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steveinspain
04-11-2009, 09:40
OK, this will show how little I know about cables and connecting things..
My iRiver H140 has a 3.5mm optical/line output, and I want to connect up to my Caiman from that to use the DAC and bypass the dac in the iRiver.
So, what cable do I need - I can find 3.5mm to 2x RCA cables, but is that the right thing - seems wrong to me, so can you please help me out...!
Thanks !

Themis
04-11-2009, 09:50
If I remember properly, the I140 has an optical output. In this case, you need a cheap optical cable to plug it to the Caiman.

Peter Galbavy
04-11-2009, 10:02
Somethink like this: http://www.tvcables.co.uk/cgi-bin/tvcables/AD101.html

Or search for "3.5mm toslink" to find complete cables. I think these started out on Sony portable CD players, so they may be referred to that way...

steveinspain
04-11-2009, 10:23
Many thanks Guys !

lovejoy
04-11-2009, 22:28
Or better still get one of Stan's optical cables. The cable itself is designed for 'full sized' TOSLINK rather than your portable's 3.5mm connector, but Stan also keeps the correct adaptor that will fit your iRiver and allow you to connect to your Caiman using this cable. Stan's cables are of excellent quality and you won't pay much less for one if you get something cheap and nasty.

sburrell
05-11-2009, 01:28
I think this is the cable I use from my iMac to my 7510, no adapter required:
Ixos 108-100 "Bronze" (http://www.discountdiscs.co.uk/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=Ixos-108-100&Category_Code=cable). 5.99 with free P&P.

steveinspain
05-11-2009, 06:59
I have just ordered a cheapo cable, but didn't even think of looking at what Stan makes - sorry Stan !
I may need to order one of yours soon...

Themis
05-11-2009, 08:44
I bet you don't need anything else than a 1 cable as long as you don't put any lossless to your H140 : any AAC/MP3 compression level, even the best (AAC-VBR400 er MP3-320) has artifacts waaaay worse than any optical cable difference. ;)

steveinspain
05-11-2009, 08:51
Hey, its all in WAV format - none of that loss-tosh for me I'll have you know !!

lovejoy
05-11-2009, 09:08
Sorry Dimitri but I beg to differ.
A large percentage of my iTunes library is MP3/AAC and the difference between using the crappy cable that came with my Sony minidisc player and Stan's optical cable is VERY clearly audible. When I bought the DAC originally I wasn't going to buy a new optical cable to go with it, but I'm extremely glad I did because if I hadn't done the comparison between the cables I'd have blamed the DAC itself for sounding bright, hard and generally messy.

Themis
05-11-2009, 09:28
No problem Rich, I'm glad you find Stan's optical cable to your taste.
But how can we explain that it is the optical cable that makes AAC/MP3 artifacts sound less bright, harsh and messy ? I really can't see how.

lovejoy
05-11-2009, 11:20
It's not the artefacts that are at play here. I can hear the differences in the cables whether I'm playing MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV or any other format.

Whilst I don't think it's true that high bit rate AAC or MP3 is transparent as many say that it is, most of the time I'm pretty hard pushed to tell the difference, whereas I could tell you instantly which of the optical cables are connected in the system without having seen them.

Themis
05-11-2009, 13:19
It's not the artefacts that are at play here. I can hear the differences in the cables whether I'm playing MP3, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV or any other format.

Whilst I don't think it's true that high bit rate AAC or MP3 is transparent as many say that it is, most of the time I'm pretty hard pushed to tell the difference, whereas I could tell you instantly which of the optical cables are connected in the system without having seen them.
AAC/MP3 is not transparent : this is something we can easily measure. And the differences (between lossless and lossy) are very big. Whether they are audibly detectable, is measurable too : there are many (double blind) tests which -even- measure differences between different compression rates: they are all detectable.

On the other hand, differences between optical cables are also measurable, but there is no evidence that the difference (often of some picoseconds) is detectable in a high resolution signal. Let alone an AAC/MP3 one.

Can somebody please explain how can an optical cable affect the sound more than the AAC/MP3 artifacts ? Stan perhaps ?

lovejoy
05-11-2009, 13:31
I think any technical explanation you seek might be better sought over at the hydrogen audio forums. I enjoy music with my ears rather than reading technical papers and merely offer my own experiences.

In any case, as the original poster has said, he is using WAV files so any argument for differences in optical cables using compressed signals becomes moot in this thread.

I stand by my recommendation of one of Stan's optical cables.

Themis
05-11-2009, 13:47
Rich, I don't see why I would seek in another forum. There are enough people here, I think.

I understood that you don't care about the technical aspect. My question wasn't addressed to you, no worry. ;)