Radioshack AV cables/Interconnects???

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Scott_Jua, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. Scott_Jua

    Scott_Jua Stunt Coordinator

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    Anyone use Radioshack's "Fusion" brand audio and video cables/interconnects?

    I am seeing that they are consistantly 10$ or more less than the standard Monster brand cables/inters, but I have no diea of the quality.

    Part of me wants to believe the RS stuff will be the same if not better in quality...but the brand loyalist in me says that Monster is worth the extra.

    Which of those two sentiments has more fact than fiction in them?

    I need a digital coaxial (PCM), sub interconnect (if Radioshack has one), S-video, perhaps even component, etc...

    What about their bananplugs?
     
  2. Ammon

    Ammon Stunt Coordinator

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    I recently bought a few Radio Shack cables and they have worked great. One of the cables I did get was the digital coax and havent noticed any difference between the monster cable I have connected to another device. Definately cheaper, and I would think that unless you have a $50,000 setup in your home, those cables work great.
     
  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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  4. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

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    Radio Shack products are usually returnable for a full refund, so if you find the cables are not to your liking you will not be stuck with them.

    You might even have a friend swap a Radio Shack cable back and forth with a premium-priced cable so you can find out in an A/B comparison, without knowing which cable is in use at any moment, if you notice a difference.
     
  5. Greg-ST

    Greg-ST Stunt Coordinator

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    I noticed a funny thing while checking out some prices between the Monster optical cables and the Shack ones. The Radio Shack 6ft. optical audio cable is actually $5 more than a 2m Monster optical audio cable. I'm sure there are other price variations as well for different cables.

    Monster isn't overpriced on everything they sell, just most things.
     
  6. Scott_Jua

    Scott_Jua Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm beginning to think, by my going against my better judgement on the cable/interconnect front I duped myself. Oh well, at least it's returnable.

    I was looking at partsexpress.com and considering buying some dayton and/or AR stuff from that website, but in the end am I going to any less satisfied with the RAdioshack stuff?

    What about the differences between the Fusion and Gold series lines at Ratshack???
     
  7. Donnie Eldridge

    Donnie Eldridge Supporting Actor

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  8. Dean Sellers

    Dean Sellers Agent

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    You might want to check the RS stuff over carefully. I've had one of the ends fall off(Gold Series RCA). Makes me wonder how solid any of their connections are.
    They took it back no problem though.
    Dean
     
  9. Donnie Eldridge

    Donnie Eldridge Supporting Actor

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  10. Kevin McCurdy

    Kevin McCurdy Stunt Coordinator

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    I have radio shack gold, Audioquest turquoise, Monster, AR and Outlaw cables in my system.

    I've switched things around and a couple of times and had to use the cheap cables that come with CD, DVD players and have yet to notice any audible difference.

    I always wanted to do an A/B for kicks, but I just don't have the time. I'd suggest you get the cables that best meet your budget. I'd have no hesitation in using RS, Dayton, AR or any of the other quality built economical cables.
     
  11. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Ok, lets break this down to what you need:

    Subwoofer Cable: Nearly any good interconnect will work for the sub. Just make sure the RCA plug is snug-fitting on the connectors. Subs seem sensitive to wanting this.

    Digital Coax: This is simply a video cable. It's what the designers of the SPDIF interface had in mind. A common-as-dirt RCA cable made with 75 ohm coax. This is just a video cable.

    SVideo/Component: Here is where a 'better' cable could make a visible difference. And whats more sensitive: your ears or eyes? Eyes of course.

    If your display size is less than about 40", go with the Radio Shack/AR Pro series of cables. They are great bang-for-the-buck and lots of people around here use them.

    If your display is greater than 40" or a HD unit, order a custom cable from places like BetterCables. These things have been used on 100" projector systems (very sensitive/accurate) and perform better than much-more expensive cables. Starting at $90 - you just cant go wrong.

    Note: the "Fusion" cables from Radio Shack are new so we dont have tons of users yet. These could be dressed-up MegaCable cables which would be fine, or something different.

    Guideline #1: Look at how the video cables are packaged.

    If a video cable is bent into tight loops and shoved into a blister package it shows the company is clueless/poor quality.

    (Take a piece of solid copper wire or a wire coat hanger. Bend it into a tight "U" shape, then straighten it out. Does the bend disappear? No. This defect will act like a 'speed-bump' to signals on a coaxial cable.)

    Notice the packaging for Monster and Radio Shack: their cables wound in a circle: no tight bends.

    Guideline #2: Budget 10% of the TV price for cables

    While not an exact rule, it really does help keep things in perspective. If you have a new $2,000 HDTV and are trying to run progressive/HD video to it with a $16 Dayton cable - It's kind of like putting cheap tires on a expensive sports car. And the Monster cv300 component cable set for $220 wont make a visible improvement on that 19" bedroom tube TV over the $35 Radio Shack/AR Pro cables. A 100" projector system - different story.

    Note: People say "I wont trust brand xxx quality because one cable had a loose connector".

    In truth, I have heard this happen to nearly every brand of cable. Radio Shack, Monster, and even our favorite custom cable site BetterCables.

    Dont judge the entire brand/line because of 1 or 2 bad experiences. Monster has a lifetime gurantee and a email/call to BetterCables will get a rush shipment out to you. It happens, dont get upset.
     
  12. Matthew_V

    Matthew_V Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a quick question about two different equal length Radioshack Gold Series coaxial cables that I hope someone can help me with.

    I am hooking up for my parents a cable converter box, a vcr, and a dvd recorder to their TV. Because I want things to be as straight-forward as possible for them as far as their being able to use everything, there is a lot of coaxial cable being used. The output channel for the cable converter box is channel 4 and, while the video quality looks very pleasing for this setup, there is background "fuzz" on channels 2, 3, 5, and 6.

    This brings me to my question about Radioshack.

    I've read some different discussions on this board about tips on connections, and while it'd be nice if the budget were there to try the suggestions for online retailers, I'm faced with for the time being with my only choice being to try what's in town and what's affordable.

    I need four or five 3 foot lengths of coaxial cable, and Radioshack is selling a 3 foot Gold Series cable Item # 15-1515 for $ 4.89 and a 3 foot Gold Series cable Item # 15-1541 for $ 9.99. The two seem to be spec'd identically with two exceptions: besides the difference in price, the one has a push-on connecter while the other one has a screw-on connector.

    I wanted to ask about whether there is any significant difference between these two. At a savings of $5 per length, I would be willing to buy several of these and try them to see if there will make a difference for my parent's setup. But if there is some important difference then I'll skip the $ 4.89 ones though this means that the $ 9.99 ones would also be out of my budget as far as what I can justify spending on what.
     
  13. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    RadioShack will sell you a 15' gold series subwoofer cable for $5 more than its identical 15' gold-series single RCA cable. Caveat Emptor
     
  14. Matthew_V

    Matthew_V Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi

    I appreciate the warning. The other thing that crossed my mind is whether the push-on connector will stay on very well.
    I've used a RadioShack coaxial adapter with a male end and a female push-on end and that has stayed put so I think I can expect the same with this coaxial cable with the push-on connector.
     
  15. Matthew_V

    Matthew_V Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I am returning the Radioshack gold series cables that I bought.
    It was during the course of redoing the arrangement of the cables (that the techs from Cox cable supplied) and the what's-connected-to-what that I decided to buy several push-on and screw-on RadioShack gold series cables to give 'em a try.
    I was very surprised and don't know to what to attribute this, but these RS cables actually *created/introduced* four problems that disappeared once I removed the RS cables and replaced them with the generic type cabling that Cox uses.
    1) Severe and very prominent ghosting on one of the cable channels
    2) a very noticeable and wide vertical bar in the center of the center of the screen for one or two of the cable channels (which gradually diminished and then finally disappeared with each additional piece of RS cable that I removed/replaced)
    3) very tightly packed, very prominent and distracting diagonal lines on one of the channels that, again, vanished when I removed the RS cables
    4) color bleeding and picture fuzziness on the two channels adjacent to the channel being used for the video output from the cable converter box. All this, again, disappeared when I removed the RS cables.

    This leaves me feeling very wary of and dubious of the quality of Radioshack's video cables.
     
  16. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    I'm not totally suprrised but I won't be surprised to see someone come by and tell you that they were likely defective(usually a skeptic).

    My experience is that they are more expensive than even Monster THX and I thought the quality was better and they don't feature those locking death connectors.
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  18. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I'll go along with Phil's suggestions. Does sound like either you had defective cables or simply used the wrong ones. Got any part numbers and where they were hooked up? If you remember that is.
     
  19. Jim Rakowiecki

    Jim Rakowiecki Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought a bunch "fusion" cables at RS just under a year ago.
    They were practically giving them away. They found that someone else owned the rights to the name and found it was cheaper to sell them than to repackage them. I bought toslink, S-video and digital coax and haven't had any problems. Good performance and good build quality.
    My only regret is that I didn't buy more. I still look every time I walk into a Radio Shack because sometimes if they are cleaning out stock they will have some outstanding deals on thier Gold Series cables. If the price is right I pick what ever is cheap and put it in the closet because I know I'll use it some time.
     

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