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Topic: Cable choice...does it even matter?

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  1. #1

    Cable choice...does it even matter?

    Partly relating to studio monitors, I have been in many debates on monitor cables. The question is, does it really matter? I hear Magami is the best cable there is for music studios. I have some Monster Prolinks which are top grade, gold ends, balanced, etc. I know another guy that has HR824's hooked up with standard RCA cables from radio shack, and they still sound fantastic, even the final mixes. Is this hype, or does it really make a difference? Also, Monster released a "noise reducing" power supply not long ago. It blocks electrical currents interfering with the power, or something. It goes for $200 there abouts. What's everyone's opinion. Gimmick or fact?

    Jared

  2. #2

    Re: Cable choice...does it even matter?

    It matters, but not as much as what amp or loudspeaker one uses - unless you're using grandma's dental floss to transfer the signal, that is. That is how I see it.
    As for myself, whenever the signal has to go from one piece of hardware to another, I try to keep it digital as much as possible - s/pdif, coax, toslink ... whatever. Some people say it sounds cold and sterile when the signal doesn't pass through any analogue factor, but I tend to like that sound, so ...

    Also, digital signal transfer does not cause any higher hardware costs than good analogue ones, so it's not an exaggerated option.
    Kid: When I become an adult I wanna be a musician.
    Parent: Son, you cannot become both.

  3. #3

    Re: Cable choice...does it even matter?

    It matters a lot. I never believed it until I did an a/b test myself (quickly changing cables) and the difference with noticable enough to make me switch everything over to mid-level monster. I would suggest using the P500 series cables that have xlr-trs on them. This is a slightly better cable than the studiolink ones. If your friend with the radshack cables switched to a monster (or equivilant) cable than he too would love em.
    I always thought it was hype too. I was wrong (and I didn't what to be!)
    Chris

  4. #4

    Re: Cable choice...does it even matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tomke
    It matters, but not as much as what amp or loudspeaker one uses - unless you're using grandma's dental floss to transfer the signal, that is. That is how I see it.
    As for myself, whenever the signal has to go from one piece of hardware to another, I try to keep it digital as much as possible - s/pdif, coax, toslink ... whatever. Some people say it sounds cold and sterile when the signal doesn't pass through any analogue factor, but I tend to like that sound, so ...
    Passing a signal through DA and AD converters doesn't mean that you get analog sound. Lower signal-to-noise ratio is what you get from it.


    Quote Originally Posted by chriscaouette
    It matters a lot. I never believed it until I did an a/b test myself (quickly changing cables) and the difference with noticable enough to make me switch everything over to mid-level monster.
    Most likely you were either hyped by the professional looking Monster cables or having severe problems with your old cables. All your devices in the signal chain have the dental floss kind of cabling inside them and no expensive cabling between the devices will improve the sound in any way. Using cheap but still good quality cabling between the devices won't lessen the signal quality either as long as you are using balanced signal (XLR or TSR connector doesn't necessarily mean that the signal is balanced, you have to check the manual to be sure) in both ends of the cable and you don't use extremely long cables wrapped around your telly. Also the gold plating in your connectors doesn't mean better sound, it just means years of troublefree connection between the surfaces.

  5. #5

    Re: Cable choice...does it even matter?

    For amplifier to speaker connections, cable choice matters quite a lot in terms of its electrical qualities. Narrower cables , longer cable runs, and arguably higher levels of impurity all increase cable resistance, resulting in transmission losses and possibly damping factor changes in the signal. Cable capacitance is more of a problem with respect to high frequency attenuations and is more likely to be a problem in closely spaced conductors and poorly shielded cables (and long runs).

    Keeping cable lengths as short as possible results in lower cable resistance and capacitance and is a good general guide to follow.

    Though you may get marginally better results with top end (and top dollar) cable than some serviceable heavy duty electrical cable salvaged from the junk yard, the length and gauge (thicker is better) of the cable has a far bigger influence on the end result than the price you paid for it.

    If the speaker is self-powered as in the HR824s (which are if I am not mistaken) and this does seem to be the inital point of the question, a lot of the above is in general still true, but you probably don't need chunky cables for ferrying line level signals efficiently: decent quality signal cables - preferably balanced - will probably make a difference over cheap RCA connectors with all other things being equal.

  6. #6

    Re: Cable choice...does it even matter?

    Years of heated debate on this topic!!! Any electrical engineer (with a legit degree) will tell you that monster cables are a scam. Are they? I'm not sure, but notice that the connections inside speakers are invariably made with quite small (narrow gauge) wire.

    JG

  7. #7

    Re: Cable choice...does it even matter?

    My humble input: "Show me the data."

    Until you can see measurable, significant differences, either in actual signal or in blind listening tests, any discussion of this type goes along the lines of "VSL or QLSO?" or "Silver or GPO?"

    I'm fine with non-boutique cables, thankyouverymuch.

    --Eric

  8. #8

    Re: Cable choice...does it even matter?

    Gimmick of fact? Here it is:

    The Truth About Interconnect And Cables

    (Be warned, it is several pages long.)

    ------------
    Alex Cremers

  9. #9

    Re: Cable choice...does it even matter?

    Quote Originally Posted by janila

    Most likely you were either hyped by the professional looking Monster cables or having severe problems with your old cables. All your devices in the signal chain have the dental floss kind of cabling inside them and no...
    We could debate this till the cows come home (and then pack up to leave again). There was nothing wrong with my system, in fact I did blind tests with other people just to see if I was just hearing things. The monsters were picked as sounding better 100% of the time. What I heard was a more defined, clearer sound with a better noise floor. Cables are returnable so if you didn't hear a difference just get your money back!
    Chris

  10. #10

    Re: Cable choice...does it even matter?

    This is simple....

    if you can't tell the difference, then why bother wasting your money.

    if you can tell, then why ruin a good thing by chimping out on cables.


    personally, I can tell the difference.
    why bother shelling out bucks for mackies and not cords....seems like a waste.

    it's kinda like having a ferreri and putting cheap gas in it (spitter, spatter, putt, putt....)

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