valve amplifiers and high efficiency speakers

6 Different SP/DIF interconnects (1)

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When using a separate CD-transport and DAC, a cable is obviously needed to transfer the digital data from one to another. Ofcourse different standards are available of which SPDIF is most commonly used. The cable must have a nominal impedance of 75 ohms. When correctly desigend and applied both transport and DAC will "see" an equal load resulting in better "time-aligned" response. The idea that this has only to do with transferring bits is, fortunately, past tense; there are more variables having all their own influence on the final sound reproduction.
How will different SPDIF cables affect the sound?

75 Ohms?
This should be the impededance of the whole traject followed by the digital signal: from the transports' PCB up to the DAC's PCB. This includes the connectors used. The most common connector used with SPDIF is the (good old?) RCA-connector. This connector is far from 75 ohms but, according to experts, this "mismatch" seems to be of minimal influence and SPDIF should be one of the best standards to be used in digital transfer (audio), that is when thoroughly designed ánd applied. One should take in mind that often the nominal impedance of a cable is only guaranteed when using lenghts of at least 1 meter (!), which most likely results in better response when longer cables are used (so shorter is not always better!).

5 Different cables were obtained through friends and relatives to be reviewed at their sonical results (5?, yes... you can read about cable no. 6 here..).

A DIY-cable made from "good" 75 ohm Coax used as in satellite receivers, assembled with standard RCA-connectors of average quality.


The Belden 1694A.
Hard to read ("live" also), but this is a coaxial videolink cable assembled with Canare RCA-connectors. Especially American audiophiles seem to like this cable...


Kimber Illuminations (V20).
Again a coaxial cable, type RG59/U, assembled with ("budget") WBT-connectors


Van den Hul Videolink 75.
A coaxial cable with (patented) "hulliflex"-isolation, having unique characteristics. This cable has RCA-connectors by van den Hul.


Siltech HF-9 G3 (SPDIF).
This cable consists of 3 condutors of pure silver, injected with gold (for more info see, not coaxial and assembled with WBT-connectors ("more expensive").