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What you mean to ask is, Why are "good" component cables expensive? (not rudimentary ones). Regular, everyday cables can be purchased cheaply at RadioShack. That is true.


Some of the answers as to why they are expensive are, R & D, materials, many are put together by hand, expensive solders/tools, fittings, advertising/marketing (they are in business to make a profit), etc.


Why is it that many people on this forum think that if anything is rebranded or re-engineered, they feel it is a scam. I think it is ignorant & cheap to assume a rebranded product is only gone through a name transforamation.


Key Digital (Leeza) makes the basis for the Rock +, is the Rock identical to the Leeza? No.


Runco uses NEC units as their basis but offers some engineering upgrades and, more significantly, a service program second to none with their products. Modifications don't necessarily have to come in the flavor of performance, there are other 'upgrades' that are significant to the consumer. Even esthetics is significant.


Just because one knows a certain product is rebranded & is familiar with its root product, doesn't mean you are smarter than the one who buys the rebranded product. That is too easy.


Maybe the bias of money and expense has clouded your eyes as to what is a good product and what is a superior product.


For example, why not build your own speakers (a few drivers, crossover, and a box). You can break down any product to its basic components but are all speakers the same? Think of the engineering that Harmon International puts in their design, a staff of engineers, one of the largest, most advanced anechoic chambers, good marketing, etc.


Remember they use some drivers, tweeter, crossover, and box like Joe-Do-It-Yourself. This process can be extrapolated to cable design, too.


Is everyone who owns their expensive Revel line speakers an idiot? You can find the same drivers in other, lower Harmon lines. Would both lines perform the same?? I doubt it.


Jeff


Jym,


yes you can buy a wire, a connector and fitting and put together a cable. However, there is much controversy and research on wire core materials (Solid, braided, symettry of the core, etc.). Connector anatomy is another issue all together In other words, there is much more to these things than meet the eye.


The fact is, however, if your system lacks significant resolution, you may not need these highly engineered, expensive pieces of equipment. Then they are a waste. Some people own very high resolution systems or have better or trained ear and appreciate the nuances such a cable can bring (not me, though).
 

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I hate to drag this on, but I feel I owe an apology to anyone who may have been offended by my last reply. It was meant jokingly but obviously didn't come off so ('bilk' might not been the best choice of words).


Jeff gave a very good reply that I agree with completely. I am an electrical engineer and know how much money and effort can go into developing a product. My post was NOT meant to imply that companies that make/sell component cables are thiefs. I only meant to imply that a vast majority of consumers are relatively uninformed. They often don't know that they are paying more than needed because they don't know their options. Caveat Emptor. Again, I'm not pointing fingers at anything in particular. I'm just making a general comment about capitalism. Businesses exist to make money.


Sorry,

Greg
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by thebland
yes you can buy a wire, a connector and fitting and put together a cable. However, there is much controversy and research on wire core materials (Solid, braided, symettry of the core, etc.). Connector anatomy is another issue all together In other words, there is much more to these things than meet the eye.


The fact is, however, if your system lacks significant resolution, you may not need these highly engineered, expensive pieces of equipment. Then they are a waste. Some people own very high resolution systems or have better or trained ear and appreciate the nuances such a cable can bring (not me, though).
Well I am an EE and also have a 20 year career in designing television facilities. The high end consumer cable industry is simply hogwash. As for engineering, the credation of their personell is inversly proportional to the cost of the cable. Monster probably does employ a few EE's only because they are now big and can afford it. Those EE's are probaly also foriegn and underpaid, i.e. exploited.


Audioquest for example was started and syill is run by someone with absolutly no scientific training past high school.


Yes electrical engineering is very complex. And once you study and master it you will know why a 6 foot Radio Shack video cable will carry HDTV at 30mhz exactly that same way a $200b cable does.


I always present this argument: my project budgets are often measured in millions. The equipment is the highest quaklity avialable, such as the HDTV film to video transfer machines. Do you think we would use 30 cent per fooot analog video cable if these expensive consumer cables made a difference?
 

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Quote:
Well I am an EE and also have a 20 year career in designing television facilities.
Quote:
. Do you think we would use 30 cent per fooot analog video cable if these expensive consumer cables made a difference?
Having needed to be dragged kicking and screaming from NTSC to HDTV, I am not surprised that poor resolution product - .30 cent cabling - was ( & probably still is) acceptable and scientifically justified.


Jeff
 

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Greg,


I don't think anyone was offended and you have no need to apologize.


There are many new to home theater who peruse the forums for info and sometimes some of us will try to dispel certain myths about cables, etc.


No harm done.


Have a great weekend.


Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by thebland





Having needed to be dragged kicking and screaming from NTSC to HDTV, I am not surprised that poor resolution product - .30 cent cabling - was ( & probably still is) acceptable and scientifically justified.


Jeff
Needed to be dragged? Our company is clearly a leader in HDTV. 90% of the CBS line-up is done in our facilities. For what ever it's worth the entire CBS, ABC, and NBC facilities use the same cable as we do. In fact every broadcast level facility uses the handful of cable brands that serve our industry.


Where do you get off saying the entire broadcast television industry is using bad cables. You have no clue as to what you are talking about. What determines poor resolution in cables? Tell us? The cables I speak of have full engineering data publically available. What engineering data is available for these esoteric cables?
 

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Glimmie,

I'd be very interested in a listing of the manufacturers and cables that are used in the industry. I certainly see no point in using cables that are significantly "better" than the cables involved in producing the source materials I use.

Dale
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dsinder
Glimmie,

I'd be very interested in a listing of the manufacturers and cables that are used in the industry. I certainly see no point in using cables that are significantly "better" than the cables involved in producing the source materials I use.

Dale
First, they aren't "better". They just use marketing BS to fool people like thebland who have no electrical engineering background. For example at the upper frequency end of analog HDTV, above 20mhz, the electrons travel over the surface of the wire, not through it. In laymans terms the center of the wire could be dirty steel and it would make no difference in the loss as the copper plating is the true conductor.. In fact many cables designed for exterior HF use have a steel core because the steel is stronger than pure copper.


Here is what we use at www.laserpacific.com. Check our WEB site and draw your own conclusions as to our interest in HDTV and high end DVD.


Analog video timing signals - Belden 8241 (RG59)

Analog video program signals - Belden 8281 (RG6 type)

Serial digital video @270mbs - Belden 1694A (RG6 type)

HDTV digital video @ 1.5gbs - Belden 1694A (RG6 type)

Analog audio - Belden 9451

AES Digital Audio - Belben, 1807, YR4063


All coaxial connectors are Kings 75 ohm BNC type.


Other major manufactures include, Gepco, Mogami, Canare, Alpha.

These are either American or VERIFIED Japanese companies. A lot of the high end consumer cable raw stock is gray market from Taiwan. "Better Cables.com may still use industry standard cables.


For even high end HT systems Radio Shack video cables are still more than adequate for runs under 6 feet. For FPTV projectors that need legnths of 50feet or more, try Markertek.com or Bettercables.
 

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I am not an EE but an avid devotee of some of the principles as applied to audio reproduction.

Here is some reading for you.


Cable Geometry

Signal traveling on cable is influenced by two major factors, internal and external. Major fundamental internal factors are those of electrostatic/electromagnetic field interplay and electron migration. Major external factors are: RF noise from broadcast transmitters, wireless phones, lighting, computers, etc. Acoustic influences such as those from loudspeakers, and static influences from decorative cable jackets and flooring material such as carpets must all be addressed in order to decrease noise and increase the power transfer characteristics of the cable.


Internal Wire Grouping

While wire geometry is much less significant than cable gemetry, it is nonetheless a factor in

the overall fidelity of a system. Depending upon the application and cable design, we will draw

from a number of wire types including, round solid core, shaped solid core, elliptical solid core,

multi-strand and our own VariStrandâ„¢.


Metallurgy

All formulas and processes are developed specifically for each application. We utilize the highest

purity silver (Ag), copper (Cu) and occasionally specific alloys to produce our conductors. Our wires

are manufactured to critical specifications in a carefully monitored drawing process which results in conductors of specific densities all with first quality surface finishes.


Dielectric

We employ various types of Teflonâ„¢, polypropylene, polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, silicone and

many other materials depending upon the cable systems application and the material's dielectric, mechanical and chemical properties.


Of course, as you suggest, we could all go out and spend $4.80 for an 8 ft pair of .30c cable and ignore the many various factors associated with cable design.


Turn a deaf ear to the realities of engineering. Shame on you (an EE).


Yes, the .30 cent cable will transmit sound but will it arrive sounding like a beater car or all the force and presence of a finely tuned Ferrari. I prefer a cable (transducer) closer to the latter.


Just because CBS, ABC, NBC et al use those cables doesn't make it right. Remember, one of these companies produces Survivor!


They are commercial and have stock holders to answer to. Cheaper is better - its all about budget. Cable is not glamorous and state of the art acling isn't significant for their mega-applications (nor yours).


In a non-commercial (home) environment, our constraints aren't limited by a bureaucracy, but our own desires.


Jeff
 

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I asked for engineering data. What you gave me is marketing talk. This is very similar to what I read in the Audioquest Brochure a neighbor gave me.


Show me some tested data with such things as "pf per foot", "loss in db per 100 feet" at 5mhz, 30mhz", "dielectric breakdown". I would also like to see some frequency sweeps.


I hardly have a deaf ear to engineering. You mistake technical double talk for engineering. OK so they control the draw of the conductor, how percise? Why not give us a measurnment such as xxdia +/- 0.003in. All the cable manufactures I mentioned can. They don't publish those numbers but if you ask, they will show the test results. They have nothing to hide. Plus they do tell you very clearly if you know how to interpert the specs they do provide. A cable with poor conductor uniformity will not pass a sweep test.


The entire electrical engineering community denounces these hyped up cables. I am an IEEE member while they don't speak out against them, you won't find and IEEE papers supporting the claims. It goes far beyond television. Those cable companies I mentioned have a far bigger market. Look arounf NASA facilities. They use a lot of that 30cents per foot stuff as well. Now you are going to tell me they're incompentent too.
 

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Its not a rip off but


Buying 3 high end composite rca cables, is the same as buying a set of component cables. The only difference is that the composite cables are not color coded and that buying 3 separate cables would be cheaper than buying a set of component cables.


You are basically paying extra for packaging and color coding. I would guess that component cables are high quality than your normal low end monster cable, but higher end composite would rate the same.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Humey
Its not a rip off but


Buying 3 high end composite rca cables, is the same as buying a set of component cables. The only difference is that the composite cables are not color coded and that buying 3 separate cables would be cheaper than buying a set of component cables.


You are basically paying extra for packaging and color coding. I would guess that component cables are high quality than your normal low end monster cable, but higher end composite would rate the same.
There is no difference between composite and component video as far as the cable is concerened. The only difference you need to worry about is HDTV which has a much higher frequency response. But SDTV composite and component video they are the same band of frequencies. The NTSC signal is more complex than a single component signal but that's not an issue for the cable. 5mhz is 5mhz. Composite may have slightly less bandwidth than the component Y channel but again this is a non issue. You are comparing let's say 3mhz against 6mhz. You may say that's double, but it's not in electrical terms. Electrical energy beghaves in a log manner. Any cable that can faithfully pass 3mhz can also do 6, even 30 for HDTV.
 

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Please keep in mind that Glimmie is not advocating the use of cable that was not designed/engineered to do the job and do it well. One of the important jobs of an engineer is to provide a solution that does the job without a lot of unnecessary expense. An engineer that creates solutions that cost 5 times more than they could cost will not last long in the real world. Note that the cost of making the solution may or may not be very well related to the price consumers pay. Also, consider the possibility that many products characteristics in the consumer market place may be decided by marketing people.
 

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It's funny you mention that.......
Quote:
The entire electrical engineering community denounces these hyped up cables. I am an IEEE member while they don't speak out against them, you won't find and IEEE papers supporting the claims. It goes far beyond television. Those cable companies I mentioned have a far bigger market. Look arounf NASA facilities. They use a lot of that 30cents per foot stuff as well. Now you are going to tell me they're incompentent too.
Actually, NASA's incompetence and repeated failures and, now, impending budget cuts are another story.


Lets not forget home theater enthusiasts versus scientific uses. Sure, any competently designed cable can shoot a 30 mhz. I say that the any factor that can be varied in a cable whether it be geometry, core material, mateials used, etc. all, in one way or another, color, vary, or otherwise alter transmission in one way or the other. Very well may be nuances but none the less altered.


In evaluating your systems, surely you must believe that amplifeiers exert varying colorations on the sound, Proceed amps are darker, milkier sounding whereas their previous acurus line was known to be powerful but tinny and bright at the tip-top. Power supplies and various transistors and design all ater the electrical current running through the amplifier.


Certain cables will color sound in various ways, I use Transparent to liven up my slighlty dark Citation 7.1s. My audioquest cables prior noticeably further darkened things.


No there is no science in that analogy but the science behind the cables does effect the output.


However, you would be foolish to say that the various factors (metallurgy, geometry, material, solid core vs. braided, etc) that help to make up the myriad of different cables on the market fail to change any portion of any signal. Every different factor has its own nuance heard quantitatively and qualitatively . taht's a fact.


Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by thebland
It's funny you mention that.......


However, you would be foolish to say that the various factors (metallurgy, geometry, material, solid core vs. braided, etc) that help to make up the myriad of different cables on the market fail to change any portion of any signal. Every different factor has its own nuance heard quantitatively and qualitatively . taht's a fact.


Jeff
Those factors do not alter the audio signal in a typical low to medium impedance cable of 6 feet. You think they do because they sound impressive. That's marketing 101. Use big complex words and the non-informed will be impressed.


You continue to argue with someone that has a formal education in electrical engineering plus has 20 years expereince in audio and video distribution on a professional level. Furthermore you claim the top tier of the entertainment industry is using inferior cables for cost reasons.


Now who is the fool? This is not the kind of reasoning I would expect from an MD (root canal specialist).


May I suggest the Moderator move this thread to the AV improvements forum and I will drop off it as I do not and will not participate in that forum because of these issues. People in that forum are there at their own risk and anyone reading it will soon see this is highly subjective material. This forum is supposed to be geared towards helping members build high quality theatres on an average budget. If they had money to burn, they would hire a consultant and not need avice here.


This thread simply doesn't belong here.
 
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