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Digital Coax Cables Makes a Difference?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Daniel Mai, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    For digital coax cables, are there sound differences say between cable A versus cable B? Or are they all the same since it's carrying a digital signal to your pre/pro or receiver?
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    other than minor differences in construction, the same. if it happened that you had a situation with some strong electrical interference then you might want to look towards something like quad shielding or if your system supported it, toslink.
     
  3. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    You will have various opinions on this.
    As long as it is a decent cable that is making good contact, very little.(so say I )
    Try a video cable and a so called digital audio cable; they are both about the same impedence.
    Switch back and forth and if you can hear a difference, then it makes a difference
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    The people who wrote the SPDIF had a VIDEO cable in mind when they wrote the spec.

    Since the signals are digital, they are very insensitive to the cable. So with few exceptions, cheap sounds just as good as expensive.

    However, a well-built cable is a nice thing to have. Some of the custom sites can build you a very nice coaxial-digital cable with Canare plugs and Canare/Belden coax for about $2/ft. This stuff is over-kill for coaxial-digital, but they are beautiful things.
     
  5. Daniel Mai

    Daniel Mai Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks everyone for your responses.

    I have a variety of these cables - Canare, Tributaries, and Monster Toslink. I'm about to change my setup and was thinking about trying a different cable, but seems like it's not worth it.
     
  6. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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  7. JohnFF

    JohnFF Agent

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  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I have a digital coat hanger [​IMG]
     
  9. JohnFF

    JohnFF Agent

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    I discovered that digital coat hangers perform much better than analog coat hangers for digital connections. It seems the interiors of analog coat hangers are not optimized to ensure that 1s move as quickly as 0s (obviously due to the fact that 0s are round and roll faster) and this introduces jitter. Certified digital coat hangars are specially manufactured so that the 0s and 1s travel at identical rates.

    Furthermore, contrary to the behavior of analog cables, my experience reveals that cryo-treating digital coat hangars has an adverse impact on their sonic qualities. It seems that the digital coat hangars become brittle and easily shatter when frozen - a la Terminator 2.
     
  10. KurtBJC

    KurtBJC Agent

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    Actually, the 0s can tend to form a tight seal (remember, the interior of the coat hanger wire is round) and wind up clogging the line. Then as the 1s clog up behind the blockage, eventually one of them gets askew, punctures the 0, and you wind up with a C, which of course doesn't belong in a digital signal at all... The big issue here is making sure your coathanger wire diameter is at least twice as large as your bitlength to allow the 0s to get through without constriction.
     
  11. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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  12. Eric Stuckey

    Eric Stuckey Second Unit

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  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    nice font, can you make it any bigger?
     
  14. Eric Stuckey

    Eric Stuckey Second Unit

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    Sorry ,I'll change it now.
     
  15. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess I'll post this here as well since this is more of an opinion based post.

    There is absolutely no performance gain in spending insane money on digital cables. You do realize that a digital signal in CAT5 Ethernet can go 100meters without being amplified with a repeater. You are going like what 6 ft or something. It's a digital signal, on or off, you don't have to worry about it. It'll get there.
     
  16. HienD

    HienD Stunt Coordinator

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    Keep in mind, the digital 1&0's are sent in analog form with a digital coax cable. It still succeptable to interference like any analog signal. However, with such a short run, the signal is alter very little to change the ouput in end when converted back to the same 1&0's. Cabling would be the least of your worries if you had enough interference to make a difference. So, from a technical stand point, it shouldn't make a difference.

    The thing with CAT5 cables and computer cables in general, bad bits can re-sent. This only results in a slight speed hit. You can't do this with realtime audio applications unless you add a buffer or delay. This would make getting good cable pointless anyways.
     
  17. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

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    The only reason there is error detection and correction in the ethernet standard is because there is many many more than 1 machine on the same line. It really doesn't have much to do with interference. The bits aren't going to collide with anything when the line runs directly from source to destination like in a stereo.
     

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