Monster and other big-name cables/wires - difference?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Roderick Y, Sep 7, 2004.

  1. Roderick Y

    Roderick Y Auditioning

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    I read in the FAQ that Chris Tsutsui commented that he noticed small differences between several brands of speaker wire.

    Does this mean, then, that there is really no justification for the tremendous price of, for instance, Monster's speaker wire? I would really like to know if anybody has ever noticed any difference that would warrant the extra cost.

    Finally, is the same true (little noticeable difference) for interconnects? Sure, there may be a lifespan difference but with the money one saves surely one would be able to replace the wiring/cabling and still end up paying less.

    Basic question: for an average HT setup, will I really benefit from the cost? Will a casual listener be able to tell the difference, assuming high-quality source and output?

    Any answers are appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    Dude, why must you open this can of worms!?? [​IMG]

    In a word, NO, don't blow a bunch of your money on boutique cables or wires. You'll most likely NEVER notice a difference between them and the cables you can readily get at Target or Wal-Mart...ESPECIALLY if you are running a middle of the road HT system.

    SAVE YOUR MONEY!! [​IMG]

    Just my opinion

    Alfer
     
  3. Roderick Y

    Roderick Y Auditioning

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    Thanks that was what I was looking for [​IMG]

    Wouldn't happen to be anybody who disagrees at all?

    D'oh forgive my naivete; I should give a basic equipment list to make this easier to address:

    Yamaha R-V1105 Reciever (from c. 1999 IIRC)
    Sony DVP-S500D DVD Player (same age as above)
    [Pair] Infinity OVTR 2 Main Spkrs (probably same age as above too, don't recall)
    JBL S-Center II Center Channel

    There's no sub and no surround because up until recently we've (family) been quite casual about our system. However, we plan to change this soon. The only thing we've really considered is a Samsung HLP-5063W.

    Anyway, I would appreciate others' experiences with generic vs. name brand cables, because everywhere I read I find opposing viewpoints. Just to guess randomly, I'd say that this system will probably not demonstrate a difference due to lack of source/destination quality. But I am far from an expert so I really can't say for sure.
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    There's always people who disagree but as vocal as they may be, they're wrong. The simple fact remains that to this date, using any two wires of similar gauge and length, not one person has ever been able to audibly differentiate between them in what's known as a double blind test. In fact, the gauge disparity can be quite large before one hears a reliable difference.
     
  5. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I would run at least 18G speaker cable if I were you. If you already are then just kick back and enjoy.

    Botique wires are for ultra-high-end enthusiasts, not for the everyday folks. Hell, I'd say the same for most expensive gear, not just wires. I recently went from an Outlaw 950/Sherwood AM-9080 separates systyem (MSRP well over $2000) to a Pioneer VSX-D606S (original 1997 MSRP $600 - I got for $150 refurbished a few years back) and I don't miss the separates AT ALL.
     
  6. Roderick Y

    Roderick Y Auditioning

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    Good to know, guys. Thanks so much [​IMG]

    Just to double-check, you guys are talking about speaker wire? What about INTERCONNECTS?
     
  7. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    Just go to Wal Mart and grab some of their interconnects (Philips, GE, whatever they are carrying at this time)and they'll do just fine for your set up.

    For example:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Roderick Y

    Roderick Y Auditioning

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    Would it make a difference if the setup was:

    Samsung HLP-5063W
    Pioneer VSX-1014TX-K
    Denon DVD-1910

    BTW Thanks for the input so far.
     
  9. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    Nope...
     
  10. Roderick Y

    Roderick Y Auditioning

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    Alrighty then that's pretty much all my questions. Thanks again.
     
  11. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Yes the differences will be noticed easily. Upgrading to a larger HDTV set, You will notice difference in cabling especially good quality(which the Walmart and Target crap is not for this case especially). When you buy that setup, I would atleast lookup Bluejeans and get some of their Component cables. Audio wise I wouldn't spend your money on that(for now) but for video, No doubt. Having owned a big screen and replacing cables, this is an obvious thing to notice.
     
  12. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    And here's the low-down on cable "lifespan difference"

    You'll be dead before your generic cables stop working. The time in-between is the difference* [​IMG]





    *Will not apply if your gear is located near a major supply of saltwater.
     
  13. ThomasEdison

    ThomasEdison Extra

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    What about banana plugs and things of that sort? Any real difference there in price vs quality?
     
  14. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    I hate to fuel the cable wars, but I have a slightly different opinion.

    Speaker Wires: Generally it makes no difference for a HT system as long as you buy decent quality stuff and make snug connections.


    Buy good 12 ga wire, leave a few feet of slack to trim the ends over the years and enjoy.

    Digital Interconnects: Go with a $15 video cable. Digital signals are very in-sensitive to the cable.

    Video Cables:

    If you have a HDTV - you are soon going to feed it a higher-frequency/higher-information rate signal than component cables were designed for. Cables made with HD video frequencies in mind can be purchased for about $50 at custom cable sites like www.bluejeanscables.com.

    Subwoofer: Any long, decently made cable should work for these easy-to-handle signals. Just make sure the RCA plugs fit snug. My current subwoofer cable is a long run of white CATV coax with "F-to-RCA-Male" adaptors. All from Radio Shack for about $15. Subwoofer frequencies are a trivial challenge for any cable.

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. MichaelBJ

    MichaelBJ Auditioning

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    Roderick,
    In looking at all the factors that can impact your HT system, cables are far down the list after room acoustics, speaker design, video/musical tastes, etc.....
    For all the flame wars that this topic ignites, you would think that people were debating the meaning of life.

    Try some Home Depot zip cord and some "boutique" cables from either a local store/mail order site that allows returns. Bettercables.com, Audioadvisor.com, and Crutchfield.com all offer good service. No one else on this website has your exact tastes or HT set-up. If the zip cord sounds good, return the fancy staff. If the fancy stuff sounds better, follow that direction.

    Good luck, Michael
     
  16. Roderick Y

    Roderick Y Auditioning

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    Thanks Michael, that's actually the best advice I've gotten so far.

    At first I was just curious if anybody had really ever noticed a difference. Then I was curious if they had the same opinion regarding wire/interconnects. Just looking for experiences, not absolute summary verdicts.
     
  17. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    Roderick,

    No sense sitting around here waiting for everyone's opinion...the debates will go on forever as they always do.

    Just go to the store..be it Home Depot, Wal Mart or Fancy Pants Cables and get some cables etc, hook them up and decide for yourself if the picture/sound suits you.

    You're wasting your time if you are waiting and waiting for just the right opinion about this stuff.

    Now go shopping and enjoy your system dammit! [​IMG]
     
  18. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Blue Jeans Cables are very high quality and I have purchased many of them and have some running in my system right now. They are an advertizer here and I like that they help sponsor this board, so they get my "first call" business. They offer fantastic bang for the buck on custom cables, and I recommend them very highly.

    That said, Cables made with HD video frequencies in mind can be purchased off-the-shelf from places like www.cablesforless.com and www.trianglecables.com as well. The differentiating factor on these is often going to be do you need a custom length? Who wants 10 extra feet of cable lying around to trip over? And can you see the cables somehow (plasma?)? If so, the Blue Jeans cables are aesthetically much better than cheaper ones (IMO).
     
  19. Qui-Gon John

    Qui-Gon John Producer

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    I just had to re-wire some of my gear. My VCR died and I decided to hookup the new VCR (which will still have cable TV running thru it) to Input 1. I also decided to connect my DVD to Input 2.

    I am using RCA plain Yellow/Red/White for my VCR (Video, R ch, L ch).

    For my DVD I am using a generic brand 2 cable R Ch & L Ch for my audio, and another RCA Cable mentioned above for my Component feed, (I just re-labeled the cable with Y & Pb & Pr and matched it all up). It seems fine.

    I had the 2 wire audio already, and the RCA 3 wire cables were only 6.97 each for 6 footers, not bad.
     

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