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Cable Question ? Please Read this first

  • 31-01-2010 7:01pm
    Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Moderator Posts: 2,480 Mod ✭✭✭✭ The Ritz

    Which Cables should I use ? ?

    The subject of speaker cable, and other cable such as Digital Optical, Digital Interconnect, HDMI etc arises regularly on these forums and often is the subject of much heated debate between people who take the view that there is no scientific reason for hearing a difference between cables and people who rely on their ears to tell them whether there is a difference.

    This distinction and the often heated arguments between people who have no hope of persuading each other to change their minds is not particularly useful to someone who is looking for un-contentious straightforward advice to help them get on with their system.

    The purpose of this Stickey is to set out what most enthusiasts would consider to be fairly standard advice for the most commonly used cables. If you see a question about cables please refer the poster to this Stickey in the first instance.

    If you're reading this with a view to challenging the contents, feel free to PM me stating why you think the contents should be changed, but be fore-warned that messages which contain reams of scientific or other references, or which are based on your conviction that you can see/hear a difference that is not accounted for in the context of this post are unlikely to be convincing to me.

    If you feel that another category of cable should be addressed or that there is a factual error in the following or if you wish to add something concise and relevant, please PM me and tell me.

    So here goes................

    Speaker Cable
    79 strand cable is suitable for most uses and is easily available from place like Maplins or Peats as well as from lots of hi fi outlets.

    If you want to put cables under a carpet, flat speaker cable is an option, and there are plenty of more sophisticated and esoteric options available to you if you want to experiment or if you think that it will make a difference to the sound from your system.

    Subwoofer Cable
    Powered Subwoofers require a cable running from the AV Receiver to the Subwoofer. A 75ohm cable terminated with RCA connectors will do fine for this.

    Digital Interconnects
    Digital Optical - provided that it is suitable robustly made, any digital optical cable is suitable for use. If you desire something that looks expensive and you are prepared to pay for it then go right ahead, but it won't pass the signal are better or worse than a regular one.

    Digital Interconnect
    My own preference here is for a 75ohm coax cable terminated with RCA plugss - my advice if buying is to buy the cheapest one which is stated to be 75ohm.

    Some people believe that thay can hear a difference using interconnects which are claimed to have particular characteristics - if you think that this will make a difference to your system feel free to experiment.

    For short cable runs (1 - 5m) the most economical HDMI cable will do fine. If you intend to use a cable over a longer distance and in particular from 10m and upwards, buying a cable which is guaranteed to perform over that distance is a good idea.



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