Where can I find seven great interconnects for less than $100?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by james e m, May 17, 2003.

  1. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    I'm looking for some interconnects for my Sony 5ES and my soon to be ordered Sherbourn 7/2100. I need 7 of them and I have been looking at the Outlaw and these AudioQuest interconnects. Are there any other interconnects I should be checking out? I can't spend any more than $100. I'm leaning towards the Outlaws. So if anybody can tell me a place where I can find great interconnects for less I would appreciate it. Thanks!
    James
     
  2. Garrett Adams

    Garrett Adams Supporting Actor

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    I'm using the Outlaw .5 meter 7-pack. They are well made and I've been satisfied with them. The locking RCA connectors are a nice touch.
     
  3. Blair Gifford

    Blair Gifford Stunt Coordinator

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    edit
    I had some for sale, but my email was bounced back. Maybe your inbox is full?
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    The outlaw should perform well and look sharp to boot. Only thing is they've got a no return unless defective policy. If you can get past that then there's no reason to suspect they wouldn't perform as well as anyone elses. Just make sure you stay clear of some of the advertising hype and either would serve you fine. Half a meter's not too long and I'd want to be pretty sure about that length because if you find the need to move something then it's ooopppps [​IMG]
    Other items that you could consider would be AR's as well as interconnects that are used in car stereo applications such as the StreetWires ZN2 or ZN3 series (twisted pair design...might find them locally).

    There really ain't much to an interconnect that performs well and seeing as your equipment doesn't involve any passive components or extraordinarily long lengths, you're in good shape.

    Hope you got a good price on the Sherbourn.
     
  5. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Seven great interconnects for less than $100. is not possible.

    Seven interconnects for less than $100., is possible.

    Great is expensive. Great is what is within your budget, and what you can afford. Get what you can afford and leave adjectives for others to price out.

    a "GREAT" interconnect for the price is the Bolder M80.... not less than a $100., but a superb interconnect for the price/performence ratio. Leave the pricing behind, and trust your ears (within your budget, of course).

    Good Luck,

    BOK
     
  6. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I want to ask a question here, as my thread was maybe too specific. I'm in the same boat.

    I want to spend the money it takes to get to "90%" performance, in other words, right at the point of the curve where you start to get to the law of diminishing returns. I want good cables made on scientific principase, but I'm not interested in paying any extra for voodoo magic. [​IMG]

    I am currently looking at using interconnects made from (more than likely) RG-6/U coax cable.

    Chu pointed me in the direction of Beldin's site, and I actually saw a reference elsewhere on the web from a ham radio guy talking (in very detailed terms, mind you) about cable used for antenna applications. RG-59/U is good, then RG-6/U is better, then he actually gosh darn said that Beldin is a level up from "regular" RG-6/U.

    And then there is mylar foil shielding, and Cu braid shielding, and sometimes more than one layer of Cu braiding.

    And from some other thread here, I got pointed in the direction of Vince's cables:

    http://cables.musicianassist.com//about.htm

    So that's where I'm at right now. (I've heard good things in the past about Canare component cables.) Does that sound like a plan?

    Looking for analog cables from SACD/DVD-A player to pre/pro, and then from pre/pro to the amps.

    And then, maybe a stupid question: is there any reason why you'd want to, or *not* want to, use coax for speaker cables too? I just really like the idea of the built-in resistance to EMI/RF interference that coax cable has.

    Chu? Brian? Sanjay? Others?

    THANKS!!
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well that's sure a reasonable question Kevin. Theoretically you want an audio interconnect that has the lowest capacitance. So what's low? Well Belden #89259 is 17 pf/ft. I'm sure there's lower out there too.
    If you're curious as to whether this product might be something you'd like, give Belden a call (1-800-BELDEN-1) and ask for an evaluation sample. Might as well look through those links I posted earlier and find some RG8 cables too. Those can be used as speaker cables and have both fairly low capacitance and inductance.
    As to what you want to pay for that or any low capacitance cable is between you and your wallet and a function of whether you want to make it or buy it.
    I personally recommend the idea of getting evaluation samples (most wire companies will do this) because it gives you an idea of what the stuff feels like, how it bends, its weight, etc.
     
  8. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    May want to look into the AR Pro Series 2 from partsexpress.com.

    Kevin
     
  9. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    I agree with Brian. You are not going to get 7 great interconnects for $100.

    I would avoid using RG6 coax with Canare connectors for analog audio cables. The Canare connectors are a poor choice for analog audio use. In my experience with this cable/connector combination you end up with poor highs, exaggerated mid and mushy bass. These are a good choice for video and digital use though.

    Some decent affordable audio cables can be found but you are going to have to spend more than $100 for 7.
    Check out some of these on-line sources:
    Catcables, RhinoCables, Zucable, WickedCables, Boldercables

    Otherwise go with a retail brand such as Radioshack, AR etc.
     
  10. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Yeah, the AR Performance and Pro II series are my "fallback" position... [​IMG]

    Chu- I came across an industrial parts supply catalog, and yeah most of the coax cables were on the order of 15 - 20 pF/ft. I was actually a little bit surprised they had those values in there too, whereas none of the cable manufacturers (that I know of) publish that sort of info. The had Belden too!
     
  11. Lee Bailey

    Lee Bailey Second Unit

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    Go to BlueJeansCable , you can order their 6-color 2ft cables plus one single 2ft cable for less than $100.00 with shipping included. You can even get the 3ft versions for under $100.00. They make excellent cables.
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Sounds like a pretty decent price. Like I said, if you're going to go strictly by theoretical performance, you move in the direction of lowest capacitance. The problem, if it is one, that I see with RG6 is that it can be heavy and depending on things, somewhat inflexible. There's no advantage to thicker wire for interconnects nor is there an advantage for running solid. That's because for the preamp/amp interconnections, the wire impedance means nothing. Try that number Kevin for Belden for some free samples if you want to get an idea of the 'feel' of the wire.
    Wire mongers that make their own cables using twists and all that don't often list the capacitances mostly because I think they've either never measured it or because they're afraid that publishing such a number somehow puts them at a disadvantage. Allows people to compare and somehow takes away from the mystique of it all. Some do like Cardas and AQ I believe but then they surround those numbers with their own smoke.
    If you have bloated bass, my doctor said Mylanta!
     
  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I've even come across "quad shielded" RG-6.

    Yeah, I really need to think about what I need vs overkill.

    I like the blue jeans stuff. I'm waiting to see when Vince does his next batch for now...

    I got to admit, I thought this section was all "smoke & mirrors" and "snake oil." But it's not. Definately learned some stuff I should have known by now. [​IMG]

    I'm just curious why most "cable makers" don't do power cords too.

    And, no one (or, not a lot of people) uses coax for speaker wire?
     
  14. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    There's enough cable makers pushing power cords. Kind of like going to your local pharmacy and being faced with homeopathetic mumbo jumbo. Where there's a buck to be made they're out there.

    Far as using coax, it's overkill and might make sense only in very very peculiar situations. Just remember what Evian spells backwards and you'll be fine.
     
  15. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    I guess I have another question. Would there be an audible difference (debatable I know) between the Outlaw, AQ Sidewinder, and the AR cables when connecting an amp to a pre/pro?

    I've checked out all of the major and minor cable makers and I haven't found a deal that would beat the one I wrote about in my 1st post. Am I missing any? Can someone send me toward a site that offers other great deals?

    Thanks!
    James
     
  16. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Did you look at the Zu cables? The Pil cables would be ideal and almost fall within your budget ($29/1m pr)
    Zu also offers a great return/trade in policy.
     
  17. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    In your particular applications james, with the lengths you're interested in, I can't think of a reason why there would be.

    Good deals...let's see what ebay's got.

    This guy has 1/2 meter interconnects going for $7.99. They're pairs so you'd need to buy 4...under $40 with s/h. Also has got a few other types. The Bullets look sharp but I think you'd need to contact the person to see if you can get them in your length.

    BTW, those as well as other brands such as StreetWires are actually interconnects used in car audio installations. They happen to work just fine for home use. In fact, if you think about it, an automobile is a pretty nasty place for EMI!

    You can see all of ebay's listing by just typing in 'interconnects' in the search box. Just me, but I'd buy new and not used or demo.
     
  18. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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  19. james e m

    james e m Second Unit

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    Thanks for the info guys! I'm checking out ebay as I type this. Also I was wondering if someone could give me their opinion on the other question I asked: Would there be an audible difference (debatable I know) between the Outlaw, AQ Sidewinder, and the AR cables when connecting an amp to a pre/pro?

    Thanks!
    James
     
  20. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    somebody get my gun!!
    let's say that the differences don't show up under controlled testing. at that point I think you ought to buy what you consider to be personally important. The Outlaws are attractive and have a locking RCA which some like. Really, this is going to come down to personal preference and the differences in construction may come down to something academic. You can always see if someone's selling a particular one over on audiogon. It's hard to make a bad choice.
     

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