Nearly 20 years ago when I was first assembling what would be my "warm system" one of the first things I had bought was the Audio Research CDT-1 transport, and a ARC DAC 5. But what cable to use? I wanted to get the best sound possible... So my friend says I have a good high end AudioQuest cable I can sell you for a deal. OK. I cant make out what it says on the jacket, so I have no idea what cable it actually is. I can see the aq logo on the XLR's so it is obviously a AudioQuest piece. He swears it's a high quality one and will be perfect for my setup. I buy it. And for all of this time, it has been the ONLY digital cable I have used!! I just got my old system hooked up and going again with a few new goodies, and that stupid cable has always bugged me. WTF is it? AudioQuest is proud of their stuff, so the name is always on the jacket of the cable. Finally I get some goo-gone and am able to make it out. AudioQuest Quartz X3 Hyperlitz!! What in the blazes!! I check around the web and on AudioQuest's site is the Quartz X3 under interconnects!!! Oh my.... For nearly 20 years I have been using a standard balanced interconnect as a digital cable! Never once did I have a problem with it. It will sync as soon as I hit the power on the DAC. Sounds good. Works fine. Wow. I order a Apogee Wyde Eye online, used. Just to test it out. I put it in and immediately hear noise. Yes it sux. Bad.So i pull that piece out and put the old aq back in. Noise is gone!! LOL So you see my dilemma. I need another AES/EBU digital cable.. and its not going to be some used POS. I have always had good luck with aq products, but the new sidewinder RCA's are less than impressive. This coming from the audio truth lapis which I always liked a lot. Sadly they got sold off in the big sale. Anyway.. what to do. Sure I can leave the Quartz in there and say F it. It works. But something about it just rubbing me the wrong way. I see the aq carbon online for about $170 bux. Looks like it might be me? So let me get some input from you all, what AES/EBU balanced digital cable do you use, and what would you recommend. Thanks. And thanks..