Optical cable for audio


Old 01-23-15, 11:05 AM
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Optical cable for audio

Is there any difference in transmitted sound quality between different brands of optical audio cables? If so, which brands provide quality sound for a decent price...I am a budget minded consumer.
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Old 01-23-15, 12:47 PM
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I have never noticed any difference between cheap and high quality optical cables. It's digital so the signal either gets through or it doesn't. High quality cables might make a difference if you have a really long cable run but for "normal" lengths I've never had problems with cheap optical cables.
Old 01-23-15, 12:52 PM
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I've had problems in the past, on occasion, with the wires supplied with a piece. Never had any trouble with optical cables, though. Hence, I think there's not a lot of difference.
Old 01-25-15, 05:02 AM
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There is no difference in the signal quality, however the build quality comes into play for longevity. If it gets handled a lot, get a good one.
Old 01-25-15, 05:12 AM
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I would be looking at the gauge of the cable. Is there a difference in the thickness?
Old 01-25-15, 05:35 AM
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The signal carrier is a tiny piece of plastic or glass made to strict tolerances. It is roughly the thickness of a human hair. Glass provides for longer runs, but generally the 5-meter (loose) limit is not an issue because most components are within inches of each other. Outside of the core is a coating, a cladding, a buffer, and other layers that protect the core. So while the center conductor is virtually the same on all cables, it is the rest of it that gives the cable its strength. A thicker cable is usually a better cable.

Fifteen years ago fiber was a fragile medium that had to be handled with kid gloves. It has come a long way since then and, with the exception of capping unused ends immediately to prevent dust from blocking the signal, the cables can be treated like their copper counterparts.

For those who may wonder how glass can bend without breaking, do a little demonstration: roll a paper cigarette inside its pack's cellophane wrapper. You can bend it back on itself without it breaking.
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