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The Royal Scam - A Tale of Two Cables

Some of the regulars here might recall a thread from Roy in Norway seeking help with a powercord that needed a European Schuko plug. Roy bought this cable from the states and it arrived with the usual US nema three prong plug. The manufacturer Electra Glide was initially not very cooperative if not downright nasty to Roy but eventually offered to change the plug for something like $75-100 plus shipping back and forth.

I volunteered to send Roy a high quality Schuko plug or install one for him (for the cost of the return postage) if he sent me the cable (I´m in Germany). He has since sent me the powercord and a nice CD as "payment".

What I am now about to say is only done so because I was so totally shocked when I removed the NEMA plug to install the Schuko. This product is the biggest Flim Flam rip-off I have ever seen (sorry if this hurts Roy, I know you paid a bundle for it) and everyone should be warned about it.

This cable, if you can call it that, consists of two flat copper strips each of which are shoved through a semi-flexible clear PVC tube. The tubes are sprayed with a non-conductive copperish-gold color paint and covered with a black woven jacket. That's it. No ground and no shield. The whole thing is shoved into the connectors and held together with tons of hotglue. The workmanship leaves much to be desired.

The flat copper strips work out to be about 13awg but are cut down to a narrow strip on each end to go into the connector. The effective wire size that makes contact is about 18awg.

Electra Glide calls this cable the Fatman 2000 Gold. I don't know what it costs but I think someone here mentioned $2500. The copper band used costs about $1-2/ft, the PVC tube even less and the connectors and woven jacket about $10. For a 6 foot "cable" that's about $40 tops plus labor to assemble it which is probably more than the material costs.

The only cable even worse than this was an Aural Symphonics phono cable a friend sent me to fix, it hummed like crazy. This cable was a real treat made from a 5 conductor AC hook-up cable shoved in a corrugated plastic conduit. The conduit was covered with a shield and the ever present Tech-Flex like woven jacket. Remember this was supposed to be a phono cable! The 5 pin connector for the tonearm was connected via a short length of real tonearm wire to this massive welding cable sized monster. One side of each of the cartridge channels was soldered to the massive 5 strand powercord and the other side to the shield on the outside of the plastic tube. No wonder it hummed. This was another multi-thousand dollar cable with about $50 worth of material. The phono plug probably cost more than the whole of the rest of the cable.

Fortunately there are some serious audio cable manufacturers out there like XLO, Cardas, Kimber, Straightwire and others but the likes of the above should be avoided.

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Topic - The Royal Scam - A Tale of Two Cables - garth 09:19:31 08/27/01 (59)

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