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post #1 of 53 Old 09-16-2019, 01:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Cable advice?

Working on setting up my 2ch (but likely to be 2.1ch) music area - have most of it on its way, but I just wanted some advice on some cables. I have speaker wire to make my own cables for that, but I'm needing to get a subwoofer cable and a digital coax to connect the CD player to my amplifier. I'm just not sure whether it's better to spend a bit of money on those cables or just get ones that are fairly inexpensive. I do not want to spend hundreds of dollars on cables, though, so "a bit of money" would probably be somewhere in the $50-60 CAD range as a max. The digital coax, I would like to keep to under 3' in length if possible, and the subwoofer cable would probably not need to be any longer than 6'. Both cables single male to male, but there's a chance that the subwoofer I end up choosing will have the regular RCA input, so a Y cable for that wouldn't be off the table.

I know this shouldn't be a difficult decision, but I also don't want to end up with a garbage cable or ripped off, either.

Thanks!

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post #2 of 53 Old 09-16-2019, 04:26 AM
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https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_...SABEgJAKfD_BwE



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post #3 of 53 Old 09-16-2019, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Thanks - I've looked at the monoprice, but for some reason couldn't find the single male to male ones in my search yesterday (though my eyes probably just glazed right over it).

It's annoying more than double the price in CAD, though.

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post #4 of 53 Old 09-16-2019, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
I do not want to spend hundreds of dollars on cables, though, so "a bit of money" would probably be somewhere in the $50-60 CAD range as a max.
So $9.00 CAD is still quite a bargain!


https://www.primecables.ca/p-312763-...in+1#sku312763



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post #5 of 53 Old 09-16-2019, 09:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
So $9.00 CAD is still quite a bargain!
$14, actually

And I never really look at customer reviews, but when I see a bunch that say that the connectors aren't great or that they're too tight, and have damaged the connector on the device they're attached to, it gives me pause. I don't discount user error, either, but I think it's pretty damned impossible to screw up plugging in an RCA cable.

I'll keep it on the list as I don't believe that I need anything crazy for connecting my CD player - for that, I think I just need something that's GE without being from the dollar store. If I were to spend any money, it'd be on the subwoofer cable, specifically.

I'm not one to argue that spending more money on a cable is going to result in better sound (I make my own speaker cables that perform just as well as cables that cost 100's of dollars, IMO, for a fraction of the cost), but half of my brain is thinking that spending a bit more on that particular cable would be beneficial unless I can even just make my own cable using some of the 12AWG speaker wire I already have, and just getting a pair of solderless connectors?

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post #6 of 53 Old 09-16-2019, 09:42 AM
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AmazonBasics 4 ft RCA coaxial digital cable, $7.31 CDN

AmazonBasics 8 ft RCA coaxial digital cable (perfectly fine to use as a subwoofer cable), $8.44 CDN

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post #7 of 53 Old 09-16-2019, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
$14, actually
Did you open the second link I provided?


Quote:
And I never really look at customer reviews, but when I see a bunch that say that the connectors aren't great or that they're too tight, and have damaged the connector on the device they're attached to, it gives me pause.
That's why you shouldn't read them and/or take them as gospel.


Quote:
I don't discount user error, either, but I think it's pretty damned impossible to screw up plugging in an RCA cable.
Mon$ter cables get the same complaints at 5x the price.


Quote:
I'll keep it on the list as I don't believe that I need anything crazy for connecting my CD player - for that, I think I just need something that's GE without being from the dollar store.
Or any RCA cable laying around in a box with spare cables.


EDIT:
Here is a link for cables that are less expensive and would probably be fine at 3' and 6' lengths.
https://www.primecables.ca/p-310410-...gths#sku310410



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post #8 of 53 Old 09-16-2019, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Did you open the second link I provided?


That's why you shouldn't read them and/or take them as gospel.


Mon$ter cables get the same complaints at 5x the price.


Or any RCA cable laying around in a box with spare cables.


EDIT:
Here is a link for cables that are less expensive and would probably be fine at 3' and 6' lengths.
https://www.primecables.ca/p-310410-...gths#sku310410
Yeah, I clearly overlooked the second link you sent!

When I do, I generally only really look at the negative ones since they tend to be a bit more honest than the ones that are gushing over how good the product is.

Oh god, I would not get a Monster cable.

I don't have any spare digital coax/subwoofer cables lying around, which is why I'm having to look into buying or possibly making my own. I would honestly prefer to make my own if it's easy to do (at least for the subwoofer cable) because I could at least customize the length instead of it either being too long or too short.

I've got my eye on the PrimeCables, too. I've gotten a few things from them, and have been happy with the quality.

The jist of it seems to be to not spend much money on cables, even if they're RCA.

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post #9 of 53 Old 09-16-2019, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
I don't have any spare digital coax/subwoofer cables lying around, which is why I'm having to look into buying or possibly making my own.
Try ANY cable. A yellow composite video cable will be fine for digital coax. For a sub... use the red or white. Don't make your own! It's not worth the effort.


Review the 2nd link (in post 7). Get a 3' and 6' for a total (including shipping) of <$13 CDN.
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post #10 of 53 Old 09-16-2019, 11:45 AM
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Another option are Mediabridge Ultra series subwoofer cables from Amazon. I've got two 25-footers I've been using for a couple years. Decent stuff for the price.

https://www.amazon.com/Mediabridge-U.../dp/B003FVX9FO

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post #11 of 53 Old 09-16-2019, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Try ANY cable. A yellow composite video cable will be fine for digital coax. For a sub... use the red or white. Don't make your own! It's not worth the effort.


Review the 2nd link (in post 7). Get a 3' and 6' for a total (including shipping) of <$13 CDN.
I'll more than likely go with the $3 PrimeCables S/PDIF cable. I can wait on the subwoofer cable since I'm still in the process of deciding which one I'll go with, if at all. I still like the idea of making my own subwoofer cable, and have no problem with the time it takes. I enjoy doing that kind of thing anyway, and it looks really straightforward.

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post #12 of 53 Old 09-16-2019, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
I'll more than likely go with the $3 PrimeCables S/PDIF cable. I can wait on the subwoofer cable since I'm still in the process of deciding which one I'll go with, if at all. I still like the idea of making my own subwoofer cable, and have no problem with the time it takes. I enjoy doing that kind of thing anyway, and it looks really straightforward.
They're the same cable!


Why purchase 6' of RG59 or RG6 coax, buy connectors, buy a stripper, buy a compression tool for one cable???
Do as you wish. But, I think it's a waste. If you're going to the expense effort, make both cables.



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post #13 of 53 Old 09-16-2019, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
They're the same cable!


Why purchase 6' of RG59 or RG6 coax, buy connectors, buy a stripper, buy a compression tool for one cable???
Do as you wish. But, I think it's a waste. If you're going to the expense effort, make both cables.
Well, I am not entirely set on making it myself (I don't have a subwoofer yet, either). Speaker wire is fine for that anyway: https://www.techwalla.com/articles/h...s-to-rca-plugs so no RG59/RG6 cable (which I would have anyway) or stripper (which I have anyway because I've cut my own coax cable for my cable box before) or compression tool. I already have all of the tools necessary to make it work, I would only need the connectors.

I am less precious about the cable connecting the CD player, so I have to qualms about getting that for $3. I only wish they came in lengths shorter than 3' because I don't need that much cable (I would probably only need 6 - 12").

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post #14 of 53 Old 09-17-2019, 04:02 AM
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Since you have the coax tools... Get 4 of these and some coax and make your own, any length you want, whenever you want.
https://www.techtoolsupply.com/Holla.../slc59-rca.htm



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post #15 of 53 Old 09-17-2019, 04:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
I only wish they came in lengths shorter than 3' because I don't need that much cable (I would probably only need 6 - 12").

https://www.mycablemart.com/store/ca...iABEgJ_m_D_BwE



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post #16 of 53 Old 09-17-2019, 05:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
Well, I am not entirely set on making it myself (I don't have a subwoofer yet, either). Speaker wire is fine for that anyway: https://www.techwalla.com/articles/h...s-to-rca-plugs so no RG59/RG6 cable (which I would have anyway) or stripper (which I have anyway because I've cut my own coax cable for my cable box before) or compression tool. I already have all of the tools necessary to make it work, I would only need the connectors.

I am less precious about the cable connecting the CD player, so I have to qualms about getting that for $3. I only wish they came in lengths shorter than 3' because I don't need that much cable (I would probably only need 6 - 12").
I wouldn’t use speaker wire for a low-level line signal. Speaker wire is unshielded and you will get noise. If you are dead set on making your own, RG59/RG6 is the way to go. I would go RG59 because it’s more flexible.
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post #17 of 53 Old 09-17-2019, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
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I wouldn’t use speaker wire for a low-level line signal. Speaker wire is unshielded and you will get noise. If you are dead set on making your own, RG59/RG6 is the way to go. I would go RG59 because it’s more flexible.
I'm not dead set on making the cable, I was contemplating it as being an option. If I can get a good quality cable for dirt cheap, I'll go that route instead. The suggestions in this thread have been very good, so I've got great options to choose from.

As a matter of simply playing devil's advocate, what would the argument be for not spending a bunch of money on a subwoofer cable - apart from the notion that it's probably the same quality wire used in the expensive ones version the ones you can get for less than $5? This isn't flip flopping, I would be curious - I personally think it's silly to spend hundreds of dollars on a regular speaker cable when you can make one yourself for pennies on the dollar in comparison (especially if it's using the exact same gauge/wire composition).

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post #18 of 53 Old 09-17-2019, 01:09 PM
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... what would the argument be for not spending a bunch of money on a subwoofer cable.
Because it's not necessary, just use the right cable.
(as opposed to speaker wire with RCA connectors)
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post #19 of 53 Old 09-17-2019, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
I'm not dead set on making the cable, I was contemplating it as being an option. If I can get a good quality cable for dirt cheap, I'll go that route instead. The suggestions in this thread have been very good, so I've got great options to choose from.

As a matter of simply playing devil's advocate, what would the argument be for not spending a bunch of money on a subwoofer cable - apart from the notion that it's probably the same quality wire used in the expensive ones version the ones you can get for less than $5? This isn't flip flopping, I would be curious - I personally think it's silly to spend hundreds of dollars on a regular speaker cable when you can make one yourself for pennies on the dollar in comparison (especially if it's using the exact same gauge/wire composition).
Like Ratman says, it's not necessary. Any decently constructed RCA cable will work well, as long as it's properly shielded. Which is why if you're going to make your own, don't use speaker wire with RCA ends--use RG59 or RG6.

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post #20 of 53 Old 09-17-2019, 01:50 PM
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I use this. It's perfect and extremely well shielded since it is made from RG59:

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=2982

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post #21 of 53 Old 09-17-2019, 02:29 PM
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I use this. It's perfect and extremely well shielded since it is made from RG59:

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=2982
I guess you missed the first few posts. The OP started with 3' and 6'. Then desires 6"-12" for the CD player. I think 50' is a bit much.



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post #22 of 53 Old 09-17-2019, 02:41 PM
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I guess you missed the first few posts. The OP started with 3' and 6'. Then desires 6"-12" for the CD player. I think 50' is a bit much.
I linked to what I actually own but there are tick boxes for various lengths of the same stuff on the page I linked to.
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post #23 of 53 Old 09-17-2019, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I guess you missed the first few posts. The OP started with 3' and 6'. Then desires 6"-12" for the CD player. I think 50' is a bit much.
To be fair, 3' is a bit much if the connectors of the two audio devices are within 12" of each other. I have a rat's nest of wires behind my TV stand, I would rather not have the same behind my 2ch music set up.

I cited 3' since that was the shortest that I could find at the time (and often that's the shortest length available for most cables anyway) - I've since seen 18", and even a Canadian source for the My Cable Mart 6" cable. 6' for the subwoofer cable will probably be fine. I just hate having an excessive amount of extra cable dangling around, which is also why I almost prefer making my own since I can customize it to fit the specific placements.

It's fine if you want to get cheeky, but don't be condescending about it.

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post #24 of 53 Old 09-17-2019, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
To be fair, 3' is a bit much if the connectors of the two audio devices are within 12" of each other.
The rule I use, learned from professional installers, is: "never use less than 2M (~6ft)."

Reasons:

A. The notion shorter line level interconnect cables [1m vs. 2m] sound better is a myth. They sound the same.

B. A 2M meter cable can connect any two components that a 1M cable can but also introduces the possibility of connecting more further spread apart devices down the road which the 1M may not reach.

C. The up-charge for the longer cable, if buying the correct kind from a non-rip-off source, is inconsequential [81 cents in the example of what I linked to].

D. A 2M cord allows enough slack to let one pull a full size component, straight forward, out of a rack to then spin it around and put it back in but reversed, to examine/make/break/check connections, making the setup much easier to troubleshoot or upgrade even if you don't have easy access from the rear of the rack, such as with a bookcase or heavy/large rack pushed up against the wall.

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post #25 of 53 Old 09-17-2019, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
The rule use, learned from professional installers, is: "never use less than 2M (~6ft)."

Reasons:

A. The notion shorter line level interconnect cables sound better is a myth.

B. A 2M meter cable can connect any two components that a 1M cable can but also introduces the possibility of connecting more further spread apart devices down the road which the 1M may not reach.

C. The up-charge for the longer cable, if buying the correct kind from a non-rip-off source, is inconsequential [81 cents in the example of what I linked to].

D. A 2M cord allows enough slack to let one to pull a full size component, straight forward out of a rack to then spin it around and put it back in but reversed, to make/break/check connections, making the setup much easier to troubleshoot or upgrade even if you don't have easy access from the rear of the rack, such as with a bookcase.
To be very clear: I don't believe that a shorter cable would make it sound better at all. That's not why I would be using a shorter cable for connecting my CD player to my amp. For my speaker cables, I always allow as much as two extra feet of slack.

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post #26 of 53 Old 09-18-2019, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryan Statz View Post
It's fine if you want to get cheeky, but don't be condescending about it.
I did provide you a link for a 6" cable. And my intent was was not to be condescending. It was merely a response to the poster I quoted.



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post #27 of 53 Old 09-18-2019, 07:44 AM
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I think for the short lengths you are talking about, any shielded cable with RCA connectors will work; flexibility is probably the most important feature, especially for a short cable. RG6 and RG59 tend to be fairly stiff.
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post #28 of 53 Old 09-18-2019, 08:07 AM
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Originally Posted by MTVhike View Post
I think for the short lengths you are talking about, any shielded cable with RCA connectors will work; flexibility is probably the most important feature, especially for a short cable. RG6 and RG59 tend to be fairly stiff.
True... but keep in mind that "digital coax" (S/PDIF) recommends 75Ohm impedance. So, as suggested a few times, by a few posters, RG59 would be a good choice in terms of specs and flexibility.


(And before you chime in MZillch, YES! We all know RCA/cinch connectors are not "true" 75Ohm. So.... no need for clarification. )



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post #29 of 53 Old 09-18-2019, 08:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
I did provide you a link for a 6" cable. And my intent was was not to be condescending. It was merely a response to the poster I quoted.
It read a bit like a snide jab, so my apologies if that was not your intent.

I still have to figure out the placement of things, but I can easily see only really needing the 6" cable if I happen to stack the amp on top of the CD player. There is an 18" option that I could use if I needed a bit more flexibility.

If I even go the DIY route, RG59 is likely the way I would go. I have RG6 cable, but it's quite stiff, and I wouldn't necessarily use it for making a cable.

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post #30 of 53 Old 09-18-2019, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
(And before you chime in MZillch, YES! We all know RCA/cinch connectors are not "true" 75Ohm. So.... no need for clarification. )
I actually did laugh out loud.


On another note I've purchased Monoprice 14AGW speaker cable with banana plugs on multiple occasions, excellent quality BUT for some reasons they come without the red and black aluminum cap screwed on.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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