Help! I want the following cables, but can't spend more than $100

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Guy Martin, Jul 6, 2003.

  1. Guy Martin

    Guy Martin Second Unit

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    Hello all!

    I'm about to upgrade my receiver to a brand-new Sony 1000ES and decided it was time to get some quality cables. For the record I presently have an old Sony STR-DE725 receiver, a Panasonic A110 DVD player, a Toshiba 27A41 TV and an Energy Take-5 system with 8" sub. Currently I'm using the S-video cable that came with the Panasonic, which I assume is a pretty low-quality cable, although it's been working well so far (the A110 doesn't have component outs, so that's not a concern). I can't remember what brand the optical cable is, but it cost about $20 back when I picked it up. I'm using an old cable of unknown origin for the sub, and that is my biggest concern. Basically I'd like to upgrade to the following:

    1) A decent sub cable, around 6-8 feet in length, this is my biggest concern since the cable I'm using now is pretty cheap-looking.

    2) A good S-video cable, preferably two of them so that I can take advantage of the 1000ES' ability to upscale eveything to S-video for convenience (I'd like to be able to leave my TV set to S-video and let the receiver switch between the DVD player, my VCR and my Dreamcast). Unless anyone out there thinks the cable that came with my DVD player is okay (it is gold-plated FWIW).

    3) A new optical cable, unless it doesn't matter. Will a more expensive cable improve my sound? Should I use a coaxial cable instead?

    The big limit here is price. I can't afford to spend more than $100 on the whole mess. I went out to some stores and checked out some Monster and Acoustic research cables, but all of them cost $30-60 each. No way I can afford that. Can anybody recommend some good, less expensive brands/places to look? Do I really need to upgrade all of these cables?
    - Guy
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Guy,

    Have you looked at Radio Shack? Their Gold Cables are reasonably priced and well built. For example, $22 for this 12-ft. cable set:

    [​IMG]

    For most people, there is no reason to spend any more on cabling unless the price of your audio system is solidly in the five-digit range.



    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Try avcable.com they can probably fill your needs and come under budget.
    I'd go with a decent coax cable for digital use.
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    1) There's precious little that's required of a sub cable as it's only responsible for carrying signals below say 120 Hz give or take. If you don't like the looks of yours there's a host of inexpensive approaches. Some go down to the Shack and just pick up a length of F-connector preterminated quad shielded coax (make sure it's copper...solid or stranded is irrelevent) and just slap on some RCA's. Might even find it cheaper at your supermarket. If you want to dress it up, you can always add some techflex or something.

    2) Decently well made S-Video or component cables are available everywhere. Locally you can find them at Target, WalMart (Wall Martay for you audiophiles), the Shack, EB, Sears, etc. or you can buy an overengineered one at any place on the web. Might find the s/h is more than the cost of what you'd pay for it locally though.

    3) Optical cable can vary a bit in construction with some connectors being a bit more problematic than others. It does though have the interesting benefit of being completely immune to external RFI and EMI. It is a bit more fragile than coax, but Lifatek (online manufacturer) sells an armor plated version that you can step on. That's what I call bragging rights! Choosing between the two is largely a matter of personal preference.
     
  5. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    1) Don't worry about it, unless it's just too ratty for you. Then buy a cheap RCA cable that you like the looks of.

    2) The svideo cable you have is probably fine, unless you're noticing that it picks up a lot of interference or something.

    3) As far optical goes, if it works, it works, and something else will work exactly the same.

    Chu: Radio is part of the electromagnetic spectrum. RFI immunity would be implied by EMI immunity.
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    They do overlap and the terms are used pretty loosely. Just making the point that optical doesn't have the same issues that coax does but for that matter, well shielded coax in a home environment doesn't have many issues either.
     
  7. JamesHl

    JamesHl Supporting Actor

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    They don't so much overlap as one is part of the other.
     
  8. Mark Hedges

    Mark Hedges Second Unit

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    You will have to let us know what you think of that 1000ES when you get it. You will be one of the first people to have one!
     
  9. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeh please please don't go overboard on optical or even digital for that matter. There is no analog wave form going across those wires. It is just like ethernet, it is either "on" or "off". At 1meter you are not going to lose "signal quality". CAT5, an ethernet cable does not need a signal booster until it reaches ranges of 100meters.
     
  10. Guy Martin

    Guy Martin Second Unit

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    Thanks for the advice everyone!

    Wayne- I hadn't thought of Radio Shack, but after checking out their web site it looks like they provide pretty good bang for the buck so I'll get my S-video and Sub cables there.

    Mark- I'll definitely post something in the receiver forum when it arrives, but since I ordered it through the Sony Employee discount program (I am a minor functionary of Columbia pictures which Sony owns) I am told it won't be here until early August.

    Sounds like my current optical cable should be just fine, especially given that the distance involved is so short (less that 3').

    - Guy
     
  11. Eric Stuckey

    Eric Stuckey Second Unit

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    I guess CHU doesn't believe in the better cable theory [​IMG]
     
  12. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

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    It is not going to hurt to buy nice cables, but seriously don't bother going overboard. One well constructed cable is going to sound the same as another well constructed cable.
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I believe in the defective cable theory. I also believe that Dunkin Donuts' coffee and donuts suck.
     
  14. Vincent_S

    Vincent_S Second Unit

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  15. Arthur Vino

    Arthur Vino Stunt Coordinator

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    AR pro series are good for the money..
     
  16. Christopher Lyn

    Christopher Lyn Stunt Coordinator

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  17. Eric Stuckey

    Eric Stuckey Second Unit

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    I just upgraded my component cables . I had 1 set of Monster 2 going from my Directv to my RPTV and a set of AR Pro's going from my dvd player to the TV. I replaced both sets with Rhino Performance cables and I truly see a big difference in color. Especially in blue's. Everything exspecaily words are sharper and cleaner. So IMO better cables do make a difference.
     

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