Who here actually believes in good cables? Audioquest? Monster?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Jesse Sharrow, Jul 12, 2003.

  1. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    I am the kind of person where a good chunk of my HT money is going towards great interconnects and speaker cables. I work at soundtrack and we sell monster stuff. It is really great but Im very interested in audio quest. Does anyone own there stuff and/or really beleive in it?
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    If you mean some of their theories like break-in and all that? Nope.
     
  3. pradike

    pradike Stunt Coordinator

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    [​IMG] Monster Cables is good stuff -- not great stuff, but good stuff. What they ARE great at is spending alot of marketing dollars for name recognition...and they have accomplished that. You see their name everywhere...of course there are Chevys everywhere too.

    In terms of engineering, there are numerous better cables than Monster cables - and they are definitely well worth it - IF, and only IF you spent some $$$ on better quality speakers. Quality cables help you realize the potential great sound of great speakers.

    Audioquest is considered very good cabling. I had my Theater pre-wired with Audioquest Quad 4 cables. I have THX 7.1 surround with Snell speakers all around - everyone who hears them is very impressed - including the CEDIA home theater guys who installed it - they use my setup as a demo site to help sell new equipment contracts (for a nominal incentive, of course!).

    Seriously...cables, equipment, and speakers should match...meaning great equipment should have great cabling and great speakers. If you go with anything less than a full system match in any component, you'll see the disappointing results.

    If good is OK, then go with good on everything. Audioquest is considered very good. I first questioned the $$$ it took to do it right...but I don't question the $$$ I spent any longer. The fine results speak for themselves - money well spent.
     
  4. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    Check out Outlaw PCA cables for some great, competitively priced audio cables [​IMG]
     
  5. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    "Believing" is not even close to listening.... so, shop around, read up, get a return policy, and do not get hung up on "brand" name cables.

    Scout around and listen. Many fine choices out there.

    BOK
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    All too often men get focused on one thing as being THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. This happens a lot with cables.

    They "get you" by pricing cables just below what a new component costs and creating hype to get you to believe that some special copper wire will dominate how good your system will sound.

    Commpared to good source, good speakers, proper placment, good amplification - cables are at best 5 steps down in order of importance for good sound and video.

    Your perceptions change. What sounded great in the first week will become common in a few weeks. (We get lots of "Did I buy the right thing?" posts). The cable companies feed on that doubt and get you to believe that some copper wire is somehow 'limiting' your sound. When it just is not true.

    Sure, cables DO make a subtile difference. But not in proportion to the price some of the Name Brands are asking.

    The cables are like the cup that holds wine. Think of drinking wine from:

    - A paper cup $0.20
    - A coffee cup $1.20
    - A wine glass $3.00
    - A crystal gobblet $80.00

    In all cases - the wine tastes exactly the same. But the cup changes the experience a bit.

    Some more rabid sites, posters (and commissioned salespeople) will tell you that you MUST have the $80 gobblet to really experience that $12 bottle of Merlot. Many of us prefer the cheaper wine glass so we can buy more wine.

    This is a hard-truth:

    A cable can in no way, shape or form IMPROVE a signal. It can only change (damage) it less than some other cable.

    Sorry to blow the myth apart for you, but this is the way it is.
     
  7. Bobby Parsons

    Bobby Parsons Stunt Coordinator

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    I bought all cheap accoustic research with mine and I think they all work great. And they were next to the cheapest. I tried some of the monster stuff and couldnt tell a difference. So why pay more for a name. Buy what ever you think will make you happy and not feel guilty about paying to much thats the way I looked at it. But I'm a cheap bastard.
     
  8. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

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    I use soundking speaker wire($35/100ft) and dayton audio interconnects($15). My I-5 & D500SE sounds amazing on 27 yr old ESS speakers.
     
  9. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    It's pretty much a given that Ripple tastes better out of cryogenically treated goblets, so expect the price to be more in the range of $120. [​IMG]
     
  10. Vincent_S

    Vincent_S Second Unit

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    I use Canare and am pretty happy with it.
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Canare does not go with Ripple, does FoodTV teach you nothing?! [​IMG]
     
  12. ScottHH

    ScottHH Stunt Coordinator

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    Bob,

    I think the wine analogy is a poor one. I received some ridiculously overpriced wine glasses as wedding presents, because I thought they looked cool and I wanted them. We drink wine out of plastic wine glasses, cheap wine glasses and the expensive ones. Taste is altered significantly by smell, and different glasses do make the same wine taste different. I would argue that these red bordeaux glasses do in fact make cabernets (cheaper ones included) taste better. Try it out with your cheap wine glasses and one of those even cheaper cups next time you open a bottle, I think you'll be in for a surprise.

    Back to the real topic here, if you are even considering what cables you want in your system, you want quality materials and construction, which can be had for less money than Monster. Looking at Audioquest's website, it looks like they had quite a bit of profit to throw at some fancy web design. But if you can, test them out, maybe you'll hear a difference, I think a lot of the doubters have never tried anything like them.
     
  13. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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  14. Jesse Sharrow

    Jesse Sharrow Supporting Actor

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    Well just so you guys know. I own a $300 yamhama bookshelf system. I always thought it sounded pretty good for what it was. Well I won some monster Z2 Reference Speaker cable. So it was free. Dont ask.

    Well anyways. I brought it home and hooked up the patch cable on one side and the Z2 on the other side. It made a difference... right now as I type this.. in my head im thinking how much of a difference. Well I could tell that there was more bass, imaging was improved, more clarity.

    But what I am going to do is buy some higher end audioquest cables and test them out against my Z2 on my new audio system when I get it. If I can tell a significant difference, enough to spend the money.. Im gonna go for it. If not im gonna stick with my monster at 60% off accomadation.
     
  15. Scott_Jua

    Scott_Jua Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm gonna be the loner here and say: Rhino Cables

    hard to beat... for interconnects anyway...

    For speaker Wire... that's a whole different ball of wax. I'm gonna go with the tried and true plain 12 gauge copper strand wire ina decent housing. Whethere there's a name on it or not, I challenge you to test for a real listening difference compared to some of the highest dollar wires out there.
     
  16. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    I felt the wine-glass analogy was good because the glass CARRIES the wine - does not create it. Same thing with wires.

    GUYS: let's be clear what cables we are talking about.

    AUDIO and VIDEO are a bit different. So are line-level vs speaker-level audio signals. So are analog vs digital signals.

    These each bring their own issues to the table.

    My personal view is you should buy:

    High End: Video cables with good connectors
    Mid-level: Analog interconnects, perhaps speaker wires
    Budget: Subwoofer and coaxial-digital cables

    This 'grading' fits how sensitive you are, and how sensitive the signals are to the cable.

    And above all, follow the 10% rule:

    Budget 10% of the component price for the cables

    This will keep your wires in perspective with your equipment.

    (I overheard a salesman trying to sell $300 worth of Monster speaker wires to someone who was just buying a Energy Take 5 speaker set for $550. - Uggh)
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    For fun, I once took the cheapest crappiest pack-in cable I could find, and hooked it up from my Technics DVD-A10 to my old Sherwood/Newcastle separates system. I hooked the other output to the S/N using the best AudioQuest cables I had in the house (one of AQ's lower end models). I A/Bed the two with a 96/24 DAD source and could -barely- tell the difference. The difference was subtle enough that I have some real doubt as to whether it was in my head or not. Now, I'm not going to pretend that the rest of my system is ultra-revealing or anything like that. If there is any difference in sound between interconnects, it takes a system way better than mine to reveal it. Count me as skeptical.
     
  18. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    While I'm sure that whatever Rhino or for that matter most any place is selling in the way of interconnects are highly competent, interconnects, even more than speaker wires, have less of an effect on the signal in terms of audibility. When one looks at the typical lengths most of us will be using an interconnect, a meter or two, and then considering that we're using mid-fi and not esoteric, peculiar brands, then interconnects, like the ubiquitous Radio Shack are quite suitable. They provide the ability to transmit a linear signal to way past the capabilities of the driving source and most certainly your (mine) ability discern differences on the order of fractional differences of a dB above 20 kHz.

    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.

     
  19. pradike

    pradike Stunt Coordinator

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    Scott HH -

     
  20. Doug_H

    Doug_H Supporting Actor

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