Do I Need Luxury Cables? - Page 12 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #166 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-06, 10:17 PM
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IMHO the quality of cables matters even less when you are talking about digital cables - i.e. TOSLONK or digital coax for audio. You are sending 1s and 0s and if the wrong numbers are sent it will be pretty easy to tell.

I was in a dollar store in my neigbourhood a couple of days ago and I picked up some TOSLINK optical cables for $1.99 each - remember when these were $30 or more, even for the cheapest ones?
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post #167 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-06, 10:29 PM
 
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Wow now that luck 1.99$ I remember paying 49.99$ for digital coax last year. Unreal how prices keep dropping. I couldn't believe when I went to Leon's, Brick and seen the prices on HDMI male 120.00$. Really outrageous prices. Yes they were Monster ones.
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post #168 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-06, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
I was in a dollar store in my neigbourhood a couple of days ago and I picked up some TOSLINK optical cables for $1.99 each - remember when these were $30 or more, even for the cheapest ones?
I never even thought of looking at the dollar store for TOSLINK cables. My original one broke the other day and just for laughs I looked at FS and BB and the options were $120 for the "premium" and $45 for the "Regular".

Ended up ordering from monoprice. $5 including shipping.
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post #169 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-07, 12:19 AM
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MAny computer stores can get you cables for low prices. I got mine in ottawa For about 15$ a cable, fat 6"ft suckers with gold connectors. FS and BB equivilent for my system was going be $600 for monster and i got hooked up for under 70$

Now i have no need to put the tv on wheels so that when guest come over i can show them the 600$ of monster cables hooked up to my 800$ plasma! AFter all if your gonna blow 600$ on wires you better show them off to your buddies!
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post #170 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-07, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Several off-topic posts on Monoprice were deleted. Please read the following thread for that information.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=53516

Additional information on US purchases:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=19564

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post #171 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-10, 04:22 AM
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One extreme to the other...

I took the time to read this post from head to toe and I find the extreme quite unbelievable. Start with Mons$$$$$$$$ter good looking show off cable for creating discussion amongst ones priviledge guess. No wonder one would think of using an AV cart on wheels! At that price, just like your china the only use is for show off! No wonder some people don`t mind showing pics of their high priced gear with spagetti like visual of their (monster) cables.

Now, the other extreme! Cable supplied with the component and dollar store cable! Cables at .099, 1.99????????? Quality connector (1) cost more than that!!!!! There is extremes and there is balance!

To be considered when buying quality (not high end or over priced but quality) cables:
1. quality connectors is a must...
2. sealed or permanently mounted connectors are very seldom good connectors...
3. quality and construction of the cable will determine its conductivity and EMI capability.
4. If you have a quality connector, you usually can open and then you see quality of workmanship: quality of wire used, quality of the solder, the care taken for finishing the job!

I can`t believe people involving thousans of dollars in their fancy system and turning around out of saving a few bucks and buying .99 or 1.99 cables! Unbeilevable!! Go to an electronic parts wholesale store and price quality (not high end) connectors, cable to make your own and that should give you a good idea of the minimum price you should pay for a half decent cable. Yes, their is a limit for abuse but people should realise there is also a limit on the savings when you want to connect your so call quality electronics! Do you really think your high quality AV will really spit HIFI with your low budget coat hanger conductor????
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post #172 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-16, 04:37 PM
 
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Off Topic:

Does connecting a DVD player with coaxial audio cables give you better sound quality than RCA white/red cables? Just realized my TV has that audio connection and never knew what it was until now. Worth buying the cable?

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post #173 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-16, 04:43 PM
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talldude123:

We have an FAQ on Cables and Connections here:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=76085

And yes, digital coaxial cables will sound better because they will give you DD5.1 surround. If your TV has the output, it is strictly for OTA reception, and the broadcast must also be in 5.1, and your AVR must be 5.1 capable at least. Analogue red and white will just give you stereo or 2.0 surround.

Connect the DVD player directly to the AVR for DD5.1 audio, not "through" the TV.

Back on topic, please.

Last edited by 57; 2008-01-16 at 04:53 PM. Reason: Added "Connect...
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post #174 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-17, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TECHNOKID View Post
To be considered when buying quality (not high end or over priced but quality) cables:
1. quality connectors is a must...
2. sealed or permanently mounted connectors are very seldom good connectors...
3. quality and construction of the cable will determine its conductivity and EMI capability.
4. If you have a quality connector, you usually can open and then you see quality of workmanship: quality of wire used, quality of the solder, the care taken for finishing the job!

I can`t believe people involving thousans of dollars in their fancy system and turning around out of saving a few bucks and buying .99 or 1.99 cables!
For speaker wire, and other analog connectors you might have an argument there. If you can find a digital (optical/coax/HDMI/DVI) cable that cheap, and it works - guess what? It works. If information is not being delivered properly it will be easily visible, or audible.

Long live the console war! Buy 'em all! Just don't give Sony any of your Personal info!
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post #175 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-17, 01:33 PM
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Humm... Property of the cable (impedance, LRC factor etc...) and conductivity of a cable are important factors for quality signals. Now, you are saying (and I have read it to from other on the site) that it doesn't matter so much with digital. Digital, HD signals are of higher quality of analog signals shouldn't therefore use better quality cables? Most of those signals are using coax type cable for which frequency capability is also a big factor, LRC again shielding etc... Wouldn't a cheaper cable neglect some of the quality ability required for optimum end results? All those factors are translated by increased $$. We also have to reailsed the even if dealing with 0 and 1 instead of signal modulation, there is still a frequency carrier involved which could still be distorded when low quality is used. Do not want this to be a big debate but I would like you and/or any other member to give me some deeper input/explanation justifying the fact that a cheaper cable is good enough for digital or HD signals.

Thank you for your input!
René
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post #176 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-17, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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TECHNOKID This doesn't need to be a debate. Read the links in post 1, especially the last couple. It's all clearly tested and explained there.

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post #177 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-17, 03:32 PM
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We also have to reailsed the even if dealing with 0 and 1 instead of signal modulation, there is still a frequency carrier involved which could still be distorded when low quality is used. Do not want this to be a big debate but I would like you and/or any other member to give me some deeper input/explanation justifying the fact that a cheaper cable is good enough for digital or HD signals.
I will expand on this topic since it isn't really covered in the links in the first post.

The debate over expensive cables for digital interconnect really boils down to a couple of simple questions, which are actually sort of related.

1. Are the digital bits (1's and 0's) recovered with error or without?

2. Is there clock distortion introduced by the cable?

The answer to #1 is pretty easy. Unless you are talking about very long runs of cable or a damaged cable the answer is almost always that the signals are received essentially error free. In reality no digital signal can ever be 100% error free but the corresponding bit error rate (BER) is low enough that it is for all intents and purposes zero.

The answer to #2 is a little more complicated. The way that S/PDIF connections work is that the digital stream sends both the clock and the data over a single connecition. They are encoded together at the transmitter in such a way that the receiver can separate the clock and data into their individual components. The received clock is often, not always, also used to drive the DAC converters in the receiver/pre-amp. If there is distortion in that clock it can cause audible effects.

So, for a digital cable to have an effect on the sound it would have to distort the signal sufficiently so that the recovered clock is actually distorted. Now it's important to remember that every S/PDIF receiver has a PLL for locking on to the received clock frequency. In most scenarios, even a distorted signal will still allow a stable clock to be recovered by the PLL. I am ignoring for now the case where the clock signal is still noisy enough that the data cannot be properly recovered since in #1 we assumed that the data was delivered without error.

Given this scenario you realise that it isn't really the cable that matters but the quality of the transmitters to generate a low distortion signal and the ability of the receivers to generate a high fidelity clock signal from the received source.

Also worth noting is that any clock distortion introduced by the cable are very easily handled by a simple buffer in the receiver and the use of a local reference clock.

So, if your cables are of reasonable length and you are hearing/seeing a difference, don't blame the cable, blame the electronics.
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post #178 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-17, 05:51 PM
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Thank you for very thorough information!
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post #179 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-17, 06:16 PM
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My theory on this whole cable issue is that a very inexpensive IDE or SATA hard drive cable can carry digital data at very high speeds with a 0% error rate - so why shouldn't a similar quality cable be able to carry digital audio?
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post #180 of 372 (permalink) Old 2008-01-17, 06:33 PM
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No reason why it shouldn't. See my explanation above. It's all about the recovered clock.

If you spend a few minutes of googling you should be able to find a paper which actually documents the effects of clock jitter and audible distortion.
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