Optical Cables

tsumake

New Member
Hey Guys,

I have a few questions:

1. Is it better to use an optical cable over standard RCA cables for sound, even if non-digitally enhanced (DD, DTS, PCM)? For example, my CD player as an optical output - will it sound better through the digital out than the RCA or is there no difference at all?

2. Is there a multi-port optical cable switcher? I'd like to be able to switch from my Xbox and PS2 without swapping the cable.

Thanks a lot!
 

Curtis

Member
1. It is the sort of thing that might make a difference to you. If you have a good set of ears, then you may notice the sounds is crisper or clearer. Optical fibre is free of any sort of electrical interference so it can help if the signal is picking up noise along the cable run. Suck it and see.


2. Not that I specifically know of, though I don't see why it wouldn't be possible. Price could be an issue, maybe. I know lik-sang sell a cable with one set of outputs and lots of inputs - not sure if it covers optical though.
 

tsumake

New Member
Thanks Curtis! After some searching, I found something called an optical to coaxial signal converter. Does anybody know a good one to get?? Thanks again.

BTW, Curtis - are you British or from a former British Colony? Gotta love old english spelling!
 

Curtis

Member
Originally posted by tsumake@Jun 10, 2003 @ 08:14 PM

BTW, Curtis - are you British or from a former British Colony? Gotta love old english spelling!
Heh - I wish.


Colour looks so much better than color.
 

ExCyber

Staff member
Is it better to use an optical cable over standard RCA cables for sound, even if non-digitally enhanced (DD, DTS, PCM)? For example, my CD player as an optical output - will it sound better through the digital out than the RCA or is there no difference at all?
AFAIK the main advantages to optical are that it's less likely to carry noise between components and won't be bothered by having the cable coiled or run near shifting EM fields (e.g. power wiring). How much these things are an actual problem for coaxial cable probably depends on your setup.

As for which will sound better, your CD player's optical output is almost certainly digital, most likely S/DPIF (Sony/Philips Digital Audio Interface). Which will sound better depends on which DAC is better - if the one in the CD player is better, the analog output will be better. If the one in the receiver/amp is better (which is likely to be the case), the digital output will be better. It's also considered to be good practice to do D/A conversion as close to the speakers as possible. Which one sounds better in practice will also depend on the quality of the cables, the equipment, and the operating environment.
 
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