Tomorrow is the big day... cable guy comes to upgrade to HDTV.
I changed my home theater configuration around and the wires going to the surround speakers are now too short by a couple feet. Is it a no-no to splice the wires... will I suffer any signal loss if I do? Using high quality #16.
Let me put it this way: If you put this thread on the Klipsch forum you would be blasted clean to hell for even thinking of spilicing the wires. Most of them use #12 oxygen free copper stranded and don't ask me to explain why because I don't know the technicals. I have #12 Best Buy stuff with big bananaconnectors of course gold plated. My opinion though you can splice them and probably never notice the difference.
The worst sound system wiring i encountered was 400 watt amps to 26 gauge solid running an average of 250 feet (75m) spliced to 8 foot (2.5m) 16 guage stranded pigtails to 1/4" plugs to 8" (0.25m) 20 guage stranded to 4 ohm speaker crossovers. Amazingly it worked! There was a little loss on the high end and the amps would get flakey after an hour of high sound levels, but very few people besides myself and another techie there ever noticed the difference.
I spend a whole week running around to every local retailer in a 30 mile radius. Nobody carried the professional grade monitor, just the retail version Panasonic has been pushing on TV.. the girl dancing commerical. The pro monitor accepts input cards, (similar to a PC) so you can feed it nearly any kind of input, and its has more adjustments, even seperate black level adjustment by color and a gamma adjustment.
So I took a chance and got in from a authorized dealer in Alanta GA. While it cost $300 freight to ship it, I still saved well over a grand.
I been going round and round ,confused as can be ,every box store,warehouse store and high end place in the Charlotte area,, half he problem is the sales people are as confused as me.
hmmm, you threw kind of a new wrinkle into things,
I ran into the same problem. Finally I hit a larger BestBuy where they had several larger screens set up side by side. The difference between Plasma and LCD can be striking...depending on material viewed. Where you really see the difference is how well a Plasma does with none HD broadcasts. And lets face it, HD is still new and until a couple years down the road at least much of the network stuff is still low resolution. Bottom line, LCD doesn't handle lower resolution as well as plasma.
Remember I'm talking NONE HD in the following:
They had some soap opera on, all sets getting the same feed. On the LCD screen the picture was bright with good contrast but the guy's face was smooth, lacked and real varation in skin tone and the suit he had on looked mostly like a solid color. You guessed there was some pattern to it, but you couldn't really make it out. However on the set inches away, a plasma, you could clearly see the guy had a five o'clock shadow and pick up the pattern in his suit jacket. That sold me on plasma. However the Sharp LCD is also very good in picture quality.
Also if you're going to be doing a lot of viewing in a bright room, then the LCD may be a better choice. If you view lots of movies and watch TV mostly in the evening in a semi-dark room the Plasma runs away with the quality (my opinion) and can output blacker blacks which can make or break the overall picture quality.
If you want a plasma, the smallest screen size is 37 inches. So I've been told. Both variets claim to have a useful life of between 60,000 and 75,000 hours which under average use should get you about 12-15 years.
One feature I like on the model I got is each input channel "remembers" its specific settings, so if you want to can have TV viewing set up one way and your DVD's another. Also has switchable 3/2 pulldown and a bunch of modes, like dynamic, normal, cimena, and of course you can adjust everything and this monitor by far has more menu pages by far than anything I've seen.
I'm coming into this late but I just to echo Bob's response, a number of years ago, CBC (national Canadian broadcaster) had looked into using Monster cable for all their studios. They ran numerous tests on all the various types of wiring in existence at the time and the winner was exactly as Bob said.
Just go to your local hardware store and grab a spool of 2-conductor extension cord wire (16 or 14 ga.) and wire away.
Depending on the load, there is a helluva difference between how 18 gauge and 12 gauge wire. But funny someone brought this up....At the CES show, MONSTER has a MONSTER booth that is right up front of lower floor. They are actually A/B'ing speaker wire on a tradeshow floor saying "Doesn't the Monster cable sound SOOOOO much better?" Huh? I can barely hear myself think, let alone the non-existent nuances of Monster vs 22 gauge zip cord. Snake oil....all of it. Kimber Kable, (I used to work for Ray) is the same thing. Total garbage, unless you're dealing with very specific applications and very specific hardware and have never been exposed to noise, and aren't taking anti-depressants (which usually makes the ears ring) and aren't over the age of 35 or so.
But....if you have too thin a gauge, and have long runs, and have inefficient speaks, the amp will heat up, and the headroom goes down, and the sound changes as the dynamics of the amp circuits change.
I’ve never been on of those $20,000 stereo set audiophiles, but when I was younger and more gullible, I did throw out a few bucks on that Discwasher system (overglorified bottle of distilled water and a fancy brush) to clean my LPs with.
With the introduction of digital equipment with specs that were impossible to achieve with analog equipment costing hundreds times more, I was recently surprised to see that there is still a market for even more expensive, unbelievable, psychosomatically oriented audiophile items than ever.
Here are some of my favorites, and they are not supposed to be jokes. Enjoy!
Most of the claims made by the high-end speaker wire and connecting cable folks are based upon how their conductors act at radio-frequencies in the Mhz or Ghz range. Virtually NONE of this has ANY effect at audio frequencies. Electricity acts VERY, VERY differently at radio frequencies than it does at audio frequencies. It is total nonsense.
However, the fact of the matter is that speaker wire should be stranded and be as fat as practical. The amplifier's ability to accurately control the back and forth movement of the speaker cone is called "damping factor" and is a function of the output impedance of the amplifier and the impedance of the speaker plus the resistance of the speaker cable. This is very real science, not a bunch of audiophile mumbo-jumbo. Basically, damping factor is how tight a "grip" the amp has on the speakers. Using thin gauge speaker wire will dramatically reduce the damping factor and the audio will sound less well-defined, particularly the bass frequencies.
"Doesn't the Monster cable sound SOOOOO much better?
Well, for the price they want here in Canada, it had better sound (and look) SOOOOOOOO much better. Monster Cable MV3CV-8M Component Video Cable for only $250.00 or Monster ULT S1000-10/10 THX Speaker Cable for a mere $170.00
Snake oil is right!! The worst part is that the sales reps I've spoken to truly believe it :-(
BTW, I forgot to mention in my previous post that an audio engineer at the local university once told me that his testing revealed that old-fashioned ordinary 4 conductor telephone wire (28 ga.?) was as clean as the so-called high-end stuff.
1. You missed the $2,500.00 power cables. On the other hand they failed a competently conducted ABX test with a panel of both golden ears and sow's ears. :O)
2. For low level and line level signal cables at least, there is a very clear difference between cables in different price ranges. Can be ABX tested with 100% correct answers for anybody with clean ears, as long as the rest of the equipment is good. I don't know why, the six nines OFC etc. makes no sense to me. If you have a very good system, ask to take home some more expensive cables and check if it makes a big difference. You may be surprised.
I used to demo this with a $5 Radio Shack cable, a $50 Monster cable and a $500 premium cable.
I never met one person who wasn't shocked over how large the differences were. Really.
In everything that is Garrison Keillor, what is snake oil? There is much here that a Bloke from Limey land will never understand - until it is explained. Gentlemen - this is a Global Community? - A tad less parochial if you will? Just read over what you have written . . . what parts would you think I wouldn't understand? No? Ok .. I'll leave it and let you go on.
Now "shrink-wrap", I know about ;-)
John . .excellent simple and meaningful bit of physics. Thank you.
"an audio engineer at the local university once told me that his testing revealed that old-fashioned ordinary 4 conductor telephone wire (28 ga.?) was as clean as the so-called high-end stuff"
In what sense? Copper content or sound?
I haven't done any comparative testing of different same gauge speaker cables, but for low level signals there is a difference between cables that everybody I tested on so far could hear VERY clearly. Not a small difference either, but a large difference.