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Old 01-21-2009, 07:02 PM   #1
BrettLee3232 BrettLee3232 is offline
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Question Digital Coax VS. Optical VS. RCA???

So all im using for audio cables right now is RCA. AM i loosing alot of audio this way?? i want The best sound but my reciever doesnt have hdmi so im just using RCA from my player to my reciever and cable box to my reciever! any help?????????
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:06 PM   #2
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anything is better than RCA. Some say digital Coax cables are better than digital optical, but personally I think that Digital optical cables are better and sound better...IMO. So go buy some and choose in your opinion. Go MONOPRICE.com They have cheap cables there.

Optical:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...09&cp_id=10229

Coax:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...09&cp_id=10236
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettLee3232 View Post
So all im using for audio cables right now is RCA. AM i loosing alot of audio this way?? i want The best sound but my reciever doesnt have hdmi so im just using RCA from my player to my reciever and cable box to my reciever! any help?????????
Depends on what player you have and what you want. If you want the 5.1 HD lossless audio track, then you need to use either RCA or HDMI. Optical and Digital Coax will only handle multichannel sound in the original lossy DD 5.1 or DTS 5.1.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:20 PM   #4
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This is true. If you want lossless sound, and don't have HDMI, you can still get it if your Blu-ray player does the decoding internally and can send the signal out via analog pre-outs to your reciever to be amplified. However, I could suggest good quality made analog cables. You don't want any more interference than normal
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:23 PM   #5
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[QUOTE=Audiophile_At_Birth;1531247]anything is better than RCA. Some say digital Coax cables are better than digital optical, but personally I think that Digital optical cables are better and sound better...IMO. So go buy some and choose in your opinion. Go MONOPRICE.com They have cheap cables there.

I agree. If your receiver has Coax or Opticial outputs, then either one those would be an improvement over RCA. (I do prefer opticial myself)
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophile_At_Birth View Post
anything is better than RCA.
This is not necessarily true. First of all what we refer to as "RCA" cables are actually single conductor shielded cables with male "RCA" style phono connectors on each end.

Now the quality of the cable can make a difference to the analog audio quality being carried via the cable. The better cables have a lower resistance resulting in less signal loss and thereby better quality. Further a better quality shield will resist more interference thereby keeping unwanted noises out of the audio.

In other words, good quality analog cables can carry excellent audio quality. Anyone that says that "RCA cables aren't as good as digital cables" doesn't know what they are talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophile_At_Birth View Post
Some say digital Coax cables are better than digital optical, but personally I think that Digital optical cables are better and sound better...IMO.
This is also inaccurate. Bits are bits, whether they be carried as pulses of light or moving electrons. As long as they all get to the destination intact, there is no quality difference in the encoded content whatsoever. The only difference in the two transport formats are that coaxial cables can lose signal strength (and potentially data bits) on long cable runs due to the resistance of the conductor while optical cables can lose signal by being bent too sharply causing the glass conductor to break or crack. Either cable format is perfectly acceptable. (However, don't get me started on optical cables with plastic conductors.)


The main benefit to digital transport over analog is that the digital to analog conversion of the signal takes place later in the signal chain. Typically this gives the signal a better signal to noise ratio since there are fewer places for the analog signal to pick up interference. However, in a quality system with good cabling practices, analog signal transport can sound every bit as good as digital.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettLee3232 View Post
So all im using for audio cables right now is RCA. AM i loosing alot of audio this way??
No, you aren't losing any sound that way. You may want to consider using a digital cable to transport the audio to avoid any potential signal interference but if you have good quality, shielded cables that are as short as possible, you are getting as good a signal quality as you would by using a digital cable.

There may be differences in D/A converter performance depending on which piece of your equipment decodes the audio, but I doubt it. You have to start spending a LOT of money to get into that argument.

Analog cables with "RCA" type connectors are perfectly fine.
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:14 AM   #8
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Default Convert Digital Optical tp RCA?

I recently purchased a Toshiba Blu-Ray player and found that it only has digital optical audio output and would like to plug into an old receiver with RCA inputs for playing audio CD's. What are my options and things to look out for?

Thanks.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AbeJ View Post
I recently purchased a Toshiba Blu-Ray player and found that it only has digital optical audio output and would like to plug into an old receiver with RCA inputs for playing audio CD's. What are my options and things to look out for?

Thanks.
If the player has RCA outputs, use two good quality shielded RCA cables to connect the player to the old receiver.

If the player does not have RCA outputs, buy an Optical to RCA converter.

http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keyw...ca%20converter

http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&keyw...ca%20converter

http://www.ambery.com/auco.html

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...to+rca+adapter
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Audiophile_At_Birth says:

anything is better than RCA. Some say digital Coax cables are better than digital optical, but personally I think that Digital optical cables are better and sound better...IMO.
You know something?

I disagree, but not much.


I personally do not hear much, if any, difference at all in the quality of either the COAX or the OPTICAL and I think I know why that's so.

The reason is that both of them deal strictly in the DIGITAL realm of things, when dealing with digital devices and receivers.



I think people like thinking that the optical/toslink cables are better because they are more expensive or something.
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Last edited by siamus; 11-11-2012 at 11:28 AM. Reason: minor spacing issue
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:40 AM   #11
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^ Here's an example of what I mean above.

When the Xbox 360 was released, it had the ability to be connected to surround sound receivers to provide a full surround experience.

The way that was possible was because of a port for a Toslink cable that was on the base of the A/V connector that came with and still may come with the system.



I think there's a lot of home theater experts that got their start playing around with their Xboxes and Playstations.

Last edited by siamus; 11-12-2012 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:06 PM   #12
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First, I've been using my coax jack for digital(5.1 and 6.1) which sounds too flat. My player doesn't have 6 channel analog out(a feature I hastily chose to go without upon purchase)

My Field is set up the way It's supposed to be(high end on the ceiling and low end on the floor) I prefer to build an multi directional field so it isn't obvious which speaker is producing every sound. I'm not getting any cut off, just the over all environment is too flat.

If I send fully Decoded DTS-MA, Dolby Plus, Dolby True HD or 6 Channel LCPM stereo downmix through stereo RCA jacks, then have either my receiver's built in Dolby PL or NEO:6 decoder process signal, will there be any quality loss?(keep in mind the BD player is "mixing" the lossless track to stereo, not "compressing")

Will Pro-logic or NEO:6 decoders cause quality loss when Matrixing the signal back to Surround? Do modern Pro-logic and NEO:6 decoders transform the signal to a digital wavelength before they matrix the signal back to surround?

I've heard older Pro-logic equipment(Prior to Dolby digital chip backwards compatibility) use extensive well designed solid state matrixing. Is that statement accurate?


When I have the BD Players RCA Jacks going direct to the front left and front right inputs of my receiver's 6 channel analog inputs, the sound has much more depth and fidelity(Just 2 8" Pioneer Shelf speakers fill the room in an outstanding way)


I'll know when I try it obviously, but I'm just looking for the exact specs and parameters.

Last edited by Redneck9; 01-24-2013 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Audiophile_At_Birth View Post
anything is better than RCA. Some say digital Coax cables are better than digital optical, but personally I think that Digital optical cables are better and sound better...IMO. So go buy some and choose in your opinion. Go MONOPRICE.com They have cheap cables there.

Optical:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...09&cp_id=10229

Coax:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/su...09&cp_id=10236
Hmmm. I connect my cd player with RCA cables to my receiver because I wanted to use the DAC in the cd player rather than the marantz. I liked my setup that way but if your saying anything is better than RCA, then would I see an improvement in SQ if I use coax or optical?

I bought these RCA cables that are 3 feet in length that are Acoustic Research MS231 for 24.00 so I went with that connection because I was told by NAD that the DAC was better on paper than the Marantz before buying the cables.

I listen in 2channel pure direct mode, so if anybody can chime in and inform me, that would be appreciated.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:39 PM   #14
Redneck9 Redneck9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solo man View Post
Hmmm. I connect my cd player with RCA cables to my receiver because I wanted to use the DAC in the cd player rather than the marantz. I liked my setup that way but if your saying anything is better than RCA, then would I see an improvement in SQ if I use coax or optical?

I bought these RCA cables that are 3 feet in length that are Acoustic Research MS231 for 24.00 so I went with that connection because I was told by NAD that the DAC was better on paper than the Marantz before buying the cables.

I listen in 2channel pure direct mode, so if anybody can chime in and inform me, that would be appreciated.
He doesn't know what he's talking about.

Keep it how you have it.... A CD is encoded using LCPM. If you were to use coax or optical, the best sound you'd get would be hearing a compressed LCPM source with your receivers PCM decoder to decompress which is pointless.

LCPM represents the transfer method used to transfer from analog sound recordings(8-32 track tape reel) to cd.

optical/coax(cd>decompress> compress>lossy decompress)

analog stereo(cd>decompress)
-Toshiba BDX2000KU- Toshiba has little to no product support, this player began having BD playback issues a year after it was put on the market. Toshiba uses watered down audio decoders, it's just all around a lousy device.

Last edited by Redneck9; 01-23-2013 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:46 PM   #15
Redneck9 Redneck9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redneck9 View Post
First, I've been using my coax jack for digital(5.1 and 6.1) which sounds too flat. My player doesn't have 6 channel analog out(a feature I hastily chose to go without upon purchase)

My Field is set up the way It's supposed to be(high end on the ceiling and low end on the floor) I prefer to build an multi directional field so it isn't obvious which speaker is producing every sound. I'm not getting any cut off, just the over all environment is too flat.

If I send fully Decoded DTS-MA, Dolby Plus, Dolby True HD or 6 Channel LCPM stereo downmix through stereo RCA jacks, then have either my receiver's built in Dolby PL or NEO:6 decoder process signal, will there be any quality loss?(keep in mind the BD player is "mixing" the lossless track to stereo, not "compressing")

Will Pro-logic or NEO:6 decoders cause quality loss when Matrixing the signal back to Surround? Do modern Pro-logic and NEO:6 decoders transform the signal to a digital wavelength before they matrix the signal back to surround?

I've heard older Pro-logic equipment(Prior to Dolby digital chip backwards compatibility) use extensive well designed solid state matrixing. Is that statement accurate?


When I have the BD Players RCA Jacks going direct to the front left and front right inputs of my receiver's 6 channel analog inputs, the sound has much more depth and fidelity(Just 2 8" Pioneer Shelf speakers fill the room in an outstanding way)


I'll know when I try it obviously, but I'm just looking for the exact specs and parameters.
I've found my answer on another forum.

DPL2 uses digital signal processing, while NEO:6 uses analog algorithm placement.

Also, Equipment that bears DPL2 logo also forces DPL2 type digital signal processing in DPL mode. So It seems I was right for the most part.

-It's been bothering me because I'm away from home at the moment and can't test my hypothesis hands on-
-Toshiba BDX2000KU- Toshiba has little to no product support, this player began having BD playback issues a year after it was put on the market. Toshiba uses watered down audio decoders, it's just all around a lousy device.

Last edited by Redneck9; 01-24-2013 at 04:00 AM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redneck9 View Post
He doesn't know what he's talking about.

Keep it how you have it.... A CD is encoded using LCPM. If you were to use coax or optical, the best sound you'd get would be hearing a compressed LCPM source with your receivers PCM decoder to decompress which is pointless.

LCPM represents the transfer method used to transfer from analog sound recordings(8-32 track tape reel) to cd.

optical/coax(cd>decompress> compress>lossy decompress)

analog stereo(cd>decompress)
Thanks for your feedback but was wondering maybe he knew something that I didn't hear about yet when he made that comment,"Anything is better than RCA." I am always open minded when someone has a better way to improve sound.

Thanks, once again.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:27 AM   #17
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My goodness. These last few posts are all over the map. PLII is from Dolby and Neo:6 is from DTS. They both work pretty much the same way, with the primary differences being a matter of personal preference. Redneck9 - where did you get the explanation that PLII is digital while Neo:6 is analog? I am also curious about equipment with a ProLogic logo forcing its use. How do that work? I have lots of equipment with PLII processing and I am not forced to use it with any of the gear.

RCA (analog) from a CD player is just fine. In fact, if you prefer the output of the player over the receiver, analog is the only way to go.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:58 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by BIslander View Post
My goodness. These last few posts are all over the map. PLII is from Dolby and Neo:6 is from DTS. They both work pretty much the same way, with the primary differences being a matter of personal preference. Redneck9 - where did you get the explanation that PLII is digital while Neo:6 is analog? I am also curious about equipment with a ProLogic logo forcing its use. How do that work? I have lots of equipment with PLII processing and I am not forced to use it with any of the gear.
DPL2 is not analog, In order to make DPL2 possible it needs to be digitally rendered (digital sound processing) Meaning it takes analog algorithm and converts it to digital algorithm.

NEO:6 Uses (algorithm field placement) meaning It takes certain frequencies and redistributes them without compromising fidelity. (it cuts the signal like a knife and redistributes it) 100% analog.

Dolby Pl decoders are made differently nowadays and use digital signal processing chips(cheaper to manufacture) Older Dolby Pl stereos didn't implement any digital processing whatsoever.

IT's a preference I'm sure, with NEO:6 you'll get more of an enclosed womb feel, while while with DPL2 you get more of a directional speaker listening experience.
-Toshiba BDX2000KU- Toshiba has little to no product support, this player began having BD playback issues a year after it was put on the market. Toshiba uses watered down audio decoders, it's just all around a lousy device.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:49 PM   #19
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Sorry, Redneck9, but I don't even know where to begin here. You appear to have gone from someone asking a question at 10:00am to an expert by 3:00pm (and all by reading some other forum). Unfortunately, your expertise is more than a bit lacking.

Just consider, you are saying Digital Theater Systems developed a matrix processor that only works in the analog domain. And why is not possible to apply Neo:6 to an analog stereo input until after it has been digitized by the sound processor?

Meanwhile, if I understand your initial set of questions, it sounds like your receiver cannot process lossless or multichannel PCM. (No HDMI input?) Rather than use the DTS core or embedded DD 5.1 tracks on Blu-ray, which rival lossless in quality, you would prefer to have your player decode, downmix, and do the conversion to produce an analog stereo output. Is that about the size of it? You'll never get the same level of discrete surround effects that way. It's just not possible for matrix processing to match a discrete 5.1 mix.

Last edited by BIslander; 01-24-2013 at 08:09 PM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:25 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by BIslander View Post

Just consider, you are saying Digital Theater Systems developed a matrix processor that only works in the analog domain. And why is not possible to apply Neo:6 to an analog stereo input until after it has been digitized by the sound processor?
No, I'm just saying if it's a true analog source, NEO:6 keeps it analog. However it will process a digital conversions as well.

Quote:
Meanwhile, if I understand your initial set of questions, it sounds like your receiver cannot process lossless or multichannel PCM. (No HDMI input?) Rather than use the DTS core or embedded DD 5.1 tracks on Blu-ray, which rival lossless in quality, you would prefer to have your player decode, downmix, and do the conversion to produce an analog stereo output. Is that about the size of it? You'll never get the same level of discrete surround effects that way. It's just not possible for matrix processing to match a discrete 5.1 mix.
Correct no HDMI input.

My player does a full decode, It sends the core as well as the extensions via analog(uncompressed stereo downmix)

Im not looking for a discrete surround. I'm looking to have a nice field. The sound produced by the coax/optical inputs is too soft and the range seems too small. I've sent the BD player's stereo outputs direct into the font left/right 6 channel analog and was rather impressed(loud clean and full, coming from 2 8" pioneer bookshelf speakers)It sounded like a big crystal clear wall of sound pushing at me. While those speakers playing a coax/optical source sound rather plain.

Now, I want to see how NEO:6 handles the lossless stereo. While the other forum says NEO:6 causes some pinging I'll just see how it goes.

I've only ever used NEO:6 with VHS, DBS and DVD. I prefer it over DPL2.

-VHS can sound better than some DVD tracks I'd say. Probably a lot to do with the sound engineer. ie: Uncle Buck and Christmas Vacation-
-Toshiba BDX2000KU- Toshiba has little to no product support, this player began having BD playback issues a year after it was put on the market. Toshiba uses watered down audio decoders, it's just all around a lousy device.

Last edited by Redneck9; 01-24-2013 at 10:46 PM.
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