Essence STX, Optical vs Coax

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Darkiee, Aug 11, 2011.

  1. Darkiee

    Darkiee Master Guru

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    Which would/should give better results? Both should work on 5.1, if i´m not mistaken.
     
  2. sprogis

    sprogis Member

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    Opicalt IMO.

    sprogis
     
  3. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    Optical.
    TOS/Link (optical) is immune to interference unlike coax cables...realistically tho you prob won't notice the difference.
     
  4. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    For sake of discussion, I will say COAX!
    Who, is going to ask why?
     

  5. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    Lol - ME, ME, ME! :p

    Why???
     
  6. Darkiee

    Darkiee Master Guru

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    Uh oh, yes, i´m interested why. Seriously i am.
     
  7. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    Me too...
     
  8. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    For optical, everybody considers only the cable. Always saying "the cable is immune to noise". Yes, but the issue with optical is usually in the cheaper optical transmitters and receivers. Add in the cheap plastic adapters and there can be some trouble with that. Some also suggest that optical has more jitter but that can be debated. Optical is converted from a coax signal so these extra steps and components can also downgrade the signal. The circuit design and coupling is also a factor.

    I have been working with S/Pdif in the lab for quite awhile now just testing and working with different products so I have been doing a great deal of discussion and research on these subject. Many are still debates or personal preferences.

    Many people I see with higher end external systems always seem to go with coax and swear by it for different reasons. Now, I doubt you would hear any difference using lower priced products but they are there when you start working up the ladder. It is really your choice but do some research on the subject as you will probably be surprised at what you find. :nerd:
    Opinions, rebuttals?
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
  9. Pill Monster

    Pill Monster Banned

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    Sounds like a load of bollocks. :p j/k..


    Actually no argument from me sorry, wat you say seems perfectly reasonable.....especially the part about cheap plastic optical cables.
    I haven't noticed the difference between optical & coax on my HT system, but my cables are not the expensive type..
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
  10. Darkiee

    Darkiee Master Guru

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    So, it´s matter equipment and what sounds right/good for you ears?

    Never the less, i´ll give it a few day go with Coax, as using Opt now.
     

  11. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    The differences would be slight if your system is resolving enough to hear them.
    The cheap plastic cables are indeed another factor. For those that are into optical, many I have spoken with swear by glass optical cables. I don't mean go with some ultra expensive snake oil infused cable. Reasonable quality is always good though for either Coaxial or optical.
    It depends on your gear somewhat but it is more about the optical technology and the quality of the conversion, tX and rX circuitry.
    You are also using a cheap plastic adapter and cable.
    Try out both, you might hear a difference or you might not hear any difference.:nerd: Enjoy.

    The old saying is "Digital is Digital"....in terms of digital audio, this is just not true.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2011
  12. Redemption80

    Redemption80 Ancient Guru

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    I would go with coaxial too, i used to use optical only with digital cables until i got annoyed with the lack of flexibility and fragility of them and tried out at coax one, and it sounded noticeably better.

    This could of been down to the outputs on the DVD player or the inputs on the receiver, but either way i only use coax if i have a choice, especially if you have to use an adapter to using optical.
     
  13. Vandrende Pind

    Vandrende Pind Maha Guru

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    A glass cable sounds like a good idea, I think I'll get one, I'm using a cheap plastic one now.


    Take it with a grain of salt, but when I did some A/B listening on coax vs toslink my impressions were:

    -toslink sounded slightly cleaner in high tones and more tidy

    -coax had a bit more punch and bass


    The differences were small, and I couldn't always hear a difference. I went with toslink, since that seemed better to me.
     
  14. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    When you start getting into higher fidelity systems it is all about small differences. You get a small positive difference here and a differences there and they all add up and create large differences from what you originally started with;)
     
  15. Darkiee

    Darkiee Master Guru

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    Damned, i always knew that my speakers, i thought some time back, that they werent too good. I know they are oldish,
    but only 100€ per speaker, 50€ for center one, that they might be the suckiest part of my set up.

    When i bought my recent ampli, it costed over 500€, few years back, but its also only 5.1 ready.

    But atleast my speakers are wood.
    And yes, am trying to ask, afaik my soundcard is good, my ampli is afaik good, would these cheap speakers give me bad sound quality compared to rest of my set up? (They are 6 years old now.)
     

  16. proteo

    proteo Active Member

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    For me it's just a matter of what is available on my receiver: 1 optical and 1 coax and analog stereo inputs; my Bluray player has a coax out, so that leaves the optical for the computer when I want to drag my desktop system to the HT room and want 5.1 sound. or analog stereo from my x-meridian for music, my laptop or anything else.

    Someday I'll get a better receiver,one of those Onkyo 7.2 with surround analog inputs and network conection, maybe.
     
  17. TruMutton_200Hz

    TruMutton_200Hz Ancient Guru

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    Personally, I think S/PDIF is seriously outdated as far as audio playback goes (or at least it should be) regardless of whether it's optical or coax.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S/PDIF

    So basically, imperfections arise for only two reasons. First, if data corruption occors, the data cannot be corrected nor re-transmitted. Second, there's synchronization problems because the transmitter's clock simply ignores the receiver's. In other words, your expensive DAC has to jump through hoops to find out what the audio data may have looked like before it was passed on to S/PDIF. This is why I vote for USB 2.0 in asynchronous transfer mode. lol
     
  18. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Well, S/Pdif Vs USB..etc is a bit off topic as the guy is asking which is better for what he has, which is a STX card with Coax/optical output. straight question, which is better coaxial or optical?

    For sake of conversation though:
    If you start talking USB...then we get into issues with the quality of the receiver chips or the chips being sample locked. There is no such thing as a "USB DAC" the DAC's use normal internal signals but they have USB input but we are faced with the same quality issues.

    We get into that right now with USB and DAC's....many commercial USB DAC's are limited in their sample rate compatibility and jitter, jitter. There are different timing paradigms but nobody can seem to agree on the right way to go. As with many topics in audio it is a endless debate.

    Another point to consider is the quality of USB cables used, which can have serious issues when used in a high speed transfer mode such as USB 2.0.

    Timing jitter be an issue depending on the implementation but just in a different parts of the circuit. There are over 10 types of jitter that can be found in digital systems and most can have a negative effect on the circuit itself.

    I have done a great deal of testing of existing USB/Spdif gear/timing methods..etc..etc and for my own uses I still employ an isolated USB to S/Pdif conversions using separate power supplies and low jitter implementations through coax cable. Works out pretty good in comparison to some of the other methods tested. I also like USB 2.0 asynchronous to S/Pdif:) Which is basically what you are dealing with anyway, either S/Pdif internally or I2S. Which reminds me that some think I2S might be the way to go here also.

    Any technology will have it's own issues and inherent limitations even if it improves on ones found in older technologies.:nerd:

    The best way to go IMO, is just to do your own research and find out the best way to go with your gear and system depending on your budget.
    I am bored, so I figured I would write for a bit..:)
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  19. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Old speakers are fine, but they have to be a quality speaker for the great sound.
    If you are thinking your speakers are limiting you and you want new ones, look around many companies allow you to test their product in home for 30 or more days so you can decide using your own ears.
    Hope that helps.
     
  20. sprogis

    sprogis Member

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    Funny, if Point A and what goes in between point B are not high end. Or point A is high end and then point B is not or versus. It seems not worth while unless it is hign end straight thur. LMAO because you can get crasy and lost in it. Then scratch your head and say why? And then back to the drawing board to scratch your head some more. Well what am I missing. ah well just have to do alot of research to get it right the first time around.

    Well, I'm off to make some heavy sheilded RCA cable with gold plated leads.

    sprogis
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

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