Optical vs coaxial

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idc

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Jan 2, 2008
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Idc your right .that was my point all along
If there was a proven SQ difference based on how a cable is constructed and the effect of that construction on jitter caused a specific effect on sound, the video would show various cables, with their measured effect and name the effect on sound. The various ways to measure jitter;


would produce results that can then be identified to a specific sound. It would be handy to be able to reliably buy a cable that say reduced the brightness of treble, and to know that would measurably and audibly happen.
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
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I have read a lot about optical vs coaxial connections, when attaching a digital product to a DAC, so I decided to try it out, connecting both types to my Rega DAC (1. Gen).

My setup
Airport Express connected with Audioquest optical using Airplay 2.
Squeezebox Touch connected with Wireworld coaxial.
Test music using exact same albums via Deezer Hifi.

Switching input on Rega DAC made A/B test possible while playing the same song in close to sync from my iPhone and on my Squeezebox Touch.

I know Airplay 2 transcodes Deezers flac files to Alac, but theoretically the transcode should be lossless. I also know from tests found online that the jitter performance of the Squeezebox Touch is much better than what the Airport Express is capable of.

So, with that in mind, I started my listening test using headphones. Here is what I heard:

I really had to listen, with a capital L to hear any difference. I am not sure there is any. If anything, I convinced myself, I found vocals a little more focused on the Touch, the overall sound a little less harsh, with slightly(!) more body, and surprisingly, the stereo perspective a wee bit wider on the Express. But, with that being said, I am not sure if I wanted to hear a difference that really isn’t there, because I don’t think I will be able to hear the difference on my Dynaudio speakers, not even with an a/b test.

My conclusion. I will feel totally satisfied using either coaxial or optical to connect my equipment, as long as the cable is of good quality. I don’t think there is any difference worth hightlighting one connection as better than the other soundwise, besides the technical ones where coaxial handles hires, and optical does not, and where optical is immune to electric interference and coaxial is not.
Hi,
Quick-ish answer.

All signals can degrade along a medium, whether optical or coaxial. That degradation is minimal in hifi, and there will not be any bit errors if the sound is listenable.

Any video or claim that the sound is affected is complete rot, since any bit error would present itself as pops and clicks. The bit errors will affect the Most Significant Bit equally probable as the Least Significant Bit of the data. So again, pops and clicks will be heard.

Anyone who states that a digital cable has a specific sound is hearing things, and it is their imagination.

Regards,
Shadders.
 
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Tinman1952

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May 19, 2021
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Hi,
Quick-ish answer.

All signals can degrade along a medium, whether optical or coaxial. That degradation is minimal in hifi, and there will not be any bit errors if the sound is listenable.

Any video or claim that the sound is affected is complete rot, since any bit error would present itself as pops and clicks. The bit errors will affect the Most Significant Bit equally probable as the Least Significant Bit of the data. So again, pops and clicks will be heard.

Anyone who states that a digital cable has a specific sound is hearing things, and it is their imagination.

Regards,
Shadders.
Quick ish reply…..
You need to watch the video! This kind of bit error will not cause clicks or pops but the DAC is mis identifying the correct bit in the audio. Therefore the ‘level’ of that sample will be incorrect….
Anyone who states that “digital is digital“ and sound quality cannot be affected is sadly misinformed………
 
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shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
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Quick ish reply…..
You need to watch the video! This kind of bit error will not cause clicks or pops but the DAC is mis identifying the correct bit in the audio. Therefore the ‘level’ of that sample will be incorrect….
Anyone who states that “digital is digital“ and sound quality cannot be affected is sadly misinformed………
Hi,
If the MSB (most significant bit) is flipped due to the errors, then you will heard a pop or a click, as the transient caused by such an event will not be smoothed over (in simple terms).

For domestic electronics, bits really are bits, and whether the data is TOSLINK, Coaxial, HDMI or other, in general, it either works or it doesn't. You don't get any drop outs on your TV when watching it, or snow patterns as per the old analogue signal, as the picture is either there or it is not.

Regards,
Shadders.
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
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Quick ish reply…..
You need to watch the video! This kind of bit error will not cause clicks or pops but the DAC is mis identifying the correct bit in the audio. Therefore the ‘level’ of that sample will be incorrect….
Anyone who states that “digital is digital“ and sound quality cannot be affected is sadly misinformed………
Just because people do not follow your point of view does not mean they are misinformed as most will be following advice from professionals using knowledge and facts that has been built up over decades and proved to be correct, so relying on 1 video (Which as I said previously his conclusion is complete nonsense) to try and prove your belief (Rather than concentrating on facts) is pointless. (You are effectively doing the same as a flat earther in that they also ignore all the facts and instead dream up theory’s to match their point of view)

Bill
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
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Just because people do not follow your point of view does not mean they are misinformed as most will be following advice from professionals using knowledge and facts that has been built up over decades and proved to be correct, so relying on 1 video (Which as I said previously his conclusion is complete nonsense) to try and prove your belief (Rather than concentrating on facts) is pointless. (You are effectively doing the same as a flat earther in that they also ignore all the facts and instead dream up theory’s to match their point of view)

Bill
The ancient Greeks had no idea the air we breathe had 20% oxygen and certainly had no way of testing it……that didn’t mean there wasn’t any 🙄
You seem to be confusing ‘facts’ with ‘belief’ and a stubborn refusal to accept any ‘facts’ which jars with your personal view of the way the world works…..
 

idc

Well-known member
Jan 2, 2008
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Quick ish reply…..
You need to watch the video! This kind of bit error will not cause clicks or pops but the DAC is mis identifying the correct bit in the audio. Therefore the ‘level’ of that sample will be incorrect….
Anyone who states that “digital is digital“ and sound quality cannot be affected is sadly misinformed………
What cables cause bit errors such that they become audible?

What is it with the cable construction that causes such errors?

Why does that cable company not know about the problem and rectify it and sell cables that do not affect SQ?

What cable caused errors cause what affect on SQ?
 

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