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High quality RCA audio cables?

post #1 of 72
Thread Starter 
I want to upgrade my computer's sound card to a Creative X-Fi Platinum but I don't want to use the control bay thing for the audio. It doesn't fit my case because of the swinging cover door (it won't close because of the knobs) and I definitely don't want to connect my receiver through the front optical port which looks really dumb.

So I want to use the analog connections on the sound card to hook it up to my HTIB receiver (Onkyo HT S790). The receiver is about 9' away from the computer so I'm looking to get 12' cables.

Does the quality of RCA cables matter? Looking at monoprice, their premium cables are about 2.5x as much as their regular cables.

Also, if the premium cables are better, then what kind of a splitter should I use? I need sometime to split the 3.5mm into two RCA Female but monoprice doesn't have anything like that. They only have 2 plug RCA Male/Male cables.
post #2 of 72
No the cable isn't going to make a difference. Premium cables look nice and that is pretty much what you are paying for. The fact that you are using a splitter could have more effect on the sound than the cables will.

A word to the wise:
Cables and connectors are discussed a lot here and you can find most of those discussions using the AVS search engine. With questions that get asked repeatedly on an almost weekly basis, one can often get some very short and sarcastic answers.

..Doyle
post #3 of 72
A local radioshack has the adapter your looking for.. Its about $5 I use the same one.
Or you can just get a cable with the 1/8" plug on one side and RCA on the other for close to the same price.
post #4 of 72
Cables can matter, but really only in a high-end system. With an HTIB and analog coming out of a PC, any decent budget cable that is of quality build should suffice absolutely fine. Cables are really the least important part of any system.
post #5 of 72
[quote=ChrisWiggles]Cables can matter, but really only in a high-end system. QUOTE]

Really? And what do you back this up with?
post #6 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

Cables can matter, but really only in a high-end system. .

Now that statement is pure BS!
post #7 of 72
Oh god, I didn't mean to start a debate. As long as you have decently appropriate cables you'll be fine. My point here was simply to point out that this is a really non-critical system, given the components. I didn't want to say something mean such as "your system is really low-end so use whatever the cheapest cable is and you'll be fine." I wanted to be polite. Not everyone can afford an expensive high-performance system. I don't feel that "buy the cheapest possible cable" is appropriate advice universally because quality cables certainly do matter to varying degrees depending on the application. In this particular application(audio, low-end, non-critical), I'd say basically anything would suffice.

Bottom line, I am not of the opinion that cables don't matter at all. I am of the opinion that generally speaking any appropriate cable should suffice fine. In this particular instance, it is especially true that cable quality is going to be largely irrelevant.

I don't think any of that is pure BS. but I'm lazy, I don't want to type out my entire philosophy on cable purchasing every time a Q comes up. But now you made me type this all out. It doesn't change the basic advice given to the OP. Hopefully it changes your view of my position, which I am not inclined to believe is pure BS.
post #8 of 72
Thanks Chris and welcome to the AVOpinion forum. They really should change the name.

I love the way physics changes in audio as the expense of a system goes up.
Why dont they teach that in school I wonder?
post #9 of 72
Suppose that a really, really poorly designed cable may act as a subtle low pass filter. If your tweeters didn't represent the highs very well, then that change would go un-noticed, whereas with tweeters that extend far up, you'll hear the difference.

Meanwhile, realistically, for ANY cable with RCA connectors you can buy, there really isn't much of a difference. Buy on preferences for things like durability, looks and length. (For long runs, shielding might be different between brands)
For my new system (in the >$10k range) I'm going with Monoprice and Blue Jeans type cables (some of them are actually made to order snakes from gigcables.com, for convenience).
post #10 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by speco2003 View Post

Thanks Chris and welcome to the AVOpinion forum. They really should change the name.

I love the way physics changes in audio as the expense of a system goes up.
Why dont they teach that in school I wonder?

Goodness gracious. Don't get your panties in a bunch. Critical applications indeed do require cables of sufficient quality to get the job done appropriately. Again, poorly made cables can degrade performance. Any basically sufficient cable should suffice. Nothing about physics changes at all, apparently you seem to think I am saying that which is not what I'm saying in any way.

For instance, would you agree that video cables are far more critical than analog audio cables? Would you then of course agree that you need to ensure a basic quality for a video application that is higher than that needed for analog audio? Does that mean physics has changed? No, of course not. You are simply using cables sufficient for the nature of the task, video being much more critical than audio.

If you've got an extremely high-performance system, cables that may have been perfectly appropriate for a HTiB may no longer be fully adequate. That's all.

It seems like you're just hunting to get in a debate or a semantic fist-fight about what I'm saying. I hardly think what I am saying is unreasonable or at all out of the mainstream. It simply acknowledges that cable quality is not completely irrelevant. In the context of this thread, basic patch cables should more than suffice, whereas I would not make that recommendation for high-end systems.
post #11 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by jwatte View Post

Suppose that a really, really poorly designed cable may act as a subtle low pass filter. If your tweeters didn't represent the highs very well, then that change would go un-noticed, whereas with tweeters that extend far up, you'll hear the difference.

Meanwhile, realistically, for ANY cable with RCA connectors you can buy, there really isn't much of a difference. Buy on preferences for things like durability, looks and length. (For long runs, shielding might be different between brands)
For my new system (in the >$10k range) I'm going with Monoprice and Blue Jeans type cables (some of them are actually made to order snakes from gigcables.com, for convenience).

I would agree, and I think that's a fair characterization of my position. I am not advocating expensive cables. Just basic sufficient performance.
post #12 of 72
[quote=ChrisWiggles]\\

If you've got an extremely high-performance system, cables that may have been perfectly appropriate for a HTiB may no longer be fully adequate. That's all.

QUOTE]

See that makes zero sense.Again why would the physics change? If you have say 12 gauge speaker cables with your HTIB then that cable will work just the same in a 20K system. As long as the gauge is correct and your ohms is correct for the system it does not matter if it cost 2 bucks or 200.

Granted you use the correct cable for the job be it audio or video.
post #13 of 72
[quote=speco2003]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

\\

If you've got an extremely high-performance system, cables that may have been perfectly appropriate for a HTiB may no longer be fully adequate. That's all.

QUOTE]

See that makes zero sense.Again why would the physics change? If you have say 12 gauge speaker cables with your HTIB then that cable will work just the same in a 20K system. As long as the gauge is correct and your ohms is correct for the system it does not matter if it cost 2 bucks or 200.

Granted you use the correct cable for the job be it audio or video.

It makes perfect sense. Read it again. I'm not going to get into an argument about this, it's completely beside the point and I don't care.
post #14 of 72
[quote=ChrisWiggles]
Quote:
Originally Posted by speco2003 View Post


It makes perfect sense. Read it again. I'm not going to get into an argument about this, it's completely beside the point and I don't care.

Exactly because you have nothing to back it up.
post #15 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

I don't want to type out my entire philosophy on cable purchasing every time

And on the eighth day, God created Chris Wiggles...

couldn't he have rested on that day too?'
post #16 of 72
Methinks we chased the OP away.


..Doyle
post #17 of 72
[quote=speco2003]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post


Exactly because you have nothing to back it up.

No, because you're a troll, and I'm not going to get into a stupid argument with you over absolutely nothing.
post #18 of 72
If the HTIB came with 20 gauge speaker wire, and interconnect RCA cables that started low pass filtering at 10 kHz, then you wouldn't notice it on the HTIB, but you would notice it on a bigger system. It's quite possible, and I've seen it happen. (or should that be "heard" ?)

If your HTIB came with 12 gauge speaker wire, and with solid, basic RCA interconnect, then those cables will transfer over to the real system without degradation.

All we're saying is that "crap is crap," but we're also saying that Monoprice or Bluejeans is good quality, and not crap.

If you still don't understand the point, you really are a troll.
post #19 of 72
This thread is totaly ridiculous. Is eveything just a gimmick? Is every piece of av gear just a cheap trick by big companies to drain money out of our pockets? Man, I don't know why I just don't go pick up a 19 dollar dvd player, an 80 dollar Insignia receiver, some walmart special RCA cables and hook it to some 12,000 dollar B&W 800 series using some straightened wire hangers. I could save a whole bunch of green by going cheap on all the stuff that doesn't matter so I can get the speakers. If cables don't matter at all then neither does quality construction of recievers, cd/dvd players, amps, pre/amps, DAC etc.

You're right speco, it should be called AVOpinion forum. Your opinion is that cables don't matter. Nobody has to prove to you that they heard a difference between cheap and more expensive cables. How can you prove that a Rotel sounds better than a Denon or Yamaha? Can you look at operator's manual spec sheet and give solid evidence? No. Chances are that people who bought the Rotel in the first place liked the sound better than the Denon and they bought it. In their opinion it sounds better and it's what they want. Sorry to burst your bubble, but forums are full of opinions. If you don't like it, get your own website and fill it full of facts from all your physics studies you've done.
post #20 of 72
Electronics and cables should not be equated.

A cable with a good build quality will not make an HTiB or a $10,000 receiver sound/perform any differently.
post #21 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega78 View Post

This thread is totaly ridiculous. Is eveything just a gimmick? Is every piece of av gear just a cheap trick by big companies to drain money out of our pockets? Man, I don't know why I just don't go pick up a 19 dollar dvd player, an 80 dollar Insignia receiver, some walmart special RCA cables and hook it to some 12,000 dollar B&W 800 series using some straightened wire hangers. I could save a whole bunch of green by going cheap on all the stuff that doesn't matter so I can get the speakers. If cables don't matter at all then neither does quality construction of recievers, cd/dvd players, amps, pre/amps, DAC etc.

You're right speco, it should be called AVOpinion forum. Your opinion is that cables don't matter. Nobody has to prove to you that they heard a difference between cheap and more expensive cables. How can you prove that a Rotel sounds better than a Denon or Yamaha? Can you look at operator's manual spec sheet and give solid evidence? No. Chances are that people who bought the Rotel in the first place liked the sound better than the Denon and they bought it. In their opinion it sounds better and it's what they want. Sorry to burst your bubble, but forums are full of opinions. If you don't like it, get your own website and fill it full of facts from all your physics studies you've done.

And thanks for comparing apples to oranges. And yes it turns out we can test gear as well as cables. If you tell me that amp B has better lo end then by goodness we can test it, just like if some slime ball salesman tells me that cable XYZ will do the same we can test it. It is not magic. It is still all physics and science.

When some noob comes here looking for advice he needs fact and reality not a opinion.
post #22 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by speco2003 View Post

When some noob comes here looking for advice he needs fact and reality not a opinion.

You need to pick a different forum. Audioreview and Stereophile are great places to start meaningless fights. Go save the noobs from certain doom in those forums.
post #23 of 72
You don't have to spend a lot of money to get great cables. Some products coming out of China are pretty affordable but of substantial quality. 'SoundRight' $50 rca products for example.

The apples and oranges comparison can go as far as the system itself. Some systems may not provide any audible improvements regardless of better made cables.

Let your own ears make the decision for you.
post #24 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega78 View Post

You need to pick a different forum. Audioreview and Stereophile are great places to start meaningless fights. Go save the noobs from certain doom in those forums.

It's not a meaningless "fight". It's a measurable fact. Noobies...
post #25 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by speco2003 View Post

When some noob comes here looking for advice he needs fact and reality not a opinion.

And you provided no facts or advice at all. Thanks for the help.
post #26 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Electronics and cables should not be equated.

A cable with a good build quality will not make an HTiB or a $10,000 receiver sound/perform any differently.

I would agree with that.
post #27 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

It's not a meaningless "fight". It's a measurable fact. Noobies...

While I'm still waiting for all the proof you have on your blanket statement that better cables are a waste of money, it should be noted that there was no talk of how expensive these cables are. Everything has a plateu of performance. I know and I have heard audible differences in using the crappy $5 cables as interconnects between my media decks and between pre/amp and amp. My subwoofer and main speakers hummed like crazy. My bass lacked definitition, mids sounded cheap, and highs were ok at best. These defects in sound quality except for the humming were subtle, not huge. Most people not into sound wouldn't notice or even care. Finaly the last issue with 5 dollar cables is that they broke constantly. I would have channels cut out all the time due to the cables having opens in them. The day I bought good quality interconnects is the day all that crap stopped. I spent 40 bucks a pair for mine, and have not regreted it one bit. There is my research, where is yours?

People who buy HTIB would benefit by buying better made cables for reliability and protection from interference. No, they will not notice an audible difference because speakers alone in HTIB packages already have sound quality issues. Most people I know who have HTIB don't even have their channel levels calibrated. You think they would notice or even care about a hum?

Trust me, you belong in the Audioreview forum. They have a whole bunch of people that say they wanna save noobies from certain doom, but look down on them at the same time because it makes them feel smart. They also feel they own the forums and oftem mistake their own opinions for fact. You'd fit in real well.
post #28 of 72
Vega, your post is a typical exaggeration of the "a cable is a cable" opinion.

If you actually understand the "cable is a cable" opinion, you will see that this argument always is based on the cable being not defective and basically adequate for the task. If your ultra inexpensive cables were picking up hum, clearly they could be considered defective or basically inadequate for the task. Not even the most ardent "cable is a cable" person would argue that cable is acceptable.
post #29 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post


If you've got an extremely high-performance system, cables that may have been perfectly appropriate for a HTiB may no longer be fully adequate. That's all.

Not necessarily. A properly designed, high quality cable will be exactly as adequate for any cheap HTIB or any ultra hi-end, "high performance" system.

In any case, I tend to second Klaus Bunge's opinion about cables: "A cable CAN NOT improve sound quality at all..... but a poor quality cable can spoilt it for sure"
post #30 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by JorgeLopez11 View Post

In any case, I tend to second Klaus Bunge's opinion about cables: "A cable CAN NOT improve sound quality at all..... but a poor quality cable can spoilt it for sure"

I totaly agree, I obviously could not have put it together better myself. Thats exactly my point.
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