Help with Interconnect Cable Selection

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by Paul D. K., Nov 27, 2002.

  1. Paul D. K.

    Paul D. K. Stunt Coordinator

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    I need some help making some decisions and am hoping to get some advice. Within the last 6 months I’ve purchased some very expensive equipment (for me) and am trying to decide what interconnects and speaker cables I should be going with. I’ve been holding off making the commitment to a specific brand, etc. until I got some independent advice. My local dealer used to sell Monster products and pushed them until they dropped the line. They are now selling IXOS and Audio/Videoquest.

    Equipment List:

    B & K AVR 307
    Pioneer Elite DV-47A DVD Player
    Pioneer Elite PRO-720HD HDTV Projection Monitor
    B & W Nautilus 803 Speakers (Pair) for Front
    B & W Nautilus HTM1 Center Speaker
    B & W Rock Solid Speakers (Pair) for Rear (left over from previous system)
    B & W ASW4000 Sub-woofer (Future Purchase when I finish paying for the rest)
    Monster HTS 7000 – Power Center
    Mitsubishi S-Video HS-U778 VCR

    My desire is to identify the approximate quality level and style of cables and then try (if possible) a few alternatives. However, I don’t have an unlimited budget. What I don’t want to do is spend too little and not take advantage of my equipment – I’m hoping there is a “sweet spot” where quality and value come together.

    So here are my questions:

    What brand and/or style of interconnect cables should I be buying that will have the least effect on the output of my equipment, but are a good value? For instance, is Monster Cable’s M1000 series a good line of interconnect cables or is there more cost effective solutions that will yield better or similar results? Do I need to increase my price point? Would solutions from IXOS and/or Audio/VideoQuest be any better?

    Should I be getting connectors that are silver or gold plated?

    Is Optical or Coaxial Digital Cables better? Should the cable have silver or gold plated connectors?

    As I’ve started to research the topic of speaker cables it seems that there are a lot of opinions as to how they should be constructed, what type of material should be used (silver, oxygen free copper with silver plating, etc.), etc. HOW DOES A PERSON KNOW WHAT IS AND ISN’T IMPORTANT? And, if it’s all important, how does one prioritize? Any recommendations?
     
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Paul. Welcome to HTF!
    Yes, the cable quandry is tough. One of the first suggestions to avoid over-buying is to budget 10% of the equipment cost you are connecting for the wires/cables.
    So if that Pioneer TV cost $5,000 then $500 would not be out-of-line for a video cable. (Dont worry, we can do much better than that. [​IMG])
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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  4. Paul D. K.

    Paul D. K. Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob -
    Yes, your responses do help. I've heard the 10% rule before and am hoping that I don't meet or exceed that limit. You've suggested $$ levels that don't scare me. I will have to investigate the sights that you mention.

    Thanks,

    Paul
     
  5. Rory

    Rory Extra

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    Hi Paul,

    I'm a relative newbie myself that went through all the issues you had. I thought I'd recommend one other site for you to check out to buy your cables. This is where I ended up buying mine. To my mind, they had the best quality for the best price. Check 'em out.

    Blue Jeans Cables at: bluejeanscable.com

    Cheers!
     
  6. Aaron Baker

    Aaron Baker Extra

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    Hello,
    I just thought I would let you know a bit about my experience with Bettercables.com. Their service was very impressive. I had emailed them a few questions and I received a very prompt reply. In fact, i'd say the reply was educational. I paid for my order and received it VERY fast. I was very impressed with the quality of the cable when I examined it. I purchased a coax and their blue truths bullet plugs. I spent a bit on my equipment and I really liked what I felt the bullet plugs would do. I liked the fact that it isn't held to the inputs via metal. For me I DID notice a difference in sound. But again, I was so impressed with their customer service.

    I am still awaiting Monsters reply.

    Oh, another thing that I was impressed with, Bettercables actually give you technical info. You can actually compare the stats of their cables before making a decision. Cables aren't cheap and a company that really believes in their product should IMO should display their specs for all to see. After all they should be proud of what is in their product.

    For me Monster basically just said "our are just the best".

    Get all the info you can, make a well informed decision.
    Well, guess I am dragging on a bit. Just wanted to give my 2 cents.
     

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