I A/B'ed an $8.00 HDMI cable from Firefold versus a $150 top-of-the-line Monster Cable and actually preferred the Firefold.
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The very cheap HDMI cables do not have accurate colors and they have poor depth of field and poor color depth and they use very cheap connectors and do not last very long too. The better and much higher priced HDMI cables gives you an amazing depth of field and very accurate colors and great color depth. The best HDMI cable that I have found is Wegrzyn's pure 4N solid-core silver signature HDMI cable...it uses the best pure silver..and best silver solder and HDMI connectors that money can buy. I'm not connected to this company in any way.
I found monoprice to be much better than stock cable. I bough the Wireworld Silver [used] it is visably better as is the Van den Hul I got for my wife's TV. But not in the proportion of cost to performance. Anybody who is still using stock needs to go to the monoprice or other good cable. The more expensive ones CAN be better but the law of diminishing returns sets in.
If you choose Monoprice, be sure to choose the Professional or Premium version. The most significant difference is the gauge of the wire used - 22 or 24 vs 26 or 28ga.
For short lengths, the gauge may not be a factor for signal loss but the chances of getting a quality soldered internal connection is much higher with the heavier gauge.
I've opened up enough cables to know that a quality soldered connection is NOT a given - even for high-priced boutique cables.
The quality of the connection has a HUGE influence on the quality of the signal. More so than the wire itself especially for short runs.
Durability of the cable itself is another factor to consider - 28ga is not a good choice for something that may be flexed a lot.
Technically if each cable meets the 1.3 standard there should be no difference. Most cables, Monoprice and all others are sold on the basis they meet the standard. Having said that, each cable may not be meeting the standard due to manufacturing defect differences from cable to cable. So, a cable that does not meet the standard will always do poorly when compared to one that does. Once you prove the actual cables you have meet standard's, nothing short of a double blind test would be the way to prove which is 'superior'.
The better the TV is the more your see the differences in these really good and much higher priced HDMI cables. We have one of the best TVs that has ever come on the market..The Pioneer krp-500m Plasma and they were the last TVs that Pioneer made and are even better than the Pioneer Elite models! If you don't have a really good TV then NO, your not going to see a big difference in the picture with these much higher priced and better made HDMI cables....
TheDautch, for a fair comparasion, suggested to test all the Hdmi's from the same source.
Anyways, I assum you have read my rating from other thread: http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?fcabl&1247882008&openfrom&1&4#1
- Nordost Silver Screen: 8 (very bright, clean and details. Low noise). Highly recommend for High-end users.
- AQ hdmi-3:............ 8 (very deep, beautiful, and accurate colors. Great details & very low noise). Highly recommend for hi-end users.
- AQ hdmi-1:............ 7.5 (colorful, details, and low noise) Recommend for Hi-end users.
- Supra Cable v1.3:..... 7 (bright, clean, & details. Low noise & decent price). Good for Hi-end users.
- BlueJeanCable:........ 5 (decent colors, somewhat noisy & lack of sharpness. Great price.) Decent for Hi-end users.
- Monster-1000:......... 4.5 (its video quality is, somewhat, equally to BJC)I wouldn't buy it.
- MonoPrice:............ 2 (very dark, nasty, & inaccurate colors. Lots of video noise; it's a VCR's picture quality) Not recommend for Hi-end users.
i heard a huge difference when i hooked up a high grade silver core hdmi. didn't take but 10 seconds for me to say wow!. did direct a/b comparisons between a moster $25 1.3 hdmi and ps audio's new I2S-12 ($500). detail and sound stage improvements were VERY obvious regarding audio when using my perfect wave transport and dac. remarkable imo.
did the same comparison using my tv too SAT hook-up and noticed no difference what so ever. nothing! hifisoundguy may be right with his comments above. i've got a decent/nice sony bravia xbr tv, but it's nothing special.
not sure what conclusion to draw here, but i'm keeping the pricey psa line.
I did a/b with generic vs BJC series-1 4' and BJC was clearly better - sound and pic diff was clear. IMO, you can get a 4' BJC length for $20, just get it - it is worth it!
I am also using a Monoprice 35' 22AWG silver plated to my projector and it is pretty good. But, if I bring my Oppo next to projector and hook it up with Blue Jeans 4', I find picture more vibrant. I am ok with mono for long length now as don't want to spend $300-$500 on a 40' long hdmi cable at this time.
If you are not really using HDMI for audio, i.e. just TV/movies/Blu Ray, then i would recommend the Blue Jeans. It was a HUGE jump from the free cable from Comcast and even a $70 Belkin cable from Target. The colors were much better and the audio was much improved.
The video quality is very good-- good enough for me. The audio quality is good, but of course could use being improved. If you watch a lot of concert DVD/Blu Rays or are super critical with your movie watching--i'd consider a modest upgrade.
Negative, people. Bits are bits are bits. The information is there, or it isn't. There is error checking at both ends of the HDMI cable. Jitter and electrical interference is not a factor here. Color space does not change with different cables. If the cable is faulty, you will see a little loss in the form of sparkly dots, then the signal cuts out.
I have no doubt that all of you see a difference, because of the placebo effect. How could a company charge 4000 bucks for a cable if there is no difference, right? Sorry folks, when it comes to expensive digital HDMI cables, it's all snake oil salesmanship.
Have someone switch different HDMI cables randomly without you knowing. Thing is, the placebo effect works even when you know there IS a placebo.
The good news is, you are not insane. The bad news is, you are a sucker. Worse news is, there are so many people that have fallen into the same trap, and then continue to reinforce this false ideal amongst themselves.
I really feel bad for people that waste a ton of money on stuff based on the principles of magic and witchcraft, instead of testable science.
If "testable science" were as absolute as you make it out to be, no "scientific fact" would ever be overturned or modified.
If it's all attributable to the placebo effect, why do our subjective impressions run counter to our expectations so often?