Advice re 20m cabling from Auralic G1 to a distant room

High quality digital coming from the GI so I have a choice

  1. 20m of coax SPDIF cable to a DAC in the distant room

OR

  1. Feed the DAC near the G1 and run 20m of quality analog stereo cabling to the room from the DAC

What makes me hesitate with option 1 is I see the SPDIF specs only allow for up to 10m although that might not be an issue.
And if the digital cable is to be the preferred option is there any reason cable touted for “sub woofers” could not be used for transmitting full bandwidth digital signals? I’m presuming there is no difference because labelling it SPDIF means if must adhere to those standards but I thought to check about that here.

So really 2 questions -

  1. go for the long digital lead or go for a long analog lead? and

  2. If digital would “subwoofer” coax SPDIF cable be OK?

Note the DAC is a middle of the range Luxman D100 so ultra fidelity is not an issue but achieving a signal with minimal audio degradation is the aim.

TIA

Hi @JOHN_COULSON, I took a look and noticed that the G1 has balanced XLR outputs. Is it possible to use these instead? They’re well suited to longer runs and offer noise protection as well. Studios prefer theses cables for long runs for a reason.

Unfortunately that option of balanced is already in use with a powered 4 way splitter for 4 other systems so I’m really only left with the SPDIF option unless I use COAX with one of them… But to mess that idea up. the Luxman D100 I intend using only has unbalanced coax or optical input. 20m optical cables are available but the G1 does not haver an optical out unless I used a converter. Would that be a better option?

This is a situation where some kind of convertor may do the job. Long optical runs can have issues and cable quality matters. I’m not suggesting silly money but the cheapest cables may disappoint. Can you use the convertor to split the run so you have 5m of coax to the convertor and 5m of optical from there? Home layout may have a say here.

PS am an optical TOSLink fan as it offers electrical isolation for free.

The main cable run is under a 7" concrete slab which forms the roof of downstairs. So it is easy to get at the cable downstairs… The room in question is down there.
But I’m not liking the bandwidth restrictions on optical as well as a relative fragility so I’m veering back to the coax idea - the cable would not be near any electrical gear except some lights (and they are rarely on anyway and the fluoro tubes have been replaced with LEDS) so should not pick up interference as they could if the cable was in the ceiling. But maybe the same argument applies to unbalanced L/R stereo cabling and it would be fine.
That said I’m prejudiced towards the coax but …

Given the choice I’d favour the coax solution as well. It sounds like a try it and see how it goes situation where there’s no ideal choice. Good luck :slight_smile:

Thanks for your help everyone. I’ll report back how it end up.

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I have installed long runs of coax in many houses used for spdif and analog video. Assuming good termination practice had no noise or quality issues even at way beyond official spec.

You could consider another endpoint where it’s needed? Transferring ethernet is lossless over those distances, coaxial SPDIF way more sensitive.

Good point Mikael but it boils down to economics for a room which is not a primary listening post for music. No question a bridge would give the best audio results but if I’m not using a high end DAC and the room is used infrequently for music listening the several hundred dollars required for a bridge does not compare favourably to the $45 for a long coaxial cable.
So, I’ve ordered a coax cable,

Julian H is right - no noise or quality issues. There is a long (supposedly sub bass connector) SPDIF RCA lead installed and the audio quality from a Luxman DA100 is fine fed into Focal Utopia headphones And yes that AQ is improved using a Cary Audio Nighthawk unbalanced headphone amplifier, something ready to go into a friend’s system. [And I’m now a bit perplexed I sold it to him but am pleased it is so obviously a great head amp and will give him top results]

Thanks for the assurance a long SPDIF lead IS possible and practical.

John

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