Question on interconnects

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Harlan, Nov 22, 2002.

  1. Harlan

    Harlan Agent

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    Are there any real differences between the differnet type of interconnects or is it marketing?

    Example:

    1. Line level subwoofer cables and normal audio interconnects
    2. Video interconnects and normal audio interconnects
    3. Coaxial interconnects and normal audio interconnects

    Thanks,

    Harlan
     
  2. BradJudy

    BradJudy Stunt Coordinator

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    Here's the same response I posted on AVS and see what the response is from this crowd (I want to make sure I understand this correctly too):

    Preface - I am speaking in general terms and I'm sure there are cables our there that are exceptions to everything I am saying. Please correct anything wrong I say as I'm not a professional at this.

    1. I've heard that some subwoofer interconnects have a cut ground on the sub side to prevent a ground-loop hum. I'm sure not all do. If they don't there is no real difference between them and regular audio interconnects.

    2. Video interconnects have to deal with a higher frequencies than audio ones and thus generally require higher quality cables. Additionally, component (and composite?) video cables should have a 75 ohm impedance.

    3. (I assume you mean coaxial digital audio cables) Coaxial digital audio cables also should have a 75 ohm impedance. In general coaxial cable is less vulnerable to interference than regular wire.

    What I did for all of my interconnects (video, digital audio, analog audio, subwoofer) was to make my own 75 ohm coaxial cables using Canare LV-77 coax and Canare 75 ohm RCA connectors. These meet the needs of video and digital audio, and are more than good enough for analog audio and my subwoofer. It's also nice not to have to worry about cable types when rearranging cables.
     
  3. mike_decock

    mike_decock Supporting Actor

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    IMO, it's mostly marketing. Sometimes better grounding and shielding can make a difference.


    -Mike...
     
  4. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Are 75-ohm cables recommended for analog audio interconnects, or are the traditional copper or silver analog connects more optimal? What exactly is the difference between a "digital coax" and an "analog interconnect"?
     
  5. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    There are differences both in build quality and performance. That said those differences can be pretty minor esp in audio and upgrading cables should be a lower priority then say upgrading the room or speakers etc. But if you can when ever you need to purchase a cable I highly suggest buying a quality one...now that doesn't have to mean paying tons of money since $$$ doens't always = value but a quality cable will outlast the component its connected to in the long run so its worthwhile spending a little more upfront. There are a wide variety of ways to get well built cables for a reasonable amount of money. You can buy AR cables from most bestbuy type places or the Radio Shack gold's aren't bad either though their RCA's tend to grip a little to tight for my liking. Another popular option is to buy online from one of the many cable companies...again there's a ton of options here from the very expensive to the very affordable depending on your needs and resolution required. IMO if you're only connecting a VCR to the pre amp I wouldn't go and buy something like the silvercats from catcables since they'd be overkill but when connecting a nice CD player to the pre amp then some nice cables are a wiser choice..its about ballencing funds with the resolution required.

    Also the longer the cable the more shielding you typically require and more people tend to see differences in different video cables then with different audio cables so if you are only going to buy one high end cable make it a video cable.
     
  6. RussKon

    RussKon Stunt Coordinator

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    harlan,

    buy an interconnect that is a step or two up from "what comes in the box"...

    phoenix gold, monster cable, etc....

    i've heard that the general rule of thumb is no to spend more than 10% of the cost of your system on cables....

    personally, i've found that the phoenix gold line is about 1/3 the cost of the same type/specifications in the monster cable line.....

    Russ
     
  7. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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  8. mike_decock

    mike_decock Supporting Actor

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  9. Guy Usher

    Guy Usher Supporting Actor

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    One thing as you find bad cables throw them away imediatly even if it means you have to walk around the block to do it, it never fails when I need a new cable I grab the bad one. It is easy to do especially when you have close to 1000 interconnects.
    Best advice is to use common sense, size it properly as you would any electrical wire in your house, you would not run 16 ga wire to a 20 amp breaker, same applys to your HT wireing, good 75ohm shielded wire for video, I use the same for video and audio, I may up the anty for componet video just because it makes sense. I have stated before in other posts about my friend who auditions interconnects and speaker wire for a living, he has a pair of 80K speakers in his room and I doubt the wire running them cost more than ten bucks ends and all, when time permits I will tell you what he uses, you can buy it at Home Depot cheap.
     
  10. Cary_K

    Cary_K Auditioning

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    Guy, I'd appreciate hearing what he uses ASAP. If I can pay $10 for what some other mook thinks he's getting for $1000, I want to know.

    Cary
     

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