New Cables for First install?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by John S Smith, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. John S Smith

    John S Smith Agent

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    Got my components together finally, a bit of a hodge podge, but all new within the last year, anchored by Marrantz SR7500 with so many connection options my head hurts. I am new to HT so have only cables supplied with equipment, should I;

    Select (with your help) a reasonable set of patch cables online (speaker wire is selected already, I'm running HD 12 Ga. with decent Banana plugs for both fronts and surrounds. Just moving electrons along a conductor!) ?

    Buy them locally with possibility to return cables I ultimately don't need?

    Are there any members living close to Huntington Beach Ca. who could maybe swing by for a couple of cold ones and a chat?

    ..john
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I'd stick with the pack-ins unless you have specific problems with them. Line-level audio and video are not taxing and do not require particularly robust cabling. If your cables are visible and you want a clean look there's lots of options available. My favorite cable suppliers are www.cablesforless.com and www.trianglecables.com I've had very good experience with both companies and their cables are completely adequate.
     
  3. Tim_Stack

    Tim_Stack Second Unit

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    I got some audio cables from Outlaw Audio recently and my sound significantly improved, even over the cables I had from Blue Jeans cable I had for analog audio for my mains.
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    How did you determine that the sound "improved"?
     
  5. Kevin_F

    Kevin_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Not to change topic, but how do you like the 7500 John?
     
  6. Bryan Pape

    Bryan Pape Auditioning

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    I'd at a minimum get some decent video cables. You don't need to go nuts but video and digital audio are a bit more demanding. You can stop by Rat Shack and pick up the AR cables or you can order them from someplace like BlueJeansCables.com (forum sponsor by the way). They make great stuff using quality materials at a great price. They're good enough to keep no matter WHAT equipment you have.
     
  7. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I wouldn't recommend using the packins. They are absolute shit. Blue Jeans is probably the least expensive/good option I'd go with. they should suit you well.
     
  8. Tim_Stack

    Tim_Stack Second Unit

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    "How did you determine that the sound "improved"? "

    Just by listening to some two-channel SACDs that I had previously listend to - especially at the same volume levels...

    I also upgrade some hideously bad old cables I had been using for DirecTv - AV Receiver & VCR - AV Receiver and rewatched some VCR tapes and the improved low-end on was very noticable.
     
  9. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Jonn - could you be a bit more specific about what cables you are looking for? "Patch Cables" is a bit too open-ended. My recomendations would change if you are connecting audio vs video vs HD video.
     
  10. John S Smith

    John S Smith Agent

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    Jonn - could you be a bit more specific about what cables you are looking for? "Patch Cables" is a bit too open-ended. My recomendations would change if you are connecting audio vs video vs HD video.

    All Audio and Video connections, RPTV, DVD, CD, Digital Cable, reciever currently not HD but that may be an option later, currently I'm not dissatisfied with performance simply using what comes with the components so I'd hate to throw large sums of money at nothing! Also, I get a little confused deciding on what is optimal connection for any two components, maybe these questions are too simplistic for this group, is there a "hook ups for dummies group"
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I highly recommend leaving well enough alone then. I've been a HT enthusiast for well over a decade, going back to the LD days. I've spent money on "quality cables" and I'll tell you, absolutely, unless the cables are glaringly deficcient, you will get noimprovement from upgrading.

    That said.... Often pack-in video cables are glaringly deficcient. Audio cables are usually fine.

    ....But you don't have to spend a lot of money to get sufficient cables. Go to www.cablesforless.com and www.trianglecables.com and look at their "premium" offerings.
     
  12. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Let's take the simple case first:

    Video

    Home Theater magazine published these rough numbers on the different types of video connection:

    Composite - single RCA cable - baseline quality

    SVideo - single-looking cable with 'keyboard' style plug: 20% better than Composite

    Component - 3 RCA cables in a bundle: 25% better than composite

    This was tested using a 50" RPTV. The magazine noted that the difference was SMALLER if the display size was smaller, and the difference was LARGER if the display was bigger.

    For HD video, you MUST use either component cables or one of the DVI/HDMI cables. The last I heard, both of these cables tend to give similar picture quality.

    AUDIO

    If the device offers a Digital output, it is usually prefered over a left/right analog connection.

    There are 2 types of digital cables:

    Coaxial Digital - Single RCA cable that looks/smells/IS a composite video cable

    Optical/Toslink - Single, thin fiber optic cable with small, black, square plugs on the end.

    In general, both cables produce identical sound. I tend to prefer the coaxial-digital cable type of connection because it tends to be cheaper and 'appears' more durable. You can use any video cable you have lying around for the coaxial-digital connection. Because the signal is digital, it is fairly insensitive to the cable.

    Does this help?
     
  13. Kevin_F

    Kevin_F Stunt Coordinator

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    Is it worth the extra money to purchase silver coated copper cables for video instead of regular copper cables? Will I see the difference?
     
  14. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Give it a try with a money back guarantee.

    To me that is like asking if cables make a difference. Same type of question, same type of responses and same type of flames from the usuals.
     
  15. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    1) That's a judgement call on your part, but read on.
    2) No, but read on.
    The bandwidth of component cables is primarily determined by their gauge. The requirements for dumping video from your DVD to your TV, even if you're running 1080i, is easily met by RG59 types and even smaller gauges known as mini-coax. When I say easily, I do mean easily. For the lengths you're likely looking at, a few meters at most, it's a cakewalk for such cables.

    The purpose of the silver is primarily to provide a protective coating for the copper. It's not especially thick but does add signficantly to the cost of the cable by virtue that it's silver and requires additional manufacturing steps. There's also a secondary benefit, if that's the right word for the silver, but I happen to think it's not all that relevant. That comes from the fact that your cable is going to have to be attached to an RCA connector. That connection might be made by welding (very rare), soldering, or a hard crimp. If that connection is for some reason made poorly such that it doesn't do a good job of excluding the atmosphere, then the metal will be subject to tarnishing. Now it happens that the tarnishing products of silver are signficantly more conductive than copper. However, if the crimp that was made on the RCA end also tarnishes because of the metal it's made from, then it doesn't matter a whole lot what the coax center conductor is made from, does it?
    It's important to understand that crimping is not like you or I squeezing down on something with a pair of pliers. The devices that are used, especially those that are on automated assembly lines (that's where you'll find molded plugs that for some reason offend the delicate sensibilities and tasts of audiophiles) apply a controlled, even pressure, and do so in a very short time. It's by virtue of this short time that the metals in the connector and the cable actually experience incredibly high temperatures for an extraordinarily short time leading to what's known as a cold weld.
    Hopefully you've got enough to go on to make an informed decision that works for you.
     

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