does the quality of component cable matter?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by david*mt, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. david*mt

    david*mt Second Unit

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    I'm currently using an Accoustic Research cable with my dvd player, and I really like the picture I receive. I will be moving soon, however, and I'm going to need a longer cable in my new setup. I was thinking of just getting a cheap component cable off eBay or one of the $10 ones I saw at Target. Would the picture quality with one of these be much worse than what I get with my Accoustic Research? Should I just get an expensive like a Monster Cable?
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    First consider your other pieces of equipment. If you've got a TV that cost
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Ahh, ummm, errr, component cable quality *does* matter. I remember this from the early days when all of us were switching from S-video and composite to component. (Canare got high marks early on and still makes good stuff, and Belden is a recognized name today. The makers of the cable itself.) It has to be shielded, and it has to be 75 ohm. Most cables don't have true 75 ohm connectors, but you should look for that too. (If the connector is molded plastic or rubber, it ain't 75 ohm.) The longer the cable, the more important the cable quality is.

    With that being said, there are a lot of good, cost effective manufacturers out there. I personally like Blue Jeans and Monoprice. Shoot, even the better made Radio Shack stuff is perfectly fine.
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I guess my defense would be that I didn't realize there were component cables sold that are not 75ohm. That is what I was getting at with the video cable vs. audio cables . . . because audio cables are rarely 75ohm.

    Even so, the brand he currently owns is probably the brand I see recommended most that can be purchased at a retail store. The online brands tend to get the most recommendations, but AR gets plenty.

    Re: your question about Monster. Don't buy their stuff new. It's good cable, but too expensive. If you can find a deal on it used, then it may be a great option for you.
     
  5. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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    IMHO, component cable quality definitely matters. I don't think you need to spend hundreds of dollars on a cable, but don't use the little piece of crap that comes with your DVD player. During a move, I temporarily used the POS that came with my DVD player instead of my trusty cable from Blue Jeans. To my eyes, there was a huge difference in quality. I couldn't wait to unpack my Blue Jeans cable and put it back in use. Spend the $30-$40 on a decent component cable and you'll be all set.
     
  6. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    The type of component cable DOES matter. I recently found this out for myself.

    I was using six year old, lower grade Monster component cables with my DVD player connected to my display.

    I ended up trying some brand new Acoustic Research Pro II component cables. The connectors on these new cables are almost unbelievable "tight" when connecting to the player and display.

    The result? The Acoustic Research cables give slightly better color rendition, image sharpness, and less noise. I did several A/B comparisons. Again, the difference is pretty slight, but IS noticable and worth it to me.

    Acoustic Research Pro II component cables are very high quality and can be bought for a very reasonable price from a reputable online store. I bought mine from Buy.com.
     
  7. joseph westcott

    joseph westcott Second Unit

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    Just make sure the cable is double shieled, usually copper braided and uses quality connectors, like Canare as mentioned before. I too use Blue Jean cables and even my wife could tell a difference when I switched out the cables.

    My component cables are 35' long and work beautifully.
     
  8. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Is there some advantage to using cables whose connectors are "almost unbelievably tight"?
     
  9. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    You can damage your equipment when you remove them.

    Component cables need to adhere to a well defined specification. Any "improvement" in "better" compoent cables beyond that is suspect IMO.
     
  10. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    This is just my guess (could be wrong), but tighter may help transfer the full signal better than connectors which are not tight enough.
     
  11. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    That's what I was thinking Philip.
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    No. Electricity is not that finicky.
     
  14. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    What do you think is likely giving me the very slight improvement in picture quality?
     
  15. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Was there a price difference in the cables? The truth is that anytime we spend money we like for it to make an improvement. I'm not trying to take a shot at you personally or anything, we all do it, but the placebo effect is definitely a possibility to consider.
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The difference likely has nothing to do with the connectors themselves, but the construction of the cables IMO. I've used the AR cables and I think they are better than Monster, and they should actually be cheaper too in nearly all cases.

    I bought some Audioquest component cables to compare to the Monster and AR - no difference, even after calibration. As soon as I hooked up the Bluejeans, the difference was quite apparent and a quick calibration confirmed that there was in fact a difference in my settings from nothing other than changing the cable. I happily returned the AQ cable which was nearly 5x the cost of the Bluejeans.

    AR ProII component 6' is $40 at AC4L.
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I don't know, your brain playing tricks on you perhaps? Certainly nothing in the cables or connectors unless the older ones were defective.
     
  18. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    John

    How tight are the connectors on the Bluejeans cable?
     
  19. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    One of them seemed fairly tight on my 2900, but the rest of them fit "just right" with enough grab to be snug, but not so much that you would have to pull them terribly hard to get them off. They use Canare RCAPS which use "fingers" to make contact, rather than having the whole thing compress:

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    No, the (superior) Acoustic Research cables were actually cheaper than my (original) Monster cables! I bought the AR for $23.00 shipped.
     

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