New “Ask the Cable Guy” Blog Question:
How do I Extend my Logitech Z623 Speaker System?
(Pictured: Rear Panel of a Logitech Z623 Satellite Speaker System)
Lou from Minnesota has approached us with an urgent question related to how to extend the connection on the back of his Logitech Z623 THX-Certified satellite speaker system. This topic comes up quite frequently because there is a lot of confusion out there about the connection type in question: d-subminiature or “d-sub” for short.
This question extends beyond any single particular brand or model. Many manufacturers will use this same High Density 15-pin d-sub interface (aka HD15 or DB15HD) in their own speaker and HTIB (Home Theater in a Box) designs. You can see the HD15 male connector in the picture above of the Logitech Z623, where it is labeled as “Right Speaker”.
(Left: Regular HD15 D-Sub) (Right: VGA HD15 D-Sub)
The speaker systems that use the HD15 d-sub interface tend to already come with some form of HD15 d-sub cable in the box, but what happens if you lose it or need to extend it in any way? A proper HD15 d-sub cable will solve that problem — but it has to be the correct choice for the application.
In the pictures above, can you really tell the difference between the regular HD15 d-sub on the left and the VGA HD15 d-sub on the right? They both have 15 pins. They both feature 3 rows of 5 pins each in a staggered arrangement. They both are contained within the same D-shaped housing. However, the similarities end there once you explore the insides of these cables.
(Pictured Above: Internal Pin Arrangement of Regular D-Sub)
First, let’s look at the regular HD15 Cables presently available at Cables on Demand. The drawing above for our Deluxe Series HD15 15-pin D-Sub Cable shows that the inside features 15 identically sized wires, all connected in a “straight-thru” pin-to-pin configuration (i.e. pin 1 routes directly to pin 1 on the opposite end of the cable). This simple arrangement is primarily designed for the transfer of low-speed data, i.e. RS232 serial port communications.
(Pictured Above: Internal Pin Arrangement of VGA Monitor D-Sub)
Next, let’s take a look at the VGA Monitor HD15 Cable presently offered by Cables on Demand. The drawing above for one of our Premium VGA HD15 D-Sub Cables is radically different from the regular HD15 cable shown previously. First, you will notice that a VGA HD15 Cable is not made of 15 identically-sized wires.
Instead, it consists of three different coaxial cables (used for RGB video signals), surrounded by several smaller wires. Also, while this cable type does feature “straight=thru” pin-to-pin wiring, it is not wired in order, i.e. the center pin of one of the coaxial cables goes to pin 1 and the shield return line goes to pin 6.
So now that we know the differences between the two HD15 D-Sub Cable types, which one is appropriate for extending a speaker system like the Logitech Z623 pictured above? The answer is the first cable profiled: the “regular” data-grade HD15 d-sub cable. While these regular d-sub cables are generally used for data transfer, one can think of audio as an analog form of data. A good rule of thumb: regular d-sub cables are generally beige or grey in color, whereas VGA d-sub cables are generally black in color.
The same wire used in our regular d-sub cable is also used in a variety of audio cables, such as speaker wire and instrument cables. As long as the d-sub cable is shielded, which all of our cables are, it can effectively transfer audio without the fear of noise entering the connection. The other HD15 d-sub cable type we profiled, the one designed for VGA video use, will simply not work because audio signals are not designed to transfer over coaxial cables!
Now that you know which cable type to get, head on over to www.CablesOnDemand.com today and search for part number CS-DSDHD15MF0. Alternately, you can simply click on the image above or link below to go directly to the product. Our 15-pin (HD15) Deluxe HD D-Sub Cable (Male/Female) can effectively extend your satellite speaker system by up to 25 feet — a vast improvement over the ~ 6 to 10-foot length cable included with the satellite speaker system!
For cases where the speaker system is installed in an environment more prone to interference, or in cases where you need to extend the speaker system by up to 50 feet, we highly recommend taking a look at our 15-pin (HD15) Premium HD D-Sub Cable (Male/Female) (pictured above). Our Premium HD15 D-Sub Cable (part number: CS-DSPMHD15MF) features double shielding (Aluminum Foil + Aluminum Braid), helping to preserve the audio signal over a longer distance. For extensions of 25 feet or less, our Deluxe D-Sub Cable with its Copper Foil Shielding will work just fine.
If you have any additional questions regarding the huge variety of genuine Amphenol brand d-sub cable products available at www.CablesOnDemand.com, please feel free to give us a call at 1-866-223-2860 or e-mail: [email protected].
To view all Amphenol brand d-sub cable products in one convenient location, please [click here].
The Cable Guy