Does 1394 cable quality matter? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-09-2007, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a pioneer elite dvd player dv79avi with 1394 going to my pioneer elite vsx 74 amp for the all my audio dolby , dts, sacd, dvd a. I work at best buy and i get the house brand (geek squad) cables for cheap, i was wondering if going with a high quality audio quest 1394 3 cable would make a huge difference compared to my cheap geek squad cable... Thanks
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-09-2007, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiophreak View Post

I have a pioneer elite dvd player dv79avi with 1394 going to my pioneer elite vsx 74 amp for the all my audio dolby , dts, sacd, dvd a. I work at best buy and i get the house brand (geek squad) cables for cheap, i was wondering if going with a high quality audio quest 1394 3 cable would make a huge difference compared to my cheap geek squad cable... Thanks

No it doesn't make a difference, and check out monoprice before you get the best buy cables. Even with your discount, monoprice may be cheaper (I used to work at Best Buy).

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post #3 of 10 Old 07-09-2007, 09:20 AM
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" ... No it doesn't make a difference, and check out monoprice before you get the best buy cables. ..."

As long as the FireWire cabling conforms to the 1394 Trade association specifications, there is virtually no differences between cable makers or the actual cables.

There are gold plated cable connectors (pins and clam shells) that do improve long term insertion reliability, but most of us will never insert and remove our FireWire cables enough to note any differences. (These gold plated FW cables would be used by professional audio engineers and stage roadies to insure reliable setup and tear down of mobile FireWire connected equipment.)

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" FireWire speeds set to quadruple "
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-09-2007, 06:17 AM
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A functional low-end Firewire cable works just as well as a functional expensive cable. However, cheap cables may be more likely to have poor assembly quality like bad crimps and poor solder. On the other hand I've seen poorly made expensive cables as well. Ya gotta cut some apart to see which are well made.

FYI, I'm an industrial engineer and one of my duties is to work with cable vendors to keep the quality up. Building good cables is not a simple task.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-16-2007, 08:25 AM
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" ... functional low-end Firewire cable works just as well as a functional expensive cable. ..."

Absolutely! ... is thus and ever shall be, especially for digital cabling.

"Truth is one, paths are many ... " - The Dalai Lama

" FireWire speeds set to quadruple "
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-01-2007, 01:05 PM
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I'm in agreement. As with most commercially sold cables, 1394 must adhere to certain standards. Therefore, you have the choice of getting really expensive cables that work well and look really cool; or getting affordable cables that work well, but night not look quite as nice as the big brand's. My vote is for Blue Jeans Cables, monoprice, or (personal favorite) TendonUSA. GL
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-02-2007, 09:14 AM
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" ... My vote is for Blue Jeans Cables, monoprice, or (personal favorite) TendonUSA. ..."

"Truth is one, paths are many ... " - The Dalai Lama

FYI: There are three wire mills that make the vast majority of FireWire IEEE 1394a and 1394b cables.

The actual cabling, #28 AWG signal wires (four data wires, stranded, double duplex, packet switching peer to peer communications) and #20, #22 or #24 AWG power, ground & shield wires, used for almost all FW 1394a cables are virtually the same.

The rub is in the assembly and termination parts, the connectors. Dr. Sam Liu, an upstanding IEEE engineer and owner of Newnex.com Technology Company, is the head of the standards committee at the 1394ta.org and has been since 1999. If there is a FireWire "triad" symbol on the cable terminations or connectors, then its a good one and Dr. Sam probably helped design it and/or certify it. ALL cable manufacturers worth their salt offer a one year, "no questions asked", exchange warranty ... If a cable won't work, then they will replace it.

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post #8 of 10 Old 07-24-2008, 03:18 PM
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Quality does matter for 1394 cables unlike HDMI. Some companies I know often sell firewire cables that are made of lower grade metals and have little or no data protection. Some dont even make it past 3m
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post #9 of 10 Old 07-25-2008, 03:56 PM
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" ... Some companies I know often sell firewire cables that are made of lower grade metals and have little or no data protection. ..."

All too true. There are also companies making FireWire 400 cables that are longer than the specifications and performance criteria allow. If you see any FireWire (or HDMI) cable longer than 10 meters, avoid it as all that this does is slow FireWire down (usually from FW400 down to FW100 speeds). This is not good for either video or audio or data transfer as packets do get lost and handshaking in some data transfer modes is spotty at best.

It is our experience that there are only three or four cable makers that do it right and do it to the 1394 Trade Association and IEEE 1394 a&b specs. (A mercenary announcement: We distribute for two of these manufacturers.)

As for material of the cable wire and connectors, a very good argument can be made for gold plated connectors, especially for professional audio use, as this does knock some of the FireWire power supply noise off of the circuit. The FireWire 400 and up "carrier" signal is up into the microwave range, so deviations in the actual wire from specs almost always produces poor or completely non-op results.

(The same applies to HDMI, really. The video signal on the HDMI wires is also in the microwave range. Again, gold plating on the connectors helps the audio side by knocking a nominal amount off of the power supply wires.)

Techies love this stuff = an "eye" image of a high quality FireWire signal:

"Truth is one, paths are many ... " - The Dalai Lama

" FireWire speeds set to quadruple "
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-02-2009, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VAUGNER View Post

I'm in agreement. As with most commercially sold cables, 1394 must adhere to certain standards. Therefore, you have the choice of getting really expensive cables that work well and look really cool; or getting affordable cables that work well, but night not look quite as nice as the big brand's. My vote is for Blue Jeans Cables, monoprice, or (personal favorite) TendonUSA. GL

Blue Jeans doesn't sell Firewire cables.


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Originally Posted by ericl142 View Post

Quality does matter for 1394 cables unlike HDMI.

Of course quality matters for HDMI.
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