Monoprice vs Blue Jeans Cable HDMI Picture Quality - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 109 Old 07-19-2010, 04:44 AM - Thread Starter
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I was going to buy Monoprice until I read this Audiogon thread

For a 4 foot cable on a 34" Sony XBR CRT, would I get better picture quality with BJC Series-1 or Series-F2 than Monoprice Premium?
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post #2 of 109 Old 07-19-2010, 05:05 AM
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At 4 feet it really doesn't matter, you won't lose any of the signal so get whatever you like. For anything over 25 feet, the best cable by far is BJC's Belden bonded pair cable.
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post #3 of 109 Old 07-19-2010, 06:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex C. View Post

I was going to buy Monoprice until I read this Audiogon thread

For a 4 foot cable on a 34" Sony XBR CRT, would I get better picture quality with BJC Series-1 or Series-F2 than Monoprice Premium?

Well you probably missed some of the article...

The thing is, the Blue Jeans cable definitely had bolder colors, and the Monoprice definitely was a bit more muted but slightly more detailed in presenting images. Another possibility, of course, is that I am clinically insane.


It is clear to me that he IS clinically insane if he thinks there is a difference...
"bolder colors" monoprice was "muted" but had more "detail"...
are you freaking kidding me???!!!
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post #4 of 109 Old 07-19-2010, 08:19 AM
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If the HDMI cable you are using doesn't give you sparkles or worse, changing the cable is not going to change the picture. It will have no effect on color, sharpness, contrast, black levels or anything else.
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post #5 of 109 Old 07-19-2010, 08:44 AM
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Bits are bits. If they're getting through the cable unaltered, there will be no difference.
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post #6 of 109 Old 07-19-2010, 09:32 AM
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Speaking technically against my interest here, but...

what people are telling you is right. There will not be a qualitative difference between brands in things like detail, color saturation, et cetera. If you do see a difference between cables, it'll be in the form of lost data which will render as "sparkles" and the like.

At a four-foot length, anything you buy that isn't broken will almost certainly perform perfectly. One little plug, though: if you're going to go the cheap route, consider our Tartan 28 AWG cable, which is very, very cheap....

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post #7 of 109 Old 07-20-2010, 08:45 AM
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I was looking at the Blue Jeans cables and none that I see are HDMI 1.4. Does Blue Jeans sell a cable that can do ARC, 3D, 4K x 2K, and Ethernet?
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post #8 of 109 Old 07-20-2010, 08:56 AM
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There is no such thing as a HDMI 1.4 cable. There are standard speed cables and high speed cables, both with or without ethernet. A high speed cable will handle anything you can throw at it. I don't think BJC sells standard speed cables per se. But they do provide the maximum lengths at which their cables meet both the standard speed specs and the high speed specs. And their Series 1 is arguably the best HDMI cable going.
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post #9 of 109 Old 07-20-2010, 10:23 AM
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^^
It says in the specs on the site that its version 1.3a...as far a I know, correct me if I'm wrong, that 1.3a does not support ARC, 3D, 4K x 2K, and Ethernet.

"It is certified under HDMI 1.3a (CTS 1.3b and b1)..."

I know that cables are no longer or should no longer have HDMI versions on them, i.e. 1.3a or 1.4a, and they should have a designation of Standard, High Speed..etc, they should also list all of the capabilities that cable has. I don't see any of the "1.4" capabilities on the site.
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post #10 of 109 Old 07-20-2010, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jnipz View Post

^^
It says in the specs on the site that its version 1.3a...as far a I know, correct me if I'm wrong, that 1.3a does not support ARC, 3D, 4K x 2K, and Ethernet.

Well, you're wrong. But you're right. Here's how it goes.

The cable spec did not change between HDMI spec 1.3a and 1.4 except that an OPTIONAL Ethernet channel was added. All of the resolutions, protocols and whatnot are irrelevant to cable choice except with respect to the "high-speed" versus "standard" criterion and the "Ethernet" versus "no Ethernet" criterion.

So, while 1.3a devices do not support 3D, 4Kx2K, et cetera, 1.3a-certified cables DO support those things (insofar as the cable can be said to "support" something which requires no protocol-specific cable features). The Ethernet channel is not supported by any cable certified under 1.3 because it didn't exist at the time and therefore nobody paired up the wires as required to support that feature.

Audio Return Channel is a special case. Nominally, cables without the Ethernet channel do not support it because there are some impedance tests which a cable is supposed to meet--in particular, a common-mode impedance test where the two members of the ARC/Ethernet pair are tested for characteristic impedance when run in common mode--but the fact is that Audio Return Channel doesn't run at very high bitrates (it's akin to SPDIF), and the spec is enormously tolerant of bad impedance control on the ARC, so it would be very unusual to see it fail on a non-Ethernet cable even though the cable hasn't been "certified" for it.



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Originally Posted by Jnipz View Post

I know that cables are no longer or should no longer have HDMI versions on them, i.e. 1.3a or 1.4a, and they should have a designation of Standard, High Speed..etc, they should also list all of the capabilities that cable has. I don't see any of the "1.4" capabilities on the site.

There is a grace period for use of version numbers (other than 1.4) on cable, which runs up through November. Because the absence of it still confuses customers, we haven't pulled down all references (and, in fact, depending upon the nature of the reference, some will be compliant and others will not). It is considered improper to list "capabilities" for cable such as support for specific resolutions, color depths, audio formats, et cetera because all cables support all of these (subject, of course, to the fact that some resolution/framerate/colordepth combos require a "high-speed" cable) and so it is deceptive to claim support for those things without noting that all of the competing products, likewise, support them. The only specific "capabilities" which are supposed to be referred to, and the only ones the customer should be interested in, are "high speed" or "standard," and "Ethernet" or not.

By the way, we do get lots of questions about when we'll have Ethernet-supporting HDMI cable. I have test samples here now and in a few months they'll be here; in the meantime, our Series-F2 is high-speed up to 15 feet, standard up to 25; our Series-1 is high-speed up to 25 feet, and standard up to 45; these designations remain current with 1.4, regardless of the spec version under which the testing what conducted.

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post #11 of 109 Old 07-20-2010, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by KurtBJC View Post


By the way, we do get lots of questions about when we'll have Ethernet-supporting HDMI cable. I have test samples here now and in a few months they'll be here; in the meantime, our Series-F2 is high-speed up to 15 feet, standard up to 25; our Series-1 is high-speed up to 25 feet, and standard up to 45; these designations remain current with 1.4, regardless of the spec version under which the testing what conducted.

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Is there anything that uses/requires the Ethernet support at this time or is this just future-proofing?
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post #12 of 109 Old 07-20-2010, 12:36 PM
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^^

Thanks for clearing the air. So, your High Speed Series F2 will support ARC and 3D? Really need ARC, would like 3D as a possible future option.
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post #13 of 109 Old 07-20-2010, 12:38 PM
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Why do most of the HDMI cables on Monoprice have Ferrite Cores on both ends? I heard that this was bad and not to get HDMI cables with them. Can someone clarify?
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post #14 of 109 Old 07-20-2010, 12:59 PM
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I suspect the ferrites are there to make the cable look cool and get unknowing customers to buy them. They do nothing for your HDMI signal. The purpose of ferrites on cables is to prevent the cable from acting as an antenna and broadcasting RFI from the connected devices to other devices.

Any high speed cable will support 3D. There is nothing special about the cable. It just has to have enough bandwidth for the data being sent over it. Any high speed cable has all the bandwidth you need for any combination of frame rate, resolution, color depth, 2D/3D, sound format supported by HDMI.
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post #15 of 109 Old 07-20-2010, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all. Those guys must be crazy.
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post #16 of 109 Old 07-20-2010, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Scamps View Post

Is there anything that uses/requires the Ethernet support at this time or is this just future-proofing?

I haven't seen anything yet. Right now it's just future-proofing; arguably it's not even that, because anything that has HDMI Ethernet is also, for the foreseeable future, going to have an RJ-45 for a wired network connection anyhow.

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Thanks for clearing the air. So, your High Speed Series F2 will support ARC and 3D? Really need ARC, would like 3D as a possible future option.

Yes. Like Colm says, 3D does not require a special cable; any high-speed cable will do the job. And the audio return channel is going to work fine, despite the fact that the original cable stock wasn't designed to meet specific impedance specs on the Ethernet/audio pair.

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Why do most of the HDMI cables on Monoprice have Ferrite Cores on both ends? I heard that this was bad and not to get HDMI cables with them. Can someone clarify?

Ferrites cut down on RF noise running on the shield. In the case of HDMI cable they really have no useful function, so we don't use them, but they shouldn't do any harm, either.

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post #17 of 109 Old 07-20-2010, 03:33 PM
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How do the HDMI cables at http://www.mycablemart.com/store/car...uct_list&c=126 compare to BJC and Monoprice?
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post #18 of 109 Old 07-20-2010, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtBJC View Post

I haven't seen anything yet. Right now it's just future-proofing; arguably it's not even that, because anything that has HDMI Ethernet is also, for the foreseeable future, going to have an RJ-45 for a wired network connection anyhow.

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Ditto to all of what's been posted..

Kurt.. I've been wondering why some outfit can't come up with a RJ-45 to HDMI adapter.. thus allowing the use of the 1.4 Ethernet channel now.

BTW.. I've used Blue Jeans as well as Monoprice and find both to be great cables.

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post #19 of 109 Old 07-20-2010, 04:09 PM
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Kurt.. I've been wondering why some outfit can't come up with a RJ-45 to HDMI adapter.. thus allowing the use of the 1.4 Ethernet channel now.

Unfortunately, it wouldn't work. The Ethernet channel is a hideous, hideous kludge and it doesn't map to an RJ-45. Here's the deal.

There are three wires involved, which are the "plus," "minus," and "shield" for the Ethernet pair. These wires already existed in the old HDMI bundle, but had different functions. One, pin 17, was a ground for some low-speed data circuits and is now the Ethernet shield. Pin 14 was "reserved" for future use, and is now the "plus" side of the pair, while pin 19 was the "hot plug detect" pin and now has the "minus" side of the Ethernet pair.

A normal CAT5 type cable has two pairs in use, one to send and one to receive. But here there is only one pair, and the pair also has to carry the hot plug detect function, the grounds for other circuits, and the Audio Return Channel. So, to get all of this onto the one pair, what they've done is this:

(1) The Audio Return Channel will, in any application where Ethernet is active, run in common mode--that is, the signal will be sent simultaneously on pins 14 and 19, in the same phase. If this works right, the Ethernet circuit won't "see" the ARC signal because it's in common mode and will be rejected in the same way that common mode noise is.

(2) Since there is no "send" pair and "receive" pair, sending and receiving will be done simultaneously, both in differential mode, on the same pair. In order to not get confused, the circuit will not only be trying to keep out the common mode ARC signal, but also will subtract its own output signal from what it measures at the input.

This is a mess. The problem starts with intrapair skew. A tiny bit of skew makes it very hard to keep these signals from messing with each other. Return loss can make it worse--anything that reflects off of the destination and comes back to the source now, instead of just being a little edge lost on a bit transition, becomes noise interfering with the signal running the other way on the same cable. Will it work? I dunno. Probably, most of the time, but there are sure a lot of ways for it to fail.

It gets more complicated than this, but that's the gist of it. If I didn't want it to work, this is how I'd design it. My suspicion is that if you want RELIABLE Ethernet between devices, sticking with conventional and cheap RJ-45 patch cords is going to be the way to go.

Anyhow, though, to revert to your original query: as you can see, it couldn't be mapped to an RJ-45 by just using an adapter, because the send and receive are run on the same pair and are mixed with other things. If you did want to adapt to a conventional Ethernet cable, you'd need an active box to try to sift one signal from another.

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post #20 of 109 Old 07-21-2010, 06:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtBJC View Post

Unfortunately, it wouldn't work. The Ethernet channel is a hideous, hideous kludge and it doesn't map to an RJ-45. Here's the deal.

There are three wires involved, which are the "plus," "minus," and "shield" for the Ethernet pair. These wires already existed in the old HDMI bundle, but had different functions. One, pin 17, was a ground for some low-speed data circuits and is now the Ethernet shield. Pin 14 was "reserved" for future use, and is now the "plus" side of the pair, while pin 19 was the "hot plug detect" pin and now has the "minus" side of the Ethernet pair.

A normal CAT5 type cable has two pairs in use, one to send and one to receive. But here there is only one pair, and the pair also has to carry the hot plug detect function, the grounds for other circuits, and the Audio Return Channel. So, to get all of this onto the one pair, what they've done is this:

(1) The Audio Return Channel will, in any application where Ethernet is active, run in common mode--that is, the signal will be sent simultaneously on pins 14 and 19, in the same phase. If this works right, the Ethernet circuit won't "see" the ARC signal because it's in common mode and will be rejected in the same way that common mode noise is.

(2) Since there is no "send" pair and "receive" pair, sending and receiving will be done simultaneously, both in differential mode, on the same pair. In order to not get confused, the circuit will not only be trying to keep out the common mode ARC signal, but also will subtract its own output signal from what it measures at the input.

This is a mess. The problem starts with intrapair skew. A tiny bit of skew makes it very hard to keep these signals from messing with each other. Return loss can make it worse--anything that reflects off of the destination and comes back to the source now, instead of just being a little edge lost on a bit transition, becomes noise interfering with the signal running the other way on the same cable. Will it work? I dunno. Probably, most of the time, but there are sure a lot of ways for it to fail.

It gets more complicated than this, but that's the gist of it. If I didn't want it to work, this is how I'd design it. My suspicion is that if you want RELIABLE Ethernet between devices, sticking with conventional and cheap RJ-45 patch cords is going to be the way to go.

Anyhow, though, to revert to your original query: as you can see, it couldn't be mapped to an RJ-45 by just using an adapter, because the send and receive are run on the same pair and are mixed with other things. If you did want to adapt to a conventional Ethernet cable, you'd need an active box to try to sift one signal from another.

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Great info, and I even understood it.. I think .. .. so, if I do understand you right, Ethernet over HDMI is a joke..?? I assumed that the 1.4 cable would simply contain the Ethernet channels and that eventually, routers and switches would become available that would allow all kinds of Web interconnectivity ..

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post #21 of 109 Old 07-21-2010, 08:52 AM
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.. so, if I do understand you right, Ethernet over HDMI is a joke..??

Well, I'm not sure I'd go quite that far. But until we start to see devices where it's implemented, I'm not sure how much we can assume about Ethernet over HDMI working well. It will not surprise me at all if the system is highly unreliable. There are a lot of ways it could fail.

What I have not really understood about this from the get-go is just what the impetus for it is. Apart from a dogmatic attachment to the "one-cable-to-rule-them-all" concept, I don't see why anyone would want to replace a well-understood, well-engineered solution like Ethernet over conventional UTP with this sort of wackiness. In fact, with many devices, e.g., the Wii, coming with wireless Ethernet, and with many people choosing wireless over wired because of the burdens of installation, I'd figure that wireless Ethernet for HT devices is the actual solution that almost everyone will wind up using.

So, my bet is that you will rarely see Ethernet over HDMI in actual use; but then, I have been wrong before...only time will tell.

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post #22 of 109 Old 07-21-2010, 10:03 AM
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Well, I'm not sure I'd go quite that far. But until we start to see devices where it's implemented, I'm not sure how much we can assume about Ethernet over HDMI working well. It will not surprise me at all if the system is highly unreliable. There are a lot of ways it could fail.

What I have not really understood about this from the get-go is just what the impetus for it is. Apart from a dogmatic attachment to the "one-cable-to-rule-them-all" concept, I don't see why anyone would want to replace a well-understood, well-engineered solution like Ethernet over conventional UTP with this sort of wackiness. In fact, with many devices, e.g., the Wii, coming with wireless Ethernet, and with many people choosing wireless over wired because of the burdens of installation, I'd figure that wireless Ethernet for HT devices is the actual solution that almost everyone will wind up using.

So, my bet is that you will rarely see Ethernet over HDMI in actual use; but then, I have been wrong before...only time will tell.

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I know I'm in the minority, as I pretty much use wired exclusively, for various reasons.. security, better speed and stability, etc. I just figured that at some point, as you said, there would be one cable to rule them all.

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post #23 of 109 Old 07-21-2010, 10:44 AM
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Yeah, I'm a big fan of "wired" Ethernet, myself, and not just because I sell wire. My house is an old one, and I have strung it pretty thoroughly, at the cost of many hours in crawlspaces, in the attic, and up ladders, with network cable. I don't understand why a lot of new homes are so poorly wired; I have to laugh sometimes when I go into a new house which has been advertised as having been thoroughly wired and future-proofed, and all I find is an F-connector in three rooms and two or three network outlets. If I were wiring a new home there'd be one heck of a lot of cable in it, and a system of empty two-inch conduit running everywhere to accommodate more.

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post #24 of 109 Old 07-22-2010, 07:24 AM
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Yeah, I'm a big fan of "wired" Ethernet, myself, and not just because I sell wire. My house is an old one, and I have strung it pretty thoroughly, at the cost of many hours in crawlspaces, in the attic, and up ladders, with network cable. I don't understand why a lot of new homes are so poorly wired; I have to laugh sometimes when I go into a new house which has been advertised as having been thoroughly wired and future-proofed, and all I find is an F-connector in three rooms and two or three network outlets. If I were wiring a new home there'd be one heck of a lot of cable in it, and a system of empty two-inch conduit running everywhere to accommodate more.

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true that

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post #25 of 109 Old 07-22-2010, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by KurtBJC View Post

Yeah, I'm a big fan of "wired" Ethernet, myself, and not just because I sell wire. My house is an old one, and I have strung it pretty thoroughly, at the cost of many hours in crawlspaces, in the attic, and up ladders, with network cable. I don't understand why a lot of new homes are so poorly wired; I have to laugh sometimes when I go into a new house which has been advertised as having been thoroughly wired and future-proofed, and all I find is an F-connector in three rooms and two or three network outlets. If I were wiring a new home there'd be one heck of a lot of cable in it, and a system of empty two-inch conduit running everywhere to accommodate more.

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+1000

The next house I buy will be completely wired.
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post #26 of 109 Old 07-22-2010, 10:04 AM
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Blue Jean and Monoprice made the popular press today...

How (And Why) to Avoid Premium Audio Cables

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Like expensive video cables, premium audio wiring is one of consumer electronics' great placebos. Do you want to be a sucker? Of course not. CNET's Steve Guttenberg provides some illuminating advice on buying and setting up cables on the cheap.

Read the full article here.
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post #27 of 109 Old 07-22-2010, 10:57 AM
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of course, he starts with the theory of "if you are an audiophile, you can really tell a difference, but for the rest of you ignorant slobs, this other stuff is good enough"....

and an analogy (the wine one) that doesn't even begin to hold water...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

https://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

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post #28 of 109 Old 07-22-2010, 11:07 AM
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Neat! I hadn't seen that.

And, by the way, that speaker cable in the photo is one of our just-added line of ultrasonically-welded speaker cables. Now, instead of screwing the banana plugs on with setscrews, we use high pressure and ultrasonic energy to weld them on--courtesy of a welder we just bought from Sonobond, a company in West Chester, PA (I used to practice law there!). It's a pretty nifty process, and results in an incredibly strong joint--the pull force to rip the banana from a 12-awg wire is about 130 pounds!

We just started doing these welds within the last few weeks; the whole project has been almost a year in coming, between getting custom plugs made and getting the welder ordered, customized, and set up.

Kurt
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post #29 of 109 Old 07-22-2010, 11:12 AM
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How much difference does cable length make for a speaker system?

For example, in running wires for my future surround speakers I can go the easy way through the ceiling for a distance of something like 20' or go the hard way at about 12'. Is that extra 8' worth worrying about?
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post #30 of 109 Old 07-22-2010, 11:14 AM
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Short answer: no.

Long answer: if the difference were not eight feet, but eighty, then you might want to take that into account by going to a larger-gage wire; apart from that, no.

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