Author Topic: RCA via Cat5 Cabling  (Read 972 times)

Offline gertjie

RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« on: January 12, 2018, 01:22:39 PM »
Hi,

I have been toying with the idea on connecting my CRA splitter unit to my amp via cat5 network cabling with RCA terminators.

Has anyone attempted this?  Does anyone have any comments on this approach?

This will only be temporary connecting to my AV amp, until I can buy a dedicated stereo amp.  At this point it will be in close proximity, so will use normal audio cabling (coax or fibre)

Thanks,
Gerkie


Offline chrisc

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Re: RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 02:51:57 PM »
Twisted pair is fairly immune from hum and if the source signal is strong (over 1 volt) it should be ok

I once tested a CCTV camera over 100m using co-ax and UTP and both worked the same.  There were slight sparkles using the UTP cable
Even duct tape can’t fix stupid… but it can muffle the sound

Offline gertjie

Re: RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 03:17:32 PM »
Cool thanks Chris,

Maybe audio will be a little more forgiving compared to video.

Offline gertjie

Re: RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 03:52:02 PM »
Is there a noticeable difference between the really high end expensive coax cabling compared to the cheap and nasty ones?

Offline chrisc

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Re: RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2018, 05:09:26 PM »
No, most definitely not, despite what advertisers tell you.  Where a difference "might" occur is better constructed plugs and sockets.  The RCA plugs that vdHul supplies with their cables are superbly made, solder easily and have a very good metal to metal interface.  Of course a very flimsy cable with poor insulation is the exception to this statement

However, that is my opinion.  There are cable evangelists all around us, and I fully expect to be shot down in flames

There was a thread recently about the proportion of spend there should be on cables, and I ventured the opinion that, should the system be really top notch, then certain cable upgrades would be worthwhile and I have heard this myself
Even duct tape can’t fix stupid… but it can muffle the sound

Offline gertjie

Re: RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2018, 06:27:27 PM »
Even though I like them, most of my components are fairly "inexpensive" Yamaha components.  CDP, CD Changer, blue ray and AV amp, with NS speakers.  I guess if one really gets into the systems nearing R100k and over the cabling becomes more relevant...

Offline Ampdog

Re: RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 05:19:45 AM »
No, most definitely not, despite what advertisers tell you.  Where a difference "might" occur is better constructed plugs and sockets.  The RCA plugs that vdHul supplies with their cables are superbly made, solder easily and have a very good metal to metal interface.  Of course a very flimsy cable with poor insulation is the exception to this statement

However, that is my opinion.  There are cable evangelists all around us, and I fully expect to be shot down in flames

It also happens to be basic scientific fact; further as Chrisc said.

Not going into 'Attack' mode this time of night. There is enough evidence that expectation bias cannot be eliminated here  .... but there I go; said I will not move into this gear.  Should you need good unbiased advice plus test results, go to Rod Elliott's thread at 'westhost.something' or Gene dalla Salla of Diyaudio. Also Bob Cordell and a number of other peer researchers on the subject.

I prefer screened or co-ax cables, but as said.
Audio must be the only branch of engineering where lack of basics' knowledge is considered a superior form of wisdom. (Anon)

Offline gertjie

Re: RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 07:13:24 AM »
Sorry maybe I should have phrased my question a little better.  I do agree that cabling makes a difference, as I have experienced it on friends' systems.  I was more referring to how noticeable it is on lower end and older systems

Offline chrisc

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Re: RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2018, 07:49:11 AM »
It is hardly noticeable at all, if anything.  However, it is a step in the right direction.  Unless you are awash with money, altering another component will have a more beneficial effect
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Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 08:31:02 AM »
At the cost of reasonable screened cable vs time and good connector cost, why would one bother using a Less then technically right wire and go through the effort?







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Offline gertjie

Re: RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 09:14:31 AM »
 Hi-Phibian:  Only reason is that i already have a cat5 point wired in the location.  Coax I will have to run a new wire through the trunking and roof an it will mean additional holes im my ceiling

Offline chrisc

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Re: RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 09:22:56 AM »
Why not attach the new co-ax to the UTP cable and pull it through?
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Offline Hi-Phibian

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Re: RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2018, 10:12:26 AM »
Hi-Phibian:  Only reason is that i already have a cat5 point wired in the location.  Coax I will have to run a new wire through the trunking and roof an it will mean additional holes im my ceiling


How long are the cables?
Though it will work and you aren’t likely to pick up hum if they are a few metres long or longer and unshielded, pops from light switch arcs and buzzes from fluorescent lights can become an issue. 

Try it and see.   I would use one pair for signal and ground
Per channel and tie the remaining wires all to ground on the “sending side”.  I think it will help a bit as a crude shield. 
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Offline gertjie

Re: RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2018, 10:38:32 AM »
Thanks for the advise guys.  I wasn't planning on taking out the cat cable as I might use it in future.

Will give it a bash and see what happens.  Planning on making a cat5 to RCA pigtail and just plugging it in to the existing socket - so if the quality is bad - then no harm done.  I can just unplug and run a coax pair.

Offline pwatts

Re: RCA via Cat5 Cabling
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2018, 11:46:07 AM »
Thanks for the advise guys.  I wasn't planning on taking out the cat cable as I might use it in future.

Will give it a bash and see what happens.  Planning on making a cat5 to RCA pigtail and just plugging it in to the existing socket - so if the quality is bad - then no harm done.  I can just unplug and run a coax pair.
You can of course try STP cable with shielded jacket if only yanking out the old UTP, or CAT7 which has a shield for each of the 4x pairs. Same effort as coax but results are likely to be similar and more interesting from a geeky perspective.