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Cable Question

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by Stretch, May 16, 2020.

  1. Stretch

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 14, 2004

    Posts: 12,212

    Location: Peoples Republic of Histonia, Cambridge

    I have a sound card in old PC which I haven't used for 10 years.

    It has an orange "digital out" which looks like a regular 3.5mm audio jack.

    A set of speakers have has a SPDIF digital in.

    Assuming these can be used together, what cable to I need?
     
  2. EsaT

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 8,214

    Location: Finland

  3. Stretch

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 14, 2004

    Posts: 12,212

    Location: Peoples Republic of Histonia, Cambridge

    I should have clarified, the speaker port isn't optical, it's a digital coax cable connector.

    I'm fairly sure I need a 3.5mm to digital coax. Is that a thing.

    I can find one but it's no longer available on the popular website.
     
  4. EsaT

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 8,214

    Location: Finland

    Then it needs active signal converter device to convert optical signal to electrical signal
    Googling for optical SPDIF Toslink to Coaxial bi-directional should find devices for doing that.
     
  5. Stretch

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 14, 2004

    Posts: 12,212

    Location: Peoples Republic of Histonia, Cambridge

    No of the connectors are optical :)

    The sound card has 3.5mm jack labelled digital-out.

    The speaks have digital coax socket labelled digital-in.

    Would something like this work?

    https://www.amazon.com/Micca-Premium-SPDIF-Digital-Coaxial/dp/B00V436UQU
     
  6. EsaT

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 8,214

    Location: Finland

    If digital out is coaxial/electrical then question is about simple mechanical adapter cable.

    Just remember that if you're trying to get 5.1 signal out through it you also need DD/DTS encoder.
    Not all sound cards have that.
     
  7. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 11,126

    I wonder if the sound card in question has what Creative used on old X-Fi cards. I had an Xtreme Music, which had a 3.5mm digital out, but it wasn't mini toslink. It required a module that Creative sold separately that took the signal and output to optical and coaxial connections. Without that module, it wouldn't work.

    If it's one of those, OP might be out of luck.

    What is the sound card in question?

    Edit: I say it wouldn't work, but I never tried a cable like the one linked above.

    If it is one of those sound cards, it might be worth trying; assuming you can get a reasonably cheap one, in case it doesn't.
     
  8. james.miller

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 17, 2003

    Posts: 18,399

    Location: Woburn Sand Dunes

    @Stretch, tell us the make and model of the card and somebody will tell you what you need. It sounds like the cable above will work but we dont know for sure until you tell us what it is at least.

    They were just modules that plugged in to the spdif header on the card. If you dont need optical, then all you need a header, two wires and an rca socket :)
     
  9. Stretch

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 14, 2004

    Posts: 12,212

    Location: Peoples Republic of Histonia, Cambridge

    The card is a Sound Blaster Live 5.1.

    I’ve previously used the speakers coax digital in but only with an onboard sound card with a coax digital out. The cable connects to the sub .
     
  10. Stretch

    Capodecina

    Joined: Feb 14, 2004

    Posts: 12,212

    Location: Peoples Republic of Histonia, Cambridge

    Alternatively, could anyone recommend a cheap sound card that has a coax digital out. I’ve seen a few but they need two empty expansion bays and I only have one.
     
  11. Marsman

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 11,126

    The module I had plugged into the digital 3.5mm socket, rather than header on the card.

    I imagine the same thing would work from the 3.5mm socket in the same way it would from the header.

    SB Live! 5.1 has/had the same digital 3.5mm output as the Xtreme Music I had.

    The module plugged into the 3.5mm digital socket and allowed for either coaxial or optical to be connected. Not much difference from using the header as James described for coaxial; two wires from the SPDIF header to an RCA socket.

    That 3.5mm to coaxial RCA cable should work in the same way from the 3.5mm digital socket, so I'd try a cable similar the one you linked to. I'm not sure why that one has a three pole stereo jack though. Coaxial is just two contacts; signal and ground. There's a Gotham one on eBay which has a two pole mono jack. Similar price to the Micca cable.

    It should work, but what you could is get a cheap piddly thin 3.5mm to RCA mono cable, which is the same thing, just extremely thin with no shielding. At least that will tell you if it will work and spending more on a better cable is worth doing.

    As for sound cards; I don't know of any cheaper ones with coaxial output. Except for cards like the Xonar Essence and Soundblaster ZxR, I thought that connection type has pretty much disappeared; although maybe it is still used on cards intended for music creation.

    Sound card with optical, and an optical to coaxial converter is one way to go about it.