preferred connection method toslink opt. or digital coax

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by ferninando, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. ferninando

    ferninando AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Please give opinions of which method you like best.
    I have read that coax beats opt. by a small amount.
    What say you?
    Thanks.
     
  2. motorstereo

    motorstereo the wonder of it all Subscriber

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    I've also read that coax is the preferred method. Knowing that makes me a bit biased and has some part in my thinking the co-ax is better when I've compared the 2. What did surprise me is I noticed less differences between those 2 totally different hook ups than I have swapping out different rca interconnects
     
  3. nyhifihead

    nyhifihead Well-Known Member

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    I've read many like the AES/EBU for digital and it's becoming more common in both digital interfaces and external DACs, its the studio standard for digital. low noise due to common mode rejection.

    I use digital coax and it sounds great, optical sounded thin to me. I use a gustard U12 USB interface that has it's own low noise PSU and extremely accurate clocks. It's based on the XMOS chipset. I use a canare "True 75ohm" coax, I've been told BNC is the only true 75 ohm interface but my gear doesn't take BNC and I can't believe that adding BNC to RCA will do anything but degrade the signal..

    worth mentioning is i2s, it's digital audios true signal and removes the s/pdif transmit -> s/pdif recieve from the equation.

    i2s word clock is separate from the digital signal so in theory it should have less jitter. the only dacs/digital interfaces I've seen that support i2s are niche RPI based devices and audio gd/gustard. i2s unofficial format is HDMI but anything can be used in theory as its just a series of pinouts. Expect i2s to gain popularity as companies scrape all the fidelity they can from digital audio.

    i2s is pretty cool in DIY applications and is very affordable- more info here https://volumio.org/raspberry-pi-i2s-dac-sounds-so-good/

    IMO the chain of digital components is more important than the connection type though. Having USB decoupled from the motherboard bus, having high quality power supplies for your interfaces and a high grade clock are vital.

    When I bought an external digital interface (gustard u12) it dropped noise floor and added to fidelity, subtle improvement
     
  4. Hyfi

    Hyfi Super Member

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    There are different qualities of Optical cabling, some is all plastic while some are actually glass. The polishing of the ends is also a factor. I used to work for a Machine Shop where we designed and built some of the very first fiber optic end polishing machines for AMP, and they were glass.
     
  5. Drumolator

    Drumolator Super Member

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    I our living room system, we have a Sony Blu-ray player connected to our Sony TV via HDMI. The TV is connected to our Yamaha AVR via an digital optical cable. The same Blu-ray player is also connected directly to the Yamaha AVR via a coaxial digital cable. When I play a CD, I can hear it either way, and they sound the same to me. Peace and goodwill.
     
  6. for_p1

    for_p1 Addicted Member

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    When done right, optical is better - it isolates DAC from digital source and thus reduces noise. Though many Toslink implementations are technically flawed and there electrical connection is better.
     
  7. ferninando

    ferninando AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I've been opticle now want to at least try coax to see if there is a diff..
    Probably wont be able to hear the diff.
    Thanks all for your info.
     

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