Upgrading my optical digital cable

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Don Scott, Jun 18, 2004.

  1. Don Scott

    Don Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm currently using a "Monster standard thx" optical digital cable to connect my dvd player to my receiver. It sounds fine but I'm thinking of upgrading. I'm not very familiar with high quality brand names other than monster. I would appreciate any help regarding what type to buy.
    Also please let me know if an upgrade to this cable will make much difference.
     
  2. Don Scott

    Don Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm currently using a "Monster standard thx" optical digital cable to connect my dvd player to my receiver. It sounds fine but I'm thinking of upgrading. I'm not very familiar with high quality brand names other than monster. I would appreciate any help regarding what type to buy.
    Also please let me know if an upgrade to this cable will make much difference.
     
  3. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    As far as movie soundtracks are concerned (Dolby Digital/DTS), changing the optical cable will make no difference at all due the the bulletproof (packeted) nature of the transmission systems used. Unless your current cable is defective (which would result in no sound at all or obvious dropouts) upgrading your cable hoping for better sounding movie soundtracks would be wasting your money.

    If you listen to CDs through your DVD player changing cable might make a difference, however. CD PCM audio is more susceptible to cable/line-induced interference, but any differences would be very small if detectable (in my opinion, naturally).

    And welcome to the forum! [​IMG]

    Adam
     
  4. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    As far as movie soundtracks are concerned (Dolby Digital/DTS), changing the optical cable will make no difference at all due the the bulletproof (packeted) nature of the transmission systems used. Unless your current cable is defective (which would result in no sound at all or obvious dropouts) upgrading your cable hoping for better sounding movie soundtracks would be wasting your money.

    If you listen to CDs through your DVD player changing cable might make a difference, however. CD PCM audio is more susceptible to cable/line-induced interference, but any differences would be very small if detectable (in my opinion, naturally).

    And welcome to the forum! [​IMG]

    Adam
     
  5. Don Scott

    Don Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the advice, I'll take it. I don't want to waste my money on insignificant improvements. Like I said, it sounds fine already. The ads for high end cables make so many claims about how wonderful they are that I thought I was missing out.
    Could you give me some advice on what kind of speaker cable to buy. I'm looking for quality with a decent price. I'm currently using the wire that came with my sony receiver. From what I read,"in the box" speaker wire is not very good. Again, can I expect much of an improvement with new cables.
    Thanks!
     
  6. Don Scott

    Don Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the advice, I'll take it. I don't want to waste my money on insignificant improvements. Like I said, it sounds fine already. The ads for high end cables make so many claims about how wonderful they are that I thought I was missing out.
    Could you give me some advice on what kind of speaker cable to buy. I'm looking for quality with a decent price. I'm currently using the wire that came with my sony receiver. From what I read,"in the box" speaker wire is not very good. Again, can I expect much of an improvement with new cables.
    Thanks!
     
  7. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Stunt Coordinator

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    Don,

    > From what I read,"in the box" speaker wire is not very good. <

    What you read is wrong. The only important spec for speaker cable is its resistance. There are other specs, but they're insignificant at typical cable lengths. Just get 14 gauge or thicker wire of any type (ie: Home Depot), you'll be all set.

    --Ethan
     
  8. Ethan Winer

    Ethan Winer Stunt Coordinator

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    Don,

    > From what I read,"in the box" speaker wire is not very good. <

    What you read is wrong. The only important spec for speaker cable is its resistance. There are other specs, but they're insignificant at typical cable lengths. Just get 14 gauge or thicker wire of any type (ie: Home Depot), you'll be all set.

    --Ethan
     
  9. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Don. Welcome to HTF! [​IMG]

    Wires and interconnects CAN have a small, but noticible effect. Wire companies make claims that help you believe that the wires are the most important part of your system. It's just not true.

    A lot of the influence of wires depend on how 'sensitive' your equipment is. A 19" tube television with CATV signals is very insensitive. A front-projector with 80" display being fed from a HD video source is a different story.

    To keep things in perspective, follow the 10% rule:


    Another thing to keep in mind: despite the claims of the cable-marketing department, your sound quality depends on things in this order:

    - Quality of your source (am radio->Catv->VHS->DVD->CD)
    - Proper placement & adjustment of your speakers
    - Quality of your amplification/electronics
    - Room response (reflections, dampening, etc)
    - Wires and interconnects

    And for a HT system, the wires in most->least importance are (IMHO):

    - Video cables
    - Speaker wires
    - Analog interconnects
    - digital interconnects (optical & coaxial)
    - Subwoofer cable

    So speaker wires are about 7th down the list. Keep this in mind when listening to the commissioned salesman at the store who tells you your equipment 'deserves' some high-end $$$ wires.

    Hope this helps.
     
  10. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Don. Welcome to HTF! [​IMG]

    Wires and interconnects CAN have a small, but noticible effect. Wire companies make claims that help you believe that the wires are the most important part of your system. It's just not true.

    A lot of the influence of wires depend on how 'sensitive' your equipment is. A 19" tube television with CATV signals is very insensitive. A front-projector with 80" display being fed from a HD video source is a different story.

    To keep things in perspective, follow the 10% rule:


    Another thing to keep in mind: despite the claims of the cable-marketing department, your sound quality depends on things in this order:

    - Quality of your source (am radio->Catv->VHS->DVD->CD)
    - Proper placement & adjustment of your speakers
    - Quality of your amplification/electronics
    - Room response (reflections, dampening, etc)
    - Wires and interconnects

    And for a HT system, the wires in most->least importance are (IMHO):

    - Video cables
    - Speaker wires
    - Analog interconnects
    - digital interconnects (optical & coaxial)
    - Subwoofer cable

    So speaker wires are about 7th down the list. Keep this in mind when listening to the commissioned salesman at the store who tells you your equipment 'deserves' some high-end $$$ wires.

    Hope this helps.
     
  11. Don Scott

    Don Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the great advice!!
    I found this site while searching for answers, lucky me.
    I appreciate your help, this is an impressive site for sure.
     
  12. Don Scott

    Don Scott Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the great advice!!
    I found this site while searching for answers, lucky me.
    I appreciate your help, this is an impressive site for sure.
     
  13. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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    Don, you're in trouble. Only been a member of HTF for a day and you're already suffering from upgrade-itis! [​IMG] Welcome aboard!
     
  14. Adam Gregorich

    Owner

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    Don, you're in trouble. Only been a member of HTF for a day and you're already suffering from upgrade-itis! [​IMG] Welcome aboard!
     
  15. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    he's doomed
     
  16. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    he's doomed
     
  17. StephenHa

    StephenHa Second Unit

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    the only tme I found a difference in optical cable performance was upgrading from the thin junk that came with a dvd player to a regular type, I usually run the parts express brand it's been good so far, and has held up better than my monster stuff ever did
     
  18. StephenHa

    StephenHa Second Unit

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    the only tme I found a difference in optical cable performance was upgrading from the thin junk that came with a dvd player to a regular type, I usually run the parts express brand it's been good so far, and has held up better than my monster stuff ever did
     
  19. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Don don't waster your money upgrading from one plastic toslink to another. Now if you want to spend about $70-80CDN checkout this link to a pure glass optical.

    Glass Optical

    Looks like this.

    [​IMG]

    Kevin
     
  20. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Don don't waster your money upgrading from one plastic toslink to another. Now if you want to spend about $70-80CDN checkout this link to a pure glass optical.

    Glass Optical

    Looks like this.

    [​IMG]

    Kevin
     

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