TVs & Home Theaters forum

General discussion

Audio and Video cables

by Mr.RumPig / April 1, 2006 11:25 PM PST

How come cnet doesn,t rate audio and video cables? When you buy a home theatre system or a hdtv the store clerks are all over you to buy the $ 129 hdmi monster cable or the $ 100 audio cables,if you boch, they make you feel like your not going to do your equipment justice,so why don,t they rate Belkin,monsster,radioshack,and the standard cables that come in the box and put this at rest once and for all.

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Audio and Video cables
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Audio and Video cables
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
It's the profit. . .
by Coryphaeus / April 1, 2006 11:36 PM PST
In reply to: Audio and Video cables

High dollar cables have a great profit margin.

Audio cables only handle audio. You can get good sound with doorbell wire. Almost. I use speaker wire from Home Depot. If you know the physics of an audio signal you'll understand.

Video (analog) can be had with Radio Shack cables. Digital the same.

I wish I'd thought of Monster cables, I'd be as rich as the guy who did.


There are 10 types of people who understand binary; those that do and those that don't.
Click here to see the CNet faces, learn a little about telephones,
internet connections, spyware removal, and download free software.

Collapse -
Ahhh, when you test cables they,,
by jcrobso / April 3, 2006 1:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Audio and Video cables

ALL TEST THE SAME!!!!!! Well not realy but the differences can be very very small, takes expensive test gear to even measure the differences.
Go to the link below and read about some cabel tests,,very interesting.
Mon$ter cables are pushed becase of the 99% profit the store makes when you buy them. John

Collapse -
Ahhh, when you test cables they,,
by KB1234 / April 3, 2006 2:24 AM PDT

If I buy audio wire (i.e., speaker wire) of different guages, let's say from Radio Shack, should I expect the same performacne from each? Is there a benefit to a 'fatter' wire other than durability?

Collapse -
(i.e., speaker wire) size does matter here!!!
by jcrobso / April 3, 2006 3:53 AM PDT

But not the shape.
What is important is the guage of the wire, the lower the gauge the bigger the wire.
16 gauge is what I use the most, If the run is over 30' I will use 14 gauge.
Copper wire is copper wire, there are no magic ingredents that make one brand better than the other.
Home Depot has good wire also. John

Collapse -
Monster at Target
by HTHMAN / April 3, 2006 2:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Audio and Video cables

Was in Target this weekend and saw Monster cables for sale there. Can't see how this is going to help their "elite" status. Seems someone buying a 100 dollar HTIB at Target is not going to spend as much or more for cables to get the best sound out of it.

Collapse -
Monster at Target
by jcrobso / April 3, 2006 3:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Monster at Target

Mon$tor in what Jay Lenno calls a "hore"

Collapse -
A lot can be said about this...
by sirroundsound / April 3, 2006 4:09 AM PDT
In reply to: Audio and Video cables

There are people that swear by the fancy cables out there, and others with electrical and acoustical knowledge that know the technical truth.
Should you buy audio cables? If you want a cable with shielding, and a connector that is well built and may make a solid contact, then YES. The stuff you get "free" in the box when you buy a dvd player or other will work, but there are better cabels for the reasons stated above. Will they sound great? Depends on your ears and what you concider to be better. There are audio cables out there that will "change" what you are hearing, that doesn't mean it's good.
Video cables, now this is a different story, your eyes won't decieve you. There are differences in picture quality from one cable to the next. Be carful here, there are video cables with passive devices attached which will make dramatic differences in the picture, but may not be the right choice for your display.

Collapse -
Just saw monster cable presidents home
by stewart norrie / April 3, 2006 6:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Audio and Video cables

Discovery channel did a program on a home theater build and they took a tour of the presidents home, this guy lives better than Sedam Hussion and his palaces I would say when you buy monster cables half the money goes to his house ha ha, Also the big wigs at Bose spekers probbably live hi on the hog also WHAT A RIP OFF

Collapse -
monster cables half the money goes to his house
by jcrobso / April 3, 2006 7:06 AM PDT

You got that right. John

Collapse -
Bring on the test................
by Mr.RumPig / April 3, 2006 7:12 AM PDT

it,s a joke really, you find a receiver,dvd player,tv,whatever and search the stores and internet sites to save $50 bucks,and don,t think twice about the $100 bucks for the hdmi or dvi wire. I think my suspicions have been right all along, you move up from the flimsy wires that come free with the equipment to radio shacks better quality and leave the monster hype cables alone,but again. I think they should test them all and rate them, everyones equipment is different but everyone has to use cables and wires to get them to work

Collapse -
They Do Test Them And Rate Them.....
by RoadRunner6 / April 3, 2006 5:07 PM PDT

.....the home theater publications (HDTV, ETC is a great example also the audiophile pubs like Stereophile, etc) that tend to have full page adds from inteconnect brands seem to find differences, sometimes significant differences. Note that all of these tests and ratings are subjective.

Also all of the people who claim to hear and see differences will never submit to blind testing. They always slip in the subtle condescending remarks implying if you don't see and hear the differences that they do then your eyes and ears are not as sensitive as theirs.

There are relatively objective tests that have been done that always find very minute differences if any. Yes, there are times that the build quality, shielding and wire gauge can make differences that you might find valuable. What I am talking about here are the claims that you will actually be able to tell the difference in midrange performance or
or any significant color accuracy differences, etc.

As Stephen Hawking, the famous physicist, said when they ask him what he thought about astrology, he responded ''rubbish.''

Buy lamp zip cord at the hardware store. It comes in varying guage sizes. It is marked to help tell + from - . It's opaque and will not allow fading or change due to the rays from light such as sunlight.

For audio and video connectors buy a brand of reasonable quality with good plugs and shielding if necessary. Forget the high end expensive brands.

Most of all don't listen to anyone who is in the business (sorry). Speaker wire, connectors, extended warranties, power conditioners and remote programming are big profits items, but have very little bang for the buck for the consumer.

Put your money where the sound is, the speakers. Put your money where the picture is, the display. Then work on the receiver and DVD players.

Grab a friend and take a trip to your local dealer. Buy an expensive connector. Buy the same connector at RS or target, etc. Have your friend switch connectors without your looking (blind test, no cheating). See if you can see or hear any differences on a consistant basis.

Come back here and post the results. If you can tell any difference then Stewart will eat his snack bar!


Collapse -
Great Post....
by Psych Doc / April 4, 2006 2:16 AM PDT

...You are dead on.

Put your money where it counts, the speakers (far better to get one superb pair than a 6.1 system with shoe boxes and drivers just thrown on them) and the display.

The rest is pure rubbish.

Over priced rubbish.

If you like the idea of $0.95 on your dollar going right into pure profit for the manufacturer, then by all means go to your local high ends emporium and be sure to bring a credit card.

Otherwise, steer clear.

Collapse -
Stewart will eat his snack bar!???
by jcrobso / April 4, 2006 2:16 AM PDT

Is that the whole snack bar or just the goodies??

The first time I heard a demo of Mon$ter cabels was at a CES show. Mon$ter had set up in a room that was 30' long
amp at one end and speakers at the other. One set of speakers was wire with 20gauge speaker wire and the other with 14guage Mon$ter cable. There was speaker selector switch to switch pairs of speakers. The speakers were a good brand but they were low effency, about 85db ot one watt and they were 4ohm (I asked). Yes you could hear the difference, again in speaker wire the size does matter.
Now if you ran the same test with Mon$ter 16 gauge and 16gauge lamp cord from home depot I doubt that you could hear the difference. John

Collapse -
They fooled you....
by sirroundsound / April 4, 2006 12:47 PM PDT

If you are told what you will hear, the power of suggestion works wonders.
You can believe what you want, but the speaker wire didn't make a difference.
Think about it this way. Take a $2000.00 pair of speakers, remove the drivers, and look at the wire used internally. If fancy $5.00 ft monster cable was that good, for the 20.00 worth they would use, why isn't it being used inside the speaker cabinet. (keeping in mind that I am sure Monster would sell it to a manufacture for less than retail) Nope, you just get a regular old piece of speaker wire inside, which of course is the last connection that the sound travels on before the actual speaker. So anything you may think you have done to this point, is only gong to sound as good as that last piece of wire.
I most certainly believe that if there was factual proof of speaker wires improving the performance, you would see many speakers companies selling their brands and promoting the fact they use XYZ wire inside or other. There are way too many speaker companies out there competing for your money, this would be a great selling tool if it was valid.

After re reading your post, they used 2 pairs of speakers, which tells me the speakers were not exactly in the same location in the room. I bet the pair with Monster cable were the outside pair, they would load off the corners in the room, and potentially sound more "open" and have better bass response just from room placement. Also I don't know anyone that conciders 20ga wire to be speaker wire, even commercial projects with 70v systems typically use 18ga. SO I may concede that a potential difference from 20ga wire to any wire may exsist, I don't know enough about the properites of 20ga wire.
Sounds like Monster has been talking with Bose to get ideas of what demo's they can do to convince people that their product does something it really doesn't do.

Collapse -
They fooled you....
by jcrobso / April 5, 2006 1:04 AM PDT
In reply to: They fooled you....

I understand, Mon$ter had set up an extream condition.
This happned 25 years ago and back then 20ga was considerd speaker wire, look at the wire that many HTB systems include it's 20ga or less.
In the demo the DC resistance of the 20ga (total of over 60') wire resulted in power reduction the the speaker (Ohm's law), and the 16ga wire has far less DC resitance and the power loss to the speaker was far less, the speakers sounded louder. All this realy proved was that speaker wire needs to of a smaller gauge to keep DC resistance down. Not that Mon$ter 16ga wire is any better than and other 16ga wire. They were the first company to make good speaker wire, now they run on FUD. John

Collapse -
re: They fooled you
by KB1234 / April 5, 2006 1:13 AM PDT
In reply to: They fooled you....

These last couple responses are really getting to the meat of the speaker wire issue. Good information, posters!

Makes a lot of sense why the 60' lower guage wire would produce better results in this controlled demonstration.

Collapse -
And Then If You Use Really Big Wire You Have "Skin Effect"..
by Psych Doc / April 5, 2006 1:54 AM PDT
In reply to: re: They fooled you

...Which will roll off the treble a bit. Something with the electrons running along the "skin" of the really thick wires and reaching the speakers later or earlier or something like that. Anyway, for any rational run of wire, you're in perfectly great shape using 16g "lamp cord" readily available from any hardware store for about $0.20/foot. If you really want to p;lay it safe or if you have runs over 20', you can always drop to 14g.

The rest of the promises of these "exotic wires" are total BS.

Save your money and put it to better speakers!

And don't ever complain about speakers being "too much money." They last a lifetime and never "wear out." If you love them, you'll never have to replace them.

Collapse -
So Here I Am "Answering" My Own Post...
by Psych Doc / April 5, 2006 2:01 AM PDT

...Very good and comprehensive explanation of the "skin effect" from Wiki.

If this keeps up I may just have to go aqnd make an appointment with a good mental health professional.

Wait, that would be me.


Collapse -
Skin Effect.....Read This
by RoadRunner6 / April 6, 2006 7:14 PM PDT
Collapse -
You don't have to be crazy,,,,,,,,,,,
by jcrobso / April 7, 2006 12:59 AM PDT

But it helps you wife undersatnd,,,, well sometimes????

Collapse -
At 50khz you can realy hear the skin effect!!!!
by jcrobso / April 7, 2006 12:42 AM PDT

Well that's what they say,,, just because the humans can only hear up to 20khz( when your young) dosen't mean that the skin effect won't bother you!!!
If you belive this then there is a bridge in Brooklin I can sell you.

Read this link.

"And don't ever complain about speakers being "too much money." They last a lifetime and never "wear out." If you love them, you'll never have to replace them."
This is ture my JBL speakers are 35 years old and still sound great. John

Collapse -
Stewart's snack bar
by davideo / April 7, 2006 2:10 AM PDT

That's definitely correct. However I will say that the connectors add a lot of value to the high priced cables. If a person hasn't the capability, for one reason or another, to properly attach good conectors, professional cables are good if you can afford them.

Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Help, my PC with Windows 10 won't shut down properly

Since upgrading to Windows 10 my computer won't shut down properly. I use the menu button shutdown and the screen goes blank, but the system does not fully shut down. The only way to get it to shut down is to hold the physical power button down till it shuts down. Any suggestions?