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Fibre Optic Or Digital Coaxial

by Iamperson / December 2, 2003 10:08 AM PST

This is for a dvd player to reciever, read another forum and there were just a ton of totaly diffrent opinions. What do you all think about this?

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Re:Fibre Optic Or Digital Coaxial
by Art / December 3, 2003 1:40 AM PST

I never find a good explanation for the thing so I've never hook it up, HaHa; what the hick is it for anyway?

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Re:Fibre Optic Or Digital Coaxial
by Oil_Tan / December 6, 2003 8:08 AM PST

Fiber optic handles more bandwidth, some come with anti jitter enhancements....

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Re:Fibre Optic Or Digital Coaxial
by beebow / December 20, 2003 3:21 PM PST

I went optic and can't say enough about the clean rich sound.

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Go optics
by matto1985 / July 17, 2007 5:44 AM PDT

Who doesn't like optical. Everyone I know that has one is all about it. They say it's so clean. If you want you should check out They have some good quality, cheap cables.

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Well I know that are a many opinions!!!!
by jcrobso / July 17, 2007 6:06 AM PDT

But in the real world of consumer gear there is no difference!!!!!
Digital is digital!!!! Fiber has a wider bandwidth but until you go over 3ghz it won't matter. Digital audio doesn't ever get close to 3ghz!
Coaxial digital uses 75ohm cable very durable when compared to fiber cable, the RCA plugs are way stronger than the fiber connectors.
If the fiber connector is not perfectly seated you get nothing.
From a reliability stand point coax wins hands down, but the fad is to put fiber connectors on everything. John

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Some clarification John
by Dan Filice / July 17, 2007 6:32 AM PDT

I didn't quite understand your response that included info about RCA plugs, and being stronger. The comment was stuck in the middle of your coax vs. optical description, but RCA seemed to be unrelated. Yes, RCA is "strong" but RCA will only give analog 2-ch audio, which isn't the digital signal that coax or optical will give for proper 5.1 surround. But I agree about the optical and coax being the same (virtually, for us consumers). Both work great. Optical cables seem to be very expensive. I happend to use optical but they are a pain to keep connected if you happen to move your DVD player or receiver around to dust.


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its the same plug as the rca cable
by jostenmeat / July 17, 2007 10:03 AM PDT

the following will are all interchangeable and will all work on whatever. All use RCA type plugs.

rca stereo
digital coax
component video
composite video
subwoofer lfe cable
audio multi-channel interconnects

That being said, I dunno if dig coax is 75 ohm, probably is. I think all the video stuff is 75ohm, and the audio stuff of lower impedance for improved bass. It does all work interchangeably though. Lastly, one "theoretical" detraction of fiber optic is that it goes thru more encoding and decoding. But I don't care really.

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by ns387241 / July 17, 2007 2:05 PM PDT

Digital Coaxial cables are indeed 75-ohm connectors, with exact terminations used on all cables decsribed above. With fibre optic cables, one may only connect and disconnect the optic cable so many times before a huge degradation in performance (trust me here, I have lab results), so yes, durability goes to coaxial. The bandwith claim however, is simply rediculous. Theoretically, coaxial (being of analogue design) has the capability of an unlimited bandwith, as all is required is increase in physical size of the conductor and dialectric system. Optical cables are indeed limited, as all I have been able to pass through my Monster Cables (M1000 optical) was 1.5Mbps, and my Analysis Plus cables, 2.0Mbps. I do stress that these are bit rates, however the bandwith still has a cap. My Analysis Plus "Digital Oval" Coaxial connector run from my Classe CDP-501 to my Classe processor measures in at a hefty 3.0Gbps (in Lpcm off a special calibration disk). The AP black digital cable was about the same expenditure of the monster optical cable (The Analysis Plus Optical was only $40-a great value for compriamise), and yet performed more than 10 times better. Cleanliness of the sound will soly be determined by the environment to which the signal has to pass. If the environment is noisy, the signal will be as well. Digital Coax and Optical cables are both susceptible, so here's the summary:
Under $40 for a cable, go with Optical. One can get excellent performance, but if one truly wants to go all the way with his/her investment (about $100), then digital coax will offer a heightened bandwith and a more natural sonic timbre versus the cold tinny sound of even the finest glass optical cables (glass is much better than plastic, but not very flexible and thus impractical), and thus would be the better investment.

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Hi Dan, OK to clean up any confusion.
by jcrobso / July 18, 2007 1:14 AM PDT

The RCA plug is stronger and is harder to accidentally to dislodge.
Digital audio can be 5.1 over coax, we are talking about are transfer medium(copper vs fiber) not the content.
Because the digital audio jacks on my AV Receiver are optical that is what I use.

I have a gigabyte Ethernet network at the station I can connect the two main switches together with Cat5e or fiber, both will deliver the
1 gigabyte bandwidth.

Some FYI for everyone, RG59 and RG6 are 75ohm coax cable and are usable up to 3ghz. RG6 is a heaver cable because of the 18ga center conductor. RG6 is choice for long runs and when a DC voltage is also need to power distant electronics for Satalite Receivers.
The yellow video cable is a 75 ohm cable, component cables are 75ohm.
As for needing a "special audio cable to connect to powered sub woofer" This is Mon$tor hogwash. John

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It's not
by ns387241 / July 18, 2007 12:42 PM PDT

that one would necessarilly need a "special cable" to run to on'e s subwoofer to make it work (as one could use cables that came out of the box of a Sony DVD player as just about any connection above and make it functional), rather it is the quality one would expect from whatever interconnection one would use. I have made this argument many a time, but I shall do it again. The construction of the cable and the quality of materials used is directly related to the durability and performance one would expect from said interconnection. Using a higher purity Cu conductor (99.99% as oppopsed to 87%, for example) will result in a deeper soundstage and increased clarity across the spectrum. Use of other materials (Ag, or Au, instead of Cu) will also yeild more natural sonic behaviour. Generally (If 10 year's physics experience holds true) a larger conducter has a greater capability of carrying lower frquency signals than a smaller one (a physical limitation of the samller conductors). So Monster's Claim that a large-guage conductor for a Subwoofer specialty cable would be correct. Now, their design of cables otherwise aren't always as good, but manufacturers such as Analysis-Plus and Libertywire have followed that bit to a point. There are such things as specialty wires that are specially made for special tasks, as something that is generic is a jack of all trades at best. But specialty at one task is gold for us audiophiles. Of course, one could make the claim that there would be no difference displayed between a generic cable and a specialty cable with the correct system (generally system of question is a Bose). This I would say is correct, as Bose systems have no capability of showing the difference between specific cables (test: Bose 301V speakers, Analysis-Plus Oval 9 sp. cables versus 18ga. lamp cord - differentiation: very little). For those of us that truly appreciate sound, one would invest in a decent cable (which, yes, Monster is generally overpriced, but their professional line is not for the performance).
So again, it is not out of necessity these "specialty" cables arose, rather it is out of want for a more realistic and emmersing sound experience.

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I agree
by jostenmeat / July 18, 2007 4:40 PM PDT
In reply to: It's not

that spending on wires is a moot point without the gear to be able to show their differences. Some gear can, some gear can't. That being said, even most audiophiles put "wires" at the bottom of the chain of importance. Those that even think of changing out their power cords would put that last, behind wires, when asked in my experience.

Some audiophiles find bigger noticeable differences with speaker wire than with interconnects as well. Just relaying my experiences here.

As far as I know, its not just a Mon$ter sub cable that has a lower impedance than 75ohms. I was under the impression that all of the audio interconnects (including stereo RCA and multi-channel) were less than 75ohm (dunno the rating though). That's what I've been told by a few people, including my dealer. Is this untrue?

Anyways, the chain of importance that I find most people on average would list(lot of variations):
1. Recording
2. Room
3. Speakers
4. Source
5. Preamp
6. Amp
7. Wires

I have been getting some help lately from an extremely experienced reviewer and hobbyist. He says that what we hear is over 50% room.

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Does It Really Matter?
by FiberOpticFan / December 25, 2012 8:24 AM PST
In reply to: I agree

If what you say is true, then any true audiophile is going to address all the issue to get it right and would not ignore any of the factors that contribut to great sound. Granted we will spend bigger dollars or devote more time on getting the higher priority factors right. But no serious listener will buy expensive equipment and use crappy cables.

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