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  1. #1
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    Optical Cable Question

    To begin with if you don't think there is a difference in CD, DVD or TV sound when connected optically to a receiver, don't bothering answering this question. To the true believers, do all optical cables produce the same sound or is the difference unnoticeable? Specifically, I can get an optical cable on Ebay for $6 new & I just bought a Phillips PXT1000 fiber optics cable for $20. Are all optic cables under $100 going to produce the exact same sound quality? How about over $100?
    Last edited by Geoffcin; 06-07-2005 at 06:46 PM.

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    I will exclude myself also.

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    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    Are all optic cables under $100 going to produce the exact same sound quality?
    Cables don't produce sound...that should tell you something.
    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    How about over $100?
    If the receiver is receiving the signal, a $100 cable isn't going to make the digital info any more or less accurate than the $6 cable. It might be longer, have better shielding, or be more durable but that's probably it.
    Don't make the same mistakes I made on my early HT systems.

  4. #4
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    To the true believers, do all optical cables produce the same sound or is the difference unnoticeable?
    What's the point in believing in an unnoticeable difference? Does it really matter if you one-hand clap with your right hand, or your left? If you're a believer, you don't need to ask this question, you take it on faith.

    self excused, too.

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    asdf bjornb17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    To begin with if you don't think there is a difference in CD, DVD or TV sound when connected optically to a receiver, don't bothering answering this question. To the true believers, do all optical cables produce the same sound or is the difference unnoticeable? Specifically, I can get an optical cable on Ebay for $6 new & I just bought a Phillips PXT1000 fiber optics cable for $20. Are all optic cables under $100 going to produce the exact same sound quality? How about over $100?
    i see a major problem here: why would you tell "non-believers" to not answer your question? It sounds like you just want to hear what you already believe, without keeping your mind open to other possibilities.

    The first time i hooked up an optical cable in place of a coaxial cable, i thought it sounded so much better. It tunrs out that i just has the bass management settings setup different for whatever was coming into the Optical-In. Once i equated all the settings on my receiver, they sounded just the same.

    My $0.99 optical cable from ebay sounds the same as the $50 optical cable my friend bought at best buy (and later returned when he realized he wasted $49.01 + tax). The only thing that was different was the build quality. As the previous poster said, the optical cable does not do anything to the signal. That is up to the receiver to do.

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    No You're Wrong

    [QUOTE=bjornb17]i see a major problem here: why would you tell "non-believers" to not answer your question? It sounds like you just want to hear what you already believe, without keeping your mind open to other possibilities.

    Another closeminded smart alec remark. All I was asking and saying, look again, is if someone who believed such as I do that different systems get better optic sound, then do certain optic cables get better sound then others? Is this so hard to fathom. Therefore a no answer would be perfectly acceptable from someone who thought different optical systems may get better sound. I don't see what is so difficult to understand. Chances are however, no one will be able to answer my question, because whoever the power hungry moderator is, they decided once again to interfere and put this on another board.

    If you believe sound from any system is the same by optic cable which I obviously don't, why would I want to hear another lame answer from these people. This board is getting worse every day!

  7. #7
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjornb17
    i see a major problem here: why would you tell "non-believers" to not answer your question? It sounds like you just want to hear what you already believe, without keeping your mind open to other possibilities.
    Yep, that's our hershon all right.

  8. #8
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    Is this so hard to fathom. Therefore a no answer would be perfectly acceptable from someone who thought different optical systems may get better sound. I don't see what is so difficult to understand.
    Uh, ya. It is pretty hard to fathom. A person who thought different optical cables get better sound couldn't possibly give you a 'no' answer, however acceptable that might be to you. Maybe a better way to ask your question would be

    "Is there anyone out there who has heard a difference when comparing optical cables? If so, could describe the differences you heard, what cables you were using, and what your set up was?"

    You could add 'pretty please' and maybe get fewer flames.

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    asdf bjornb17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein

    Another closeminded smart alec remark.
    Hershon, how could i be closed minded? In the other thread, i followed your advice to get better sound from my optical port on my HK DVD22 player. I was listening for differences that just werent there. When all the auditioning peramiters were the same (same listening location and receiver settings), the sound was exactly the same as it was on any other dvd player i've listened to on my setup.

  10. #10
    BooBs are elitist jerks shokhead's Avatar
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    A good mid priced RS cable will work just fine. BTW,just answer his fricken question. I wouldnt buy a $10 or a $100 cable. I just got a 6' toshlink from RS for 29 bucks.
    Look & Listen

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    This Board Has Deteriorated

    This board is almost worthless now and my brother & I are almost tempted to leave it for good. It use to be helpful to get a straight answer or recommendation to a simple question. Instead all it consists of nowadays are bizarre questions to minuteae or stupid answers to valid questions. Let me spell this out again, as apparently your high IQ's fail to comprehend this. Let us assume for argument sake that if you connect a DVD player to a receiver by optic cable, the higher quality DVD players will produce better sound than the lower quality players. Therefore will different optic cables produce the same exact sound or not? If not, what specific cable brand model at what cost would you recommend?
    Last edited by Geoffcin; 06-08-2005 at 07:04 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    This board is almost worthless now and my brother & I are almost tempted to leave it for good. It use to be helpful to get a straight answer or recommendation to a simple question. Instead all it consists of nowadays are bizarre questions to minuteae or stupid answers to valid questions. Let me spell this out again, as apparently your high IQ's fail to comprehend this. Let us assume for argument sake that if you connect a DVD player to a receiver by optic cable, the higher quality DVD players will produce better sound than the lower quality players. Therefore will different optic cables produce the same exact sound or not? If not, what specific cable brand model at what cost would you recommend?
    okay for about the billionth time on this board and about the 3rd time in this specific thread... No, it doesn't matter!

    About the only thing that really changes is construction quality and appearance. If you want a cable that looks pretty and is more sturdy, then you will probably have to pay more, otherwise they are all about the same. my $0.99 optical cable from ebay works just as well as the more expensive stuff i've tried. The only thing that is different is that it's lightweight and unattractive. The sound is the same.

  13. #13
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    Hershon, the optical cable especially shouldn't add anything to the signal. For one optical cable to sound better than another you'd have to assume that something is either being removed from the signal or added.
    You shouldn't want anything added, and the great part about optical cables is that they don't just choose which information to remove. It either works, or it doesn't.

    Do you have any possible suggestions as to why an optical cable might give better sound? Higher quality doesn't necessarily mean better sound. More durability, better looks, better connection maybe...better sound quality? Possibly, I'd like to know why and how though.

  14. #14
    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    OK, seriously. Let's start with
    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    Let us assume for argument sake that if you connect a DVD player to a receiver by optic cable, the higher quality DVD players will produce better sound than the lower quality players.
    You would get better answers if you started with an assumption that made sense. A higher quality DVD player will potentially produce better sound than a low quality player BUT, only through the ANALOG outs. The DVD player does not process the signal for the optical out, so the quality of a functional DVD player doesn't make a difference with the optical/digital out.

    But, reality aside, assume there is an imaginary difference. Then

    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    Therefore will different optic cables produce the same exact sound or not?
    Rephrased the question is "will different optical cables transmit the exact same signal equally well"

    Optical cables in this case transmit a digital signal (they don't transmit sound). The whole point of a digital signal is that it is very very robust. The whole point of making digital connections in the first place is to eliminate cable quality from the equation. It is easy to tell if the signal is a '1' or a '0' even if the signal is weak or degraded. This means that the quality of the cable matters very very little. Cable quality matters far more for an analog signal than a digital one. There are certain kinds of signal errors that theoretically can occur in optical cables; I suppose some people claim they hear them. Modern DAC's are designed to compensate and correct these errors. A coaxial cable for a digital connection doesn't have these problems, is cheaper, and easier but that's my opinion. The answer to your question is 'yes'. But, I'm a non-believer, forgive me.

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    Angry Bjornb17 Is English a Second Language For You?

    I said if you think all systems will sound the same with digital optical sound don't bother responding to the question. What part of this do you not understand? I did not post to get into a debate over this issue but to hear thoughts from people who think that digital connections have different sound quality on whether the actual optical cable brand and model made a difference and if so what would they recommend. They very well can think that systems offer different digital sound but optical cable brands do not influence this. In which case I'll probably buy the cheapest optical cable in the future.

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    Big science. Hallelujah. noddin0ff's Avatar
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    and we're off and running!

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    Kexodusc Thank You

    That type answer was all I was looking for. I never said the optical cable brand & model number made a difference- I just don't know and wanted to hear from others who might know but still think different systems sound different on digital connections like my HK 31 DVD player and another brand. I just asked because I can get one for $6 on Ebay, bought one at a store for $20 because it was convenient, have seen $200 ones sold & i'm just trying to get the best sound quality I can for my system. Why doesn't anyone want to give a brother a break!

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    Lightbulb As I said I did not post this to debate this

    There was an extensive article that stated that digital signals are more than 0's and 1's and digital signals have different sound quality that someone else (not me or Hershon) posted here but I'm not going to go into that because that wasn't the purpose here. If I have a question about depth perception I am not going to ask a blind man for his advice and so if I have a question on optical cables I am not going to ask someone who thinks digital sound is the same on all systems. Kabish!
    Last edited by EdwardGein; 06-08-2005 at 06:47 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    That type answer was all I was looking for. I never said the optical cable brand & model number made a difference- I just don't know and wanted to hear from others who might know but still think different systems sound different on digital connections like my HK 31 DVD player and another brand. I just asked because I can get one for $6 on Ebay, bought one at a store for $20 because it was convenient, have seen $200 ones sold & i'm just trying to get the best sound quality I can for my system. Why doesn't anyone want to give a brother a break!
    the point is that questions very similar to yours have been asked a hundred times in other threads, most of which were started or contributed to by you. It's a very simple concept. And i answered your question correctly, since i said it doesnt matter and that a cheap cable is fine for an optical connection.

    Now, if you want to get into the technicalities of why i should or shouldn't have answered your question, or if it was answered properly, well then that's your problem. We're just stating the facts and you don't want to acknowledge them.

    Oh, an by the way, English IS my second language. Maybe it's your fifth or sixth language because you can't seem to get these concepts into your head. ZZZIINNNGGG

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    This board is almost worthless now and my brother & I are almost tempted to leave it for good. It use to be helpful to get a straight answer or recommendation to a simple question. Instead all it consists of nowadays are bizarre questions to minuteae or stupid answers to valid questions. Let me spell this out again, as apparently your high IQ's fail to comprehend this. Let us assume for argument sake that if you connect a DVD player to a receiver by optic cable, the higher quality DVD players will produce better sound than the lower quality players. Therefore will different optic cables produce the same exact sound or not? If not, what specific cable brand model at what cost would you recommend?
    I have an idea for you there Edward, give your bro Hershon a call, ha ha ha ha hee hee hahahahaha, sorry about that, where was I, oh ya, give your bro Hershon a call and ask him about anything you might need to know about amps, receivers, speakers, cables, set up recommendations and the like. Your bro has extensively learned all there is to know about HT equipment and how it should sound. Now I know you and your bro are tight so I don't see why he wouldn't want to share his vast knowledge of all he has learned from the help of AR and all its members. Hell, Hershon has learned so much from this site, ha ha ha heeeheeehahahah, where was I, oh ya, Hershon has learned so much from this site, maybe he might get asked to become a moderator, and then Geoffcin won't have to edit all your posts.

  21. #21
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    Well, maybe he CAN take a hint.

    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardGein
    This board is almost worthless now and my brother & I are almost tempted to leave it for good.
    Don't let the door hit yas on the way out guy(s).

  22. #22
    Forum Regular royphil345's Avatar
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    In my experience a glass optical cable sounds better. I compaired a modestly-priced glass cable ($30.00) from eBay to a plastic Monster Cable that costed a little more. I heard a very noticeable difference between the two. Seemed some of the 1s and 0s were getting lost in the plastic cable. Less bass and detail.

    I had it explained to me that the plastic cables are quite wide and jitter is caused by light going straight through the cable and light reflected off the walls of the cable arriving at slightly different times. I was told that a better DAC would correct the jitter. My equipment is pretty modest.

    The glass cables are thinner to begin with and made up of many smaller strands, so there is much less jitter. I have seen a plastic cable that was made up of many small strands. My guess is that this cable would also perform well. It was expensive though.

  23. #23
    asdf bjornb17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by royphil345
    In my experience a glass optical cable sounds better. I compaired a modestly-priced glass cable ($30.00) from eBay to a plastic Monster Cable that costed a little more. I heard a very noticeable difference between the two. Seemed some of the 1s and 0s were getting lost in the plastic cable. Less bass and detail.

    I had it explained to me that the plastic cables are quite wide and jitter is caused by light going straight through the cable and light reflected off the walls of the cable arriving at slightly different times. I was told that a better DAC would correct the jitter. My equipment is pretty modest.

    The glass cables are thinner to begin with and made up of many smaller strands, so there is much less jitter. I have seen a plastic cable that was made up of many small strands. My guess is that this cable would also perform well. It was expensive though.

    i was going to suggest in the other thread that you and edwardgein might get along well but i refrained from doing so

  24. #24
    Forum Regular royphil345's Avatar
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    What's that supposed to mean?

    Should I be offended?

    If the guy wants to start a debate about whether there's a difference in sound quality using different digital optical cables, this would be the place to do that.

    If you find this thread old and boring, ignore it.

    What's so terribly exciting about "buy a NAD... buy an Adcom... buy a Rotel... buy a Project" a hundred times a week???!!!

    All I said is that there really is a difference and price doesn't seem to have much to do with it. Glass really sounds much better to me after much experimentation, especially with a more modest DAC, and can be had for the same price or much less than many plastic cables. The only way I can describe the difference I heard is that when I hooked up the glass cable, the sound was distinctly fuller and smoother. Thought that piece of info might be helpful someday to the many people who think there is no difference between optical cables. I have a CD player with only an optical out (not my only one) and was very happy to find an inexpensive way to get better sound out of it.

    I'm here to learn and try to be a little helpful whenever (rarely) possible. I've been around here a good while and have always been polite to everyone, no matter how strongly I happen to disagree with them. If you've got some sort of beef with the guy who started this thread, I wish you wouldn't take it out on me. If you disagree with me on the glass cables, I'd be happy to hear any kind of reason for that. I'd probably get out all my cables and listen again!!! I wouldn't want to recommend anything that was "snake oil". I try to be very careful about that. I wouldn't want anyone throwing away money on my account (or out of my account... lol). The comment you made just isn't much of an argument. To be honest, I really don't know what it's supposed to mean??? If I'm taking it the wrong way, I apologize.

    You're sort of new here. When did you become so sure a different optical cable won't make a difference? Have you tried many of them?... or no reason to because you just know?

    I've known for years that the cable room is a bad place. Don't know what I'm doing here anyway!!!
    Last edited by royphil345; 06-23-2005 at 09:42 PM.

  25. #25
    fergot... whasa XLR3?
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    LOL! Jitter from plastic as opposed to glass LOL!

    If'n you say so I'll listen. I'm interested, but I'm one of 'em in a tough room. I'm new here too, but I'm anything but new in audio. I'll need definative proof.

    I don't really mean to diss you with yer premise, (don't answer if you don't fink so) but I'm a very old hand at audio (like almost 80% of my entire life and I'm old), and I've seen lotsa snake oil.

    I'll stay tuned



    BTW, I worked on the fiber links for the Oscars last year on the red carpet, length was more like thousands of feet
    Last edited by mixadude; 06-23-2005 at 10:52 PM.

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