DIY Canare cables VS Better Cables SS shootout.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Kevin Coleman, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    OK here are the contenders. DIY Canare on the left SS's on the right.
    [​IMG]
    I will be grading on five criteria, Value, Appearance, Picture Quality, Build Quality, and Ease Of Use.
    Value= DIY Canare
    Appearance= Better Cables Silver serpent
    Picture Quality= not distinguishable
    Build Quality= not distinguishable
    Ease of use= Better Cables Silver Serpent
    Value
    For Value I chose the DIY cable . As is usually the case when you build something yourself as opposed to paying somebody to do it for you. I mean you can't beat 30 dollars VS 139.00. I would not have picked the DIY cable if the performance was not the same though. Picture Quality is #1 priority.
    Appearance
    Clearly to me anyway the Better Cables look better. I like the logo on the shrink tubing and the techflex. I asked my Wife, my Brother and a good friend they all preferred the look of the better cable SS. Please note however you can improve the look of the Canare DIY cable by using some techflex at extra cost though, and it does not affect picture quality.
    Picture Quality
    Now to the very subjective part of the review. I checked picture quality two ways.
    1. I tried to eliminate some of the placebo effect by having my friend switch out the cables when I was not looking. IMO this is important to do when reviewing CABLES. We are not reviewing my minds bias to either one of cables due to cost or other considerations we are reviewing the cables themselves nothing else.
    We set up my DVD player on AB repeat so we could watch the same scenes consecutively many times. We watched three scenes from three different movies.
    1. The Fifth Element non SB ( Sorry Bob I don't have the SB version yet)
    The scene where they re-built leyloo (spelling)
    2. Gladiator the Scene where Maximus fights the guy with the helmet. Chapter 19
    3. Contact the scene where Ellie and Palmer have the conversation outside in Washington DC.
    These are all scenes I always use when testing new equipment. I know them very well. In each case my friend switched the cables out with out me knowing which one was on and I honestly could not see any difference. Even with my nose almost to the screen.
    2. We ran some test signals from the Video Essentials DVD including the SMPTE resolution pattern and I could still see no difference. This was not a blind test even as with the various movie test material.
    I can already hear some of you now saying that maybe my system is not sensitive enough to see the difference but I can assure you that even though I only have a 7" CRT projector it will resolve every bit of a 480P signal.
    Build Quality
    I could also see no visible differences in build quality. I took a non-scientific poll of friends and family and we all pretty much agreed the build type and quality were very similar.
    Ease Of Use
    I found the Better Cables SS's easier to position and handle becuase they are alot lighter build. With the DIY Canare cables you must be careful how you position them when you plug them in so they don't put any weight or pressure on your component's RCA jacks. I did like the shape of the Canare connectors better though.
    In closing I think it comes down to what is most important to you. For me right now anyway value and performance is the most important thing for me. The looks of the cable and ease of use is more important to some people and I can understand that. So I think I am going to continue to use my DIY cable and send the Better Cable SS back.
    If anybody has any certain test patterns in video essentials or movies I will be glad to look at them for you. I will probably have the SS's for a few more days.
    Test Equipment
    ECP 4500 7" CRT projector
    Malata prgressive scan DVD N996
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
     
  2. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    PS. Bob I used V3-5CFB Canare 3 channel RG6 Coax and RCAP-C5F RCA crimp on ends.
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Very cool comparison. I love the afternoon experiements.

    One thing that caught me was the Silver Serpent coax appears to be either mini-coax or un-shielded between the shrink wrap and the plugs. The Canare stuff is shielded (ok, "THICK") all the way to the plug. That has me worried a bit.

    How big was your projected image and were you sending the projector Progressive or Interlace signals?

    Oh, and how LONG were the two cables? (I'm guessing 10 feet from the price)

    To give people a good comparison:

    Monster Video 3 10 ft Componet cable set: $280

    Better Cables SS: $140

    DIY: $70

    (Note: DIY price includes:

    $2.75 / rca plug X 6

    Coax is $1.65 / ft X 10 ft

    Cut Charge for buying less than 500 ft: $7

    Shipping of stock to his house: ??

    Shipping of cable to your house: ??

    Jacket Boots: ?? ea

    Tools:

    Stripper for Canare coax & plugs: $105

    Crimp Frame: $20

    Die set for Canare plugs: $65

    Heat Gun to shrink tubing: $35

    Total: 225 - take 10% and add to price of the cable.

    Cable Cost ~= $70 (This is Kevin donating his garage for storage, his time to take the order, build the cable, ship to you, etc.)

    )

    My point is this: DIY is obviously the best, but with a high initial investiment in tools.

    Better Cables is still a fantastic bargin at $140 if you dont want to buy all the tools. And you are getting as good/ if not better than the high-end Monster stuff.

    Notice that Better Cables component cables start at $100 - they are making only $30 on that cable to pay for orders and manufacturing. They are not giving it away at cost, but not making tons of profit. Highly recommended!
     
  4. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    Bob,
    Yes the better cables is some sort of mini coax. I can't tell what brand or kind becuase of the techflex tubing on the outside. And I am not about to damage it to find out. [​IMG]
    Yes it was a progressive DVD signal as I stated in my post. It is a 80" wide 16X9 screen 92" diagonal.
    Some of your prices on the cost of the Canare parts are a little outdated. Here are the prices I know.
    RCAP-C5F crimp on ends 2.37 each at http://www.clarkwc.com/
    V3-5CFB 3 channel coax is only 1.17 per foot at http://markertek.com
    Jacket boots and heatshrink for each boot which I use is .30 cents per connector.
    I bought 100' of V3-5CFB so the cut charge for that much is only .7 cents a foot. If you add all of that up to make a 10' cable the cost is about 28.42 for a 10 foot cable.
    Yes the tools are a small investment you have to make but all you need to do is sell a few cables to recoup that investment, and I do mean only a few.
    I do agree with you Bob that I would much rather go with better cables than monster. 280.00 dollars for 10 feet is way too much.
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
     
  5. Nick P

    Nick P Second Unit

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