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View Full Version : Digital Optical vs. Digital Coax



Ray_C
03-21-2006, 08:26 PM
Hi All,

I haven't been around these forums much since I purchased some 170s and a VTF2 last year some time. Real life sure gets busy sometimes. ;)

I just bought a Marantz DV9500 universal player and will probably have to rearrange everything in my setup since it is a little taller than my old dvd player. Rearranging probably means buying more cables to fit the lengths and I was wondering if there is any actual difference between using a toslink optical cable for the audio vs. using a good quality digital coax cable.

Thanks for any suggestions.
Ray

edit: I've been using optical for my current dvd player as well as my Xbox. I've never tried the digital coax.

edit again: Now that I think about it, the audio processor on the Marantz is supposed to be top notch. Should I go with analog connections to my receiver then? It is a Kenwood VR-8070. Then the signal will have already been converted by the Marantz processor and the signal can just be boosted by the Kenwood.

BradJudy
03-21-2006, 09:58 PM
Since it's a universal player, you'll need the analog connections if you want to do DVD-A or SACD.

On the digital cable side, you're unlikely to notice a difference. The advantage of optical is that you don't have to worry about interference. Coax doesn't have conversions between electrical and optical signals and since they are all shielded, you generally don't have to worry about interference either.

Whether you want to use the analog connections for movie viewing largely depends on the bass management options of your DVD player and the receiver. Not all receivers do bass management on the analog inputs, so you have to rely on the DVD player to handle it and DVD players usually don't have a lot of bass management options.

For this reason, I actually hooked both analog and coax digital connections to my receiver. I use the digital for movies and the analog for SACD/DVD-A.

Ray_C
03-22-2006, 09:57 AM
Thanks for the input BradJudy.

It should get here today or tomorrow, hopefully. LOL

I think I'll go with analog connections only to start with, I've read a review that says the bass management features almost approach the level of what's available on receivers and processors. I'll try it out and if it's not quite good enough for movies I'll try out digital coax, I like your point about no electrical/optical conversions.

There's no difference between a digital audio coax cable than any other coax with rca connectors, right? I need to dig out my pile of cables to see what lengths and types I have. LOL Might have to pay bluejeanscable.com a visit again.

Cheers,
Ray

BradJudy
03-22-2006, 12:49 PM
There's no difference between a digital audio coax cable than any other coax with rca connectors, right?

Actually, digital audio transmission requires a better quality cable than analog audio (higher frequencies in use). This isn't to say that your analog cables might not work fine, but the only way to know is to try. Look for one that's shielded, preferably a coax cable with RCA connectors.

Ray_C
03-22-2006, 12:59 PM
Actually, digital audio transmission requires a better quality cable than analog audio (higher frequencies in use). This isn't to say that your analog cables might not work fine, but the only way to know is to try. Look for one that's shielded, preferably a coax cable with RCA connectors.

That's why I asked if a digital audio coax in any different from a regular coax with RCA connectors. :p

LOL I do that all the time too.