Digital coax cables

I stream Qobuz from a standalone streamer to a DAC.  I use a digital coax cable [Audioquest cinnamon, about $90.  Will one of the more expensive cables make much difference?  Some claim no difference, it is before the DAC so it makes no difference.  Others claim everything makes a difference.  So......


I recently switched from a more budget digital cable to this Acoustic Zen MC2 and the improvements were significant, immediately obvious, and across the board. I bought mine used, and here’s the same one for $275 and retails for $660. You won’t be disappointed. If for some reason it doesn’t work for you, you can turn around and sell it for little/no loss as AZ cables sell well on the used market but doubt you will once you hear the difference. Hope this helps, and best of luck.

You could try the Cable Company and their lending library. Talking to the rep there, they can make suggestions once they know your system. The streamer and DAC are a big part of the overall equation.

I had the AZ MC2 and it's a pretty good digital cable.  My transport, a Bel Canto  CDT 3, uses a bnc connection so I shopped around for a cable with bnc on one end and rca on the other and found, built by Take 5 Audio of Canada, a Neotech NEVD 2001 with an Xhadow rca and an Oyaide bnc connector used for under $200.  Given the quality of the plugs alone, you'd expect the Neotech cable to sound better and it does, to me.  I hear a bit more subtle inner detail with the Neotech cable but the main difference is a more organic quality to the sound.  The AZ cable sounds a bit mechanical in comparison.  On some material, there can be a slight upper-midrange brightness on my speakers which I do hear with the AZ cable and is absent with the Neotech.  You might check Take 5 Audio's site for more info and the US to Canadian$$$  transfer rate greatly benefits us in the states.  Also, these cables come up on the used market fairly often so check  But soix is right about re-selling the AZ cables. If you try them and don't find them to your liking or worth the money they will be easy to move.

@boxcarman for your reference, a month ago just for grins I had a 5yr old AQ Cinnamon Digi Coax sitting here, and swapped it back in play to compare to my other Analysis Plus Digital Crystal and my Cardas Digital Clear Digital coax.

It was a fun and quick test to remember and ask myself once again, is it more than just 0s/1s, or possibly something more going on here. It was a surprising test. I was not expecting to hear that much of a difference.

Well the AP and Cardas were close to each other. After an hour back with the AQ Cinnamon, I could not wait to get it out of the system and go back to one of the others. Yep, realizing again, yes, there is a bit more going on here. Was not expecting to hear that much of a difference, and sure enough, proved it to be a weak link for whatever reason, don’t care to figure out how or why, it just did not sound nearly as good, fwiw. Out it came, Cardas went back in place, done. :) 

I have been looking to upgrade my digital cable as well, I have a BJC and a Cullen, which work well but I cannot perceive any great difference between the two. I would like to try solid silver and the Take 5 Neotech looks like a good option, I need BNC as well. I have been trolling for a used Kimber D60, which seems to be the gold standard, any comments or comparisons with this cable? 

Also, what are folks thoughts on the 1.5 meter minimum length for digital cables to eliminate signal echo? Absolute requirement or maybe not a real issue?


I did the used coax cable run a few years ago and found large differences. The one that stood out for me was a silnote coax. Wide, spacious and clear, although with a little less bass. Used coax cables are relatively cheap and resellable with no loss. I found it fun trying them out. I also got brand matching rca's, which together let's you learn about each brands house sound.

Take a look at Audio Envy - very affordable and very good

Also look at Zavfino - their TOTL cables are excellent, but a bit $$$

Regards - Steve

Some companies only offer the 1.5 meter lengths. I've seen photos that show that length measures less distortion, but if it's audible and will actually sound better I don't know. I've tried quite a few myself, all different lengths.The Kimber Illuminati I had long ago was very detailed, overly so for the equipment I owned at the time.IME the $ amount has no bearing on how it will fit into your system and be the right match. If you have some spare ICs stored away give one of those a try.Sometimes they work surprisingly well.Whenever I've auditioned ICs  I always tried one as a digital cable.

@jtcf yes, while I won’t digress into any debate by some on this topic - I went this route myself. Compared back and forth quite a bit and stayed.  Yes, moved from .5/1.0m, to my last two pairs of AP and Cardas digital coax spdif are 1.5M.