Digital Audio: RCA vs Optical, Which is better?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jason_Leger, Jan 23, 2002.

  1. Jason_Leger

    Jason_Leger Auditioning

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    Hey Everyone,

    Any opinions on which type of cable is better for digital audio RCA or Optical(TOSLINK)?

    I am going to upgrade my cables and I am wondering whether I should buy a high quality RCA or Optical cable.

    Thanks for any advice you can give.

    Jason
     
  2. Jay_Via

    Jay_Via Stunt Coordinator

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    hey jason,

    i would recommend the optical cables....i personally have a monster optical cable running from my 5-disc changer to my receiver but i would recommend the acoustic research as they can be had for half the price of the monsters.

    you will notice increased sound quality with optical over RCA because it is user fiber instead of copper (i believe thats the reasoning)

    jay
     
  3. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Jason: Sorry, but I disagree with Jay. I'd get the coax cable because it is more sturdy and sounds better... YMMV.
     
  4. Randy Prue

    Randy Prue Stunt Coordinator

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    Good coax sounds very good. Good fibre-optic is very expensive, compared to better coax, or the plastic fibre-optic cable.

    I used Radio Shack fibre-optic and Acoustic Research Master series coax at the same time, then switched the input selector while a DVD played. There was more sound from the coax ($120. CAD), compared to the plastic fibre-optic cable ($50. CAD).

    A $200. real glass cable may sound better than a $30. coax... I dunno. The optic cables are fragile. Don't ever kind one!
     
  5. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    More variety of cables available. No they dont all sound the same and I find that a decent coax sounds better. More durable is a bonus.
     
  6. Frank Frandsen

    Frank Frandsen Stunt Coordinator

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    I can't say what sounds better but with optical cable you eliminate one possible source of a ground loop hum. Just a thought.

    Frank
     
  7. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Frank F: Very Good Point!
     
  8. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    Benefits of each:

    TOSLink: As Frank said you eliminate a possible loop hum from the system. Also fiber has theoretically more bandwidth than coax does.

    Coaxial: More direct signal; no conversion required. Unlike optical where the signal must be converted from electricity to light and then back again, coax allows the signal to remain electricial from source to destination. Coax is also more flexible than fiber, allowing you to make tight turns and loops if you need to.

    Bottom line...try them both and use what you like. I prefer Coaxial for all of my digital runs.
     

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