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Cables It's all about connections. Discuss everything about audio cables ranging from balanced to unbalanced, speaker cables to interconnects and beyond.

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Old 05-23-2008   #7
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Default Re: Coaxial versus Toslink/Optical

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Originally Posted by kennyt View Post
Not true, both have their own issues, jitter being among the largest, it isn't as simple as they work or not, they each add inherent problems to the signal, jitter is more a distortion of the digital signal than noise, though noise can also be an issue.

When choosing cables, each musty make their own decision, hopefully listen to their chooses in their own system and decide what is best for them and their ears. The cable issue is as old and debated as the chicken and the egg and each side has devout supporters at all levels so I won't start another cable discussion. If interested, their already is such a thread hotly going on at;

http://www.avrevforum.com/showthread.php?t=1874

KT

I've read that thread and plan to stay out of it. Too much passion!


As for the original question of coax vs. fiber, I'm talking about there being no difference in cases of sufficient signal strength, which is the vast majority of times and systems. Either it works and delivers a perfect signal, or it doesn't (no signal or insufficient signal and resultant glitches, jitter, whatever). But with sufficient signal/noise ratios, and normal 1 - 3 meter runs, digital coax wil not be susceptible to 60 hz hum, etc. It would be rare to encounter a situation that resembles low S/N like we frequently see from an OTA digital HDTV tuner.
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Old 05-23-2008   #8
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Default Re: Coaxial versus Toslink/Optical

For what it's worth, I auditioned 1m toslink and coax cables in a fairly hi-end system and could tell no difference. I think the audiophile argument about toslink goes something like:

Inexpensive plastic multimode fiber is used in toslink.

Because the fiber is multimode, light from the source travels to the destination along different paths and arrives at different times causing jitter.

Coax, on the other hand, conducts the signal electrically and, as long as the characteristic impedance of the source, cable and destination match, no jitter will be introduced.
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Old 05-28-2008   #9
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Default Re: Coaxial versus Toslink/Optical

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Originally Posted by CharlyD View Post
For what it's worth, I auditioned 1m toslink and coax cables in a fairly hi-end system and could tell no difference.
I did the same and preferred the coax. My wife and I did blind tests with one of us listening to music, and the other switching the input (or not), and then listening again without knowing which cable was being used. We both consistently liked the coax sound more.

I'd recommend trying this exercise yourself and see what YOU like best.
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Old 05-28-2008   #10
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Default Re: Coaxial versus Toslink/Optical

Out of curiosity, how long were the toslink and coax cables you tested?
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Old 05-28-2008   #11
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Default Re: Coaxial versus Toslink/Optical

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Originally Posted by CharlyD View Post
Out of curiosity, how long were the toslink and coax cables you tested?
The coax was 1m and the toslink was less -- probably about 2ft or so. I can go measure if you like. I actually kept both and used the toslink for anther source where quality was less of a concern.

Why?
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Old 05-28-2008   #12
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Default Re: Coaxial versus Toslink/Optical

If the degraded performance with toslink is due to dispersion in the cable, the performance would be worse with longer cables. If you were testing with cables longer than 2m, I'd blame the cable. At only 2 feet, I can't say where the problem is. Of course there's optical senders and receivers in the channel that could be suspect.
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