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Planet Waves DIY Custom Cable Making Kits Preview

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DIY Cable Kit from Planet Waves

DIY Cable Kit from Planet Waves

Summary

  • Product Name: DIY Custom Cable Making Kits
  • Manufacturer: Planet Waves
  • Review Date: November 27, 2007 12:05
  • MSRP: $249.99-$399.99
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

 

  • Simple 3-Step Assembly Process – Cut, Twist & Screw

  • Features Planet Waves’ In = Out™ technology for pure signal transparency

  • Do-It-Yourself system yields pre-fabricated look, feel & performance

  • Custom length cables provide a neat & clean look - No more coiling excess cable

  • Completely repeatable assembly – Reuse connectors for new applications or devices

  • Take the guess work out of connecting complex A/V systems – 1 Cable for all applications

  • High quality product meets even the most demanding HD performance standards

  • So versatile you can make any cable necessary for Audio/Video applications

  • Complimentary products available should your home theater require more device hook-ups

Cable Specs

All cable meets below specs:

  • Made in USA

  • Meets 75 ohm HD standard

  • Sweep tested 3GHZ over 100ft with nominal db loss

  • Premium Oxygen Free Copper

  • 100% shielding with 95% tinned copper braid & tin foil shield

  • Nitrogen gas injected foam PE dielectric

Connector Features

  • 24 carat Gold-Plated Contacts

  • Sleek Black Chrome Finish

  • Extra color coding rings to indicate applications

  • Extra set screws

PWCK01 Component/AV Solution Kit ($249.99) Includes:

25’ Triple Cable
20  RCA Male Connectors
4    F Connectors
4    Elastic Cable Ties
1    Cable Cutter/Tester
1    Screwdriver

PWCK02 Multi-Function Cable Kit ($249.99) Includes:

25’ Single Cable
25’ Dual Cable
20  RCA Male Connectors
6    F Connectors
8    Elastic Cable Ties
1    Cable Cutter/Tester
1    Screwdriver

PWCK03 Home Theater Installation Kit ($399.99) Includes:

25’ Single Cable
25’ Dual Cable
25’ Triple Cable
38  RCA Male Connectors
4    F Connectors
20  Elastic Cable Ties
1    Cable Cutter/Tester
1    Screwdriver

Executive Overview

Spaghetti – we love to eat it but hate it in wires. The culprit? Wrong length wires. As reviewers, we are constantly installing, changing, and relocating gear. It’s a pain. So we end up with wires that are either way too long or... well, they are mostly just too long. But even before we got into reviewing gear, we had to deal with wires that weren’t exactly the right length. Speaker cables are easy to adjust but what do you do with all those coaxial cables? What to do with all those preterminated cables? You’re pretty much at the mercy of the manufacturer who, at best, will offer lengths in one meter increments right? Unless you want to buy a bunch of expensive tools and learn how to solder and...

Wrong.

Planet Waves had introduced kits that not only provide you with the cable and the connectors, but with a solder-less “screw” solution! Basically all you need to do is cut the cable, twist on the connector, and fasten the set screw. Wow, that sounds easy right? Too easy. You’ll end up with a bunch of cables that won’t work and you’ll have no way of knowing which right? Wrong again. With each of the new Planet Waves kits you’ll be provided with a tester so that you’ll know before you ever plug anything in that the cable works.

Coaxial cable is easily the most commonly used cable in the AV world. It is used for RCA connections, composite video, component video, coaxial digital audio, and subwoofer cables. In fact, many people spend extra on a “subwoofer” cable not knowing that it is essentially the same as the other types. Each of the Planet Waves kits has a selection of wires (all 75 ohm and shielded) and black chrome finished connectors with gold-plated contacts and color coding rings so that you can label them as you wish. Heck, they even include a screwdriver so you don’t have to provide a thing besides your hands!

The priciest of the kits (the “Home Theater Installation Kit” at $399.99) includes a 25 foot run of a single cable (for your coaxial and subwoofer runs), dual cable (for your red/white RCA audio runs), and triple cable (for your component video runs). Of course you also get 38 RCA connectors, 4 F connectors, and 20 elastic ties (for cable management). The other two sets cost $249.99 and come with either simply a 25 foot run of triple cable or a 25 foot run of single and a 25 foot run of double cable (works out to be the same amount of cable) and 20 connectors.

The thing to remember is that these cables can be mixed and matched. If you need a short run of analogue cables for your SACD player (or HD-DVD player), you can either cut a bunch of single cables or some combination of single, dual, and triple cables. It doesn’t matter. It is also important to note that the connectors are completely reusable. So if you make a bunch of cables and connect everything up and then decide to move that piece of gear, you can back off the fastening screw, twist off the connector, trim the cable, and reattach the connector. This gives you a level of flexibility that should put a smile on your face. It did on ours.

With the advent of HDMI and the widespread inclusion of more TOSLink connections than coaxial connections on receivers, this may not be the timeliest of products but it can make a big difference in the rat’s nest behind your component cabinet. We look forward to taking a closer look at this product in the near future.

About the author:

As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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Recent Forum Posts:

mtrycrafts posts on November 30, 2007 19:47
Clint DeBoer, post: 334830
These are tool-less cable kits which require no soldering, etc… so there's a value there for someone wanting to tackle making their own custom-length cables without any hassle.

Too easy.
What, an audiophile not having tools or a non-audiophile? A toolbox is part of being of the male gender
Mudcat posts on November 30, 2007 14:30
Davemcc, post: 334933
I hate my rats nest, but $250 buys a lot of monoprice 3ft cables. The kit should include custom length power cables. All my power cables are 6' and really don't need to be more than 12" with the power center in the same rack as the components. That's were the real rat's nest begins.

Just go to HD or Lowes or PE (un-named express parts supplier on 725 Pleasant Valley Drive in Springboro Ohio 45066-1158) and get some two or three prong plugs and cut and reterminate. That's what I did. Now if I take something out of the rack to another location I'll need an extension cord though.
Rob-PW posts on November 28, 2007 10:06
Hello All

Thank you for commenting on the New PW DIY kits;

Per the comments posted, we can understand the first level of sticker shock regarding these kits. The background of this product is as follows; over the past three years we have been refining and selling this product in the custom install market place, that is the CEDIA group of high end custom installers for home theaters, home automation, and distributed audio installations.

We specifically build the cable to highest standard for High Definition video and audio signal transmission. There is no hype with this product; we build one high quality wire that can be used for any an all coax applications, that is RF (high band width HD Satellite and cable feeds), component video, digital audio, and analog audio. We have built this cable to broadcast HD specifications holding a 75 Ohm impedance at +/- 2%; and a ultra low capacitance of 18 pf/per ft so analog audio can pass with out an filtering or distortion. Simply our goal is to provide in=Out transparency for audio and video; what you put in is what you get out.

So yes you can find cheaper product out there, but you will find with the amount of cables you can make up using one of our kits, at the quality level we put into the cable and connector construction these kits are quite a bargin comparatively to other highend cable manufacturers; roughly 30-40% less expensive then the other guy's mid-tier products; with quality that is more consistent to the higher end products.

I am more then willing to answer any questions regarding this product.

Rob D'Addario
PW Business Manager
smurphy522 posts on November 28, 2007 08:52
Davemcc, post: 334933
I hate my rats nest, but $250 buys a lot of monoprice 3ft cables. The kit should include custom length power cables. All my power cables are 6' and really don't need to be more than 12" with the power center in the same rack as the components. That's were the real rat's nest begins.

I totally agree that it would be great to be able to purchase a quality customizable power cable. However one problem I see with selling a custom power cable may be large liability issues. The safety factor and requirement of having a “UL Cert. product” is part of US law, I believe. Please correct me if I am talking out my rear.
Davemcc posts on November 28, 2007 08:22
I hate my rats nest, but $250 buys a lot of monoprice 3ft cables. The kit should include custom length power cables. All my power cables are 6' and really don't need to be more than 12" with the power center in the same rack as the components. That's were the real rat's nest begins.
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