Will be upgrading my digital coax...which one?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ron Reda, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    I will be upgrading my digital coax within the next few days and I need some recommendations. I understand that, to some, it's "only 1's and 0's," but I feel that the cable I'm using now (a very inexpensive Monster or AR...I can't even remember which) is not giving me the audio I want. I am looking for the best bang for my buck ie. the highest quality/performance for the price. So, I was wondering, out of the following choices, which one cable I should go with.

    Better Cables "Silver Serpent"

    CATCables "Thunder Cat"

    The Bolder Cable Co. "Digital Cable"

    Rhino Cables "Digital Interconnect"

    Thanks!
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    How do plan on evaluating quality and performance? Perhaps your disatisfaction with your sound lies in other areas such as speaker placement, etc.
     
  3. Jeffrey Chin

    Jeffrey Chin Second Unit

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  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  5. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    My bad...I should have qualified my question by saying that the digital coax would be for HT application only as I use a dedicated CD player for music.
    Seeing as how I just made some changes to my listening environment, I don't think that's the problem. I mean, my speakers imaged well before the changes, but now, they sound a lot better. I just think that, as far as DVDs go, the sound could be a bit more "robust."
    So, what I'm hearing from you guys is that I shouldn't plan on spending upwards of $75-$100 on a digital coax cable because I will most likely (I seriously doubt that I have "golden ears") not hear a huge difference over my present cable, especially when using it for HT use only?
    This cable caught my eye out on EBay. It seems like a nice one and the price is definitely right. What do you guys think?
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...tem=1341210308
     
  6. Craig Robertson

    Craig Robertson Supporting Actor

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    i know it's not on your list, but i'm a big fan of Canare's Digiflex Gold digital coax. great cable and definately in your budget. altho it was several years ago, i paid about $100 for three 1 meter cables.
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Ron: that cable from Cable Solutions on eBay would be a excellent choice.

    The Canare plugs are famous for their high quality. If you search "Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity" web site when they did their Progressive Scan comparison, they used Canare plugs and self-built cables. All the others they tried to use affected the picture buy touching the plug or moving the cable. (They were using fairly sensitive video analysis equipment, not eyes.)

    And I agree with the eBay ad: it's over-kill. That cable could handle HD video signals over 35 Mhz. The 800 Khz Dolby Digital signal is a trival challenge for it. But for the price - the decision is a no-brainer.

    But will it change your sound: No IMHO. Only if your existing cable is somehow broken/damaged might the Canare cable make a difference. (Digital is very insensitive to the cable).

    You'd get a much greater change/tune-up in your sound by doing things like:

    - Adjusting your speaker positions/angles

    - Doing some room treatments to stop possible early reflections

    - Isolation of your speakers

    - Trimming the ends of your speaker wires if they are oxidized.

    - Playing with LARGE/SMALL settings and your external subwoofer phase control.

    ...

    Hope this helps.
     
  8. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Bob,
    I actually went ahead and ordered the "Cable Solutions" cable. I figured for $30, what the hell?!
    It's funny...now that I can actually get behind my equipment (previously, my entertainment center was about 10 inches off the wall...now it's about 3 feet off the wall [​IMG] ), I've contracted a severe case of upgraditis. In fact, it may even be some kind of mutant strain of the dreaded disease! Seriously, it was so difficult to get behind my equipment before that I would only change out cables, try out certain tweaks, etc. maybe once every 3 months. I guess now that I've got plenty of breathing room back there, I'm more apt to change out some things that I've been meaning to do for a while (I've had that digital coax cable forever).
    Back to the topic at hand...I'm not sure if it will change my sound either and, if it does, will I be able to notice it on movies? Again, like you said, $30 is a no-brainer. If I spent $75-$100 and heard no improvement, then maybe I'd be a little bit peaved...
    Thanks for the suggestions/recommendations everybody!
     
  9. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Performance wise I think the Boldercables followed by the RhinoCables would have been the best choice. I cant speak for the Catcables or the Bettercables offereings. Bettercables used to sell the Canare cables and replaced them with their Silver Serpent series.

    I ended up with the RhinoCables digital coax cable after going through the usual suspects. It's significantly better than the Canare and Belden 1505/1506/1694a offerings I tried. Despite some peoples opinions around here digital cables do sound different and the Belden 1695a based cables are some of the best. Better shielding than Canare, Higher specs (velocity of propogation etc), Teflon insulation and the Bolder/Rhino cables both offer an added shield. Anyone intersted in cables can find a wealth of info on Digital cables at the Cable Asylum. Lots of expertise is freely shared by designers/builders as well as users.
     
  10. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    I ordered the digiflex gold from wickedcables about two weeks ago and they're great... http://wickedcables.com/ .. Very fast service and many different colors. Stereophile also rates the digiflex gold higher than cables costing in the hundreds...
     
  11. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Ron: when you get your cable, let us know what you think of the experience & product offered by Cable Solutions. I have often admired his auctions. He posts a lot of good information & prices, but I have never heard any feedback. So please let us know.
     
  12. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Bob,

    I sure will! I was looking for some feedback on the cable (not just on the Ebay transaction/experience), but was unable to find some. So, it was kind of a leap of faith based on the information on his auction page.
     
  13. HankM

    HankM Second Unit

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    I would go for Kimber Kable DV-75 which will cost you $180 for 1m. I use this and it is a killer cable, it comes close to Kimber's D-60 which is said to be one of the best digital cables out there. The D-60 costs $290 for 1m. Absolute Sound & Stereophile recommend both.
     
  14. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    HankM,

    I'm sure it sounds great, but even if I hadn't already purchased a cable, that would have been a bit out of my price range.

    Regards,

    Ron
     
  15. Ron Reda

    Ron Reda Cinematographer

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    Bob McElfresh,

    Well, I got my cable and had a chance to test it out over the weekend. As far as the experience, it was a completely smooth transaction. I paid for the cable on Saturday and it was shipped out via USPS Priority on Monday. As far as the product, I was very impressed by the quality. The cable was nicely made and looked very good with the "standard" purple boots. Also, the Canare connectors seemed to be fitted perfectly.

    I wish I could say that I heard night and day differences in going from my no-name cable (it doesn't even say the name on the terminations) to the new one, but I didn't. However, I did notice the bass to be tighter and the overall sound to be a bit cleaner/clearer.

    So, was it worth the $30? I'd say so.
     

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