Any cables better/comparable to Monster?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Christopher Chung, Aug 6, 2001.

  1. Christopher Chung

    Christopher Chung Stunt Coordinator

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    Since money is a bit tight, as it always is, I was wondering if I can buy cables that are a little less expensive than what Monsters cost. I only really need speaker wire and some new RCA cables. A sales associate told me that the only thing that makes Monster so good is that they are shielded to protect from interference, but can't you get another cable that does that too?
    Thanks!
    Chris
     
  2. Brian Corr

    Brian Corr Supporting Actor

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    You can also use the radio shack stuff which is just as good as most of the monster stuff.
    I just redid all my cables and have the stuff I pulled out that I will sell for cheap if you are interested. Email me at [email protected] if you would like a list of what I have.
    Most are monster and acoustic research. (speaker cable, audio, video, etc.)
     
  3. James Q Jenkins

    James Q Jenkins Stunt Coordinator

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    The Radio Shack gold series are pretty good. They are a very tight on the connection though.
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    -JQJ
     
  4. Shade Watson

    Shade Watson Stunt Coordinator

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    Sean,
    The 12awg speaker cable at my local Home Depot, has one side of the cable silver color, and one side copper color. I asked the clerk what material was the silver side, and he said that it was copper that has been treated to differentiate it from the other side.
    This seems kinda strange to me. Is this the cable you are talking about?
     
  5. Mike Burke

    Mike Burke Stunt Coordinator

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    You could try using Lowe's 12G speaker wire, it's Oxygen free and cost's .80 a foot. I would 2nd the Radio Shack Interconnects too. You will NOT be able to hear ANY difference between the R/S, Home Depot, or Lowes 12GA. When we are talking about cables in this price range the difference is measurable NOT audible! Meaning it takes some fancy equipment to analzye the difference.
    I had posted a copy of a story in Stereo Review from 1983 (yes 1983) about this exact topic. The jist of the story was 20 "experts" could NOT hear an audible difference between the cables and they only were able to measure the difference in resistance.
    Mike
     
  6. Westly T

    Westly T Second Unit

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    I prefer AR Pro cables (not the Best Buy el cheapo ones)to RS cables by far. This web site sells them and so does Sears.
    http://www.accessories4less.com
    As for the speaker cables, I agree with the above recommendations.
    PS There are many, many cables better then monster!
    ------------------
    - Wes
    My Home Theater
    The MMG were replaced with 1.6QR's and added Marantz MA-700's. SVS is here. Ok, allot more then that has changed, I'll update my page some day...
    [Edited last by Westly T on August 06, 2001 at 10:32 AM]
     
  7. Tim Markley

    Tim Markley Screenwriter

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    I also recommend the AR cables. Same quality as Monster but a much better price. You can also find them at AVConnect.com . Best Buy also carries AR cables but they only have the lowest level. I prefer the Pro series.
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Christopher: Your salesman is very in-experienced and assumes you are less-knowledgable than he is. Let's fix this:
    All interconnects are constructed with "Co-Axial" (called coax) cable which includes a shield.
    Have you ever cut the end off of a piece of CATV coax? Your interconnects will look the same: a center wire, some white stuff enclosing it, and either foil or mesh outside of that.
    (If not, go to Radio Shack and ask them to show you the end of some CATV coax.)
    The foil/mesh on the outside is called the "Shield" and this acts to protect the signals on the center wire.
    This construction is the same on Monster, Radio Shack, Acoustic Research, RCA, and generic CATV coax.
    Monster cables are good quality in terms of their construction, packaging, etc. But they are over-priced because they spend lots of money on commissions/trips/prizes for salesmen who sell the most Monster products.
    For runs about 6-8 feet going to a tube-type television, I dont think you could see or hear any difference between Monster/Radio Shack/AR cables.
    When your display gets big, or the runs get long, then you might want to consider a higher-grade cable. But for now, Radio Shack Gold series is quite good.
    [Edited last by Bob McElfresh on August 06, 2001 at 02:54 PM]
     
  9. Trevor Schell

    Trevor Schell Supporting Actor

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    I have myself, been loading up on CatCables (Custom Audio Transmissions) Interconnects.
    Just ordered a couple of silver Y splitters and a 5 combo to connect my new Parasound 5 channel amp to the Denon.
    Also have on it's way a new digital cable too.
    Excellent customer service with that personal touch plus the best looking interconnects I have ever seen.
    http://www.catcables.com
    My HomeTheater S.E. Sonically Enhanced
    Updated new digital pictures!
     
  10. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    wow another Cat Cable user I thought I was the only one to discover them [​IMG] I'm using thier silvercats for the 2 channel section of my HT but I'm going to be getting some of the copper cats for the HT side (they're a little cheaper but still use the amazing locking RCA's I've come to realy love)
    ------------------
    http://www.attcanada.ca/~itisi
     
  11. DaleB

    DaleB Stunt Coordinator

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    I would agree, and they make lots of sales so they can advertise like crazy and keep the price of their products higher.
    I do like their subwoofer cables, because they have a neutral color, very flexible, and have a small diameter; all these features make them easy to run under carpeting, and along walls.
    But in most all other categories, I have found other cables better and/or less expensive, especially video and optical cables.
     
  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    I agree with James about the Radio Shack Gold Series cables. In the past, I have seen quality-control problems with the dimensions of the RCA inputs. Some would slip on the inputs with no hassles, while others were a true pain to insert. What frustrates the whole experience is the dimpled connectors that dig into your fingers when you have to force a cable on or off. I use Monster cables as a result. They are made very well and perform well as far as I am concerned. I realize that Monster cables are castigated in this hobby similar to Bose, but Monster cables work well for me. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    My:
    HT Pics ; Equipment List ; DVD Collection ; LD Collection
    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
     
  13. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    Right now, i use all Monster cables for EVERYTHING.....however, i've been to BetterCables.com several times, checking out cables, "play ordering" too see what it would cost me to upgrade.. Today, i cruised CatCables.com and was blown away by ThunderCat digital cable.. OH MY GOD! These cables are CRAZY looking! I ordered a 1 meter ThunderCat and two SilverCats for the SACD output from my 9K. Doug called me and all. He seems very committed to QUALITY at GOOD prices. I'm in! He said by the end of the year he should have some speaker cables too.... I want to try bi-wiring my PSB Stratus Silveri's eventually. You gotta see these digital cables, lol, there the coolest cables i've ever seen. [​IMG]
    - Chip
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  14. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    As the original owner of the very first ThunderCat which by the way I finally got this weekend, I am more impressed by seeing/handling it in PERSON! Yes, if yours is no more than entry to mid-Fi level system and do not see yourself upgrading further soon go with the RS & Monster cables. I have them in my receiver based HT system between the receiver, decoder, DVD players & TV. One warning though is those RS connectors could be extremely tight. But if you are looking for descent pure silver interconnects for the best conduction possible look no further than the SilverCats. To me it gives the best price/material-workmanship ratio. I have been replacing my Kimber & MIT silver cables with them. In fact besides the ThunderCat (I actually prefer the name MonsterCat esp from the look of it), I also got Cat's very first pair of SilverCats XLR and had them both broken in this weekend. Great stuff & highly recommended!
    PF
    [Edited last by PomingF on August 06, 2001 at 10:46 PM]
     
  15. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    About the connector:
    For video cables, having a good, 75 ohm connector from Canare is important.
    But it seems much less important for audio cables with the following exception:
    In the early days of SVS, a member bought a SVS and hooked it up with some RCA cables he had in a box. He was less-than-impressed with the sound.
    After a few days of back-and-forth, Ron/Tom sent him some new RCA plugs. Just using tighter-fitting RCA connectors made a huge difference.
    And Monster has a reputation of having the "turbine-grip-of-death" connectors that make you feel like you are going to tear the connectors off of your receiver.
    But after hearing this SVS story, my opinion of Monster went up a notch. It seems there is a reason for the tight connectors.
     
  16. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Well the thing I really like about the cat cables is that they use a really nice locking RCA so I can tighten the RCA down so that it won't move but when I want to remove it its simply a matter of spinning the barrel and it slides off easily. I've had to many interconnects almost rip out the RCA's from my gear that I'm a true believer in these locking RCA's.
    ------------------
    http://www.attcanada.ca/~itisi
     
  17. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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    Real Name:
    Marvin
     
  18. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Yup, and that's why I am not even thinking about unplugging those RS cables off my receiver/decoder combo - they have to go together wherever they go. [​IMG]
    That's why the locking RCa's are so cool 'cause they basically allow you to adjust how tight you want them to grip.
    PF
     
  19. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

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    Christopher,
    For basic speaker wire any of the 12g. OFC will generally be indistiguishible from the other.
    The shielding for Monster wire only comes into play if you buy their Z series and it is going to be about $80 per 10ft. pair and up. It is shielded to the max if you are concerened about interference.
    Now for RCA cables, there is a marked construction difference between inexpensive cables and more expensive ones. The interconnects you get for free with components generally are very thin, have little or no shielding, and have very flimsy connecters. For cables that you will pay for, as you go up in price, you will generally get improvments in those categories.
    Monster cables are well made, but as others have mentioned they are not the only game in town. They are, however, the easiest to find at most retail outlets if you don't want to spend alot of time searching for other well constructed cables.
    Price is relative, but since interconnects and speaker wire are part of your overall component chain, I recommend getting the best you can afford.
    DJ
     
  20. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    David: I agree with most of what you said, except for the part about the Monster Z series having more shielding.
    I think this is just marketing hype.
    Even a modest shield does a good job. But the limit in most systems has nothing to do with the size/shape of the shield.
    You see, the shield is connected to the electrical ground of your electronics. I believe this is the limiting factor in the ammount of interference a cable can handle, not the "ammount" or design of the shield.
    So extra shielding in the Z-series cable is kind of useless.
    Brian Corr: Can you lend any thoughts/opinions on this? (It's been a few years since my last electro-magnetics theory class)
     

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