2-4-8 core cable help
May 2, 2015 at 1:45 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 12

nitramus

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All I want is a simple good quality 3.5 aux cable to plug my phone into my car HU and noticed 2-4 and 8 core cables. Is the a difference and what do you suggest?
Thanks
 
May 2, 2015 at 10:46 PM Post #3 of 12

ProtegeManiac

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  I'm not sure what you mean by 2-4 or 8 core. All 3.5mm TRS cables will have 3 conductors, most likely of stranded copper wire.

 
Some "audiophile" cables use way more cores than there are pins, even when the application won't really benefit from having an effectively thicker cable. If anything, you have a back up on each pin, which is useful in a portable application I suppose, but then again if you had to twist several strands might as well make several cables instead.
 
All I want is a simple good quality 3.5 aux cable to plug my phone into my car HU and noticed 2-4 and 8 core cables. Is the a difference and what do you suggest?
Thanks

 
I don't think there'd be a 2-core cable, unless the GND is soldered into a conductive layer on the jacket around the conductors. You can use practically any cable - it would have to be one of those really cheap hardware store cables (like the freebiesyou get on a disk player) to have any real issues, primarily with the quality of the plugs (they are lose out of the box or wear out quicker). Note that in some case the thicker the cable the more it can have some negative effect on the sound on a line level connection, so  might as well get a simpler 3-core (or 4-core if it splits into two RCA plugs).
 
In any case if you're really that serious about SQ then spending hundreds of dollars on a cable isn't addressing the real issue in a car environment, but I won't go into those details anymore (unless you ask, but the short of it is you are better off reading guides in www.diyma.com) because here on Head-Fi people are usually in denial about that.
 
May 3, 2015 at 1:51 PM Post #5 of 12

ProtegeManiac

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Like I said, it won't really matter which. You have other real problems in car audio that you should worry more about and would actually get you real gains in SQ if you address them properly, and one fancy cable vs another regardless of price and how many cores are involved in the construction (as in really, it won't matter - it's a line connection at 1m or so) - especially playing out the earphone output of a smartphone - is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down the order of battle here.
 
Just pick whatever you can afford easily (length and shipping cost included), unless you actually want to really work on getting real improvements in your car system (in which case you can still get this anyway, in case you might still use it).
 
May 3, 2015 at 2:32 PM Post #6 of 12

nitramus

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don't worry about my car system. It maybe not hifi but the cables are all very good quality and are well installed. My stuff may not be professional but it is all very good quality.
 
May 3, 2015 at 2:41 PM Post #7 of 12

ProtegeManiac

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  don't worry about my car system. It maybe not hifi but the cables are all very good quality and are well installed. My stuff may not be professional but it is all very good quality.

 
I meant if you're not using time alignment DSP to equalize pathlengths anyway no need to really worry about anything else, much less the cable going from the earphone output to the aux input, even less so if it's on the dash (if it has to run around inside the dash, then it might theoretically need to have better shielding). Effectively, you're still hearing the driver's side tweeter then microseconds later the driver's side midwoofer then a few more microseconds after that the passenger side tweeter then a few more microseconds later you hear the passenger side midwoofer then after a few more microseconds the subwoofer, with the vocals off-center and the subwoofer clearly behind you anyway, and that's not going to change regardless of what aux cable you use. Hell, not even TOTL Focal or Dynaudio speakers will be able to deal with the realities of a car cabin, hence the DSP.
 
Just get the lowest price you can get (just avoid really, really, really cheap cables, like those in hardware stores with really cheap plugs) for whatever length you need and whatever plugs you need on either side, plug it in and on with listening. No need to overthink and overcomplicate it really, is what I'm saying.
 
May 3, 2015 at 3:08 PM Post #8 of 12

nitramus

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thank you very much. Everything is clear now. The cable I currently have is not a cheap on but still a good one without over doing it like you said. so I'll stay with what I have.
On a different note I'm thinking if I should change my HU for something like the pioneer AVH-x270BT so it'll work with my phone and have easy navigation on my usb key.....
Time will tell on this one.
thanks
 
May 3, 2015 at 8:40 PM Post #9 of 12

ProtegeManiac

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  thank you very much. Everything is clear now. The cable I currently have is not a cheap on but still a good one without over doing it like you said. so I'll stay with what I have.
On a different note I'm thinking if I should change my HU for something like the pioneer AVH-x270BT so it'll work with my phone and have easy navigation on my usb key.....
Time will tell on this one.
thanks

 
Too many other factors to consider there, but that's one of the better reasons for it, plus some standard size aftermarket receivers are starting to get FLAC compatibility if that's important to you. Personally 320kbps on a system with time alignment DSP is a lot better because, again, that actually addresses a core issue in a car's acoustic environment, and with today's integration processors (I traded in my old IVA-D310 for a PXE-H660 for my next car) there's less work putting it in. Of course, if your car still uses standard size receivers (of late the only new ones I've seen are the FR-S/GT86 and a few cheap mini cars), then at least it's just a matter of pulling it out, redoing the wiring (if you're switching brands - that's my main headache going from Alpine to Pioneer or vice versa), then pushing the new one in. 
 
In any case you might want to look into Alpines. They've taken the processors out of their receivers but they have the PXA-H100 processor now that works with their Ai-Net connection (digital audio and interface) that makes it a lot less of a PITA to put in a separate processor. Plus it's cheap at $150 and they have media receivers designed for USB drives and compressed audio; I haven't been checking recently but the latest models might even have FLAC/ALAC compatibility already, which isn't a problem if you're using a portable HDD or large thumb drive anyway.
 
May 6, 2015 at 1:57 PM Post #11 of 12

nitramus

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Too many other factors to consider there, but that's one of the better reasons for it, plus some standard size aftermarket receivers are starting to get FLAC compatibility if that's important to you. Personally 320kbps on a system with time alignment DSP is a lot better because, again, that actually addresses a core issue in a car's acoustic environment, and with today's integration processors (I traded in my old IVA-D310 for a PXE-H660 for my next car) there's less work putting it in. Of course, if your car still uses standard size receivers (of late the only new ones I've seen are the FR-S/GT86 and a few cheap mini cars), then at least it's just a matter of pulling it out, redoing the wiring (if you're switching brands - that's my main headache going from Alpine to Pioneer or vice versa), then pushing the new one in. 
 
In any case you might want to look into Alpines. They've taken the processors out of their receivers but they have the PXA-H100 processor now that works with their Ai-Net connection (digital audio and interface) that makes it a lot less of a PITA to put in a separate processor. Plus it's cheap at $150 and they have media receivers designed for USB drives and compressed audio; I haven't been checking recently but the latest models might even have FLAC/ALAC compatibility already, which isn't a problem if you're using a portable HDD or large thumb drive anyway.


Can you tell me how much of a sound (mp3) difference there is between bluetooth (a2dp), 3.5mm jack from phone and straight from the usb key on the HU. I always heard that bluetooth audio is not really good.
 
May 6, 2015 at 11:02 PM Post #12 of 12

ProtegeManiac

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Can you tell me how much of a sound (mp3) difference there is between bluetooth (a2dp), 3.5mm jack from phone and straight from the usb key on the HU. I always heard that bluetooth audio is not really good.

 
One problem with that comparo is that I haven't done any comparo on exactly the same downstream components from whatever line source vs BT receiver. If we'll compare a battery-powered speaker with a 3.5mm input using headphone out and earphone out, vs its BT connection, there's no audible difference between the lineout and BT, but earphone out sounds muddy. Note this is still a speaker on a table, so I can't tell if there are imaging differences, and the speaker response isn't fullrange as well so whatever is lost on BT transmission vs lineout is likely not being played by the speakers anyway.
 
If it's the thumb drive or any storage media into the USB input of an HU vs BT, it's the same thing. I haven't been in a modern/late model car that has FLAC, so I use 320kbps VBR. No audible differences, save for the convenience of automatically cutting the music if a call comes in. Using my iPad's lineout cable (from the 30-pin) into the 3.5mm of the car wasn't audibly cleaner, but the bass hit harder (this is FLAC though), but personally the cable was more trouble than it was worth considering we have a EQ on the DSP, which also has an RTA so it will auto-EQ to a flat setting (before DSPs like this we'd hook up a USB mic to a laptop and then run an RTA). 
 
All my devices run BT Apt-X but the cars don't; forgot to have my brother check if his FR-S system had that when I used it, but he has since replaced it with an Alpine unit (for some reason I seem to be the only one in the family that uses Pioneer, but then again, I'm ditching my receiver for an Alpine processor and a car with good integrated audio and GPS, so I won't stick out too much anymore).
 

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