Whats's up with my Bettercables Silver Seroent Component Video Cable?!

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Michael Weingar, Jan 29, 2003.

  1. Michael Weingar

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    Just replaced a monster video 3. For the last 3 hours I have tried to justify this purchase. I just bought a new bettercables digital cable silver serpent and audio silver serpents for my outboard amps for the HT. The audio and digital were huge improvements right out of the bag. The component however does not cause that sentiment. What do notice? Before, with the MCV, I used to see a lot of grain, a film like appearance. Now that grain is gone, in everything? Was the grain with the mcv3 actual detail, or was it actually video noise that the serpent is not showing? I also seem to feel that the color is actually a little subdued compared to the video 3! the picture is definately different, for the better? I dunno, the picture seems smoother, right now, watching toy story. Anybody have a similar experience? advice? Does the cable maybe need to break in? The audio cables rocked the monsters right ourt of the bag. Thanks!
     
  2. Lee Bailey

    Lee Bailey Second Unit

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    Try them for a week or two, then switch back to the MCV to compare.
     
  3. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Im kind of chuckling right now ( I think ) :)

    First, your complaining about not seeing film grain. Isnt Toy Story a direct digital transfer?? If so, then there is no film grain. All digital transfers will look VERY SMOOTH. How about looking at MASH episodes on DVD (lots of grain, and added cinemagraphic effects). How do they look??

    Try a variety of discs, then make a decision. Personally, I have the Bettercable component cables in my system ( I am also a BC dealer).

    Regards

    Gregg
     
  4. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Hi Michael.

    Short Answer: My guess is the Better Cables product is superior to the Video3. (The high-end Monster in the same class as the BC is really the Monster Cv300 cables). But I'm suprised the difference is visible.

    What video equipment did you hook up with the Better Cables product? How big is the display and are you feeding it from a Progressive Scan DVD player or HDTV decoder?

    Ordinary component video signals go up to 4 Mhz. But progressive & HD video go much higher:

    Component Video: 4 Mhz max
    Progressive Video: 13 Mhz max
    1080 HD Video: 35 Mhz max

    So what happens when you use a Component Video cable designed for 4 Mhz on a 13 Mhz or 35 Mhz video signal?

    Some engineer in another thread told me that some blur is created or focus is lost because the higher frequency signals could be rolled off with a non-HD component video cable.

    I had not heard of "grain" being a result but it is possible.

    Some people really like 'grain' just like people like the 'warmth' of the distortion caused by a tube-amplifier. (This is what you are questioning, right?)

    Lee had a great suggestion: "Try them for a week or two, then switch back to the MCV to compare. "

    But when you do this, pop in something like AVIA and use some of the static test-patterns with lots of fine lines & contrasting colors. It's a lot easier to see the effects of the cable on a static (non motion) scene.

    Note: Sometimes people swap cables/wires and notice some change and claim a 'dramatic' improvement with brand XXX. Sometimes the change is really caused by:
    • The new wires have fresh/tighter connection.
    • The new speaker wires are freshly trimmed to expose bright copper rather than the old oxidized wires.
    • The new cable is routed differently than the old and the old cable was picking up noise.
    • The person changing the wires suddenly pays a lot closer attention to fine details, but only AFTER he puts in the new wire.

    This is why Lee's suggestion is so great. It allows the old wires to be 'freshly installed' to get a fair comparison.
     
  5. Michael Weingar

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    Hi Bob,
    My equipment is pretty modest. I am using a Sony DVP-ns755v as my source, and a kv32fv300 Wega. I can't run a progressive signal b/c the TV does not accept progressive. But for an analog set, it sure has a beautiful picture. Yes, youre analogy is quite correct with the tube amps. It could be that I actually LIKE the distortion caused by the monster. I can't believe I just said that! BUT- check this out...What I did, to burn the cable in while I am at work, was route it to my denon avr-3300, and then I took my first component cable I owned, a cheap AR pro? series component for shits and giggles and hooked it up to the wega. (BC-denon-AR-TV) And would you believe it looked like the monster 3 was back in the chain? The grain had returned! NOW......There is no way that the picture caould IMPROVE by running it through my receiver and then through a cheaper cable then having the bettercable run dtraight from my dvd to tv. That would be go beyond reason, so this is leading me to assume that the monster cable was actualy showing a noisier picture and that I am just not used to the noise free picture of the bettercables. Do you agree with this theory Bob?
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    well seeing as how monster has a lifetime warranty, why don't you get a new one and see if your problem somehow is due to a defective cable?
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    I dont know about the monster cable being "Noiser". In truth the cables shield against noise. And running a interconnect away from power wires (electrical and speaker) is usually the solution to noise even with modest cables.

    A more common problem that can cause a cable to have problems is poor/loose connection to the RCA plug. This really messes up the impedence. Does your Monster cable look loose/stressed/worn at the plug? Is the screw-on barrel loose?

    There COULD be some internal compression/short/damage to the cable. It does appear that the Monster cable is doing some harm to the signal. And to be able to see the damage on a 32" set is .. kind of dramatic. I'd hate to see what it does with a progressive or 1080 video.

    (Ok, I lie. I WOULD like to see what the cable does with a higher frequency feed. [​IMG] )

    Chu had a great idea. Take the cable to a store for an exchange. Call ahead to make sure you can exchange it even if you did not buy it there.

    If you do this during a quiet time, see if the store will let you put your old cable on a HDTV to see any problems, then hook up with the new cable to note any difference.
     
  8. Michael Weingar

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    Thanks guys,
    But when I say grain, I actually mean seing deeper into the film (not animated DVD's like toy story)Perhaps grain is not the word I should have used. Both cables are in perfect working order. What I am trying to say is that I actually think the Monster has MORE detail and color saturation. Everything that I play using the monster looks stunning. it's the bettercables that seem to lose a bit of the magic. My girlfriend even agreed with me and she did not even know which cable was being used at the time. I simply asked her which picture seemed richer, with higher contrast etc. She picked the monster unknowingly. Everyone seems to say that the silver serpent is one hell of a component cable, as well as those who have "upgraded" from MV3. I figured that even if I did not see a noticable imrovement over the monster, that the BC whould have been AT LEAST as good, but it was actually a little worse! Anybody else expereince a downgrade effect when supposedly "upgrading" something in their system? I am thinking of sending the BC back, but I am hesitant. The monster has been in the system for 3 months, the BC has only had about 24 hours of burn in. However, I dont believe that the picture improved out of the box with the monster- it was this good out of the box, which leads me to believe that holding on to the better cables in hope sof them getting "better" is wishful thinking. What should i do?
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Gregg: seeing as you use fairly sophisticated instrumentation, what's been your experiences with scenarios such as have been described?
     
  10. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Michael,

    Your eyes are the one that matters. Even if the BC cords SHOULD be better, maybe for some reason in your system they aren't.

    Myself, I'd probably give them another week--maybe spend the entire week with the BC cables in place, burning them in and whatnot, and get used to the picture. Possibly do another Avia/VE calibration (note the original numbers in case you eventually want to change it back for the other cable). Then at the end of the week try the swapouts again.
     
  11. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    FWIW a member of AVS Forum did a cable comparison between a few cables (Monster, AudioQuest, Silver Serpents and Rhino Premium). He found the Rhino Premium was the best of the bunch. The tester also preferred the Monster over the AQ and BC (last place).
     
  12. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    hi guys, just checking in.

    In my experience with Monster / Bettercables / etc...it isnt the cable that is the problem (unless it is truly defective - as Bob as mentioned - loose connection etc). It is usually another cable or power source in the system that is causing the problem. Remember that all your pieces share the same ground. If you have a "crappy" cable somewhere (ie the old VCR or tape deck) it is usually that poorly shielded cable that is introducing interference into the entire system.

    Just my thoughts...

    Gregg

    PS: Michael W, sorry if my initial thoughts were somewhat punchy. It was a long month for me.
     
  13. Carl Mulder

    Carl Mulder Stunt Coordinator

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    I am thinking about getting some silver serpents. Will I notice the difference in picture quality? I own a toshiba 42h. I hope to purchase Denons new dvd player 2900 when its released in april/may. Im also getting a silver serpent coaxial and subwoofer cable. Will I notice these changes?
     
  14. Lynn Johnson

    Lynn Johnson Stunt Coordinator

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    Carl, I would suppose it depends on what type of cable you run now. Not to make this out to a silver vs copper thing, but if the cables you are switching too are the same gauge wire, and similar in construction, I would doubt you will notice a difference. Sometimes an anticipation of a better sound will make you think an improvement was made, but it all comes down to what you hear. Me? I start cheap as possible and if it doesn't sound or look good, I'll spend some more $$$ to improve.
     
  15. Lee Bailey

    Lee Bailey Second Unit

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    I just got my Blue Jeans Cable component 7710A cable yesterday. I replaced my Monster Video 3 component cable with it. The results were outstanding. Much smoother picture presentation now. This is one thick cable. Looks very professional. Best $50.00 I have spent in a while!
     
  16. BenK

    BenK Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike, go with your initial opinion with the BC cable. If the Monster displays a better picture go with that cable. Mostly likely it wont get any better in your case with the BC cable.

    I can concur with the excellent results of the Belden and Canare component cables such as the Rhino and Blue jeans cable. I've had a Canare component cable hooked to my dvd player with excellent results and just recently tried it with my HDTV cable box. I couldnt believe what an improvement it made. Much better than the AR master cable I was using. Ordered a beautifully made Canare V3-5CFB component cable from Blue jeans cable which is similiar to the Belden 7710a and havent looked back. I'm totally sold on the Belden/Canare cables.
     
  17. Eric Stuckey

    Eric Stuckey Second Unit

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    I orded 2 sets of Premuim Rhino Component's On Tuesday.I cant wait to get them. Im going to be replaceing 1 set of AR ( $24.00 set ) and Monster 1 set.A HUGE step up me thinks?
     

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