what makes one coaxial cable better than another?

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 Since better shielding equals less signal interference, it just makes sense that one of the best measures of a coaxial cable’s quality is, in fact, its shielding. Types of shielding can vary greatly, as can the amount present from one cable to next – coax typically has anywhere from one to four layers. The best coaxial shields are the ones that offer the highest density, or percentage of cover. Tightly-woven metal braid makes an excellent choice – in addition to being highly conductive, it can provide as much as 95% coverage. For extra protection, some manufacturers combine braid with an additional layer or two of metallic foil, which helps to block small amounts of EMI that often manage to seep into the cable through tiny holes found in the braid.

When it comes to cable quality, conductor materials can be a hotly debated issue. While some manufacturers and A/V enthusiasts will tout the benefits of silver and oxygen-free copper (OFC), the truth is that – used as core conductors – these metals generally don’t perform any better than standard or tinned copper. They do, however, sound really high-end, and are great at sending cable markups through the roof. Always trust a cable’s specifications over fancy labeling.


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