HD-DVD and analog audio cables... Just a thought.

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Clinton McClure, Aug 3, 2006.

  1. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    For a long time now, it has been arguable whether better quality (read more expensive) analog audio cables are really worth the money. I have found, as have many others, that aside from the cheap freebie cables which come standard with any new piece of equipment, there's not much perceivable difference between cables when placed in a double-blind test. A $15 pair of Acoustic Research cables sounds the same as a $40 pair of Monster cables and so on and so forth. This got me thinking last night. With HD-DVD here and the DD+, TrueHD, etc... sound formats being relayed through the analog 5.1 channel outputs at higher bitrates than previously known, will the difference between less costly and more costly RCA cables become more apparent? Will we REALLY hear the difference the manufacturers say is there? Will a $200 pair of pure silver cables sound noticeably better than the $15 Acoustic Research cables?

    Discuss.
     
  2. Hayes Preston

    Hayes Preston Stunt Coordinator

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    You've been a member long enough to know that the cable debate comes up every once in a while, regardless of HD DVD, we will still have the conversation.

    Your first statement needs re-wording, DD+, DD True HD and DTS HD, if relayed through a player's analog output, are exactly that, analog, there is no "bitrate" for an analog signal. The difference between analog cables will be no more or less apparent than with a quality CD player or Hi res audio (DVD-A/SACD.)

    Your second question: will we really hear the difference the manufacturers say is there? Are you referring to cable manufacturers or hardware/software maunfactuters touting the new sound formats? If it's the former, then it's a merely a cable debate (do you remember the "which sounds better, coax or fiber optic" debates?) If it's the latter, I can only tell you from my own opinion. I can hear a difference between DD+ encoded into a DTS bitstream by the player and the DD+ soundtrack ported over via analog interconnects, and I prefer the analog output.

    It also depends highly on the rest of the components in the audio chain, which starts with the source, in this case, an HD DVD player, cables, receiver (or pre-amp/amp combo) speaker cables, and speakers. A minimal setup, with a low powered receiver and HTIB speakers, will most likely not hear any difference between any analog interconnects.

    On the other hand, a robust audio system with a decent receiver, speakers and cabling, will most liekely be able to hear some difference between the cables that come in the box and $15 AR cables. The law of diminishing returns however comes into play, when one compares $15 cables to $100 cables.
     
  3. RobertDW

    RobertDW Stunt Coordinator

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    For the analog audio I just use two sets of component video cables and that works just fine imo.
     
  4. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    I am referring to the cable manufacturers. (And for the record, I prefer digital coax to fiber-optic.)

    This will be the first time I've used the 5.1 analog channels from a source unit to my receiver so I didn't want to sell myself short.
     
  5. Seth=L

    Seth=L Screenwriter

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    Have you looked at Straight Wire. I use them and I noticed a difference. They aren't very expensive compared to Monster and I think that Straight Wire is better.

    Seth=L
     
  6. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast

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    Never heard of Straight Wire. I picked up some Acoustic Research at a fraction of the cost of Monster and will give them a try.
     

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