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Coax Cable...

Old 07-01-00, 07:38 PM
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What kind of cables do Coax digital out/ins use? Like regular RCA cables, or like some special cables? Also, about how much should i look to pay for a 3-4' optical cable? I have a really good Luxman amp im using to play cds, and audio, and i heard the VR407 is okay in music. So should i use the Kenwood using optical in to play cds, or use my already very good Luxman?

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Old 07-01-00, 09:11 PM
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I'm using an RCA video cable for a digital coaxial cable. I get pretty good sound. I plan to swap it for an optical cable later next week. Amazon has a 2 meter optical for $26 from Acoustic Research.
Old 07-03-00, 05:26 AM
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It is a regular RCA cable. Get one that is of video quality (75 ohm) and well-shielded. An optical cable is no better than a quality coaxial cable. Unless you have a special need for one, you are wasting your money. Also, I have read that coaxial is actually preferable to optical cables because optical cables are not very durable and sharp bends etc. can disrupt the bitstream. Remember folks, either way we are talking a digital signal (1's and 0's), so as long as none of the bits are dropped (not likely with good cables of either type unless they go over long distances) the sound will be the SAME. Monster-brand cables can't make 1's and 0's sound any better than quality Radio Shack ones.
Old 07-04-00, 01:06 PM
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Is it really true that the optical cable is no bettr then the coaxl cable? I always thought that the optical cable was better. Has anybody tried both and compared?
Old 07-04-00, 01:36 PM
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Mfgs are pushing optical because its cheaper, and avoids FCC regs for radio interference, but according to Harley's "Complete Guide to High-End Audio" Toslink is the worst of all connects both in the soundness of the connection to the pieces and the bandwidth of the signal. AR's parent company, Recoton, sells surplus cables of various types at various times thru their website recotondirect, also a FL company accessories4less has great prices for AR and many other cables, tho I haven't dealt with them (yet). The had AR S-Video and digital coax cables for less than $15
Old 07-04-00, 05:21 PM
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quote:<HR>Originally posted by notjafo:
Mfgs are pushing optical because its cheaper, and avoids FCC regs for radio interference, but according to Harley's "Complete Guide to High-End Audio" Toslink is the worst of all connects both in the soundness of the connection to the pieces and the bandwidth of the signal. <HR>


Do you have the URL for the guide you mention?


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Old 07-05-00, 01:07 AM
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Having just recently acquired a new receiver and using coaxial digital outs, I can say that I didnt notice any major sound quality difference between my cheap $5 RCA video cable or the $50 Monster 2M Coaxial Cable (which I bought the next day) when I connected my DVD to the receiver using the RCA jack coaxial digital connectors. However, I just didnt feel right using the low end cable given what ive shelled out for my system...call it psychological comfort that I didnt cut corners on any link in my setup

Old 07-05-00, 12:07 PM
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Harley's book is not available online, I ordered from an online bookseller (originally ordered it thru buy.com but they were taking forever to find it) I think I eventually bought it thru ecampus
Old 07-06-00, 05:48 AM
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Allow me to sound ignorant for a moment, but if bits are bits, then how can coax be better than optical, except in terms of durability?

I just bought a new Sony STR DA777ES receiver, and I need a lot of cables now to properly patch everything together. I was considering buying three more optical cables for connecting my CD player, CD recorder and my DVD player (PCM) through the receiver, along with all the speaker cable I need. I hadn't considered durability as an issue, since I'm pretty much a "set-em-up-and-leave-em-alone" kinda guy, so I didn't intend to go coax. However, if anyone has a really strong and defendable reason why I should buy coax instead of optical, I'd appreciate hearing it soon, as I intend to go cable shopping the weekend of the 14th.

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[This message has been edited by epski (edited July 06, 2000).]
Old 07-06-00, 11:18 AM
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We need an electrical engineer to help us out here.

It makes sense to me that bits are bits, but they all have to get thru. Even a "set up and leave alone" needs strong physical connections, and the optical cables don't connect very well. I think they are also more sensitive to the path (eg kinks, etc)

Posts in another area of this forum mentioned online sources for cables with good prices: recotondirect, accessories4less, and soundcity
Old 07-06-00, 12:21 PM
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From a similar thread...

quote:<HR>Originally posted by Patman:
Jason, I wouldn't spend over $6-$10 for a "digital" audio coaxial cable. Just go to Radio Shack and get a 75ohm, shielded, coax (composite video) cable with gold RCA connectors on them, especially if you're only going to be using it with a Kenwood all-in-one setup. This crap about it being "digital" is marketing hype, and once you realize it's only passing low voltage levels that get translated to either a 1 or a 0 by the DD/dts decoder, it doesn't make sense to spend over $10 for the cable, use the $30 you saved on some DVDs instead!

$60 for a cable is for those people who have high end gear, and want the "peace of mind" that they don't have a weak link in their setup, but it's been proven that you can use a coat hanger or two with RCA connectors and the thing still works for passing the digital audio bitstream quite competently with no dropouts.

<HR>



The only thing I can add about optical cables is MOST of the $30 toslink type cables use plastic as a medium. The original fiber optics specs stated a glass medium (which the $125 and up cables use) IMHO the plast medium is inferrior and is a compromise to save on cost while fooling the general public. Save some money and follow Patman's advice for digital COAX connections, unless of course YOU can REALLY hear a difference. Try them both and see and then return what you don't like.


Old 07-06-00, 04:40 PM
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Okay, I've heard enough opinions. The COAX-RCA is the way to go. Think of a OpticalTOSlink as a rubber green garden hose, like the cheapest kind. Water flows through them, but if you get a kink in it, it flows less smoothly. RCA i think could be like one of those really expensive heavy duty kind of hoses, you cant kink or bend them, made of super-hard rubber that holds its shape, and never gets kinked, and Digital COAX cables are like the hoses firefighters use, but they still move water, but its bigger and faster, but it still moves the water through.... i think... cant think of another example...
Old 07-06-00, 06:01 PM
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well, I asked an elec eng (and audiophile), and some of the reasons for geting better cables are (1) making sure the digital coax is truly spec'd at 75 ohm and (2) reducing artifacts caused by poor transmission: extra or lost bits, and most important, insuring proper timing - remember how many thousands of 0's and 1's that are being transmited and you need a medium that carries them at a uniform speed
Old 07-06-00, 06:11 PM
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notjafo

I once thought that too, but today's equipment (recivers, per-pros, dvd players and such) all have electronics at BOTH ends of the cable to ENSURE the 0's and 1's are correct and the timing is correct. I have a semi-high end separate system (marantz AV9000 and separate Rotel amps on each channel, B+W mattrix speakers) and I can NOT hear a difference between a COAX digital and a Toslink type optical cable, so I opted for durability and price and am using a good quality gold connector 75ohm video cable as Patman suggested above (cost about $10, seeing as how my prepro is $1800 and my amps are several thousand, it seems kind of funny to use a $10 cable, but it works for me).

Again, if you LIKE the sound of a certain type of cable then great, if you truly can't tell a difference in sound then why listen to what someone else says is good? Sound preference is all personal.

I am sure my hearing has been damaged over the years and my neighbor says it sounds great through the walls

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