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Thread: Optical or RCA ?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Mar 2010

    Location: London

    Posts: 2,098
    I'm colin.

    Default Optical or RCA ?

    Now i have a descent HD telly im planning a AV system comprising of a Yamaha dsp e800 for processing duties and ps3 for source material.
    It means i have to take an audio signal from the tv ( using the built in Freeview) to the Yamaha . I have the option of keeping the Yamaha under the tv and feeding the signal to the power amp which is on my hi fi rack at the side of the room, or putting the Yamaha on the hi fi rack and feeding it with a very long optical cable.
    Either way there will be a distance of at least 5 meters between the tv and the hi fi rack and so im wondering what the best plan would be. A long pair of RCA cables to link the amps or a long optical cable between the tv and the amps sitting at the side of the room.
    In terms of signal quality and cost which way would you go?

  2. #2
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: North Cambs UK, Earth, Sol, Orion - Cygnus arm of galaxy

    Posts: 11,185
    I'm MadeOfDeadGiantStarsThatExplodedEonsAgo.

    Default

    For quality i'd go via a coaxial connection However very weird earth loops can happen if that digital connection isn't galvanicly isolated & there is some kind of loop formed. I have killed the HDMI & DVI outputs on a Denon DVD2910 because there was some kind of freaky current circulation (this is how come i'm still only on 2 channel stereo for fear of messing other stuff up). You would be 100% safe with a Toslink connection though as it's totally electrically isolated

    If going for best quality via Toslink get a glass fibre & not a polycarbonate cable
    Bests, Mark



    "We must believe in free will. We have no choice" Isaac Bashevis Singer

  3. #3
    Join Date: Mar 2010

    Location: London

    Posts: 2,098
    I'm colin.

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    If i could get a glass toslink 5m for about 50 i would be happy.
    I wouldnt want to pay any more than that though.

  4. #4
    Join Date: Nov 2008

    Location: North Down /Northern Ireland/ UK

    Posts: 19,486
    I'm Neil.

    Default

    RCA imho


    Regards D S D L

  5. #5
    Join Date: Mar 2010

    Location: London

    Posts: 2,098
    I'm colin.

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    I like that answer. I can make RCA interconnects on a budget compared with toslinks which could be pricey.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Mar 2010

    Location: London

    Posts: 2,098
    I'm colin.

    Default

    Will 5m of cable degrade the signal?

  7. #7
    Join Date: Jul 2010

    Location: North Cambs UK, Earth, Sol, Orion - Cygnus arm of galaxy

    Posts: 11,185
    I'm MadeOfDeadGiantStarsThatExplodedEonsAgo.

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    Not really, it just needs to be the right impedance 75Ohm RG59 will do nicely
    Bests, Mark



    "We must believe in free will. We have no choice" Isaac Bashevis Singer

  8. #8
    Join Date: Mar 2010

    Location: London

    Posts: 2,098
    I'm colin.

    Default

    Thanks Mark. Ive heard the Van Damme cable is good , i will check the specs.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Feb 2010

    Location: Plymouth, UK

    Posts: 458
    I'm invisible.

    Default

    Just for info...I have tried both Coax and Toslink and I have convinced myself that Toslink is better. That however is a decent glass Toslink from MG. Not because I was getting earth loops as Mark says, just because it sounds better to me. How...it just sounds smoother and less gritty/harsh or whatever you want to call it. Dont discount either from your list, try then buy if posible.
    If only it was that simple

    Main System :
    Quad II/40 amps, Music First passive pre, Tannoy Stirling SE speakers, Technics 1200 + RB301, V-LPS, digital streaming from Mac mini via Lifatec Toslink to Moon 300D. Meier Corda Arietta headphone amp, Sennheiser HD650 Phones. Mark Grant i/c cables. Speaker cables, Audioquest Rocket 44 BiWire.


    Ray.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Nov 2010

    Location: Chorley, Lancs

    Posts: 2,052
    I'm Mike.

    Default

    If you have a toslink output on yer tv colin i would go with it as you will get zero interferance from it, and to be honnest you would have to pay a fair bit for a good quality sheilded spdif (coaxial) cable, so it's not gonna be a simple choice based on price, also i would say the toslink cable is going to be much thinner and easier to hide


    As the late Colonel Sanders once said
    "I'm too drunk to taste this chicken!!"

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