This is the exact reason why I refuse to buy "high-end" cables for my system.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Javier_Huerta, Sep 16, 2002.

  1. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    Taken from a respected company's catalogue, good through 4/15/02. My comments are in italics, but the ads are presented as they were printed.
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    Improve bass with Monster Cable's M351 subwoofer interconnect
    Take deep bass to the limit by (sic) with Monster Cable's M351 (wow... this thing must have active equalization or something built in!) ... The smooth extended frequency response and ultra-low noise floor bring exceptional punch and realism to soundtracks and effects... THX certification ensure enhanced home theater performance (it's the first time I've ever heard about cables not performing well in the 16-120 hz range. You learn something new everyday, I guess.)
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    C. Cardas High Speed Digital Cable - Now even better!
    Tames the bright edge (it must perform some incredible DSP, this cable!) of many digital systems and adds a touch of midrange warmth (and if it doesn't, then the cable designers are geniuses. They actually perform precise DSP-like calculations with a piece of wire?)...
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    B. Improve the sound of electronics with Cardas Quadlink Cord
    Audio innovator George Cardas was one of the first to discover the sonic benefits of using premium power cords to improve the performance of high-end audio components (I'm pretty sure this Cardas guy also rewires the entire electrical installation with his "premium" cables, and then makes sure all cabling from your house to the power company is exactly the same as the one he uses. Since, you have to agree, a lower quality cable anywhere in the installation will negate the benefit of a 6 ft. "premium" power cord)...
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    Kimber Kable AGDL Silver Digital Coaxia! (sic) Cable
    ...reports AGDL excels "in the retrieval of detail" and offers "extended and powerful bass" (Correct me if I'm wrong here. I assume the only difference between digital cables comes from jitter. Can jitter be responsible for a lack of "extended and powerful bass"? Don't think so.)
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    C. AR Master Series Digital Cable Enhances Movie Dialog
    ...provides the proper bandwith (So all other digital cables can't offer the 384 kb/s - 1.5 mb/s bandwith required for PCM / Dolby Digital / DTS surround?) to deliver dynamic, sound (sic) to enhance dialog inteligibility (Heresy! Isn't a cable supposed to be "transparent, neutral and invisible"? Which one is it? Again, is there a DSP that decodes the surround signal and boosts the center channel? Black magic, I say!) in home theater systems.
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    The list goes on and on. I can't and won't say there aren't any real, perceived differences between cables, BUT as long as they are being advertised as magical "cure-it-alls" for any and all system defects, I'm not buying them. This is so much like "the man who makes potions at a travelling show".
    Because, you know, if those cables can really do all they are supposed to, then the first thing I'd do would be to re-wire my entire server & cluster installation with them. I can imagine what Cardas and his gang would be telling me: "Install my cables! They'll boost your bottom line! They'll make your income seem bigger and your loses be smaller! Your audits will come out OK! People's e-mail will seem more cheerful and happier!..."
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Jav,

    Think of all the money you saved. You beat up on the high, and low end, of wire manufacturers. Probably covered the mid-line stuff too.

    What wire are you going to use now ? Marketing jargon is omnipresent. Just fluff, no need to throw them all out the door.

    Good Luck,

    BOK
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well Javier you've run into examples of creative advertising which say one thing and lead you to believe something else. In a nutshell what they're telling you is that their stuff works. Of course saying it that way just doesn't sound as nice. Let's just take the last two and see what is being said.
     
  4. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  5. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    A lot of the verbage comes from the marketing department so naturally you should assume they are trying to sell you something.

    In truth, a well made cable can change the sound of your system. But the real physics/electronics involved are somewhat boring.

    On this site we have seen:

    - Two inexpensive subwoofer cables where the first performed like crap, the second much better. (The second cable had much tighter RCA plugs).

    - Occasional audio dropouts with a coaxial-digital interconnect that were fixed when they replaced it with a cable made with 75 ohm coax. The first cable was a audio interconnect - likely made with 50 ohm coax and some unknown-quality RCA plugs.

    - A Progressive Scan DVD player shoot-out that used video-analysis equipment. The equipment would show changes to the video signals if some name-brand cables were touched or routed differently. A custom cable provided by Brad of BetterCables was eventually found to not affect the readings and this one cable was used for all tests.

    So the trick is to understand WHY some cables perform better and buy the good stuff.
     
  6. Javier_Huerta

    Javier_Huerta Supporting Actor

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    Bob - exactly. I'm thinking about replacing my Radio Shack Gold interconnects, so I decided to check the catalogue to try and understand what kind of wire I'd be needing. Problem is, their marketing department makes it so awfully hard to really understand what cable is good enough for the price.
    I think an evaluation in my system is in order - and in case I don't find any differences between cables, I can keep my Radio Shack interconnects and maybe upgrade my CD player with the money saved.
    I'd love for the publisher of the catalogue, though, to simply state the technical and building specs of the cables; maybe even the materials used, the interconnect material, etc. As a starting point it'd be fine with me, since I could then select a bunch of cables based on this criteria to test. As it is, though, I'm still wondering if I would want to buy a digital cable that "adds a touch of midrange warmth". [​IMG]
    I really think the marketing aspect of it all gives a bad name to many audiophile products. Companies should try and keep out that kind of hyperbole from their ads, or else being discussed like this in an open forum.
     
  7. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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  8. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    A vague idea has been forming in my mind for some time now, and it's slowly reaching what I call a "fundamental."
    That is in A/V reproduction for us consumer types, it seems fundamental that nothing can improve upon the source material we have to work with. Yes, there are better machines -- DVD players, more powerful receivers and processors, Pioneer Elite RPTVs, etc. but the SOURCE material -- the CD mastering, the basic video signal, has a fundamental quality that its maker put into it. Given the limits of the state-of-the-art.
    So in all the search for the magic potion, it cannot improve the fundamental source. Or can it.
    Bob McElfresh put it succinctly the other day (italics added):
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    There's a museum in Minneapolis filled with similar wonderful boxes and devices. For those who've never visited it, you can see what's available here although nowadays, in this politically correct climate one might say alternative medicine. Maybe this box will find its way into a similar museum that houses the green pen, Bedini clarifier, and Tice clock [​IMG]
     

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