Interconnect Questions.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JoeDelan, Dec 7, 2001.

  1. JoeDelan

    JoeDelan Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok...I got my new Toshiba SD4700 and gotta hook it up to my Receiver via interconnects to get the DVD-A portion up and Running. Anyone know of any good deals on interconnects or which ones are good for the price?

    I was checking out Catcables and better cables and Monster cables. Anyone have a preference and why?

    Update on equipment---

    Toshiba SD4700 DVD/DVD-A player

    Pioneer 36TX Receiver

    Polk RT35i's, Polk 400I, Polk f/x300i's
     
  2. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Joe it depends on your budget and needs. For the budget minded Acoustic Research cables offers great bang for the buck. Stepping up you move into the catcables and bettercables level where you'll get better build quality and cables made to your needs. I happen to use catcables and always find them to be of fantastic build quality and I can get them made to any lenght I require...which is nice since I don't need a 3 foot long cable when a 16 inch one will do nicely...saves in cost and keeps the rack clean and tidy. I also really love their locking RCA's that they use even on the cheaper coppercats. Anyway basically depending on your budget and needs there are lots of options available to you. I would also advise that you also consider the quality of the source you are connecting to...ie while I love catcables I'm not rushing out to buy silvercats to connect the VCR since no matter what I do its not that critical a connection...now my amps are all connected using the highest level of cable I can use since I place more importance on those connections
     
  3. Troy LaMont

    Troy LaMont Supporting Actor

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    Joe,



    Welcome to the forum!



    Cables....I think that's one of the top 5 most debated issue here on the HTF. [​IMG]



    So here goes;

    1. Good deals? - You can pretty much find good deals on audio interconnects just about anywhere (Best Buy, Radio Shack, bettercables.com, onecall.com, audioadvisor.com) among many, many other places. As far as specific sales right now you may want to check the "For Sale" & "Coupons & Bargains" sections on the HTF.
    2. Best bang for the buck? - This is where you will start to get a big difference of opinions. I think on the average, most people tend to agree that Acoustic Research (AR) and Radio Shack (RS) offer great cables for the price. Monster Cable's lower end cables tend to fall into this category as well, but again some people feel that's debatable. Then there are those that tend to think that you get what you pay for and recommend something of a higher grade starting with bettercables.com and the like (including Tara Labs, Vampire Wire, MIT, Monster Cable M series, Audioquest, Liberty Wire, Cardas, Kimber Kable, Straight Wire, Tributaries and XLO - whew!).
    3. Preference? - Do we really want to open that can of worms? Anyway, my personal preference is Monster Cable M Series. All of my interconnect are M Series and I'm completely satisfied with sound quality vs. price paid. I think for their higher end line, Monster makes good cables that perform great as well.


    Like I said, it's a touchy subject and most people (including myself) will agree that the best thing to do is try a few brands for yourself and see which sounds better to you. You're the only person who knows what 'you' like and can figure a nice sounding cable into 'your' budget.



    I hope this helps.



    Troy
     
  4. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    I've been happy with Accoustic Research Pro cables found at my local Lowes....1 meter pair is $19.95.

    You could try the MIT Terminator 5 cables for $24.95 (closeout I think) from audioadvisor.com That is half price and you get a 30 day trial period to send it back if not happy. Thats a great deal IMHO. I thought about ordering a pair just to see if I can really tell a difference between them and the AR ones.
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Joe, as others have said, interconnects represent a touchy subject. Some will tell you to buy the cheapest cables you can find because they are all the same. That's hogwash. Anyway, some good cables have been recommended. In my systems, I am using Radio Shack Gold Series, Monster Interlink 400mkII, Monster M Series M350i, and Audioquest Diamondback interconnects. I am happy with all of them, and the quality of a component, the degree to which I listen critically to the component or system it is in, and the frequency with which I use a particular component determines which cables I use. I recently upgraded from Monster Interlink 400mkII interconnects on a couple of my better components to Audioquest Diamondbacks, and the difference, while not night and day, is definitely audible. The Diamondbacks are more expensive, but I feel they were worth it. For your information, a 1-meter pair of Monster Interlink 400mkII interconnects sells for $40, while a 1-meter pair of Diamondbacks sells for $75-90.

    The Diamondbacks are very well-made, as the RCA connectors are very easy to insert and remove. The Monster Cable turbine connectors can be a bit tight, and they tend to scratch certain RCA inputs. Radio Shack's Gold Series cables are very reasonably priced, but I don't like the RCA connectors. They can be very difficult to insert or remove (poor quality control), and the dimpled ends can dig into your fingers when you are dealing with tight connectors. There have been times where I was afraid I would damage a component by trying to insert or remove a tight Radio Shack cable. I no longer buy them as a result

    In the end, you could audition several different cables at your desired price point. You didn't mention what other gear you have, and that should determine how much you spend and, therefore, how good a cable you really need.
     
  6. Martice

    Martice Screenwriter

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    It depends on how revealing the rest of your system is and what source material you listen too. If your source material consists of lots of live music or in your case DVD -Audio and you have a very revealing system then I would recommend that you go with Harmonic Technology, DH Labs, MIT because I've used these cables at one time or another and I can only speak on them through experience. However, if you listen to a wide variety of music PoP, Hip Hop and other commercial types and you consider yourself a person that just enjoys music and not necessarily from a critical listening point of view, I would go with any low to medium priced cable offering and let build quality take precedence concerning your choices.

    In short if your source material is usually recorded well and your source player is capable of passing the signal along without mucking it up and the rest of your system is considered to be very revealing, then I wouldn't skimp on the cables because if you took the time and money to properly match your system then it would only make sense to attach your pieces with excellent quality cables.
     
  7. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    IMO, No cable shopping can be complete without considering the new Outlaw cables. I shopped and researched and although I wanted the all Silver Catcables, and Lexman(Doug) made me a great deal, they were just too expensive for me at this time. So, I opted for the Outlaw cables, and DAMN, are they nice. My upgrade was from AR Pro and Monster Cables, and I immediately heard a reduction of noise and have since noticed a reduction of grain, a slight expansion of soundstage and my bass appears faster and less muddy. These cables look and sound like ultra high end cables and have the added safety of locking RCAs. The bad part in all of this is that if you buy them, you had better like them since you cannot return them. As for BetterCables, I found their Silver Serpent Component Cables to be the best within that price range but am not convinced that a silver coated copper analog cable will perform better than a copper cable.
    YMMV!
    Here are some pics of the Outlaw Cables.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    John, could you post larger pictures of the Outlaw cables? I could hardly see them. [​IMG]
    Between your pictures and those on Outlaw's web site, they look like very nice cables, and I considered them before going with the Audioquest Diamondbacks. However, Outlaw's unwillingness to stand by their product and accept returns I view as inexcusable. That's just me.
     
  9. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Keith: LOL! I know, Frontpage is driving me crazy. I save an image at a certain size and them insert it on the web page. Then I resize it on the web page and save it... but they sometimes look enormous. I went ahead and re-sized them... refresh the page and see if they are small enough... ugh?
    And yes, the no return policy is scary... but based on their cost(an immense bargain) and the recommendations of a few moderators, I made the leap. I landed safely! [​IMG]
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I have two other pet peeves with Outlaw cables. First of all, they are only available in 0.5-meter and 1.8-meter lengths. How about 1-meter or 1.5-meter? Also, 1.8 meters is not a standard length. 1.8 meters is approximately 6 feet, which is a nice round number, so I guess that explains why they went with 1.8 meters instead of 2 meters. However, I was considering the purchase of Outlaw cables for a component, but I really needed 2-meter cables. So, Outlaw is practically the only cable company that doesn't offer a 2-meter length. The other pet peeve I have is Outlaw's shipping charges. Standard ground shipping for a 0.5-meter, $30 pair of RCA cables is $10. That's ridiculous.
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    John, O.K. I haven't used Frontpage before. I'm glad to hear that the Outlaw cables are working out for you. For me, there were just too many alternatives that I could return such that I didn't feel it was worth going the Outlaw route. Who knows, maybe I am missing out on a good cable, but I am happy with the Audioquest Diamondbacks. [​IMG]
     
  12. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Good points Keith. I bought a bunch of cables along with an ICBM so shipping wasn't that bad. But if you are only buying a few cables, holy cow!
     
  13. Todd K

    Todd K Second Unit

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    What about this set of monster cables?
    http://www.wackodeals.com/moncabbsmons.html
    They appear to be the low end monster cables mentioned above. I didn't realize they could be had for so cheap. Is there something wrong with them?
    I am looking for the best cable to connect my Sony non-progressive DVP-NC600 to my Sony standard Wega (non-XBR) television via component input.
    I was thinking of springing for these cables, but then I noticed the Acoustic Research cables at Best Buy were reasonably priced.
     
  14. ErichH

    ErichH Screenwriter

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    I purchased the Outlaw ShortStack - same as 3 pr of .5 meter - it was 90.95 shipped .

    They work well , and for me were a great solution for DVDA . The Quality is much

    greater than 3 pr of cheap cables at a local B&M and for not much more money .

    Eric
     
  15. Troy LaMont

    Troy LaMont Supporting Actor

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    Todd,
    I wouldn't go that low on cables especially for video. This is Monster's bottom-of-the-barrel component video cables.
    I would at leat go Video 2 or Video 3 with Monster (if you can afford it). The Video 2 component cables can be had for around $29-$50 and the Video 3 component cables can be had for around $40-$80.
    I actualy think that what they are selling on that site aren't actually Monster cables at all. I've checked Monster's entire site and there isn't a listing with that product number. Beware!
    My $.02.
    Troy
     
  16. Todd K

    Todd K Second Unit

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    Yes, I noticed Monster didn't have that particular model number on their website. If I may ask, where did you see the monster 2 series that cheap? I'd just want the Level 2, I think, and it would be easy to ask for for Christmas. I think the 1 meter length usually costs about $40, right? And should I go with that above any Acoustic Research cables? While we're on the subject, I can also pick up some tributaries cables for the same price at a local store, although I would have to purchase them myself.
     
  17. Troy LaMont

    Troy LaMont Supporting Actor

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    Todd,
    I used to work part time for Best Buy and the sales guys in video used to push component cables so much that people didn't really know what the hell they were getting into (customers).
    So what would usually happen is they would bring them back (opened) and tell me (customer service) that they didn't really need them. Of course I'd put my plug in for better color rendition and the other added benefits of component cable, but they'd stick with their composite cable (J6P). [​IMG]
    So to make a long story short, you can usually find 'open-box' items in mint condition and Best Buy, Circuit City and the like.
    If you're willing to gamble a little, I've bought a lot of cables from reputable people on Ebay. OneCall.com is an authorized Monster dealer and they have great prices and clearance items all the time.
    Troy
     
  18. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

     
  19. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Oh man! You can't return Outlaw 's cables? Eh eh, dealbreaker.... They are nice looking cables though [​IMG]
    Those locking RCA's look real familiar...
    In my system i have many Monster "M" series cables..They are good cables for the money however, i've been upgrading to CatCables with anything i need at this point. (getting outfitted for SACD and a couple component cables) IMO, the CAT's for roughly the same money, are much better built. I hate the Monster cable "Death Grip" (lol..) Locking RCA's are the gig... [​IMG]
    - Chip
     
  20. John Morris

    John Morris Guest

    Chip: Yea, Coppercats look real nice too. I just couldn't see paying twice as much a pair for them versus the comparable Outlaw cables. I decided that paying 1/2 price was worth the risk of no return, especially based on Outlaws track record. All I can say is that for me, I made the right decision. Of course, I'm also the kind of guy who buys Denon gear from non-authorized dealers if the savings is big enough. [​IMG]
     

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