$1100 for bunch o' cables? - Help me out

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Shane Morales, Jul 11, 2003.

  1. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

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    ...seems pretty excessive to me. Here's the Tweeter recommended cables they want to sell me.
    • M Series® Bass 550 Powered Subwoofer Interconnect ($54) 12'
      M Series® Silver Digital M1000D® - S/PDIF (2 x $50)
      M Silver Video™ M1000cv Component Video Cable 2M (3 x $180)
      M1.4s Biwire™ Speaker Cable 15/15 ($279)
      M1.4s Biwire™ Speaker Cable - Center Channel ($112)
    That's $1085.

    The M1.4s Biwire™ Speaker Cable ($279) is for my sub, which might be more than 10' away from the receiver (see the image below).

    Here's my gear:
    • Samsung 56" DLP HLN567W
      Denon 3803 receiver
      Denon 2900 DVD player
      Monster Cable HTS3600 line conditioner
      Mirage OM7 fronts (floor standers, 44" tall)
      Mirage OM200 sub
      Mirage OMR2HG surrounds
      Mirage OMC2 center
      Salamander Designs Triple-20 TV thingie
      (http://www.salamanderdesigns.com/syn/triples.jsp)
    All of the components will be right under the TV, no more than 3' apart from each other.

    Here's a diagram of how it will all be setup:
    http://www.nineshadoweyes.com/images/HT_plan_1.gif

    Do I really need this grade of cables? Dunno... seems kinda excessive. What are my alternatives? Where can I get good quality cables for less $?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Vincent_S

    Vincent_S Second Unit

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  3. Vincent_S

    Vincent_S Second Unit

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    Oh, you can also find pretty good deals on Ebay.
     
  4. Scott Oliver

    Scott Oliver Screenwriter

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    Why are they suggesting 2M of component video cable if everything is right below the TV?

    Also why 2 SPDIF digital cables when it seems you only have one digital source?

    Where is the surround speaker cable?

    Just a few irregularities I notice.

    If you aren't into spending that kind of money, I wouldn't do it. There are plenty of people on this forum that know of very cheap sources for wiring.

    I am a semi-believer that cables can make a difference, but I also think using good cables on a receiver is waste of money. I would seriously doubt you could tell a huge difference, now with my $25000 2 channel stereo system cabling becomes a different story.

    So in conclusion my advice is to not to pull the trigger, wait for someone with all the great cheap cable finds chimes in.
     
  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Cables have upwards of a 50% markup so they are a high-profit item.

    Component Video Cables:

    Only buy them if the package says "HD" or "HDTV Compatible". (Bit of a joke because nowhere on Monsters package/web site do they say anything about being compatible with HD video signals.)

    The custom cable sites can sell you actual HD rated cables for under $100 each. Look for Canare RCA plugs and Canare or Belden coax. A step up would be the "Silver" cables sold by www.bettercables.com if you really wanted to go with silver-coated cables.

    SPEAKER WIRE:

    You can get 95% of the sound as 'audiophile' speaker wires using the Sound King brand from www.partsexpress.com. A step up from Monster, yet cheaper would be speaker wires from custom sites like www.bettercables.com. Most of us buy a spool of 12 ga wire and use it for all the speakers.

    SUBWOOFER CABLE:

    Something is wrong. You say:

     
  6. Jason F.

    Jason F. Stunt Coordinator

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    My Gawd that's ALOT for cables!!! I guess it depends on you budget, if you can really REALLY afford 1000 bucks in cables then do it. But if it were me I would go with the bettercables set-up, I highly doubt you could tell a difference. And a spool of 50ft sound king cables from partsexpress runs about 26-40 bucks.
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    My word, think of the years of beer of the month that one could have! I'll bet they even said something like it'll help your realize the full potential of your system.
    Before I suggest some approaches, let me ask you what you feel is a more appropriate amount to spend and if cable appearance is of importance?
     
  8. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

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    Thanks y'all! This is exactly the kind of info I was hoping for.

    Scott said:
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    For speaker wire, 12 gauge as you suggest is perfectly adequate. Whether you decide to buy that at Home Depot or say online at PartsExpress.com and choose the SoundKing or Phoenix Gold, really who cares? Now for a few more cents a foot, you can go over to KnuKonceptz.com and check out their 12 gauge with really a very nice attractive blue PVC sheeth. It gives you that audiophile 'je ne sais quoi' for a few cents a foot more. Buy the spool as you suggest and terminate the ends the way you want that works for you....bananas, spades, really who cares? Cut a couple of extra feet to allow for moving things around.

    Sub cable has the really easy job of carrying a signal that's below about 120 Hz. Wow, talk about being overworked [​IMG]. You can buy a premade one with RCA connectors or do as Bob suggested: get a length of coax with F connectors and then get some F-RCA adaptors. So long as the center conductor is copper (stranded makes it more flexible) and it's shielded, you're off to the races.

    For component video cables, head on over to Target and get yourself a pack of GE, 12 foot for about $20. OK, so they're a bit longer than you need. You want shorter, maybe they've got a smaller length or get some over at the Shack. The connection from your DVD to your TV at best is around 40mHz. If you were running very long lengths like a 100 or more feet then a broadcast quality cable might make some sense. You're not though. However if you want to overspecify for whatever reasons, places like Rhino, AVCable, etc. will provide something appropriate. It'll cost you a bit more though. S/H and all that.

    For a digital coax, find a length of 75 ohm coax with RCA connectors. Even a single length of video coax will do just fine.

    Now what else did that funny saleman tell you? Let me think. He said something like, "Shane, that's some mighty fine equipment you've got there (a little stroke to the ego...he knows!) and not everyone is as a discerning audiophile like you. It's a very resolving and revealing set of comonents you've got. Don't compromise their performance by buying some cheap lamp cord! You know what the best is, now you should know that our store, Ketchum, Holdem, & Screwem has a reputation to maintain and we choose cables only from those companies that provide remarkable value and performance." Sound about right? So tell me, how do you like it when someone doesn't even buy you dinner before they're screwing you?
     
  10. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    forget component cables with the HLN 56" Samsung, and forget buying the Denon DVD player as well. Very nice HD Monitor (you may want to wait 6 months like I am) but it still has serious quality "issues" to address.

    before you buy this gear, you may want to research where you want to be in 6-12 months.

    DVI player and DVI cable compatible HDTV is your goal. The HLN IS just that NOW! There are only a couple of DVI out DVD PLAYERS OUT THERE NOW. You need to put away your credit card and re-think your purchase.

    do not buy monster, period. Step away from the Tweeter rep for a week and do some homework.

    Best of Luck,

    BOK
     
  11. Bobby Parsons

    Bobby Parsons Stunt Coordinator

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    If your buying that much I recommend you going to bestbuy and trying to work out a deal with them. I worked there and there was 50 percent or more mark up on cables. If I were you put all that in one basket, take it to a manager and say I will only buy this if you can take 30% off the total purchase for me. Belive me if your bestbuy is anything like mine they will do this deal. Or you could try and get a part time job for 3 weeks with them. Work 2 days a week. And when those 3 weeks go buy go crazy with the discount. I prob could have gotten all of that when I worked there on discount for under 300 dollars.
     
  12. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

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    Thank you all for the help.

    I headed over to partsexpress.com and chose:

    12 GA SOUND KING SPKR WIRE 100' $36x1
    AR PRO II COMPONENT VIDEO CABLE 3' $50x2
    AR PRO II RCA DIGITAL COAXIAL CABLE 3' $20x2
    DAYTON AUDIO BANANA SPEAKER PLUG 2 RED/2 BLK $7x6

    That's about $220. Am I missing anything? I have bi-wire speakers - not sure how many banana plugs I'll need for that. Do I need anything else for my sub?

    Revised goodies list:
    • Samsung 56" DLP HLN567W
      Denon 3803 receiver
      DVI DVD Player (Samsung probably)
      Monster Cable HTS3600 line conditioner
      Mirage OM7 fronts
      Mirage OM200 sub
      Mirage OMR2HG surrounds
      Mirage OMC2 center

    Thanks.
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well I don't see where you've put in your order for the beer of the month club for starters! I also think it's a nice thing to pick up some cleaning products such as those from Caig. I believe on their website you'll find a few different sample packs. Kind of like the little perfume/makeup combos that many of the fairer sex are fond of at Macy's or Nordstrum. Once a year, say on your birthday, take apart your connections, inspect them, give them a quick cleaning with contact cleaner, and whatever else Caig had in that sampler. It's a little pricey if one considers it on a dollars per ounce thing but a little goes a long long way and it's damned convenient.
    Maybe I missed it, but where's the sub cable?
    You should also get yourself the Radio Shack analogue meter and a nice laser pointer to help align your speakers as well as a calibration disk. I'd say you're in pretty good shape.
    Hope you've read some of the other posts that have conveniently turned up in Tweaks as it'll give you additional insight into matters. The biwiring you can do or not. The audible differences are enormously speculative. But you say, why do they put them on if it doesn't do anything? Answer me this, if the cost to include the capability is something like $0.50, and I may be overestimating it, why would you, as a manufacturer, want to alienate a percentage of the population that right or wrong, believes in the concept?
    Listening for differences, especially when the differences are likely to be small, is not as easy as one would think.
    Enjoy your system and invite the boys over for some beer and pizza. You saved enough over what might've been to kick back and have some fun.
     
  14. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I agree with Chu, get thee to a Rat Shack and pick up a SPL meter and get a copy of Avia, S&V or VE. For less than your average high tech 1M interconnect or spool of "cryogenic" speaker wire, you get something that will be 100 times more likely to improve the sound (and video) of your system (and it won't take a "golden" ear or eye to discern the difference).
     
  15. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Shane,

    Glad to see you are going with a DVI supported DVD player.

    The Sammy player has received good marks and seems to be preferred to the other unit, the Bravo.

    check out www.pacificcable.com for a good low cost DVI cable. You will need to purchase the "DVI-D" cable listed there. Nothing over 14' for length, keep in mind.

    Nice system.

    BOK
     
  16. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

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    Man, this is great. I'm going to save about $800 all told. And I get to do my own cables! Can't thank you all enough.
     
  17. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Glad to help.

    The ONE thing I would have done differently is order a custom video cable from one of the web sites. Neither Monster or AR certify that their cables are HDTV compatible. The custom sites DO carry HD grade video cable for about the same price as the AR cables.

    Other than that, it's a great set of cables.
     
  18. Shane Morales

    Shane Morales Second Unit

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  19. Barry II

    Barry II Extra

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    I can't seem to figure out why people prefer Sound King over something which is just as good. The way I see it they add on words like 99.9% copper. "Flexible PVC"? It's not like everything else is concrete insulated. I hold firm the belief that 12 GA is the same no matter what. So pick some Carol brand 12 GA speaker cable. http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/showd..._ID=2898&DID=7
    You get twice as much as the Sound King for half the price! Plus it's in-wall rated which the Sound King is not apparently.

    --Barry II
     
  20. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well that'd certainly work as would outdoor low-voltage lighting wire. Even a set of jumper cables, but they're a bit hard on the binding posts.
    It's very hard these days, according to Madison Wire, to not get OFC and the multiple strands make for improved flexibility. Myself, I can't see why there'd be a difference audibly in his particular application but there's many good inexpensive solutions as there are many good expensive solutions.
     

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