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How many of you are getting tired of this cable game? Getting tired of hearing about all these high performance cables? I can build RCA-type patch cables better than MONSTER (or any audiophile brand) for a fraction of the price. One of the funniest things I have seen however is my local Wal-Mart, which sells an optical cable with 24k gold-plated connectors (and even claims it's for better electrical signal transfer - too bad there is no electrical signal transfer on an optical cable:) ). That said, that $29.95 optical cable is by no means the biggest ____ (word edited out by Moderator). In fact those Philips "gold series" cables are about as good as MONSTER, for a lot less money. But I can still build better much cheaper. Then you go to something like BetterCables.com here, the same basic TosLink cable will run you about the same price as MONSTER ($39.95), but then look at their S-Video cable. $49.95 for HALF a meter?!?! Then look at A2Z cables.com - a similar quality 3 foot (which is longer) cable goes for $26.95 You think that's bad? BetterCables.com is selling a SIMPLE 75ohm COAX for $69.95 (claiming it's digital - I wonder when they'll learn that all cable and electrical systems are inherently analog even if carrying modulated S/PDIF digital data.) Fortunately, when you look around it turns out they aren't selling you it for more claiming it's digital, as when you look around you'll see their composite video cable is identical, including the price. And both of those are half a meter. A2Zcables is selling a 6 foot, silver plated core, for $29.95. Better yet, Home Depot has RG-6QS (the nice quad shield kind) foot, I think about 35 cents a foot (the nearest Home Depot is about 100 miles from here, been awhile since I was there). So that's about $1 worth of cable. Then you need connectors RadioShack (yes I dislike them too but when you live in a small town like I do there's not much choice) has some good ggold-plater RCas for $3.79 each (and that's over priced). There ya go, a good cable for less than $10:) That's what I do!


Sorry for the long message, but the point remains. Who all gets tired of this cable game? And all their psuedo-physics that fall apart when you know the facts?
 

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Aaron, welcome to the AVS Forums. The cables "game" has been around for years and has been subject to endless debates by folks who claim to "know it all". All I ask as Moderator is that folks follow forum rules, and its a good idea for folks to reread the forum rules sometimes with threads like this, so we can all get along civilly.


About two months ago we had a long thread discussing cables at length - you might want to look at that! Cable geometry, materials composition, connectors, etc. all can affect audio sonics.

However, there is lots of mismarketing representations and overpricing in the cable business and the buyer must be beware!


It's Turkey Day, so I've gotta go!!!!! And listen to my 4 nines pure silver interconnects which in my system do make a difference.
 

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Sadly, all objectively conducted tests show that there is no difference between ordinary zip cord and expensive cables, like monster.

Rgrds-Ross
 

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I dont want to start a flame war(don's the nomex suit with the audioquest logo on it,), but when I went from generic to audioquest crystal II, it was a huge difference. especially in imaging.


This is my 2 cents


I am also of the view that some systems aren't revealing enough for cable changes.
 

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It is interesting to note that the very high price cables($>1,000/m)have only been around for about 10-15 years. Before that you could buy cables made of silver for a couple hundred dollars(not per meter). I don't think there has been any new conductive element discovered but the companies have realized that people are willing to pay megabucks for cable.
 

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Unfortunately, Bhagi is right regarding pricing on some, but not all, audiophile cables. Dan Sweeney, a reviewer for "The Absolute Sound", last year favorably reviewed the Harmonic Tech cables, noting that the lines he reviewed had reasonable pricing in comparison to their production costs, but that he had at one point done some work with a cable manufacturer and knew from experience that too often they would have retail pricing many times actual cost, or more! Also, too often audiophile cables can be more tone controls than communicating the actual signal.

But this doesn't mean that "better" cables can't be worthwhile, and what you pay is up to each consumer regarding "is it worth it for me". It would be nice if cable companies as a whole would sell without hype and reasonable pricing - but this is America, and if enough will pay "inflated" prices for some products, that's how it goes. Buyer Beware.


On the other hand, my Granite Audio cabling isn't cheap by any means, but its very worth it pricewise as far as I'm concerned,

and it you stop by the AVS Special Guest forum several months ago and read the guest spot by Don of Granite Audio explaining all his cables and cords and how he tested them objectively and subjectively, I think you will better understand that some companies with cable offerings may be quite reasonable, although still perhaps somewhat expensive. The Granite stuff really performs in my system, and I sold my prior Transparent Cabling at a big, big loss and I would never ever recommend those networked cables to anyone again.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Aaron H
One of the funniest things I have seen however is my local Wal-Mart, which sells an optical cable with 24k gold-plated connectors (and even claims it's for better electrical signal transfer - too bad there is no electrical signal transfer on an optical cable:) ). That said, that $29.95 optical cable is by no means the biggest ____ (word edited out by Moderator). In fact those Philips "gold series" cables are about as good as MONSTER, for a lot less money.
Theres wal-marts that sell toslink??? :eek:

No Walmarts around here sell toslink and only one has the Philips golds series cables which are basically the same thing as Radio Shack cables.


Steve
 

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Aaron,

let us assume that part of your statement is true and move on to some issues that you mention that have problems that are not exposed by your statement. 2 mild issues:


1)RG6QS may be great when looking at loss over distance, but solid core center conductors typically produce inflexible interconnects, and cause the termination of the cable to break off in the input, if care is not taken. The inflexibility makes cable management much more of an issue. I prefer solid copper center core to steel clad (belden 8281, 1694a) if you are not going to use a stranded center core.


2)Although I have never seen reports on the impedance of the RCA connectors you describe, it is highly unlikely that the RAT shack is selling crimp or solder 75 ohm connectors that will be comparable in quality and design to those manufactured by canare.
 

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Regarding toslink, I have Dish 6000 HD, Toshiba DST-3000 DirecTV HD, and RCA Ultimate TV DirecTV receivers, all connected by Toslink cables to my Theta Casablanca 2 surround processor.

I use three different brand Toslink cables in my system - one Radio Shack, one Monster Lightspeed 1000, and one Wireworld,

and I have found them to sound - basically identical. And this from a tweaker!!!!
 

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I only give you info I have in my system with my own experience.

And remember I use lotsa power products and cables in my system - maybe that makes a difference, heck if I know.

I really haven't demod different coaxial cables so I can't reliably tell you. My friend Blake has demod different coaxial cables in other systems and said he could tell difference betweens some.
 

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I wish all coaxial digital cables sounded the same! I just put in an order for an expensive one (Wireworld Gold Eclipse) after making the mistake of auditioning it. Believe me, I did not want to spend this much on a cable. But differences are large in my opinion and that of my wife. I hoped that when I purchased a Genesis Digital Lens years ago that the digital buffer would make cable differences disappear and allow the use of cheaper cables, but the differences were just as great (just an overall improvement because of the jitter reduction). Same with the Casablanca II upgrade with it's buffer. Some of the causes could be impedance varying from 75 ohms (or 110 if balanced). This can actually cause errors in the data stream. Jitter can be added by the cable and connections. I'm sure there is more going on than this, but the bottom line is that it is worth taking time to listen to different cables.
 

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Steve

Have you tried Theta's little TLC to convert toslink to coaxial? I use this on my Dish 6000 and I think it makes an improvement over just the toslink.

Earl
 

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I am not sure if your the intent of this thread is that there are no differences in cabling, or that you are unhappy that exoctic cables cost a fortune considering what you are physically getting for your money.


"... when you know the facts"

I do not think the best component, cable, & tweaks designers know all the facts. Does it not boil down to "art" applied to the technology as understood by the designers, ultimately tuned by measurements and the designers ear ? Of course, hyper-marketing can make some technologies misleading too.


In Stereophile a few months back, there was a somewhat technical article discussing components & cable impedance matching, and the reflections induced by such mismatches.


Though the article used some blantant examples ( 100m digital cables ) to more easily illustrate this point, the principles were very interesting ... one the most informative things I have read lately.


I look at an individual component as a "system". I can add to that system a better power cord, or interconnent, or digital cable, or vibration control, etc. Using the Bel Canto DAC-1 for an example, adding a Harmonic Tech Pro-AC11 power cord ( $100 used ) is a night & day improvement ... try it ! You WILL buy into the "system" of the " Bel Canto DAC-1 + power cord ".


I consider cabling and other tweaks as components. If you heard a component, say integrated amp, like the Jeff Rowland Concentra or Levinson 383, and it was within financial means, and passed your sanity test, then you would easily trade in your Bryston/Sim/Rotel/Arcam integrated. Like cars, there is price, performance, and value and we each must decide what or desire/cost/sanity limits are.


- Andy
 

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Earl, I once had a Theta TLC, but sold it about four years ago, then replacing it with a Camelot Dragon for the same purpose, then DirecTV jitter reduction of its digital audio. However, with

the Casablanca upgrade to the 2 version last year, which includes its built-in RAM buffer jitter reduction, I felt use of the Camelot Dragon was no longer necessary.
 

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While I agree with a lot of statements in this thread, one thing I would totally disagree is pricing. Anyone can charge what he wants. It is what capitalism is all about, my friends!


Take it from someone who spent large part of his life in country with socialist economy. All prices have been calculted from costs. All profits (they ment somothing completely different, but anyway) have been fixed. So if you, for example, cable manufacturer, your price have to be your cost*X, where X is fixed by goverment.


End result of this approach is complete disaster. There are no reasons to reduce costs - it will cut your profits. There are no reason to improve - it will not affect your performance. At the end you had to stay many hours in line to buy a pair of bad quality shoes.


I, for one, have no problems with cable companies charge what they charge. Remember, they are not a monopoly and you have tons of alternatives! Use zip and lampcord from Home Depot. Graduate to RatShack. No one will hold a gun to your and my head and force gigabuck cable spending.


I do have problem, however, with marketers who are trying to make mockery of science and fools of consumers, but it is completely different story...
 

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Quote:
While I agree with a lot of statements in this thread, one thing I would totally disagree is pricing. Anyone can charge what he wants. It is what capitalism is all about, my friends!
Like I said before, cable companies have discovered that people are willing to pay for megabuck cables.
 

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Hi All,


What an interesting thread.


I really think good quality cables do make a difference. I am currently using Harmonic Technology cables.


But the individual has to justify spending the right amount on their cables. It doesn't make sense to buy $500 speaker cables for a system that only cost $500.


Before I bought into the cable debate I tested out several brands, such as higherend Monster cables, transparent, Nordost flatline, and others.


And the secret is finding synergy with the right cables within your system.


Another thing is to try to buy good cables used so you don't have to pay the inflated prices.


Just my 2cents, Brian
 

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I agree with kuzia, its upto the individule to decide wheater he or she wants to spend a small forture on cables. I have a friend who buys cabels at 'Dollar Tree' and he is satified with the quality. I goto Radio Shack, because I want my cables to have more sheilding. I see no need to support a company (Monster)that is just marketing hype, IMO As long as consumers are educated and they dont think Monster is the best simply becasue they are terribly over priced. Buy what you want or can afford, this is a capitalist nation (Thank God!)


Steve
 

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well, my cable building skills suck, so I use avcable.com.


Why? Well, seems to be the same cable/connectors as Bettercables (and other companies) for less money. But the main reason I've gone to them is for a reason more personal to me but never brought up by anyone else: custom lengths


I swap equipment every now and then, and the rats nest sucks. I don't need 3.5 feet or 6 feet long cables when some of my equipment is less than 6 inches away. So having custom lengths instead of presets (6ft is the common length at most stores) is an important feature. Also specific terminations (BNC one end, RCA on the other) is also important.


The only time I've bought Monster cable is for 'coloring'. Their Playstation 2 cables like the blue colored TosLink cable is one I bought. Again, makes it easier to trace cable routes. I know the blue toslink goes to a specific piece of equipment. Makes it easier than having to guess which of the upmteen thousand black cords go to said equipment.


Just another take on it. I auditioned lots of different cable, and noted no difference. Custom lengths and connectors are more important to me.


-Brian
 
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