Coppercats.. are they any good?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by donovan_chin, Aug 12, 2001.

  1. donovan_chin

    donovan_chin Stunt Coordinator

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    Everyone's raving about the silvercats but has anyone tried the lower end coppercats? How good are they compared to something like canare or monster or AR pro?
     
  2. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Donovan, Coppercats utilize a 3 wire shielded design with heavy guage copper. (18 AWG) Covered with the attractive black coverlet. Also uses same RCAs as Silvercats
    It's shares a design philosophy with the Silvercat, a dual ground and signal conductor. The drain wire and shielding are snipped at termination (not used to carry signal), to the same locking barrel RCAs as the Silvercats use. (Only insulated wires are used in the connection) WBT 4% silver solder is used for connection.
    Any good? Good enough I run them in my theater connecting my Lexicon MC-1 to my Proceed HPA-2 to my Sonus faber Grand Piano mains. (3 meters pre-pro to amp)
    Lex
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    Lexman's Theater
     
  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I've got a set coming that I plan on using to connect my centre and rears to my pre amp. I've already got a couple of sets of silvercats for my main channels and DAC so it should be interesting to compare the two cables. One thing that will remain the same b/t the two cables though is the build quality and the locking RCA's. If you've never had locking RCA's before you're going to love them.
    BTW there's a coupon in the coupon area if you hadn't noticed for catcables.
    ------------------
    http://www.attcanada.ca/~itisi
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    i can't see why there'd be any difference either the copper or silver or for that matter ar pros and the like. there are visual aesthetic differences but performance differences? catcables makes no comparative data available to subtantiate the advertising that i'm aware of.
     
  5. Mike Knapp

    Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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    Must resist....its not worth it.....cant respond...blacking out...unnnngghhhh.
    Mike
     
  6. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    quote: catcables makes no comparative data available to subtantiate the advertising that i'm aware of. [/quote]
    Hey, I don't need no stinkin data to know about cables...
    1. Do they look better? Yes!
    2. Do they feel better in your hand? Yes!
    3. Did they cost an outrageous amount compared to decent AR cables? Yes!
    Then... Will they sound better? ABSOLUTELY!!! Especially to the person who paid for them.... [​IMG]
    And if anyone wants me to honestly test their cables against my current meager AR cables, please send me two (or more) 2 meter pairs. I will be glad to return(or buy them if I really like them)them at the end of the test and review.
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    Take Care,
    merc
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    DFAST, 5C, DVI, HDCP, SafeAudio, Macrovision and Lewinski!!!
    [Edited last by John Morris on August 12, 2001 at 07:40 PM]
     
  7. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Well, if some diehards like Mike can resist, so can I. [​IMG] All I care to say is try it out if not happy return for a refund.
    Btw Doug, I'm still debating over that Ultra thing you have under your sleeve but want to wait till I have my amps plus whenever you are ready for some speaker cables so I can treat the Maggies to something nice, I mean real nice for her to wear. You know what I mean. [​IMG]
    PF
     
  8. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Mike I was already to jump in on this but if you can stay out so can I [​IMG]
    Oh who am I kidding [​IMG] I have two pairs of thier silvercats, 3 copper cats comming and a black cat digital cable. Now I've heard significant differences on all the analog cables thats proof enough for me. For the digital cable I haven't been able to do any testing b.t it and the one it replaced and frankly I'm not sure I will hear a difference but for me it was worth every penny for several reasons
    1) it has locking RCA's so I never have to worry about ripping the jack out of my MSB Link DAC. I've had to many Radio Shack cables nearly do that that its worth the cost of the cables alone for this feature
    2) IF there is a difference in digital cables (again I'm not sure there is) I figure I've got it covered with the black cat
    3) lenght. I can get these cables in any lenght I need so that I don't have a nasty coil of coax behind my rack. Surely everyone can agree that coiled cable is bad? and that the shorter the lenght the better?
    4) Looks. Yup I know this has nothing scientifically to do with performance but in the real world its the pretty girls that get the dates [​IMG]
    5) Craftmanship. these cables are hand built by a person that obviously is very gifted with the soldering iron, they're almost works of art in that respect. I'd rather support him then some mass market plant in who know's where.
    PF ah you know those [​IMG]
    [Edited last by Andrew Pratt on August 12, 2001 at 08:37 PM]
     
  9. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Andrew, don't you agree the Maggies deserve something nice. As for that 'special' thing, all I know is I may eventually need something longer than the 1 m's but shorter than the 10 footers I have. [​IMG] Dang it, that thing is pretty.
    I don't listen with my eyes, I let the music in through my ears.
    PF
    [Edited last by PomingF on August 12, 2001 at 10:22 PM]
     
  10. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Silver has better conductivity than copper, even oxygen-free copper. An EE told me 5% better conductivity. For a video signal, 5% could make an easily noticeable difference on just about any decent system, particularly in a high bandwidth application such as progressive video or hi-def.
    For audio, the difference would likely depend on the resolution of the rest of the system. For instance, in a system consisting of, say, a high-end Onkyo or Pioneer Elite receiver and, say, Atlantic Technology speakers, I doubt a 5% increase in conductivity in audio interconnects would be audible to most people (like me). On the other hand, move up to, say, a B&K AVR-307 and B&W Nautilus speakers and 5% more signal may well make an audible increase in things like detail, low-level resolution, and cleaner, tighter low frequencies. That is my experience, anyway.
     
  11. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Okay, maybe I will try the silvercats in my system. How much would it cost me to change my current less than $200 AR cables to Silvercats?
    Here is what I'd need to fully replace my AR cables(audio only):
    - 19 one meter cables
    - 6 two meter cables
    - 2 digital coax cables
    Holy Cow!!! Without shipping it looks like it would cost me more than $3200!!!! That's about 17 times more expensive??? Can they possibly sound 17 times better than my current AR pro cables? Would they sound better than a new B&K reference 30 pre/pro PLUS another SVS Ultra subwoofer??? Man, at this cost, I'm guessing these cables are for the Bill Gates of the world or those who have already reached the pinnacle of performance in all their other components???
    Okay, so maybe the Coppercats are made for us non-millionaires. How much would they cost to replace my AR Pro cables?
    Well, the copper cables are only $1350. They would only have to sound 7 times better than my current AR pro cables to make it worthwhile. Then again, I could buy a new Outlaw 950 and an RP91 DVD player for that price...?
    Oh Damn, maybe I'm just not the kind of audiophile who can rationalize spending that kind of money on cables... at least, not while I still have component upgrades to make. Maybe the bare DHLabs cable DIY way is the only way I'm ever gonna have expensive cables like this ever again? Then again... there's always the lottery!
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    Take Care,
    merc
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    DFAST, 5C, DVI, HDCP, SafeAudio, Macrovision and Lewinski!!!
     
  12. Trevor Schell

    Trevor Schell Supporting Actor

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    I am another supporter of CatCables brand interconnects.
    Slowly I have been replacing my older cables with these. Plus CatCables have been an instant upgrade to go along with some of the new equipment that I have just purchased.
    I have to agree with OBI's assesment on how 5% more signal may well make an audible increase in things like detail, low-level resolution, and cleaner, tighter low frequencies. Particularly with the cleaner tighter low frequencies. This has a very significant difference that you pick up on instantly.
    What I really appreciate about CatCables is the personal Customer Service that you receive from Doug. He wants to make sure you are 100% satisfied in his product and has shown the same level of quality,customer concern and urgency that has made Tom and Ron so successful with SVS.
    I can highly recommend CatCables brand interconnects. [​IMG]
    MEOW
    PS,,John..When buying audio equipment,,remember the golden rule of never to add up your costs,,just buy what you want. [​IMG]
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    Trevor..[​IMG]
    My HomeTheater S.E. Sonically Enhanced
    Updated new pictures!
    [Edited last by Trevor Schell on August 12, 2001 at 11:49 PM]
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    locking RCA's are nice and so are non-locking ones that are made well. i've never had a problem with RCA's pulling out.
    with all due respect robert, the 5% increase in electrical conductivity of silver over copper is trivial and certainly if you go up just 1 gauge in copper, conductivity improves by about 20% so if you think you can hear an improvement based on conductivity it would seem that copper gives you a better return on the dollar. As far as audible improvements such as you mentioned being able to be heard in 'better' or more expensive components, that has yet to be subtantiated in controlled testing. But if you believe that, then moving from 18 gauge silver to 12 gauge copper should have monumental improvements, no?
    Customer service is a nice thing, and certainly if i were marking up products astronomically and slapping a 'catchy' name on them, I'd be real helpful in making sure those cables moved.
    As far as video goes, if bandwidth is for some reason a concern then commercially available rg6 can be used. certainly it is used in digital satellite where frequencies are over 1 gHz. the rg6 comes in a variety of insulation types and core metal configurations and at prices that won't make you feel like you've been taken to the cleaners.
    well i'm going to eat my Tony the Tiger cornflakes...
    *growlllllllllllll*
     
  14. Mike Knapp

    Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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    Must not post....it's drawing me in....have to hold back a little longer...cant give in....it will be over soon...losing consiousness....uunnngggghhhh
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  15. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    John if you think catcables are for millionaires you should check out some of the truely exotic cables out there...there's a lot where 1 meter would easily cost more then my entire system. Anyway I don't really think its necessary to replace all the cables in ones system but concentrate on area's where you'd gain the most benefit. For example I'm not going to replace the rat shack cables connecting my VCR since its a lost cause but I have made sure that my 2 channel components are connected with silvercats since I'm more concerned about quality there. On the video side I can see getting a high quality cable on this run since even minor improvements are visable.
    Obi I don't think you need that high end gear to hear differences. We've (Jay Mitchosky, Jeff Kowerchuck and myself) have done some testing on Jeff system using Paradigm Studio 40's and a marantz receiver and the differences were very evident. I think a lot has to do with the speakers used.
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    http://www.attcanada.ca/~itisi
     
  16. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Okay, so I gave it my best shot. Couldn't get Knapp to get into the fray, so I guess I'll get serious then.
    The custom exotic cables seem soooooo expensive when compared to a good quality AR pro series cable, which I rate way above the RS cables and above all the Monsters but the top M series. My favorite cables back in my two channel, balanced, audiophile days were the DHLabs cables. I used them from source to speakers. I think(?) they made my system sound more open and improved the soundstage and imaging dramatically. But the only reason why I could try those silver exotic cables is because I could buy the raw cable and connector directly from Darren H himself for less than $4 a foot. Today, trying out nice cables like the Cats and the BetterCables requires a major monetary risk. Even if I simply replace my 2 meter analog interconnects from my CD player and the 5 one meter interconnects from my pre/pro to my amp, I am talking $885 for Silvercats. The investment required to even try out these cables just makes me wonder if that money can't be spent somewhere else which would make a bigger positive impact in my system.
    As for video cables, I've come around to Obi's thinking. Video resolution and performance is much easier to gauge when it comes to improvement due to cables. When I get my new HD RPTV, I WILL be trying out a nice long set of component cables from one, or two, of the nice folks like Lexman at Catcables. But for now, I just can't afford the luxury of audio nirvanna what those of you with Silvercats seem to enjoy...
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    merc
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    DFAST, 5C, DVI, HDCP, SafeAudio, Macrovision and Lewinski!!!
     
  17. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I don't think anyone would argue that you're likely going to get a bigger bang for your buck by swapping out gear over cables but for those people that hae the gear they happy with changing cables is a nice easy tweak that doesn't have to cost too much (when compared to replacing speakers for example) The nice thing about cables is that you can do it slowly and a great cable will remain a great cable unlike pre pro's that loose value virtually overnight. I would liken them to amplifiers in that a good amp is an investment ie something that you'll have for a long time
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  18. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    I can't wait till i can get my hands on some good biwire speaker cables from CatCables.. Really looking forward to that. In the mean time, i've ordered a BlackCat variant with those killer WBT locking RCA's..
    - Chip
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  19. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

     
  20. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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    Ok, time for me to chime in (I'm surprised Mike Knapp hasn't said more)...
    First of all, I'm a believer in the SilverCats. I have a decent system, but not top of the line by any stretch, but I do have a SACD player and I thought I'd try out a pair of SilverCats between the SACD and my receiver, especially since I was still using the cheapo cables that came with the player. Even if "cables make no difference", or "5% better conductivity won't be audible", going from the cheapo thin unshielded OEM garbage to the SilverCats couldn't hurt now, could it?
    When I first got the cables, I tried various combinations for A/B testing purposes--connecting a SilverCat to one channel and a OEM to the other, using SilverCats on one set of inputs and OEM on the other, etc. I could hear a slight difference, though I couldn't really tell if it was the cables or not, since I was having to switch inputs (which isn't instantaneous on the Outlaw--it mutes for about a second), and then switch cables and try again. But my wife could tell which was which 4 times out of 5, and she thought the SilverCats sounded better (smoother, less harsh were her words). And she's no audiophile. She listens to FM radio all day.
    So, even on a less than top of the line system, upgrading your interconnects can make a difference. It's not as day-and-night as upgrading your speakers or amps, but there is a difference. I've experienced it myself.
    Conductivity isn't the only (5% someone said?) improvement you get with the SilverCats. Capacitance and inductance have an effect on the sound too (more so than conductivity), generally speaking the lower the better.
    I haven't tried CopperCats yet (though I probably will in the future). Even if the cable were no better than the ones you get at Radio Shack (and I'm sure it really is better), the gold plated locking RCA connectors look great, work great, and probably improve the sound by making better contact than regular RCAs. Heck, if someone tried to break into my house, I could probably use a Cat cable as a nunchuck. [​IMG]
    BTW, for those who are looking at the total price of replacing ALL your cables, remember you don't have to replace them all at once, and you don't even have to replace all of them. I'm planning the gradual approach on my system, and some cables (e.g. the ones to my cassette deck and VCR) will likely remain cheapo cables, since Cats won't really benefit me there. But eventually I hope to have my entire component video path, and digital audio path, be Catted. [​IMG]
     

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