Cables - Quality vs Cost

  Jester2K II 18:11 11 Dec 03
Locked

This is mainly because i keep being told to buy Gold Plated Oxygen Free SCART cables for my TV and DVD Player but also relates to PCs. Some very knowledgeable chaps (and chapesses) here so i thought I'd ask...

Is a cable just a cable or does the "quality" really matter or make a difference?

Example. I run a PC using cheap round IDE cables. You can buy shielded ones and some that costs a fortune because they are made to "high standards".

Now i don't have any problems with my cheap IDE cables. I don't see anything wrong when i open files, I'm pretty sure all the 1s are 1s and the 0s are 0s as they come down the cable.
I mean i never open a file and find missing words or characters etc..

So what are you paying for when you buy a "Belkin High Speed Modem Cable" for £20 that you don't get with the one that came with your modem for free (or 50p in a shop)??

Will i really notice better sound and pictures using Gold Plated, Oxygen Free SCART cables that cost £50+ or am i OK with my free ones?

Will my data be corrupted because i skimped on the IDE drive cables?

Or is it marketing????

  Jester2K II 18:17 11 Dec 03

This is on the assumption that the cable works ok.

I realise that Belkin might have a lower failure rate than generic brands but is it worth paying all that extra for?

  keenan 18:42 11 Dec 03

If you have 'quality' equipment then it can make a difference and to some degree the 'you get what you pay for' saying is fairly accurate.

When buying Scart/phono cables remember that they're not created equal.
Some of the cheaper fully wired cables employ an overall shield, instead of screening each conductor separately. Over the length of the cable, the various signals may interfere with each other.
The most obvious problem is an audible buzz, caused by the video signal leaching onto the audio wires. Inexpensive cables, notably those bundled with AV equipment, have cheaply made Scart plugs. These may tarnish with age.
If you running cables any distance then the 'quality ' becomes all the more important.

In terms of say a 'USB' cable would I pay £10 when I could buy one for £3... probably not.

That being said

  hugh-265156 18:43 11 Dec 03

i too use budget ide cables and dont have any problems etc.

as for scarts,hi-fi speaker cables and interconnects they do make a BIG difference if you have a half decent system to start with. throw away the freeby leads supplied and spend say,10-15% of the cost of your system on better cables.


QED 79 strand speaker cable id great for a buget system.costs about 75p per metre.

Ixos scarts are top quality and cost from about £20 upwards.

Cambridge phonos and interconnects are also good and quite inexpensive.

go to a store like richer sounds click here give them a call before you go and say you want to demo some interconnects.most will set up their demo room for you and quite happily let you hear and see the difference between the various cables.you can even bring along your own system and cds dvds that you are familiar with.

  keenan 18:47 11 Dec 03

If i was running a cable 5mtrs or more i,d defintely pay morefor the better quality.

I do believe that there probably is a good deal of difference between the top quality and the generic, for me I've always had to make do and none of my work is absolutely mission critical and my time is not so scarce that i cant wait an extra billionth of a second, so I've never been able to justify the expense of the top-notch tackle. Despite that I dont feel that I have missed out or that many 1s came through as 0s.

having said that I've nevr bought one of those cheap and chearful AMD processors. (ho, ho merry christmas (run and hide))

  plsndrs3 18:56 11 Dec 03

As keenan says, length is important here [!]

I work for a global electronics cable and was assigned to the computer networking department some time ago. We manufacture and sell both cable and connectors - as well as complete products at all levels [both 'value' and 'quality' ranges]. The main difference is that individual cable shielding and complete cable shielding is used to stop signals being passed between, and received from, outside.

In reality - and I guess I could get hung for this - there is very little benefit to consumers between each cable. Yes, the signal transmission ration is higher for the more expensive cables with their multi-shielded, gold plated contacts. In reality, the difference is indiscernible to all but those with high tech monitoring equipment and, as they say, if you don’t notice it why buy it?

This is NOT true with cables of some length [really over about 5m], where the exact opposite is true.

I would say keep your cash - you really won't notice any improvement for paying double the price - unless you are about to install a cable network in your home that runs to all bedrooms and the dining room & lounge!!

Regards,

Paul

  plsndrs3 18:56 11 Dec 03

As keenan says, length is important here [!]

I work for a global electronics cable and was assigned to the computer networking department some time ago. We manufacture and sell both cable and connectors - as well as complete products at all levels [both 'value' and 'quality' ranges]. The main difference is that individual cable shielding and complete cable shielding is used to stop signals being passed between, and received from, outside.

In reality - and I guess I could get hung for this - there is very little benefit to consumers between each cable. Yes, the signal transmission ration is higher for the more expensive cables with their multi-shielded, gold plated contacts. In reality, the difference is indiscernible to all but those with high tech monitoring equipment and, as they say, if you don’t notice it why buy it?

This is NOT true with cables of some length [really over about 5m], where the exact opposite is true.

I would say keep your cash - you really won't notice any improvement for paying double the price - unless you are about to install a cable network in your home that runs to all bedrooms and the dining room & lounge!!

Regards,

Paul

  plsndrs3 18:58 11 Dec 03

sorry for the double post - bit slow tonite!

  BlueMeanie 21:32 12 Dec 03

Hi, I use a Belkin printer cable for a laptop that is constantly being plugged and unplugged. Although this cable was £££, it it very flexible and has gold plated contacts. For my "static" computer a £2 cable seems to work just fine.

  vinnyo123 22:10 12 Dec 03

These associations set standards for ALL companies to manufacture CAT 5 .CAT 5e etc.To run multiple test on cables before they pack and ship them.They go through a ten step proccess of testing each and every cable.I seen cisco equipment going for Ten's off thousand's off US dollars runnning on ordinary cat 5 cable.Therefore I believe save your money .....

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