Do I Need Luxury Cables? - Page 8 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #106 of 372 (permalink) Old 2006-06-26, 12:14 AM
 
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Lightbulb FAncy Cables

I'm not going to bother reading all the posts, because for the most part a lot of them say the same thing. So excuse me if what i'm going to state has been repeated.
Everyone should know that high end cables are a complete waste of money.
This post if for everyone who wants a good deal on cables. If you want a descent set of cables (not just dollar store) go to xs cargo and pick up some accoustic research cables or GE, or even monster cables, all for around 20 bucks a cable. (Though sometimes monster is as high as fifty bucks).
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post #107 of 372 (permalink) Old 2006-06-26, 02:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordonb
Recently, while setting up my HTPC I decided to install my very expensive Recoton S-Video AB switch to route the S-Video output of my 8300HD to either my D-VHS deck or the S-Video input of my capture card.

The unit has previously seen service as a component switcher between my DVD player and the 8300HD to my TV before I got my flatscreen and converted to HDMI. I must say that using the composite video & 2 audio connections to switch the Y'UV worked flawlessly but one of the inputs did suffer from a cold solder joint and I had to move the connection.

Now, after I installed the unit (remeber it is installed backwards - as a destination rather than a source selector) as a S-Video I noticed visible cross-hatching in the picture. I replaced it with a $9 S-Video Female coupler from the Source and my manual switch is, well, very manual now.

If I was selling over-priced snake oil then I would conclude that the $9 through barrel connector should sell for $200 and provides better picture quality. These are the type of comparisons that Mon$ter does.

BTW - the cross-hatching I suspect comes from the fact that this Recoton box can downconvert S-Video to Component (or is that upconvert) and has some sophisticated electronics to do so (a couple of resistors, capacitors and an inductor). I suspect that if I spend an hour with a multimeter tracing the connections I could figure out how to disable this "feature" & make the box work bi-directionally. Nah, not worth the effort.
Update - removing a couple of capacitors, resistors and an inductor has eliminated the cross-hatching.

Also - I f*@ked up when installing my not so expensive AR component cables on my articulated mount for my LCD and forgot to leave "drip loops" at the joints. Worked fine for a couple of months then one channel started to drop out intermittently but could be fixed by moving the mount. It eventually failed at an inopportune time (Sunday night when the wife wanted to watch a movie :-() so a quick fix was in order. Snipped the cable ties & cut the cable at the open spot then soldered the centre conductor & braid of the offending conductor. Ugly as sin, great big ball of electrical tape. Strangely enough it works with no noticeable degradation of the picture quality. I've been meaning to replace the cable for a month or so but if it works ... Maybe I don't need triple shielded Mon$ter cables
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post #108 of 372 (permalink) Old 2006-06-26, 03:49 PM
 
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Think Mon$ter is expensive?
have a look at these...
http://j-walkblog.com/index.php?/web...peaker_cables/
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post #109 of 372 (permalink) Old 2006-10-06, 02:31 PM
Wyl
 
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The largest rip off I have found is "Gold plated" connectors. Gold plated connectors is they are suppose to transfer infomation faster and provide a solid connection .... but if you have copper wire in front of gold, and copper circuit board after the connector, how great is gold then? (not to mention it's one of the softest metals)

The only reason I would foresee buying expensive cable is when you using it to make money. You get better soldered connectors, finer stranded cable (which transmits high freq sound better).

If you are buying the cable for your own use, and going to be unplugging it once a year... buy cable from a non-big box store and with out packaging. The cables I sell from high quality and have basic packaging and usually half the price of any big box store.
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post #110 of 372 (permalink) Old 2006-12-27, 06:23 PM
 
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Quote:
The largest rip off I have found is "Gold plated" connectors. Gold plated connectors is they are suppose to transfer infomation faster and provide a solid connection .... but if you have copper wire in front of gold, and copper circuit board after the connector
Gold plating on connectors is used because it resists corrosion. However this only works when the mating connector is also gold plated. Mating a gold plated connector with a tin (or silver, phosphor bronze, etc.) plated connector will corrode faster then two tin connectors (Look up Galvanic Corrosion).

BTW The most hilarious cable claim I ever saw was for a shielded optical cable. It had a copper shield to protect against electromagnetic interference with the optical signal in the fiber optic cable . It may have even been Monster brand.
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post #111 of 372 (permalink) Old 2007-01-08, 03:14 PM
JBC
 
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In my experience, approaching the video end of things with an existing knowledge of audio, I don't think the answer is as simple as 'expensive cables are a waste of time'.

Granted, the profit margins for cables are huge, and the claims made by some manufacturers are a little over the top. I'll also admit that, on the video end, I don't notice a difference. Swapping the three HDMI cables I use for video connections does not make a difference in picture quality to me on my system.

With that said, I notice a clear difference between cables in the audio end of my system. Both interconnects and speaker cables make a clearly audible difference... enough that causal observers (including my wife) notice the difference.

I'm talking about replacing a 'stock' interconnect with something in the $200-$500 range (something from Linn or Transparent, as an example). I haven't ventured into the realm of the $4000 Nordost interconnects, and probably never will. I do know people who own them though, and they're very happy with the difference they make in their systems (for audio). In the audio world - check any audiophile magazine - this is hardly news. Remember that audio transmission occurs (in the analog domain) at frequencies much lower than that for video.

Many shops will allow you to borrow a set of cables to try at home, and I'd encourage you to do so. If you don't hear a difference, don't bother. If you do, and the difference is worth it to you, then go for it.

Best regards,
JBC

PS System details
Linn LP12 turntable. GSP Era Gold phono stage
Linn Unidisk SC universal player/preamp
Linn AV5125 5-channel Power amp (actively biamping front speakers)
Linn LK85 2-channel amp (for surrounds)
Linn Ninka L/R
Linn Trikan centre
Linn Sizmik sub
Hitachi 42HDX99 plasma
Motorola HD Cable
Toshiba DVD-recorder
Transparent & Linn interconnects and speaker cable
Linn Unik surrounds
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post #112 of 372 (permalink) Old 2007-01-12, 05:51 PM
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Hey guys I have a question:

I have read the FAQs regarding cables but I am wondering, is a good quality auido cable for analogue going to be 50 ohm or 75 ohm?

57 had posted that the red/white audio cables are 50 ohm, but how about one that is slightly better quality but meant for analogue only.

I want to know if an audio cable that I have is going to be fine to use for as a coaxial digital cable which should be 75 ohm.
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post #113 of 372 (permalink) Old 2007-01-12, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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It will work, however, it's better to use the correct impedence. If you have a composite video cable or a subwoofer cable, those are also 75 ohms.

You can purchase the correct coaxial cable for about C$10 (landed) from Monoprice.

57's Home Theatre (Latest equipment & photos)
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post #114 of 372 (permalink) Old 2007-01-13, 09:02 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wuvhandles View Post
I'm not going to bother reading all the posts, because for the most part a lot of them say the same thing. So excuse me if what i'm going to state has been repeated.
Everyone should know that high end cables are a complete waste of money.
This post if for everyone who wants a good deal on cables. If you want a descent set of cables (not just dollar store) go to xs cargo and pick up some accoustic research cables or GE, or even monster cables, all for around 20 bucks a cable. (Though sometimes monster is as high as fifty bucks).
I would agree with this statement if everyone was running a $199.00 HT in a box system. Ain't nothing in the world going to improve the SQ or PQ on that syatem. However do not confuse quality with high price when talking about speaker cables and interconnects. High quality speaker cables exist if you are willing to do a little research and can handle an hour or so of D.I.Y.
Interconnects are a little more difficult to assemble if you have no or little sodering experience. In reality, the best IC's are soderless but to crimp them you do need fairly expensive crimping tools which defeats the low cost of the cable and connector.
The first step to getting a better sounding/looking system is to do a little housework in thedrat's nest" that is behind your gear. Try to keep all the power cords away from any IC's or speaker cables. Route your power cables away from the IC's. If you must, bundle your power cords together with Velcro or zip ties, but do so loosely. If you must cross a IC with a power cord, do it at a 90 degree angle. Have an excess of speaker cable? Do not loop it together like a lasso but let it "snake" on the floor.
Proper cable management will and does make a difference.
You want to try a couple of inexpensive speaker cable setups without having to break the piggy bank? Source out some Canare 4S6 cable. You can find it for around $2.50 a foot. It can be used in a bi-wire configeration or as a regular two wire run. Your choice.
Another excellent choice is IXOS. A little harder to find but around the same price as the Canare. It makes an excellent 2 wire cable.
Be very aware of the assembly quality of any cable you buy. Cheap cable = cheap assembly. You do not have to spend a small fortune to get quality cables. There are several folks out there who assemble custom IC's that will blow away even the "exotic" stuff and they do it for very little cash. They use the exact same wire/cable and assemble with the exact same tools. Only difference is they are not trying to retire on selling a couple of sets of IC's
Also remember that everyone hears differently just as our vision is different. If you are as deaf as a stump then soild silver cables with pure 24 .crt gold plugs ain't going to make an ounce of difference in what you hear.
Is there a difference between a Kia and a Bently? Hell yes. Do you have to buy either a Kia or a Bently? Hell no, there are a ton of cars/trucks/mini-vans between them. You pay your money and you take your choice. Key words here are "your choice". Just don't tell folks that your Kia drives, rides and is built the same as thier Nissian or Bently. You would be doing them a grave injustice.
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post #115 of 372 (permalink) Old 2007-01-13, 11:13 AM
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The point of threads like this isnt that people should go to the dollar store and buy their cables there. Rather, people should be aware that big chain stores push overpriced and mid quality stuff on the unaware consumer. Things like cables can be purchased at many different places for a fraction of the cost (and in a lot cases better quality) than simply shopping at BB or FS.
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post #116 of 372 (permalink) Old 2007-01-14, 07:54 AM
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'Do I need thick speaker wire?

This was posted before but I felt it needed to be highlighted since I keep seeing related posts. Wire Table answers the question 'Do I need thick speaker wire?' or 'What is the maximum recommended length for a 16 gauge speaker cable'.
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post #117 of 372 (permalink) Old 2007-01-19, 01:49 PM
 
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Just wanted to let everyone know about a good Canadian mfg of cables that I have dealt with a few times, very good quality and good prices. Out of Toronto, Canada. http://www.phantomcables.com/index.html They don't sell directly to the public, I bought mine at infinite cables.

Samsung UN55C6400,EV 6100,Pan DMP-BD85,Rec Pioneer VSX-D812K,PSB Image B25 F's & 10S R's,Energy ECC-1 Center & S8.3 Sub
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post #118 of 372 (permalink) Old 2007-01-19, 05:07 PM
 
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I called XS cargo - they don't have component cables. Those cables are sold at TheSource, BB, FS or TigerDirect for about $40-50 (5-6'). So where can I get decent cables for about $20-25?

Thanks.
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post #119 of 372 (permalink) Old 2007-01-19, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Monoprice dot com. They have some that are less expensive, but their "premium" line should be about that price landed in Canada.

This and other options were probably mentioned many times previously in this thread, I suggest you review previous posts.

57's Home Theatre (Latest equipment & photos)
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post #120 of 372 (permalink) Old 2007-01-19, 07:46 PM
 
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Thanks 57,

I actually went through the whole topic, I just wanted an option to buy from a local retailer in Canada. It's hard to tell from a picture what you are buying, but I guess it should be okay.
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