Optical vs. coaxial digital for the 1066

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  • gshisme
    Member
    • May 2003
    • 38

    Optical vs. coaxial digital for the 1066

    I have been using digital optical cable for both my DVD and HDTV satellite receiver to connect to the 1066 and my dealer yesterday told me to throw away my optical for coaxial. Huh? Everything I have read points me to optical cable. Any comments on optical vs. coaxial cable use.

    Greg




    suds, suds, and more suds
    suds, suds, and more suds
  • Andrew Pratt
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 16507

    #2
    You could read for weeks on the subject and not be any wiser on the topic Basically for the vast majority of people either one will work as well as the other...but if you have a choice the audiophiles tend to prefer coax. There's no such thing as a "digital" coax since the specs call for a 75 ohm coax cable which happens to be exactly what video cables are so don't pay extra for something labeled as digital if the video cable is cheaper.




    Comment

    • justin
      Member
      • Feb 2003
      • 89

      #3
      I believe it is based on the system you have. Coaxial if you are able to use it. I run a optical in my system, but when I upgade my TV and dvd player for better ones I well be using coaxial. From what I read people say coaxial is better because the signal is not interrupted.

      jus




      Jus

      Taking it one day at a time. Life moves quick.
      Jus

      Taking it one day at a time. Life moves quick.

      Comment

      • Dr C
        Member
        • Feb 2003
        • 86

        #4
        The audiophiles prefer coax because digital signals using this method is sent direct to the DAC. In the case of optical, the original digital coax signal must be converted to an optical signal, sent thru the cable and then reconverted back to digital coax before the DACs do their work. Audiophiles prefer not to have too many conversions (like optical) as some info tends to get lost.

        Some folks claim that optical cables do not suffer from electrical/RF intereferences but if you use a good quality coax which is adequately shielded, then you should not have these problems. What say you Lex ?

        That said ... I find it hard to discern any differences but I sleep a lot better knowing that the signal is *purer* using coax

        Comment

        • gshisme
          Member
          • May 2003
          • 38

          #5
          Thanks guys. Agreed..anytime a signal is interupted (as in converted) something has to be lost however minute it may be. My system is pretty much complete now as far as components and want to concentrate more on my cables since that was kind of neglected in the upgrading process. Everything is Monster middle grade and I'm sure from what I have read and been told by just about everyone there is much room for improvement in sound quality just from cable upgrades. I just hope I don't get too carried away with this. I'm sure at some level the sound improvement doesn't justify the cost increase in audio and video cable and hope to find that happy medium....UHM... I think I'll look to a different forum for this topic before I ramble on any further as I'm sure it doesn't belong here.

          Greg




          suds, suds, and more suds
          suds, suds, and more suds

          Comment

          • skullmurdoc
            Member
            • Jan 2003
            • 31

            #6
            Originally posted by gshisme
            Thanks guys. Agreed..anytime a signal is interupted (as in converted) something has to be lost
            I don't think that this is true, digital signal is compose of a serie of 0 and 1. Convert the signal all you want, it will still be a serie of zero and one.

            Its not like analog, where you can lose signal strength.

            And that is why Mr.Pratt told you
            You could read for weeks on the subject and not be any wiser on the topic
            Thanks

            Fredrrick Richard

            Comment

            • Andrew Pratt
              Moderator Emeritus
              • Aug 2000
              • 16507

              #7
              Greg if you're going to upgrade cables start with interconnects for the main channels if music is important then upgrade video cables. Lastly do the other interconnects. Don't worry about the digital cables they'd have to be extremely poor cables to make any difference. With DTS and DD even the conversions in optical cables isn't an issue since its there's checks and ballences going on to make sure the signals 100 percent "pure"...PCM is slightly different but this is a discussion that should continue in its own thread in the Home Theater area etc.




              Comment

              • gshisme
                Member
                • May 2003
                • 38

                #8
                Thanks to Andrew and you others. Agreed about the topic switch to another forum.




                suds, suds, and more suds
                suds, suds, and more suds

                Comment

                • Mats
                  Special Member
                  • Jun 2000
                  • 1326

                  #9
                  A digital Signal consists of 1 and 0

                  And it dosen`t care wheter it`s transported by copper, silver or fibre.

                  It will always sound the same!!

                  By the way this is is also a fact for nf and speaker cables as long as they are not too thin and bad.




                  Left forum because sold Rotel gear
                  Mats
                  Mats Strömberg
                  Ah! It's a profit deal! Takes the pressure off! Get your weight guessed right here! Only a buck! Actual live weight guessing! Take a chance and win some crap!
                  Navin R Johnson (alias Steve Martin)

                  Comment

                  • Nicholas Renter
                    Member
                    • Jun 2002
                    • 57

                    #10
                    I'm back...

                    I just tested the difference between co-ax and optical cables in my system. I'm running a Denon DVD-2500 to a Rotel RSP-1066 using a Monster Cable fiber-optic interconnect (0.5 M) and a Monster Cable Video 2 interconenct (1.0 M) for the co-ax connection (yes...a video cable for a digital application). The test was using Coldplay's "Parachutes" CD and the RSP-1066 was in PCM mode. The fiber optic cable has been in use for 3 years. The Monster Cable Video 2 interconenct hasn't really seen the light of day.

                    I could immediately hear a difference, but I thought that perhaps I was somewhat biased since I knew which cable was which, so I had my wife compare the difference. I asked her first to describe the differences between "A" and "B", then to specify which she preferred.

                    We both preferred the co-ax connection.

                    Note: I specifically brought up the fact that I tested this using a Rotel RSP-1066 to try to keep this thread Rotel-relavant.

                    Oh...and I don't mean to start a flame war, but if you don't think that different cables sound different, either you have poor hearing or have never actually performed side-by-side comparisons. Me and my electrical engineering degree were nay-sayers as well until we heard the differences for ourselves. The difference is there and the difference may not be subtle. I ran Home Depot zip-cord for speaker cables for close to 3 years - I wish I would have upgraded sooner. I'm not even talking about high-end speaker cable, either. I'm using AudioQuest GR-8 cable. Even this stuff makes a big difference.

                    Comment

                    • Lex
                      Moderator Emeritus
                      • Apr 2001
                      • 27461

                      #11
                      Dr C, I liked what you wrote. To my ears, coax always sounds smoother, less "digital". Make no mistake, there are 2 additional conversion steps for optical vs. coax by what is called an RTX converter.

                      Cheaper components that offer one option tend to offer optical. Is it because of it's quality? I think not. I think it's because it's the cheaper way to implement it.

                      Yes, digital is about zeros and ones. But one way is converting the pulse mode to light, then back again. The other way just sends it in pulse, and it's decoded by the DAC straight up. Much preferred.

                      Lex




                      Cable Guy DVD Collection
                      Doug
                      "I'm out there Jerry, and I'm loving every minute of it!" - Kramer

                      Comment

                      • TonyPTX
                        Member
                        • Apr 2003
                        • 39

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Nicholas Renter
                        Oh...and I don't mean to start a flame war, but if you don't think that different cables sound different, either you have poor hearing or have never actually performed side-by-side comparisons. Me and my electrical engineering degree were nay-sayers as well until we heard the differences for ourselves. The difference is there and the difference may not be subtle.
                        Nick,
                        Good comment. There is a saying I heard and I think about it each time I read these "wires make a difference" statements.

                        "Those that don't know, don't know they don't know."

                        I ALWAYS speculated against speakerwire. I never ran the cheap stuff, but I wasn't going to spend big bucks for the exotics stuff. I found my median when I upgraded from the Monster XP family to the IXOS Gamma Series of speaker wire. What a difference!! You can't knock something until you try it. The difference may be subtle, and you always have to make the call as to whether or not the the cost justify the means, but that makes all the difference between a good system and a great system.

                        Tony




                        "Those that don't know, don't know they don't know."
                        "Those that don't know, don't know they don't know."

                        Comment

                        • gshisme
                          Member
                          • May 2003
                          • 38

                          #13
                          Thanks for all the feedback guys. I definitely will be doing the coaxial vs. optical this weekend. Gotta kill my curiosity. Speaker wire comes next.

                          Greg




                          suds, suds, and more suds
                          suds, suds, and more suds

                          Comment

                          • Mats
                            Special Member
                            • Jun 2000
                            • 1326

                            #14
                            Faith can move a mountain and sometimes people think faith can move a physical law.

                            A string of 1 and 0 (cached in the DA by the way to answer things like jitter and time) does not care the way it is transported.

                            Having mistakes in that connection you won`t get more or less bass eg wich has to be correctly encoded in 1 and 0 (a cable cannot do that) you will get drop outs.
                            Not more and not less.

                            Cable sound and especially digital!! cable sound is all autosuggestion.

                            I head to learn that in a long way and it was not for free.
                            Save your money for good speakers or software and do not give it people selling you vodoo.




                            Left forum because sold Rotel gear
                            Mats
                            Mats Strömberg
                            Ah! It's a profit deal! Takes the pressure off! Get your weight guessed right here! Only a buck! Actual live weight guessing! Take a chance and win some crap!
                            Navin R Johnson (alias Steve Martin)

                            Comment

                            • LEVESQUE
                              Senior Member
                              • Oct 2002
                              • 344

                              #15
                              Powermaxi2000.

                              I completely agree with you. I prefer to spend thousands of $ on pre/amp amp and speakers, over digital cables. I use optical from my Denon DVD-3800 to my Anthem AVM20, and I've paid around 30$ (cdn LOL) for the cable...

                              I think that money is better spend on gear then on cables. But it's not my money, it's your own, so spend it where you want...
                              To spend more $$$ on electronics without first addressing room acoustics is fruitless IMO.

                              Comment

                              • Rock Dog
                                Moderator Emeritus
                                • Jan 2003
                                • 417

                                #16
                                I've read over and over that the biggest reason to use Coax over Optical is that optical can introduce jitter, and time/phase relationship problems.

                                True, binary is binary, 1's and 0's. And that information won't change as long as you stay in the digital domain. But the moment a signal goes D -> A your susceptable to interference in the analog, when it goes back, the 1's and 0's ARE different.

                                I'm still fighting this battle in my own mind. I've done a couple of light comparisons, and am leaning towards the COAX. When I do finally decided, I'll contact our man Lex. But I certainly don't want to spend the money, if I'm not sure that I, my enjoyment will benefit.

                                I think one thing many can agree on is this. If your hemming and hawing over the TOS vs. COAX issue, and you also want to get better speaker wires. Speaker wires come first ALWAYS. There is no doubt in my mind that they make a big difference. More so when your going from say $1-$3/ft to $5-$7/ft. I'm not sure that there is much of a difference beyond that.






                                -Thomas-

                                The easiest way to find something lost around the house, is to buy a replacement.

                                Hey You! Make sure you stop by the HTguide Off-Topic section. It's FUN!!!

                                -Thomas-

                                As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it.

                                Hey You! Make sure you stop by the HTguide After Midnight section. It's FUN!!!

                                Comment

                                • gshisme
                                  Member
                                  • May 2003
                                  • 38

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Rock Dog
                                  I think one thing many can agree on is this. If your hemming and hawing over the TOS vs. COAX issue, and you also want to get better speaker wires. Speaker wires come first ALWAYS. There is no doubt in my mind that they make a big difference. More so when your going from say $1-$3/ft to $5-$7/ft. I'm not sure that there is much of a difference beyond that.
                                  Rock Dog I absolutely agree. I raised the question about coax/optical because my dealer seemed so adamant about coaxial over optical even though in my mind I didn't think it was that big of a deal. Speaker wire and interconnects seemed much more important and I was going that route as far as upgrading when he brought up the coax thing. Just wanted to hear some different opinions.

                                  Me and my Rotel..Happy Together!!




                                  suds, suds, and more suds
                                  suds, suds, and more suds

                                  Comment

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