Originally Posted by SimplyBao
I think I'm getting more confused by terminology than anything else.
So I'll try to get down to the elementary roots. What I'm asking is when I wire up my Marantz receiver to the emo amp, do I use just the cheapo cables that come with with just about any piece of audio equipment you buy or can/should I use the digital coax cables.
The freebie cables that come in the box will work fine, however their weakness is usually pretty poor shielding. Any basic decent audio cable you might get that's a little better would be better in that sense, and spending a few dollars for peace of mind isn't a bad idea, even for rather short distances. But the gimme cables work totally fine for short runs in most instances.
For analog audio, you basically just want good shielding, and with longer runs you may be more concerned about cable capacitance as well. Analog audio does not need to be a specific impedance, so any RCA cable will do, whether the cable is 75ohm coax, some other kind of coax, or twisted pair.
75ohm impedance is important for higher bandwidth signals like digital audio and video, and so you want to make sure you use 75ohm coax for those applications. Many audio cables are not 75ohm coax and are not appropriate to use as a video or digital audio interconnect. However, 75ohm video and digital audio coax is totally fine for analog audio, and actually an excellent choice.
In my terms, the cheapo cables have RCA ends. The digital coax cable has RCA ends. Also, I understand that the cheapo cables usually are stranded copper lines and the digital coax is a single copper conductor.
Right, something labeled "digital coax" will be 75ohm solid-copper coax if the labeling is honest (which is usually safe to assume that it is). This is totally fine to use as an analog interconnect. It's going to be a better cable than the freebie RCAs, however it is unlikely to have any kind of an impact in most cases.
I also understand that wiring that the cheapo stranded copper wiring usually does not have any "resistance" moniker associated with it whereas the digital coax cable is rated at 75 ohm and uses a single copper conductor.
Correct, that's something implied by a cable sold for that application which requires 75ohm impedance. Analog audio does not, so it doesn't really matter at all for analog audio that it is 75ohm. This is why twisted pair RCA cables, which are not 75ohm, are totally fine for analog audio, but are totally inappropriate for digital audio or video.
I've also read up on the subject of expensive cables versus cheaper cables like the mono-price cables. I've been able to blind test "RCA" analog cables before and to me, I could hardly tell the difference between a set of IXOS analog interconnects versus the $10 analog cables sold by best buy. For the purposes of my question, I'm looking to buy monoprice cables.
In the monoprice situation, they are selling 2 types of cables that I'm looking at. One is listed as Stereo RCA cables. In the description, it says that the internal wiring is solid copper conductor rated at 75 ohms.
Whereas, the monoprice digital coax cable says they are 75 ohms and are used in SPDIF applications.
My question really was, is there a difference in the two cables and which one should I use?
I hope that makes sense.
Between those two, it sounds like both are 75ohm coax and are essentially the same thing in that regards. They would be totally fine for analog audio, digital audio, or video. As far as the minutiea of specifics of the cable, it's hard to say, monoprice doesn't really have the most complete specs. They sell cheap but entirely adequate cabling. I'd assume they're comparably priced, and you'd be fine either way.