premium cables/interconnects sticker shock

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JohnnyN, Sep 13, 2001.

  1. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2001
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi all. with the recent purchase of my new equipment I decided I would buy some premium cables... I checked out better cables and my jaw dropped when i considered how much i would have to spend to connect my whole system... this is further agravated by the fact that i have a large loft and short cables won't cut it. All in all, considerin my room size... If I buy silver serpents to connect my components the costs of the cables would almost cost more than the components themselves...
    For now... I'm just looking for recommendations and price ranges if ya'll wouldn't mind helping...
    I'll start by trying to connect the following components...
    my receiver is: Denon AVR 4802
    component cable type length qty
    ------------------ -------------- ------------ ------
    B&W CDM CNT 2 meter 1
    Canton Ergo 90 3 meters 2
    B&W CDM SNT 25 meters 2
    Advent AVR550 sub 8 meters 1
    Denon DVD 2800 digital 1 meter 1
    Denon DAT Player optical 1 meter 1
    Hitachi 53 RPTV 2 meters 1
    This is all fairly new to me, but i think these are the components i will need to interconnect for now... any recommendations would be greatly appreciated... I'll spend as much as I "need" to... but I have a hard time justifying too much money for cables. will it really make that much of a difference?
    ------------------
    --------------------------------------------------
    Somebody has to pay for retail businesses to let us walk in and audition high quality equipment side by side with our own dvd's and movies. I don't mind paying a premium to support this kind of service and convenience, I wish others would consider this when buying discounted b-stock merchandise from shady internet dealers.
    JKB
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    yes and you can get any component cables at say Target...12 foot GE for 20...even looks pretty decent...'better' to keep your money in your own pocket.
     
  3. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2000
    Messages:
    1,528
    Likes Received:
    0
    Without wishing to stir up controversy, many people feel that thick plain copper cable for speakers will give you excellent sound. The same people also suspect that expensive cables are a ripoff.
    However, it should be said that there are at least as many on the other side of the fence who feel that expensive cables are of considerable benefit to a system and lay claims to being able to hear dramatic differences between different cables.
    Basically, it is a matter of objectivity vs subjectivity. Which you choose to go with is up to you.
    I'm in the first category, personally.
    I would suggest you try the 12 awg plain cable for the speakers first and see how it sounds. Then if you wish you can borrow a set of more expensive cables and do a comparison in your own home and make your own mind up.
    ------------------
    /Kimmo
     
  4. Tim_S

    Tim_S Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2000
    Messages:
    80
    Likes Received:
    0
    As others have suggested cables are a matter of personal preference. Some experience a benefit with more expensive cables some do not. Were I you, I would without a doubt make sure the more expensive ones were worthwhile before keeping them. Thankfully BetterCables and others generally have money back guarantees. Unfortunately, Home Depot does not. . . Also, I would avoid the Monster if you can as generally a BetterCable or something else will perform better or at least no worse for the same or less money.
    At any rate, among those who do think cables are worthwhile, few believe that you experience enough benefit to the cost to run something like expensive silver cables back to your surrounds or even your sub. For these the cheap stuff is almost certainly the way to go. The only place you might consider more expensive speaker wiring is your front three speakers. Unless you are a highly critical music listener, you will probably not notice much of a difference here either though.
    For your connection between your DVD player and TV, if that is an HDTV, you definitely want a decent cable. Don't bother with Target. Even for a non-HDTV this is a place more people seem to agree decent cables are necessary.
    Your digital and optical connections, in all likelihood any well made cable will be fine. I would be a bit leery of the Target stuff here too as who knows what quality wires and connectors they use. You have some good equipment, no reason to hamstring it to save $20.
    Tim
     
  5. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 1999
    Messages:
    4,203
    Likes Received:
    0
    I see that you're new. Well, welcome! You have hit upon a very touchy part, though. I'm assuming that you only asked because you haven't brought anything yet. Well, my opinion is that you should learn how to solder (if you don't already know), and buy a roll of RG-6 and a pile of RCA connectors and make your own. They will be good for any interconnect should you decide to move something later.
    A rough guess would be that it would total about a hundred bucks for 500 ft of cable and a pile of jacks. Except for the optical, though.
    Glenn
     
  6. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well what have decided to do is to concentrate my funds for premium cables to those area's that I think warrent the expense. For me that is everything to do with the 2 channel side of the HT. For the pre amp to amp, dac to pre amp etc I'm using http://www.catcables.com
    ------------------
    http://www.attcanada.ca/~itisi
     
  7. Matty B

    Matty B Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2001
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    You will assuredly not notice a difference between any of the grades of copper wire. When looking at the price of something like Monster Cable, ask yourself, how much of the cost here is related to pricing? The answer should be obvious, at least %50. Cheaper cable will have worse shielding, if you need the piece of mind of shielded Monster Cable, well...more power to you, but unless you do a lot of walking on your audio cables, home depot 12 guage wire would be MORE than adequate for anyones system. AR video cables are fine quality for connecting video sources. Buy the cheapest optical cable you can find, as digital is digital.
     
  8. Mike_Reznik

    Mike_Reznik Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2000
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    As many others have posted, this is a touch subject and is a matter of opinion... That being said, I have noticed great improvement in sound and video quality when I upgraded my interconnect cables (pre-amp to poweramp, dvd to pre-amp, pro-scan dvd to hdtv, etc...) and although I do have upgraded speaker wires as well, I didn't see as dramatic of an increase in quality as when I upgraded my interconnects.
    By looking at the equipment that you have (dennon, B&W, etc.) I would suggest that you spend the extra money and get decent interconnect cables.
    Just my two cents... Good luck!
     
  9. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    1,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    Greg
  10. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Johnny: let me give you some thoughts.
    The internet sites you mentioned are known to be fairly good value for the money. Compared to some of the botique cables, including Monster, these are actually reasionable prices.
    So you cannot afford premium for everything. Lets find where we can save some money:
    Digital Coax: Just go buy a Radio Shack Video cable for the connection between the DVD player and the receiver. The digital nature of these signals make it fairly insensitive to the cable so you can go budget here. Should run you about $20.
    Optical: This is also a digital cable, but there have been tests that hear differences. The Radio Shack quality seems suspect so plan to spend about $45 for a better optical cable.
    Speaker Wire: Yes, with the more accurate equipment speaker wire has a greater effect. But because of the lengths involved, this is going to suck up the $$$.
    Short Term: Buy some good quality 12 ga from Home Depot or http://www.partsexpress.com
     
  11. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2001
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    1
    wow... I am thoroughly overwhelmed by the responsiveness and helpfulness of everyone on this board...
    Sean, Chu, Kimmo, Tim, Glenn, Andrew, Matty, Mike, Greg, and Bob... thanks so much for your pointers.
    I've actually decided that since I will be planning to wire up the house with whole house music systems either from Ada, RussSound, Niles, or Sonance, I might as well make the initial investment in tools for makign my own cables... I'm a real DIY kind of guy.
    Greg. the link you gave me really helped, but I would appreciate if anybody can send any other links to other cable making webpages as I have a lot to learn.
    ------------------
    --------------------------------------------------
    Somebody has to pay for retail businesses to let us walk in and audition high quality equipment side by side with our own dvd's and movies. I don't mind paying a premium to support this kind of service and convenience, I wish others would consider this when buying discounted b-stock merchandise from shady internet dealers.
    JKB
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    You haven't had sticker shock for cables until you've seen a $380 component video cable! [​IMG] I walked out of the store... I picked up a Monster 1m cable for $70 and it works just fine, thanks (even at that price it was a bit much, but I needed it that day). I can't imagine the $380 cable being THAT much better!
    ------------------
    All progress is based upon a universal, innate desire on the part of every organism,
    to live beyond it's income.
    ITRCA ** Speedring (sorry, car guy)
    [Edited last by John Garcia on September 13, 2001 at 01:30 PM]
     
  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a suggestion for the BetterCables people:
    Offer some other levels of "quality" cables.
    I was going to "standardize" all my digital connections.
    I need 3 coax cables and 2 optical, which right now for me, are all from different manufacturers at different lengths. (Yeah, I have 6 ft cables were what I really need 18 inch cables!)
    So I visited BetterCables.com. People have said good things about them, and since they support this forum, I wanted to try and buy from them 1st.
    I was blown away by the prices too. And they don't have optical anyway.
    ------------------
     
  14. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2000
    Messages:
    870
    Likes Received:
    0
    Try $16,000 for a 8' pair of KimberKable speaker wire.
     
  15. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    as others have said, you'll have to test and see if you notice a difference.
    if you hear it, then it exists and will be worth the money.
    i upgraded from the skinny cables to rat-shack and heard a difference. i tested from rat-shack to monster and didn't.
    ymmv
    ------------------
    You step in the stream,
    But the water has moved on.
    This page is not here.
     
  16. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2001
    Messages:
    228
    Likes Received:
    1
     
  17. Matty B

    Matty B Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2001
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Please tell me there isnt someone that thinks that a $16,000 cable is worth it? That is bordering on ridculous. I dont even think people with $50,000 runco televisions think that is a good deal.
     
  18. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    I can make Kimber style cables with a drill and some industrial wire...it's not that hard... [​IMG] Will anyone hear a difference? Doubt it. The idea is good, but the reality is, I don't think the average person can hear the difference, nor do most of us care when the inexpensive stuff more than does the job right now.
     
  19. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0
    Kevin: The digital interconnects are where you DONT want to spend money.
    The entire reason digital encoding of signals is superior is:
    - No generational losses when copying
    - Inexpensive twisted-pair wires can be used to transport
    - Small 18-21" dishes can replace the 9-foot dishes for satelite signals
    Do you have a network at work? Ask someone to show you a piece of the network cable. Compare it to an ordinary Radio Shack Video Cable. Which one is obviously more expensive, better shielded? The digital signals are just more robust so they dont need exotic wires.
    If you are going to invest in better cables, do it for the ANALOG signals. And since video is more important to me than audio, my priority would be:
    - High-bandwidth video cables
    - audio ANALOG interconnects from good sources (Good meaning a CD Transport. Not a VCR, Not a CATV box, Not a MP3 player).
    - Speaker wires to the L/R main speakers
    - Speaker wire to the center speaker
    (And I almost dont want to include upgrade speaker wires for the rears because for movies, they dont carry a lot of signal. And I dont know if they are critical for DVD Audio / SACD).
    So spend your money on the Analog wires. Dont worry about the digital.
     
  20. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Bob- Cool, thanks for the input. It wasn't as much for any performance gain, just for getting the proper lengths to reduce the "spaghetti" behind my rack.
    ------------------
     

Share This Page