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Optical cable - brand/price matter?


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14 replies to this topic

#1 of 15 Anish

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Posted November 15 2004 - 11:41 AM

I did a quick search on this topic and the general consensus that I got seemed to circle around the fact that the price of an optical cable doesn't really matter. But is there a brand to stay away from or are they all pretty generic?

I just want to make sure that I am getting the potential out of my speakers and receiver by using decent cable.

Thanks for any advice.

#2 of 15 Chu Gai

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Posted November 15 2004 - 03:27 PM

As the price gets cheaper it seems that the connectors aren't so well made. If you want bragging rights then go for glass. Compartively inexpensive and well made ones can be found here although I don't know what your price would be in Canada.
RS and AR are also alternatives as is this place for custom lengths. They also will armor clad your cable which might be useful if you're going to run a longish length and think you might step on it. Prices aren't bad either.

#3 of 15 Anish

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Posted November 15 2004 - 04:23 PM

Is glass the optimal material for optical cable? What would the generic optical cable from my local Future Shop store be made of (I bought it ages ago and use it with my DVD player)?

#4 of 15 Chu Gai

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Posted November 15 2004 - 08:59 PM

For very long distances glass is optimal because there are signficantly less attenuation losses. For a couple of meters it doesn't make a squat of difference.

#5 of 15 Anish

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Posted November 16 2004 - 12:29 AM

Both of my optical cables will only need to be about a foot long each... but I think that the minimum length that you can buy is 1m? If that is the case, does it really not matter even if I buy the cheapest one at Radio Shack, for example?

#6 of 15 Kevin. W

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Posted November 16 2004 - 07:20 AM

Checkout http://www.factorydi....p?pcode=AR0280

Posted Image

Only $9.99 for 3ft.

Kevin

#7 of 15 Anish

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Posted November 16 2004 - 07:38 AM

Nice! I will also look at Future shop and look for those comparable properties in the same length and see how much it costs - fibre strands, gold ends.

Also I can check the store that I bought my speakers from since they are a high end audio store and compare prices there.

Thanks for the ideas.

#8 of 15 Kevin. W

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Posted November 16 2004 - 01:35 PM

As far as build quality of the AR you can't get it any cheaper.

Kevin

#9 of 15 cacu

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Posted November 19 2004 - 12:38 AM

Quote:
Checkout http://www.factorydi...hp?pcode=AR0280


It's a refurbished cable. How do they refurbish a cable anyway?

#10 of 15 Anish

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Posted November 19 2004 - 02:15 AM

This cable shopping is getting really confusing. These cables are minimum $60/meter for the "cheap stuff" and then here Factory Direct has cable for $10! Refurbished or not, if a cable is a cable, why the huge difference?

#11 of 15 Stephen Tu

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Posted November 19 2004 - 06:50 AM

Because enough people can be duped into spending that much between the placebo effect & the generally poor state of science education around here. If you are a cable manufacturer, if some fancy packaging & printing some pseudo-scientific nonsense on the box can increase your profits 500%, why wouldn't you?

#12 of 15 RoryG

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Posted November 19 2004 - 08:09 AM

Same question here. Locally I have the choice between a $30 Radio Shack cable and a $50 Monster Cable from Future Shop for the length that I want. Does anyone have experience with the basic Radio Shack optical cable?

#13 of 15 Kevin. W

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Posted November 19 2004 - 01:50 PM

Quote:
It's a refurbished cable. How do they refurbish a cable anyway?


AR went out of business, so all their stock had to be bought out by someone.

Kevin

#14 of 15 Dave Hahn

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Posted November 19 2004 - 03:05 PM

I don't believe in "magic cables." A digital signal is a stream of 0's and 1's. Either they get there like they're supposed to and you get sound, or they don't, and you get nothing.

I'd check Radio Shack and even Walmart. Best Buy's "house brand" seems to be a good value as well.

I've heard that Monster Cables are good, but that you can't watch or listen to "The Emperor's New Clothes" with them. Posted Image
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#15 of 15 Anish

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Posted November 20 2004 - 03:09 AM

What about this optical cable from Factory Direct? It is brand new and the same price as the AR 6' refurbished optical cable...

http://www.factorydi....p?pcode=OC6000

Should I stick to the shortest possible length of 3' if I am going with a "cheaper" brand? Or does 3' vs 6' really make no difference in the quality of the signal being carried?





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