Premium interconnects, what's the real deal?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by ShawnKubik, Aug 4, 2004.

  1. ShawnKubik

    ShawnKubik Extra

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    I'm a home theatre noob, but a computer technician and car performance & audio enthusiast for quite some time... so i finally delved into getting myself a little home theatre setup, consisting of:

    -27" flat screen TV w/ svideo/component inputs
    -Sony STR-DE597 6.1 reciever
    -Pioneer AV341 DVD player
    -Sony middle of the road center & rear channel speakers
    -Sony 3 way floorstanding front channels with 12" woofers
    -JBL E250P subwoofer

    It's basically been a piece here a piece there, a deal here a deal there kinda thing and I live in a 900sq/ft apartment so some huge TV and a much more expensive setup might be budgetable but not desired, just want some more enjoyment from watching my movies, something i'd be doing on tv speakers in the past....

    what i'm questioning is the validity of these highly priced interconnects for coax/component by monster cable and the like, currently i run the video output of the dvd player directly to the input of the TV with a 10$ set of "gold plated" component cables i got at like what, target i think? picture looks just fine...

    for the coax audio connection between the dvd player and the reciever i used a single RCA video cable from some old camera or something laying around, again... no hints of distortion or otherwise problems

    other than the better physical strength of the high priced primo cables, do they offer any performance benefit in my setup or anyone else that isn't willing to spend the cash just to have the brand name part?
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    This is a hotly debated subject, but some people report improvements with high-priced cables (although $10 is too cheap to be considered “premium” cables).

    However, what you don’t hear much is those people detailing what kind of equipment they have. I expect they have very expensive, high-resolution equipment to be able to hear subtle sonic or visual improvement.

    IMO it’s worth the money to get at least entry-level better-quality cables (such as Radio Shack’s Gold series) simply because they are more robust and durable. You’ll seldom ever see them go bad.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Since you're into auto, if you've got some interconnects laying around, like say StreetWires, use them or whatever else you've got laying around as audio interconnects.
     
  4. Bob-H

    Bob-H Auditioning

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    Based on your system quality my advice is to save the expense of premium cables and improve your system first. Your speakers sound like the weak link at this point. As for connections, if you can use the component connection (RBG) from the DVD to the TV that will give the most bang for your cable buck.
     
  5. ShawnKubik

    ShawnKubik Extra

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    none of these replies are making sense, i'm already using RGB component video, looks great on my sub-ghetto 27" flat screen, my speakers are weakest link?

    everything's relative here...
     
  6. Robert_Dufresne

    Robert_Dufresne Stunt Coordinator

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    Always remembers this Shawn

    In the world of audio P.T. Barnum would have made a killing.[​IMG]
     
  7. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Like in computers and auto's there are different levels of performance. Unfortunately in HT your setup would be considered entry level. Would more expensive interconnects improve picture quality? Probably, but you have to know what your looking for. Have you even calibrated your TV or is it still in torch mode(Picture/Contrast set to max?) Personally I've used cables from AR/AR Master Series/Monster and now Straightwire. Each cable offered a different picture displayed on my 47" widescreen. Goto you local BB and pickup some cables and try them out. You can always take them back.

    Kevin
     
  8. ShawnKubik

    ShawnKubik Extra

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    nah im not in torch mode, brightness mid level, contrast below normal... i'm not an idiot, i just asked a simple question, WHAT can premium coax & component level cables do for ME over what i'm doing now

    for now it's loud, too loud for an apartment so explain
     
  9. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    No.

    Cables become a influence as your system becomes more sensitive. By this I mean:

    - A display size around 40" or larger
    - Pushing Progressive or HD video instead of standard video
    - long runs

    As long as you are using component video cables - you have the best connection type for a 27" set. Even the highly respected $50 custom cables wont make any difference, let alone the $75-$220 Monster cables.
     
  10. ShawnKubik

    ShawnKubik Extra

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    my question was more pertaining to my coaxial connection between the dvd player and the reciever, i'm using a cheap video rca cable for now, do i need to pick up some expensive coax cable?
     
  11. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    as far as coaxial digital between the receiver and the dvd player, i think the composite video cable you're using now is fine. as long as you're not getting frequent audio dropouts or no sound at all, the cable should work fine for you. i honestly don't see how the primo super-expensive teflon coated non-stick cables would improve your setup. hell, many would argue that super expensive cables won't do much for super expensive systems. the current thought is to budget 10% of your system expense for cables....ie, if you have $5000 in a system, spend at least $500 on cables. well, i can tell you i have a smidge more than $5k in my setup and i don't have much over $250 in cables. if the rca cable is working for you...keep using it. if you wanna blow a wad of cash on a cable that'll do what you're rca cable is doing for you now, there are plenty of companies out there willing to take your cash.

    kevin t
     
  12. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Shawn,
    Unless that cable is a pack in type cable I wouldn't worry about upgrading cables until you upgrade your equipment.
     
  13. ShawnKubik

    ShawnKubik Extra

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    yeah i'm just using a yellow video composite style RCA cable for my digital coax output to coax input on my reciever and a standard RCA monster cable like what you'd use wiring a car system to my subwoofer.... just wondered if it was worth buying authentic "DIGITAL COAX" cables to replace these two
     
  14. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    "Digital" coax is a marketing ploy if you consider that the original SPDIF specifications call for the cable to be a "75 Ohm Coax" cable, in other words - a standard video cable. If they built the spec to an existing cable, what use is there in a "new and improved - DIGITAL!!!" one? Authentic my a&$.
     
  15. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    I figure I have close to $12k invested in my setup and have gone over the 10% rule a while back. In the last 3mths I've replaced my AR Master Series component with Straightwire. Replaced my speaker cable(bi-wire 16G) with AR Master Series 10G(silvercopper/copper mix), bi-amping the front L/R. Did I notice a difference. YES.

    Kevin
     
  16. Kevin T

    Kevin T Screenwriter

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    wow...$1200 for cables. seems a bit excessive, but what do i know? actually, i just purchased new pre to amp cables and new cd to pre cables. i got all nordost blue heavens. xlr blue heavens from a soon to be ordered pass labs x2.5 to my plinius sa-102. rca blue heavens from my denon dvd-5900 to the pass. of course, the rest of the cables i use in the sytems are "cheapie" custom jobbers from heartland / vince maskeeper. depending on how i like the blue heavens once they arrive, i might wire the rest of the home theater with black knights. if i hear no difference whatsoever...i can always re-sell them on audiogon as i got a great price for both pairs.

    kevin t
     
  17. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Just goto quit buying new cables and be happy with what I have. My dealer was getting out off the Straightwire Line and going Monster so I was able to get my new Component and Interconnects for 40% off. About a month ago I found a clearance center that had some AR Master Series 10AWG preterminated speaker cables for a fraction of the original cost. So I picked up enough to replace my ARPro 16AWG that I was using to bi-wire. Then I read another thread on Bi-amping and figured I'd use the extra channels on my Yamaha RX-V1400 to power my surrounds and bi-amp my L/R with 4 of 5 channels from my Rotel RMB-1095. So I had to hunt down another run of speaker cable as I was one short. Also had to hunt down some banana tips as one run was missing them. All these cable/wires cost me about $6-700. Then theirs my glass optical cable and then all the other cables I've had in my setup overtime. Thats how you go over the 10% rule. Now I did sell most of the stuff I replaced.

    Kevin
     

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