coaxial vs optical
Mar 6, 2006 at 2:41 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 7

uzziah

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i was thrown a bit for a loop when in the new dac-shootout thread (lavry, dac1, zhaolu) they mentioned that coaxial was superior. i'm suprised; i was under the impression optical was superior because it would not transmit electrical noise.

edit: i'm wondering; is it just for PC transport usage that optical is usually preffered? perhaps because of pc-noise.

i'd also be curious to have some opinions on whether higher quality cables made a difference in folks' specific usages

of course there is the camp that thinks bit-perfect is the end-all-be-all and jitter is a myth, but i believe we've more or less gotten passed that here at headfi. so i ask, for pc-transport usage, is coaxial or optical the generally-preffered transit medium to reduce/not-create-more, jitter?
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 2:56 AM Post #2 of 7

Gabe Logan

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From what i have read in the past optical seems the way to go in terms of having a PC based system as it is not prone to interference but have read elsewhere that both are similar.

To make things worse i read the same thread so who knows
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Mar 6, 2006 at 2:59 AM Post #3 of 7

uzziah

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lol; it is humerous isn't it? i'm hoping the external-dac headfi elite will weigh-in and put my fears to rest
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the funny thing about that thread is that they were stating it like it was a common fact (not that i'd ever take one thread as FACT, oh, no of course not
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), but it unnerved me.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 7:03 PM Post #5 of 7

Scrith

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When I first got my Benchmark DAC1 I was using an eBay optical cable and I could vaguely discern (via semi-blind testing using the switch on the front of the DAC1) that the coax output from my E-Mu 1212M sounded better. A few months later I got a Van den Hul Optocoupler toslink cable and haven't been able to tell the difference between it and my nice Zu Ash coax cable ever since (and I check this farily often...when I hear an interesting musical passage I will often backtrack and try toggling between coax and optical, both of which are always connected to my DAC1, for a comparison). Currently I'm using the optical connection by default.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 8:04 PM Post #6 of 7

lan

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It's impossible to draw a conclusion because jitter is always different since everybody's setup is different. Coax on your system maybe better or worst than exact same cable on mine.
 
Mar 6, 2006 at 10:30 PM Post #7 of 7

Bones13

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I would also think that a "bad" (unshielded) coaxial cable running thru a rats nest of AC and Analog cables might should some effects of interference.

Likely both a "good" Digital Coax and "good" optical cable will be better than either a "bad" coax or optical cable.

I plan to continue with optical to have the disconnect with my PC, and avoid the ground loop some folks have.
 

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