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Upgrading my optical digital cable (1 Viewer)

Don Scott

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
81
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.
 

Don Scott

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
81
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.
 

Adam Barratt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 16, 1998
Messages
2,344
Real Name
Adam
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! :)

Adam
 

Adam Barratt

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 16, 1998
Messages
2,344
Real Name
Adam
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! :)

Adam
 

Don Scott

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
81
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!
 

Don Scott

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
81
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!
 

Ethan Winer

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 6, 2004
Messages
95
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
 

Ethan Winer

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Apr 6, 2004
Messages
95
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
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
Hi Don. Welcome to HTF! :)

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.
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
Messages
5,182
Hi Don. Welcome to HTF! :)

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.
 

Don Scott

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
81
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.
 

Don Scott

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 18, 2004
Messages
81
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.
 

StephenHa

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Messages
364
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
 

StephenHa

Second Unit
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Messages
364
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
 

Kevin. W

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 27, 1999
Messages
1,534
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.



Kevin
 

Kevin. W

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 27, 1999
Messages
1,534
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.



Kevin
 

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