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Digital Coax (Read 426 times)
effluviography
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Digital Coax
08/02/22 at 07:33:39
 
Howdy all,

Two questions for you. One, is there a digital coax cable (RCA to RCA) that you recommend for $200 (or less)? Second, do you agree that digital coax should be 1.5m or longer? Anyone use less than a meter with excellent results? Shorter would be easier to work with in my rack.

I'm trying a Supra Coax 1.5m right now and it is pretty good - smooth and enjoyable but a little thick - losing some resolution. It's still burning in, so I'll see if it improves too.

This is between a Denafrips Iris DDC and a Denafrips Ares 2 DAC. Have a cheap optical cord with better resolution, but is a bit edgy and less musical.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Cheers,

Scott
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// Mini-torii, CSP-3, ZP-3, Pioneer PLX-1000, Ortofon 2m Black, Denafrips Ares 2 & Iris DDC, Cambridge Audio CXU, Omega CAM's & DeepHemp Sub, ZMF Atticus, Emotiva CMX-6, Decware Styx, DHC1, DHC3 & IC's, Sky Audio Cables, Supra USB, Audirvana, & MacBook Pro //
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effluviography
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Re: Digital Coax
Reply #1 - 08/02/22 at 07:48:27
 
And I should mention I tried the Better Cables Coax (silver serpent) and was not a fan - did not sound good at all with this combo.
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// Mini-torii, CSP-3, ZP-3, Pioneer PLX-1000, Ortofon 2m Black, Denafrips Ares 2 & Iris DDC, Cambridge Audio CXU, Omega CAM's & DeepHemp Sub, ZMF Atticus, Emotiva CMX-6, Decware Styx, DHC1, DHC3 & IC's, Sky Audio Cables, Supra USB, Audirvana, & MacBook Pro //
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CAJames
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Re: Digital Coax
Reply #2 - 08/02/22 at 14:46:51
 
To answer the questions you asked, I've had good luck with DH Labs cables:

https://silversonic.com/products/digital-cables/

And way back in the day when I first saw that coax ought to be at least 4' long and optimally 8' I tried a 3' cable and an 8' cable (both cheap from Amazon) and couldn't hear any difference and I've gone with 1 meter ever since. So I'll say you are OK with 1 meter.

Now for the question you didn't ask, so this is JMO/FWIW and all that. I'm a Denafrips "true believer" myself and have seen many online discussions about adding a DDC and most people would say you are better off moving up to a better DAC, i.e. at least a Pontus rather than adding a DDC to the Ares. This is exactly because the real power of the DDC is realized with the I2S connection to the DAC. In fact I think a lot of people would argue that going USB -> DDC and then coax -> DAC is a step in the wrong direction and you might be better off without the DDC at all. I fully understand how easy it is to spend other peoples money but in your situation I would look hard to see if there is any way you can get a Pontus, I think you will be impressed at the difference.
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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
Woo WA22 -> 2x SE84UFOs (anniversary mods, balanced-differential)
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Senn HD-650
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effluviography
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Posts: 93
Re: Digital Coax
Reply #3 - 08/02/22 at 22:31:33
 
Thanks for the info. I was leaning towards DH Labs, so that helped to finalize my decision. And thanks about the cable length info too. I contacted DH Labs and they said they have noticed no difference between short and long cables as well - both from personal experience and from their engineering expertise. So, I'm going short with the DH Labs D-750.

And regarding your other thoughts. I was considering the Pontus as a replacement too, but it's too expensive at the moment but I could swing the Iris DDC. I figured this as an incremental addition, and when I can move to the Pontus, I can add this to it with an I2s cable instead.

I will say that the Iris does make some changes to the sound that are quite noticeable, even with a cheap optical cable.  I'll write my thoughts once I get a good cable and let the dust settle for a bit.
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// Mini-torii, CSP-3, ZP-3, Pioneer PLX-1000, Ortofon 2m Black, Denafrips Ares 2 & Iris DDC, Cambridge Audio CXU, Omega CAM's & DeepHemp Sub, ZMF Atticus, Emotiva CMX-6, Decware Styx, DHC1, DHC3 & IC's, Sky Audio Cables, Supra USB, Audirvana, & MacBook Pro //
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Doug
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Re: Digital Coax
Reply #4 - 08/03/22 at 02:29:03
 
You might want to contact Alvin to see what kind of trade-in deal you can negotiate.  You very well may find yourself the owner of a new Pontus.  Who knows……maybe he has a used Pontus that could be yours in a trade.  I am squarely in the CAJames camp on this issue.
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Jay’s CD2T-Mk3
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effluviography
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Posts: 93
Re: Digital Coax
Reply #5 - 08/10/22 at 08:57:14
 
Thanks for the DH Labs advice, been using that cable now. After burn-in of DDC, both the DH Labs and Supra Coax sound good, but in different ways.

As for the DDC, wow, it makes the Ares 2 sound much better. I'm letting the DH Labs cable burn in a bit and have a few new power cables settling in too.

I'll write more once everything has had time to bake a bit and to let my own brain wrap my head around it. I'm sure the Pontus is a bigger upgrade, but for the price so far, the DDC makes the Ares a much better sounding DAC.

Cheers - Scott
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// Mini-torii, CSP-3, ZP-3, Pioneer PLX-1000, Ortofon 2m Black, Denafrips Ares 2 & Iris DDC, Cambridge Audio CXU, Omega CAM's & DeepHemp Sub, ZMF Atticus, Emotiva CMX-6, Decware Styx, DHC1, DHC3 & IC's, Sky Audio Cables, Supra USB, Audirvana, & MacBook Pro //
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CAJames
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"I've run every
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Posts: 722
Re: Digital Coax
Reply #6 - 08/11/22 at 00:14:52
 
Glad it working so well for you. I just saw a youtube video of a guy talking about how much the Iris improved the sound on an Ares so you aren't alone. I know the DDC was a nice boost for my Terminator 2, but of course that was with an I2S connection.
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[FOOBAR2000 | Jay's CDT2 MRK3] -> Denafrips Terminator 2 + Gaia
Sumiko Pearwood -> Mapleknoll Athena -> Luxman SUT -> Maple-tree Phono 3E
Woo WA22 -> 2x SE84UFOs (anniversary mods, balanced-differential)
Omega SAM , Hifiman Arya, Senn HD-650
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effluviography
Senior Member
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Posts: 93
Re: Digital Coax
Reply #7 - 08/11/22 at 06:27:06
 
Alvin recommended the upgrade and I can see why.

My quick take right now is that the Ares 2 sounds good by itself, once you add the Iris, it makes everything about it better. After awhile I wondered if I was just imagining things, so I disconnected it, and now the Ares by itself sounds so sterile.
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// Mini-torii, CSP-3, ZP-3, Pioneer PLX-1000, Ortofon 2m Black, Denafrips Ares 2 & Iris DDC, Cambridge Audio CXU, Omega CAM's & DeepHemp Sub, ZMF Atticus, Emotiva CMX-6, Decware Styx, DHC1, DHC3 & IC's, Sky Audio Cables, Supra USB, Audirvana, & MacBook Pro //
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