The cable on the LEFT is a CCA -- Aluminum cable. The cable on the RIGHT appears to be a copper cable.
Copper is about 10x more expensive than CCA. So mfg's have been screwing around with the conductors and also the outer jacket. Yes its retarded and yes there is a major difference. The same is true with speaker cable these days... If it seems to be cheap. This is probably why. Get high quality stuff. Don't skimp on it.
The back story on all this is circa 1998, a retailer on the boarder of Texas and Mexico (I won't name names), came up with the idea to chop the price right down and approached a Taiwanese mfg to spec build it. It cost a lot less and looked similar. At that time, my phone rang off the hook with upset retailers saying they couldn't compete and because furious about our cable kit prices (I worked for a cable mfg). We shook our heads and just hoped this stupid stuff would go away. It didn't. Now in 2012, most mfg's offer both varieties. And the copper is especially tricky because the raw material prices vary so much retailers never know what the cost is going to be. Prices change weekly. Thats the 411. Careful for what you pay for. Stay away from CCA.
ps: great pic! really shows the difference!
Last edited by brianinpdx; 07-09-2012 at 10:37 PM.