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Old     (dbdan)      Join Date: Jun 2009       04-04-2010, 10:57 AM Reply   
I just bought a HSE volume control from Earmark and had a question about the RCAs. I was looking at my existing RCAs and noticed they look like speaker wire with RCA connectors. Anything wrong with this or should I replace them?

I also noticed there is a bunch of the wire bundled up with zip ties.

So would you replace them with higher quality RCAs that are closer to the correct length? If so, is it worth spending the money on Monster or other "high end" cables?

I also need to buy the splitters for the HSE, so I'm also curious about what quality cables to buy...

And last question, looking at the manual that came with the HSE, shouldn't the type of splitters be reversed from what is written in the manual? It doesn't really matter because I need two of each, just thought I'd throw it out there...

Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       04-04-2010, 3:31 PM Reply   
High end wire and cable are essential for your systems performance. Those are very low end RCA's. I would upgrade if it was me.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       04-04-2010, 10:29 PM Reply   
I have yet to meet anybody that could hear the difference between high quality and low quality when put to the test in an A vs B situation. That said I use medium quality twisted RCA cables. The reason you want twisted is because they self cancel induced noise if they are ran near power cables. I have had good luck with Streetwires Zero Noise RCA's. I might replace those with the correct length cables in twisted fashion.
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       04-04-2010, 11:02 PM Reply   
Alot of "high end" RCA's do a great job of looking "high end" IMO. There's difference between cheap crap at any price and quality stuff at a reasonable price. In your setup, the extra 20ft of cable worries me more then the perceived low quality.
Old     (dbdan)      Join Date: Jun 2009       04-05-2010, 1:20 PM Reply   
Thanks guys. I'll figure out what length I need and order some up with the RCAs for the volume control.
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       04-05-2010, 5:29 PM Reply   
Interesting. I was always taught to use quality cables and wire, keep the runs short as possible and not to skimp here. I can say this much when I hold both a low end RCA and a mid to upper end one, or even speaker wire for that fact, it's pretty obvious which one is the cheaper one. Not to mention the old addage, " you get what you pay for"
Old     (johnny_jr)      Join Date: Mar 2006       04-06-2010, 9:11 AM Reply   
Highend is not needed, I switched out my "highend" RCA just to prove the fact out. I had a very light hiss, very light. I swapped out the RCAs for the Drones from Stinger (their low end RCA) and the hissing went away completely, I switch back to the high end for a double check and bam hiss was back, just to make sure I opened up a new box of even higher end than I had before, and still heard the hiss. Plus the sound quality did not change at all. In an open air application you would never notice the difference.
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       04-06-2010, 12:28 PM Reply   
Funny I have the same story as you Johhny but the opposite. Swapped out the cheap ones for mid level ones and hiss was gone. LOL
Old     (boomboom)      Join Date: Apr 2008       04-06-2010, 12:41 PM Reply   
I've used both and I can tell a difference--at least in the 2 I used for comparison.
Old     (olskooltige)      Join Date: Mar 2007       04-06-2010, 1:44 PM Reply
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       04-07-2010, 11:00 PM Reply   
I am in Johnny's camp with this one. Here is a quote from an article from ZED audio, see page 6:

"Our personal opinion about “fancy” cables and exotic passive components may shock
some of you. I have never been able to hear the difference between a cheap or an
expensive RCA patch cord. My listening has been done using double blind A-B
comparisons. Electrons are not very clever things and they have no knowledge of the type
of material through which they are flowing at the speed of light (312,000 Km/second). The
ONLY reason we recommend high quality double shielded RCA patch cords in mobile
installations is to reject noise. My opinion about speaker cables is the same. As long as
the wire is thick enough, it’s construction makes no difference. As long as the amplifier is
stable into reactive loads with phase angles of up to 60 degrees, the amplifier is none the
wiser what type of speaker cable is used."
Old     (nvsairwarrior)      Join Date: Aug 2003       04-07-2010, 11:38 PM Reply   
Since we're offering Opinions here, mine is that I would agree with Johnny and the post from ZED..thanks Mike. However, I would add that in nearly every wiring issue I've dealt with (line level at least) it wasn't the wire used it was the connection that was the problem. So, if I were to summarize, I'd recommend that 1)get good quality OFC copper and 2) make the wire runs as reasonably short as possible in every case.
I've rewired several systems where the original installer just grabed an RCA cable and connect the ends.....then tie wrap the several extra feet of cable together. IMO this is very low quality/cheap/lazy and and, and OK, I don't like it. If you go at it this way please do yourself a favor and at least cut off one end of the extra wire and resolder to a fresh connector.
On the connector thing, yes noble metals are best i.e. gold for mantaining consistant low resistive connections. But, with the exremely thin levels of plating used on most connectors (pretty much for color only) a single use will make the connection bare of the gold and now expose the underlying metalization...usually Nickel.
OK, is that bad? not really. Nickel although will oxidize and create a resistive layer on the surface, does not creat a resistive issue in our world of audio. Yes it's quite tenaceous but it's also very thin.....It's just not significant. So, that raises the question of whether or not gold plating is even necessary. This is where I would be testing A/B and Blind! My results suggest that it has nearly NO audible impact. Nearly meaning that yes its measurable but Not detectable to the human ear!
Old     (wake_upppp)      Join Date: Nov 2003       04-09-2010, 8:52 PM Reply   
Ineresting stuff guys. Im no pro installer by any means, but do pretty well. Its fun to hear from people on here that do this stuff every day. Aint WW great!
Old     (brianinpdx)      Join Date: Aug 2009       04-20-2010, 2:18 PM Reply   
Interesting thread going here. Before starting Exile Audio 7 years ago, I did a small 15 year stint at a company called Phoenix Gold which back in the early 90's was a leader in high dollar home AV and mobile audio cables. I cant tell you how many countless hours I've spent on cable product development and writing white papers on this stuff. (in my former life).

In my humble opinion, just about everyone is right about what they are saying because so many situations are different. All technical terms aside, I'd spent a few bucks and get a cable that matches the quality of your install. At the very least I'd opt for a twisted pair cable that has features some noise rejection geometry. You might not ever need it, and it also might save your butt, depending on the install. Going above the Mid-Fi quality just doesn't buy you much. I also would second what NVSwarrior said about OFC and connector conductors. A lot of the higher dollar cables have very strong physical connection attributes. Lower dollar stuff does not.

I think at the end of the day is this isnt an audible thing... It's an install thing. If spending a few bucks on decent stuff saves you a few hours on your back trouble shooting, It's worth it.

Just my two cents.

Exile Audio

ps: for any of the audio purists out there I'll loan you my $4,000 1 meter PG ultra's and you can do a blind AB. I think you'd be surprised how well a 20.00 cable would sound. muahha!
Old     (dbdan)      Join Date: Jun 2009       04-20-2010, 6:11 PM Reply   
Brian, C'mon, how would a Janitor know ANYTHING about audio systems???

I did buy some mid priced stuff off eBay. Monster and Acoustic Research. I'm also replacing the existing RCAs to the sub with slightly better quality and shorter. Hopefully I'll get to test it out this weekend. So thanks for the input.

By the way, since the manual that came with the HSE had an outdated diagram, I have a couple extra Y-adapters if anyone's interested...


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