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  1. #1
    dts geek swwdts's Avatar
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    Is THX cert. cable better than .......?

    I am looking for newer cables to upgrade my Home Th.,I was at Radio Shak looking at some Monster cable ( S & optical cable ) & it had a THX cert.logo on it.Does that mean that it should sound better? I also was looking at a brand named Acoustic Reasearch.Are there cables any good? They were 30.00 less in cost. Please help me!!!!

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    The AR cables are very well constructed and should do the job just fine. THX certification is just that, a certification. No guarantee of anything other than meeting a minimum standard. No reason whatsoever to expect that other cables without the certification won't perform just as well.
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  3. #3
    dts geek swwdts's Avatar
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    Thanks !

  4. #4
    Jason Monette
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    And for the record, a cable should not "sound" anything. The only job of a cable is to transfer the singal from component to the other. If the cable changes the signal (sound) at all, it isn't a very good cable. If anyone tells you their cables will IMPROVE your sound, they are full of BS.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by swwdts
    I am looking for newer cables to upgrade my Home Th.,I was at Radio Shak looking at some Monster cable ( S & optical cable ) & it had a THX cert.logo on it.Does that mean that it should sound better? I also was looking at a brand named Acoustic Reasearch.Are there cables any good? They were 30.00 less in cost. Please help me!!!!
    i've just upgraded my HT system cables(Definitive Speakers) from very cheap cable Neotech to Monster THX.it didn't complete its Break-in(i'm the one who believes)period

    so i can't say it sounds better or worse but,but its very cheap for HT system,

    more than 100fts of cable used

    also bought a little bit expensivve Coxial cable(ecosse)still not understand why expensive digital cable can make quality sound
    it is a DIGITAL signal man

  6. #6
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    THX is not better, just more expensive.

    Monster is not better, just more expensive.

    Expensive cables are not better, just more expensive.

    Starting to see a pattern here?

  7. #7
    Suspended Smokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBMAudio.com
    And for the record, a cable should not "sound" anything. The only job of a cable is to transfer the singal from component to the other. If the cable changes the signal (sound) at all, it isn't a very good cable.

    Excellent post.

    Donít you find it funny that few cable vendors say their cable are transparent. And then go into two full page review as how their cable will change the sound of a system for better.

    So which one is it
    Last edited by Smokey; 03-25-2006 at 05:33 PM.

  8. #8
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smokey
    Donít you find it funny that few cable vendors say their cable are transparent.
    Well, I do enjoy the exceptional clarity of the ones that do like Nordost, Harmonic Technology, JPS Labs, etc.

    rw

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Well, I do enjoy the exceptional clarity of the ones that do like Nordost, Harmonic Technology, JPS Labs, etc.

    rw
    As do I... except mine use the word "neutral" instead of "transparent". I guess I've never understood the difference! But they do exhibit exceptional clarity. Only the Nordost Valhalla did a better job... at several times the price!

  10. #10
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    Do you sell many of your cables?

    Quote Originally Posted by JBMAudio.com
    If anyone tells you their cables will IMPROVE your sound, they are full of BS.
    I'd imagine it would be hard based on your claim.

  11. #11
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Well, I do enjoy the exceptional clarity of the ones that do like Nordost, Harmonic Technology, JPS Labs, etc.

    rw
    Okay, Let me understand this. If all the cables that comes from these mannufacturers are neutral, and claim transparency, do they all sound alike? If so, then whats the difference between them? Why pick one over the other? How do you know they are as neutral as one says they are?
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  12. #12
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicoverall
    As do I... except mine use the word "neutral" instead of "transparent". I guess I've never understood the difference! But they do exhibit exceptional clarity. Only the Nordost Valhalla did a better job... at several times the price!
    If they are all neutral, then one cannot do a better job than the next. Nuetral means it imparts NO character to the signal. How can one cable not impart character better than the next, they are supposed to be neutral. Isn't nuetral NUETRAL? Or do we have better neutral than the next?
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  13. #13
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    THX is not better, just more expensive.

    Monster is not better, just more expensive.

    Expensive cables are not better, just more expensive.

    Starting to see a pattern here?
    Shh the cable mafia are coming for you now!

    Quote Originally Posted by swwdts
    I am looking for newer cables to upgrade my Home Th.,I was at Radio Shak looking at some Monster cable ( S & optical cable ) & it had a THX cert.logo on it.Does that mean that it should sound better? I also was looking at a brand named Acoustic Reasearch.Are there cables any good? They were 30.00 less in cost. Please help me!!!!
    I've always found AR to be pretty much equivalent to Monster Cable in quality but as you noticed it's a good bit cheaper. It's a good choice if you ask me, otherwise avoid those two brands entirely and look at other options.

    I have 4 3' AR interconnects that I keep around as spares and for extra hookups. Generally I don't need them, but they're handy to have around. I use some better cables in my system, but they're built better and just a little nicer to work with.

  14. #14
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Okay, Let me understand this. If all the cables that comes from these mannufacturers are neutral, and claim transparency, do they all sound alike?
    Not in my experience. Even for a given brand. All cables differ somewhat in perceived tonal presentation and ultimate resolution. The manufacturers I mentioned are only those with whose products I am familiar. I have no doubt there are other exceptional cables that better the generic stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Why pick one over the other?
    1. Budget. I would love to have Valhallas as heard on the Seacliff systems.
    2. Synergy with system. I don't like bright sounding cables.
    3. Accessibility and local availability. I have opinions only on that which I've heard with friends and at local dealers. I count myself extremely lucky to be friends with two audio reviewers with access to all sorts of gear. I would never have purchased the Harmonic Technology cables had I not been able to hear them in my system. Conversely, there are likely other cables of a similar caliber with which I would be happy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    How do you know they are as neutral as one says they are?
    I choose those in my budget that offer the most open "looking glass" into the music. In my experience, the best cables do not sound impressive at first blush. They tend to sound dark at first - as in devoid of artificial brightness. Yet they offer a level of musical detail beyond the ordinary. The very best systems in my experience are those that sound neither bright nor loud -even with substantial HF energy present and at reasonably high levels (I never listen at rock concert levels).

    Recently, I purchased a new (for me) Manley DAC to use with a Pioneer PD-54 CDP in the vintage system. The specs of the Manley are essentially the same as for the onboard DAC in terms of frequency response, S/N ratio and distortion. Yet, the Manley offers more inner definition and a new degree of image specificity. It sounds more relaxed and puts me deeper into the recording. I find similar benefits with the better cables.

    rw
    Last edited by E-Stat; 03-27-2006 at 03:23 PM.

  15. #15
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    All neutral???

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    If they are all neutral, then one cannot do a better job than the next. Nuetral means it imparts NO character to the signal. How can one cable not impart character better than the next, they are supposed to be neutral. Isn't nuetral NUETRAL? Or do we have better neutral than the next?
    Why pick on cables? I have yet to find any piece of gear be it electronics, speakers, turntables, CDP's that doesn't impart something of itself on the sound. Your post is absolutely correct except your first premise doesn't hold up in my experience, despite the manufacturers claims. Even my own cables which actually have neutral in the model name were bettered by the Nordost Valhalla. And as E-Stat mentioned, I found that other models within the Nordost brand had "significantly" different sonic signatures... significantly in quotations based on relativity, of course!

    This is why I do not like to use terms like "transparent" or "neutral" or "accurate" - because components tend to be all over the map on these things without actually landing on the point.

  16. #16
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicoverall
    Why pick on cables? I have yet to find any piece of gear be it electronics, speakers, turntables, CDP's that doesn't impart something of itself on the sound. Your post is absolutely correct except your first premise doesn't hold up in my experience, despite the manufacturers claims. Even my own cables which actually have neutral in the model name were bettered by the Nordost Valhalla. And as E-Stat mentioned, I found that other models within the Nordost brand had "significantly" different sonic signatures... significantly in quotations based on relativity, of course!
    My point is simply this, nuetrality is nuetrality. If a cable has a sonic signature, it is not nuetral at all, and of not much good. All cable damages the sound at some point. The object is to find cable that does the least damage. A "bright" sounding cable is not a good cable. But all of this is majoring in minors, can you really hear any sonic signature of a cable over a room induced mode? I don't think so.

    The funny thing is the most of the people that taut the differences in cables don't use any kind of acoustical control in their rooms. So, are you really hearing the cable or the room?



    This is why I do not like to use terms like "transparent" or "neutral" or "accurate" - because components tend to be all over the map on these things without actually landing on the point.
    Exactly!
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  17. #17
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Not in my experience. Even for a given brand. All cables differ somewhat in perceived tonal presentation and ultimate resolution. The manufacturers I mentioned are only those with whose products I am familiar. I have no doubt there are other exceptional cables that better the generic stuff.
    So neutral does not apply at all right?


    1. Budget. I would love to have Valhallas as heard on the Seacliff systems.
    2. Synergy with system. I don't like bright sounding cables.
    3. Accessibility and local availability. I have opinions only on that which I've heard with friends and at local dealers. I count myself extremely lucky to be friends with two audio reviewers with access to all sorts of gear. I would never have purchased the Harmonic Technology cables had I not been able to hear them in my system. Conversely, there are likely other cables of a similar caliber with which I would be happy.
    It seems to me that you are using cable as a form of equalization, rather than a carrier of information from one component to the next.


    I choose those in my budget that offer the most open "looking glass" into the music. In my experience, the best cables do not sound impressive at first blush. They tend to sound dark at first - as in devoid of artificial brightness. Yet they offer a level of musical detail beyond the ordinary. The very best systems in my experience are those that sound neither bright nor loud -even with substantial HF energy present and at reasonably high levels (I never listen at rock concert levels).
    Have you put this same energy into taming and controlling room acoustics? Its seems to me that we should put emphasis on something that can cause a -+20db difference, not something that perhaps effects a -+.05db change (barely a ripple)

    Recently, I purchased a new (for me) Manley DAC to use with a Pioneer PD-54 CDP in the vintage system. The specs of the Manley are essentially the same as for the onboard DAC in terms of frequency response, S/N ratio and distortion. Yet, the Manley offers more inner definition and a new degree of image specificity. It sounds more relaxed and puts me deeper into the recording. I find similar benefits with the better cables.

    rw
    So how would you explain most things being equal, yet one yields more inner definition than another. Do you think you could hear these changes in a double blind? This is where I find most sighted comparisons break completely down.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    My point is simply this, nuetrality is nuetrality. If a cable has a sonic signature, it is not nuetral at all, and of not much good. All cable damages the sound at some point. The object is to find cable that does the least damage. A "bright" sounding cable is not a good cable. But all of this is majoring in minors, can you really hear any sonic signature of a cable over a room induced mode? I don't think so.

    The funny thing is the most of the people that taut the differences in cables don't use any kind of acoustical control in their rooms. So, are you really hearing the cable or the room?





    Exactly!
    I totally agree with your point. I've found that all components have some kind of sonic signature. As you said, either they all have degrees of neutrality or they're all not neutral! I choose the ones that make music sound as I believe it should and I don't worry too much about claims of neutrality and accuracy. I should think you as an RE would be in a much better position than I to determine if what you're hearing in your listening room is accurate to what you heard when recording. The recording console is the one piece of equipment envy I allow myself.

    I also agree about the need for room acoustic controls. My listening room was way overdamped when I first moved into my house and it was an exhausting exercise to correct all the other problems I had. I think it could still be improved upon but it's worlds better than it was. I hasten to add that I'm in the camp that believes source software, room acoustics and speakers are by far the most important issues to be resolved in audio. Cables are indeed a minor issue but I find them to be important enough.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicoverall
    I totally agree with your point. I've found that all components have some kind of sonic signature. As you said, either they all have degrees of neutrality or they're all not neutral! I choose the ones that make music sound as I believe it should and I don't worry too much about claims of neutrality and accuracy. I should think you as an RE would be in a much better position than I to determine if what you're hearing in your listening room is accurate to what you heard when recording. The recording console is the one piece of equipment envy I allow myself.

    I also agree about the need for room acoustic controls. My listening room was way overdamped when I first moved into my house and it was an exhausting exercise to correct all the other problems I had. I think it could still be improved upon but it's worlds better than it was. I hasten to add that I'm in the camp that believes source software, room acoustics and speakers are by far the most important issues to be resolved in audio. Cables are indeed a minor issue but I find them to be important enough.
    While some cables are indeed better than others, the most important factor is not the price, their certification or whatever. As long as you're happy with the way your setup sounds, everything else is irrelevant. There's no need to break the bank on cables either; there's a certain price point at which there are diminishing returns on your cable performance. Going from, let's say, generic braided copper cable to entry level Audioquest or Kimber cables, would be quite an increase in performance, but going from those same AQ or Kimbers to a higher priced cable won't be as drastic.

    I would also advise not being sucked into how one cable sounds over another as much as I'd be interested in seeing how much of the musical detail is brought out by each cable. As most comments here state, go for a cable that sounds as neutral as possible, but also gives you the best range of highs to lows that your ears can discern, and go with what sounds best to you. With that in mind, each cable will sound different in each setup, so just experiment, experiment, experiment.

    BTW, Monster is just your typical commercial, over-hyped line of cables, and THX certification doesn't mean squat, so don't limit your cable and interconnect choices just because of a certification standard.

  20. #20
    AR Newbie Registered Member
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    Very nice setup!! I can guess it cost a whole lotta of Mula$$$$$$ Good job... what speaker cable do you use for the Fronts???

  21. #21
    Suspended superpanavision70mm's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I agree or disagree...all I know is what I hear within my own setup and with other setups that I have heard. Cables seem to be a hot topic of discussion with lots of debate over whether or not they make a difference. I know for a fact that I have benefitted from upgrading all of my cables over the years and that cables enable more of the potention of the components to be heard. Does that mean that you should spend thousands of dollars on cables for a small difference to be heard? Probably not. However, if you don't care about spending that money and feel that it is worth it...more power to you.

  22. #22
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    So neutral does not apply at all right?
    What is completely neutral?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    It seems to me that you are using cable as a form of equalization, rather than a carrier of information from one component to the next.
    I prefer a carrier insensitive to RFI induced HF glare.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Have you put this same energy into taming and controlling room acoustics?
    I have a dedicated listening room with eight bass traps, two Argent style acoustical lenses, and a couple of diffuser panels. I use a third octave EQ on the subs in my HT system, but refuse to mangle the resolution of my full range stats with one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    So how would you explain most things being equal, yet one yields more inner definition than another.
    What I said was that they measured the same. My experience is that conventional measurements are virtually useless in conveying any meaningful information.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Do you think you could hear these changes in a double blind? This is where I find most sighted comparisons break completely down.
    DBTs are insensitive to subtle differences, especially when done in a quick audio cowboy switching environment. I find long term listening far more valuable.

    rw

  23. #23
    Listener MikeyBC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swwdts
    I am looking for newer cables to upgrade my Home Th.,I was at Radio Shak looking at some Monster cable ( S & optical cable ) & it had a THX cert.logo on it.Does that mean that it should sound better? I also was looking at a brand named Acoustic Reasearch.Are there cables any good? They were 30.00 less in cost. Please help me!!!!
    Remember way back when...if a speaker or other audio component was labled "Digital Ready" it was somehow better than the others? well i think the same applys here...its just a marketing ploy.
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  24. #24
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyBC
    Remember way back when...if a speaker or other audio component was labled "Digital Ready" it was somehow better than the others? well i think the same applys here...its just a marketing ploy.
    I have an old pair of Sony headphones (MDR-CD555) and they're labelled as "Digital Ready" which always amused me.

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