Bulk cables are typically speaker runs, network cable, video cable, RF (TV antenna) feeds or control cables. Regardless of the purpose, good quality cables ensure trouble-free installation and interference free operation.
Reputable manufacturers of cable ensure continuous reliable quality. They also conduct R&D into improved conductors and shielding. Considering you only install cable once if you can help it. It pays to do it right the first time.
Particular cable types have specific shielding design properties which make them ideally suited to rejecting the interference on the frequencies at which they operate.
For instance RF signals are shielded with braided wire, foil and air spaces. Network cables are shielded with plastic and a very specific twist.
It's tempting to think we can just use any old cable found lying around the shed, up to an including electrical flex. But the results always sound and look terrible.
Speaker cables require the ability to deliver as much current as the amplifier can deliver as cleanly as possible to the speakers.
Thickness or gauge of a cable determines in part it's resistance to the flow of current. The intrinsic conductivity of the conductor also is pivotal. Copper free from impurity such as oxygen which will promote oxidation (duh) will inhibit current flow and degrade quality.
Therefore it is not just size that counts, it's what's inside. As a rule, use the best you can afford, then spend just a little more - so you'll never wonder.
When it comes to choosing the right cable design for the job Audio Junction are the experts. There are literally dozens of design standards for cables. Each of these has a purpose and a role to play. Knowing which is which is our job.
Basically speaking coaxial cables are used to carry signals with little current eg RF or subwoofer cables. Speaker cables which are required to carry larger current loads are typically larger conductor cores. Figure 8 cables are easier to handle and terminated than multicore round cables, although generally their resistance to outside interference is lower than a well twisted multicore cable.
Bi-wiring of speakers means running another cable run from the amplifier to the speaker. Many speakers have 2 sets of binding posts on the back of them. These are typically linked into pairs by jumper wires or plates.
In a bi-wired system, these plates are removed and the cables are connected to the separate sets of binding posts.
The effect of this is remove any chance for echos back up the cable effecting the signal, it also increases the total amount of copper between power source and driver, reducing the resistance to current flow.
Bi-amping is more
easily achieved with a bi-wired system.
Interconnects are the cables that carry the signals between individual devices in your system. These include DVD players connections to amplifiers, and to displays, CD player to amplifier, Foxtel to DVD recorder. Essentially exactly what it sounds like - interconnecting devices.
The quality of the interconnects effects the quality of all reproduction downstream of that cable. Audio Junction can advise the best interconnects for the system you have to maximise the audio and video capability of the devices in the system.
The quality and materials used in the cable conductor core, shielding and plug fittings all have an impact on the picture or audio quality passing through the cable.
Gold is a preferred conductor for coating plugs as gold is inert and does not tarnish. Tarnish is oxidation of the metal coating the surface in much more poorly conducting oxygen-ified (new word invented here) metal.
Pastes are available from Audio Junction to further improve the connection quality. This paste is a highly conductive super goo of a mysterious metallic recipe that sounds superb.
There is more to connecting together an audio or video system than just plugging in plugs that look alike. The signal carried on these cables are very different and not necessarily easily converted between.
Some standards can be adapted with plugs or cables, other standards require electronic processing of the information content of the signals to generate the required output standard.
Audio Junction carries an enormous range of adaptors and plugs to cope with almost any contingency. Believe us when we say we've virtually seen it all!
Most commonly encounter requirements to convert Video signals. Broadly speaking, it is easier to go down in image quality than up. For instance, it is easy to get Composite video from S-Video, but not simple to get component video from S-Video. This is because the higher the quality the video connection standard is, the more information it must be able to carry. This is known as increased bandwidth.
The SCART (french acronym) also known as the Euro connector contains within it all the connections required to carry all these signals + audio + some control in a bidirectional manner. The use of SCART cables dramatically simplifies already fairly simple systems, but once the system begins to include home theatre receivers, the video switching requirements mean that somehow you need to break these individual signal out of the SCART whole.
Cable adaptors are available in Audio Junction to easily convert to any of these standards from or to SCART
Be wary of the SCART leads supplied with some equipment as it may only contain pin connections for composite video, and maybe S Video and analog stereo sound.
There is no easy way to convert from RGB to Component. A number of electronic changes must be made to the signal including overlaying the sync signals onto the green in component.
Audio Junction does stock devices for making this conversion, enabling component out of some foxtel boxes and DVD players with only RGB outputs.
Conversion from one digital connection to the other involves a small circuit to do the translation. These are available from Audio Junction to go in either direction. These are very handy when you run out of optical inputs on a receiver for example.
Be aware that you are introducing another device into the signal path when you do this conversion.