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Torn btwn Silver Serpents or Zu Megular

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

  1. Jon G.

    Jon G. Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, I've been slowly upgrading my theater for a couple of years noe. I've had my mits. HDTV for 2 years now, hooked up to a DST-3000 for high-def, and I recently added a Denon DVD-3800 to the mix and it occurred to me that it's probably more than a little silly to have thousand dollar components hooked up w/ $20 radio-shack gold-series audio cable (that's what I'm currently using for my component cables for HDTV and DVD). Back when I was building out my system, the majority thought around here and AVS was that the radio shack gold series were indeed 75ohm and at 1 meter runs, they were as good as you really needed.

    I'm willing to accept now that I can achieve a better picture w/ some nice cables. So I'm looking for a recommendation here, I've seen Zu and of course Better Cables mentioned pretty highly. They're about the same price, would anyone recommend one over the other? What about the cheaper canare/belkin offerings (heartlandcables.com, rhinocables.com or wickedcables.com)? Does anyone believe there's an appreciable difference btwn zu/bc and the others?
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well if those are your choices and the prices are all in the ballpark and you're set upon buying new cables, then I'd go for the one's with the best specs. For video I'd be looking for a solid center conductor.
     
  3. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Jon,

    I use a 2m ZU Megular now. Before the Megular, I used Monster Silver 1000v, and the older BetterCables Ultra ( a Canare broadcast cable). I have never used the BC Silver Serpent, yet many rave of it's performance.

    The ZU topped the Ultra, and the Ultra topped the Monster in my setup.
    I certainly can't compare the BC/SS against the Megular, but the ZU is the real deal IMO and surpassed my expectations by no small margin. Very rich and deeply saturated colors, and it handles black levels very well. It presents gradations of white better than the other two cables I used by a long shot, and with that, gives a depth of field sense to the image. A very detailed and accurate cable.
    my .02

    Good Luck,

    BOK
     
  4. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Any truth to the rumour that Zu uses dressed up Belden cables? If so welcome to marketing hype and imaginary improvements!
    I'm sorry but of all the cables you netioned the Zu cables seem to be nothing but fluff and window dressing. Have you read the stuff they say on their web site?

    100% low magnitude shielding ??
    zero audiogenic distortion ???
    no inter-strand contact noise ??
    deposited tubular Cu alloy center conductor ??

    Does anyone know what all that stuff means? I have not seen this mumbo jumbo on any other cable makers web site.
    Maybe Chu can shed some light on the jargon for us?
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I hate it when you mix romance novelists who've taken some science courses and read dyanetics [​IMG]
     
  6. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Real Name:
    Lee
     
  7. Jon G.

    Jon G. Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I was trying to decipher the Zu website also and didn't get very far. I put them on my short list because I read a couple of glowing reviews here and some other forum (HT Spot I think).

    I'm now thinking I'll just save myself some money and buy the Rhino performance series component cables for 1/2 the price of the Zu.

    Zu does have a nice-looking website though...
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    yes, i liked the little ball that moved back and forth too but i stayed far enough away that my balls weren't affected.
     
  9. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    There is a guy over at another forum that uses Zu cables and noticed a large difference over his previous Monster top of the line stuff. This was a visual difference. I trust his opinion enough to try them out for myself. I've yet to hear anything negative about their cable.
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    i'm sure its a fine cable....when you get it Shane, see if that braid pulls back at all...maybe there's some numbers or other identification on it.
    Lee...political sprechen ist verbotten!
     
  11. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Just amazes me that people spend a lot of money on pure marketing hype. While I admire Zu's trade-in and refund policy I think they publish some of the most rediculous rubbish I've read anywhere on the net! The above is pure fluff and means nothing to anyone comparing cables and specs. To make a purchase based on that mumbo jumbo takes a lot of a faith.
    The fact they have grown as fast as they have obviously means they know a thing or two about marketing though.
    Almost makes me a believer in Chu's view on cables:)
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    close only counts in horseshoes...for another good laugh Mark, check out beebie (sp?) and his ceramic stuff...how does one become a theoretical physicist without getting a doctorates and doing post-doc work?
     
  13. Jon G.

    Jon G. Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, I finally just went w/ the Rhino performance series cables. They were very reasonably priced ($60 for a 1 meter run) and they actually spelled out exactly what I was getting.

    Oh well, the Zu's certainly seemed sexier...
     
  14. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    .
     
  15. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Has anyone tried out the AR Master Series cables? I'm looking at a 3m-S-video and 1m-Optical Cable. Prices are reasonable.
    http://www.araccessories.com/masters...asp?category=1
    Specs for Digital Optical cable
    MS 280 3 feet
    AR® exclusive FNT™ technology provides the most comprehensive, advanced protection against kinking to maintain constant light transfer for uninterrupted high performance.
    Precision-machined Toslink™ optical connections for superior fit and signal transfer.
    Corrosion-free 24k gold-plated colar surrounds and protects a polished convex lens for error-free digital signal transfer.
    Highest-grade fiber engineered specifically to meet the demands of digital audio/video components for accurate high-speed signal transfer.
    Two layers of non-relective cladding for added optic fiber protection and optimum light transfer.
    Professional quality 8 mm PVC jacket and molded strain relief maintains assembly integrity and protects against damage
    [​IMG]
    Specs for S-video:
    MS 220 3 feet
    AR® exclusive FNT™ technology(Ferrite Core?) provides the most comprehensive, advanced noise suppression for greatly improved picture definition.
    Frequency-corrected multi-fine stranded silver-coated >99.99% pure oxygen-free copper conductors deliver optimum high-frequency signal transfer.
    Teflon® insulation provides the lowest dielectric absorption with low constants for hightest signal integrity performance, purity and accuracy.
    Precision-machined 24k gold-plated S-video connectors for superior fit and signal transfer.
    Six layers of shielding: three 100% overlapped Mylar® foils for maximum RFI isolation and three copper braids for maximum EMI isolation.
    [​IMG]
    Kevin
     
  16. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Well, Jon was asking for opinions of users who have actually used one of the two cables-- the BC/SS, or the ZU Megular.

    I offered my opinion of the ZU based upon my actual experience. If my experience with the ZU Megular does not satisfy someone who has actually never used the cable then so be it. To those who are content with reading specs only.... then read on.

    I use the cables I talk about on this forum. I present my honest impression of them. If one disagrees, then please list your personal impressions. That would be fruitful discourse. Not this sniping crap from "never used it, but it is surely an under-achiever, for sure" crowd.

    If you feel that I have been swayed by marketing hype then that is fine by me. I've certainly written my share in the sales/spec writing/ marketing business I'm in !!!!!

    I cannot understand why some speak about cables they have never heard or seen (video); and, wouldn't actually appreciate the cable(s) if they unknowingly tripped over them !
    Hey, call Adam at ZU if you want to get beyond the jargon. That is the honest thing to do, not the uninformed pot-shots here.

    BOK
     
  17. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Heck Brian, I'm glad, I mean really glad that you like your cables. My comments were only my interpretation of what was on the website. Now if some people think what they read was informative, then great. I happened to think it was a lot of words that said nothing, but then that's true for advertising in general. I dare say though that Mark's thinking is correct insofar as they, as well as a host of other people ranging from high to low end, are getting their cable from one of the players that are in the field. Belden, Gepco, Commspec, a ton of little players...overseas stuff, they're all fully capable of making the same stuff and in sufficient quantity, its pennies a foot. Often when stuff is OEM'd it'll have information regarding it's origin eliminated.
    So since you have the cable Brian, is it possible to temporarily pull back the covering to see if there's any identifications on the cable?
     
  18. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Chu,

    I agree with you about the marketing hype which is way over the top from too many companies peddling wire,,, etc.

    I read the ZU stuff and, like many, said what the hell is "audiogenic distortion" ?
    Even on the ZU forum at HD, someone asked the same question directly to the ZU guys. Their response what far from informative.

    I truly don't look at that stuff much when I make a buying decision. I put a lot of trust in other users comments (within reason, of course, as AR's review section has some real left fielders comments ;^).
    But, I ESPECIALLY, look for the feedback of guys I am familiar with who use what I am interested in. There are some guys whose opinion I trust on the web, so I take that into account.
    Yet a return policy is very important too.
    And if it comes to it, I will resell a component, a wire, on Audiogon, not losing much at all (and sometimes making a few bucks). And I have used Audiogon quite a bit over the past few years.
    As you know, the marketplace is an open buyer beware enterprise. Common sense and reason should dictate all transactions, always.

    btw, if you will send me a check for $120., I will peel back my Megular ;*) I have not heard this Beldin is ZU rumor myself. All I know is that it bettered the Canare and Monster I used. And that is all I care about.

    BOK
     
  19. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well I've no idea if it is Belden, but they're buying it from someone. LOL, i'll pass on the $120, I just figured it just might peel back without any effort or adverse affect to the unit's appearance.
     
  20. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Hmm... Some one is a little sensitive about their Megular cables arent they?

    I have owned/built/tested:
    Belden (1505/1506/1694/1695)
    Canare (GS,Lv and L series)
    AR,RS,IXOS,AQ and various Monster cables

    While I have not purchased the BC SS cables I have tested compared them in my system. Nice but I'll stick with the 1695a as they are very hard to beat for anywhere near the price.
    I have not owned or tested the ZU cables. Never will based on the above. While I like their business sense I'm not crazy about their lack of real info and their realiance on mumbo jumbo.

    I remember a while back a certain very popular company was giving away gifts for posting positive reviews on a certain web site. Hopefully they no longer do this.
     

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