Coaxial Digital vs Optical Sound Cables

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by *Luke*, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. *Luke*

    *Luke* Agent

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    True or false I suppose....

    Coaxial digital cables will perform better due to eliminating the 2 conversions neccessary in toslink.

    If true, why are there predominately more toslink hookups vs coaxial?


    This was in another forum and also stated on Better Cables website so I assume it must be true, has anyone done any extensive tests or read test results?
     
  2. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 1998
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    LOL...Here we go again[​IMG]
     
  3. *Luke*

    *Luke* Agent

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am not interested in worthless chatter, only an answer, if you don't know either, just say so.
     
  4. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 1998
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    No offense intended, Luke. Welcome to the forum. Try some searches on this topic and you'll see why I answered the way I did. [​IMG]
     
  5. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 30, 2003
    Messages:
    219
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Oh the humanity.
     
  6. johnbr

    johnbr Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1997
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A sound engineer said to me that he would never use a toslink.
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    as far as a sound engineer stating he'd never use toslink, i can point you to an equal number that do so and do so routinely.

    regardless, the AES, in a yet to be ratified document (maybe it has been & I just don't know) has stated that in profesisonal applications the plastic variety of toslink is acceptable for lenghts not exceeding 5 meters with glass being the preferred medium past that. the primary reason here seems to be attenuation losses are greater in plastic than in glass. not a big surprise really.

    with regards to sonic differences between the two connections, there is little credible evidence to substantiate that. what does happen quite frequently, is that there are level (volume) differences between the two approaches that often lead people to assume that one gives greater presence or soundstage, or articulation, or oomph, or something that's more properly attributed to simply volume levels. indeed, for those people who've gone through the trouble of level matching the signals at the speaker inputs, the ability to tell one from the other comes down to chance. in other words, they can't tell. nonetheless, there are individuals who apply a minimalist philosophy to audio. less connections, less conversions, no tone controls and all that are the preferred way to set up one's audio system. as a personal philosophy i guess that's fine. as a practical statement of fact that this is better and can be proven so, well that just ain't so.

    there are advantages to coax. it's cheap (well it should be), makes a fairly secure connection, it's fairly robust, and can often be run for fairly long distances.
    OTOH, toslink is more fragile, the connector is really not suited for repeated connects/disconnects, and if you go glass, you're gonna pay. of course, toslink is entirely immune to EMI/RFI so if you've got a finnicky problem with that at home, toslink may well eliminate it. there are some versions of toslink where the issue of fragility has been relatively successfully overcome such as the armor-plated versions from Lifatec.com.
     
  8. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2001
    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Make it stop, make it stop!

    Oh and coax sounds better.
     
  9. *Luke*

    *Luke* Agent

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Sorry I asked..........


    (thanx Chu)
     
  10. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 1998
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Luke, in addition to what Chu told you, please try the forum's search function; you'll find a wealth of information. It's always worth searching first before posting a new question; not only is it faster than waiting for people to answer, you'll get the benefit of all the past discussions on the topic.
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've called someone to help with the voices... [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. *Luke*

    *Luke* Agent

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I put in several search termsand just didnt find anything, perhaps I didn't have my search settings right...........
     
  13. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2001
    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Luke,

    Here's a recent one...

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...=&pagenumber=1

    But to sum it all up
    1) Coax and optical are different media for transferring a digital stream
    2) Some say it doesn't matter what you use, some say coax sounds better/smoother/less harsh.
    3) Both sides will feverishly defend their positions.

    Coax vs Optical belongs to the "Nobody really knows" category.

    Others are:
    All amps sound the same
    Speaker wire has no affect

    -edit- I guess "nobody really knows" could be changed to "there are measurible differences, but whether or not one can hear them is debatible"
     
  14. *Luke*

    *Luke* Agent

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    OK, hehehe, after reading that thread I FULLY UNDERSTAND, ...WOW. Uh, someone please delete this thread,gulp. [​IMG]
     
  15. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 1998
    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    LOL...[​IMG] Luke, consider yourself initiated
     
  16. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    BTW, John & I are friends even if we don't see eye to eye on things [​IMG]
     
  17. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2001
    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  18. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Don't forget blind too [​IMG]

    Think your hearing is up to snuff? Think you've got dem special ears? Pick up a hearing test disk from http://www.digital-recordings.com/ and report back!
     
  19. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2001
    Messages:
    1,088
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Interesting about the disk.

    I was running through the new Video Essentials disk tonight. The sweeps from 20 - 22K were interesting. I got freaked out thinking I'd lost some hearing at 18K because the tone got much softer if non existent.

    Then I used a rat shack SPL meter right up on the speakers and it didn't measure anything above 18K either.

    So either the system isn't producing adequate SPL over 18K, the meter cannot be trusted at high freqencuy or I'm losing some hearing. I don't think its my hearing because I always hear monitor and compressor whine that few every hear - buddies keep saying "There is no sound coming from the TV". But then again I have listened to loud music for quite a while when I was young.

    We'll see. I'm thinking something else is afoot here because two years ago I was fine out to 21K (tested at a health fair booth at work).
     

Share This Page