Recommendation for Digital Coax

Looking for a good digital coax to go from my Bluesound Node 2i to my first stand alone DAC, an Aqua La Voce S2. Preferably something that won't break the bank.


Also I meant to ask is it true that it should be either less than a foot or more than 6 feet?

Yes, 1M is where to start but not sure as important with a streamer but with older transport with higher jitter it is not recommended to go shorter. There’s a few Nordost Silver Shadow coax on here which is a really nice cable for the money. I use one and very happy with.

1 meter is not a good recommendation for a digital coax cable as it will always have problems and compromised high frequency resolution.  I always use and recommend 2 meter, but many say 1.5 meter.

DH Labs D-750 is a good base to start from.  From there, check out Acoustic Zen.

I am using a Kimber DV-60 between my Node and Cutest with good results.

i tried a few others, but landed here.

My Nordost Silver Shadow is 1M and absolutely no issues… none. I have used it on two different  players to several different DAC’s and a streamer for many years. Works 100% of the time with no compromised high frequency issues.

Just buy this for 50 bucks. I’ve compared it to the highly-regarded Stereovox XV2 and, frankly, it’s better. Several reviewers, including John Atkinson from Stereophile, have used it as their reference and with good reason. My advice — buy this and know you’re getting great all-around performance, then try some higher $$$ cables later but in the meanwhile know you’re not leaving much on the table. Hope this helps, and best of luck.

My Nordost Silver Shadow is 1M and absolutely no issues… none. I have used it on two different  players to several different DAC’s and a streamer for many years. Works 100% of the time with no compromised high frequency issues.

A 1 meter digital coax cable will work without any problem.  If you really want to run a 1 meter, that's fine.  It may sound good to you, but I have done a TON of r&d and testing with different types and lengths of S/PDIF coax.  A 1 meter cable will always have compromised when compared to a 2 meter cable.  If you have tried both a 1 meter and 2 meter and still cannot hear differences, then either your hearing is not sensitive enough or your system is not high resolution enough to reveal the subtle differences.


The Kimber D60 cable mentioned above is likely a very excellent option as it is a pure silver solid-core conductor.  It is about the same price as the Acoustic Zen Absolute 75 ($750-800).  These cables are 4 times as expensive as the DH Labs D-750, but will perform significantly better.

The Blue Jeans Beldon digital cables are good if you only have less than $30 to spend, but they are really not that great of a cable compared to the more expensive options.


Pangea It was recommended to me to get 1.5m, there is a model above this one, but I couldn't find the link. Call them ~ $160.00


Just buy this for 50 bucks.

Blue Jeans Cable is a great place to start.

Familiar (and have purchased) with BJC.  Noticed something interesting here: the BJC and the Geistnote offerings appear to use the same RCAs?

@soix - the cable you linked - it looks like the strain relief is rigidly connected to the RCA; is that the case?  Just curious.

@christian Yes, it is.  Not sure why you’re asking, but Apogee is a pro audio company so their stuff is built to take some punishment, FWIW. 

Why not optical?  A good toslink pof is a good toslink pof, and no need to consider 100th of coaxial brands and models.

Optical is the most accurate, efficient way to transfer data from point a to point b, undisturbed.

@chrisr  From everything I've been reading it has it's own drawbacks. Not sure why exactly but I've always been told coax. What you say makes sense especially if a much shorter length is a better fit but you are the first to mention it so.....

Maybe @auxinput can let us know?

Typically optical is of inferior quality. Generally known, I tried it a couple times and had to agree. I think it is the transducers that change from electrical to optical and back. I doubt any audio companies could make their own and probably are a commodity item not made as quality above cost.

Well, I decided to try the cable recommended by soix. Always go with 1.5 M.


Big +1 @ghdprentice that optical adds two additional and unnecessary conversions .

@mesch good choice and think you’ll be pleased. Make sure you pay attention to the directional arrows, which on my cable are faint and hard to see. I inadvertently installed it backwards once and my system literally sounded broken until I figured out my mistake. Ugh.  Please report back with your impressions if you would.

Optical is the most accurate, efficient way to transfer data from point a to point b, undisturbed.

If you are looking at optical to be used for data transfer, such as computer, then yes, optical is the cleanest way to get data from one point to another.  However, even optical has distance limits.

That being said, optical is not perfect.  The problem is that the LED emitters just cannot light up fast enough to create a perfect square wave pulse.  Lampizator did tests on this and compared it to several COAX transports.  The waveform from optical ended up being this very distorted curvy waveform (almost like a sine wave).  He was amazed that the receiver could translate this into pulses at all.

Under listening tests, optical can sound pretty okay with a good glass fiber cable.  However, even a cheap copper based coax like the Blue Jean Beldon will have more life and engagement in the music.  Everyone can have their own opinions and some may prefer optical in their own system.


A big thanks to @ghdprentice  and  ​​​​@auxinput. Your explanations make sense. I did some reading last night but there is so much conflicting info on the net. One sight had me nearly convinced the opposite was true. Thank you as well @soix . I followed your recommendation and your link. They are on the way. I dislike having to get a six-foot length as Medusa behind the gear can get unruly. I know shorter is available but why take a chance with the concerns expressed by @auxinput.


Thanks all for the responses.

Optical cannot handle higher resolution audio files.  SPDIF can.  I switched from optical to SPDIF when I was playing around with a Schiit DAC that would handle high resolution files because optical resulted in no sound.

Optical cannot handle higher resolution audio files. SPDIF can.

’spdif’ (sony philips digital interface) is a digital music data transfer format that can be transmitted/received either optically (toslink) or electrically (rca/bnc)

optical spdif has some bitrate limitations, yes, relative to electrical spdif

I now use a Blue Jeans coax cable and a Blue Jeans toslink cable for my two digital sources running through my Wyred 4 Sound Remedy reclocker. Extremely satisfied with both.

I think the key test for optical is does 100% of data pass thru or not.

Same goes with coax, except that coax potentially could pick up rf noise whereas optical cannot.  That's why optical is the most used method to transfer data from one continent to another, around the world.

The reason why we have HDMI instead of optical is cost of implementation, because yes you need a set of converters.

For CD, up to 24/96, optical is my choice, because it really does decouple transport and DAC.  Mono POF preferably since there's only two light waves.

2nd vote for the "Pangea Audio Premier XL Digital Cable with Cardas Copper" sold by Audio Advisor.  Currently $169 for 2m.

I've tried a number of coax cables in this price range and liked this one the best.  I had to spend quite a bit more to better it in my system.

DH Labs D750 simply the best sounding coax I've heard, I've owned the D60 and yes it's a phenomenal cable but when it comes to musicality which is hard to do in the digital realm by nature the D750 is balanced from top to bottom  showcasing layer upon layers.

DH Labs produce good quality, cost effective interconnects. I have used them off and on for more than  twenty years on various systems I have been creating.

First of all, what other people hear in their system, may not be what you hear in your system.  We manufacturer audio components.  Our listening room has over 30 pieces of equipment along with 4 different speakers.  We have repaired and upgraded more components than most people hear can even think of.


For lower priced digital cables go with the Audio Envy or the Kimber D60.  Up the scale look for a used Marigo Labs, Jorma or Cerious Technologies.  These seemed to work well in all of our systems.


Happy Listening. 

The Silverstar by Black Cat Cable  Coaxial Digital Cable. $350.00 at TheCableCompany. 

Also look into The Chord Company Signature Super ARAY cables. 


I’ve always thought a digital coax cable made no difference.  It either works or doesn’t.  Im a believer in power cords, speaker cables and interconnects but never place any emphasis on the digital coax cable.  I was wrong though.  They can and do make a difference in my system.  I have a signal cable silver resolution that sounds thin and bright compared to an audioquest that I had laying around.  I’ll be getting a few others to try when I have some extra $

In order of SQ

1. I2s however this is my project for this year to implement I2s so I cannot verify this in practice, only research.

2. USB controversial choice here but with the correct DAC and DDC it is capable of outclassing AES/EBU.

3.AES/EBU Excellent and for most people it will provide the best sound.

4.BNC SPDIF Very, very close to AES/EBU.

5.RCA SPDIF Least favorable of the above.

6.Toslink usually only capable of 24/96 kHz and is the worst choice you can make. Only suitable for a soundbar if you don't have another choice. Better than HDMI eARC however, but that may be down to equipment.

I like BNC terminations and they fit more snuggly than most RCA. Some claim they measure better but I haven’t seen the empirical data. Silverstar! From Blackcat Cable, call Steven at the Cable company. Excellent bass!

If you want to reach for the stars go to the Chord Company. Their Signature lineup is very good but the Sarum T is wicked. Even better the ChordMusic. Supposed to be one of the best on the planet. On using the Signature Array but an planning to got to the Sarum T. It uses a newly trademarked dialect called Taylon. Better than PTFE Teflon. The Cable Company has prices.

Either Pangea Premier XL or DHLabs both specs appear identical. 1.5m ~ $170

@soix sorry for the delayed response; I escaped Michigan snow for Florida sand for a couple of weeks. I like it but of course I don't have any experience hearing other cables so I can't say if it's great or not. Arrows?

Yeah, there are arrows on the cable.  They’re pretty faint but SUPREMELY important.  I installed mine backwards once by error, and my entire system sounded absolutely broken. Once I found the problem and re-installed the Wyde Eye in the right direction, all was well again.  Point is, directionality with this cable is key.  Go in the direction of the arrows from the digital source to the DAC or you’ll be greatly disappointed. 

@soix you know, had this cable a couple of months now and though I was aware of directional cables I was looking at the terminal ends of the Apogee for that info and didn't see any. I just figured that mfg didn't buy into it so it didn't matter. After your post I looked this morning and found I've had it backward all along. I made the switch but haven't had a chance to listen to the difference. Thanks!!!

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Q&A from the Geistnote/Apogee Amazon page.


Going from a streamer to an integrated amp, do you make the arrows point to the streamer or to the amp? 


The cable is not directional, however, if you would like to follow the arrows, find the source of the signal and put the source connector on the left side of the arrow and the destination connector on the right side of the arrow.  
"Source of signal" > "Destination of signal" 
By geistnote SELLER  on November 27, 2021

I’ve read that digital cables less than 1.5 meters may cause reflections.