cable, a 3.5mm cable (like what Creative products use), or any cable really because the cable has nothing to do with the signal.
- Yes, digital coax is just a single RCA cable. Specifically, a normal coax cable with RCA heads, just like those used in other audio equipment.
- There is no difference from selecting optical or coax because the signal remains digital throughout the 3.5 ft you want it to go through.

Beat_Dominator
08-07-2006, 12:31 PM
This depends on a few things. From my readings of "audiophile" publications digital coax is given the praise in quality on short runs (about 3ft. or so). Toslink optical suffers from a relitively poor interface between emitter and detector (the plug and the socket). For a while there was a push for AT&T's (called an ST I think?) optical connection which works like a BNC as you twist it on. Of course digital coax will begin to have considerable signal loss over a length of about 20ft or so, and depending on your equip. much shorter than that even; here optical really has a big advantage.

joetama
08-07-2006, 02:18 PM
I separate the signals on my processor by using optical for video and digital coax for CD's and audio strictly....

btnhfan
08-08-2006, 02:58 AM
Well I ended up getting optical.

And it is much, much better than the headphoe to rca.


Even though its only a $20 monster cable.
Im thinking about picking up a knukonceptz one eventually.

joetama
08-08-2006, 03:23 AM
Can I say "Welll Duhhhhh"......

ngsm13
08-08-2006, 03:25 AM
Can I say "Welll Duhhhhh"......

You could have DEFINITELY finished the movie n00bx ;)...

It was good. Feg.

nG

RSVCHAD
08-09-2006, 02:38 PM
- Digital is the type of signal passed on the wire, it's not the wire itself.
- The wire can be an optical cable, a RCA cable, a 3.5mm cable (like what Creative products use), or any cable really because the cable has nothing to do with the signal.
- Yes, digital coax is just a single RCA cable. Specifically, a normal coax cable with RCA heads, just like those used in other audio equipment.
- There is no difference from selecting optical or coax because the signal remains digital throughout the 3.5 ft you want it to go through.

Yes, for the most part that is correct that a digital signal can be passed over any coaxial cable (two wires running on the same axis), however audio interconnect cables are typically 50 ohms, while video/digital cables are typically 75ohms. Monster Cable still believes 100 ohm cable is superior for digital coaxial transmission. The impedance of the cable is determined by the relationship of wire size of the outer wire (shield) to the inner wire as well as the dielectric used.

ndnbolla
08-09-2006, 02:46 PM
From what I have read in the past, you won't hear an audible difference between the optical or digital coax. The prices of both can be similiar too.

In the end (when I was in this situation), I chose what wire would be best in my situation seeing as how my dvd only had a digital coax and no optical output.

Scoobydoo
08-10-2006, 05:55 PM
i use a cobalt cable subwoofer cable for my digital coax connection

adam71
08-11-2006, 10:40 PM
i use a cobalt cable subwoofer cable for my digital coax connection


Your subwoofer has a digital in??

heyman421
08-11-2006, 10:40 PM
he's talking about an rca subwoofer pre-out cable

and as for the cable making much or any of a difference, i'd love to see some actual metered benchtests, because when i first took my old stereo to work, i forgot to bring an rca to hook up to SPDIF connection between my cdplayer and my receiver, so i found a stereo-rca to minijack cable in the shop, and spliced the two rca ends together with some duct tape for a temporary cable, and it worked just fine.

I even did a side-by side comparison, attaching the spliced cable, and then the new cable i brought with me the next day, and i couldn't tell a difference.

And as for opti vs. SPDIF, i'd use SPDIF for HT setups unless you already have an opti cable at home to use, the longest distance between my components at home's probably ~10 inches, optical digital connections are really handy for studio technicians and such, who have cables strewn 20-100 feet, crap, or internet/phone connections between the US and Europe is a good application, as well, but it's really not necessary at home. optical cables have less/no degradation in signal over distance, but way more initial degradation, so for short distances, the SPDIF's the way to go for sure.

I'd use SPDIF whenever possible, and keep your optical connections open for components that don't have SPDIF connections (some dvd players/PS2)

adam71
08-11-2006, 10:42 PM
he's talking about an rca subwoofer pre-out cable

Analog preout from the receiver or preamp then??

adam71
08-11-2006, 11:08 PM
The cable was designed to connect a subwoofer to the output of a receiver ...

He used that cable to connect the coaxial digital output on the DVD player (I assume) to the coaxial digital input on his receiver because the subwoofer cable and a digital coaxial cable use the same end ...

I was always under the impression you needed a "video cable" or a specified "digital transfer cable" for digital coax transmission.

Is that wrong or what?? I'm a little confused.

heyman421
08-11-2006, 11:12 PM
they're all the exact same thing, physically

apparently cables are optimized for different uses by altering the resistance of the line, most likely to regulate the stress on the components/maximize appropriate voltage

but they're the same thing, call it what you will, phono jack, rca, etc. the same terminal's been used for video, audio, digital, speakers, who knows what else, if you wanted to, you could use it for electricity

adam71
08-11-2006, 11:14 PM
they're all the exact same thing, physically

apparently cables are optimized for different uses by altering the resistance of the line, most likely to regulate the stress on the components/maximize appropriate voltage

but they're the same thing, call it what you will, phono jack, rca, etc. the same terminal's been used for video, audio, digital, speakers, who knows what else, if you wanted to, you could use it for electricity

Yeah but I thought you couldn't use audio RCAs for video and vice versa.

heyman421
08-11-2006, 11:20 PM
well, you can't hook up an rca cable or speaker wire with directional arrows on it the wrong way, either

but if by some stroke of misfortune you do...... it still works, and the world still spins


i don't honestly understand the big fuss about cables, and why the original poster went out and bought a "Monster" cable, and plans on upgrading still is beyond me

if someone can show me an a/b comparison with any type of cable, serving any purpose, between two of the same type of cable, where one's of decent 'typical' quality, and the other is of 'audiophile grade' quality and there's an honest to god to the ears or eyes discernable difference, i'll start buying $200 RCA cables like all these kooks out there

but if there's a true difference, i've never been witness to it

adam71
08-11-2006, 11:50 PM
well, you can't hook up an rca cable or speaker wire with directional arrows on it the wrong way, either

but if by some stroke of misfortune you do...... it still works, and the world still spins


i don't honestly understand the big fuss about cables, and why the original poster went out and bought a "Monster" cable, and plans on upgrading still is beyond me

if someone can show me an a/b comparison with any type of cable, serving any purpose, between two of the same type of cable, where one's of decent 'typical' quality, and the other is of 'audiophile grade' quality and there's an honest to god to the ears or eyes discernable difference, i'll start buying $200 RCA cables like all these kooks out there

but if there's a true difference, i've never been witness to it


I have to admit that when I first got into home audio back in the early 90s (before Dolby Digital or DTS) and there was only Pro Logic (analog) surround I was taken in by the EXOTIC cables. Since then I still have those cables so atleast they've lasted a long time and I didn't TOTALLY waste my money. I spent a good load of money on those darn things.

Audioquest S-video cable $80
Monstercable stereo interconnects 1 meter pair (M1000 Mk2) $190

And a few other cables by those 2 brands. In retrospect I was raped but like I said they are still in great shape today. So if nothing else, they atleast have lasted a long time.

RSVCHAD
08-13-2006, 01:56 AM
As previously stated there are physical differences between cables optimized for audio information and those optimized for video/digital transfer. Will the cables WORK interchangeably? Yes! But remember a spoon would also WORK to dig a large hole in the ground. It may not be the best tool or even the correct tool, but it works.

As far as the difference in quality between cables... There are most certainly obvious differences in geometry, construction, materials etc. Can you hear these differences? I personally find noticeable differences in cables, but perhaps I'm just a kook! For those that can't hear a difference, perhaps your equipment (electronics or ears) are not up to the task. Keep in mind a receiver (even a Denon 5805) is not really a high-end piece of home audio gear.

btnhfan
08-13-2006, 05:55 PM
well, you can't hook up an rca cable or speaker wire with directional arrows on it the wrong way, either

but if by some stroke of misfortune you do...... it still works, and the world still spins


i don't honestly understand the big fuss about cables, and why the original poster went out and bought a "Monster" cable, and plans on upgrading still is beyond me

if someone can show me an a/b comparison with any type of cable, serving any purpose, between two of the same type of cable, where one's of decent 'typical' quality, and the other is of 'audiophile grade' quality and there's an honest to god to the ears or eyes discernable difference, i'll start buying $200 RCA cables like all these kooks out there

but if there's a true difference, i've never been witness to it


I just bought whatever compusa had.


I like the look of the knukonceptz cable, and it would look good with everything else.

Megalomaniac
11-30-2006, 06:23 PM
Is there a soundcard that uses optical out? cause it be nice to sen an optical signal to my soon-to-buy h701 or 700.

btnhfan
11-30-2006, 06:25 PM
Yes.

I have creative audigy 2 zs platinum.
That model and up definatley do.

Megalomaniac
11-30-2006, 06:31 PM
my audegy 2 doesnt have optical. i guess i have to have the platinum ediotion

1loudsuv
11-30-2006, 06:40 PM
let me add optical does have its limits and no one really with a good system uses it. its either hdmi or analog outputs. i know in my setup my receiver doesnt have hdmi input so use the analog outputs wich is 6 of them to the receiver and i get truhd and dolby digital plus like that. with optical you cant their bandwith isnt enough.



*edit did some reading and it sounds like optical has alot of bandwith but dunno how much. all i know is in ht optical isnt the best right now.

ngsm13
11-30-2006, 07:05 PM
Optical has **** TONS of bandwidth, who are you kidding. Ever heard of FiberOptical braodband internet... you know the stuff the holds the current transmission record... of like 14terabits per second... or something crazy of that sort.

All I know is, I use optical out of my Xbox360... and into my receiver... and it works great for games and movies. I don't care about TrueHD sound of DDPlus right now though..

nG

Megalomaniac
11-30-2006, 07:09 PM
Optical has **** TONS of bandwidth, who are you kidding. Ever heard of FiberOptical braodband internet... you know the stuff the holds the current transmission record... of like 14terabits per second... or something crazy of that sort.

All I know is, I use optical out of my Xbox360... and into my receiver... and it works great for games and movies. I don't care about TrueHD sound of DDPlus right now though..

nG

what about in a car?

optical cable doesnt get any interferance?
no alt wine from an h701(just an example) using optical(espcially since processor will be mounted in trunk)? :confused:

Johnny Drama
11-30-2006, 07:17 PM
I use optical and digital on the P9 combo...Good ****.

1loudsuv
11-30-2006, 07:57 PM
Optical has **** TONS of bandwidth, who are you kidding. Ever heard of FiberOptical braodband internet... you know the stuff the holds the current transmission record... of like 14terabits per second... or something crazy of that sort.

All I know is, I use optical out of my Xbox360... and into my receiver... and it works great for games and movies. I don't care about TrueHD sound of DDPlus right now though..

nG

i worded it wrong but in order to get truhd and ddplus you need either hdmi or analog inputs. i dunno why? maybe cause the cables we use arent up to spec or soemthing?

heyman421
11-30-2006, 08:07 PM
Is there a soundcard that uses optical out? cause it be nice to sen an optical signal to my soon-to-buy h701 or 700.

There's even cheap soundcards that have optical out.

You can't transfer computer surround sound via any type of spdif output, tho.

It will transfer DTS/DOLBY DIGITAL out if you're watching a DVD or a video file with AC3 audio if you have everything set-up correctly, but any sound generated by the pc itself will only be transferred as 2-channel stereo PCM stream.

AKA, DVD's and AC3 (rare) video downloads in surround sound: yes
anything else (games, surround sound wma's): nope, still need the 5/6/7/9 channel analog outputs from your sound card to transfer this, b/c no sound cards have realtime AC3/Dolby digital/DTS encoding, and it'll just send stereo out

Megalomaniac
11-30-2006, 08:44 PM
There's even cheap soundcards that have optical out.

You can't transfer computer surround sound via any type of spdif output, tho.

It will transfer DTS/DOLBY DIGITAL out if you're watching a DVD or a video file with AC3 audio if you have everything set-up correctly, but any sound generated by the pc itself will only be transferred as 2-channel stereo PCM stream.

AKA, DVD's and AC3 (rare) video downloads in surround sound: yes
anything else (games, surround sound wma's): nope, still need the 5/6/7/9 channel analog outputs from your sound card to transfer this, b/c no sound cards have realtime AC3/Dolby digital/DTS encoding, and it'll just send stereo out

i am runnin a carputer...

i intend on purchasin that h701 or h700. the processor will be mounted in the trunk. only wires running all the way to front will be controller wire and optic or rca cable from carputer. but my huge concern is any interfierance in the signal while having a great sound.

heyman421
11-30-2006, 08:46 PM
that'll work nice for that

optical out bypasses the computer's volume, too

don't know if that's a good or a bad thing for you

Megalomaniac
11-30-2006, 08:47 PM
that'll work nice for that

optical out bypasses the computer's volume, too

don't know if that's a good or a bad thing for you

thats good for me IMHO, so i dont have worry about volume level for distortion on the computer

heyman421
11-30-2006, 08:49 PM
also, when no song is being played, there's 0 data crossing the cable, so the receiver basically switches to 'off' which drastically improves background noise during silence, but cheap converters make an audible 'click' or 'pop' when data is switched on/off

Megalomaniac
11-30-2006, 08:51 PM
also, when no song is being played, there's 0 data crossing the cable, so the receiver basically switches to 'off' which drastically improves background noise during silence, but cheap converters make an audible 'click' or 'pop' when data is switched on/off

any suggestions for a good optic cable?...and a good cheap sound card?

heyman421
11-30-2006, 08:52 PM
lots of newer motherboards have some sort of digital out onboard already, ESPECIALLY mini-towers

are you sure you're even gonna need one?

Megalomaniac
11-30-2006, 08:53 PM
lots of newer motherboards have some sort of digital out onboard already

are you sure you're even gonna need one?

im runnin an epia VIA m10000 i ont see any optic...atleast i dont think so

heyman421
11-30-2006, 08:57 PM
bummer, THREE video outs, but no SP/DIF

you could get a hollywood@home 7.1

any soundcard will do, the digital output totally bypasses the card

it's basically a direct output, so don't waste a ton of money getting something great

Megalomaniac
11-30-2006, 08:58 PM
bummer, THREE video outs, but no SP/DIF

you could get a hollywood@home 7.1

any soundcard will do, the digital output totally bypasses the card

it's basically a direct output, so don't waste a ton of money getting something great


coolz, iam goin to do a little search :)

heyman421
11-30-2006, 09:02 PM
i've seen ones that can do 48khz PCM for under $30

and they're ALL capable of AC-3 output, which is basically 96khz compressed, you'll just need a reciever that can decode Ac-3 (DTS/ DD capable) and that's only if you plan on watching dvd's

Megalomaniac
11-30-2006, 09:02 PM
the optic cables on KNu...do they make a differance between the KHX & EKs?

heyman421
11-30-2006, 09:05 PM
more expensive cables just have stronger insulation to keep them from bending too far, and snapping

in a car, your biggest problem's going to be finding a route to install it where it wont get pinched, but once it's in, there's gonna be 0 chance of overstressing it, since it will never move


i'd buy the cheaper one, cause it'll be thinner, and easier to install it

Megalomaniac
11-30-2006, 09:07 PM
more expensive cables just have stronger insulation to keep them from bending too far, and snapping

in a car, your biggest problem's going to be finding a route to install it where it wont get pinched, but once it's in, there's gonna be 0 chance of overstressing it, since it will never move

my intentions are to run straight down from dash all the way under carpets to trunk...loomed with tehflex clean cut secured to floor every 6":eek:

heyman421
11-30-2006, 09:09 PM
should be a non-issue, then

i use the cheap cables, and have never had one go bad yet, and they're just strewn all willy-nilly behind my entertainment center

my roomates even used to trip over them last year

single-stranded glass is some robust stuff

Megalomaniac
11-30-2006, 09:12 PM
what about digital coaxableS? can they just plug into an amp?

heyman421
11-30-2006, 09:19 PM
they work exactly the same as the optical, you still need a decoder at the other end

ngsm13
11-30-2006, 09:28 PM
the optic cables on KNu...do they make a differance between the KHX & EKs?

I'd get the KHX.

Wish I would have seen that... I spent $20 on some ****** 6ft cabl from Meijer (then again it was 2:30am when I bought it... bought it there b/c it was the only place open...)

nG

Megalomaniac
11-30-2006, 09:39 PM
I'd get the KHX.

Wish I would have seen that... I spent $20 on some ****** 6ft cabl from Meijer (then again it was 2:30am when I bought it... bought it there b/c it was the only place open...)

nG

youd get the KHS for the same reason as Heyman421?

ngsm13
11-30-2006, 09:55 PM
Yeah... do it.

nG

Megalomaniac
11-30-2006, 10:07 PM
cooolz...but ill wait til i find a deal on the h701 or h700...keep your eyez peeled