Top positive review
132 people found this helpful
Excellent Quality For the Money
on June 14, 2010
As someone who does quite a bit of home theater installations, I have to say that I was very impressed by these cables the first time I purchased them. They are now my "go-to" component video/audio cable for both personal use and my freelance A/V work. In my opinion, they represent an exceptional value for this price point.
Within the nondescript cardboard box they come in, lurks a very well-made cable. They have:
1) an enclosed, 5-in-1 design for the length of the cable, meaning the 5 individual cables are sealed together up to about 3" before termination. This makes it very easy to run through walls, cable ports, or organizers compared to a bundle of separate cables. It also helps cut back on overall cable clutter, and helps save space behind your components. Cable identification also benefits from this design.
2) a braided cloth jacket. Not only is it elegant, but the smooth cloth will help prevent snagging on other cables and components.
3) solidly made, gold-plated connectors. The collar around the center pin is segmented; this is an expected feature on any good quality cable, and it means you can easily crimp the collar if you need a tighter grip on the component's I/O jack.
4) good shielding. Although I have not cut open the cable to investigate its shielding, they evidently are above average as determined by my informal "interference inductance" test. This is a test I do whereby I pass a strong magnet near the cables while they are conducting a signal, and look for signs of interference or signal degradation. While this is not a "lab-quality" scientific test, it does help simulate EMI that might be encountered by the cable from electronic components or power cords and transformers, and if a cable can stand up to this test it will generally perform well against lower-power EMF, and probably exhibit no 'crosstalk'. These Mediabridge cables passed, and this is one of the reasons I am now using these cables so extensively in HT installations, where there a lot of other cables and various electronic gear.
In general, I can see no flaws in the design. Because you have 5 cables bundled into 1 they are somewhat stiff, but not significantly inflexible. Keep in mind that usually the point of weakness and failure of most any cable is at the junction between cable and connector. I don't know if these cables have any stress-relief inside the terminator body (none is visible), but unless you do much repeated hooking and unhooking of your components I would not expect any problems with these cables. Just make sure that when you unhook these (or any cable) from a component, you grasp the end connector's metal body and pull-- never yank on the end of the cable itself (sometimes a slight clockwise twisting motion of the connector while pulling will assist with very tight connections). However, if I notice any unusual or premature failure of these cables I will post back and amend my review.
It is amazing to consider that the major-chain electronics stores regularly sell "premium" (and not so premium) A/V cables for $50 or more. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with those cables, they are almost always dramatically overpriced. It is simply unnecessary to spend that much if you know what to look for. Although it may be possible to get a slightly better cable for more money, I have not come across a better value on a component video + stereo audio set with this kind of build quality. In conclusion, I would confidently recommend these cables to any discerning buyer, and will buy them again myself when the need arises.