Which Cables & Wires??? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 06:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Which Cables & Wires???

On my first out for a buy of 'high end' audio and somewhere in there HT, I have locked down and paid for Focal Chorus 726V and Cambridge CXR200 AVR. Through this course of a month, I have come across many opinions that helped me tremendously and one that now comes in the picture. Cables and Wires. I have read at various places that these hold great significance.

What would you guys suggest I use for connecting:

1. AVR to Speakers (Around 2.5 metres)

2. Which HDMI and Optical for AVR to TV

3. And considering there are many ways to connect b/w TV, AVR and Bluray Player. What would be a good layout.

I also have a question about BD player. I seem to like what I have read about the Oppo BD 103 (Non Darbee). Now, while I understand that amp and speakers would be a big risk to buy from Amazon US, considering after sales and stuff. Would buying a BD player be risky too? Considering we play mostly the US region for our Blu Rays (I do). And there's very little service required anyway within the warranty time frame. Opinions would be nice to get.

And last, though I live in Mumbai with almost no power cuts and or fluctuations, would it still be advisable to install a stabilizer or connect through a surge protector?

Your response will be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 06:43 AM
 
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Don't buy into the nonsense about high end wires/cables. Mostly snake oil aside from aesthetic considerations. Read about wire/cable at this site from a former head guy at McIntosh....http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm and use the wire table there to tell you what gauge of copper speaker wire you need (wire/cable is generally about the proper gauge of high percentage copper, as most wire already is without any magic treatments or wrappings some of the high end sellers try to foist on the uneducated).

I'd use the avr as a switching center for max audio options, but might depend on what exactly you have.

Oppos seem quite reliable but what with your situation being halfway around the world....
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post #3 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Don't buy into the nonsense about high end wires/cables. Mostly snake oil aside from aesthetic considerations. Read about wire/cable at this site from a former head guy at McIntosh....http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm and use the wire table there to tell you what gauge of copper speaker wire you need (wire/cable is generally about the proper gauge of high percentage copper, as most wire already is without any magic treatments or wrappings some of the high end sellers try to foist on the uneducated).
Greatly appreciate you pointing me to this article. I'll give it a read. Snake oil aside (Unfamiliar phrase).

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I'd use the avr as a switching center for max audio options, but might depend on what exactly you have.
Since I have never had equipment like this before, please do explain. I have a wall mounted 65" LED Flat Panel that gets fed by satellite box, WDTV Live Hub and an erstwhile Dune BD Player, each using HDMI port.

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Oppos seem quite reliable but what with your situation being halfway around the world....
Have been buying stuff from Amazon US all the time, if the worry is what if it reaches damaged physically or otherwise, Amazon will accept the return. The only greed is that I save $300 after paying duty and custom.
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post #4 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 07:47 AM
 
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Greatly appreciate you pointing me to this article. I'll give it a read. Snake oil aside (Unfamiliar phrase).



Since I have never had equipment like this before, please do explain. I have a wall mounted 65" LED Flat Panel that gets fed by satellite box, WDTV Live Hub and an erstwhile Dune BD Player, each using HDMI port.



Have been buying stuff from Amazon US all the time, if the worry is what if it reaches damaged physically or otherwise, Amazon will accept the return. The only greed is that I save $300 after paying duty and custom.
Snake oil, cable charlatans, among some of a few well-deserved derisive terms....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_oil

Is the need for 1080p rather than 4k? Then should be pretty straight forward with hdmis to the avr and hdmi out to the tv with the appropriate settings in each unit.

I thought your Amazon would be local for some reason, so Amazon US ships internationally and you simply pay your own duties/taxes/brokerage fees? I used to deal with Indian customs in my old business (I'm a former US customs broker/freight forwarder) once in a while....they definitely dig their fingers in.
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post #5 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lovinthehd View Post
Snake oil, cable charlatans, among some of a few well-deserved derisive terms....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_oil

Is the need for 1080p rather than 4k? Then should be pretty straight forward with hdmis to the avr and hdmi out to the tv with the appropriate settings in each unit.

I thought your Amazon would be local for some reason, so Amazon US ships internationally and you simply pay your own duties/taxes/brokerage fees? I used to deal with Indian customs in my old business (I'm a former US customs broker/freight forwarder) once in a while....they definitely dig their fingers in.
It's 1080p really.

So it's got a lot more streamlined now. You pay the duty while purchasing at Amazon (US). They arrange for all the payment hassles to be dealt by the courier company. For you, it comes home without greasing any palms as it used to be once upon a time.
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post #6 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 08:06 AM
 
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It's 1080p really.

So it's got a lot more streamlined now. You pay the duty while purchasing at Amazon (US). They arrange for all the payment hassles to be dealt by the courier company. For you, it comes home without greasing any palms as it used to be once upon a time.

Yes, its pretty streamlined. In some cases depending how you use your tv, you might not want to rely on ARC (if your avr and tv are compatible), and still an optical cable from your tv to your avr for tv-based apps/over the air reception audio. As to hdmi cables, as long as they're not of very long run, simply buy high-speed hdmi cables and you're fine. I find the Amazon Mediabridge line to be quite good. http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&key...l_8akqeopxcm_b

Glad to hear you don't have to hassle with Indian customs to avoid the outstretched palm They probably don't hassle Amazon too much, seemed the very large companies could put pressure on and avoid some of the more common holdups...
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post #7 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by october16 View Post
On my first out for a buy of 'high end' audio and somewhere in there HT, I have locked down and paid for Focal Chorus 726V and Cambridge CXR200 AVR. Through this course of a month, I have come across many opinions that helped me tremendously and one that now comes in the picture. Cables and Wires. I have read at various places that these hold great significance.

What would you guys suggest I use for connecting:

1. AVR to Speakers (Around 2.5 metres)

2. Which HDMI and Optical for AVR to TV

3. And considering there are many ways to connect b/w TV, AVR and Bluray Player. What would be a good layout.

I also have a question about BD player. I seem to like what I have read about the Oppo BD 103 (Non Darbee). Now, while I understand that amp and speakers would be a big risk to buy from Amazon US, considering after sales and stuff. Would buying a BD player be risky too? Considering we play mostly the US region for our Blu Rays (I do). And there's very little service required anyway within the warranty time frame. Opinions would be nice to get.

And last, though I live in Mumbai with almost no power cuts and or fluctuations, would it still be advisable to install a stabilizer or connect through a surge protector?

Your response will be greatly appreciated.


Speaker cables should be 14 gauge PURE COPPER stranded wire, such as MONOPRICE #2748 or equivalent.

I suggest the OPPO BDP103; you may be able to order it direct from the OPPO website. The Marantz UD 5007 is another excellent universal player.

Make sure the HDMI cables are rated for HDMI 2. I use the Amazon High Speed HDMI cables and they perform very well.

I suggest that you plug all of your gear into a battery BACKUP UPS unit, which will provide superb surge and power outage protection, plus give you a few minutes to keep running your equipment while you do an orderly shutdown. It will also protect against lightning strikes in most cases. I get my units from APC. I have had ZERO equipment failures using these in 30 years despite frequent lightning and power outages.

The type used for home computers will work fine; get one that is rated for at least 1200 VA. (for India, APC has the UPC 1500 BACKUP UPS PRO, MODEL BR-1500G-IN) (apc.com)

Is your electrical supply 240 volt or 120 volt?
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post #8 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, its pretty streamlined. In some cases depending how you use your tv, you might not want to rely on ARC (if your avr and tv are compatible), and still an optical cable from your tv to your avr for tv-based apps/over the air reception audio. As to hdmi cables, as long as they're not of very long run, simply buy high-speed hdmi cables and you're fine. I find the Amazon Mediabridge line to be quite good. http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&key...l_8akqeopxcm_b
Thank you.

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Speaker cables should be 14 gauge PURE COPPER stranded wire, such as MONOPRICE #2748 or equivalent.

I suggest the OPPO BDP103; you may be able to order it direct from the OPPO website. The Marantz UD 5007 is another excellent universal player.

Make sure the HDMI cables are rated for HDMI 2. I use the Amazon High Speed HDMI cables and they perform very well.

I suggest that you plug all of your gear into a battery BACKUP UPS unit, which will provide superb surge and power outage protection, plus give you a few minutes to keep running your equipment while you do an orderly shutdown. It will also protect against lightning strikes in most cases. I get my units from APC. I have had ZERO equipment failures using these in 30 years despite frequent lightning and power outages.

The type used for home computers will work fine; get one that is rated for at least 1200 VA. (for India, APC has the UPC 1500 BACKUP UPS PRO, MODEL BR-1500G-IN) (apc.com)

Is your electrical supply 240 volt or 120 volt?
Its better to buy from Amazon as you pay the duty during purchase. From Oppo, I'll have to pay duty here in India and that can go anyway. Going sideways could mean paying them bribe to them not clearing the package.

The battery backup UPS unit seems like a good idea. Let me research that a bit. Thanks. Its 220v-240v here in India.
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post #9 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 10:11 AM
 
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I could see a battery back up for certain computer or projection uses where you need to maintain power. For tv/audio gear I've never needed such. Surge protectors do the basic job, but for best protection a whole house surge protector is best.
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post #10 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 10:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I could see a battery back up for certain computer or projection uses where you need to maintain power. For tv/audio gear I've never needed such. Surge protectors do the basic job, but for best protection a whole house surge protector is best.
Yes I do have that. In situations when wiring blows up or there's a major surge, it cuts off the whole house or a particular phase. Is that enough or there should be more protection?

Was checking out Monoprice #2748 on Amazon.in. There are 14AWG and 16 and 12. What do these mean? (understood wire size that needs to correspond with length required) Seems like minimum length is 50ft. My speakers will be barely 5 meters away either side of the amp. Another noob one. Considering they are bare at the ends, will banana plugs be put there?

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post #11 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 10:48 AM
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It is snake oil, as many say about these Overpriced/Hyped cables you see! Just get the cheapest cables you can find, that are rated for what you need!
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post #12 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 11:08 AM
 
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Yes I do have that. In situations when wiring blows up or there's a major surge, it cuts off the whole house or a particular phase. Is that enough or there should be more protection?

Was checking out Monoprice #2748 on Amazon.in. There are 14AWG and 16 and 12. What do these mean? Seems like minimum length is 50ft. My speakers will be barely 5 meters away either side of the amp. Another noob one. Considering they are bare at the ends, will banana plugs be put there?
Even though the whole house surge protection is about as good as it gets from my understanding, possibly lightning can get around that but not much you can do about that.

AWG is American Wire Gauge, essentially the lower the number the larger the diameter of the copper wire and essentially for longer distances you use a lower numbered AWG wire to minimize resistance losses. Read up at the wire site I linked you to. You can buy specific lengths of speaker wire, terminated or not, or you can buy it in bulk and customize your lengths with a tool to cut/strip the wire with (and add your own connectors if you wish). Banana plugs are only for convenience (if you change/move things in and out frequently it's great) so if you're going to set and forget I'd just use bare wire ends, it's the best connection anyways as it is direct. Amazon US has quite a choice in lengths for bulk, am sure I've seen 25ft lengths but be sure you're calculating right for exactly how the cable has to be routed, that can add up quicker than you think, and always nice to have a bit of extra in case of another addition/change/move. Watch out for CCA wire, which is advertised sometimes as "copper". If it's too cheap sometimes there's a reason.
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post #13 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Even though the whole house surge protection is about as good as it gets from my understanding, possibly lightning can get around that but not much you can do about that.

AWG is American Wire Gauge, essentially the lower the number the larger the diameter of the copper wire and essentially for longer distances you use a lower numbered AWG wire to minimize resistance losses. Read up at the wire site I linked you to. You can buy specific lengths of speaker wire, terminated or not, or you can buy it in bulk and customize your lengths with a tool to cut/strip the wire with (and add your own connectors if you wish). Banana plugs are only for convenience (if you change/move things in and out frequently it's great) so if you're going to set and forget I'd just use bare wire ends, it's the best connection anyways as it is direct. Amazon US has quite a choice in lengths for bulk, am sure I've seen 25ft lengths but be sure you're calculating right for exactly how the cable has to be routed, that can add up quicker than you think, and always nice to have a bit of extra in case of another addition/change/move. Watch out for CCA wire, which is advertised sometimes as "copper". If it's too cheap sometimes there's a reason.
So I read the speaker wire history. Unfortunately, my major in history did not help in understanding more than a few things. But understood vaguely the size and distance table. Guess I'll follow that. And definitely not buying any expensive stuff. I remember that I wound up the wires around the speakers I owned a few years back. But considering that the other end that needs to go into the amplifier is also bare, that would need the banana plugs or something else? Any any specific metal build? Lot of basic questions. Sorry for that.
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post #14 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 12:12 PM
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But considering that the other end that needs to go into the amplifier is also bare, that would need the banana plugs or something else?
Bare wire is fine into the back of the amp.Strip an inch, twist, wrap and tighten.
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post #15 of 26 Old 12-05-2015, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Bare wire is fine into the back of the amp.Strip an inch, twist, wrap and tighten.
Ah ok. Looking into the Cambridge CXR200 pictures thought it had to go in.
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Looks like multi-way binding posts https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binding_post
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So I measured the distance left and right of the amplifier where the speaker is likely to be placed. Its at a distance of about 1.5 metres aside from the amp. According to the Wire Table, for my 8 ohms nominal impedance speakers I need 22 AWG copper wires. Kind of difficult to get on any Indian website so far. Would I be really screwing up if I used an 18AWG?
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So I measured the distance left and right of the amplifier where the speaker is likely to be placed. Its at a distance of about 1.5 metres aside from the amp. According to the Wire Table, for my 8 ohms nominal impedance speakers I need 22 AWG copper wires. Kind of difficult to get on any Indian website so far. Would I be really screwing up if I used an 18AWG?
Most of us use much thicker wire than needed. I buy 14 or 12 gauge in bulk generally. I'm prepared for most longer runs as well that way (some of mine are in excess of 30 ft).
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Most of us use much thicker wire than needed. I buy 14 or 12 gauge in bulk generally. I'm prepared for most longer runs as well that way (some of mine are in excess of 30 ft).
Got that. So I'll go for the 14 as suggested before.
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Got that. So I'll go for the 14 as suggested before.
More than adequate for a 1.5 metre run.
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post #21 of 26 Old 12-06-2015, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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In some cases depending how you use your tv, you might not want to rely on ARC (if your avr and tv are compatible), and still an optical cable from your tv to your avr for tv-based apps/over the air reception audio.
Can you explain this a bit please. Do you advise the use of optical along with HDMI?


Have ordered these for speaker wires: http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B003...ilpage_o00_s00

HDMI: http://www.hifimart.com/cables/hdmi-...ed-copper.html or this http://www.amazon.in/AmazonBasics-Hi...=amazon+basics ???

Would I be needing any other wires?

I am also assuming that the opinion here is that its probably okay to buy Oppo BD 103 from Amazon US.
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Bare wire is fine into the back of the amp.Strip an inch, twist, wrap and tighten.
The suggestion on the user manual is to use 4mm banana plugs. (Image enclosed)
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Can you explain this a bit please. Do you advise the use of optical along with HDMI?


Have ordered these for speaker wires: http://www.amazon.in/gp/product/B003...ilpage_o00_s00

HDMI: http://www.hifimart.com/cables/hdmi-...ed-copper.html or this http://www.amazon.in/AmazonBasics-Hi...=amazon+basics ???

Would I be needing any other wires?

I am also assuming that the opinion here is that its probably okay to buy Oppo BD 103 from Amazon US.
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The suggestion on the user manual is to use 4mm banana plugs. (Image enclosed)
Only if you want to connect your tv with an optical cable perhaps, you didn't mention if you'll be using tv-based audio or in what format. ARC can work, but sometimes due to the poor standards of HDMI-CEC among manufacturers, it can do things that may annoy you (like it did for me). These days I use no tv-based audio so it doesn't matter to me, I rely on hdmi sourced audio/video from each component.

I use a Sony S5100 or a PS3 for my bluray needs. An Oppo somewhat appeals for build quality and other format support but not enough to buy one....you seem comfortable with Amazon in this regard (I'd worry more about handling myself, due my experience in int'l small package transport for consumer-packed goods....does Amazon do a good job of adding additional packaging beyond the Oppo supplied packaging?).

Banana plugs can be convenient as mentioned, and truly can be more pleasant to use than trying to get your fingers on the terminals to tighten down....I use these http://www.amazon.com/Sewell-Silverb.../dp/B00AHI5L9K
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post #24 of 26 Old 12-06-2015, 02:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Only if you want to connect your tv with an optical cable perhaps, you didn't mention if you'll be using tv-based audio or in what format. ARC can work, but sometimes due to the poor standards of HDMI-CEC among manufacturers, it can do things that may annoy you (like it did for me). These days I use no tv-based audio so it doesn't matter to me, I rely on hdmi sourced audio/video from each component.

I use a Sony S5100 or a PS3 for my bluray needs. An Oppo somewhat appeals for build quality and other format support but not enough to buy one....you seem comfortable with Amazon in this regard (I'd worry more about handling myself, due my experience in int'l small package transport for consumer-packed goods....does Amazon do a good job of adding additional packaging beyond the Oppo supplied packaging?).

Banana plugs can be convenient as mentioned, and truly can be more pleasant to use than trying to get your fingers on the terminals to tighten down....I use these http://www.amazon.com/Sewell-Silverb.../dp/B00AHI5L9K
I am a bit confused here. By TV based audio, I am assuming, the regular programming or smart TV features like spotify, netflix etc. Well I use that. I play movie files either by connecting external HDD to WDTV Live Hub or MacBook Pro directly to the TV through HDMI. So for DTS-HD and stuff I'll probably need optical. If so can you recommend one.

So far, Amazon's international packaging has been grade A. So, I am not worried on that one. Anyway, if it comes damaged it can be returned without cost to me. The worry aspect was after sales. But I am assuming that any good bluray player will easily cross its warranty period without giving trouble.

I'll give the banana plugs a try. Just seems more convenient if there's no quality loss.
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post #25 of 26 Old 12-06-2015, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by october16 View Post
The suggestion on the user manual is to use 4mm banana plugs. (Image enclosed)
Use whatever you like/prefer. Choose a "suggestion". Mine or the manual's.

It makes no difference in audio quality.
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post #26 of 26 Old 12-06-2015, 02:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by october16 View Post
I am a bit confused here. By TV based audio, I am assuming, the regular programming or smart TV features like spotify, netflix etc. Well I use that. I play movie files either by connecting external HDD to WDTV Live Hub or MacBook Pro directly to the TV through HDMI. So for DTS-HD and stuff I'll probably need optical. If so can you recommend one.

So far, Amazon's international packaging has been grade A. So, I am not worried on that one. Anyway, if it comes damaged it can be returned without cost to me. The worry aspect was after sales. But I am assuming that any good bluray player will easily cross its warranty period without giving trouble.

I'll give the banana plugs a try. Just seems more convenient if there's no quality loss.
You're not going to get DTS-HD from a tv, either via HDMI ARC or optical and many tvs limit their audio output to 2ch when being used as a pass-through device. Check your tv out as to its capabilites. Over the air audio in my tv can be multi-ch, everything else 2ch. I prefer the capabilities of the audio from my PS3/S5100s, both in number of apps, but also the multi-ch audio available in those apps (but my tv is 4 years old now). I'd go right back to Amazon Basics or Mediabridge for an optical cable, I've got several different ones and they're all transparent with audio, as long as they work (a kinked cable can be an issue).

No perceptible audio loss as long as you install the cable in them well and they fit the receptacle well (the ones I link will need a small flat bladed screwdriver for the set screws, but once installed they're much better than the tool-less type IME).
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