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Cables - are Radio Shack okay?


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17 replies to this topic

#1 of 18 OFFLINE   NeilO

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Posted September 21 2002 - 08:29 AM

My receiver and speakers should be arriving on Monday and I was wondering about cables. I'll need to get either a digital optical or digital coaxial cable. It seems that theere is no difference between the two, except the coaxial is slightly cheaper. Radio Shack has a 3' digital coaxial for $9, and a 3' digital optical for $15. These prices are slightly higher than Parts Express is offering, but I consider that once shipping is taken into account, Radio Shack comes out ahead. So, the question is whether there is anything wrong with the quality of the Radio Shack cable. Parts Express has the AR and their own Dayton brands. Is there much of a difference?

I was thinking of just going to Home Depot for the often recommended 12 gauge speaker wire to go to all the speakers.

Thanks,

Neil

#2 of 18 OFFLINE   Carl Johnson

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Posted September 21 2002 - 08:38 AM

I'd go for the coax connection just because it's cheaper. You don't even need to get a cable labeled as 'digital', any cheapo rca cable will work.

#3 of 18 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted September 21 2002 - 09:04 AM

Coax is my preference because it is a bit more sturdy.

Technically, any RCA cable should work, but I would still go for a cable that is designated digital, as the signal carried is not the same as audio or video, so it may very well make a difference. Quality-wise, there is no reason to get an expensive digital coax cable because it is far less susceptible to electrical interference.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

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#4 of 18 OFFLINE   NeilO

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Posted September 21 2002 - 09:15 AM

Thanks for the recommendations.

Neil

#5 of 18 OFFLINE   Gary Thomas

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Posted September 21 2002 - 09:24 AM

I use many Rat Shack interconnects for audio & they are fine, but I recommend spending a bit more for video cables. I strongly feel that good video cables allow you to get the best possible picture from the components you have.

#6 of 18 OFFLINE   NeilO

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Posted September 22 2002 - 03:18 AM

Thanks for the information. I already have the video sources all hooked up and I'm happy with those connections the way they are. I have a fairly sturdy S-video connection, which I bought a few years ago when I got my DVD player. It has been doing well.

Neil

#7 of 18 OFFLINE   Jeff Kleist

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Posted September 22 2002 - 04:53 AM

you can get a 1 meter optical cable at any game store for $7 Posted Image Look in the Playstation 2 accessories

#8 of 18 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted September 23 2002 - 03:23 AM

Quote:
Technically, any RCA cable should work
Quote:
You don't even need to get a cable labeled as 'digital', any cheapo rca cable will work

Uhhhh... sorry guys but this is bad advice.

The people who designed that connection had a Video cable in mind. All video cables are made with something called "75 ohm coax".

But audio cables can be made with any of the common types of coax. This includes 50, 75, 110 and 300 ohm coax.

Some people have used audio cables that happen to be made with 75 ohm coax and they work fine. Others have used an audio cable -heard sound- concluded that any cable will work. But then they notice that every few minutes, the sound would drop-out just for a second or two. This was solved when they switched to a video cable.

So be sure to buy a "Digital" cable or a "Video" cable for the coaxial-digital connection between your DVD player and receiver.

The Radio Shack or AR brand (from Best Buy & others) are quite good for this.

Good Luck with the new system.

#9 of 18 OFFLINE   Scott Merryfield

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Posted September 23 2002 - 06:57 AM

The only thing I do not like about Radio Shack's Gold Series interconnects is that the connectors always seem to fit too tightly on the RCA jacks of my components. It takes too much force to both insert and remove the connector -- I was afraid I would damage the component.

#10 of 18 OFFLINE   Manny_S

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Posted September 23 2002 - 10:21 AM

Try Acoustic Research. They're pretty decent for the price.

#11 of 18 OFFLINE   chiante

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Posted September 23 2002 - 04:27 PM

Yeah, I bought all A. Research cables at bb. Saved me a ton.

#12 of 18 OFFLINE   NeilO

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Posted September 24 2002 - 12:49 AM

Thanks for the advice. Posted Image My stuff arrived yesteday, but we are still trying to figure out where to place everything in the room. So it is good I didn't buy any cables in advance as we are not yet sure of what length we'll need.

Surprisingly, the subwoofer came with a cable, which depending on where we put it, we might be able to use.

Neil

#13 of 18 OFFLINE   Ted Lee

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Posted September 24 2002 - 04:57 AM

i use a combination of rat-shack, AR & monster in my system. imo, they all work about the same.

you should do some testing to see if you notice any difference.

my optical cable is monster - it's a pretty tough s.o.b. i've used the same cable for about 6-7 years now. although i don't throw it around, i certainly don't baby it.
 

#14 of 18 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted September 24 2002 - 06:06 AM

Some advice:

When you put your gear in the rack, order it this way:

- Put the receiver/amp on the BOTTOM shelf. This gives stability and allows all those thick speaker wires to flow out without hiding the other components.

- Put things above the receiver that you NEVER TOUCH. This is like your CATV box, your DSS receiver, etc.

- Put on top the devices that you interact with like the DVD player and VCR/CD player.

Look at the back of your rack and see where most of the power cords come out: left or right. Take all these power cords and bundle them loose to that side. Use velcro strips or "split loom" tubing to bundle them.

Big Hint: Get some labels and label the power cords at the plug end, and where they go into the device. Just use a simple "A", "B", .. letter. This is so when tech support tells you to un-plug the unit you can pick the right plug.

(If you use a generic label, wrap a layer of scotch tape around the label to prevent the ink from smudging/fading over the years. Radio Shack also sells some "cable labels" that have scotch tape already attached for about $4.)

Let the interconnects flow loose down the middle of your rack. You can also use velcro/tubing if you want.

You want to keep separated these three groups of cables:

- power cords
- speaker wires
- interconnects

Following this advice will make the system easier to hookup & maintain, and by-pass some rare, but possible problems.

#15 of 18 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted September 24 2002 - 06:31 AM

I put my receiver on top with a lot of clearance, and nothing above it, because heat rises and the receiver is going to get hotter than any other component. The downside is the speaker wires.

Quote:
Big Hint: Get some labels and label the power cords at the plug end, and where they go into the device. Just use a simple "A", "B", .. letter. This is so when tech support tells you to un-plug the unit you can pick the right plug.

This is an excellent recommendation. Posted Image Don't forget the speaker wires while you are back there, especially if you use the same type of wire and connectors for all speakers.
HT: Emotiva UMC-200, Emotiva XPA-3, Carnegie Acoustics CSB-1s + CSC-1, GR Research A/V-1s, Epik Empire, Oppo BDP-105, PS4, PS3,URC R-50, APC-H10, Panamax 5100 Bluejeans Cable
System Two: Marantz PM7200, Pioneer FS52s, Panasonic BD79
(stolen) : Marantz SR-8300, GR Research A/V-2s, Sony SCD-222ES SACD, Panasonic BD-65, PS3 60G (250G)

Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

 


#16 of 18 OFFLINE   NeilO

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Posted September 24 2002 - 06:53 AM

Thanks for all the advice. The receiver I got, Pioneer 811S, suggests at least an 8-inch clearance on top. Unfortunately the setup we have right now doesn't allow that, so we're putting a small table next to it and putting the receiver on that. This looks like it will work out okay and will allow easy access to the back of the receiver.

Thanks again,

Neil

#17 of 18 OFFLINE   Richard Mac

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Posted September 24 2002 - 08:53 AM

I just bought an Acoustic Research 6' Component cable at ebay for 12.99 and an AR 6' S-Video cable for 5.99.

Deals are out there.

#18 of 18 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted September 24 2002 - 09:36 AM

John.. you do know we live in an earthquake area?

Actually, the "bottom of the rack" placement is not bad for heat. Usually the shelves above have space at the front & back for venting and gives you all the rack space for heat to travel. Putting the receiver on the top rack INSIDE a cabinent is quite bad unless you have openings in the top/front/rear for the heat to escape. 6 inches of clearance is good, but not if the 6 inches is the distance to the top of a sealed enclosure.

I admit - my rack does not have a back. And I do have a small electric fan for the days when the temp is above 95 (like all this week).





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