For us to recommend alternatives (or not) it would help to know how the cords were to be used:
- exotic jewelry for the wife
- new leash for the dog
- tie-downs for your pickup
- an emergency belt you hide in your suitcase for the unenviable times you forget all your other belts at home
- macrame plant holders
AR makes very good cables for the money. For $50 I doubt you'll find anything appreciably better. However, if you really want a better cable, AR makes a Master Series set of cables that are a substantial improvement (to my eyes, anyway) over their standard or pro series cables. The master series component cables offer quad-shielded silver-clad copper with locking connectors, available in 6' length for $64.99 here: http://www.etronics.com/product.asp?stk_code=arms291
They will compare favorably in picture quality to cables selling in the $100 to $150 range. The downside is that the component set comes in three separate cables and they are stiff to work with. For this reason I still prefer my Bettercables Silver Serpents, but AR Maser Series cables are a real bargain if you can live with their limitations. And yes, I am using the AR cables in my system, and I have compared the Master Series component cable to a Pro series cable.
That must be one happy dog! Maybe he'll start a trend in the neighborhood. . .
The reason for asking about HD signals is that the AR cables (not sure about Master level) may not have enough bandwidth to pass HD signals.
Here's a post Bob McElfresh made regarding using AR video cables: AR HT 192 - 12' componet cable for $55.80
Assuming your needs fall into what Bob outlined, I'd say you're all set.
Admin Note: I have removed the price-comparison table. The original prices from 5/2002 dont apply today and it's more work than I have time for to update everything. And if I do it for one site, I'd have to do it for them all to be fair.
Nice list Bob. I found someone else (Blue Jeans Cable) that sells on eBay and uses the Belden 1694A/Canare connector combo (like the Rhinocables standard cable) for component and also composite and audio cables. They charge about $37 for a 2 foot component cable, about $42 for 6 feet etc.
This is great feedback guys! keep any mistakes you find coming.
I'm thinking about making a "Sticky" thread and putting the chart at the top. Then I'd like Mark to post his views on Belden 1695a vs Canare V3-5CFB for longer runs.
Then I'll add a link to Chris White's DIY web site.
Isn't there also a silver-coated coax from Belden that some people like? Whats the part number?
(Since we seem to get these types of questions every few days, this would give us a fixed-reference point.)
I might be mistaken, so someone please correct me if I am wrong. I believe the cable used by bettercables is custom-made for them by Belden. I cannot remember off the top of my head where I read this, though.
Note that the AR cables on the Best Buy website are for the AR bottom feeder cables, they are good for the money, but usually to be avoided for larger screens. The AR Pro series cables are what I'd stick with for those on a budget with a large screen TV. But for great performance at a good price, the Master series cables are what I'd recommend and they will nicely pass an HD signal. These are very good cables, and will equal the likes of Catcables and Bettercables (all of which I have tried for S-video, but for component, I have only compared the Master series to the Bettercables Silver Serpents). The Silver Serpents are still my cables of choice in this group because of how easy they are to work with (and they look good too) but the picture quality of the AR Master series will at least match the Silver Serpents, for shorter runs anyway (I have no cables over 2 meters for the Silver Serpents and 6' for the AR cables).
A side note, I have also tried a Radio Shack Gold series component cable (going for $40 for 6' I believe) and I thought this cable was dull and lifeless in comparison to a similarly priced AR Pro series cable. And the Pro cable was a notch or two below the Master series or Bettercables cables I've compared (and still use).
I've seen nothing published in detail on the AR cables. You might try to email them for data. I gave them a shot because I've been happy with their cables in the past (I also have S-video Master series cables as well as the Pro series cables) and the price and specs (frequency corrected silver-clad >99.99 copper, 4 layers of shielding, built in noise reduction technology, Teflon--rather than PVC--jackets, locking connectors, lifetime warranty) looked right for their component Master series cables, so I gave them a shot and I'm happy I did.
A lot of their technology is licensed from other companies, and if this is true of their cables, you might be able to get more data from the company they have licensed with. I just ordered the AR TDS202 Passive Harmonic Restoration Device and could not find much information on the AR website, ARaccessories.com but the TDSAudio website was loaded with information (their website was found using google, not at the AR website).
I gave up on Monster cables some time ago as being overpriced for what you get, so I haven't looked into them for any data, but back in the days I was researching such data, I don't remember finding any data of the type you're looking for on their website.
i tried Jay, but had not received a reply...probably wind up doing it again...as far as monster goes, its impossible it seems to get past the first person to someone who's not reading or cutting and pasting standard replies. I recall asking Monster some technical questions on their power conditioning systems but never got a decent reply, but then its tough to find out just what is being conditioned when you ask most manufacturers. Thanks for the reply.
Good cables list. May I add a new bargain value I have come across?
AUDIOQUEST SIDEWINDER: Cheap AND Effective. www.audioquest.com
I think there are some good Kimber low-end offerings as well.
I particularly like your list because it lists real world alternatives at budget to reasonable prices while not getting into the whole argument about whether more expensive cables are worth it.
I may at some point lob in a list with $150+ cables I like for interconnect and speaker for us slightly crazy audiophiles
Is Sidewinder their cheapest cable? I'm always confused by Audioquest's cable classifications. I checked their site but I didn't see much difference between the Sidewinder and the Copperhead aside from the color.
Also, is there any particular online Audioquest dealer you would recommend?
Based on the current AudioAdvisor catalog, AudioQuest interconnect cables run as follows, listed cheapest to most expensive, with retail price for 1 meter cable following (however, right now AudioAdvisor has 20% off on cables, including the AR Master Series cables I mentioned, using coupon code SC102C7, which expires 5/13, and free shipping on orders of $199 and over):