Small cables vs. Monster/ Large Cables

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by LeeH, Jun 2, 2003.

  1. LeeH

    LeeH Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 1, 2003
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    I have heard by multiple people that larger a/v cords look and sound alot better than small cables. Is the difference significant and is it worth buying all new cables?
  2. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    May 22, 1999
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    I'm afraid thats a bit of a Myth.

    They did audio tests where they took 2 identical sets of interconnects, but put layers of shrink-tube around one set. They made sure the audience could see the two cables as they were switched in a listening comparison. The thicker cable always sounded better.

    (This is why you often see people argue that a double-blind test is needed to avoid these pre-conceptions).

    Yes, wires and interconnects DO make a bit of a difference. But it's not usually enough to jusitify a $$$ upgrade.

    Video Cables:

    If you have a modest, 30-something TV, an expensive video cable is not going to make any visible difference. When your system becomes more 'sensitive', the cable could become a limiting factor and different cable is called for.

    By 'sensitive' I mean:

    - Display size greater than about 40"
    - Pushing Progressive or HD video instead of ordinary video
    - The TV is a HDTV that does a lot of processing even on ordinary video signals.

    When your system becomes 'sensitive', a better built cable with good plugs can make a visible difference.

    Audio Cables:

    I'm not into audio so much, but my understanding is that the speaker wires tend to 'flavor' the sounds more than an audio-interconnect. And if you use a digital cable for audio, most of them will sound the same.

    But this is more important for a 2 channel or 5 channel SACD (music) systems. Movie soundtracks are ... different and dont really need/show major changes with a speaker wire change. (And most DVD systems offer digital outputs anyway).

    My stock advice:

    Get good 12 ga speaker wire and modest interconnects. Spend several months playing with speaker positions, seating positions, etc. Only after you have optimized your equipment and gotten used to the sound with some favorite CD's, then 'audition' some higher-end wires and decide for yourself if the sound change is worth the $$$.

    In truth, speaker wires fall below all this in terms of what is important for good sound:

    - Good source (SACD, CD, VHS)
    - Good Speakers
    - Good Speaker Placement/adjustment (including sub)
    - Good Amplification
    - Wires and cables

    The cable/wire companies would get you worked up about wires to where you start to believe the myth that "Wires are the most important part of your system for good sound". This is bunk. Keep the list above in mind. There are much-more important things ahead of wires.

    If you want to get into specifics of what might get you to the budget-but-good catagory, post your equipment list and current connections.

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