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post #1 of 28 Old 10-02-2013, 01:23 PM - Thread Starter
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So I walked into my local Kmart and went to the electronic section to get some cables for my tape deck, I was originally going to get the cheapest RCA cables I could find... Then I saw cables priced at $5.00 that were Gold plated so I decided to get those instead. I never believed that interconnect cables mattered so I just bought these for piece of mind. After I hooked up my tape deck and replaced my old cheapo cables on my CD player I played "Hey You" and was shocked to hear no hiss!

Does any one on here have any experience with these cables and if so what do you think of them?

If I put this in the wrong part of the forum please move it.

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post #2 of 28 Old 10-02-2013, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post

So I walked into my local Kmart and went to the electronic section to get some cables for my tape deck, I was originally going to get the cheapest RCA cables I could find... Then I saw cables priced at $5.00 that were Gold plated so I decided to get those instead. I never believed that interconnect cables mattered so I just bought these for piece of mind. After I hooked up my tape deck and replaced my old cheapo cables on my CD player I played "Hey You" and was shocked to hear no hiss!

Does any one on here have any experience with these cables and if so what do you think of them?

If I put this in the wrong part of the forum please move it.

Actually cables don't matter at all. What you bought is fine. Apparently your old ones were defective in some way. Take care.
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post #3 of 28 Old 10-02-2013, 04:06 PM
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Very often the act of removing the old cables and attaching the new will clean the connector contacts by scraping the metal parts against each other.

Try this, put the old cables back and see what you hear.

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post #4 of 28 Old 10-02-2013, 06:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post

Actually cables don't matter at all. What you bought is fine. Apparently your old ones were defective in some way. Take care.

No the "old" wires are in good condition, in fact I'm using them for my tape deck. I think cables do make a difference BUT only to a certain extent. I'm guessing my old cheap cables have worse shielding if any. I don't really believe that gold plating makes a difference.

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post #5 of 28 Old 10-02-2013, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I doubt that was it because I had the CD player for maybe a month and within that month I've removed the cables. It wasn't a huge difference, the only difference was less noise.

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post #6 of 28 Old 10-02-2013, 07:02 PM
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After I hooked up my tape deck and replaced my old cheapo cables on my CD player I played "Hey You" and was shocked to hear no hiss!
There is simply no physical way that a cable could do this. (Unless it produced such a massive rolloff in HF that the hiss disappeared, but I doubt you'd be raving about such cables.) But if you're happy with them, just leave them be. They are doing no harm.

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post #7 of 28 Old 10-03-2013, 12:12 AM
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Hi Kevin,
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Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

There is simply no physical way that a cable could do this.
I agree. I suspect that something else might have changed in the process of swapping the cables.

As a general rule, I don't attribute a change to anything specific unless I can go back and forth and reproduce the symptom at will. There are just too many other things that happen when you make a change like swapping cables. Try putting the 'hissing' cables back, and see if the hiss returns. If it doesn't, then something was probably jostled in the process of changing the cables the first time.
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post #8 of 28 Old 10-03-2013, 04:16 AM
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I don't really believe that gold plating makes a difference.

....but you believe that cadmium chromate is actually gold?
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post #9 of 28 Old 10-03-2013, 04:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

Actually cables don't matter at all. What you bought is fine. Apparently your old ones were defective in some way. Take care.

No the "old" wires are in good condition, in fact I'm using them for my tape deck.

One might conclude that the hiss in the tape deck is masking the hiss in the wire. However. speaking as a degreed engineer with over 50 years of experience with audio including building, repairing and installing thousands of cables for all kinds of audio systems large and small, the possibility of a ordinary $5 cable filtering our hiss is slim and none.

There are two other effects. Sometimes really heavy RF interference (as in a studio at the base of a transmitting tower) can sound like hiss. Not many people live on top of high powered transmitters but it happens. Cables that are corroded and used in a damp environment can generate some hissy noises on their own. I've run into things like this very very rarely.
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I think cables do make a difference BUT only to a certain extent.

Not to be critical, but that statement is pretty vague.

I'd add that with experience with 100's of thousands of feet of cables and thousands of cables that I built, installed or repaired, the usual extent is zero. There are a few others around here with similar experiences as mine, and AFAIK they will tell you the same thing.
Quote:
I'm guessing my old cheap cables have worse shielding if any.

Sheilding is not much of an issue with line level audio cables such as those related to tape decks and CD players. Some audiophiles use unshielded cables for these things and it all works pretty much the same in most situations.
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I don't really believe that gold plating makes a difference.

The counterpoint is that corroded contacts can have all kinds of audible effects, the most common being intermittent or even no sound at all. As I mentioned above corroded contacts can rarely cause distortion or hissing noises. If I had a cable that did any ot these things it would be repair or replace, mostly replace. Cables are often so inexpensive that you don't bother to repair them. OTOH cables with special connnectors or configurations get repaired because they may need to be special ordered to replace, etc.

Gold is more of an appearance item. Knowledgeable pros if anything avoid pure gold because it is very soft and wears off in heavy use. Once it wears off (I've seen this many times) you are left with base metal which may itself be a better contact (because the manufacturer knows about the problems with gold) or it might be absolute crap, depending on the connector.
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post #10 of 28 Old 10-03-2013, 01:59 PM
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Excuse me but did no one notice the OP said he heard hiss from his TAPE deck but not from the CD player. Has it been that long since anyone here used a tape deck? Really? Yes, a tape deck will have a higher noise floor or noticeable hiss than ANY digital reproduction system; that is the nature of the beast. The cables have absolutely ZERO effect on the audio path.
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post #11 of 28 Old 10-03-2013, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post

After I hooked up my tape deck and replaced my old cheapo cables on my CD player I played "Hey You" and was shocked to hear no hiss!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post


No the "old" wires are in good condition, in fact I'm using them for my tape deck. I think cables do make a difference BUT only to a certain extent. I'm guessing my old cheap cables have worse shielding if any. I don't really believe that gold plating makes a difference.

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Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

Excuse me but did no one notice the OP said he heard hiss from his TAPE deck but not from the CD player. Has it been that long since anyone here used a tape deck? Really? Yes, a tape deck will have a higher noise floor or noticeable hiss than ANY digital reproduction system; that is the nature of the beast. The cables have absolutely ZERO effect on the audio path.

I think "the tape deck" is a red herring....... he's using the "new" cables on the CD player.
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post #12 of 28 Old 10-03-2013, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

Excuse me but did no one notice the OP said he heard hiss from his TAPE deck but not from the CD player. Has it been that long since anyone here used a tape deck? Really? Yes, a tape deck will have a higher noise floor or noticeable hiss than ANY digital reproduction system; that is the nature of the beast. The cables have absolutely ZERO effect on the audio path.

LOL I'm using the new cables on the CD player and using the old cables on the tape deck. You didn't think I was that stupid did you?

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post #13 of 28 Old 10-03-2013, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

One might conclude that the hiss in the tape deck is masking the hiss in the wire. However. speaking as a degreed engineer with over 50 years of experience with audio including building, repairing and installing thousands of cables for all kinds of audio systems large and small, the possibility of a ordinary $5 cable filtering our hiss is slim and none.

There are two other effects. Sometimes really heavy RF interference (as in a studio at the base of a transmitting tower) can sound like hiss. Not many people live on top of high powered transmitters but it happens. Cables that are corroded and used in a damp environment can generate some hissy noises on their own. I've run into things like this very very rarely.
Not to be critical, but that statement is pretty vague.

I'd add that with experience with 100's of thousands of feet of cables and thousands of cables that I built, installed or repaired, the usual extent is zero. There are a few others around here with similar experiences as mine, and AFAIK they will tell you the same thing.
Sheilding is not much of an issue with line level audio cables such as those related to tape decks and CD players. Some audiophiles use unshielded cables for these things and it all works pretty much the same in most situations.
The counterpoint is that corroded contacts can have all kinds of audible effects, the most common being intermittent or even no sound at all. As I mentioned above corroded contacts can rarely cause distortion or hissing noises. If I had a cable that did any ot these things it would be repair or replace, mostly replace. Cables are often so inexpensive that you don't bother to repair them. OTOH cables with special connnectors or configurations get repaired because they may need to be special ordered to replace, etc.

Gold is more of an appearance item. Knowledgeable pros if anything avoid pure gold because it is very soft and wears off in heavy use. Once it wears off (I've seen this many times) you are left with base metal which may itself be a better contact (because the manufacturer knows about the problems with gold) or it might be absolute crap, depending on the connector.

I don't care if you have experience... Just kidding. biggrin.gif

To your first paragraph; I my professional experience (I'll admit isn't much) cables can block out RF noise (hiss in my case) BUT it won't change the sound character. My opinion is that cables that have shielding always have less noise even if it is subtle, there is still a difference.

Again the connections were not corroded on the cable or CD player. Again I tested this on my CD player not my tape deck. I agree that there is no change to the sound character by upgrading a cable. I'm a part time sound engineer who has mixed and mastered several CD's plus setup up several live reinforcement systems, I'm fully aware of how electrons flow through cables and how shielding is very important in cables. Anyways properly shielded cables do make a difference my churches system, that has cheap interconnects, does have a faint hiss. These are line level inputs that have a 0 dBVU output!

I actually don't use gold plated cables because they have corrosion issues with contacts that don't use gold. I use gold plated connectors for my system just for looks.

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post #14 of 28 Old 10-03-2013, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

There is simply no physical way that a cable could do this. (Unless it produced such a massive rolloff in HF that the hiss disappeared, but I doubt you'd be raving about such cables.) But if you're happy with them, just leave them be. They are doing no harm.

No difference eh? That hiss was interference not noise from my CD player. I'm happy with them because of the low price. My whole point is that these five dollar cables is all you need for the best sound possible.

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post #15 of 28 Old 10-03-2013, 08:17 PM
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So what happens if you put the old wires back on? Does the hiss return?

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post #16 of 28 Old 10-03-2013, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulpa View Post

So what happens if you put the old wires back on? Does the hiss return?

Yes. It's not because the cable is bad.

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post #17 of 28 Old 10-03-2013, 11:37 PM
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"LOL I'm using the new cables on the CD player and using the old cables on the tape deck. You didn't think I was that stupid did you?"

You should never ask a question the answer to which you may not like.

"Hiss" is NOT generated by a cable-your new ones, your old ones or anyone else's.
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post #18 of 28 Old 10-04-2013, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post


To your first paragraph; I my professional experience (I'll admit isn't much) cables can block out RF noise (hiss in my case)

For an ordinary cable, that is one that has no little boxes on either end with coils and capacitors in them, not so much.

Then, you actually have to be in a high RF area.
Quote:
BUT it won't change the sound character. My opinion is that cables that have shielding always have less noise even if it is subtle, there is still a difference.

Technology likes to laugh at opinions. ;-)

The usual rule of thumb is that shielding on line level cables has little affect in the audio range.

Here's an example:



These are called "Street Wires". They are sold by MTX who is a large supplier to the automotive sound market, and they are sold for use in cars which are a high EMI environment. One of their slogans is "Zero Noise".
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post #19 of 28 Old 10-04-2013, 04:19 AM
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I my professional experience (I'll admit isn't much) cables can block out RF noise (hiss in my case)

You think you can hear RF?
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I'm fully aware of how electrons flow through cables

I beg to differ.
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Anyways properly shielded cables do make a difference my churches system, that has cheap interconnects, does have a faint hiss.

I don't think you really understand shielding.
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I actually don't use gold plated cables

Very few do....many are fooled by cadmium chromate dipped nickle.
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post #20 of 28 Old 10-04-2013, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

"LOL I'm using the new cables on the CD player and using the old cables on the tape deck. You didn't think I was that stupid did you?"

You should never ask a question the answer to which you may not like.

"Hiss" is NOT generated by a cable-your new ones, your old ones or anyone else's.

No hiss is RF noise coming from something in my house not from a cable.

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post #21 of 28 Old 10-04-2013, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

You think you can hear RF?
I beg to differ.
I don't think you really understand shielding.
Very few do....many are fooled by cadmium chromate dipped nickle.

Apparently I can!

I could care less if you think I don't.

Then what's the point of shielding?

I could care less what they use. I buy it for looks not for performance.

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post #22 of 28 Old 10-04-2013, 09:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

For an ordinary cable, that is one that has no little boxes on either end with coils and capacitors in them, not so much.

Then, you actually have to be in a high RF area.
Technology likes to laugh at opinions. ;-)

The usual rule of thumb is that shielding on line level cables has little affect in the audio range.

Here's an example:



These are called "Street Wires". They are sold by MTX who is a large supplier to the automotive sound market, and they are sold for use in cars which are a high EMI environment. One of their slogans is "Zero Noise".

Really? O.k. so what's the point of shielding?

It's probably a placebo. Here's what I don't get; Why do shielded cables exist if they have no benefit to audio?

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post #23 of 28 Old 10-04-2013, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post

.

Here's what I don't get; Why do shielded cables exist if they have no benefit to audio?

The history of shielding on RCA cables probably traces back to the many things that they have been used for since they were first invented.

Key points - the shielding isn't a bad thing, it doesn't hurt anything, and it is not costly.

The question I had in mind when I said that shielding had minimal benefits (over plain twisted pair) was based on their use as line level interconnects.

RCA cables were originally used to connect an add-on 45 rpm record player to tube radios that had a special input for them.



The record player put out a small signal that had a very high source impedance. The shielding helped cut down on capacitive pickup of hum, noise and possibly RF from high voltage tubed radios.



Today we use RCA cables for relatively high signal voltages with a very low source impedance. There are typically not any nearby high voltage hum or RF fields like there were inside od style tubed radio chassis.
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post #24 of 28 Old 10-04-2013, 11:22 AM
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Well I don't doubt you hear the hiss and if you can move the cables back and forth and the hiss moves too, there is clearly something going on.

Normally a simple audio cable can't cause this but there may be other factors going on. Without seeing the whole setup, none of us here can really diagnose what the problem is.

Another theory: Somehow your old cables have a capacitance sweet spot that is causing the output stage to oscillate. HF oscillation outside the audio band often will sound like hiss. This would point to a circuit problem. Again this is just another theory.

So you bought some new low cost cables and the problem is fixed. I thinks that's all that matters. At least you didn't get snookered into some $500 Audioquest cable that is based on snake oil.
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post #25 of 28 Old 10-04-2013, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post

Apparently I can!

I could care less if you think I don't.

Then what's the point of shielding?

I could care less what they use. I buy it for looks not for performance.

LOL, RF means not audio frequency...you saying you can hear megahertz signals...you must have very good hearing.

You mentioned that you 'could care less' twice...meaning you do care...take command of your language skills wink.gif

If you buy for looks, I've got some cables to sell you, they look really good wink.gif
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post #26 of 28 Old 10-04-2013, 12:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

The history of shielding on RCA cables probably traces back to the many things that they have been used for since they were first invented.

Key points - the shielding isn't a bad thing, it doesn't hurt anything, and it is not costly.

The question I had in mind when I said that shielding had minimal benefits (over plain twisted pair) was based on their use as line level interconnects.

RCA cables were originally used to connect an add-on 45 rpm record player to tube radios that had a special input for them.



The record player put out a small signal that had a very high source impedance. The shielding helped cut down on capacitive pickup of hum, noise and possibly RF from high voltage tubed radios.



Today we use RCA cables for relatively high signal voltages with a very low source impedance. There are typically not any nearby high voltage hum or RF fields like there were inside od style tubed radio chassis.

Ok that makes sense.

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Well I don't doubt you hear the hiss and if you can move the cables back and forth and the hiss moves too, there is clearly something going on.

Normally a simple audio cable can't cause this but there may be other factors going on. Without seeing the whole setup, none of us here can really diagnose what the problem is.

Another theory: Somehow your old cables have a capacitance sweet spot that is causing the output stage to oscillate. HF oscillation outside the audio band often will sound like hiss. This would point to a circuit problem. Again this is just another theory.

So you bought some new low cost cables and the problem is fixed. I thinks that's all that matters. At least you didn't get snookered into some $500 Audioquest cable that is based on snake oil.

I know enough not to buy expensive audio cables. I guess I'll just go to Big Lots for my audio cables now wink.gif

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post #27 of 28 Old 10-04-2013, 12:27 PM
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I know enough not to buy expensive audio cables. I guess I'll just go to Big Lots for my audio cables now
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post #28 of 28 Old 10-04-2013, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

There are only two rules to follow about cables:

1) Buy $5 cables.

2) When they fail, buy more $5 cables.

Anyone who pays more than five is a sucker. I would never pay more than five unless I needed a long cord.

"Then one day you find ten years have got behind you no one told when to run you missed the starting gun."
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