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Good/Nice looking cables that don’t break the bank?

Do you buy the cheapest cables possible, or pay a bit more for build quality/looks?


  • Total voters
    42

MZKM

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#1
Just wondering what’s out there to boost asthetics.

Speaker wire: I use GearIT’s 14awg braided speaker cables in white, think they were ~$30/pair for 15ft, and I’d say they are pretty good. HannLinte is also on Amazon and they look to have some good looking speaker cables. SVS’s SoundPath also look nice, but are like $100/pair, they do give a lot of specs though (on that note, Ascend Acoustics has their Ultralink MX-2, and state it has excellent measured performance, but states no specs at all). If gold is your thing, then the ~$130 SKW cables look nice.

Optical: All on Amazon, it looks like Cable Matters, EMK, FosPower, SKW, and UNBREAKable all have nice looking braided optical cables.

RCA/Coax: I currently just use KabelDirekt, no split tip or turbine grip or braided jacket, but the cable itself self is good in regards to amount of stiffness, and has a strain relief. The Mediabridge ones look fine, though I prefer metal/plastic over rubber for the ends. The SKW ones look nice other than no strain relief.

3.5mm (to 3.5mm or RCA): I own the Anker 3.5mm-3.5mm and was surprised by the quality for $5, it will easily bend but will still hold its shape if you want to lay it flat again. I also got a GE 3.5mm to stereo RCA (labled as a Stereo Y Adaptor, #38798) for like $2 at Walmart, and am also very happy with it, while no actual strain relief, the ends on both are rubber-like, so they do bend a bit.

HDMI: Restricting to 18Gbps and on Amazon, ones from Atevon, PowerBear, iBirdie (fits in a gamer rig), Minc, Zeskit’s Cinema Plus, Ibra, Farstrider, Saidesi, and Maximm all look nice.

EDIT: A bit pricey, but GhentAudio (eBay and their own site) has a ton of quality cables, many using Canare wiring (including Star Quad).
 
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RayDunzl

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#2

DWPress

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#4
Well, I'll plug these cables I've been getting from this guy on eBay - US seller and inventory:
https://www.ebay.com/str/Revelation-Cable/Audio-Interconnect-Cables/_i.html?_storecat=1870685

Looks like he's selling out the remainder of his inventory cheap. Super nice ICs that look great and are very well constructed with metal barrels that have the ground soldered on TWICE and really good sheilding,they are a bit tight though. One meter set of the Cadence (best) line is $8.40 and these would easily go for $40+ in a boutique audiophool store. Regular ICs, sub cables, spdif, toslink but no AES.

 

tmtomh

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#5
I just go with Blue Jeans - easy, good quality, not too expensive, multiple price tiers for most cables, one-stop shop.

I've never been into expensive cables, but a year or two ago I was having an intermittent grounding problem in one channel and traced it to a cheap RCA cable. I then realized it probably had been 15 years since I installed a new set of cables, so I treated myself to new interconnects, speaker cables, and digital cables from Blue Jeans. I think the whole thing was less than $200, which I was happy with, especially for a once-every-15-years purchase!

That said, those eBay ones in the above comment look like a great value!
 
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MZKM

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Thread Starter #6
Well, I'll plug these cables I've been getting from this guy on eBay - US seller and inventory:
https://www.ebay.com/str/Revelation-Cable/Audio-Interconnect-Cables/_i.html?_storecat=1870685

Looks like he's selling out the remainder of his inventory cheap. Super nice ICs that look great and are very well constructed with metal barrels that have the ground soldered on TWICE and really good sheilding,they are a bit tight though. One meter set of the Cadence (best) line is $8.40 and these would easily go for $40+ in a boutique audiophool store. Regular ICs, sub cables, spdif, toslink but no AES.

Agreed, for <$15 shipped I don't see much competition.
 

DWPress

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#7
He'll combine shipping for multiple orders too. I'm sorry, I got all the 2 meter cables he had left. :p
 
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MZKM

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Thread Starter #8
I just go with Blue Jeans - easy, good quality, not too expensive, multiple price tiers for most cables, one-stop shop.

I've never been into expensive cables, but a year or two ago I was having an intermittent grounding problem in one channel and traced it to a cheap RCA cable. I then realized it probably had been 15 years since I installed a new set of cables, so I treated myself to new interconnects, speaker cables, and digital cables from Blue Jeans. I think the whole thing was less than $200, which I was happy with, especially for a once-every-15-years purchase!

That said, those eBay ones in the above comment look like a great value!
Don't know if they win for asthetics, but they are indeed high quality.
 

DWPress

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#9
I'm not one to buy super expensive cables either but at this price... I started getting cables from him 5 years ago and inquired if these were real Revelation Audio Labs inventory. This was his reply:

These are not Revelations Audio Labs. These are Revelation Cables. A different company.

These are manufactured in Taiwan from the same company that makes Neotech cables and the only manufacturer of OCC cable & wire.

OCC Copper and Silver are single crystal 99.9999% oxygen free cable.

OCC Ohno Continuous Casting trademarked in 1986 by professor Ohno of Chiba Institute of Technology in Japan for Ohno Continuous Casting and is a format or type of process used to product high grade copper wires and not a type of copper wire per say. Because this type of process produce high grade copper wires, some company later on refers it as OCC wire.

Revelation cable was a company that went under in 2010. These are considered high end audio/video cables. You are going to like these ICs.

Hopefully that clears up any confusion.
Revelation Cable

Cadence II

Revelation’s affordable high-performance audio cable outperforms other high-end audio cables costing hundreds of dollars. The new Cadence uses only the finest audiophile-grade materials and proven technologies for an audibly superior audio interconnect for use with higher-end audio and theater systems.

Key Benefits

High purity UPOCC copper conductors for signal transfer integrity
  • Twisted pair construction for greater noise rejection
  • 100% Copper foil + a 95% braid shielding for superior added noise isolation
  • Teflon™ dielectric insulator for reduced capacitance, sonic accuracy and maximum detail
  • Split center pin on connector ensures maximum contact and signal transfer
  • PVC outer jacketing material for flexibility, easy pull and longer life
 

TimW

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#10
Maybe I'm weird but I really like the look of Blue Jeans cables. Just thick black cable with nice connectors. Especially the Canare RCA connectors they use. I get their 4S11 speaker cables with the ultrasonicly welded locking banana connectors. They sell some premade stuff through Amazon.
 
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MZKM

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Thread Starter #11
I'm not one to buy super expensive cables either but at this price... I started getting cables from him 5 years ago and inquired if these were real Revelation Audio Labs inventory. This was his reply:
Don't know if it's my OCD-like tendencies, but I personally don't like using fully separate RCA cables for each channel, I prefer them conjoined; though using them for digital coax would only require one, so I am debating buying the pair of 1 or 3 meter models, though I don't see myself needing a digital coax in the future.

EDIT: If its going from a pre-amp to power amp, then I don't mind (my MiniDSP is using separate RCA cables), but on a desk for instance, I couldn't stand it. I guess I'm slowly trying to justify a purchase for some cables I wouldn't even use in the near future

EDIT: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...es-that-don’t-break-the-bank.7114/post-162071
 
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DWPress

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#12
EDIT: If its going from a pre-amp to power amp, then I don't mind (my MiniDSP is using separate RCA cables)
Exactly! I've got a miniDSP 4x10 and a MSB MVC (8ch analog volume control) inline after that going out to 3 amps and 2 subs. That's a shitload of cables...
 
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MZKM

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Thread Starter #13
I'm not one to buy super expensive cables either but at this price... I started getting cables from him 5 years ago and inquired if these were real Revelation Audio Labs inventory. This was his reply:
I blame you (even arrives on my birthday):
Screenshot (8).png

And yes, I do know each order comes with 2 cables.

I even considered tacking on the 6m or 8m subwoofer cable.
 

DWPress

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#15
@MZKM Send the seller a note about combined shipping, he'll refund you a couple bucks but not if you don't ask!
 

Webninja

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#16
I tried a few different cables, and admit I'm a sucker for fancy braids and colors, but the last few years, I'm all in on Blue Jean Cables. I'm building a media room, and all my speaker, HDMI and RCA (subwoofer), including jacks and terminators, all from BJC.

Best value for well built cables with great customer service.
 

Panelhead

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#17
I build my own. Use mainly Canare 4S8 or 4S11 for speaker cable. Started using Sommer Cable SC-Club Red Zilk for balanced/microphone cable.
Do not currently use any single ended cables. But if I needed one would use the original Eichmann plastic RCA plugs. Look like 1.00 plugs and were 32.00 for four when still made.
For terminating speaker cables have gone from bare wire to either spade lugs or quick disconnects. Bare wire is too fiddlely. Nice tinned copper lugs are available on eBay.
Only problem with building your own is the 100’s of unused assembled cables in the attic. Plus untold spools of cable. The piles get larger every year.
I am not averse to spending a lot on cable. Usually purchased 100’ if 10’ is enough.
 
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#18
This SKW RCA interconnect has got good user reviews on Amazon and looking good for the price.
Anyone used it here?


1589897430589.png
 

tmtomh

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#19
The sound-quality claims in the Amazon listing should of course be ignored, and the "single crystal copper" bit probably should be ignored as well.

For interconnects, especially the short distance you seem to be looking at (0.5M), I would say build quality is key, including a firm grip on the RCA port form the RCA connectors on the cable. And with such short cables, you also want to look for good strain relief where the connector sleeves meet the cable itself, as a 0.5M cable is likely to be twisting or curving at a slightly more extreme arc than a longer cable.

That said, these look decently constructed based on the images. I don't know if they're worth $28 a pair, but with the free shipping they are 30% cheaper out the door than the equivalent Blue Jeans Cable version (with BJC's "tech flex" equivalent of the nylon mesh here). Personally I'd spend the extra $10-$12 at Blue Jeans, but I freely admit I have no objective evidence for that preference - I just know from experience that Blue Jeans' stuff tends to be sturdily constructed. These might very well be just as well made or perhaps even better made, for a lower price. It's just hard to know from the online listing. It is Amazon, though, so a return should be easy if you encounter an issue.
 
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GD Fan

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#20
I have a couple of those SKW cables in use, also sourced from Amazon. Nice snug fit, nothing flimsy about them. They do the job.
 
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