Rca vs Digital CoAx



Seriously, I have no life.
The only recording I do is ripping my CDs to flac and sometimes ripping a cd for the car from such. Got rid of tape recording ages ago.


Have you done any critical listening with toslink vs coax and found any discernible difference favouring one over the other?
I know this is years late... But there is a difference between Toslink and Digital Coax/RCA cables... Toslink is an optical cable. There is no interference. So with good equipment, cable runs to speakers, ect... When the volume is turned up and there is nothing playing, you truly have silence... There isn't any "noise/static" heard. Until HDMI came along and I had equipment to use it... Toslink all the way. I had a $500 entry level Sony 5.1 in a box setup that sounded just as good as people's thousand dollar setups running all analog cables. (granted they could shake the room and I couldn't)
Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to "Sound Quality" and cables.
Cables which carry analog signals are going to give you poor sound quality in the form of static, noise, humming, ect...
Cables which are carrying a digital signal (Like HDMI, Toslink, Digital Coax (RCA cable that is carrying a digital signal rather than analog) are going to give you poor sound/video quality in the form of skipping, pixilation, Tin Can/loss of fidelity.

Today, Digital Coax vs. RCA cables... They are one in the same when it comes to cable to cable. The only difference is Digital Coax typically comes as a single cable. RCA typically comes as 2 cables (like speaker wire)
Digital Coax has a requirement to be shielded. Back in the day, this is why it was a better cable... Today, you can get RCA cables that are double shielded, high quality copper, gold tip connectors... All the same makings of a good Digital Coax cable. And of course, you pay for it, just like you would with Digital Coax.

As for "High level and high dollar stuff has XYZ connector on it" Keep in mind, Just because a high dollar piece of equipment has a certain connector on it, does NOT mean that type of connector and cable going with it is superior or better. High dollar and high quality equipment typically have some of the old connector types on there for compatibility, not necessarily quality of the connector and type of cable used. How many receivers still have standard definition RCA Yellow/Red/White?

I'm not a huge expert, but here is what I use:
HDMI cable from all game consoles, computer, video playback (basically if it plays video, HDMI): 18Gbps high speed. (monoprice Product ID: 15427 is an example) If I could afford it, I'd get the ones made with fiber optic cable instead of copper. Why? HDMI cables put out a lot of electrical interference in the wavelength of your wireless router. (yeah now you know why internet sucks to all your wifi connected video game equipment when you have a full setup with basic HDMI cables going to 5 devices) I'm planning on upgrading to the HDMI 2.2 48Gbps cables as this new standard requires the cables are not putting out as much interference.
Toslink from TV audio output to Receiver: TV is not outputting video, just audio when I'm watching the antenna.
Toslink from Audio only device to receiver (CD player, Audio output only devices)

All data cables are run on 1 side of the A/V area (typically the outskirts of everything) All audio cable to speakers is run as far away from electrical. Never run any audio or data cables in parallel or alongside electrical. Analog signal type cables I always try to find one with the most shielding I can. Don't blow the bank, go with affordable option with same side by side specs (or as close as you can get) lots of times you pay for a brand name above and beyond for the same quality cable in a "who is this" brand.

After everything is hooked up, with everything on (receiver, TV, BluRay player as an example) With nothing playing for audio, just devices on... Turn up the volume, way past what you would listen to and see if you can hear static and noise... If you do, try repositioning your cables until you get as much of the static and white noise gone. Really good equipment and really good cables (speaker wire too) properly run, you won't hear barely anything which is how it should be. The reality is, if you don't hear static and white noise at a little louder than you would have something at... you're good.

If you haven't worked with Toslink cable before... Keep in mind, it is very important to not pinch the cable, don't look down the middle at the red light. Don't touch the ends of the cables... You don't like looking at a dirty mirror, your audio equipment doesn't like looking through your Cheetos and snack residue either.


Audioholic Warlord
I don't know what to even say here...
"HDMI cables put out a lot of electrical interference in the wavelength of your wireless router."

Where in the world did you get this information from?

The electrical components inside of most TVs are not shielded in any way at all. It is NOT the HDMI cable which is going to interfere with WI-FI, but the crappy design of the TV itself. This is why you should always hard-wire a network connection to your display.

Roku and Apple TV products do better with their stand alone-boxes, and even their sticks, because they are external to the display. It's the display itself that is most likely to interfere with Wi-Fi, not the HDMI cable.

As well, I wouldn't say that good equipment with analog audio cables gives 'poor sound quality'. Good cables with good equipment rarely has almost any hiss or hum with analog cables. When I've heard hiss and hum over the last 20+ years, it's because of bad wiring, which I've seen, and bad equipment that isn't properly grounded, which I've also seen.

It is a huge distinction between using quality cables and poor quality cables. The 'free' cables that come with equipment are rarely of decent quality.

But, I would want to see actual measurements of how much RF interference is put out by a HDMI cable in relation to what a TV or an A/V receiver puts out. Lighting and dimmers are a huge issue in homes with interference. But, a properly designed system can deal with all of it. But, yes, digital is pretty much a standard for everyone these days. Mostly through HDMI for everything.

  • RBHsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis