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View Full Version : RG-6 cable for Squeezebox (slightly OT?)



John Rakestraw
2006-06-15, 19:18
Hi --

I'm in the midst of a home renovation project, and while the walls are
open I've been pulling cable. The walls will be closed up on Monday, so
I'm running out of time. It occurred to me just this evening that in one
room I might want to have a Squeezebox across the room from the stereo.
I'd like to put a cable in the wall that will deliver the music from
the squeezebox to the stereo. I'm pretty ignorant about this stuff, so
I'm hoping someone here can tell me if RG6 coax is an appropriate cable
to put in the wall for this purpose. (I'm hoping that it is because I
have some on hand.)

I'm assuming that this solution (if it is one) would require a digital
input on the stereo, and another possible scenario involves an old
stereo that doesn't have digital input. Can someone recommend a type of
wire for this purpose if the stereo doesn't have digital input?

The run I have in mind is about 20 feet (or 6 meters).

Thanks.

--John

--
John Rakestraw

pfarrell
2006-06-15, 19:26
John Rakestraw wrote:
> I'm in the midst of a home renovation project, and while the walls are
> open I've been pulling cable. The walls will be closed up on Monday, so
> I'm running out of time. It occurred to me just this evening that in one
> room I might want to have a Squeezebox across the room from the stereo.

If in doubt, drag more cable.
When the walls are open, it is essentially free. Put some Ethernet Cat6
and TV and maybe even speaker cables.

> I'd like to put a cable in the wall that will deliver the music from
> the squeezebox to the stereo. I'm pretty ignorant about this stuff, so
> I'm hoping someone here can tell me if RG6 coax is an appropriate cable
> to put in the wall for this purpose.

You should put the SqueezeBox on top of, or beside, the stereo and
use short RCA interconnects.

I'm not sure I understand why you want to use RG6.

> I'm assuming that this solution (if it is one) would require a digital
> input on the stereo, and another possible scenario involves an old
> stereo that doesn't have digital input. Can someone recommend a type of
> wire for this purpose if the stereo doesn't have digital input?
> The run I have in mind is about 20 feet (or 6 meters).

If you put a squeezebox on the stereo, you just use the Ethernet or even
wireless.

The Squeezebox is exactly the right box if your old stereo has
a free set of aux/tv/tape RCA inputs.

The proper digial output cable is 75 ohm, and your RG6 is probably
fine with that. You'll need some adaptors at the ends.

But I'd just run four or six sets of Ethernet Cat6
and be done.

--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

John Rakestraw
2006-06-15, 19:38
Thanks for the prompt and detailed reply. I've been pulling TV,
ethernet, and speaker cables already.

> You should put the SqueezeBox on top of, or beside, the stereo and
> use short RCA interconnects.

Perhaps I should have explained. During the renovation we've put one of
the SBs on the bedside table, hooked up to some small computer
speakers, and used it as an alarm clock. I've grown to like having the
display close enough that I can read the clock without my glasses.
Sometimes I even lull myself back to sleep at night by reading the RSS
feeds. But in the new bedroom the stereo will be on the opposite wall.
What I'm thinking about is keeping the SB on the bedside table with the
computer speakers, but also connecting it to the stereo across the room
for better listening at other times.

> I'm not sure I understand why you want to use RG6.

Probably not a good reason -- only because I have some on hand, I have
many things to do this weekend, and it would be great if I didn't have
to go out hunting other cable. So I was wondering if it would work.

--
John Rakestraw

pfarrell
2006-06-15, 19:50
John Rakestraw wrote:
> Thanks for the prompt and detailed reply. I've been pulling TV,
> ethernet, and speaker cables already.

Pull more of them!

>>You should put the SqueezeBox on top of, or beside, the stereo and
>>use short RCA interconnects.
>
>
> But in the new bedroom the stereo will be on the opposite wall.
> What I'm thinking about is keeping the SB on the bedside table with the
> computer speakers, but also connecting it to the stereo across the room
> for better listening at other times.

Do you drive the computer speakers out of the SB's headphone jack?

If so, you have two RCA jacks you can use. See more below

If not, you are going to have to have some component
on your bedside table to drive both the computer speakers and
the long distance pair to the remote stereo.

>>I'm not sure I understand why you want to use RG6.
> Probably not a good reason -- only because I have some on hand, I have
> many things to do this weekend, and it would be great if I didn't have
> to go out hunting other cable. So I was wondering if it would work.

I would not use the RG6 for the RCA interconnects.

Also I would not want to drive unbalanced RCA line level stuff 20+ feet.
It might work fine, but it could pick up a lot of noise, and once the
walls are closed, you can't easily fix it. Line level interconnects of a
meter or so are fine, 10 feet is pushing it.

If you aren't in love with the idea of the stereo accross the room,
how about a small amp driven by the Squeezebox driving speaker cable
in the walls. Just get some 18 or 16 gauge speaker cable at Home
Depot/Lowes, and you are all set.


--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

seanadams
2006-06-15, 21:46
RG6 is perfect for s/pdif, and I would have no reservations about using it for analog audio either.

In fact, cheap RG6 is likely to ourperform very expensive "digital interconnects", because RG6 is made to carry GHz signals from satellite dishes and such.

In my house I have a squeezebox in the living room and my receiver in the garage (about a 50' run). The two are connected by RG59 coax (I would have used RG6 but I had a spool of RG59 already) which is terminated in the wall at a "decora" plate which has a modular plug for a BNC pass-through. Then I use a 6' BNC cable with a BNC->RCA adaptor on the other end to connect to the squeezebox.

This is admittedly a geeked-out install - any well-shielded cables carrying the analog signals to an amplifier would work fine. There are much bigger sources of noise to worry about, eg in the amp itself, than on a reasonably shielded analog cable run.

BTW do NOT use RG58 for s/pdif - it is the wrong impendance. It's OK for analog though.

abdomen
2006-07-03, 12:02
...In my house I have a squeezebox in the living room and my receiver in the garage (about a 50' run). The two are connected by RG59 coax...

Sean,

Would you recommend RG6 for long analog runs? I gather your setup uses the SB's digital input, or am I incorrect?

Many thanks!

seanadams
2006-07-03, 15:44
Sean,

Would you recommend RG6 for long analog runs? I gather your setup uses the SB's digital input, or am I incorrect?

Many thanks!

Well... first I would try to avoid a long analog run. :)

For analog audio the issue is the shielding quality, not impendance, and I'd think RG6 would be fine.

If you need to go a really long distance (100m+) you might be better off with active baluns transmitting over CAT5 or something... but if I were installing wire permanently at jacks in the wall, I would use RG6 as this gives the most flexibility for whatever you might want to run over it in the future (video, RF, s/pdif). Also if you need to terminate your own RG6 using RCA connectors, Monster Quicklock connectors are the way to go.

pfarrell
2006-07-03, 16:21
seanadams wrote:
> Well... first I would try to avoid a long analog run. :)
>
> For analog audio the issue is the shielding quality, not impendance,
> and I'd think RG6 would be fine.

For long runs, the right answer it to move the SqueezeBox near
the amp.

If you can't do that, and you care about sound quality, you
really should use balanced interconnects, which you can use
by using a 'direct box' from any recording studio supply store
or even most Guitar Centers. Of course, proper balanced wiring
takes three conductors, for +signal, -signal and ground.

Driving unbalanced signals more than 10 feet or so is a sin.




--
Pat
http://www.pfarrell.com/music/slimserver/slimsoftware.html

Michaelwagner
2006-07-03, 16:59
I know I'm the weird guy in this crowd, but any reason the SB doesn't have / couldn't have balanced outputs?

rudholm
2007-01-11, 19:48
Has anyone experience running S/PDIF over a vacant Cat6 pair? I need to get S/PDIF about 30 feet and already have the Cat6 in place, so that'd be easiest. I could pull RG6 but pulling cable is such a pita...

Skunk
2007-01-11, 21:58
I know I'm the weird guy in this crowd, but any reason the SB doesn't have / couldn't have balanced outputs?

The DAC chip itself is unbalanced, unlike the AK4396. Even so, I assume there is a way of changing the output stage to make it balanced because of products like this http://www.lcaudio.com/index.php?page=6.

abdomen
2007-01-12, 08:30
Typical consumer audio products just don't have balanced outputs/inputs; it's a shame the product econsystem evolved that way. You can use a balun to send a balanced signal from the SB over distance, or send the unbalanced signal over good RG-6. Or buy the Transporter. :)

MeridianMan
2007-01-13, 19:18
You shouldn't have a problem with RG6 in either analog or digital runs of 30 feet or so. I wired my previous 7.1 home theatre with Canare RG6 and used it for all runs from the processor to 7 active Meridian speakers + sub. Longest run up the wall, thru the attic, and down the other wall was 35 feet - it was a 98 year old house with not the greatest AC wiring - I made sure to cross AC lines at right angles and keep them separated by at least 3-4". I had no problems with hum.

That's the beauty of RG6 - it works for either digital or analog and [to me] sounds as good as the best cable at much reduced cost. I went with Canare brand crimpers and strippers from Markertek. $$ upfront for the tools, but well worth it and I've never had to buy another cable.