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Are they reliable? I ask because they are so much cheaper than other brands.
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I've seen a few, by the time I got to use them they were in bad shape.The fan tail end is made with crappy heat shrink, the cable just bends waaay too easily, it causes the connectors to become one big knot. The box end had cheesy ends with tabs that would stick. Overall quality of the cable wasn't that good, these were made maybe 4-5 years ago and for sure their suppliers change etc I doubt quality is something they gave a rats ass about.
Either that or buy from ONLY Rapco, Horizon, Whirlwind, CBI. I know there are a few others but getting from any of these (NOT Hosa) means getting a good snake that will last. I prefer the EWI snakes myself and own 5 or so and many other fan to fan snakes.
i'm a big fan of whirlwind snakes (especially medusa) but i do have an ewi that is quite nice. my whirlwind is older than dirt and is great.
rapco is fine if you take care of it, the jacks in the boxes are weak (entry level rapco) but it takes serious trauma/abuse to mess them up. i've seen more than a few messed up jacks but my old rapco is fine.
Whirlwind, Rapco, Horizon, CBI all have different levels of snake they build. The quality of cable and connector varies by level. A snake is truly a bottleneck in the system, if the snake is suspect there is no work-around. By a good quality snake to start, stay away from ones that are twisted and gnarled.