Cables and wires-need help for new system!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kathy C., Sep 14, 2002.

  1. Kathy C.

    Kathy C. Agent

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    I'm setting up my first home theater system--been searching and buying, reading and learning....and overwhelmed!!

    I've got most of my speakers, and my receiver is arriving Monday. Now, I don't know what cables, etc. I need. My budget is tight, but I want the best for my money. Please suggest brands, where to buy and what kind of cables I need (s-video, component, optical, etc.) Also, any special connectors for speaker wire (banana plugs?)If someone could just list what type of cable is needed for each of the components, that would really help.
    Here's what I have:

    Sony KP-HW40 tv
    Paradigm mini monitors v. 2(2-fronts)
    Paradigm PDR 10 sub
    Paradigm cc370 v.s center
    Denon 2802 receiver
    Toshiba SD 1200 dvd player(has optical connection)
    Toshiba VCR-about 6 y.o.
    Sony CD player CDP-C215 (oldish)
    Sony tape player TC-FX410R (old)
    Technics phono SL-B300 (old)
    HOme depot 12 gauge speaker wire
    " " 14 gauge ""(plan on using for rears)

    I'm still looking for 2 atoms for rear speakers, and some stands. Anybody have some atoms sitting around needing a home? I've bought all of the speakers used on ebay and audiogon, with excellent results so far, and amazing savings.

    Sorry this is a lot, but everyones really helped me so far; I truly appreciate it!
    Kathy
     
  2. Pablo Abularach

    Pablo Abularach Supporting Actor

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    Kathy,
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    You'll find the Dayton line at PartsExpress to be built rather well and at prices that won't strain your budget. All you need to do is just figure out exactly what it is that you want. If you've question, you can use PartsExpress' toll free number and they'll guide you without a hand fishing around in your wallet.
     
  4. keir

    keir Stunt Coordinator

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    if your tv has component video input and your dvd player has component output, thats the best quality you can get. if not, s-video is almost as good. as for wire terminators, i just use the bare wire connections and that works perfectly. if you plan to disconnect things pretty often or move stuff around then the bananas or spades might be better.
     
  5. KirkA

    KirkA Agent

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  6. Kathy C.

    Kathy C. Agent

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    When I went to buy the wire at HOme Depot, I was shocked how big the 12 gauge was. Since I'm the wife and the decorator--don't laugh--I made an executive decision that the 14 gauge would be fine for the rears, cause it's going around the baseboard, or under carpet.--and I"ve already bought it!!
    Will there be a huge difference with the 14 gauge?

    Kathy
     
  7. JoeyT

    JoeyT Stunt Coordinator

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    Kathy,
    good for you.
    You are not likely to run into a problem since you are not running full range in the rears.
    How long 14 guage runs are you laying out for the surrounds?
    You may also consider running 2 runs in case you move up to 7.1 later on. Easier to lay down 2 runs at once.
    Best Wishes![​IMG]
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    it's quite unlikely that you'd notice the difference in sound between 12 and 14 gauge. the only negative thing i can see would be that unless you purchased 'flat' wire, there'll likely be a bump that'll be felt and over time show if it's under the carpteting.
     
  9. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I'm not a believer in boutique cables. Your choice of HD speaker wire is most likely a good one, however, if you're doing runs of over 25ft for your rears, you should probably consider going with the 12 gauge. Distances of speaker cables are more of a hard and fast rule than most other cable issues, which can spark debate threads that go on for pages. If you search on the forum, you will find what the minimum recommended gauge is for specific lengths.
    As for cables for your components, always use the best connection possible. I don't mean brand, i mean the best connection type, such as Component Video, SVideo, composite, and so on. For digital audio, use optical or digital coaxial. For VCR and CD, you probably don't have much of a choice, so go w/ analog RCA cables (your CD player may have optical, but doubtful).
    As for brands, again, I believe your cable investments should be in proportion to your equipment prices. Belden/Canare cable isn't going to turn a 13" Sampo TV into a 65" plasma. One poster recomended AR, and i would second that. If you're looking for big savings on a similar quality cable, look at NXG Technologies. They make about every cable you would need, and for great prices. A great place to get NXG stuff is at www.shoppingmatrix.tv. I re-cabled my entire system w/ NXG cables (10 cables) for under $50. They even make a Component Video cable with Optical Audio on the same cable. I didn't even know this existed. This was the most expensive cable i purchased, and it was only $8.
    I've dissected NXG, AR Performance Series, and Monster Standard, and AR was the bes quality components and build, NXG was a reasonably close second, and Monster was the worst. Monster Standard cables are probably 60% insulation, which makes them FEEL like a heavier duty cable. They're not. Monster Cable is extremely over priced in my opinion. They are DECENT cables, but are VERY overpriced and rely heavily on marketing. They also don't release specifications on their cables. This reminds me of another company that is very poorly regarded on this forum (*cough* Bose *cough*).
    NXG also makes some great gold dual banana plugs and single gold banana plugs that i would suggest for hooking up your speakers/receiver. They're just as good as the AR and Monster bananas, and are only $1.68 a pair for the duals, and $2.28 a pair for the singles. They hold up to a 10 gauge cable and have very tight connections. I would recommend the singles for the receiver end and duals for the speaker end. I say this because the binding post spacing is more standardized on speakers and the duals will most likely fit. On the receiver end, the binding post spacing is not standard, and the duals may or may not fit. They didn't fit on my receiver. Rather than send them back (since they'll rarely be seen) i just cut them apart. If i had known this, i would have went with the singles. You may even want to go with the singles for the speaker end on the off chance that the posts aren't a standard distance apart.
    These are just my opinions and suggestions, and others will probably disagree, some my flame me, but i'll stick to what i know, and i haven't seen a high end expensive cable make a difference worth the price on a mid level system.
    Hope this helps.
     
  10. Kathy C.

    Kathy C. Agent

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    This helps alot. I've checked these sites and see the possibilities!. My Denon 2802 arrived today, it's out of the box, and I"ve got the instruction book in my hand. I've checked the other component connections, so now I think I have to study the 2802 book and see exactly what I need.....but I'm a little overwhelmed. I wanted it done yesterday, and now I'm concerned about ordering these cables, etc. over the net, and getting what I don't need. I plan on calling parts express and picking their brain tomorrow. HOw much savings to I get by ordering online vs. Fry's or whatever?

    Kathy
     
  11. Jason Wilcox

    Jason Wilcox Supporting Actor

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    You'll find that buying cables online from PartsExpress.com or AC4L.com is a lot cheaper than buying the same cables from big retail stores. Reason being, retail stores like Fry's and Best Buy have pretty good prices for hardware like DVD players and receivers to get you in the store. Then they try and get you to buy cables from them and make a nice profit. I worked over at Best Buy for a year or so and bought Acoustic Research (the low end performance series) cables with my discount. What would normally cost $30 was $7 for me. Partsexpress.com and AC4L.com don't mark up their cables nearly as much as the big retail chains because they know that internet shoppers can easily compare prices and just buy from the cheapest site they find. So they make the money by selling a ton of cables that aren't marked up as much.
     

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