Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

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Action Jackson
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Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

Post by Action Jackson » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:23 pm

The pic below gave me the idea to start this thread.

I guess in analogue a costly cable can be sometimes justified. But, but... how much is too much? Do you have to spend thousands of bucks on a/v cables or will cheaper ones do just fine?. How much is too much and how much is enough? What's the most expencive cable you've ever bought? What are your crteria for buying a new cable? Is there anyone here who has actually bought a set of Monster cables?

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ill-legal?
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Re: Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

Post by ill-legal? » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:32 pm

I pony'd up the dough for a $25 Monster Studiolink Dual 1/4" to dual RCA cable for connecting my interface to a mixer, and I also bought a cheapo $7 cable. I have yet to A/B the two of them, but when I get around to it I'll have to relocate this thread to post my results...

beats me
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Re: Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

Post by beats me » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:35 pm

This is a question you need to take up with Tone Deft but his informative and detailed response might crash the board database.

Ed J
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Re: Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

Post by Ed J » Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:15 pm

I buy Klotz cables, and I can generally tell the difference from the cheapo ones I have. Depends what you're plugging it into though ;)
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liveISlife
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Re: Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

Post by liveISlife » Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:08 pm

beats me wrote:This is a question you need to take up with Tone Deft but his informative and detailed response might crash the board database.
:lol:

doghouse
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Re: Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

Post by doghouse » Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:24 pm

A better cable at the right point in a signal chain can make a real difference. Exactly what makes a cable better though is not really agreed on. In the analog world there is a lot of voodoo which I do not believe (I am an electrical engineer in my day job) but I have A/Bed cables and found some of them to sound noticeably different.

The most expensive short cable I've bought was a 6 foot speaker cable for about $65...I have spent more for much longer generic speaker cables for my PA because cable price is relative to length.

Gold (or platinum) connectors and oxygen-free cable just reduces corrosion over time which can degrade performance, even in digital cables. On the other hand, I use some audio cables that are almost 40 years old and I don't hear any degradation in them.

Shielding is less important in digital cables but with enough RF/EMI noise bit errors can be introduced.

Most digital transmission standards include some level of error correction. Without some way of reporting the number and frequency of errors, you won't notice anything until enough bits are trashed that correction won't work.

For example, coaxial SPDIF and ADAT connections are spec'ed as requiring 75 ohm coax. I have used cheaper audio cables (not 75 ohm balanced) instead with no problems for years. Whatever jitter and noise is introduced by the impedance mismatch does not have an audible effect.

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Re: Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

Post by LoopStationZebra » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:31 pm

ill-legal? wrote:I pony'd up the dough for a $25 Monster Studiolink Dual 1/4" to dual RCA cable for connecting my interface to a mixer, and I also bought a cheapo $7 cable. I have yet to A/B the two of them, but when I get around to it I'll have to relocate this thread to post my results...

So basically that makes this post entirely WORTHLESS. :lol:
I came for the :lol:
But stayed for the :x

H20nly
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Re: Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

Post by H20nly » Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:56 pm

what I find to be annoying about cables, of all costs, is when you have to wiggle em to make em work. I don't mean the interface/female connector has issues... I mean the obvious ones where you switch cables and its all good.

What good is a thousand dollar tip if the exact millimeter before it is where you have to hold it with a rubber band, place a heavy object on/next to it or bend it to the left etc. etc.?


I have a few Monster mic cables but no HDMI.
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ethios4
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Re: Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

Post by ethios4 » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:03 pm

I don't even use cables. I've modified my computer to emit high intensity radio waves which I modulate to produce sounds which my monitors pick up as radio interference. So actually, the lower the quality of wiring the better, IMO.

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Re: Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

Post by nebulae » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:05 pm

I paid more for Magami leads for my guitars and mics. But for HDMI, so long as they are 1.3 compliant, I got them for $6 from an electronics store. If they are shielded and compliant, the extra bucks is just marketing dollars. Now there may be some studies showing that the really expensive cables don't drop frames or what not, but if it says compliant, then it should be able to sustain the data stream, so I'll get the cheapest compliant digital cables.

But for analog sound, I tend to get better and balanced cables whenever possible.
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Re: Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

Post by pepezabala » Thu Apr 15, 2010 6:21 pm

who is using cables anyay? can you goldplate my wireless antena?

ill-legal?
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Re: Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

Post by ill-legal? » Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:40 pm

LoopStationZebra wrote:
ill-legal? wrote:I pony'd up the dough for a $25 Monster Studiolink Dual 1/4" to dual RCA cable for connecting my interface to a mixer, and I also bought a cheapo $7 cable. I have yet to A/B the two of them, but when I get around to it I'll have to relocate this thread to post my results...

So basically that makes this post entirely WORTHLESS. :lol:
Not really, now when I'm ready to post up the results I can click "View Your Posts" and easily find this thread.

H20nly
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Re: Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

Post by H20nly » Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:22 pm

^ LSZ just clicks on "The Lounge" to find all his posts...
LoopStationZebra wrote:it's like a hipster commie pinko manifesto. Rambling. Angry. Nearly divorced from all reality; yet strangely compelling with a ring of truth.

dancerchris
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Re: Expensive cables are better than cheap cables?

Post by dancerchris » Fri Apr 16, 2010 2:28 pm

This has gone around on the various boards a thousand times or more.

Digital cables are one thing. Audio interconnects are another. HOWEVER......

Monster is a rip off. Cheap cables have cheap hardware and are subject to shorts and bad physical connection. Also guitar cables are very sensetive to capacitance in the line and RF shielding. Getting good physical characteristics can be done inexpensively so I won't recommend a Hosa cable over others because they are generally the cheapest (locally) for audio. Also it is important to consider the type of shielding and how rugged it is to continous flexing (if you are using it in a non permanent application) I generally build my own. (I did manage to buy an HDMI recently that was the cheapest one that had nice hardware on the ends.... I wasn't going to build it. 8O )
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