Audioquest Copperhead interconnect vs. Monster cables?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KeithH, Nov 16, 2001.

  1. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am considering an upgrade of my RCA interconnects. At this point in time, I am not looking to buy megabuck interconnects. Currently, I am using Monster cables, such as the Interlink 400mkII interconnects. While I have a few differents grades of Monster cables, I don't own any better grade than the Interlink 400mkII. Is the Audioquest Copperhead cable significantly better than the Monster cables I am currently using? A 2-meter pair for my Sony SCD-777ES SACD player (I have to use 2-meter cables with it) would only cost $70 from Audio Advisor. The '777ES is certainly worthy of more expensive cables, but I would try the Copperhead cables if they were noticeably better than the Monster cables I am using now. Based on the low price of the Copperhead, I would consider upgrading cables for a few components. This is just not a time when I am looking to spend a lot of money on cables due to outside influences (read: future fiancee [​IMG]), the number of components I might want to upgrade cables for, and because of all the other audio toys I've bought lately. [​IMG] Thoughts on the Copperhead?
    ------------------
    My:
    HT Pics ; Equipment List ; DVD Collection ; LD Collection
    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
    [Edited last by KeithH on November 16, 2001 at 06:03 PM]
     
  2. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    How about the coppercats from catcables?
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,165
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yea Keith...check 'em out. 2 meter lengths of the BlueTigers i just bought would be 80 bucks.. CopperCats are even cheaper.
    - Chip
    ------------------
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Andrew, I've looked at the Coppercats before. Have you compared them to the Audioquest Copperheads or Monster cables?
    ------------------
    My:
    HT Pics ; Equipment List ; DVD Collection ; LD Collection
    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
     
  5. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 1999
    Messages:
    377
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I found Monster 400s to be a bit hard in the lower treble. I have Audioquest Turquoise cables in my HT system (now relegated to S-VHS use I believe). I preferred them over the Monsters for overall clarity.
    My favorite very affordable interconnect is Straightwire's Chorus. They're exceptionally smooth and clean--better than the Turquoise--and a steal (hugely underpriced, IMHO). Build quality is top-notch, and they don't endanger RCA jacks like Monster's death-grip plugs like to do. The Cable Company (fatwyre.com), among others, sell them. Last I checked, they're about $50 for 2 meters.
    Have a nice weekend!
     
  6. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2000
    Messages:
    937
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
  7. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Chip,
    I remember you mentioning the Blue Tigers in another thread. Yet another cable to consider. [​IMG]
    Alex,
    I appreciate the Straightwire suggestion. The Chorus sounds like a lot of cable for the money.
    Dan,
    Thanks for the link. Maybe I'll look into the Outlaw cables as another inexpensive option. I appreciate your test results favoring the Outlaw cables, but my concern is, what does Outlaw really know about making cables? I don't mean to sound facetious, but I am leery of new entrants when there are many established candidates to choose from. Just a bias, I guess. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    My:
    HT Pics ; Equipment List ; DVD Collection ; LD Collection
    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
     
  8. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 1998
    Messages:
    3,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    In a round about sort of way yes [​IMG] A while back we did a blind test between some Audioquest emeralds and some IXOS braided cables...between these two the IXOS were easily the better cable. I have since then compared my new silvercats and coppercats to the IXOS ones and again there was an imoprovement..though more so for the silvercats then the coppercats. What the coppercats and silvercats do share though is the use of the locking RCA's which for me are what really seals the deal. If you do decided to try the catcables ones there's a coupon on my website that will save you a bit as well.
    ------------------
    [​IMG]
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  10. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2000
    Messages:
    937
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Keith,
    All I can say is that the test was as blind as I could reasonably make it, but there was no doubt from anyone that the Outlaws were the better cable. Also keep in mind that the Corals I demo'd them against are supposed to be several steps up from the Copphead, according to AudioQuest.
    As to Outlaw's lack of background with cables, until a couple of years ago who knew they could make really good receivers, amps, ... [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Dan
    [Edited last by Dan Driscoll on November 16, 2001 at 06:27 PM]
     
  11. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dan, I read up on the Outlaw cables on outlawaudio.com, and their RCA cables look to be very nice. In trying to be objective, however, I can't honestly how much of what they are saying makes for a great cable versus how much of it is mumbo-jumbo. I am not doubting your experience with the Outlaw cables, but I am not an expert in the subject matter presented on Outlaw's web site to be able to say that their tecnology is superior to that of other cable manufacturers. That aside, I was ready to order a pair of Outlaw cables when I found two things that disturb me. First of all, Outlaw, offers 1.8-meter cables when everyone else offers 2-meter cables (and possibly 1.5-meter cables as well). I am afraid that the 1.8-meter run won't be long enough for use with my '777ES. However, what really bothers me is that they do not allow you to return cables (I guess they would if they were defective). That's ridiculous, as far as I am concerned. Dealers that don't make their own cables (Audio Advisor, Tweeter, etc.) will take back anything, and all the other smaller cable manufacturers that I have encountered (BetterCables, CATCables, Homegrown Audio, and Pure Silver Sound, for example) guarantee their cables. BetterCables allows you six months to return cables for a full refund. I bought a pair of BetterCables speaker cables last week, and I know I can get the full $180 back in the next six months if I decide to upgrade. Outlaw absolutely should guarantee customer satisfaction.
    ------------------
    My:
    HT Pics ; Equipment List ; DVD Collection ; LD Collection
    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
     
  12. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 1999
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just to answer the original question, the Copperhead is indeed a very nice cable. The Audioquest line has seen a nice improvement in performance with this latest series. Also, the new braided jackets are very attractive.
    The Audioquest Copperhead will definitely outperform the Monster product.
    Highly recommended.
    ----
    Jeff
    ------------------
    "They're coming to get you Barbara..."
     
  13. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jeff, I appreciate your views here. Finally, someone answered my question! [​IMG] Seriously though, speakers and cables have to be the hardest things to get sorted out in one's system due to the number of options and the difficulty in making comparisons in terms of time, effort, and product availability. There are just too many cables out there to consider! It's a pain to consider ordering a bunch of cables by mail and trying them all out and then being able to convince yourself that one is better than another. It would be nice if I could pick up a good number of quality cables at local dealers and do a shootout, but the two quality dealers in my area sell MIT and Straightwire and that's it. Again, if I did get a bunch of cables to test, I'm not sure I could keep everything straight to determine which were best. Of course, relying on brick-and-mortar stores eliminates the CATCables of the world from consideration.
    The flipside to what I just said is that probably most any audiophile-type cable is going to be better than the $40 Monster cables that I bought at Circuit City. From that standpoint, I should just pick something. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    My:
    HT Pics ; Equipment List ; DVD Collection ; LD Collection
    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
     
  14. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 1999
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Very true and applicable to almost any component in an HT system.
    My recommendation: don't let yourself get overwhelmed. You can spend countless hours testing hundred of types of cables.
    First, set your budget. Best to pick a bit of a range.
    Next choose some cables to audition. B&M stores have a clear advantage here - you can go and listen to them immediately. Don't choose too many. I would say 4 at the most. As long as your budget range is not too great, this should be easy.
    Now, the listening. Compare the cables certainly, but also listen to each individually and evaluate what it is doing on its own merit. Cable B might initially sound better than cable A, because of tighter bass response, but it might also sound harsher. You might not notice this right at first, but it will slowly become apparent.
    Just don't overwhelm yourself. There is no point. Go to a B&M and choose a few models and listen. Now, if you happen not to like any of the choices you made, start again.
    The Audioquest line is an excellent place to start. Also consider some products from Tara Labs - I've always loved the Tara Labs sound.
    One final note: don't get too caught up in the "technology" of cables. Don't worry about the conductor material or the cable construction. A poorly made yet seemingly technologically amazing cable will sound worse than a simple, but well-designed budget cable.
    ----
    Jeff
    ------------------
    "They're coming to get you Barbara..."
     
  15. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jeff, I agree with what you said. I just need to find a dealer near me that carries a selection of good cables. The two good dealers in Wilmington, DE offer little selection. One only displays MIT and the other has MIT and Straightwire. I am surprised these dealers don't offer more. One dealer sells Meridian, Accuphase, Conrad-Johnson, Classe and more at the high-end, and their more moderate stuff is Adcom, Pioneer Elite, Marantz, and Integra. For speakers, they sell Energy, Totem Acoustics, and Magnepan among others. The other dealer sells Adcom, Bryston, Marantz, Pioneer Elite, and Sony ES as an example, and for speakers, sells B&W and Paradigm Reference. You'd think that dealers that sell such quality gear would offer more in the way of cables. That's O.K. The other dealer I buy from every so often in suburban Philly that sells Integra, Adcom, Marantz, Sony ES, Carver, Totem Acoustics, Energy, KEF, and others only sells Monster cables. I asked this dealer a couple of weeks ago what cables they recommend to customers who buy their best gear (they have the $3000 Integra RDV-1 progressive-scan DVD-Audio player on display), and they said Monster. It boggles the mind.
    ------------------
    My:
    HT Pics ; Equipment List ; DVD Collection ; LD Collection
    KeithH: Saving the Home Theater World Before Bedtime
     
  16. Michael Yung

    Michael Yung Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Monster is to cable as Bose is to speakers. Mass market, decent quality but way over priced. KeithH, for your Sony 777ES I would suggest you give Kimber Kable PBJ a try. It is probably the most affordable audiophile quality cable you can buy at $84 per 1 meter. It compared very favorably against my friend's Cardas Quadlink Five which retails for $178 for 0.5 meter pair. The PBJ is very transparent and I would say besides a slight coloration in the upper mid-range it is otherwise very natural sounding. My friend however found the sound too "separated" and he thinks the Cardas blends the sound together better and sounded warmer. However, both of us agree that the Cardas, in the process of "blending" the music, held the sound back thus reducing the sound stage.
    The biggest draw back of the PBJ is that it is unshielded and depending on your setup it is susceptible to interferences. However, with your Sony SCD-777ES I would strongly recommend you give this a try.
    [Edited last by Michael Yung on November 17, 2001 at 10:28 PM]
     
  17. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Michael, I also have thought of Monster cables as the Bose of cables in some respects. For one thing, many dealers carry Monster exclusively, which shows the marketing machine Monster is. As a result, Monster is the best known cable to many people. You see Monster products everywhere. Like Bose, chances are if a neophyte to hi-fi knows anything about cables beyond what comes in the box, they know the Monster name. As an example of the marketing capability of Bose, I was in the Harvey Electronics in Paramus, NJ, on Saturday, and the only cables they sell are Monster. This is a dealer that carries McIntosh, Krell, Adcom, Marantz, Sony ES, Pioneer Elite, Sonus Faber, Vienna Acoustics, Energy, etc., and they only carry Monster cables. I asked the salesman about getting cables there for the high-end equipment they sell, and he said, that Harvey Electronics is "practically in bed with Monster". At least he was honest.
    By the way, thanks for the Kimber Kable PBJ suggestion. I have investigated them before. The fact that they are not shielded concerns me, and many reviews stated that they are a bright cable. As a result, I decided not to pursue the PBJ.
    UPDATE
    I was just about order Audioquest Copperhead cables from Audio Advisor on Saturday when I decided to go one step up with the Diamondback. Although Audioquest makes a good cable, the Copperhead is similarly priced to the Monster Interlink 400mkII I am using at present, so I was concerned about how much of a performance boost I would experience. Hence, the step up to the Diamondback. I ordered a 2-meter pair for the '777ES for $120 and two 0.5-meter pairs for $75 each to bridge the pre-outs and main ins on an NAD integrated amp to an Energy subwoofer crossover box. Actually, I got 10% off, so the total came to $243 before shipping. This is my first venture into higher-end RCA interconnects, so hopefully it will be a good experience.
     
  18. Mike Burke

    Mike Burke Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2001
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I own several levels of Monster Cable interconnects on my system. I use the 550i's for my CD player and going from the ones supplied in the box it made a HUGE difference! Much tighter bass and the upper end was so much cleaner!!! I only paid 45.00 for 1M which won;t break the bank! I have 400i analog and M1000D Digital cable from my DVD player ( I was using the DVD player as a CD player but since my CD player/Cbale upgrade I no longer do). As for the 400i's vs the 550i the sound is noticeable better on my system. The digital cable was my 1st one so I have nothing to base it against.

    As for needing a bunch of cables like for a SACD or to hookup a 5 ch amp, CatCables does a package deal.

    Mike
     
  19. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Mike, thanks for sharing your experience. I would expect the Monster M Series cables to be better than the Interlink 400mkII cables I have been using. The Interlink line is found at Circuit City and Best Buy, after all.

    I will eventually upgrade cables for my DVD-Audio and multi-channel SACD players and will look into deals from CATCables. Thanks for the tip. I have so many components I could buy new cables for, not even counting my second stereo system, I could easily go broke. Hopefully the Audioquest Diamondbacks will work out well.
     
  20. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 1999
    Messages:
    1,467
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Since you've already ordered the interconnects, I'm reluctant to say this, but the $30 1m Tara Labs Prism 11 outperformed the $130 1m Audioquest Coral in my system (NHT 3.3s, Classe' amp and preamp, Sony SCD-1 and DVP-9000ES (what the interconnects were for), and Nordost cables and balanced interconnects). I was surprised to say the least.
     

Share This Page