Are Radio Shack's Gold Series S-Video Cables Any Good?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Don Black, Aug 13, 2001.

  1. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    I needed a quick S-Video cable so I grabbed one from Radio Shack for $21 after tax (12 ft.). I'm thinking of returning it however and getting another one from avcable.com or Acoustic Research for a few bucks more. Are the cables from Radio Shack inferior in quality? Thanks.
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    so long as there don't appear to be any manufacturing defects, i don't see why they should be inferior to the others suggested.
     
  3. Michael Henry

    Michael Henry Second Unit

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    I have my entire HT hooked up with 'em...everyone will debate whether or not you need real expensive cables or not...my advice? go out and spend $100 on a good 12' S-video cable and compare the two - then take back the one you don't want...(i bet it's the $100 one) [​IMG]
    ------------------"As GOD as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly..."
    [Edited last by Michael Henry on August 13, 2001 at 08:46 AM]
     
  4. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    As posted here prior, Radio Shack Gold composite and S-video cables, in my own blind tests (using an ISF-calibrated Pioneer 50" RPTV and Panasonic DVD-A310), exhibited noticeable color bleeding and reduced resolution. The next-lowest-priced cables in the test, Monster Video 2, were significantly better. Unlike the other brands, the Radio Shack cables' performance deficits made them easily identifiable throughout the testing.
    Unless one is using bargain-basement equipment or is not interested in maximizing the performance of his/her TV and DVD player, spending just a few extra dollars on quality cables can be a worthwhile investment.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Shop around for Monster, I have found that there is a huge dispairity in cost from different retailers, and they can often be found for much less at a given shop.
    ------------------
    All progress is based upon a universal, inate desire on the part of every organism, to live beyond it's income.
    ITRCA ** Honda/Acura Club ** Speedring (sorry, car guy)
     
  6. Mark Booth

    Mark Booth Screenwriter

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    My entire system is wired with Radio Shack Gold Series cables. S-video, composite, audio and even a 24' run (two 12' cables in series) of three cables for component video.
    I am extremely pleased with the picture and sound. I see no evidence of color bleeding or other problems. Just a fantastic picture. Frankly, I can't imagine that it could look any better.
    My two cents.
    Mark
    ------------------
    Our Home Theater
    Our DVD Collection
     
  7. Westly T

    Westly T Second Unit

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    I've used RS, Monster, AR, and some other cheapo cables. I prefer the AR Pro cables for S-Video. Sears carries them, or try http://www.accessories4less.com
    I dislike the stiffness and tendency to break of the R/S cables as well as the way they get stuck on the connectors. I've actually scene them break solder joints inside AV equipment when you try to unplug them.
    ------------------
    - Wes
    My Home Theater
    The MMG were replaced with 1.6QR's and added Marantz MA-700's. SVS is here. Ok, allot more then that has changed, I'll update my page some day...
    [Edited last by Westly T on August 13, 2001 at 10:31 AM]
     
  8. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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    I started with Radio Shack Gold S-Video cables connected to my projector, and found the picture excessively blurry. Part of this I am sure, is attributable to the need for coupler adaptors to extend their length. I had Monster custom make (ordered through my local dealer) a Level 2 S-Video cable to the length my installation requires and it performs admirably.
    I still had Rat Shacks for the component connection, using RCA-to-BNC adaptors to connect to the projector. I couldn't see a real difference between S-Video and Component, but a friend with the same model projector demo'd the difference on his machine, and I knew it had to be the cables. So I had a local company, ElectroTex, http://www.electrotex.com/cables.htm (they take custom orders over the Internet), fabricate some true 75 ohm video cables of the needed length with RCAs on one end and BNCs on the other. The price was reasonable, and the difference is "night and day". I can now usually tell whether the component or S-Video connection is in play without looking at the control panel.
    I am willing to believe that single lengths of Radio Shack Gold cables with the proper connectors built-in as part of the cable assembly may work OK, particularly with less demanding video gear (for instance, I am using a Radio Shack Gold cable with my old 32" direct-view TV set and it looks fine. I tried a more expensive cable as a test, and on this set, it didn't make a difference). But from what I've read here and elsewhere I also suspect that their quality control may be one area demsonstrating that the "budget" price is there for a reason. So the performance of a particular cable "off the rack" is perhaps more "luck of the draw" than with some other brands. But they also have that 30 return policy, so if one of their cables doesn't work properly in your system, you are not stuck with it.
    Burke
     
  9. Mike Mallory

    Mike Mallory Agent

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    Everyone might want to take notice that Best Buy now handles the Acoustic Research line of cables. They're about half the price of Monster. Whether they're any good or not remains to be seen. But given the AR name, I can't imagine them being anything but excellent.
    - Mike
     
  10. donovan_chin

    donovan_chin Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,
    The Acoustic Research cables/interconnects that Best Buy are selling are from the "Performance" series and not the "Pro" series that have been shown to work well. I bought some of the ones that Best Buy were selling based on their price and but found them to be definitely inferior. Returned them.
     
  11. Don Black

    Don Black Screenwriter

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    Thanks guys. I think I'm going to go with AVCable's stuff for a $25 more...
     
  12. Mike Kao

    Mike Kao Second Unit

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    Hmm, I bought some Ratshack gold series 6' digital coaxial audio cable last week and now I'm getting second thoughts & may return it. I personally haven't noticed any sound degration, but then again my system isn't exactly high-end, nor do I have anything to compare it with. So does the poor quality apply to the entire gold series line?
     
  13. Westly T

    Westly T Second Unit

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    Mike Kao, if you are referring to the new Coax digital orange cable, I think it's a good cable. It isn't made like the other cables they sell, just a bit orange. You should be fine with that cable.
    ------------------
    - Wes
    My Home Theater
    The MMG were replaced with 1.6QR's and added Marantz MA-700's. SVS is here. Ok, allot more then that has changed, I'll update my page some day...
     
  14. Jerome Grate

    Jerome Grate Cinematographer

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    For Digital connections I stuck with Acoustic Research and Monster Cable. As for analog connections like CD players, tape decks, VCRs the gold cable from ratshack is fine.
    ------------------
    If loving Home Theater is
    wrong, I don't want to be
    right!!!
     
  15. RicP

    RicP Screenwriter

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    quote: For Digital connections I stuck with Acoustic Research and Monster Cable. As for analog connections like CD players, tape decks, VCRs the gold cable from ratshack is fine.[/quote]That's funny because an analog signal is exactly where you want to preserve as much of the signal as you can by using high-quality cables. [​IMG]
    Digital connections are much more robust than analog ones. And with regards to HT formats such as DD and DTS, any digital cable is virtually foolproof. PCM streams are susceptible to jitter (but we won't go into that here).
    Analog connections are exactly where you should use higher quality cable as the signal is in its final state pending amplification. Degradation of an analog signal will always manifest itself audibly, and you should always ensure that your analog connections are using the best cables you can get.
    ------------------
    http://www.ricperrott.com
    Ric Perrott
    [Edited last by RicP on August 14, 2001 at 09:48 AM]
     

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