Audio(phile?) / Hi-Fi Questions...

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Steve_Y
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Post by Steve_Y » Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:32 pm

jaganath wrote:I would have to say there's at least as much snake oil and rip-offs in the PC market; 1kw PSUs, case fans that supposedly blow 70CFM at 8dBA, etc etc etc. These are the kinds of scams we are very familiar with on SPCR.
I can see your point. I was thinking of the seemingly non-functional audio products, ones that appear to be based on nothing but magic and weird pseudo science. Basically anything where the explanation of it's functionality involves things like quantum equilibrium or negative energy patterns.

Those 8dBA@1m fans come pretty close, but at least most of those PC products do something, even if their abilities are exaggerated or unnecessary. When people start trying to silence their PC by covering it in strips of silver foil, rubbing it with different creams, or writing on it with a special pen, then I'll start getting worried...

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Post by aef110 » Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:43 pm

Steve_Y wrote:When people start trying to silence their PC by covering it in strips of silver foil, rubbing it with different creams, or writing on it with a special pen, then I'll start getting worried...
No self-respecting audiophile snake oil salesman will claim that their product can silence your PC. They will only claim to make it sound better, as evidenced by judicious techno-speak and a paucity of research. You don't not know that that particular green with which you're to rub around the edges of your Ninja isn't an odd-order multiple of the frequency at which your cat eliminates, or that cryogenically freezing your USB devices subtly influences your PC's startup behavior only when using a boot loader, which, according to chaos theory, can have any effect whatsoever on the sound. If that isn't reason enough to write a blank check, I don't know what is.

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Post by peteamer » Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:54 pm

Steve_Y wrote:When people start trying to silence their PC by covering it in strips of silver foil, rubbing it with different creams, or writing on it with a special pen, then I'll start getting worried...
Debunk the audiofool snake oil all you like... but don't you come round here telling me my strips of silver foil don't work.....

Next you'll be trying to tell me that respraying my case side panels black didn't really make any difference to the overall quiet..... :roll:

Steve_Y
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Post by Steve_Y » Sun Aug 12, 2007 1:12 pm

aef110 wrote:No self-respecting audiophile snake oil salesman will claim that their product can silence your PC. They will only claim to make it sound better, as evidenced by judicious techno-speak and a paucity of research. You don't not know that that particular green with which you're to rub around the edges of your Ninja isn't an odd-order multiple of the frequency at which your cat eliminates, or that cryogenically freezing your USB devices subtly influences your PC's startup behavior only when using a boot loader, which, according to chaos theory, can have any effect whatsoever on the sound. If that isn't reason enough to write a blank check, I don't know what is.
I hope nobody from those audiophile companies is reading this. You've just given them a few ideas and they might have a go at cornering the market.

It would be interesting to see what sites like Tom's Hardware would do if they were sent that kind of thing...

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Re: Audio(phile?) / Hi-Fi Questions...

Post by Beyonder » Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:03 pm

klankymen wrote: By utilizing the whole passthrough thing, I should have excellent sound on movies with AC-3 encoding. however, what about music files (ranging from mp3s :( to FLACs or CDs)? can I even play them over optical? and would they also sound better than with the AC97s analog audio? Or would they not gain from using the Optical output? If so, would I need a good analog sound card to feel a benefit?
Sure, you can play those over optical, and yeah, it'd probably sound better than AC97 analog audio. I don't think you need an analog sound card.

I purchased a Panasonic SA-XR55 amplifier, which is hooked up to some speakers I built, and I'm couldn't be happier with the combination. The Panasonic is a nice sleeper amp that set me back about $220 when I bought it. It sounds excellent. I also have a Dynaco ST-35 replica (tube amp) which sounds great, but I generally don't use it unless I'm feeling saucy.

The speakers I built are based around the Dayton RS drivers; they were about $300 in parts/materials and about $4,000 in labor. :lol:

In any event, I think your best bet is buying a cheap digital amp (hell--you might even try a t-amp or something like that), and some nice speakers.
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Post by Beyonder » Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:19 pm

Eh, hell with it. Just build a pair of these. You didn't want a life anyways. :lol:
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Alex
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Post by Alex » Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:46 am

The Gangrel wrote:MP3's get a bad rap, there are plenty of poorly ripped ones out there. But given the LAME converter at 256kbps or so, you'd be very hard pushed to tell the difference from the original source, which is pretty good at 1/6th wav size.
Yes you will have to encode your own MP3s to be shure of the quality. Old constant bitrate encoding especially at <= 128 kbs will not sound as original.
aef110 wrote:The difference between any MP3 (or LAME, or OGG, etc.) and the original is typically astronomical. If you're not hearing a difference, let alone a large one, it's exposing the limited resolution of your equipment and / or your setup.
As long as you have a transparent amp + speaker setup (= flat amplification over the audio spectra) you will almost never hear a difference between a good MP3 (with some kind of decent VBR encoding) and the original. You must try this with ABX testing (=blindly) because your brain will fool you otherwise. You will understand this yourself if you try.

The nearest you can get a transparent amp + speaker setup is typically a pair of broadband high grade earphones and a good colorless DAC + earphone amp. The use of any graphical equalizer or bass/treble boost/dampening is of course not allowed. This is the way the music producer wants you to listen to the music.

If you use the bass/treble or an equalizer set to change the sound you will instantly hear a difference between the original and the MP3 because the encoder has thrown away the "sound information" that you do not hear with flat amplification of the original material but of course would hear if you alter amplification on a part of the original sound spectra.
On original you can boost a part of the audio spectrum (=dampen the rest) and because of that you can hear some other sounds that are recorded that previously was veiled/hidden (the technical term is masked). MP3 encoding will remove this sound information that you can not hear with flat amplification over the audio spectra (=lossy encoding). So if you use an "equalizer" you will just be boosting noise or dampening the signal in the rest of the audio band resulting in worsened signal to noise ratio on MP3 files.

I would like to be able to change bass/treble to my needs (not to disturb my neighbors for instance). MP3 encoding is then BAD for sound quality. I suggest you use lossless encoding to save space or keep it saved in original format. As long as you do not alter the audio spectrum amplification (filtering) you can use MP3 as well. Then it is perfectly OK.

Since the encoders do get faster and better all the time I would rather encode a few files while choosing which files to transfer to my OGG/MP3 player. This can be done on the fly (quite fast) if you have a decent computer.

Note that technically speaking for your system to be "transparent" (=flat amplification, =No degradation with MP3 encoding) your speakers + amp should be transparent through the whole audio spectra which is seldom the case. As an example if your system can produce 20 Hz without any dampening then your system (setup) is probably very expensive (unless you use earphones).

Edit: 15 August. Changed the text, trying to clarify/simplify.
Last edited by Alex on Wed Aug 15, 2007 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by aristide1 » Tue Aug 14, 2007 5:54 am

Steve_Y wrote:
aef110 wrote:The difference between any MP3 (or LAME, or OGG, etc.) and the original is typically astronomical. If you're not hearing a difference, let alone a large one, it's exposing the limited resolution of your equipment and / or your setup.
The listening tests I've seen, such as the various blind tests at the Hydrogen Audio forum, indicate that to the vast majority of people can't hear any difference between high quality MP3/Ogg and the uncompressed source. Maybe that's their ears or their equipment, but I doubt that everyone contributing is either half deaf or listening on $20 computer speakers.

I'm not saying that you aren't hearing it, just that to most people the differences are much more subtle than you indicate, and that the loss of quality is generally imperceptible. In my experience the difference in sound between multiple releases of the same CD can be vastly greater than the difference between MP3 (even at a fairly low bitrate) and the CD audio.

Having said all that, hard drive space is cheaper than ever; it's no longer that expensive to store 1000+ CDs in a lossless format. Rather than carrying out listening tests and worrying about whether a particular MP3 bitrate will be transparent, it makes sense to simply use FLAC and avoid any quality issues. Converting from FLAC to MP3 is quick and easy when required for portable use.
aef110 wrote:I've done extensive testing of all audio compression formats with various source material, and even others listening blindly have commented that the difference is like night and day, even with the highest bit rates compressed using the highest quality settings. (On very old, mono recordings I was surprised to have heard no difference, though it's surely due to the limited resolution of the originals.)
Actually the LAME developers have been looking for people who can hear encoding issues in high-bitrate files. If you've got some free time maybe you could send them some test results. I'm not being facetious; with the improvements to the encoder they're finding it hard to find anyone who can hear any loss of quality or audio artifacts, even on problem samples that are difficult to encode. People who can actually hear any improvements are very useful when trying to improve an encoder.
Having used 2 different inputs on a preamp for extended periods of time, one that ran through all the curcuitry and one that bypassed most of the circuitry, I can tell you flat out in a short term A/B test I could not hear the difference. But when I listened to one for hours on end and then the other for hours on end it was easy to tell which one provided satisfaction and which one didn't. A/B tests never reveal this. Just as bumping up the treble may be enjoyable as more detailed sound but after many hours results in nothing more than fatigue. There are also nay sayers who simply don't understand physics. Different capacitors behave in different ways, they never provide the text book theory perfect response. This is why you can have a preamp with capacitors in the power supply and yet AC noise from the living room dimmer switch switch ends up coming through to the speakers. Other nay-sayers don't want to admit that AC power actually has more different frequencies riding on it than the system's speaker wire. Lots of people have put a coat hanger where there car antennae used to be and realize that a wire picks up RF, so what does wire that runs for miles all over the place do? 2 conductor wire has inductance as well as capacitance, but people who say it all sounds the same blow off the science.

There's also a solid reason that components upgrades don't work. The whole sound system is a chain, and it's as strong as the weakest link. I saw a letter years ago where some guy went from a $129 preamp and matching components to a $3000 preamp and said he couldn't hear the difference. Well that was true, because the rest of the system could not do justice to what was coming out of the preamp, not that the preamp wasn't doing better. That's probably the most common mistake in audio, mismatched components, mistmatched in terms of capabilities, and no there is no one brand that gets it all correct. So Joe Blow comes home with a $300 audiophile power cord and connects it to his $199 system and says the power cord is crap. Well to be more accurate it's useless for him, but not everyone else. This is one of the reasons some audiophiles start to become snobs, such mistakes are downright foolish and the conclusions are all wrong.

For my pc sound system years ago I connected it to the a cheap Pioneer receiver, Pioneer having a rep of less fatigue than typical cheap seemingly more detailed receivers, and a pair of basic NHT Super Zeros. My roommates couldn't understand why it sounded "like that". His weak spot was cheap plastic pc speakers. I explained to them with a speaker the driver should move(actually only the cone not the frame), the cabinet should not. Crank up your speakers and touch the cabinet, try that with mine. Mine move too, but not like yours, less movement and at a lower frequency. The NHTs are small but they weigh like 9 pounds. At that time I never heard a self powered speaker in a typical store that sounded acceptable, let alone good, only varying degrees of obvious harshness.

Many people have built musical systems simply by switching over to some $250 US B&W speakers. Don't recall which model, recall they were a matrix cabinet but I believe it was also plastic, but pretty solid. Epos also makes nice little speakers, and not so little as well. But really highly resolving systems are a double edged sword. They let you know in no uncertain terms of a poorly recorded CD, something the big recording companies make all the time. In audio there is a saying; the quality of the recording is inversely proportional to the quality of the music. Most pros at the mixing console are notorious knob twiddlers. The few with great reputations understand the hands off approach, and make minor adjustments as they are required.

Compression should not be an issue if its lossless. Losey setups should be the losers here. A compression method with an upper limit of 16KHz may actually be benefical by removing lots of harshness and not many of the highs, ie keeping the remainder of the audio system out of it weakest area.
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Post by Matija » Tue Aug 14, 2007 7:45 am

aristide1 wrote:Many people have built musical systems simply by switching over to some $250 US B&W speakers. Don't recall which model, recall they were a matrix cabinet but I believe it was also plastic, but pretty solid.
I have B&W DM302s. Wonderful little speakers - seriously lacking in bass, but the rest is best value for money, like, EVER.

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Post by kittle » Tue Aug 14, 2007 11:01 am

B&W makes some very nice speakers. I never listened to any of their bookshelf models, but if they are on the same par as their floorstanders, then its hard to go wrong with a pair.

Another option for bookshelf speakers is Focal. I got my parents a set of the Focal Chorus series (I forget the model #) for christmas one year. And they were just falling all over themslves about the change in sound quality. Also badly lacking in bass - but mom has almost an allergic reactions to anything below 60hz so that wasnt a problem for them.

As for MP3 encoding vs the source. w/o being very familliar with the soource material, it is hard for me to tell the difference. When MP3 encoding first came out, i was able to tell the difference. Nowdays it depends on what type of music is in the source, but given the choice, I preferr to use FLAC or just pop in the real CD.

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Post by quikkie » Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:24 am

Getting back to the OPs question...

I'm not an audiophile, I'm not even particularly into the tech side of hifi/home theatre other than knowing what bi-wiring is (slightly exaggerated but close enough)

My father who was once a radio sound engineer said to me: start cheap and work up the price list until it either sounds good to you and/or you can't hear the difference between two $whatever_it_is. He never recommended particular brands because everyones ears are different, what sounds good to me may not sound good to you.

So read a few reviews, do some research and then get out there and start auditioning.
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Post by aristide1 » Thu Aug 16, 2007 5:09 am

quikkie wrote:Getting back to the OPs question...

My father who was once a radio sound engineer said to me: start cheap and work up the price list until it either sounds good to you and/or you can't hear the difference between two $whatever_it_is. He never recommended particular brands because everyones ears are different, what sounds good to me may not sound good to you.....
There's no need to be an audiophile. A well run store would guide any level of consumer, from novice to highly experienced. I just wouldn't limit myself to the national chain stores. You want to seek knowledgeable people with the right equipment, much like if I had to show a foreigner how to eat in America I would take them to a pizza shop in Brooklyn, not the local McDonalds or Burger King. Most people who really start to get into audio reach a level of equipment that satisfies and dream about even better stuff, the way car enthusiasts may buy an American sports cars while dreaming of a Ferrari. If its not that important to you, you simply drive one of the better boxes.
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Post by klankymen » Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:24 am

OK, hi guys.

Sorry for bumping this, since audio threads can be just as controversial as political ones here on this forum, but what the hey.

I just bought myself a Yamaha RX-V659.
Now I need some speakers. I'm going to buy some Klipsch B-3s.... probably.

or is there any chance I can build speakers that are as good for the same budget ($300)?

I know you can build speakers, but not sure if that's viable in the budget market, or anything else about the process really.
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Post by ultrachrome » Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:10 pm

You can assemble a speaker that will be superior a store bought model for a fraction of the price.

I said assemble, not design. Designing takes considerably more skill and equipment but there are tons of DIY designs out there that are fantastic.

The hardest part is building the cabinet. Getting the wood cut can be a challenge for apartment dwellers or other non-woodworker types. However, places like partsexpress.com have pre-cabinets but that will up your budget a bit.

Minimum tool setup would be a circular saw to cut the walls, jig saw for the holes, and plenty of clamps. It would be better to exchange the jig saw for a router and a circle cutting jig so you can flush mount the drivers.

In some cases you can get pre-cut flat-packed cabinets that just need to be glued together and finished (paint or veneer).

I'm most familiar with this guy's work:
http://murphyblaster.com/content.php?f=main.html

I've built the MB20 as well as an Ellis 1801b that I believe uses a crossover that he helped design. The Ellis is a better speaker but the parts cost is also much higher.

In some cases you can find crossover modifications for inexpensive retail models.

A good site for all DIY audio is http://diyaudio.com. There are some amazing builder/designers posting there.

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Post by aristide1 » Fri Nov 16, 2007 11:38 am

klankymen wrote:....OK, I need some speakers. I'm going to buy some Klipsch B-3s.... probably....
Oh man, I'm in pain just reading this post. You need to find a pair of BMWs. They used to have a wonderful speaker for $250/pr. NHTs are very nice.
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Post by ultrachrome » Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:25 pm

aristide1 wrote:
klankymen wrote:....OK, I need some speakers. I'm going to buy some Klipsch B-3s.... probably....
Oh man, I'm in pain just reading this post. You need to find a pair of BMWs. They used to have a wonderful speaker for $250/pr. NHTs are very nice.
Err, B&W?

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Post by aristide1 » Fri Nov 16, 2007 1:43 pm

ultrachrome wrote:
aristide1 wrote:
klankymen wrote:....OK, I need some speakers. I'm going to buy some Klipsch B-3s.... probably....
Oh man, I'm in pain just reading this post. You need to find a pair of BMWs. They used to have a wonderful speaker for $250/pr. NHTs are very nice.
Err, B&W?
Correct, Freudian automotive slip.
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Post by klankymen » Fri Nov 16, 2007 3:32 pm

I can't find any NHTs in my country. I'll go listen to some BandWs next week, however I have found them to be a bit more expensive than Klipschs. Can you recommend any BandWs in the price range of the Klipsch B-3s? (~500$ pair).
One thing that the BandWs have going for them - they look good.
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Post by ultrachrome » Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:22 pm

Probably the 600 series but I would just go to the dealer and let them know your price range and how you will be placing them (bookshelf, stand, against the wall, away from the wall, etc).

Don't forget to bring a CD or two that you are very familiar with. Be weary of "detailed" sounding speakers as these can be tiring to listen to after a while.

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Check these out

Post by Greg F. » Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:55 pm

this is where you want to be if you want the best sound for your money:

http://www.frugal-horn.com/

http://www.audiomagus.com/index.php?gcl ... Q&vmcchk=1

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Post by klankymen » Sat Nov 17, 2007 11:08 am

bear in mind many of those links don't apply to me, as I am located in Bavaria.

-------------------------------------------

New Question: I have a receiver, and am soon to have speakers, so now I need to buy wires and connectors and cables and adapters and whatnot.

Due to budget concerns I would like to order from monoprice.com, which is somewhat complicated due to the fact that I am not located in the states. however a familiy member of mine is, and is coming to visit in december, and if I tell him what to order in time, he can bring the stuff with him.

However I want to make sure I get everything I need, since it would be tedious to have to reorder something.

Can you help me collect all the things I need, so I can avoid that stress.

I'm assuming I need speaker wire, of a low enough gauge to avoid quality loss, and enough to run 1 connection to each speaker, right?
also, do I need, or is, something like banana plugs recommended?
if so, how many do I need, and do I need some kind of tools to attach them to the wire? is a certain type recommended?
also, the optical port on my computer or playstation, what kind of optical port is that? I've found cables with several types of terminating connector on them - which one do I need, and what are all the others for?
Is there anything else I need to cable?
Can I pass digital audio signals over the same RCA cable as I pass analog signals over?
What kind of cable do I use to attach a (powered) sub to the receiver? RCA, right? just a single cable worth, right?

.... TIA, will edit in any questions I think of.
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Post by ultrachrome » Sat Nov 17, 2007 11:52 am

12 gauge oxygen free copper cable is the way to go for good inexpensive speaker cable. It comes as a pair of conductors so you need one "cable" per speaker. Some speakers have an additional set of connectors to allow bi-amping or bi-wiring but I would ignore those for now.

The cable should be available at numerous audio or electronic shops in your area in pre-cut / pre-terminated lengths or in bulk.

You should terminate with banana plugs or spade connectors. You'll need 8 of them.

I personally use banana plugs but many audiophiles prefer spade connectors because they provide a more secure and potentially better conducting connection.

The only trick with banana plugs is that some come attached as a pair with .75" spacing which may not be compatible with every receiver or speaker so if you go that route use individual plugs for each conductor.

Spade connectors need to be crimped on. A seller of bulk 12 gauge cable should also be able to crimp connectors on for you.

If spades don't work well for the receiver or the speaker, you could put banana plugs on one end of the cable and spades on the other.

The optical port is called Toslink which obviously requires a Toslink cable. An alternate digital connection is usually called coax and uses a standard RCA patch cable. In the past, coax was preferred as the Toslink part could induce timing errors. But that was years ago. Since then I've used both and don't notice any obvious difference in quality. However, both have a very noticable increase in quality over a standard analog signal so by all means use digital.

Name brand cables will carry a hideously large markup. Finding a moderately priced Toslink cable locally could be a challenge. They can be had as cheap as $10 and go up from there. Frankly, I would buy the cheapest one you can find.

Depending on the sub, you can connect them in one of two ways. Universally you can use a RCA patch cable. However, depending on where you want to put your sub it could be a challenge to find an appropriate length.

Another way is with some thin speaker cable from the receiver's speaker output to the speaker input on the sub. The sub will take the signal from the receiver and feed it to its own internal amplifier to drive the sub. It's really just tapping the signal to the speaker and not drawing any power from the receiver. This can also be good method if your amplifier does not have a dedicated subwoofer output.

I would not under any circumstances use the sub output connections to feed anything as those electronics are typically very low quality and will ultimately degrade the signal sent to your speaker.

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Post by klankymen » Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:32 am

ultrachrome wrote:12 gauge oxygen free copper cable is the way to go for good inexpensive speaker cable. It comes as a pair of conductors so you need one "cable" per speaker. Some speakers have an additional set of connectors to allow bi-amping or bi-wiring but I would ignore those for now.

The cable should be available at numerous audio or electronic shops in your area in pre-cut / pre-terminated lengths or in bulk.
So in other words, this cable would be recommended, since I would like to terminate the cables myself, in order to save money, and assure the appropriate lengths I need.
You should terminate with banana plugs or spade connectors. You'll need 8 of them.

I personally use banana plugs but many audiophiles prefer spade connectors because they provide a more secure and potentially better conducting connection.

The only trick with banana plugs is that some come attached as a pair with .75" spacing which may not be compatible with every receiver or speaker so if you go that route use individual plugs for each conductor.

Spade connectors need to be crimped on. A seller of bulk 12 gauge cable should also be able to crimp connectors on for you.

If spades don't work well for the receiver or the speaker, you could put banana plugs on one end of the cable and spades on the other.
Here is a picture of the back of my receiver. Do you think I could risk trying spade connectors? Are they (the spade type) more expensive than the banana type? I can't find any spade plugs on monoprice.com, and I'm certain they would be alot more expensive on the economy here than anything I could get from monoprice, or even anywhere in the states in general.
I can find these and these banana connectors on monoprice, are these the correct items, which type should I prefer - screw or solder?
Is it correct that I need 4 plugs (2 pairs) per speaker? (plus and minus on both the speaker and the receiver)
The optical port is called Toslink which obviously requires a Toslink cable. An alternate digital connection is usually called coax and uses a standard RCA patch cable. In the past, coax was preferred as the Toslink part could induce timing errors. But that was years ago. Since then I've used both and don't notice any obvious difference in quality. However, both have a very noticable increase in quality over a standard analog signal so by all means use digital.

Name brand cables will carry a hideously large markup. Finding a moderately priced Toslink cable locally could be a challenge. They can be had as cheap as $10 and go up from there. Frankly, I would buy the cheapest one you can find.
So basically just this cable?
Depending on the sub, you can connect them in one of two ways. Universally you can use a RCA patch cable. However, depending on where you want to put your sub it could be a challenge to find an appropriate length.

Another way is with some thin speaker cable from the receiver's speaker output to the speaker input on the sub. The sub will take the signal from the receiver and feed it to its own internal amplifier to drive the sub. It's really just tapping the signal to the speaker and not drawing any power from the receiver. This can also be good method if your amplifier does not have a dedicated subwoofer output.
OK, so I notice that my receiver has a single (black) RCA output for the subwoofer, in the Pre-Out section. However most subwoofers I've looked at seem to have two RCA inputs, the typical red and white for stereo. Does this mean I'm going to need a RCA splitter?? Or do I just attach to one plug?
I would not under any circumstances use the sub output connections to feed anything as those electronics are typically very low quality and will ultimately degrade the signal sent to your speaker.
OK, thank you very much. Your answers have been very helpful to me.
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Post by MikeC » Sun Nov 18, 2007 8:52 am

For about a decade, CAT5 cable (yeah, the stuff you use for computer ethernet wires) has been extolled by many as the best cheap high quality speaker cable. Not in stock form, but separated and braided -- it's a DIY thing.

Web searches will get you lots of hits, but here's a page that will get you started on reading about this --
http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/diycables.html

A basic issue seems to be high capacitance, which can cause instability with some amps. There are ways to avoid this.

And no, I haven't tried it.
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Post by MikeC » Sun Nov 18, 2007 9:21 am

Steve_Y wrote:
jaganath wrote:I would have to say there's at least as much snake oil and rip-offs in the PC market; 1kw PSUs, case fans that supposedly blow 70CFM at 8dBA, etc etc etc. These are the kinds of scams we are very familiar with on SPCR.
I can see your point. I was thinking of the seemingly non-functional audio products, ones that appear to be based on nothing but magic and weird pseudo science. Basically anything where the explanation of it's functionality involves things like quantum equilibrium or negative energy patterns.

Those 8dBA@1m fans come pretty close, but at least most of those PC products do something, even if their abilities are exaggerated or unnecessary. When people start trying to silence their PC by covering it in strips of silver foil, rubbing it with different creams, or writing on it with a special pen, then I'll start getting worried...
It's not quite like silver foil.... but imo, the most common scams in PC land have to do with "scientific benchmark" test results that show this thing is X times faster than that one -- and pricing/positioning based on this speed. This is the backbone of the whole industry, but for a majority of PC buyers, it's totally misleading. Most user experience differences will never be anything even remotely close to the component benchmark differences. Even system benchmark differences don't translate well into actual user experience.
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Post by aristide1 » Sun Nov 18, 2007 9:33 am

MikeC wrote:.... but imo, the most common scams in PC land have to do with "scientific benchmark" test results that show this thing is X times faster than that one -- and pricing/positioning based on this speed. This is the backbone of the whole industry, but for a majority of PC buyers, it's totally misleading. Most user experience differences will never be anything even remotely close to the component benchmark differences. Even system benchmark differences don't translate well into actual user experience.
One need only examine the the format of most scales to notice how the minute differences are being exxagerated. You see for bars and the difference in bars is like half an inch on the screen, which looks like a lot on a short graph, but the final numbers tell the story; 7800, 7808, 7795. The scales below only show 7750, 7800, 7850, 7900. Just ask yourself on this scale where would zero be and the answer is what? 10 feet away? Or more like 50 or 100? The scales are very misleading, but they have to be because without them the pc "news" article would be useless. And it often is.
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Post by ultrachrome » Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:38 am

klankymen wrote: So in other words, this cable would be recommended, since I would like to terminate the cables myself, in order to save money, and assure the appropriate lengths I need.
That's a lot of cable but yes.
Here is a picture of the back of my receiver. Do you think I could risk trying spade connectors? Are they (the spade type) more expensive than the banana type? I can't find any spade plugs on monoprice.com, and I'm certain they would be alot more expensive on the economy here than anything I could get from monoprice, or even anywhere in the states in general.
I can find these and these banana connectors on monoprice, are these the correct items, which type should I prefer - screw or solder?
Is it correct that I need 4 plugs (2 pairs) per speaker? (plus and minus on both the speaker and the receiver)
Yes, 4 connectors per speaker.

Both of my receivers have had a similar connector as yours where there is a black plastic collar around the base of the binding post. Some larger spade connectors can be very difficult or impossible to use. I use banana on these. A pin connector works well and is more secure than banana.

It might be a trick to do a good solder job on a 12ga cable without some experience and a high quality solder station. I have a few screw types and don't feel they are that good at holding on to the cable. Better would be a crimped banana or one that uses set screws. I think those big barrel banana plugs are more for show and the exposed metal barrel is a risk to your amplifier if some piece of metal where to short the two connectors together.

If those are your only two choices, I would choose the screw type and wrap the barrels in electrical tape for safety.
So basically just this cable?
That should be fine.
OK, so I notice that my receiver has a single (black) RCA output for the subwoofer, in the Pre-Out section. However most subwoofers I've looked at seem to have two RCA inputs, the typical red and white for stereo. Does this mean I'm going to need a RCA splitter?? Or do I just attach to one plug?
One is fine.
OK, thank you very much. Your answers have been very helpful to me.
My pleasure.

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Post by ultrachrome » Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:52 am

MikeC wrote:For about a decade, CAT5 cable (yeah, the stuff you use for computer ethernet wires) has been extolled by many as the best cheap high quality speaker cable. Not in stock form, but separated and braided -- it's a DIY thing.

Web searches will get you lots of hits, but here's a page that will get you started on reading about this --
http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/diycables.html

A basic issue seems to be high capacitance, which can cause instability with some amps. There are ways to avoid this.

And no, I haven't tried it.
I brought home a big pile of cat5 from work to try these a few years a go but in the end it was just far too much effort to interest me. It's a lot of work to remove the plenum and strip all those conductors.

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Post by klankymen » Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:28 pm

Well, I just listened to a couple different speakers, amongst others the B&W 685, and the Klipsch RB-51.
In my ears the lower priced Klipsch sounded better than the bigger priceyer B&Ws. I also listened to some nice sounding Cantons, and some slightly undersized overpriced KEFs.
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Post by ultrachrome » Tue Nov 20, 2007 2:31 pm

klankymen wrote:Well, I just listened to a couple different speakers, amongst others the B&W 685, and the Klipsch RB-51.
In my ears the lower priced Klipsch sounded better than the bigger priceyer B&Ws. I also listened to some nice sounding Cantons, and some slightly undersized overpriced KEFs.
What did you like about them specifically?

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