Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle, Washington
Re: What cables do you use?
I'm not sure what you mean by the placebo effect in my case; it certainly is fully operational and irrationally and hotly supported and defended by those who do pay insane prices for cables. Did you see the double blind testing on vodka; the guy who says he hates Schmirnoff and that Grey Goose is his favorite for certain wound up choosing Schmirnoff and listed Grey Goose at the bottom in the test. Pretty embarrassing for him, but illustrative of the syndrome of justifying snootiness and paying for the most expensive version of a product.
I have always purchased well made, but economical cables as I have always known about the hype, from the time it began as a marketing ploy. I majored in physics in college, as did Bob Carver, and I worked in the high end audio/video field for 40 years, since college.
I use a lot of cables because I have an extensive audio/video system, including a 12[ front projection HDTV, an LCD HDTV, 7.2 system with biamped speakers, two big subwoofers ( I have speakers for a 10.2 system which Tomlinson Holman has developed ), using a Rane electronic crossover, several separate Sunfire Signature amplifiers, a Sunfire Theater Grand V preamp signed by Bob, a Sony PS3, a Wii, latest blue ray separate player, three Denon multi disk professional CD changers, Tivo HD XL, a DVD recorder with component inputs, a Sony Hi 8 recorder/player for my old Hi 8 travel tapes, a Sony SHVS recorder/player for my old SVHS tapes, a straight line tracking turntable, provision for my Mac computer, etc, so you can imagine what my system looked like from the back when I was using the economical cables!
And maybe you can see why I was daunted whenever I had to move things around or troubleshoot something and you may see why I finally decided on the colored, custom length cables, some with 90 degree connectors even if I had to pay a bit more for them than for good, but economical cables. Since I bought so many and have worked in the audio video industry, Blue Jeans gave me a substantial discount. Now, when I look behind my system, it looks very neat and organized, and I can trace each cable very easily, almost a pleasure rather than a hair pulling event! That is worth something to me. Otherwise I would still be buying economical cables, as you mention.
For the record, since I owned a audio/video business and purchased a lot of cables, I get a significant discount from Blue Jeans Cables. Furthermore, they offer various colors. Ever try to troubleshoot or follow all black cables? As I am a person with little patience I am willing to pay a bit more for cables of different colors. How about custom lengths? I don't like drooping cables, I like a very neat, organized cable installation. I am willing to pay a bit more for custom length cables for no extra cost of labor. How about 90 degree connectors at one end, straight at the other, again, for neater installation. I am willing to pay a bit more than I would for bargain cables when I can get those connectors for no extra charge for the cost of the cables. Otherwise, I would be a fool not to continue to buy economical, but well made cables.
So far, no one has taken my up on my dare to do an honest double blind test on a collection of various cables, maybe even include the coat hangers.
Dave Ladely in Snohomish, WA