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Digital out: Optical or Coaxial?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
What would be the better choice if your DVD player had both? Which should you use for best sound? I see most cable manufactures making the coaxial type while not as much for optical.
post #2 of 29
There's quite a bit of arguement in this area, i personally lean towards optical assuming that you use a glass cable. Glass cables can be had for around 50 dollars, and are supposed to sound great. Plastic fibers may sound worse than a good coax cable.
post #3 of 29
Ebonyks is right in that there is a lot of debate about this subject. I think the answer for you may lie in your DAC (which I assume is what you are using), and how it handles things like jitter.

I've had no problems with even a cheap optical cable. But most people here would probably say to go coax.

Do a search. There is probably enough to keep you reading for a while.
post #4 of 29
well........ i had been using my jvc mini system -> novaIII+ -> adcom gda-600. then i got out my yamaha cd player -> monster digital -> adcom gda-600. the wire sounds better. on the other hand, the yamaha doesn't have optical too, so i can't do an A/B. but if bits is bits off the pickup, then wire is better.
post #5 of 29
Lots of debate yes but the consensus is coaxial cable (unless it's a propriety optical cable which is different anyways).

There's a reason why some budget players will have optical but no coaxial while high end players will almost always have coaxial and many times no optical. Magazine measurements anyhow have almost always confirmed that more information are dropped using optical connections.
post #6 of 29
I have no experience in this are whatsoever, but I've been told that coaxial cables are better (when using short lengths) as there is no need to convert the original signal to an optical one. This said, the optical cables aren't supposed to degrade the sound quality very much even when long cables are being used.

(This information could be completely screwed up, but I'm hoping for someone to correct me if I'm wrong. =))
post #7 of 29
If your gear has well designed optical I/O to me the new glass toslinks have surpassed the best RCA (spdif) cables.

I just sold a $300 AZ Mc2 because a $29 1.5 meter glass toslink was better in all respects on my Bel Canto Dac 2, this is a cable discussed at AA and sold on Ebay.

Glass Toslink

Just to confuse you further it sounds different depending on cable direction, I use cable oriented opposite direction of writing on cable direction (instead of normal signal follows direction of writing)........this cable originally discussed by Todd Krieger at AA.

This is the best upgrade for the money I have ever made in all my years of being an audiophile!

(this generic glass toslink also beat out my Wireworld Supernova III glass toslink quite handily, I even bought two of them)
post #8 of 29
Thread Starter 
DA,

I'm reading his description and found a portion that is quite confusing.


Glass fiber optic transmission allows superior high resolution, amazing clarity reproduction, ultra spatial effects and dynamic impact. It's ideal for use with DVD, DVD Audio, SACD, CD, D-VHS, game console, S/PDIF, Dolby DigitalR and DTSR professional audio applications.

Since when can you digi out sacd?
post #9 of 29
I guess what he means is some SACD players have CD optical output........but I don't own a SACD player so I am not a good person to ask, also I believe many SACD players also have DVD capability and feature both coaxial and optical outputs.

My set-up is:

Musical Fidelity CDP -> Bel Canto Dac 2 -> Musical Fidelity Preamp

I use the glass toslink from CDP to Dac.
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by DarkAngel
I just sold a $300 AZ Mc2 because a $29 1.5 meter glass toslink was better in all respects on my Bel Canto Dac 2, this is a cable discussed at AA and sold on Ebay.
Hmm at that price, I might just have to try it
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by lan
Hmm at that price, I might just have to try it
At that price, I just did
post #12 of 29
DarkAngel,
thanx soooooooo much for introducing me to the glass toslink. i had no idea that toslink has been improved. i MUST get one very soon! i have no doubt that it will sound better. now, i don't really have that much of a high end system, but i would imagine that the improvement will be worth it...i say on any system it would! thanx again man, it is greatly appreciated
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by DarkAngel
Just to confuse you further it sounds different depending on cable direction, I use cable oriented opposite direction of writing on cable direction (instead of normal signal follows direction of writing).....
Just got cable, and will install in opposite direction of writing...just how long is the burn-in period?
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally posted by Hirsch
Just got cable, and will install in opposite direction of writing...just how long is the burn-in period?
I don't think there is really very much break-in period, the improvement was obvious from 1st minute of installation for me, but probably need a couple days before making any final conclusions.

If you orient signal "same" direction as writing on cable you will find sound is slightly brighter/more forward......this is really surprising to me. (perhaps it is my imagination) I preferred the more relaxed sound of signal going opposite direction of writing on cable.

Todd Krieger said same thing at AA, but did not disclose to anyone which direction he oriented his cable to get the sound he preferred
post #15 of 29
If you a cd player that offered both optical and dig coax, but you had a DAC that only accepted Dig Coax, would it be better to just use the Dig Coax, or use optical out of the cdp and then use a converter to convert into Dig Coax? Will the converter affect sound?
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