Digital Coax alternatives

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by SteveK, Aug 27, 2001.

  1. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    I am rearranging my equipment in my entertainment center (to put some of the heavier gear on the bottom), and the 3' Monster Cable digital coax I have might not be long enough to run from my DVD player to my receiver. Rather than buy another expensive digital coax cable, it seems I remember reading (on HTF, of course) that a regular video cable (such as Radio Shack Gold series) can be used instead. Is my memory correct on this? Would I be losing any sound quality? Obviously a 6' regular video cable would be cheaper than a 6' "digital coax" cable, but I'd rather spend a few extra dollars if it meant better sound quality.
    I attempted to do a search before posting, but the search function was not available.
    Thanks in advance for any responses.
    Steve K.
     
  2. Mike LS

    Mike LS Supporting Actor

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    I've used both types of cables, and in switching back and forth....I can honestly say that I didn't hear a difference.
    Of course a statement like that can start an ugly wire war around this place, but that was just my personal experience.
    Best thing for you to do before spending a dime is to yank a video cable out of your existing system and do an A B for yourself.
     
  3. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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    I don't think there's any controversy about a digital coax cable being the same as a video cable. Some people say that an expensive digital coax or video cable sounds better than an inexpensive one and some people say that digital coax sounds better than optical (and some people say they all sound the same).
    Unless one of them is defective, a Radio Shack video cable should sound the same as a Monster digital coax cable.
     
  4. JohanK

    JohanK Second Unit

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    I've used everything from regular audio cables to composite video cables to 'digital' audio cables. They all work.
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    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/bbs/equipment/28687.html
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Steve T

    Steve T Stunt Coordinator

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    Acoustic Research make good quality digital coax cables at inexpensive prices. Sears usually stocks them, as well as Best Buy (the Best Buy employess will try and talk you into buying Monster).
     
  6. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    Just use a wire coat hanger. It will work just as well as any boutique cable. Yes it has been proved in a Double blind test.
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
     
  7. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, guys. I thought I remembered correctly, but it's nice to have independent verification.
    Kevin...I think I'll just go with a regular cable, as I have replaced all of my wire hangars with plastic, which probably wouldn't work too well! [​IMG]
    Steve K.
     
  8. Bryan Acevedo

    Bryan Acevedo Second Unit

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    SteveT wrote:
    Acoustic Research make good quality digital coax cables at inexpensive prices. Sears usually stocks them, as well as Best Buy (the Best Buy employess will try and talk you into buying Monster).
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    Funny you should mention that Steve. I am currently looking at changing my cables from Radio Shack Gold Series (nice cables, just the connectors are so dang hard to plug in and pull out, they screwed up my sat receiver audio outs). I am looking at getting Acoustic Research Professional series. They are very nice cables for the money!
    Anyway, I went into Best Buy to look at the Acoustic Research Performance series and one of the "sales" kids came and asked if he could help me with anything. I said "do you carry the Acoustic Research Pro series, or just the performance series?" He immediately said, "well if you want good cable, then go with the Monster cable. It is much better than the AR stuff." I looked at him and said, "sorry, but I don't agree with you there." He said why? Then we got into an argument about cables! I couldn't believe it - what kind of sales guy gets into an argument with a potential customer?!?! I basically said it is all hype - and for $50 for an s-video cable, I could show you cables that blow the Monster away. I said that the AR Pro series, which you don't sell, are much cheaper and at the same if not higher level than your so-called high-end Monster Video 2 or 3 series. I said the AR Pro series are shielded just as well as the Monster cables, and use the oxygen free copper. He said well all cables have that, and I said Exactly! Why is Monster better then?
    Now, if he was talking about their M series or silver series, then he might have a point. But they don't even carry that stuff! And he is comparing only what they had in the store. Why don't they carry the AR pro series? I tell you why - everyone would buy them! 1/3 the price, looks better and performs just as well if not better! And we all know that Monster probably has some exclusive agreement with them on what other cables they can carry. I was half tempted to ask him what the ohm impedance tolerance was for the video cables, or the timing measurements, just to see what he said. But I got too frustrated and just left! I would love to have asked him how those high-end cables compared to the silver serpants. He would have said what? Never heard of those! I really wanted to hear it from an expert why Monster cables were so much better!
    Anyway, sorry for the rant!
    Bryan
    Disclaimer - I have not done an A/B comparison between the Monster cables and the AR cables. So I am saying that probably, in my opinion, the AR cables would perform as well if not better than the Monster cables just going off the build quality and design between the two.
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    Thanks,
    Bryan
    "... But Honey - I promise this is the last thing I will have to buy for the Home Theater"
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  9. Wayne Bundrick

    Wayne Bundrick Cinematographer

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    Engineers are practical people... when they design something, they do it using inexpensive and readily available components. When they needed a wire for the S/PDIF standard, they did not choose something new, exotic, expensive, and difficult to manufacture. They selected plain old ordinary 75 Ohm coax, such as RG-59. Then they designed S/PDIF to work with that wire.
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    --Wayne Bundrick
     
  10. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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  11. Harold Sonnier

    Harold Sonnier Auditioning

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    I recently went through the same scenerio. Through the direction of others on several forums, I found several online merchants that sold good quality audio and video cable for decent prices. I have come to the conclusion that the formula for quality audio and video interconnects is not magic and should not cost a fortune. Try www.avcable.com for inexpensive cables made with quality canare connectors. Other places you can try are www.boldercables.com , www.kustomkables.com , and www.wickedcables.com . You should be able to find everything you need at one of these stores. As an added bonus, some of these merchants will make cables at whatever length you specify. I am very happy with digital cable and component I bought from Avcables.
    Good luck
    [Edited last by Harold Sonnier on August 27, 2001 at 08:07 PM]
     

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