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Buying a New System?? Things to bear in mind!! - Cables are Important

Discussion in 'Receivers and amplifiers' started by Oriphus, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    Ok, its time to buy your new Stereo or Multi-channel system. You've decided on the amplifier you want, and maybe a few other components. Thats a good stage to be at. However, do not skimp on the speakers of cable for the system.

    When buying a whole new system allocation of funds should something like this:

    30-40% - Hifi Components
    50-60% - Speakers
    10-20% - Cables

    Whe buying a system its good to set yourself a budget. Try to keep to the budgets outlines and you should enable yourself to get the best system for your money. Too many people go out and buy an amazing amplifier/receiver and then buy a cheap set of speakers. This is a waste of the amplifier. Also, some people nearly get it right by buying a good Amplifier/Receiver, great speakers, but then buy some cheap 50p or £1 a metre cabling for the speakers and cheap £5-£10 audio conectors. This will result in your system being under-utilised.

    To give an example, I've just bought a brand new Home Cinema System.

    Hifi Components Costs:
    Marantz SR5400 £300
    Marantz DV4300 £150

    Speakers:
    Gale 3040's Front Left/Right: £200
    Gale 3050C Centre Speaker: £100
    Gale 3060's Surrounds x2: £100
    Gale 3060's Surrounds x2: £100
    Yamaha Subwoofer: £200

    Cable:
    20 Metres QED Silver Anniversary: £100
    1 metre Cambridge Audio Phono: £30
    1 metre Subwoofer cable: £25

    My costs and percentages:
    Thats a total of Hifi Components: £450 - 34%
    Thats a total of Speakers: £700 - 52%
    Thats a total of Cable: £155 - 14%
    Total: £1305 - 100%

    Now, I added a Panasonic PT-AE500 at £1050 (normal price - £1350) to my system, £150 in cambridge Audio cables and a Pure Digital DAB Tuner (£200) with Toslink Optical cable (£25).

    This is just a guideline to remind people that each part of the system; Components, Speakers and Cables are important.

    I can recommend truely excellent cable for anyone who is interested. It got the What HiFi overall best Buy awards in 1998, 1999 and 2000, and it got the Product of the year award in 1999, 2001 and 2002. It also got the Home Entertainment Best Buy 2001 and the What Hifi 5 star award on many occasions.
    Its the Q.E.D. Silver Anniversary Cable:

    http://www.qed.co.uk/cables/speaker/silver.html

    prices:
    http://www.hificables.co.uk/Product...D/2393/v/06b2d373-0520-4154-bbf8-6cac950bf049

     
  2. Damon1

    Damon1 Regular member

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    Great Post, though I do have one "but".

    Does everyone think like me that "expensive" speaker cable is one of the biggest rorts in retail history.

    I totally except buying decent cable, but the price of the upper echleon of cables is just crazy!
    Half the time the expensive stuff is just too big to fit in the terminals properly, so unless you have a amp worth more than a small car it's just not worth it.

    Cheers.
     
  3. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    I agree completely with you. In fact the majority of knowledgeable Home Theatre people would recommend spending around $3 per metre on ok cable. I personally prefer the $9 per metre cable with silver plating.

    A lot of people believe that expensive speaker cable is just a sales man dream and does little or nothin to the actually sound of the music/movie.

    Have a read at this:
    http://www.theabsolutesound.com/newsletter/147/cable_survey2.html
     
  4. b4dust

    b4dust Member

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    I agree cables are important. But I don't think I'll allocate 10-20% of my budge for them, if I were to build my second system. My first system uses KK 8TC for fronts, 4TC for rears and PBJ for interconnects and monster cable for video and optical connects. Soon, I realized that it was not necessary. Ever opened the hood to see what is inside of your receivers? That's right. You shouldn't use the OEM cables that come with your components but you shouldn't buy the exortic cables either. Spending $500 for 6 anlogue, one toslink, and one component video is way too much. Instead, consider some non brand names with quality. You won't regret your decision to focus on gears rather than on over-priced cables. Just remember, the quality of the components inside your receiver and speakers have an equal chance to affect the sound as any external cables you use. And I bet not many manufacturers would spend more than $6 for any single interconnect under the hood.

    While you have to buy new cables, be careful not to over spend on them.
     
  5. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    It tends to be relative. I agree, i wouldnt spend more than £5 ($9) per metre on speaker cables. With Coaxial video signals etc, it is best to use a high quality cable.

    The opinion on cables is certainly somewhat two sided. There are those that think that spending a fortune on cable is needed. There are those that build there own from the DIY store using good 14 gauge or 12 gauge cable, which is what is needed. However, it is still unclear whether there is a noticeable audible sound difference with cables that have silver coated strands. One thing is for sure though, cables are important...
     
  6. jeff-o

    jeff-o Member

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    I agree that cables make a difference, but $400 for less than 10 meters of cable is insane. I loved that they rated extension cords from home depot along with the rest of the audiophile cables, and found them to be quite acceptable.

    I used $1.50/meter monster cable for my system and am perfectly happy with it. As long as it's oxygen-free copper, has a reasonably thick jacket and is 14-gauge, it's all I need.
     
  7. Oriphus

    Oriphus Senior member

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    The Monster cable is extremely good. I agree that $400 for 10 feet is ridiculous. I wouldnt pay more than $200 for all my speaker cable (around 66 feet). The Monster cable is good. Some nice 10 gauge cable would be good, im not even sure what my Silver Anniversary Q.E.D. is come to think of it....
     

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