RCA vs Coaxial [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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03-01-2010, 01:11 PM

probably an old question, but I can't find any answers on Google.

Is RCA stereo cable and coaxial the same sound quality?

And if I have a CD/DVD player with DAC converters, will they be employed through Coaxial or just RCA?

Thank you

Mr Peabody
03-01-2010, 08:54 PM
RCA, L/R, is an analog connection, the internal DAC of whatever player would do the decoding.

Coaxial digital, which also uses a single RCA end, transmits a digital signal to external DAC or receiver with built in DAC. The decoding would be done in the receiver or external DAC.

Optical digital is same set up as Coaxial except Coaxial is an electronic signal where Optical is light. Really no sound difference between the two delivery methods but I've found Coaxial more reliable. Optical also has more potential for jitter or error as light can distort when the cable is bent.

For music the best decoding depends on which unit has the best DAC and following analog circuits. Some people just use their DVD player as transport for music and let the receiver decode so they don't have to get a separate player. Generally, a good CD player DAC can outperform a HT receiver DAC.

For movies, it's digital all the way. It's the only way you will get a 5.1 or better signal. Not getting into multichannel analog. With a two channel analog the best you will get is Dolby Pro Logic 2, with digital signal you can get 5.1 or better depending on what's provided on the disc.

Hope this is what you were looking for.

03-02-2010, 04:13 AM
Thank you so much for explaining this, exactly what I was looking for!