Component video cables

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Porfirio, Jul 13, 2002.

  1. Porfirio

    Porfirio Second Unit

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    For component video connection from a dvd player to a television, does one really need to use the "special" component video cables or can standard (in my case, Radioshack Gold Series cables) video/audio cables be used?
     
  2. Jeff D

    Jeff D Supporting Actor

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    You "should" use component video cables, the bandwidth needed for a good signal may have trouble with a "standard" read "crappy" rca cable. You can do it, the results will be better with a better cable. I've been making my own, shielded rg-6 component video cables, and I've seen a difference. The quality is important.

    I don't suggest you go spend $200+ for a 1 meter monster z-cable, and $50-70 for average cables is a bit much. You might want to look into making your own, if you got the skills and the desire it's the way to go. (at least it's been fun for me to do)

    While on the subject the audio cables I made were much nicer than the standard rca audio cables. The diy cables sounded deeper in the bass end, while removing some of the extra sharpness of the high end. The result was a much more balanced sound. So much so my girlfriend even commented that the symbols sounded bad on the right side and good on the left. Blind test a success, cheap cable on right, my cable on left, nice. =)
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    If you've a Target store near you a perfectly acceptable set of component cables is available, $20 for 12 feet, for GE's. Gold plated, decent looking build.
    With all due respect Jeff, putting different cables on different speakers only compares the left and right, nothing more.
     
  4. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    Jeff,
    If you notice a difference, that's great and it makes the cabling worth doing, IMO.
    I agree with Chu Gai, though, that what you described is not a scientific validation. The single test subject was biased (girlfriend), speaker locations were different, sound going into the speakers was different, the test administrator was not "blind" (you knew which channel represented which cable), and so forth.
    But, as I said, you don't need scientific validation. You hear a difference, therefore it exists for you. I'm sorry if that sound patronizing; it isn't meant to be. It's just that I'm still waiting for that double-blind test that scientifically demonstrates the sonic differences between good, functioning cables. (I've certainly experienced bad ones, but that's another discussion!) [​IMG]
    Meanwhile, if individuals hear a difference, that's great, no need to scientifically validate every aspect of our existences, IMHO.
    Jan
     
  5. Yuli

    Yuli Agent

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    I recently got a new component cable and i did notice some improvement over the cables that came with the dvd player. I wouldn't say the improvement is huge, but with the new cables there is noticably less grain and such, which used to irritate the crap out of me when i was watching dvds.

    It could always be the fact i am in audio heaven right now due to my new Axiom system. :b

    Oww well....
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    On a slighly different note, its good to make sure one's contacts are clean also, gold or no gold. So if we don't need to validate our existence, just what did Springsteen mean with 'prove it all nite for your love?'. Bruce lied!
     
  7. Porfirio

    Porfirio Second Unit

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    Thanks everyone. Do any of you know if the Acoustic Research component cables are any good?

    Ghu Gai,
    Since you mentioned clean contacts, I have a second TV that has dirty contacts. They look really dull and feel like they have sand or dirt caked on. Do you know how to clean them?
     
  8. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Porfirio,
    You might try searching here at HTF using search terms "acoustic research component cable" or similar. There've been a couple of threads (some recent) which may have some good info for you.
    Example:
    Acoustic Research Component cables?
     
  9. Jeff D

    Jeff D Supporting Actor

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    Porfirio, MG Chemicals makes a good contact cleaner. You can use that to clean the contacts. Check Frys, if you got one near you.


    Chu and Jan, I totally understand where you two are coming from. My test was a bit more scientific than what my dumbed down description stated. I know that with classical music there are different pieces that could be coming form either side. It all depends on the way the recording and mastering was done. That was not my test.

    I didn't feel the need to tell that I extracted a single channel of audio from a few cds which I was using as a test. That single channel was used as a left and right channel on a test CD I burned. Everything else in the path was the same there were no different settings on the reciever and the decoding of the PCM data was done on the CD player. The transport from CD player to reciever was either a cheap RCA cable supplied with most AV equipment or my cable.

    The test was blind for my GF, I knew how the test was setup. Several passes were done. All four configurations were tried, both L&R using cheap cables, both L&R using my cables. One each cheap L, DIY R and DIY L and cheap R.

    Each and every pass the same results were heard. Now, I was a disbeliever until I sat down and tried it myself. Both my GF and I are not audiophiles and my GF could really care less about how it sounds as long as it plays and she can hear it. But after the testing she picked a setup that sounded best and it just happened (by luck? maybe) to be the homemade cables.

    I would like to repeat the test using my Sony 777 which I think sounds better than the Onkyo, but that would take a lot of time. And I'm too busy for that. I'd also like to find someone to run the test for me, so I could be the blind test subject. =)
     
  10. Porfirio

    Porfirio Second Unit

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    Thanks Mike and Jeff
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    It's good to get the lintless (they look like sponges almost) swabs when using the contact cleaner. I wish I could tell you what I use, but I've an associate in the photoresist manufacturing industry and I get it gratis. I dare say I'll have some left when I die. It's pretty cool stuff and was filtered through a 0.1 micron filter so I'm not too worried about particulates. Yes, its overkill but consider where its coming from! The lintless swabs I believe are available from the Shack.
    Well Jeff, I believe in a test or evaluation, one should use what they feel will best illustrate the differences. What you did is quite acceptable. Test tones are even better as it allows one to focus more selectively, but musical selections are fine also. While DBT's are preferred, single blind, as you performed are also useful but great pains need to be taken to make sure its truly blind. People pick up on nuances, inflections, timing differences, body language quite readily and often without realizing those actions are providing a signal. Not that you should beat a dead horse to the ground (unless you're really hungry), but if you do 10 trials, and can pick out one cable 8 times you've got some correlation. Repeat it, and now its likely not a fluke. No I don't think all things need to be DBT'd, but considering the amount of time people spend on this hobby reading, asking questions, browsing, to do a few of these in one's life time can yield some interesting insight into matters.
     
  12. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I'd imagine in a pinch one could indeed Ming. However that's more a situation of desparation as it is an enormously aggressive approach likely to leave undesirable chemicals, etc. after treatment. Brasso is primarily a Stoddard Solvent containing ammoniacal compounds and some mild abrasives. Contact cleaners remove a variety of compounds such as soil, oxides, oils, etc and serve to suspend them allowing for their efficient removal. If you want more information on their general use, you can always run a google search. A product that's often used in the audiophile community is stuff from Caig They have some web specials and while pricey (considering I get mine gratis) will likely last you for many years. I see no reason why not to use them. BTW, if you're curious as to the general composition of some of these products, one can always see if the company has an MSDS (material safety data sheet). For example, this is the one for Caig ProGold
     
  14. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    I use ProGold myself. I believe it not only cleans, but to some extent also protects (while still being a conductor) and lubricates (important, IMHO, for especially those nasty damn Monster turbine grip-of-death connectors).

    You can find ProGold at Radio Shack (online for sure, not positive about local stores) and various websites (Audio Advisor, for example).

    Either the small spray bottle or the 7.5ml bottle and some q-tip type things work great.

    DeoxIT is another Caig product often used in conjunction with ProGold. It'd probably be helpful for seriously dirty contacts.
     
  15. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Getting back to your original question Porfirio, I ran across this post on audioreview regarding the Gold cables.

     
  16. Jeff D

    Jeff D Supporting Actor

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    Just a little note about cheap cables... This morning I decided to check something on my system. I have my replayTV connected to the reciever with cheap cables. I had the replaytv off and I craked my Onkyo 898 to 100. At about 90 there was a very strange noise coming out the speakers. I disconnected the cheap cables and attached my "good" ones and there was no noise up to 99. At that point there was a slight hiss, I'm not sure of the orgins of the hiss, but it's there where an unconnected input is selected too, so I'd guess it's internal to the reciever.

    So, my advice, get the "best" (everyone has a different idea of "best") cable you can. You may or may not see a difference. But the shielding should help with any noise problems.
     
  17. Porfirio

    Porfirio Second Unit

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    WOW! That was a really long, but informative, post. Thanks Chu Gai.
     

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