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High-performance cables [message #90751] Wed, 07 August 2019 15:10 Go to next message
musicluvr is currently offline  musicluvr
Messages: 60
Registered: December 2018
Viscount
Are any of the audio-video high-performance cables worth paying more for or is it a rip off and you should use the cables that came with your system or what you already have on hand? Can you really tell a difference between the two?
Re: High-performance cables [message #90752 is a reply to message #90751] Wed, 07 August 2019 15:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 17609
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

This is a subject that gets some pretty enthusiastic debates going in some audiophile circles. Some people think they find night-and-day differences between cables, but most people say they can't tell any difference.

I'll tell you what I think, coming from an engineering point of view.

Video cables are used at a frequency where inductance and capacitance matter, so the cable itself is important, especially longer lengths. Audio cables are used at a relatively low frequency, so inductance and capacitance are less relevant.

In general, I like to use a good pure-copper conductor of adequate size for the current required and an insulator that won't break down over time. Conductor size is generally only an issue in power and speaker output cables.

Beyond that, the connector and assembly is always important. A gold-plated connector will work better than a tin-plated connector, especially after it has been in place for a while. Tin oxidizes and forms resistance, reducing signal quality. Crimped conductor assembly is common, and it can be acceptable, but if the crimp bites into the conductor's copper and leaves it exposed, then the copper will oxidize and create resistance. It has to be sealed, soldered or welded for best quality.
Re: High-performance cables [message #90757 is a reply to message #90752] Fri, 09 August 2019 14:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Porter is currently offline  Porter
Messages: 40
Registered: December 2018
Baron
Wayne Parham wrote on Wed, 07 August 2019 15:36

A gold-plated connector will work better than a tin-plated connector, especially after it has been in place for a while.
Have you run across people that shy away from the words "gold-plated" like I have? I keep explaining that while gold-plated jewelry might be bad, that doesn't mean gold-plated connectors are too. It's not all the same.
Re: High-performance cables [message #90758 is a reply to message #90757] Fri, 09 August 2019 15:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wayne Parham is currently offline  Wayne Parham
Messages: 17609
Registered: January 2001
Illuminati (33rd Degree)

Most people I know are aware of the benefits of gold-plated connectors because of its resistance to oxidation. In computers, gold-plated connectors have been around for several decades for this very reason. And like you said, the benefit is in the electro-mechanical properties, not the intrinsic value that a jeweler would appraise.
Re: High-performance cables [message #90777 is a reply to message #90758] Tue, 13 August 2019 17:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Rusty is currently offline  Rusty
Messages: 284
Registered: May 2018
Location: Kansas City Missouri
Grand Master
File it over at area 51. Believers swear by both. Neither can be proved.
Re: High-performance cables [message #90782 is a reply to message #90777] Wed, 14 August 2019 19:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Madison is currently offline  Madison
Messages: 153
Registered: June 2017
Master
Forget audio and video appeal, or they at least less likely to fray? Were Monster Cables better or just a gimmick? Remember them? They were heavily pushed a few years ago and rather expensive when compared to regular cables.
Re: High-performance cables [message #90784 is a reply to message #90782] Wed, 14 August 2019 21:21 Go to previous message
gofar99 is currently offline  gofar99
Messages: 1477
Registered: May 2010
Location: Southern Arizona
Illuminati (4th Degree)
Hi, I'm with Wayne. You can get quality cables at modest prices. I use a rule of thumb.... if an audio cable costs over $5 a foot (with connectors) it is probably a gimmick and overpriced. If a video cable is over about $10 a foot likewise. If a cable of either type is less than $.50 a foot it is probably going to cause problems. Usually the first thing to go are the terminations. I make all my audio cables and buy only reasonable video and RF ones. Thus far as picky as I am this has worked fine for many years.

Yes indeed you can get into real arguments on the subject...mostly IMO from people either make (and sell) or that just bought $1000+ wires.


Good Listening
Bruce
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