cables for new system

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BryanWayne, Apr 12, 2002.

  1. BryanWayne

    BryanWayne Auditioning

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    Hey all, this is my first thread on the forum. So take it easy on me. My question is, will I, the average person, notice the difference in the quality of picture and sound by not getting the Monster cable that Audio King is trying to sell me.

    They want me to buy a $100 component video cable 4m in length.(monster) I found a 12 ft. RCA component video cable at Walmart for $20.

    Next $40 on an optical cable, 1m. (monster also)

    Then a Monster sub cable also costing $40.

    Are all these nessasary. I do LOVE a/v anything, my truck is decked out, my house will be, so if I must, I must spend all that money. My wife will flip out though.

    Thanks Bryan
     
  2. John Sully

    John Sully Stunt Coordinator

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    My guess is that the $12 RCA component cable is going to be pretty dicey (because of a long and sordid history with RCA branded equipment I avoid it like the plague). For the rest of the stuff I would suggest going to Radio Shack and buying their Gold Series stuff. It's plenty good enough and a whole lot less expensive than Monster branded stuff.
    Another alternative for pro quality cables is www.markertek.com. You should be able to get a "sub" cable (really just a long RCA male to RCA male audio cable) from them for less than $25 (price for a 25 foot cable). They have a component cable, which probably won't pass hi-def, 10' for $30. And you can use any composite video cable for you digital I/C. In summary, don't waste your money.
     
  3. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    You will get much better performance for less money by going with a broadcast quality cable for one of the custom cable makers. Canare, Gepco or better still the Belden based cables. Do a little research on the Canare and Belden web sites. They both list all the specs which speak for themselves. Then check out some of the custom cable makers:

    Avcable.com (Gepco)

    KustomKables.com (Canare)

    Wickedcables.com (RG59 Belden/Canare cables)

    RhinoCables.com (Belden)

    Heartlandcables.com (Canare)

    CobaltCables.com (Canare)

    If your budegt allows there is always Bettercables.com
     
  4. Dave Schofield

    Dave Schofield Second Unit

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  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Bryan: The "general" guidelines are:
    - Put the money into the video cables. Your eyes are much more sensitive than your ears so you dont want to scrimp here.
    - Digital signals are very INSENSTIVE to the cable, so if you can go coaxial-digital from the DVD player to your receiver, just go get a Radio Shack Video cable for $15.
    - The higher the frequency, the more sensitive the signals are to the cable. This is why nearly any good cable can work for the subwoofer, and most cables work well for audio. Here is where you can save money by hitting Radio Shack for the sub cable.
    My guidelines are to buy Radio Shack/AR video cables for a modest HT system. You should go to the custom houses & buy if you have a sensitive system. By "Sensitive", I mean any one of the following:
    - TV Display size > about 40 inches
    - Long run for video cables (> 10 feet)
    - Pushing Progressive or HD video signals
    - Using a HD Ready TV that up-converts the signal
    Your 12 foot run puts you into the "sensitive" catagory.
    Now $100 for a 12 foot component video cable IS NOT A BAD PRICE. But remember that Monster has several "grades" of cables. I recall that their 6 foot Video-3 cables sell for about $280. What model cable is your store selling to you?
    Right now, you can go to www.wickedcables.com and get a 12 foot cable for about $80. The KEY parts of this cable are:
    - Canare RCA plugs - just about the best
    - Canare or Belden coax - 2 of the best names in the business.
    Canare & Belden are what the broadcast/production studios use. Highly recommended.
    That Wicked Cables cable will match/beat the $280 Monster cable.
    Hope this helps.
     
  6. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    With all due respect to Bob you can do much better than the Wickedcable offerings. While they do use Belden/Canare their cables are the smaller RG59 size. I agree that they give the typical monster cables a run for their money. The better performing RG6 Canare/Belden cables are a better buy.There are numerous custom cable makers that sell higher performance RG6 Belden/Canare cables for similar prices or even less. Here are a few to start your search:

    KustomKables.com

    CobaltCables.com

    Rhinocables.com

    heartlandcables.com
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Good Catch Mark. I did not read the fine print on the Wicked Cables web site.:b

    I did do a quick survey and found some shocking prices:

    BetterCables.com: $170 - 5 Meter Silver Serpent

    CatCables.com: $165 - 4 Meter Tigress

    CobaltCables.com: $112 4 Meter Ultimate Component

    KustomKables.com: $94 - 3 Meter Cable

    Cable Solutions (via eBay): $91 Canare cable 12 ft

    So you can see there is even a wide difference in prices for the custom houses as well.

    Bryan: as I said, about $100 for a 12 foot cable is not a bad price. I'd skip the ones Audio King are pushing and go with the KustomeKables or Cable Solutions offering. These are just about the best you can get.
     
  8. BryanWayne

    BryanWayne Auditioning

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    Thanks guys, I will look at those cables. This is what I have for my setup, which is NOT set up yet(moving apr. 26).

    Panasonic PT47wx51 47" widescreen

    Denon AVR 3802

    Energy Connoisseur c-5 fronts

    Energy Connoisseur c-1 rears

    Energy Connoisseur c-c1 center

    Energy e:xl 12 sub.

    ps2 for dvd now, I am over budget as is can live with it for now.

    Thanks again for the responce
     
  9. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    To add to Bob's pricing research

    Rhinocables.com uses Belden 1694a (RG6) 3m $69.95, 4m $79.95

    Better specs than the Canare offerings. I found the Belden 1694a to perform noticeably better than the canare L-5CFB series in lengths as short as 3m. Since moved on to 1695a for a slight improvement
     
  10. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Bryan,
    A good source for inexpensive digital optical cords would be the Acoustic Research Pro series. You can maybe find them local to you, or online at Accessories4Less. Radio Shack gold series also makes decent quality basic interconnects, though I'm not that fond of their optical cables.
    I think you could get an AR Pro optical cable (3ft) delivered for maybe half of that Monster price you quoted. I doubt you'd hear a difference. [​IMG]
    Regards,
    Mike
     
  11. BryanWayne

    BryanWayne Auditioning

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    They tried to sell me series 2 cables all around. I found some "AR" cables at Best Buy. The 12ft for $40. Would I notice that much of a difference.

    Thanks, Bryan
     
  12. Jae Huh

    Jae Huh Auditioning

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    "ps2 for dvd now"

    If you have over $100 to spend on cables, I would recommend that you get a stand alone DVD player. Sam's club has Daewoo 5800,which in my opinion, is not too shabby, and costs less than $90 - you even have $10 to spend on a digital coaxial cable from Radio Shack!
     
  13. BryanWayne

    BryanWayne Auditioning

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    I want to get a progressive scan DVD player. My ps2 works good, it has component out, and optical audio out. Also my wife won't let me get a new DVD player. She was kind enough to let me get all the above equiptment with our tax return, minus the ps2

    Bryan
     
  14. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  15. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    what is the degree of jitter that is audible and what then would be the cable criteria needed to minimise it? i seem to recall a publication presented at the AES that took issue with some of the concerns on jitter. it may be that in the typical consumer electronics of today, the issue of jitter is like 'the boogeyman'.
     
  16. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    With some reservations, I will agree with you that good cables are critical, and I will even support that you find different interconnects sound/perform somewhat different, even digital ones.
    But I stand by the assertion that compared to analog, digital signals are very insensitive to the cable. My education and nearly 20 years experience as an electrical engineer gotta say that when a digital cable works, it works perfectly. (Yes, there have been 1 or 2 odd exceptions where just SOME bits got mangled [​IMG] But in one case, there was an ANALOG problem causing it.)
    And production studio work - well that tends to have a lot denser data transfering around, longer runs, more grounding and power issues, and lets face it: much more sensitive equipment than the output stage of a household DVD player. It's just not critical to spend $100+ for a digital interconnect for a home system.
    (But..this IS my opinion. It's worth what you paid for it. [​IMG] )
     
  17. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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  18. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Lee: what are your thoughts then on the following paper
    http://www.nanophon.com/audio/1394_sampling_jitter.pdf
    which is a paper that was given at the 1998 AES convention?
    If I'm reading it correctly, it would seem to suggest that Atkinson was off by at least bya factor of 10 if not 100 or more in his claims of the audibility of jitter. Hey Bob, what are your thoughts on the apparent discrepency?
    To that end can someone tell me why an average, well made cable, that doesn't cost 100 or more would have such an adverse effect upon the inherent jitter in his transport such that one would run away shrieking, 'my soundstage, my soundstage'?
     
  19. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Chu,
    The important point of the paper is that jitter is real, jitter is audible, thus jitter can affect digital cable and jitter can affect audio components.
    Thank you for supporting my argument. And the paper also references the same conclusion in the Gannon and Benjamin paper from 1998.
    I may have been a bit off about Atkinson's audible level of jitter. I will look into it and see what he said and how that compares with this paper.
    Bits is not bits. [​IMG]
    Lee
     
  20. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    With any cable, the tightness of the electrical connection is most important. The connectors are in many cases the most expensive part of the cable. For decent quality component cable, in addition to the sites noted above, you can go to www.milestek.com. A 6 ft. component cable at Milestek (part no. 30-105-072) is $29.95. I also have to agree with Lee with digital cables. My main system has a DVD/CD transport and there are clear differences in one meter cables. Also, some systems, e.g. speakers, electronics, etc., are just more sensitive to things than others. That could be a good thing or a bad thing.
     

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