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Digital cable questions

  1. guzziguy

    I just ordered a modded Lite Dac AH from Pacific Valves. This is my first dac ever. I've always used CDPs in the past, so I have a couple of questions about digital cables:

    1. Which is better to use (if either), a coax cable or an optical cable assuming the cables are of equal quality?

    2. Can you recommend a reasonably (<$50) priced example of what you recommend in question 1?

    3. It looks like I can get a 2' Blue Jeans coax for about $12 plus shipping. Is there any reason not to just go with this?

    Thanks in advance for your input.
  2. Cousin Patty
    1) highly debatable no clear answer. some say coax is better because it has less jitter than a toslink cable. however coax is more susceptible to outside interference.

    2) blue jeans cables are very well thought of around here because of their price to performance ratio.

    3) no reason at all not to go with a coax cable from blue jeans.
  3. Thaddy Contributor
    Blue Jeans is a great choice. You can also pick up a cheap optical cable if you want to do comparisons.
  4. guzziguy
    I just checked my "transport" (a Toshiba DVD player) and see that it only has a coax output. I thought that it had both. So my decision is easy. I just ordered a 2' orange coax digital cable from Bluejeans.

    Thanks again for the advice.
  5. Scrith Contributor
    I've had a couple of cases where an optical cable (eBay glass and Kimber OPT1) did not sound as good as a coax cable. However, I think these cables were damaged (they would occasionally make the red error light on my old DAC1 flash). When I found a decent optical cable (Van den Hul OptoCoupler) that didn't make my DAC1's error light flash, I could not tell the difference between it and a coax cable.

    I've compared and owned some very nice coax cables (Zu Ash, Elco UDC-S, Zaolla pro silver) and could never tell the difference between them when using my old DAC1.

    I'd say a reasonably priced coax cable is your best bet.
  6. HumanMedia
    If you feel like getting down and DIY dirty, get that Blue Jeans cable, and add proper 75 ohm BNC connectors to your transport and DAC.

    This will make more of a difference than stepping form optical to coaxial.
  7. drubrew Contributor
    The problem with optical cables isn't so much the cable itself but the send and recieve connection points on the transport and dac that are the issue. These have long been known as a cheap digital transfer method and thus because of there poor quality tend to produce jitter. Glass optical which is rarely seen any more on audio equipment use more expensive good quality recievers and thus are much more ideal and clean sounding. If given the choice of both optical and coax I would always go for the coax.
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  8. mrarroyo Contributor

    Originally Posted by Thaddy
    Blue Jeans is a great choice. You can also pick up a cheap optical cable if you want to do comparisons.

    Yes another vote for Blue Jeans at: http://www.bluejeanscable.com/index.htm
  9. revo_909
    blue jeans cable is decent for their price, but i don't think they sound that good. i made one with the same cable and conncetor as bjc and compare them to a kimber d-60, the difference is huge, clarity, soundstage, depth i can hear more of them with the kimber. for 50 bucks i probably get something non canare/belden based cables. signalcable looks good and people here like them alot, and it seems they're not canare/belden based cable. i'm particularly interested with their silver interconnect unfortunately i've set my heart on the kimber, and yes i only have dac-ah [​IMG]

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