Upgrading RGB SCART lead - worth it?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Boxinghris, Sep 7, 2003.

  1. Boxinghris

    Boxinghris
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    I currently use a THOR SCART to SCART (£39.95) between Toshiba SD-900E and JVC 25T 32" widescreen CRT, but was wondering if the move to something like a Russ Andrews RGB SCART to SCART at nearer £100 would be worth it - ie, could I see the difference?

    With analogue audio cables in my stereo system, one pair of Kimber ICs costs more than the DVD player and processor combined but the improvement is easily heard - with video I've seen the improvement that the THOR has over standard SCART but changinf from a good SCART to a better SCART I'm not so sure of.

    While I've got your attention, any advantage if I used a component (from the DVD) to RGB SCART (the TV) lead, or would this be a case of 'suck it and see'; I gather some players/TVs process RGB into component before outputting/inputting or visa versa?:confused:
     
  2. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    I'm not a believer in very expensive scart cables. Just like extended guarantees they seem to be more about retailers making excessive profits than serving customers needs. Certainly for what you get they are very poor value. However thats not to say there isn't a difference in quality with regards scart cables. However my perspective is that most very cheap or bundled scart leads are rubbish but most step up scart cables are sufficient. Trouble is many retailers charge silly money for even low quality scart cables.

    Anyway here's a few scart cables to consider;

    http://custom1.farnell.com/cpc/prod...pc+catalogue&category_name=&product_id=252382

    http://custom1.farnell.com/cpc/prod...pc+catalogue&category_name=&product_id=252540

    http://custom1.farnell.com/cpc/prod...pc+catalogue&category_name=&product_id=278126

    http://custom1.farnell.com/cpc/prod...pc+catalogue&category_name=&product_id=252386

    http://custom1.farnell.com/cpc/prod...pc+catalogue&category_name=&product_id=252553

    Remember the shorter the cable the less the loss and the better the picture. If you can get away with a 0.5m cable that would be the best bet.
     
  3. nathan_silly

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    I certainly wouldn't; considering your small TV. Maybe if you had a CRT Front Projector or LCD Front Projector on a 6 or 8 foot screen; even then you can buy good quality cable for £60.

    That THOR cable is good quality. Put that £100 towards more DVD's.

    Personally I wouldn't spend more than £60 for analogue phono pair, £35 for SCART... basically look at it logically- buy higher (mechanical) quality cable on higher end/larger displays.
     
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    This will only work if your TV can accept a component signal via the scart. If not then it wont work. RTFM :devil:

    Mark.
     
  5. kwangomango

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    I posted this a while ago on another thread:
    -----------------
    On my Tosh Strata with Philips 963sa, component connection with Supra AV3 was considerably better than RGB with Thor Scart.
    On my Loewe Mimo with Sony NS930 the same is also true. In both instances component was more detailed, more film like and much more 3D. Colours were also much better.

    Problem is there are a number of variables involved. Could be that both tvs handled component better than RGB. Could be that both players output better with component. Could also be that the Supra cable was just much better than the Thor cable.

    The difference though was clear.
    -------------------

    I have recently tried my Netgem digibox with the Thor Scart transmitting both RGB and component. I can see no difference in picture quality. This leads me to believe that it simply the difference in cable quality which is improving the picture quality. Could well be worth trying out the Supra AV6 or the QED Sqart cables. As long as you can return them if you personally can't see a difference then you won't lose out.
     
  6. owenw

    owenw
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    Think I read this in What Hi-Fi or similar, so take it with a grain of salt, but the general rule of thumb for buying cables is to spend about 10% of the cost of the product. So for a £600 DVD Player you'd spend about 60 quid.

    Is this just BS or good advice?

    I got some IXOS SCARTS ages ago and seem to do the job for my 36"

    Owen
     
  7. gringottsdirect

    gringottsdirect
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    Thats outrageous ! ( :D )
     
  8. probedb

    probedb
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    I think the only thing I'd upgrade to is one which does purely RGB, i.e. not all 21 pins connected :)
     
  9. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    Better Scart leads do work but try them to see how good you need
     
  10. Nike

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    At least with the RA cable, you have 60 days to decide for yourself whether it's worth it or not.
     
  11. steve.wardell

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    there a lot of BS talked about cables, a lot.

    there are a few basic pointers worth bearing in mind, I cant speak for high end kit or cables as I have neither (sob) but mid range try and follow this.

    The cables included with anything will always be crap, trust me they are worth using only if you have nothing else - but they work and will produce results. Take a step up to something higher up the food chain and you will see/hear a difference (spend say £40 on a .5m SCART, say), after this it really starts to fall into the law of deminishing returns - the more you pay the less you get, but you will get something - you might just need some serious equipment to see/hear the difference.

    I recall someone telling me that (for example) directional cable is basically against the laws of physics - I dont know

    I would say spend £40 to £60 on an interconnect and maybe £5 to £10 per metre on speaker cable - but put into perspective with your equipment- if you have £10,000 worth of kit and speakers - might be worth blowing a grand on the wires :)

    IMO most average stores talk crap and should not be figure in your decision making, try a good dealer or better on a forum such as this - a good dealer will demo the cables making a difference - only buy it if you can hear it
     
  12. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    Well I've compared scart cables from various price ranges and even used a multimeter to compare resistance. My own findings were that, there was more difference in picture between a short scart cable (0.5m cable) and long (2m) cable fo the same brand than between some of the more expensive cables compared to medium cost cables. I mean lets face it how can a bit of wire and a couple of plugs be worth £60-100 when whole dvd players sell for less. I bought some cheap scart cables from hills components a few years ago. They were £2.25 plus VAT each if I remember rightly. Chinese made with thick cores, metal scart plugs and gold pins with foil wrapping and a transparent sheath over the cable so you could see if the foil was broken. This work as well as any of the esoteric british made scart cables I've seen that cost upto £100. Step up quality scart cables will be sufficient for most setups. Most of the time a good quality sub £10 0.5m scart cable will beat 2m top end cables. Controversial maybe but its my experience.
     
  13. Boxinghris

    Boxinghris
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  14. steve.wardell

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    its like most thingsm you need to find a balance. A grands worth of cable is not going to make a worthwhile difference on 500 quids worth of kit (but on a couple of grands worth I am sure it will, and u r right at that level its the very fine details and subtle changes that make the difference)

    Maybe its a bit like the vinyl v's CD argument (or maybe not - God what am I starting) - Vinyl is better - no doubt, but you need a lot of very good kit to get the best out of it and for a few hundered quid CD will sound better compared to the same spent on Vinyl

    I have some decent (ish) interconnects (50 quid) and some reasonable SCARTS (25 to 40 quid) which gives me what I want. Cable will only ever bring out detail that the source can extract from the media and the speakers/display are capable of.

    If you cant hear the difference, spend the money on more DVD/CD's
     
  15. JUS

    JUS
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    Not sure if you'd see £100 worth of difference by buying the RA cable..but.... As Nick said, they give a 60 day no quibble money back guarantee so why not go for it. Choose for yourself then.

    Just don't get into analysing every tiny picture fault. Give you headaches and eye strain :D

    Jus.
     
  16. Boxinghris

    Boxinghris
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    My whole system is wired with Kimber mains cable which is basically Kimber 8TC that I also use for the speakers so it's quality is well known to me for audio applications, and Russ' SCART cable also looks to be 8TC.

    What I'll probably do is pick up a couple of decent SCART connectors similar to those used by Russ and use some spare 8TC to wire up the three RGB pins once I figure out which they are.

    The 8TC is a great cable being both high capacitance and low impedence, and the desgn combats RFI/EMF without excessive shielding. From a DIY point of view it's a pain in the backside to strip eight separate conductors per end and twisting them together results in a big connection to make with whatever termination is used, but so far it's been worth the effort and cut finger-tips for the results with audio and mains.

    Currently got the 'Gracelands' DVD playing in the background....
     
  17. Uncle Dicky

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    Just a few notes to pick up from bonzobanana's post.

    Using a good quality RGB scart cable can make a massive difference to picture quality. When you say you are not a believer in expensive scart cables is it more accurate to say you are unwilling to pay for added performance? A £35 scart cable will give you a step up in performance but that is just the start.

    As for the cable length, you will often find that a 1metre interconnect works more effectively than a shorter or longer length, whether it be an audio, digital or video interconnect. The reason for this is most manufacturers design their cables at 1metre and the impedance is matched at 75ohms for a 1m run. If you shorten or lengthen a cable impedance matching is then compromised.

    Don't bother with a Russ Andrews scart. If you can get an Audioquest 1m X-scart it is one of the best cables available on the market. Second to that I recommend the Chord scart to forum readers.
     
  18. Boxinghris

    Boxinghris
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    I think you'll find that the 75 ohm spec is misleading when it comes to a digital cable as an RCA/Phono termination can only physically support around 35 ohms, and this is why my own transport and DAC has true 75 ohm BNC terminations on both ends.

    In line-level audio applications the impedence varies considerably and 75 ohm isn't aimed for by any manufacturer I'm aware of, and again the use of RCA terminations makes it impossible anyway (although a company called Stealth makes a digital cable called 'Varidig' whose mean impedence is 75 ohm - apparently).

    When you say 'don't bother with the Russ Andrews SCART' I assume you must have experience with this cable?
    I have just discovered a review of his RGB SCART and the reviewer is very impressed despite the cost, but in general I've found every Kimber cable I've ever used to be nothing less than superb so I'd be interested in your own views after using the Russ Andrews SCART.
     
  19. bonzobanana

    bonzobanana
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    Its not that I'm unwilling to pay the difference I honestly can't see a difference in picture quality that merits the price and I've seen cheaper cables give a better picture than dearer ones. There are just so many variables. The dvd players output levels may be slightly higher to allow for poor cables. The television may be overally sensitive or insensitive to scart signal levels. You may be able to make the case that in theory electrically a 0.5m cable produces a worse picture than a 1m cable of identical plugs and cable but this is not born out in practice and common sense would dictate that more signal would be lost on the longer cable.

    I'm convinced in a real world test where different scart cables were used unknown to testers they would have great difficulty in predicting the cost of each scart cable by looking at the screen and short 0.5m cables would be mainly victorious as long as they had at least good basic cable and connectors.
     
  20. gringottsdirect

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    Well it's too late for me, I have drawers full of QED, Ixos, and various other makes of scarts, phono to phonos, DIN leads and fancy speaker cables.
    I don't mind having spent the money, enjoyed experimenting and some of them sure look pretty :kisses: , but if asked if I thought they made a worthwhile improvement would have to say... not really. :cool:
     
  21. Uncle Dicky

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    Boxinghris,

    What you say about inpedance matching and RCA connections is entirely true. In fact any kind of terminal on a piece of kit will affect things, which makes cable design all the more difficult.

    75ohms is normally quoted when reffering to video cables but it is also the ideal for audio interconnects as well. If you come to test a wide ranger of audio interconnects you will find the value is often closer to 50ohms, but higher end cables such as Nordost for example achieve a value closer to 75ohms. For a higher end cable, variance of up to 5ohms is acceptable.

    Yes I have had experience of the Russ Andrews scart and as I say I do not rate it as much as other cables on the market. Audioquest X-scart and the Chord scart are the two best value for money I have seen.
     
  22. calscot

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    A good idea could be to buy the most sought after cables on the forum. Then if you wish to upgrade or change to another type of cable you'll have no problem selling in the classifieds.

    Cheers,
    Cal.
     

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