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Cables





NuniPio
not sure if this is the right section but cables are technically classified as hardware.

i was helping a friend of mine buy a new home theatre system and we came to purchase the audio and video cables and was SHOCKED to see the price.
approx: $199 for 1.5m optical cable for audio and $149 for 2m HDMI cable. (prices are in AUD)
and similarly myself i have a $20 optical cable at home and an ordinary HDMI cable and still cannot physically see or hear a noticeable difference in picture and audio quality

so my question is:

Does cable quality really affect noticeable difference in picture and sound quality?
Animal
The appreciable difference between good and poor quality cables really depends on your hardware. I don't use HDMI, but I do have a bit of knowledge about audio cables. It's generally accepted that you should spend around 10% of the cost of your audio equipment on cabling - this means if you have a cheap hi-fi system, the quality that it outputs will mean that less expensive cabling will not really negatively affect it. If, however, you use a top-end hi-fi system, it will output an extremely high quality signal. Using low cost cabling will degrade the quality of the sound, so what's the point in having such a good system in the first place?

Whether or not you spend large amounts on cabling really depends on how good the equipment is, and how much of a perfectionist you are. Audiophiles may be happy to spend several hundred dollars on silver cabling to give the best sound from their equipment, but an average user may be happy spending (say) $50 on a mid-range cabling system, and they wouldn't really notice much difference. I'd recommend that you go for a mid-price cable setup to start with rather than the cheapest one available and simply see how you get on with it. I'd suggest that with a mid-range setup, you won't have any complaints with the quality and won't find any need to upgrade, but if you go for the cheapest possible option, you might have to buy a more expensive model at a later date, so it's a false economy.
otiscom
It also depends on the type of music you listen to as to wether you need good cables.

Or if you are a musician, you could then hear the differences, so would require the better systems.

Lots of factors would affect yor choices.
ForceRun
The best place to get cable is online, all the stores only sell the over priced cables. Just google what you need and you should be able to find it a lot cheaper. I got my last batch from NewEgg.
Handyman
Quote:
The best place to get cable is online, all the stores only sell the over priced cables. Just google what you need and you should be able to find it a lot cheaper. I got my last batch from NewEgg.


I agree, I shopped newegg and Tiger Direct. Also a good place for really cheep cables id always Ebay.
myrevolt
Pssst monoprice has the least expensive cables I've seen, I haven't bought anything from them yet though.
shawkat
NuniPio wrote:
not sure if this is the right section but cables are technically classified as hardware.
Does cable quality really affect noticeable difference in picture and sound quality?


If cables are for _digital_ transfer - it will not make much difference, untill cable quality is so bad, that correction and redundancy protocols fail. Only than one will see the difference. Consider it like satellite TV. Even cheapest dish and tuner works very well if signal level doesn't fall too much.

IMHO, of course
Arnie
Super expensive cables are useless. First of all, you need very expensive equipment, because otherwise the wiring inside the devices is not nearly as high-quality as the cables outside.

So you have super expensive equipment. Now do you think the power corporations use those cables everywhere? No, so the current from your wall socket isn't a perfect sinus, but is dirty. And it goes right into the equipment, doesn't it?

OK, so you fix that with, say an expensive UPS or a filter. But do you suppose in the TV or radio or CD recording studio, they use super expensive golden cables everywhere, for all their XLR, BNC, and even power cords? Do you suppose they filter their power?

Suppose they do, then when the signal is being transferred from the studio to you, do you suppose that's all through golden cables? Or do CDs have no sound quality flaws? They have 44100 digital samples per second, at 16 bits, and only stereo. That's not perfect.

If I haven't convinced you yet, here's some more.
http://www.freewebs.com/lagagnon/audiophiles1.html
NuniPio
Arnie wrote:
Super expensive cables are useless. First of all, you need very expensive equipment, because otherwise the wiring inside the devices is not nearly as high-quality as the cables outside.

So you have super expensive equipment. Now do you think the power corporations use those cables everywhere? No, so the current from your wall socket isn't a perfect sinus, but is dirty. And it goes right into the equipment, doesn't it?

OK, so you fix that with, say an expensive UPS or a filter. But do you suppose in the TV or radio or CD recording studio, they use super expensive golden cables everywhere, for all their XLR, BNC, and even power cords? Do you suppose they filter their power?

Suppose they do, then when the signal is being transferred from the studio to you, do you suppose that's all through golden cables? Or do CDs have no sound quality flaws? They have 44100 digital samples per second, at 16 bits, and only stereo. That's not perfect.

If I haven't convinced you yet, here's some more.
http://www.freewebs.com/lagagnon/audiophiles1.html


lol well i really really love my audio quality to be premium although what im trying to figure out is that if its really all just numbers and specs not noticeable to the human ear (unless of course if you're a dog or something)
Arnie
Well then don't believe what anyone says unless they can back it up with a double blind study. Otherwise they might as well think it sounds better just because they know it's $500000 equipment...

And if nothing can convince you that those cables don't make any noticable difference, then you have to buy them. It will enhance your experience: not because the sound is any better, but because you think it is. That also counts in the end... being fooled. It doesn't work for me and it saves me a lot of money!

I say you're most likely wrong that it makes any difference. But if you insist on believing the opposite, then cheap cables will make you think the sound is less good.

Here's something you could do: get a set of super cables and a set of normal ones. Have a friend come over who connects them, without you knowing what sort of cables are used. Sometimes first play a song with the super cables and then play the same song with the normal cables; other times do it vice-versa. Each time you write down when you think it sounded better. Do this with as many songs as possible because you will need a significant amount of tests to make the result reliable enough. If you can't find anyone to do the statistics math for you, then send me the data and I'll do it.

The above is only single-blinded because your friend could still signal you, consciously or not, what type of cables are used. To do it double-blind you cannot have any communication with your friend, no eye-contact, no speech, nothing. He should be in a different room etc.
NuniPio
Arnie wrote:
Well then don't believe what anyone says unless they can back it up with a double blind study. Otherwise they might as well think it sounds better just because they know it's $500000 equipment...

And if nothing can convince you that those cables don't make any noticable difference, then you have to buy them. It will enhance your experience: not because the sound is any better, but because you think it is. That also counts in the end... being fooled. It doesn't work for me and it saves me a lot of money!

I say you're most likely wrong that it makes any difference. But if you insist on believing the opposite, then cheap cables will make you think the sound is less good.

Here's something you could do: get a set of super cables and a set of normal ones. Have a friend come over who connects them, without you knowing what sort of cables are used. Sometimes first play a song with the super cables and then play the same song with the normal cables; other times do it vice-versa. Each time you write down when you think it sounded better. Do this with as many songs as possible because you will need a significant amount of tests to make the result reliable enough. If you can't find anyone to do the statistics math for you, then send me the data and I'll do it.

The above is only single-blinded because your friend could still signal you, consciously or not, what type of cables are used. To do it double-blind you cannot have any communication with your friend, no eye-contact, no speech, nothing. He should be in a different room etc.


hey you do have a point there, i might actually experiment that theory and try fooling people with cheap cables saying theyre really expensive and the expensive ones are cheap.
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