A Couple Coaxial Cable Questions

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott-C, Dec 17, 2001.

  1. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    0
    Disclaimer: None of what I write here is meant to start a cable war! I'm just looking for some opinions on some questions I have on coaxial cable.
    As I ponder getting a new DVD player (Panny RP-91) to replace my Pioneer Elite DV-37, I would like to use a coaxial connection to my receiver. In my current setup, I have an optical digital cable connection, and just recently I also plugged in the "out-of-the-box" video cable to experiment with the coaxial connection.
    Unless all of you feel otherwise, I'm certain I don't want to continue to use the standard video cable supplied with the DVD player as my coaxial cable. However, I do not want to have to build my cable either unless it's really, really easy (I'm very paranoid about creating a loose connection or something that may degrade audio quality, and I'm no good with soldering). Given these circumstances, what kind of coaxial cable do you recommend I purchase? I'm not looking to win any contests for spending the most money on cable, but I do not want to sacrifice audio quality either. I do not want to fuel a debate over differences in cable quality, but I am interested to hear what you recommend I purchase.
    To give you price context, I would have no problem spending up to $100 on a cable if spending this money gives me a higher-quality cable. That being said, I'd be happy to spend much less if I can without sacrificing audio and build quality. Right now the cable will run from the DVD player into a Yammy DSP-A3090, but at some point it'll run into a pre/pro (Lexicon MC-12B in the future, perhaps!). The cable run does not need to be long...1.0 to 1.5 meters will probably suffice since the DVD player is right above the receiver in the rack.
    What would you recommend? Bettercables? Catcables? Radio Shack 75 Ohm video cable? Others?
    One other question: have any of you ever experienced audio dropouts with the coaxial connection, but not with the optical digital connection, using the exact same source material? I don't mean this to be specific to one DVD, but by example I'll use "Airplane!". The coaxial connection dropped out about 5 times in the first 10 minutes of the movie, but the optical connection performed just fine. Could this be due to the low-end coaxial cable I'm currently using?
    Looking forward to hearing your suggestions and comments, and thanks in advance.
     
  2. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2000
    Messages:
    1,126
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott,

    I use the BetterCables Silver Serpent Coax Digital Cable and I'm very happy with it.

    But for virtually all applications, you can get yourself a good quality 75ohm Video Cable from RadioShack or equivalent and be very satisfied with it.

    Don't overspend on it. Don't get a $3 cable, but spending $100 certainly isn't necessary either.

     
  3. PatrickM

    PatrickM Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2000
    Messages:
    1,138
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Ric. Don't overspend and don't underspend. You can get higher quality digital coax cables from Rad Shack which are basically the same as the Acoustic Research ones you see out there and they aren't excessively expensive.

    I bought a couple of these because the shielding is good and mechanically it felt very solid.

    Patrick
     
  4. jeff lam

    jeff lam Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2001
    Messages:
    1,798
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Jeff Lam
    I use the Acoustic Research Pro/Performance series cables. They are very well shielded and offer a great cost:performance ratio. All you need is a 75 ohm video cable and should cost about $12.
     
  5. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1999
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    2
    I found a very solid cable that I'm very happy with. There is a company called Markertek (www.markertek.com) that supplies the TV and film industries. They also sell very nice consumer-grade cables, including a digital coax made from 75 ohm Canare cable and true 75 ohm Canare RCA connectors.
    The cable costs $20 for a three-foot length. Shipping is another $7 and there is a $3 service charge if your order is under $25. For a total of $30, this is a very solid and well-shielded cable.
    Just go to the above Web site and search spdif3.
     
  6. Ed_A

    Ed_A Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2001
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ken,

    good info...one question: what model Canare cable did you buy. I checked the link, but it didn't say what model Canare cable on the markertek website (i.e. L-4CFB, L-5CFB, LV-61S, LV-77S, etc.)

    Thanks,

    Ed
     
  7. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2000
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott,

    I use 2 - 1.5M Acoustic Zen Silver Photon digital coax cables to my Yam DSP-A1 from a Panny RV80, and from a modded Pioneer DVD414 (my dedicated CDP).

    Highly recommended. Also the Harmonic Tech Cyber copper coax is a fine cable as well. Both < $100.

    And both with nice locking RCA's.

    BOK

    Edit-- the
     
  8. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1999
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ed,

    I'll have to look at my Markertek catalog when I get home tonight. I'll post back when I find the answer.

    By the way, it's more than worth it to go to the Markertek Web site and request the catalog. They send it to you for free by second-day UPS Air. It's a home theater nut's dream.
     
  9. Ed_A

    Ed_A Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2001
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ken,
    Thanks for that info...I didn't know they had a free catalog available! I just put in my request for one. [​IMG]
    Ed
     
  10. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    The BetterCable and Marketeck solutions are all good.

    But you said you were worried about loose connections.

    Monster has a series of cables with diagonal cuts in the RCA plug. These things are very tight, leading to the phrase "Turbine grip of death". A Monster Video 2 cable (which is 75 ohms required by the coaxial digital spec) should run you about $40 and probably is available at your local stereo store. Good quality, tight RCA plugs, cant ask for more.
     
  11. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Like Bob said, those Monster cables have a death grip on your RCA inputs! They're even worse than Radio Shack cables in that respect. A friend had to get his amp repaired after the Monster cable connector pulled the RCA input sleeve off of with the cable!
    BTW, I just got my shipment of 100' of Canare cable, 20 True 75 ohm RCA's, 200' Techflex, 25' of heatshrink, cable stripper, and crimp die! Anyone need any cables?![​IMG]
    Brian
     
  12. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1999
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ed,

    I checked my Markertek catalog and unfortunately it does not list the type of Canare cable used for the digital coax. The facing page is filled with various types of analog audio interconnects, and all of those list Canare L4E6S cable.
     
  13. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
  14. Scott-C

    Scott-C Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all the great thoughts and opinions. Does anyone have any thoughts on why my coax dropped out while my optical didn't on the same source material? BTW, it doesn't happen on every DVD. In fact, so far Airplane is the only one I've noticed it on, but I don't think it would be a problem with the DVD since it plays fine with the optical.

    Bob McElfresh: I have a few of the analog RCA monster cables with the "deathgrip" connector, so I can definitely relate to what you're saying! Actually, I think I may have confused you in my original post. I don't have a problem with loose connections; I was saying that if I were to build my own cable, I'd be worried about not connecting the wire to the connector in a secure fashion, thus creating a loose connection between the two.

    The Bettercables Silver Serpent looks pretty nice, but I'm also intrigued by the Marketech cable. Has anyone compared the two more directly? There is a pretty large price difference, and although both cables are within my budget, I'm more than happy to buy the Marketech if it performs as well as the Silver Serpent.
     
  15. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,165
    Likes Received:
    0
    Check out CatCables too.. www.catcables.com I've got a "Black Cat" coax cable..3 silver etched cable design with long,locking gold plated RCA connectors. (there sweet) Reasonably priced too... course, i opted for a WBT solution so it cost me a little more [​IMG]
    - Chip
     
  16. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you could do better than the Markertek cables and every bit as good as the Bettercables with the RhinoCables.com digital cable. Price is hard to beat too. I've had nothing but great serveice as well. Others who sell similar Belden based cables are Diycable.com and Boldercables.com Heard nothing but good things said about the baove cables so you do have options that are worth checking into
     
  17. Ken Seeber

    Ken Seeber Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 1999
    Messages:
    787
    Likes Received:
    2
    The Rhino Cables are nice, but they use Belden coax and the exact same Canare connectors used in the Markertek cables. It's hard to justify spending $45 for what is essentially the same as what Markertek is selling for $20, unless you need an outer jacket that is abrasion resistent for some reason.
     
  18. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Scott: There IS some skill in making a cable. But having the right tools can make up for the lack of skill.
    A good ratching-crimper with dies designed for the connector makes all the difference. Take a look at Chris White's site for tool and construction ideas.
    http://www.bus.ucf.edu/cwhite/theater/diycable.htm
     
  19. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bob,

    Chris White's site is exactly what I used to source my materials and build my cables!

    Brian
     
  20. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    457
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ken,

    The RhinoCables use Belden 1694a cable. Probably the highest spec'd cable on the market today. These are top of the line Belden broadcast cables used by broadcast (CNN)and production studios(THX). Read the specs and then find out what Marketek uses. Compare them and you will see why the Rhino cables cost a little more. You get exactly what you pay for with these cables.The tech-flex cover is mostly for cosmetics but it does look nice:)Yes you can use any old RG6 or even RG59 but you will not get the same performance as the Belden 1694a cable. Canare does not have a similar cable at this time either. They are supposedly working on it.I bought the rhinocables component set because of these reasons not because of the looks. If some of their competitors listed the specs then you could do an accurate comparison but they dont.
     

Share This Page