Cables.. Best value

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Jonny*D, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. Jonny*D

    Jonny*D Agent

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    I'm trying to get good interconnects for my system. Of course the Circuit Cities/Best Buys of this world all sell Monster and Best Buy even sells the low end Acoustic Research. What is good to get. Any knowledge on the AR Master Series???
    Other brands that won't break the bank?
     
  2. Jim Rakowiecki

    Jim Rakowiecki Stunt Coordinator

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    Are you trying to start a fight or something? Cables are a very contentious issue here.
    Lot's of people like the AR stuff from Best Buy because it offers good value and performance, many also like the Radio Shack Gold series and a favorite seems to be stuff from Bluejeans which is an internet only source. Monster is expensive and some of what you are buying is the name brand and marketing.

    I have cables from all of the above in my system and all work equally well IMO. I've replaced a $70.00 Monster S-Video cable with a $20.00 AR cable and can't honestly say I noticed a difference [​IMG].
    Keep your spending on cables in proprtion with the spending in the rest of your system. 10-15% of the cost seems to be a decent rule of thumb. You may want to spend a little more for video than you do for audio and what ever you do don't spend more on a cable than you did for the component your hooking up.
     
  3. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Best Value is a very very subjective term.

    To some the cables at Target are a great value meanwhile I think they are trash(atleast on my system).

    Bluejeans would be a good internet only source if you wish to go that route. If you don't wish to shop online then I like Ixos. You can buy them locally or online via Accesories for Less aka AC4l.com. They are price around the same as AR but I found the PQ(for video) and SQ for their weave interconnects to be far better than the AR/Monster/RadioShack/Target/Walmart cables. I know alot of folks like Ultralink as well.

    If you want to look at the Ixos, Look in the clearance section of Ac4l. Fast service and inexpensive prices.
     
  4. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    The Outlaw PCA's are a pretty decent value at under $50. They sound pretty darn nice too. [​IMG]
    I've seen them for sale used right here for $20-$25 a pair.
     
  5. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    The only negative is no return policy with Outlaw [​IMG]
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Several members have used the AR Master series component video cables and like them a lot.

    I often suggest the AR Pro2 series for standard video devices like the CATV box and the old VCR.

    "Component Video" is a 1940's standard. If you are looking for cables to feed video to a HDTV - make sure the package/website says they are designed for HD Video. Otherwise they only have to be compatible with 1940's black-and-white standard.

    Professional studios have techs that custom build cables for all the mastering and broadcast needs. You can buy a component video cable at a retail store for $39, or the professional HD rated stuff for $48. It's a lot better cable for $9 difference. (AR Master series - 6ft - $109 by way of example).

    www.bluejeanscables.com - they are a member here and they have many happy customers.
     
  7. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Blue Jeans is the place to go for quality cables if "quality" means something to you or you need "quality" cables.

    Personally I sold off all my "Quality" Monster and AudioQuest cables and I'm happy I did.

    I say use pack-ins until and unless they give you a specific problem.

    If you have a problem with the pack-ins or you need something that wasn't packed in (like a digital optical cable or some such) go to www.cablesforless.com or www.trianglecables.com and look for their Python cables. I'm using two 50' runs of their component cables for 480i DVD and 1080i HDTV in my house and the picture is absolutely perfect for less than $100 for both.
     
  8. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    Admin Bob:

    What are these 'pro' cables you speak of?

    I have always tried to see what real pro's use. Stuff like Blue Jeans? I know it is sure not Monster!!!
     
  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I guarantee if you're a cable "believer" that you'd be appalled at the stuff the "pros" use. However, most of the time they're dealing with balanced connections which don't require as robust a cable as we need in HT land.
     
  10. Kevin_F

    Kevin_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Like you Jonny, I am trying to decide which way to go with cables. So far, I have begun to look into the cables sold by bluejeans and Belkin (not Belden) cables, not sure which way I am going to go. I did a search on Belkin cables at google and they seem to be reasonably priced, at least for me.
     
  11. ChuckSolo

    ChuckSolo Screenwriter

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    Most of my cables have been bought from Radio Shack and Wal-Mart. I paid between 15-35 bucks depending on whether component or S-video. I don't have anything connected via composite so I can't speak for those. Everything seems to work fine though. I usually try to get the ones with the gold plated ends and always check that the cable plugs are screwed tight before I connect them to my components.[​IMG]
     
  12. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    Thats just it, what do they use! What do the hi-end, but practical studio's use?
     
  13. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I've worked in live audio doing national level touring acts much of my life, most of the stuff is Whirlwind and Belden supplies (with some specialty stuff for things like multipin connectors)- switchcraft or neutrik connectors.

    I've worked in recording studios from "project" to grammy-winning and have seen belden, mogami, zaolla- same neutrik connectors.

    I've worked in audio post facilities for TV and film ans see Belden, Whirlwind and sometimes Canare.

    I've worked in a local TV studio/broadcast facility and saw Belden and Canare along with some Proco.


    Since I worked with and built cables in all these arenas, when i went to build my own cables (and sometimes for my fellow HT nerds), I chose the same supplies.
     
  14. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    What Vince said. Your basic Belden sheilded cable with switchcraft ends pretty much rules. ProCo makes nice cables as well (but I think they're pretty much just relabelled Belden/Switchcraft stuff). I believe Whirlwind is just rebadged Belden with Switchcraft ends covered and labelled as well. Very little "audiophile" stuff except in specific "audiophile" recording situations.

    And not a gold plated connector in sight. [​IMG]
     
  15. Robert_Dufresne

    Robert_Dufresne Stunt Coordinator

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    Jonny

    I think that Jim gave you some very good advice, don't get caught up in the cable debate.
     
  16. Tom#B

    Tom#B Stunt Coordinator

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    The Python component cables at cablesforless.com are very inexpensive. A 6' cable is only $10? Is that right? Are these decent quality?

    Tom
     
  17. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    And who thought of thaat "10%" rule anyhow? It should be "3% with a cap at $200).
     
  18. Mitch_J

    Mitch_J Stunt Coordinator

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    Cobalt cables are value priced and they have a 90 money-back trial and lifetime warrenty.

    www.cobaltcables.com
     
  19. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  20. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    John,
    Somehow I think those would break so called 3% with a cap of $200 rule. [​IMG]
     

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