Cable Questions? Interconnects?


Unregistered guest
This is probably a silly question... but... I'm guessing this issue confuses MANY people.

Which cables are essentially the SAME thing?

Specifically, I'm wondering what type of cables can be used as interconnects (preamp to power amp for example). Does it have to be an "interconnect" cable? Can you use digital audio cables? Do you just use RCA Audio (red/white) cables? Is there a difference?

This goes a bit further of course. I have heard that component video cable is essentially 3 coaxial cables with RCA plugs on the end?

If anyone can explain the difference in the various types of audio/video cables (and which are essentially the same thing) - it would be APPRECIATED IMMENSELY!!)

The question that I specifically would like the answer to is which types of cables can be used as interconnects.


Silver Member
Username: Riches1

Atlanta, GA US

Post Number: 139
Registered: Apr-04
Go to and and read up. There is a ton of information there and it is a great source to answer your questions.

Bronze Member
Username: Diablo

Fylde Coast, England

Post Number: 11
Registered: Dec-04
Whilst connecting up a new AV system recently, I found I was short of a co-axial digital interconnect, so I tried an ordinary (but decent) RCA analogue connector and it seemed to work fine.

I've since bought a 'proper' £20 one to replace it, but I cannot tell the difference in the sound!

Does this help? :-)

Silver Member
Username: Frank_abela

Berkshire UK

Post Number: 327
Registered: Sep-04
The main difference between a digital coax and an analogue interconnect is the loading. Typically, the digital cables are rated at a 75 ohm load whereas the analogue interconnects are rated at 50 ohm. This makes a difference in terms of the source device 'driving' the destination input (cd -> receiver for example). A source device that doesn't have a particularly well specified output circuit may kick up a fuss with the wrong cable attached. I'm fairly sure that using an ordinary analogue interconnect as a digital cable is OK, but I don't think the converse is true.


Bronze Member
Username: Sause

Post Number: 24
Registered: Oct-04
Most Digtal Coax cables have are just what the name implies one cable down the middle and the shielding around the outside that acts like a ground, analog cables have two seperate wires most of the time twisted and then shielding around those. Using an analog as a digital will work fine but the sound will suffer if you use a digital as an analog.
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