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Cabling help... Long USB cable vs long RCA cable

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by jcyc5, Nov 23, 2012.
  1. JCYC5
    My computer is in one corner of the room, and my "living" area is in the other corner... With my desktop being my primary source of music, I am hoping to have my headphone amp with my TV in the living area, some 25 feet away.
    Would I be better off with my DAC at the computer (short USB cable), and extend 25 foot of RCA to the amp? Or should I have a long USB cable to the DAC, and a RCA to the amp from the DAC?
  2. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    I think it's safer to have a longer digital cable, but I don't know how much more jitter you can get with USB at that distance. You could try one of those USB to SPDIF-coaxial cable if your DAC has such an input.
  3. Roller
    You can't have USB cables longer than 5m, or there were be both signal degradation close to 5m, and beyond that the cable won't work without using a signal repeater.
  4. JCYC5
    So should I get something like this? https://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10303&cs_id=1030301&p_id=7531&seq=1&format=2&style=
  5. Roller
    Honestly, I prefer to have as short a USB cable as possible for connecting a DAC to the PC, as jitter would be more pronounced over USB rather than through RCAs, which is why I'd rather use a longer RCA cable.
  6. zakman35
    The best solution in your case is to use a Toslink cable.
    Toslink is made for situations when the signal needs to travel a long distance.
  7. PleasantSounds
    I'd go with that. Don't worry about jitter - in case of USB connection data is buffered and timed on the DAC, so the cable length doesn't impact it. S/PDIF connection may have that issue, unless you have a pretty sophisticated DAC. Long RCA cables will pick up noise and interferences.

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