RCA vs Optical

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by DonG, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. DonG

    DonG Auditioning

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    I have a panasonic SA HE200 receiver and a panasonic DVD-S55 DVD player. For HT, I use a Toslink cable and set the imput to digital. However, when I bought the receiver, the salesman said to use a standard analogue RCA cable and set the imput to analogue, and that this would provide much better sound than a Toslink cable for music. However, after much playing around, I find that I get much better bass response and tonal balance using the optical cable for audio.

    Did I misunderstand this chap? Am I using the wrong RCA cable (ie should I use a digital RCA?) Was he wrong? Or is it just one of those things you have to play around with and decide for yourself.

    Thanks for the advice.

    Don
     
  2. Johnny Ayala

    Johnny Ayala Stunt Coordinator

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    Using digital will always give better when watching movies, but in me experience, using analog gives me better sound when listening to Cd's. BTW what's digital RCA's? Good Luck. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Cees Alons
    Don,

    There's much debate over topics like this one. Some based on hard scienctific facts, most not.

    Don't worry: if you like the sound better now, your system apparently performs best like it is. And be assured: digital transfer cannot possibly be inaccurate as long as the source is digital anyway.
    It has to be translated back to analogue sound somewhere in the chain, and apparently you now have located the best DA-converter in yours.

    Believe your own ears!

    Cees
     
  4. DonG

    DonG Auditioning

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    Thanks Guys,

    I know I need to trust my ears, and I do, but you know what's it's like, you just feel better having someone with more experience than you help confirm your own thoughts.[​IMG]

    Thanks,

    Don

    P.S. Cees, I see that we share the same occupation [​IMG]
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I was a little confused as to what you were doing, but I think I figured it out.

    So you're talking about for playing CDs on your DVD player, and NOt movies. And whether to use a digital connection(in your case optical, but also could be coax digital w/an RCA connector), or the analog connections.

    I wouldn't put this in the realm beyond scientific facts. You are doing two very different things, if you use the digital connection, then your receiver's dacs are decoding the PCM, if you are using the analog connection, then your DVD player is doing it. There will be differences, and which is better i'd wager is *usually* the receiver in comparably leveld units, but not always. You just found this to be the case. Basically you're just using totally different dacs, thus a different sound. How different is usually minimal, but if you really take the time to listen, you can often hear. I know between the 3 dacs of my receiver, old sony changer, and my NAD521i cdp, they're all different. The receiver and NAD are VERY close, just a littel different in a few ways, the sony is quite audibly poorer to me because I know my system well. Others probably wouldn't hear too much of a difference.
     

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