Subwoofer cable

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Butch C, Jan 18, 2002.

  1. Butch C

    Butch C Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    0
    Is there a difference between sub cable and regular A/V cable?

    Do i have to buy specified sub cable to get the same effect?
     
  2. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Butch,

    No you don't need a "subwoofer" cable. That's a total misnomer. Any quality shielded audio cable will work. Even Radio Shack Gold Series.

    Brian
     
  3. Mike Kao

    Mike Kao Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2000
    Messages:
    277
    Likes Received:
    0
    I actually DID notice a difference going from a standard shielded RCA cable to Monster Cable MonsterBass subwoofer cable. Could be a placebo, but I doubt it, as I have not been very susceptible to the placebo effect in the past.
     
  4. Leon Liew

    Leon Liew Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am using the Monster Z-Bass 100 subwoofer cable and there

    is certainly a great difference from ordinary RCA cables.

    In fact my HT system is all wired with Monster.
     
  5. Butch C

    Butch C Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2001
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand quality issues but I mean does Monster A/V wire and Monster Sub wire have a huge difference?
     
  6. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Butch,

    Unless the Monster "sub" cables have more greater shielding or a larger center conductor I don't see how they would be any different than any other analog interconnect, including Monster's.

    As a matter of fact, the original BetterCables (predating the SS line) analog cables and subwoofer cables were one and the same.

    I did notice a huge difference moving from a non-shielded RCA to a shielded one.
     
  7. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 1999
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would have to agree with Mike and Leon. Defenitely a difference. Both the Monster Bass, and Z-Bass are good buys.
     
  8. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2000
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    0
    www.boldercables.com
    the Cardas RCA's with Belden 89259 cable.
    A few dollars more but a VERY *tight* cable if connecting to your sub.
    Highly recommended.
    BOK
     
  9. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 1999
    Messages:
    1,475
    Likes Received:
    32
    Real Name:
    Marvin
    Brian, do the boldercables have any other advantages besides tightness? I find Radio Shack gold cables to be very, maybe too, tight. Would they be just as good as a bolder or monster or other sub cable?
     
  10. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is nothing (other than markeing hype) different between a sub cable and a interconnect.

    They are nearly all made with coax (yes, the same type of stuff your CATV cable is made from).

    And this "Shielding" issue is a bit of hype.

    Yes, a coax cable has an outer connection called the "shield" made from wire mesh, foil or both, and it has 2 jobs:

    - Protect the line-level signals on the center conductor from outside signals

    - Keep the signal on the center conductor from leaking out.

    Now here are the important points:

    - Shielding becomes more and more important with higher frequencies. We are talking 100's of KiloHz or MegaHz. Subwoofer frequencies are all below...120 Hz.

    - The outer shield on a cable can do little UNLESS that shield is connected to a "drain" which can draw off any signal the wire encounters. (What, you think any RFI voltage near the wire just magically disappears? ) In your equipment, the shield connects to the ground-plane in your amp.

    A cable with a better shield can be thought of as: "A better Antenna to inject your equipment with noise".

    I'm not saying shielding is bad. But you have to understand that the argument about a "better shield" is a bit of hype for a sub cable. This is because it would take a huge ammount of signal to affect the center conductor even on cheap, inexpensive coax, and you would find your system un-usable long before that with all the noise it would inject into your equipment.

    So how come a Monster cable sounds better?

    I strongly believe the difference is the RCA plug. Subwoofers like a lot of tight surface area. We have seen with SVS that two inexpensive cables sound different, but the better sounding cable has a tighter RCA plug.

    Try this: Start a bass-heavy track and un-plug your sub. Push the RCA plug onto the connector and slowly push it on. You should hear the sound change as the connector slides on. Surface area and tightness are an issue here.

    Now, un-screw your CATV coax and turn on the TV. Slowly touch the end of the exposed wire into the jack. Nearly as soon as you touch the wire - the picture comes back. Pushing the wire into the socket has little/no effect. The higher-frequency signals are much less sensitive to surface area/tightness.

    Monster is famous for the "turbine grip of death" RCA plugs. This IS one of the benifits of a Monster (expensive) cable - tighter plugs. It's not the coax.
     
  11. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 1999
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  12. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mark: with respect, I earned my degree in Electrical Engineering nearly 20 years ago and several years experience in these things.
    And as far as pulling/pushing the sub cable goes, how could this damage your amp? If you are not connected/no current could flow. Since the LFE output from the receiver is line-level, even shorting the tip of the RCA plug to the outer rim should not cause damage. (It's the high current from a shorted speaker-level connection that draws the current and causes damage).
    Or are you talking about damaging the amp in the sub? Since this feeds the input stage of a amp, a shorted input creates a 0.000 volt difference should produce no amplification - no damage.
    Or are you just advising caution to not play with connections with the power on?
     
  13. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 1999
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  14. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Mark: if you have a counter opinion/knowledge/experience to something I posted, please describe it. Opening ourselves up to this kind of debait is often very instructive and rewarding.

    Personal attacks or challenges to justify each others opinions/credentials can be found on other sites. I'd prefer to not have them here on HTF. (Not to say they dont happen, but when it does we are usually embarrassed over the accidental "head-butting" :b )

    If my tone was somehow brisk and offended you, I'm sorry.

    You ARE correct that playing with cables while the power is on is risky as a general rule.

    In my defense, one of the safest plugs to disconnect/connect is the LFE feed to the sub amp. If you break the connection --- well that is just like turning on the power with no input connected. You do this all the time with your AV Receiver.

    If you were to somehow short the inner/outer contacts on the RCA plug what would happen? Nothing.

    An amplifier takes a Voltage Difference as a signal and tries to amplifiy it. This voltage difference is from the center-pin vs the outer rim on the plug.

    If you somehow shorted the inner/outer parts on the RCA plug into your amp you produce a voltage difference of: (dramatic pause) 0.0 volts! With no voltage difference, there is nothing to amplify - no signal - no damage.

    In fact, one "tweek" that has some truth to it is to buy a bunch of RCA male plugs, short the inner & outer contacts where wire would normally connect, and plug these into any un-used analog inputs. The theory being that this will tie the inputs to a zero-voltage state and make the amp less-succeptiable to picking up small RFI signals and causing noise on the un-used channels that might contaminate the amp with noise.
     
  15. Russell _T

    Russell _T Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2001
    Messages:
    579
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Monsters or "sub only" cables usually do have a floating ground on the output end. Whether this is worth the extra money is debatable.
     
  16. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Russell,

    That is quite common for many analog interconnects; not just "sub" cables.

    Brian
     
  17. Randy G

    Randy G Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 18, 2000
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    0
    That Brian Bunge is sooo modest.....and sometimes to his own detriment.
    In case anybody's interested, Brian(rutledgeaudiodesign.com) manufactures custom cables that are not only incredible looking, but are also priced LOWER than just about everybody in the business. Check out the website if you get a chance. Brian, are those photos up yet???
    The last paragraph was brought to you by Shamelessplug.com :^)
     
  18. David Head

    David Head Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 1999
    Messages:
    302
    Likes Received:
    0
    Take a look at Wireworld Audio subwoofer cables.
    Their cables include two RCA plugs at the subwoofer end, so you don't need a Y-cable. Here is one site where you can purchase them.
    David
     
  19. Leon Liew

    Leon Liew Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2001
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well guys, what ever opinions and debates expressed in this thread I still prefer the Monster Z Bass 100 sub cable.

    To be honest prior to using the Monster Sub cable, I was

    using their XP cables as sub cables. Its connection is

    thru the speaker line input of the sub from the A/V amp's

    speaker output and not thru the LFE line. Nevertheless

    the bass produced was tight and sounded 'wooden'. But since

    using the sub cable the bass produced was defined and

    smooth either for music or movies. My sub is the Velodyne

    VA810IIX. Anyway it boils down to one thing,its one own

    preference whether to spent the dollars. I for one don't

    skimp on cables.
     
  20. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    1,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    Greg
    I would not play around with the sub interconnect when the power is on. If you touch the RCA tip to the outside of the female connector you'll get a very loud hum/boom. On my sub this could cause serious hearing damage...
     

Share This Page