Cables - are Radio Shack okay?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by NeilO, Sep 21, 2002.

  1. NeilO

    NeilO Producer

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    My receiver and speakers should be arriving on Monday and I was wondering about cables. I'll need to get either a digital optical or digital coaxial cable. It seems that theere is no difference between the two, except the coaxial is slightly cheaper. Radio Shack has a 3' digital coaxial for $9, and a 3' digital optical for $15. These prices are slightly higher than Parts Express is offering, but I consider that once shipping is taken into account, Radio Shack comes out ahead. So, the question is whether there is anything wrong with the quality of the Radio Shack cable. Parts Express has the AR and their own Dayton brands. Is there much of a difference?

    I was thinking of just going to Home Depot for the often recommended 12 gauge speaker wire to go to all the speakers.

    Thanks,

    Neil
     
  2. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer
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    I'd go for the coax connection just because it's cheaper. You don't even need to get a cable labeled as 'digital', any cheapo rca cable will work.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Coax is my preference because it is a bit more sturdy.

    Technically, any RCA cable should work, but I would still go for a cable that is designated digital, as the signal carried is not the same as audio or video, so it may very well make a difference. Quality-wise, there is no reason to get an expensive digital coax cable because it is far less susceptible to electrical interference.
     
  4. NeilO

    NeilO Producer

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    Thanks for the recommendations.

    Neil
     
  5. Gary Thomas

    Gary Thomas Second Unit

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    I use many Rat Shack interconnects for audio & they are fine, but I recommend spending a bit more for video cables. I strongly feel that good video cables allow you to get the best possible picture from the components you have.
     
  6. NeilO

    NeilO Producer

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    Thanks for the information. I already have the video sources all hooked up and I'm happy with those connections the way they are. I have a fairly sturdy S-video connection, which I bought a few years ago when I got my DVD player. It has been doing well.

    Neil
     
  7. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    you can get a 1 meter optical cable at any game store for $7 [​IMG] Look in the Playstation 2 accessories
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    The only thing I do not like about Radio Shack's Gold Series interconnects is that the connectors always seem to fit too tightly on the RCA jacks of my components. It takes too much force to both insert and remove the connector -- I was afraid I would damage the component.
     
  10. Manny_S

    Manny_S Stunt Coordinator

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    Try Acoustic Research. They're pretty decent for the price.
     
  11. chiante

    chiante Agent

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    Yeah, I bought all A. Research cables at bb. Saved me a ton.
     
  12. NeilO

    NeilO Producer

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    Thanks for the advice. [​IMG] My stuff arrived yesteday, but we are still trying to figure out where to place everything in the room. So it is good I didn't buy any cables in advance as we are not yet sure of what length we'll need.
    Surprisingly, the subwoofer came with a cable, which depending on where we put it, we might be able to use.
    Neil
     
  13. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i use a combination of rat-shack, AR & monster in my system. imo, they all work about the same.

    you should do some testing to see if you notice any difference.

    my optical cable is monster - it's a pretty tough s.o.b. i've used the same cable for about 6-7 years now. although i don't throw it around, i certainly don't baby it.
     
  14. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Some advice:

    When you put your gear in the rack, order it this way:

    - Put the receiver/amp on the BOTTOM shelf. This gives stability and allows all those thick speaker wires to flow out without hiding the other components.

    - Put things above the receiver that you NEVER TOUCH. This is like your CATV box, your DSS receiver, etc.

    - Put on top the devices that you interact with like the DVD player and VCR/CD player.

    Look at the back of your rack and see where most of the power cords come out: left or right. Take all these power cords and bundle them loose to that side. Use velcro strips or "split loom" tubing to bundle them.

    Big Hint: Get some labels and label the power cords at the plug end, and where they go into the device. Just use a simple "A", "B", .. letter. This is so when tech support tells you to un-plug the unit you can pick the right plug.

    (If you use a generic label, wrap a layer of scotch tape around the label to prevent the ink from smudging/fading over the years. Radio Shack also sells some "cable labels" that have scotch tape already attached for about $4.)

    Let the interconnects flow loose down the middle of your rack. You can also use velcro/tubing if you want.

    You want to keep separated these three groups of cables:

    - power cords
    - speaker wires
    - interconnects

    Following this advice will make the system easier to hookup & maintain, and by-pass some rare, but possible problems.
     
  15. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I put my receiver on top with a lot of clearance, and nothing above it, because heat rises and the receiver is going to get hotter than any other component. The downside is the speaker wires.
     
  16. NeilO

    NeilO Producer

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    Thanks for all the advice. The receiver I got, Pioneer 811S, suggests at least an 8-inch clearance on top. Unfortunately the setup we have right now doesn't allow that, so we're putting a small table next to it and putting the receiver on that. This looks like it will work out okay and will allow easy access to the back of the receiver.

    Thanks again,

    Neil
     
  17. Richard Mac

    Richard Mac Extra

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    I just bought an Acoustic Research 6' Component cable at ebay for 12.99 and an AR 6' S-Video cable for 5.99.

    Deals are out there.
     
  18. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    John.. you do know we live in an earthquake area?

    Actually, the "bottom of the rack" placement is not bad for heat. Usually the shelves above have space at the front & back for venting and gives you all the rack space for heat to travel. Putting the receiver on the top rack INSIDE a cabinent is quite bad unless you have openings in the top/front/rear for the heat to escape. 6 inches of clearance is good, but not if the 6 inches is the distance to the top of a sealed enclosure.

    I admit - my rack does not have a back. And I do have a small electric fan for the days when the temp is above 95 (like all this week).
     

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