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Good Quality Cabling /w Affordable Price?


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#1 of 38 OFFLINE   Derek Iverson

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Posted February 22 2003 - 08:35 PM

I'm currently setting up my home theater, but I'm having trouble finding some good quality cables and wires at an affordable price.

I was going to use Monster Cable for my speakers, but it can be pretty expensive. I've heard that just about any 12 gauge wiring will work great for speakers, is this true? If this is so, is this a good deal, or would I be better off going to a store like Home Depot?

What about for my subwoofer? I'm going to be getting an SVS. I'm not sure which one yet, but definitely one of the cylinders. I heard someone saying that RG6 cabling will work, but will I lose any of the signal? I don't think my sub will be that far away from the TV, so maybe it would be best if I just bought something pre-made.

I also need to get a good quality toslink cable to go from my DVD player to my A/V receiver. I've seen some really cheap ones, but I don't really know much about them.

I'll probably need some digital coaxial cables too (long ones; 25-50 feet).

I still haven't bought any decent component video cables to use for my HDTV (57" Toshiba 57HX81) that I've had for several months. It seems like most of the "good" ones are $80 and up. Anything cheaper, or are the expensive ones worth it in this case? I've been told that they are worth the money in the past, but this would really start to add up. I need one to go from my A/V receiver to my TV, one to go from my DVD player to my A/V receiver, and another one to go from my HDTV receiver to my A/V receiver.
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#2 of 38 OFFLINE   Murali Kalapala

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Posted February 22 2003 - 09:42 PM

The sound king is a good deal. For video cables buy good coaxial cables and make your own....there will be no problems. The DIY forum may have more info.
Kris

Toshiba 42H82, Denon DVD 1600,Rotel RSP 1066,Rotel RMB 1095,Center:Nautilus HTM2Fronts:B&W CDM9NT,Surrounds:B&W DM602S3 Subwoofer: Paradigm Servo 15

#3 of 38 OFFLINE   Derek Iverson

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Posted February 22 2003 - 09:49 PM

Umm... I'm not going to use coax cables for high resolution video. I'm sticking with component.
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#4 of 38 OFFLINE   TommyL

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Posted February 23 2003 - 01:34 AM

Derek, check out www.ac4l.com they have ar pro cabling, which is a great abng for the buck...and cheap too...I believe they have a big sale going on...12' component cables AR PRO, not the Best BUY cheap ones..for 24 bucks(last I checked) talk to Mark...he is good...tell him tom sent yaPosted Image

#5 of 38 OFFLINE   Derek Iverson

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Posted February 23 2003 - 02:34 PM

Looks like a good deal. Thanks Tom.
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#6 of 38 OFFLINE   Derek Iverson

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Posted February 23 2003 - 02:35 PM

Hmm... Does anyone know where to get long digital coaxial cable? I need it to reach from one of my computers to my A/V receiver (at least 25-30 feet).
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#7 of 38 OFFLINE   TommyL

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Posted February 23 2003 - 02:39 PM

Email Mark at the addy above..he may have something, or a suggestionPosted Image tom

#8 of 38 OFFLINE   Camp

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Posted February 23 2003 - 03:21 PM

Digital coax doesn't need a special cable.
I put RCA ends on a 60' run of RG6 to go from my computer to my HT and it worked fine. Sounds great and only cost $25 at Home Depot.

#9 of 38 OFFLINE   Mike Matheson

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Posted February 23 2003 - 03:47 PM

Derek,

For inexpensive quality component cables, one option would be www.bluejeanscable.com.

(they'll still be "coaxial" component cables; I don't think you'd find much better though)

#10 of 38 OFFLINE   Derek Iverson

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Posted February 23 2003 - 04:57 PM

Quote:
Digital coax doesn't need a special cable.
I put RCA ends on a 60' run of RG6 to go from my computer to my HT and it worked fine. Sounds great and only cost $25 at Home Depot.
I think I still have an extra 50' of RG6 from when I was routing it around the house. Are you sure that would work? All of the digital coax cables I've seen are a lot smaller in diameter and more flexible than RG6.

Quote:
(they'll still be "coaxial" component cables; I don't think you'd find much better though)
Yeah, as long as there are three coax cables and not just one. Hmm.. I thought Mike was telling me to use just one for the video, but I don't know why I would have thought that now that I've reread his post. I guess I misunderstood. I feel kind of stupid now. :b
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#11 of 38 OFFLINE   Khoa Tran

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Posted February 23 2003 - 06:03 PM

Tara Labs

#12 of 38 OFFLINE   Derek Iverson

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Posted February 23 2003 - 07:35 PM

Quote:
Tara Labs

They make cables, right? I went to their web site and it showed some of their products, but you can't buy anything from them directly. I did a search for stores that carry their products and I found two near me.

Chamber's Audio
Jonathan Tinn
2725 S.W Sherwood
Portland, Oregon 97201
United States
Phone: 503-221-0465

Stereotypes
Terry Inman
2627 NE Broadway
Portland, Oregon 97232
United States
Phone: 503-280-0910

I did a search on the internet and didn't find anyone that sells their stuff online, so I would probably have to pay whatever those two stores want for their stuff.

Can you tell me anything about them? Are they high quality cables? Are they expensive (an example would be nice)?
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#13 of 38 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted February 24 2003 - 10:07 AM

I use Tara Labs. They are a little more $$ than Monster(i've used them before too) and are an improvement on the video and audio side both. They make more expensive cables as well but I could only afford their basic entry line at the time.

My advice: buy both and see which ones you like and return the ones you don't. If you see the difference/hear the difference and think its worth the $$, then buy the better cable. I did and kept the Tara labs. Their optical cable 1 meter was $35 for me at my local store.

Generally you should spend 10% of your total home theater budget on cabling and this works out well. I sure would if I spent $2k+ on a new Toshiba big screen.

On Component cables, you don't have to buy strictly component cables, you can buy 3 75ohm video cables and be just fine.

Other sites to recommend are:
http://www.catcables.com
http://www.avcable.com

Keep also in mind the cable debate rages on daily with multiple threads on this and various opinions so do yourself a favor and go with what you like and ignore the rest of us because its your money you are spending not them Posted Image

#14 of 38 OFFLINE   M_a_r_k^NE

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Posted February 24 2003 - 03:20 PM

Tributaries carries good value cable. Check them out.
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#15 of 38 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted February 25 2003 - 02:26 AM

Quote:
Umm... I'm not going to use coax cables for high resolution video. I'm sticking with component.

Almost all video cables are coaxial. If you cut the end off of one it would look almost identical to the end of your CATV cable.

Quote:
Digital coax doesn't need a special cable.

It DOES need to be made with 75 ohm coax. All video cables are 75 ohm coax and CATV coax is 75 ohm as well. This is why your long run worked. Many audio cables are made with 50 ohm coax. They will appear to work as coaxial-digital connection, but people have complained about audio drop-outs every few minutes. This was solved by switching to a video cable.

Quote:
All of the digital coax cables I've seen are a lot smaller in diameter and more flexible than RG6.

Thats because CATV coax has a weather-proof jacket designed to stand up to sun, wind, rain for 10-20 years. This would destroy most cables with the soft rubber cases.

The stiff, un-flexable cables are actually SUPERIOR for most signals because they resist tight bends which can mess up the impedence. Not as nice to handle or look at though.

Quote:
Generally you should spend 10% of your total home theater budget on cabling...

I have to second Shane's advice. I'd even limit it to "10% of the cost of the 2 devices you are connecting".

Derek: you can go budget for a long coaxial-digital connection, or a long subwoofer connection. But I'd really recommend getting high-def compatible video cables.

Yes, you can spend $$$$ on cables, but that is because there is a huge mark-up and cost associated with keeping cables in stock at your local store.

The smart money for video cables is to go to some of the custom-cable sites. They will build you cables with cable stock used in production studios/broadcast industry.

Keep this in mind:

$1.50 / ft - This is the bulk price for professional grade, 3 conductor, HD compatible coax. With good Canare RCA plugs (~$2.00 ea) this cable can match/out-perform the high-end Monster CV300 cable (at $220 for 12 ft).

Chris White has a great site telling you exactly how to build your own cables just like the techs in the industry do. The various custom-sites follow this exact formulia for the cables they will build for you. Highly recommended.

Hope this helps.

#16 of 38 OFFLINE   Derek Iverson

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Posted March 30 2003 - 09:36 AM

When making component video cables, is it better to use Canare's V3-5CFB or would three seperate runs of quad-shielded coaxial cable result in better quality?

I got quotes for custom cables from people selling on eBay. Each quote is from a seperate person that emailed me back. Out of the five people I emailed yesterday, four replied. Only three were interested in making me custom cables. Tell me what you think.

Quote:
Thanks for asking about custom cables. Here are your
prices:

3ft V3-5CFB component cable: $35.25
9ft V3-5CFB component cable: $45.75
12ft V3-5CFB component cable: $51.00
35ft L-5CFB cable (black): $27.50

Total for cables: $159.50
Looks like he is cheaper than bluejeanscable.com.

Quote:
I only use the CommScope cable. The Canare cable is good, but overpriced. Also, the loss is higher and shielding effectiveness is not as good as the 5781 RG6Quad Shield I use. You can get all of the Canare cables you want from www.bluejeanscable.com

Here's prices with my cable:

3' Canare/CommScope 5781, (Y, Pb, Pr), no sleeve: $39.00
9' Canare/CommScope 5781, (Y, Pb, Pr), no sleeve: $42.50
12' Canare/CommScope 5781, (Y, Pb, Pr), no sleeve: $44.50
3' Canare/CommScope 5781, (One Cable - yellow shrink marker?), no sleeve: $13.00 16' Canare/CommScope 5781, (One Cable- yellow shrink marker?), no sleeve: $19.00 38' Canare/CommScope 5781, (Sub - black shrink marker), no sleeve: $24.00 All using RCAP-C53 RCA connectors

The CommScope 5781 RG6-Quad shield I use is not as flexible as some of the higher loss cables, but outperforms everything I've seen on Ebay. I haven't seen anyone else using the quad shield coax. The Canare connectors are also the best I've seen for custom applications.

I've been an RF Engineer with Lockheed for 20 years and have built and tested literally thousands of cables for Aerospace/defense applications. I know the considerations in making high performance cables and have applied this experience to my recent interest in Home Theater. I put together an OP Center for work which had all the features of a Home Theater (DLP front projector, 6.1 surround, HDTV, etc) and really got hooked on HT. Since then I've put together a nice projector based system in my own home as well as setting up some friends and neighbors.

If you still want to make them check out these sites:

http://www.bus.ucf.e...er/DIYCable.htm
This guy is a professor at the university I went to down the road.

http://www.audioholi....ideoCables.php

By lots of spare connectors/cable - There's a learning curve.
Are these cables really better than the "overpriced" Canare solution?

Quote:
We do not use much CFB series cable, because while it may be great cable for facilities wiring, we have found it to be ill-suited to most home and smaller commercial installations. As such, we do not stock any multi-channel CFB cables, only single channel L-4CFB and L-5CFB.

These cables are harder to work with than the ones that we prefer to use, so we charge a premium to build them. I will be happy to order some multi-channel CFB cable in for you, if that's what you really want, or alternately I will be glad to quote for you in single channel CFB.

We could also talk about cables that might be better suited to your needs, if you would like...we stock many cables that would cost less to build and that would probably be a better choice for you.
Should I ask him how much he would charge for component video cables using three seperate runs of quad-shielded RG6?
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“JBL S-Series + SVS = ” - Phil Iturralde
----------------------------------------------------
The Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA HT Meet Thread

#17 of 38 OFFLINE   kevitra

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Posted March 30 2003 - 11:44 AM

http://www.avcables.com/ sells Canare cable at great prices.

#18 of 38 OFFLINE   Derek Iverson

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Posted March 30 2003 - 12:32 PM

Quote:
http://www.avcables.com/ sells Canare cable at great prices.
How is $52.61 for only 3 feet a good deal? BlueJeansCable and the prices that someone gave me above are both cheaper.
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“JBL S-Series + SVS = ” - Phil Iturralde
----------------------------------------------------
The Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA HT Meet Thread

#19 of 38 OFFLINE   Derek Iverson

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Posted March 30 2003 - 12:40 PM

This is what I want to know:

When making component video cables, is it better to use Canare's V3-5CFB or would three seperate runs of quad-shielded coaxial cable result in better quality?
My Home Theater
My DVD Collection

“JBL S-Series + SVS = ” - Phil Iturralde
----------------------------------------------------
The Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA HT Meet Thread

#20 of 38 OFFLINE   Derek Iverson

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Posted March 31 2003 - 09:26 PM

Anyone?
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The Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA HT Meet Thread


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