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monster cable, worth it?

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17 replies to this topic

#1 of 18 OFFLINE   John David

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Posted December 09 2003 - 11:53 AM

Am I really getting extra for my investment in Monster cable or can I get just as good a performance out of other cable as long as it is the same gauge? I am currently comparing monster vs acoustic research at best buy. Is there another brand that might be better? Where is the best place to get this kind of thing?

#2 of 18 OFFLINE   Roger Q

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Posted December 09 2003 - 12:04 PM

Broadly there are two camps: Camp 1: Don't waste your money on cable. Camp 2: Cables make a difference so invest in some good cables. I'm not qualified to tell you which camp you should be in. However, I'm in the camp 2. If you fall into that category, which it sounds like you are until someone tells you otherwise, then I've got some comments/suggestions for you. Monster Cables does not sell several of their upper end lines of cables at BB or CC. You can find them at places like Tweeters or other higher end hi-fi shops. But, before you spend too much check out Better Cables (online only). After buying several expensive Monster Cables I've switched to Better Cables. The mark ups up on Monster Cables sold in retail outlets are crazy. So, without doing A/B comparisons I'd suggest the Better Cables are a better value.

#3 of 18 OFFLINE   Todd Thurman

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Posted December 09 2003 - 12:36 PM

I have not used Better Cables so I can't really say other than I have heard good things about them. I recently finshed remodeling our home theater room and was looking for something I was comfortable running under the crawl space for the rears. I found what I thought was a great deal on Monster in wall rated 12 AWG OFC. This stuff is covered with a large white outer jacket but remains fairly flexible like other monster products. I have nothing bad to say about it. I have bought it two times now from Summit Source on ebay, search for their name and be sure to select in titles and descriptions then look for "NEW MONSTER 12GA DIGITAL INWALL SPEAKER CABLE". I would post the link but don't know if that is permitted. This usually sells for 1.95 per foot but they are selling it for 5.95 for every ten feet. If they don't show enough in stock call them. Shipping was very reasonable as well, $12.00 for 200 feet that was pretty heavy. Monster has pulled this inventory and replaced it with an orange outer jacket. I actually preferred white since it doesn't show as bad against our white base boards up near the mains. I agree that Monster is over priced but this seemed like a fair price.

#4 of 18 OFFLINE   Jesse Sharrow

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Posted December 09 2003 - 01:12 PM

I work at soundtrack and I sell monster cables. I acctually can tell a difference between a "good" monster cable and a "best" monster cable. I have done comparisons. At the price I get it for I see no reason not to. But I do agree, I think the price we sell it at is pretty crazy. But I wont tell a customer that, cuz it makes me $$$$$$. :-D But I do think it is worth it. Now the comparison I did was on a $300 yamaha bookshelf system. I just bought my boston VR-950's and Yamaha Receiver so I am going to do another test with that equipment. I think if I could tell a diff with the cheap system I should be able to tell on the better system.

#5 of 18 OFFLINE   Sean_P_O'Brien



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Posted December 09 2003 - 01:19 PM

I can see going high end for the fronts. Is it necessary to do the same for the surrounds? I'm looking at a 5.1 setup. With 5-way binding posts the speakers is there a preferred or recommended cable termination?

#6 of 18 OFFLINE   Chuck Schilling

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Posted December 09 2003 - 02:38 PM

I'm one of the Philistines who cannot hear, and will not pay for, the difference between "premium" cables and standard 12 ga. stranded electrical wire. I use plain old 12 ga. stranded copper wire available at Home Depot/Radio Shack/wherever, and am entirely unable to detect any sonic difference in my application between this contractor grade wire and the premium wires (other than price, of course). And lest you think that's only because I (as Philistines must, of course) am listening through crapola gear, I assure you that is not the case. Bottom line - let your ears be the judge. Mine say that my money's better spent on other things. Perhaps yours will say different - but you'll never know until you experiment.

#7 of 18 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted December 09 2003 - 07:21 PM

I would not recommend Monster for interconnects. I have compared them to a few other companies, and I felt they were the worst of the bunch. My favorites so far have been Audioquest (which I am using various models of in both of my systems) and MIT. For speaker wire, Monster is just fine, but pretty much any OFHC will work as well. The real question is, what is the rest of your gear? I wouldn't spend more than 10-15% of the system cost on cables and wire.
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#8 of 18 OFFLINE   Chu Gai

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Posted December 09 2003 - 10:43 PM

Well I'm in the camp that says investing in depeciating assests isn't a very good investment Posted Image

#9 of 18 OFFLINE   ChrisLazarko


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Posted December 10 2003 - 01:39 PM

I like to spend a little extra and I use 14Ga. monster cable. It was like $25 for a 50 foot strand. Kind of a rip off I thought, but since I already had a ton of monster wire and just needed some extra I went for it. I would probably stick with Monster but BetterCables also offers some great stuff from what I have heard. If I was doing a new project I would probably try to do it with BetterCables.

#10 of 18 OFFLINE   David Judah

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Posted December 10 2003 - 03:41 PM

[quote] Well I'm in the camp that says investing in depeciating assests isn't a very good investment [quote]
Then you must have borrowed someones computer to post that. Posted Image

FWIW, I think cables can make a difference, but I'm not a freak about it. After A/B'ing the free OFC 12 g. I got from my dealer and some Monster Z2 wire, I felt the free stuff anttenuated the treble a bit--not huge, but noticeable.

Monster does make good quality cables; I doubt many will dispute that, but how good of a value they are because of their price is more debatable.

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#11 of 18 OFFLINE   Bret Pritchett

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Posted December 11 2003 - 01:32 AM

I'm in Camp 3 Posted Image

I buy all my Monster Cable at very low prices from online retailers or Ebay stores. I've found some prices online (for the same model # Circuit City or Best Buy carries) for as much as half of the price!

and yes, Audio Research has very nice cables. I'm using them for my turntables.

#12 of 18 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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Posted December 11 2003 - 01:49 AM

[quote] Monster does make good quality cables; I doubt many will dispute that, but how good of a value they are because of their price is more debatable [quote] I would tend to agree with this. If you can find Monster discounted then I wouldn't dispute their value.

#13 of 18 OFFLINE   Ernest Yee

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Posted December 11 2003 - 10:51 AM

Actually - I believe there are 3 camps - most of us fall into my def of #2 1 - Cables / Interconnects don't make a difference so just get your cheapy local Ratshack or hardware store to get some generics 2 - Cables / Interconnects make a difference up to a point -which after that point, becomes marginal. These people will not dispute the quality of Nordost but might critize the value gained for the extra cost. 3 - Cables / Interconnects are as valuable as components and should be treated as such. Where the value of a cable upgrade is valued almost as highly as a source or speaker upgrade. This is why there is such a large DIY following for speaker cables - you gain the exotic performance at an attainable cost.

#14 of 18 OFFLINE   Bob McElfresh

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Posted December 11 2003 - 01:08 PM

John, Welcome to HTF!Posted Image

The AR pro series of cables have a good following around here. My own break-down is something like this:

Speaker Wire: You need thicker wires for the long runs. Many of us buy a spool of 12 ga and use it everywhere. The Sound King brand from www.partsexpress.com is a great value and great quality.

Subwoofer Cable: These low-frequency signals work well on nearly any audio cable. Just make sure the RCA plugs fit snug and you are fine. AR, or Radio Shack cables work well.

Coaxial Digital: This is just a video cable. Buy the AR brand. You wont hear any difference between this and a $300 botique cable.

Video Cables: From low-grade sources like CATV box, VCR, go with the budget AR cables.

But from a higher-quality source like a progressive-scan DVD player, HD decoder box, etc., here is where I would buy a bit better quality.

Base this on your televison. If it's 50" or less and standard-video, buy the AR cables. But for a larger television or HDTV, consider a HD rated cable from one of the custom cable sites.

The AR Pro component cables run about $40. A custom cable made with Canare RCA plugs and Canare/Belden coax starts at about $46 - not a lot of difference for real production-studio quality cables.

Hope this helps.

#15 of 18 OFFLINE   Paul S

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Posted December 12 2003 - 08:39 AM

Go to the Audioholics web site and get yourself an education in cables. You won't find many there that agree that high priced cables are worth the money. They also have the math to prove it.

#16 of 18 OFFLINE   Frank**F



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Posted December 12 2003 - 09:29 AM

I've got 14-gauge Home Depot wire running to all speakers from my Denon 3803. Speakers are all Axiom - not junk. I use Radio Shack Gold Series connector cables on all components. I definitely see a difference between the junky cheapo cables that come with the componenets and the RS Gold cables, but for my money, I'm at the point of diminishing returns right now. As far as speakers, the sound is most excellent, and I don't havea long run, so we're finished with that discussion. The sound is good, the picture quality is good, end of problem.

#17 of 18 OFFLINE   Jason_A


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Posted December 12 2003 - 11:28 AM

MonsterCable is not worth it at all. Overpriced cheaply created cable which can be done for the majority by yourself and probably double the quality. HtPB

#18 of 18 OFFLINE   Darrin W-G

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Posted December 12 2003 - 03:03 PM

Ideally I would want Monster Turbine plugs silver soldered onto Acoustic Research Cable.. Posted Image

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