Which cable is better? Coaxial or Optical

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Shane Bass, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. Shane Bass

    Shane Bass Extra

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    Hello! I am sorry if this has been answered before but I was wondering which type of cable is better to hook to a DVD player. I have been told in various stores that the coaxial type is better and I have been told in other stores that the optical type is better. I am in the finishing stages of my home theater system and would really appreciate nay input that I can get. Thanks so much!
     
  2. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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  3. andy_brehm

    andy_brehm Stunt Coordinator

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    Actually, there has been a post on this topic very recently. I would guess that you can find it within the first two pages of this forum under the topic "Coaxial or Optical" There should be more then enough information there for you to make your decision.
     
  4. Shane Bass

    Shane Bass Extra

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    Thanks guys for the information. I'll start looking right now. [​IMG]
     
  5. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    ack... not again.
    quick answer... both. Or neither... but really, it's either or. Probably.
    ------------------
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    "Those who died will always be remembered.
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    We who remain will not let it happen again."
     
  6. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

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  7. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    Although many mid-hi HT enthusiasts hear no discernable differences, there is a concensus that there are more upsides to coax over opt.
     
  8. andy_brehm

    andy_brehm Stunt Coordinator

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    Who makes a good reasonably cheap coax cable? Say $30-$40?
     
  9. Mark Gurney

    Mark Gurney Stunt Coordinator

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    I picked up a Monster digital coax cable at SoundTrack for $39.99. Seems to be doing the job.
     
  10. Juan_R

    Juan_R Supporting Actor

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    Coax can pickup interference where as optical wont. I am not saying optical is better, I am just providing a fact.
     
  11. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Is it just me, or are we having much more threads asking
    Coaxial Vs. Optical or
    Component Vs. Svideo Vs. Composite???
    Not to be mean or anything, but SEARCH people! [​IMG]
    And welcome to the forum.. since you're asking this, its probably coz you're new...
    Maybe they should post a couple FAQs into a 'Newcomers' board or something...
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  12. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Accoustic Research makes good optical cables for around $20. IMHO it feels and looks better than my much more expensive monster cable.
    I'm not going to get into the optical/coax thing, that just gets ugly everytime it comes up.
     
  13. Gary King

    Gary King Second Unit

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  14. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    You can get 75 ohm coax cable for like $5 for 3 ft. Gold connectors too! Same RG59 (?) stuff. Just that this stuff is labelled for "video" and not "digital DVD/home theater", but it's the same stuff. They just charge more to put "digital" on it!
    Oh, I know of a guy who actually used chicken wire as a coax cable. He had a set up where he could measure the bits/bytes transmitted vs the checksums. He said: no difference between the chicken wire and any other coax cable you can buy.
    Wouldn't the inherent shielding for coax cable minimze/eliminate any susceptability to RF/EMI interference?
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  15. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  16. RyanM

    RyanM Agent

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    Why is it that many digital components only have optical outputs, particularly when cables for coax have the potential of being so inexpensive (and adding LEDs and such to the actual component seems to be more costly than using coax)?
    Ryan
     
  17. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

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    Ryan - good question - I wonder the same thing. You would think it would be more expensive to add optical, and if they thought it was inferior - why would they go to the expense? Can anyone answer that?
    Bryan
     
  18. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

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    Although there is no exact science when it comes to interference on coax cables, I still try to use coax when the run is less than 2 meters. I go with Optical Cables for 3+meter runs (PS2, CD jukebox). Without starting a "ones and zeros are the same" debate, I do take into account that the high end coax cable designers say thtat the optimal length for their cables are about 1 meter (no more and no less). I also take into account that, because of their higher bandwidth and the fact that the higher end equipment (CD transports) only utilize coax because of their firm belief that it does sound better. Again, I haven't performed enough double blind listening tests to confirm this, but, as I stated in my earlier post, odds are 3 to two in favor of coax.
    1) Favored by audiophiles to sound better
    2) higher bandwidth
    3) Cheaper than optical
    Optical: Not subject to interference
    Can go on long runs without interference
    I have done a double blind listening test on an Illuminti D60 coax cable ($260) vs. a cheaper $100 coax cable on a high end WADIA transport. Whether it colored the sound or not, I heard more focus, dynamics and imaging and was convinced that certain coax cables can provide some level of improvment. When I tried both cables on a DVD player for movie soundtracks, there was absolutely no noticable difference. I also tried 3 different optical cables (2 monters and a cheap Sony optical cable) and the cheaper optical sounded veiled compared to the other Monster Opticals. However, there were no difference between both Monster Optical cables and the coax cables when it came to movies. After spending an entire afternoon testing all of these cables, I've come to the conclusion above.
     
  19. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    Keeping my receiver at the same listening volume, switching from an optical cable to a digital coax (from my DVD player to receiver) gave me about a 3dB boost of clean sound with deeper lows and more pronounced highs. I do not know why, but the Radio Shack analog meter said so. [​IMG] The soundstage also seemed to widen and I had to recalibrate my surrounds because they were off by about 1dB each.
    On the other hand, I run an optical cable from my CD changer to receiver because it gives me better sound than running a digital coax between the two. Go figure. [​IMG]
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  20. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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