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Old 02-18-2007, 01:37 PM   #46
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I just got back from Ikea. I forgot how awesome that place is. I now have a chair in mind that I must have and will have to plan a return trip.
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Old 02-19-2007, 11:51 PM   #47
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Okay gang, it's me again. I'm ordering my receiver, CD player and speakers tonight.

But I'm still a little lost on cables. How do I know what kind of cables I need, connection-wise? If I know I have a receiver, is there just one kind of cable that will plug into a receiver and just need to decide on the brand?

I'm ordering the CD player and receiver through Circuit City and using in-store pickup. Will they be able to tell me what I need based on what I'm buying?

I have the recommendation from ntalwar to use digital output for the CD player into the receiver ... are there different kinds of connections (i.e., male to female, 1/4", banana, etc.)?

Ditto with the speakers. I know I have to get "speaker wire," preferably a thick gauge with good insulation. Do they come ready made, or do I need to get someone to strip them for me?

I feel a little clueless.
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:32 AM   #48
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Congrats on taking the plunge!

For the speaker cables, most local electronics stores only sell speaker cable in bulk (without connectors). I really wouldn't put too much stock in the brand. Just don't pay too much, but make sure you get enough length to get to the speakers. Since it's bulk you'd have to cut it and strip it yourself, but it's actually pretty easy to do, and there are connectors that are a snap to put on the ends, too. Banana connectors on both ends are generally the easiest to deal with (in my experience, anyway). But in case you want to avoid the hassle, sites like www.bluejeanscable.com and signalcable.com have complete sets starting around $60. You do end up paying more to have it assembled for you, but they are put together quite well.

For the cd player, if it has a digital output I would use that. Look for a digital coaxial cable at any electronics store (best buy/circuit city etc). Shouldn't need to pay more than $20 to get a decent one. If your cd player doesn't have a digital output, just get a standard pair of Stereo RCA cables.
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Old 02-20-2007, 03:56 AM   #49
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The CD player will probably come with a standard stereo RCA cable. You could buy a digital coaxial cable and use the digital output, but I honestly don't think it's worth the money...I don't think it makes that much of a difference, and it would only make things more complicated for someone new to the world of stereo components. If you use the RCA cable, it's easy to hook up...there will no doubt be an input on the back of the reciever labeled 'CD' or something to that effect...just match white plug to white outlet and red plug to red outlet on both the back of the CD player and the back of the receiver and you're good to go.

If you're new to all of this, I wouldn't buy speaker cable in bulk. Stripping speaker cable can be a ROYAL pain in the ass. I have a fair idea of what I'm doing with it and I still suck at it. Buying in bulk IS much cheaper, but buying it pre-assembled is much easier. Should you choose to buy it pre-assembled, make sure you buy enough length to get from point A(receiver) to point B(speaker).

There might something to tell you about how to connect speaker cable to the speaker and the receiver, but I don't know if certain things have changed...perhaps somebody could tell me, does matching the side of a speaker cable with the white stripe to the red input on the reciever/speaker matter anymore?
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:40 AM   #50
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Yes. You still have to match the sides, otherwise the phase will be off and the speaker won't sound right.
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:14 AM   #51
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Okay, thanks for the tips. I wouldn't know the first thing about stripping my own cable, so I'm going to have to splurge for the complete set.
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Old 02-20-2007, 11:31 AM   #52
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I wouldn't use the RCA cables that come prepackaged with the CD player - they are usually the lowest end cables. An optical cable or coaxial cable should cost less than $20.

Circuit City may not offer pre-cut and assembled speaker wire. I got mine from an audio store. Make sure you get a few feet more than you need - otherwise it may not rest on the floor.
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:06 PM   #53
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Yeah, I'm not exactly sure where my speakers are going to go, but I don't mind if I have extra piled on the floor, so I'll err on the side of long.

I'll pick up an optical or coaxial cable at Circuit City when I pick up my equipment this weekend.

And I do believe I'll order some pre-cut and assembled speaker wire today from one of the sites Diemen recommended.

I'm guessing I'll have to check the specs of the speakers to know what kind of connection I'll need? Will the connection that plugs into the receiver always be the same kind?
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:59 PM   #54
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The receiver might have grip speaker connectors, where you push a hinged terminal and the speaker input is revealed. Bare wire or banana plug should be compatible with this, but I would ask just in case. Spade lug termination may not work with that terminal type.
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Old 02-20-2007, 02:08 PM   #55
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I just don't know if the coaxial cable is worth it for you. You're new to all of this, so I really doubt you're any kind of audiophile, and only an audiophile would have any problem with the sound quality given by the prepackaged RCA cable.

Your call, though.
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Old 02-20-2007, 02:10 PM   #56
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I didn't think so much thought would have to go into all this!

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Old 02-20-2007, 02:40 PM   #57
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While you're at it, don't forget a surge protector to protect your investment (mine also has a power filter). I prefer digital interconnects because they are balanced and don't pick up electromagnetic interference (noise).
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Old 02-20-2007, 02:50 PM   #58
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I'm apparently not completely useless, for I already have a surge protector.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:39 PM   #59
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On second thought, I have to agree with namkcuR on the speaker cable. There really isn't that much difference between digital and analog on most receivers when it comes to stereo music, so you might as well save some money and just got a short set of stereo rca cables.
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Old 02-20-2007, 06:52 PM   #60
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if you want to listen to dts or dolby digital, you do need an optic cable, though.
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