View Full Version : Digital Cables
12-16-2002, 11:02 PM
There are two digital cables out there, Coaxial and Toslink. I personally use Toslink.
Question: is there a difference between the two, perfomance wise?
Should't they be the same?
Isn't the Toslink (optical) less interfered?
My cables are Monster for rear speakers and interconnects and bettercables for front speakers.
Amp Onkyo M-282
Surround Sides FXi50
Surround Rears RT25's
Front Subs Kenwoods 2x103sw's
Rear Sub Psw202
12-17-2002, 01:49 AM
peteran, that is a good question. I have always used Toslink. Did not even know there was a such thing as a digital coaxial until recently. Every "expert" I have talked to says Toslink is the best quality - period.. Never a problem with mine. Monster Cable Light speed all the way.
Hey we have some good hardware in common:
Amp Onkyo M-282
12-17-2002, 03:19 AM
I too use Toslink. It's my understand that the optical outputs have to go through an extra step to convert to light impulses, whereas the coax does not. This makes the coax output with a quality cable to be the better of the two for optimal performance.
If you have a long run or or happy with what you have, I'd stick with the optical.
If you want the better performance, have the money to invest in a quality cable, and have a run of 3 meters or less, I'd go with the coax.
12-17-2002, 11:16 AM
if the distance is between 3ft and less than 6 ft, use coax , if more than 6 ft, use optical(sound travels by light, good for long distance). No test shows which one is better, to assure the optimun performance, buy the good decent quality cable.
12-17-2002, 11:45 AM
This is a frequent topic on av forums. I think that most of the time, people can't tell a difference. I have read (or, to be more accurate, started to read) some very detailed posts that talk about minute differences that are detectable in lab conditions, but I think that for most of us, it's a non-issue.
Optical can break more easily & coax can have interference if not shielded properly. These are the two main differences I've read about. But if you handle optical carefully & don't buy a really bad coax cable, these shouldn't be problems. However, others may have had different experiences & have different perspectives, which is why we have these forums.
12-17-2002, 04:45 PM
I use both optical and coax, i don't notice any difference in sound quality, both seem good. as long as those 1's and 0's get there, the sound will either be there or it won't. but good qualtiy cables are a must.
12-17-2002, 09:42 PM
Thank you Guys for the input.
I personally thought that optical is better because it can be less interfered with.
I'm sure this topic would arise again and probably have more input by that time.
12-17-2002, 10:27 PM
I have heard.. not experienced this. but someone told me that if you bend an optical cable to much.. sharp bend, it could affect the signal being passed to the other end. makes sense.. whereby a coax is more durable. just passing along what i've heard
12-17-2002, 11:14 PM
Not that I know a lot about these, but here's what I do know:
Optical cables are less able to maneuver around curves, but only in the low end cables. The better cables have the ability to bend almost any direction without losing signal. Think of it like a fiber optic cable use for medical scopes. They can be bent quite easily. Optical is not susceptible to EMI and RFI interference.
Digital Coaxial cables are prone to receive interference, but good shielded cables really help. I have heard people say that because it is transfering ones and zeros, that interference won't distort these numbers. What the interference does is makes the pieces of information reach the other end of the cable at different times, known as time smearing. This is what affects the signal.
That's my two cents worth...
12-18-2002, 01:33 PM
I have heard.. not experienced this. but someone told me that if you bend an optical cable to much.. sharp bend, it could affect the signal being passed to the other end.
A good rule of thumb: DON'T BEND YOUR CABLES IN HALF!!!!!!:rolleyes:
I heard that if your wrap your new car around a telephone pole it doesn't run the same!!!!!;)
12-18-2002, 02:12 PM
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Funny Stuff Man!
12-19-2002, 12:24 AM
I use a high quality Monster toslink and am very happy with it.
12-21-2002, 05:24 AM
Bring your favorite DVD or CD to a good audio/video store and ask to listen to it with both coax and toslink. Its all about what you like and prefer. Most people buy there cable based on opinions and reviews. Trust your ears. You really can't go wrong with either. I personally couldn't tell any significant difference when I listened through both types and I ended up getting Monster Cable "Video 2" RCA for DVD digital audio. Plugged it into my Yamaha digital coax and have never been disappointed! Your gonna be happy no matter what you choose.
12-21-2002, 07:41 AM
I went from a crap toslink to a quality coax and the improvement in sound quality it was very apparent. The upper midrange harshness was gone, the highs were almost 3D, and the bass was much tighter and better defined.
I never compared a quality toslink to a quality coax, so I couldn't say for sure which technology I like better.
The only thing I could confirm is that quality interconnects make a difference in sound quality.
12-21-2002, 06:27 PM
I agree with Dr. Spec., and have "switched" between coax and optical, and it's *my opinion* that a quality coax provides a "warmer" sound than optical.
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