regular interconnect for digital signal transfer

I'm planning on getting a seperate dac and using it in conjunction with my existing cd existing cd player has appropriate digital outputs,I will use the balanced output to feed the dac.
This is the question,can I use a standard balanced interconnect cable to pass the digital signal from the cd player to the dac?
In general I would not recommend it.

It may function, but unless the cable is specifically designed to have a 110 ohm "characteristic impedance," or it is explicitly indicated as being suitable for carrying AES/EBU digital signals, chances are that sonics will be seriously degraded due to jitter problems, waveform distortion, and other effects of impedance mismatches (more so or less so depending on the jitter rejection capabilities and other characteristics of the DAC).

Some "standard" balanced interconnects are designed in just that manner, though. An example is the inexpensive Blue Jeans/Belden 1800F cable.

Also, I would suggest that you obtain a cable that is approximately 1.5 meters in length (unless a very short length, such as 6 to 12 inches, would be adequate for your purposes). See this paper.

-- Al
I have tried many, including 1.5M ones. Some were designed for digital, some standard ICs. I previously used a 1.5M Transparent Reference, which is considered one of the best on the market and costs roughly $1500. I am now using a VDH The First Ultimate which is a better match for my system. This has also been the experience of HIFICRITIC, which often used standard ICs, including the one I use. I suggest you try it yourself as you probably have spare ICs around. For me the 1M VDH sounds considerably better than my 1.5M Apogee Wydeye which is suppose to be very good. Also HIFICRITIC does very detailed jitter tests and they have not found problems with standard ICs or extra performance in the 1.5M length. EVERY cable I or my friends have tried on a variety of systems sounds different, we tested 8 one afternoon; I have not tried balanced in on CD; my old line stage didn't have balanced in, my new one does but I am happy with SE so far. If you have a balanced cable or can get one on approval I think it is worth a try.
Stanwal, the Apogee Wyde Eye is a budget-class hot pick, it's nowhere in the same league as some of the more expensive cables. I don't believe I've heard the Transparent Reference (and I don't believe I'd ever pay that much for a digital interconnect) but I can vouch for the Zu Ash, the Atlas Opus, the Ven Haus Cryo Pulsar and the Auricle "Encore" Signature as all being both more expensive and better-sounding than the Wyde Eye.

The 1.5 meter length, if it works with your gear, removes a signal transmission problem and results in more defined and coherent sound. I have never heard a system in which the extra length didn't make a nice difference, but in theory a proper control of impedance matching between transport, connections and DAC could have the same result at shorter lengths.
I gave the Wyde Eye as an example of a "correct" design that is also recommended by Stereophile. What I was trying to say is that there are other factors involved in the sound of ICs that are not easily measured, I would never argue theory with Al. I bought my Transparent used so I didn't pay $1500 either; there are so many on the market that I have heard only a fraction of them and none of those you mention. And at todays prices buying a one meter and a one and a half to compare is quite expensive. Mine have been either one or the other; the VDH digital cable [ not the First Ultimate] does not even come in 1.5. I have also found silver and copper to sound different [Duh!].
great to see another person using the vdh first as a digital interconnect - that thing is amazing (i'm using the metal screen version of the first). it creates a full wall of sound like no other digital interconnect i've ever tried. i also have the vdh digicoupler, stanwal, which iirc is vdh's top digital interconnect (at least it used to be) and mine are in 1.5m, but they may have stopped making it, i dunno. it's more resolving than the first and is amazing on video. once for kicks, as i'm so impressed with the firsts on digital audio i tried them as video cables and it was all warm red... PROOF that a digital cable can be warm!

so it never hurts to try cables out as digital interconnects. unless i'm mistaken, many companies' digital interconnects are in fact just their analog cables sold singularly - i suppose it's cost effective to just use connectors that are 75 ohm on all their cables to simplify their product lines.

but all that being said, i've tried some analog cables that sounded horrible as digital ones, so i'd at least buy an uber-cheapie digital cable to use as a reference if nothing else. i'm sure amazon (for instance) has digital cables that start around 5 bucks or so. monoprice is probably even cheaper, but they're shipping is more than the cables often (and i'm not in love with their analog cables)

and you never know, the cheapie might sound awesome.
A video cable will work in a pinch.
Thank you for your comments, gentlemen.

For those reading this who may not be aware, it is worth noting that the Van den Hul First Ultimate cable appears to have been designed with a "characteristic impedance" of 75 ohms.

That is the correct value for proper impedance matching for transmission of both unbalanced S/PDIF digital audio signals, and consumer-format analog video signals (component video and composite video).

Best regards,
-- Al
In any given instance the IC may outperform the digital cable, regardless of theory.
I should have mentioned that I am a VDH dealer, although since I have sold 2 pairs and a Digital cable in the last 2 years the may have forgotten me at Bluebird. The Digital cable is quite good also and I am going to get a couple more myself when I get up the next order. While the Opti-Coupler comes in 1.5 both the Digi-Coupler and the MC-Silver are cirrently listed in 1M and .6M only; this does not mean that there are not 1.5s floating around.
Stan, you probably have better information than appears on their website, but fwiw the Digi-Coupler and the MC Silver IT MkII are both listed there as being available in 1.5m lengths.

Also, the First Ultimate is listed as NOT being available in lengths longer than 1m, except "on special request; these will not be accepted for return." FYI, my strong suspicion is that the reason is that it has extremely high resistance per unit length (compared to most cables), in both the center conductor and the shield/return conductor.

In longer lengths the high shield resistance would cause ground loop problems with many components, whether the application is analog, digital, or video.

Also, the high center conductor resistance would cause significant signal loss at longer lengths in digital and video applications, where a low impedance (75 ohms) has to be driven.

Best regards,
-- Al