Suggestions for Audio interconnects

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by anthony_s, Apr 3, 2004.

  1. anthony_s

    anthony_s Agent

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    Hi. I am wondering about different brands of decent quality audio interconnects for my 5.1 system. Preferably in all-in-one type of cable.
    I know about Monster of course, but would like other suggestions balancing quality and price.
    Thanks!
     
  2. Cornelius

    Cornelius Stunt Coordinator

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  3. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    try TARGET
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    What pieces of equipment are you connecting here and when you say all in one, is that to mean that the cables are somehow joined together except for the two ends?
     
  5. Colin Goddard

    Colin Goddard Stunt Coordinator

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    anthony_s

    I am also looking for a good (not expensive) set of audio interconnects. As of now, I like what blue jean cables have to offer. For about $88 delivered, they have six channel audio cable with Canare ends. I think the model num. is 1505F and are 3 feet long. I'm also open to any other suggestions.

    Colin

    Rotel RSP 1066
    Denon DVD 2900
    B&K AV5000 II
    Klipsch Forte mains
    Klipsch KLF C-7 center
    Klipsch RS3 l-c-r surround
     
  6. Jeff Aguilar

    Jeff Aguilar Stunt Coordinator

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    Jeff
    I am currently using Catcables, BlueJean Cables and Outlaw's cables. They are all great. I really liked the personalble service of Catcables. BlueJean cables were FAST. They are located in the same area as me though.

    Any of these cables would work well with your applications.

    Jeff
     
  7. anthony_s

    anthony_s Agent

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I am also wondering where the price vs. performance factor starts to decline. I am not going to spend a few hundred dollars for one set of cables and I don't want to use a set of crappy TARGET cables....
     
  8. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    laugh

    two runs of THIS component video cable will more than suffice. it's made for component video which has a much higher bandwidth than any amount of audio information you could possibly want to send through it.
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well crappy in what sense? Perhaps in the sense that a brand like RCA or GE or Magnavox might sound rather pedestrian and you might feel embarassed or something. Consider the following.
    When one hooks up components, say a preamp into an amp, a receiver into an amp, a CD or DVD player into the receiver or preamp, one is taking a signal coming out of a low impedance source and feeding it into a high impedance destination. It doesn't matter so much what the absolute numbers are as does the ratio. To provide a situation with the least adulteration of the signal, something like a 50:1 or 100:1 (I forget but I'm close!) is desireable. That ratio is typically met in most mid-fi components. That's not always the case with some high end products that play the game of 'we don't believe in negative feedback' and especially of many tube amps. You will, in those cases, introduce distortion and/or modification of the signal. Now if this modification is pleasant to your ears, it's called euphonic. If it's not, call it whatever you want to.

    Moving along in the area of interconnects one might ask, apart from shielding, which may or may not be of particular importance and relevance in one's own environment, what are the important electrical or engineering characteristics of the interconnect? Is it capacitance, resistance (impedance), inductance, just what the hell is it? Well the resistance of the wire is pretty much irrelevent as is it's inductance. The criteria for an interconnect is quite simply dominated by the capacitance. All things being equal, and I do mean ALL then introducing excessive capacitance might affect the very top end of one's frequency response. Now before we start having a mass sell off of interconnects on audiogon, keep in mind that is primarily an issue if the lengths get long. It might be helpful here to look at some numbers and situations. What follows is a quote from Fred Davis who knows a little about cables and has written and presented at various AES gatherings.

    So looking at all the above, what are we to make of matters?

    First of all, and I'll offer it as my opinion, most of the interconnects you've probably got, so long as they're not defective, and aren't 10's of meters are likely quite adequate. However, let's say that for some reason, even if it's general paranoia or just a desire to want to upgrade (replace) what you now have, what's the sensible approach to take?

    For starters, I'd set myself a reasonable budget that works for me. I'd then contact whomever to determine what the capacitance of their interconnects are. If they don't know, I'd scratch them off my list. If they tell you capacitance isn't important but something like 'magnetic field control through proprietary braiding, run like hell. If they tell you their interconnects are cooked, well someone's been in the kitchen too long. If they do know but won't tell you, I'd urge you to not only not consider them, but to urge others to not consider them as well. There's no reason to ignore what's been presented above. Then sort them into some kind of group like 10-20 pf/ft, 20-30 pf/ft, etc. Decide what else, if anything is important to you. Locking RCA's? Ok. Sharp looking exterior. You got it. Superior shielding? Doesn't hurt unless it introduces excess capacitance, right? Silver vs. copper? Now we're stretching it, but if that's your preference, then go for it.

    So yes, brands from the forum sponsors would work well. So would interconnects used in car stereo applications like StreetWires. So would NXG, KnuKonceptz, Monster, sudry brands at Target and Wallmart and Home Depot. So would RamElectronics and a ton of other. When I say well, I mean that if you didn't know what you were listening to, you could NOT AUDIBLY DIFFERENTIATE between the brands.

    Also, as far as distortion goes, a recent article in Audioholics points out what a bunch of hooey that is. So knowing all this set your price point. Define what you want. Look at the pictures and select those that meet with your sense of style. When in doubt, choose the one with the lower capacitance (not that it matters in the lengths you'll be using, but we've got to have some kind of tie breaker. If you don't know that, ask your girlfriend or wife, or both if you've managed to pull that off, and choose the other one.
     
  10. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Not necessarily true Chu. Could be true some of the time, but let me give you a direct example. To say someone couldn't hear a difference between my Silvercats and a pair of Rat shack cables would be total bs. What it would say, if they couldn't hear a difference is, their system is crap or they can't hear.

    Lex
     
  11. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    have you done this comparison?

    rat shack's premium line is too expensive, anyway. i'm talkin' TARGET's "GE ULTRA PROGRADE" line-up. it's good and cheap .............................and indifferentiable. [​IMG]
     
  12. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Doug, you got a point there.... and it applies to many well crafted cables using the best materials and connectors. Can't argue quality vs mediocrity.

    A nice all in one cable can be found at Chris Venhaus' audio site. www.vhaudio.com ( click on products for a link as the new site is not up yet) His new pulsar cable is touted to be an all in one... using the Eichmann RCA plug. I bought a 1.5 mtr but can't report in on it as it isn't hooked up yet.

    BOK
     
  13. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Yes Doug, as Dunlavy stated earlier...a device that's load sensitive. Usually one calls that high end and pays accordingly for design deficiencies. However, let's grant your premise on face value. So what would be two devices that you know of that would audibly benefit from the use of a particular offering of yours as to say a RS? Also, if you've got the capacitance then I or someone else can crank some numbers.

    Damn Brian, Venhaus' site is like going into a Botanica in Manhattan...chilling!
     
  14. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Chu,

    Yes, Chris, who is a professional photographer, is no stranger to the arts. All the photos found on his site are his.
    A very nice guy who is a DIY'er at heart and just happens to be a very talented fellow to boot. No BS with Chris.

    I have purchased all my cable needs from Chris in the past 2 year-- power cord cable, tech flex, heatshrink, AC connectors and IEC's as well.

    I even replaced my rear surround spades with CVH's very nice Furutech Rhodium spades in order to match like metals with my VSA VR-1 rear surround terminal posts. I make my own power cords, and have done so for some time. Sold off my name brands and never looked back. Yet I keep my Audience PowerChord and both HT Fantasy/AC11S cord for Pre and Bolder strip PS Audio Ultimate connections.

    As you know, I am into amp and room acoustic betterments these days.

    BOK123
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    OK, those are the only possibilities, huh? Either a crap system or crap ears. OK. [​IMG]
     
  16. Nathan Stohler

    Nathan Stohler Second Unit

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    Please tell me what would make cables bought from Target "crappy".
     
  17. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Great now I have a crap system because I can't hear the difference in exotic cables [​IMG]

    Or I'm going deaf [​IMG]


    You people are mean!


























    J/K! I don't personally think a BMW is worth a dozen new KIA's either. [​IMG]
     
  18. anthony_s

    anthony_s Agent

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    Wow, I didn't know so many people would be so passionate about inexpensive cables [​IMG]
    I appreciate everyone's opinions.
     
  19. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    My recommendation is to start drinking heavily.
     
  20. Kha:T

    Kha:T Agent

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    I have a bunch of Monster Cable and Straightwires interconnect of different grade levels (from bottom end to mid level for both brands). As much as I try to look for it, I can never tell the difference between the two brands (MC vs. Straightwires) or grade levels ($30 MC cable vs. $75 MC cable).

    When I hooked up some new equipment to my system recently, I needed to buy some more interconnects. That's when I found out about Acoustic Research cables (sold at Best Buy). Cosmetically, they look nicer than the lower end Monster Cable interconnects I had. Sonically, there's still no difference.

    So I decided to organize all the cables and interconnects on my home theater system when I hooked up my new audio gear. I originally wanted to replace the lower end MC interconnects with the mid end ones since the ones I had looked crappy and the metal connectors looked somewhat oxidized. But the MC cables seemed overpriced to me when compared with AR cables and since I couldn't hear any difference between MC and AR, either, I decided to replace all the crappy (lower end) MC and Straightwires with AR interconnects.

    I think AR interconnects offer the best value for the performance. I have yet seen any dedicated, crimped-from the-factory AR speaker cables or subwoofer cables. For those types of cables, I still use MC.
     

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