HDMI, component, composite, RCA interconnects, what do they all have in common?Usually it’s copper, which is one of the best metals at conducting electricity there is.
In fact according to an article from Wikipedia titled “electrical resistivity and conductivity”, only silver
In more conductive than copper and gold is actually less conductive than both.
It is also very cost effective copper is $2.93 per pound on the stock exchange (April-20-2019).
Why then do some stores charge huge amounts for cables, some priced at hundreds of dollars, even for a short pair of interconnects?
In fact a copper 12 gauge speaker cable has probably 500 percent more copper per foot than an average HDMI cable or RCA interconnect cable. This 12 gauge copper speaker wire is usually sold at about 80 cents to $1.00 per foot from installers, but this sells at some stores for double to triple that price!
Meanwhile HDMI cables are often sold at 6-7 times that price (6 foot HDMI cable $39.99 plus HST).
The same store sells very cheap quality component cables with very low quality connectors,
approximately 32 gauge wire, 6 feet long sells for $29.99 plus HST that’s five times more!
I have personally made custom RCA interconnect and subwoofer cables for many customers for ½ the price of what they bought from a store on which at ½ price was supposed to be a great cable with a brand name which I will not mention due to legal implications.
After putting an ohm meter on the store cable vs the one I made the store cables had 2- 5 times more resistance, meaning the signals were being cut by 2 -5 times before reaching the receiver or pre-amp, or sub-woofer.
Why do cables cost so much at some stores? Smoke and mirrors, disinformation and misinformation!
They often also make them pretty, put a brand name on them and tell you they are GOLD PLATED!
I’m sure I’m going to cause a lot of blowback from companies or stores, because the price on most cables these days is outrageous.
So what’s important when purchasing cables? Don’t fall for smoke and mirrors.
Speaker cable Make sure it’s 100 percent copper (not CCA, copper clad aluminum) 14 gauge and 12
Gauge for runs longer than 50 feet. Also it would help to have a stripe to identify positive vs negative.
HDMI cables Again wire gauge is important, the larger gauge sizes will allow longer runs and therefore
more information to pass as well. With newer 4K cables a lot more information must pass than a standard 1080P cable. For short runs it’s not usually an issue.
RCA component or composite cables (interconnects)
These cables are still used for individuals who are running composite, component, left and right, and sometimes surround channels output from a CD, DVD or Blu-ray player. That player then decodes the digital signal internally via an internal DAC (digital analogue convertor) and passes those now analogue signals to a receiver, pre-amps stereo or 7.1 input. In this case wire gauge also matters, thicker is better as far as the connectors go. A good quality connector is one that looks and feels solidly built and fits quite snugly when plugged in.