DIY Cables Vs. Monster Cables

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jeff_H, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. Jeff_H

    Jeff_H Auditioning

    Joined:
    May 3, 2000
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys, Im kinda a newbie here, but I have found alot of good info here...I was hoping that some of you can help me with a question.

    Currently I have Monster Cables running thruout my system. I would like to replace them with some hand made cables so I could get the cables the correct length. I am going with Canare for the cables...I was just wondering if I will see any signal loss form switching to the monster cables?
     
  2. peter_anderson

    peter_anderson Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2001
    Messages:
    183
    Likes Received:
    0
    loss??? if you make the cables right, you will have cables which are probably _twice_ as good as your current cables.
     
  3. Jeff_H

    Jeff_H Auditioning

    Joined:
    May 3, 2000
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good, thats what I was hopeing to hear...Thanks!
     
  4. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2000
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very bold and general statement, Peter, but I do agree to a limited extent. However, interconnects my be difficult unless you have the right soldering equipment. I certainly believe that DIY speaker cables, using large gauge wires, will yield generally favorable results.

    However, it will be very difficult to make a cable that will significantly outperform some of there better product lines.

    Elbert
     
  5. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Peter, I don't know if your aware, but Monster makes some decent stuff (not just the $39 cable you see at CC), infact anything over the M950 is really good and the M550 is a very good cable for the $$ (unless you are a DIYer). I am not saying that you can't build better cable for less, but the 2x as good is a little bit of a stretch considering you don't know what specific cables he is running.

    I was given (6) M1000 interconnects that are 2m in length, my next project is to cut them in 1/2 and get 12 cables out of it (I did the same thing with an audioquest interconnect that I was given that was 2m, and it worked great). Normally I would never run that expensive of cable ($200 per cable), but it was a gift, so I couldn't argue, certainly for the $$ or less you could build something as good or less, but 2X is a stretch.

    good luck on the project, just take your time.
     
  6. David A. Frattaroli

    David A. Frattaroli Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 10, 1999
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jeff, you're making the right choice by making your own. Even if you splurge for the Canare stripper and crimper as I've done, you'll end up making cables that are easily as good or better than the Monster cables and for less money per foot.
     
  7. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
    I took a pair of my analog cables to my favorite local dealer and left them with him for a few days. When I picked them up I asked him specifically what he could compare them to. He mentioned that they reminded him of some older Tara Labs stuff. When I asked him about how they compared to Monster Cables he said they easily blew away the Monster stuff that they sell at CC, which he specifically said were "junk"!

    Brian
     
  8. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    that is why I said the "M" series stuff, that is their higher end stuff (and the "Z" line at good guys is decent too). I am not sure I would say thier lower end stuff is "junk" it is comprable to the RS, and AR, etc, etc.. which isn't really "high end" but it isn't junk (certainly much better than the RCAs that components come with). I will admit that Monster is perhaps a little over priced for what you get (as far as the general public goes), but when some people are paying $500-$2000 for interconnects, certainly the $200 for the M1000 isn't overpriced, thus the delema Monster finds itself in, Audiophiles say its "junk" while the general public thinks that buying after market cables is like snake oil, and that anything other than the cheap RCAs that come with the unit is unnecessary. as ong as I get $200 interconnects for free, I wont complain, after all, I usually only pay about $60 for them, so a $200 pair for free sounds pretty good to me.

    Like i said, you can probably DIY cable for 1/4 the price for the same quality you could buy at a shop, that is why I will be cutting my 2m cables in 1/2, who need 2m worth of cable, not me, so I get another 6 cables (sort of DIY).
     
  9. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rodney,

    That's why I put the word junk in quotation marks. Those were his exact words, not mine. This is a dealer that sells nothing but DH Labs and JPS Labs cables.

    I've never really heard much difference in cables myself. I just like having a well built product without all the advertising costs.

    Brian
     
  10. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2000
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brian - I have a good idea of the real cost of the cables and I don't believe that the cost is inflated by marketing costs, but rather for the purpose finding a price point that sets a precendence for the entire cable lineup. They do have an even cheaper line of cables that is sold in Target stores, but that stuff is truly cheap grade, but priced higher than the RS stuff simply because of the branding. It would "cheapen" the brand if Monster were to begin discounting or lowering the prices on its products.

    Elbert
     
  11. Jeff_H

    Jeff_H Auditioning

    Joined:
    May 3, 2000
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    I might be a bit off here, but arent Monster cables the "Bose" of A/V cables? What I mean by this is that your paying way more then you should be for what you get.
    As far as me buying the Canare tools, I dont really see this as splurging, but more like a 1 time investment. I was always told to buy the best availiable tools you can find & they should last much better then cheaper brands...
    I didnt see any soldering in the instructions at http://www.bus.ucf.edu/cwhite/theater/DIYCable.htm, but if I had to solder anything, it wouldnt be a problem for me
     
  12. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    and paying $45,000 for a set of transparent speaker cables isn't?? (my dads friend just got those), most things in audio/HT are overpriced. By saying they are "bose" just b/c they are overpriced is wrong, b/c bose is garbage not just for the $$ but for anything. So i suppose to the DIYers out there, you point is well taken, but you muct say that everything that is NOT a DIY project (save SVS and a few others) are "bose" since to DIYers, they are all overpriced. But I sure wouldn't call Mark Levinson a "Bose" since it is overpriced, b/c it IS QUALITY stuff, but you just have to pay for it. THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE!!!
     
  13. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    btw, open up a M1000 interconnect (or even a $59 M550) and you see quality cable and it is done very well, open up a Bose unit and all you see is cheap plastic and garbage, again a HUGE DIFFERENCE
     
  14. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    another point for Monster, at the most you pay 20-30% too much for what you get, for bose you pay about 200-300% to much (honestly)
     
  15. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2000
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    0
    Being labeled the "bose" of cables, as the way that most HTF member would interpret it (as being a complete waste of $$$), would be a harsh comparison. It's easy to knock the dominant high end cable manufacturer because Monster sets the price/performance standard in the industry. OF course, we, as more edcuated HT enthusiasts, are able to use this standard as a reference to consider other brands or build our own cables, but I don't think it's fair to consider Monster (especially the less expensive "M" series) as a waste of $$$ simply because we found a few brands that may be better for slightly less or just slight more $$$.

    Yes - they make a lot of $$$ and there is a significant mark up, not necessarily due to marketing, but they have to sustain a price/performance point to maintain their brand perception in the marketplace. I don't think Monster will bow to competetion pressure to lower its price on its good products, but would come out with lower line cables rather than cheapen the value on its higher end stuff. IF you can build a better cable for less $$$, I'd say go for it. It gets fairly involving and unless you have the right tools, it could be off.

    Monster built a pair of custom bi-wire cables for me in the past because the cable that I wanted did not come in a bi-wire configuration. Monster's specifically stated that combining the 2 cables was a bit tricky because they HAD to make sure that they were the EXACT SAME LENGTH to meet specs. That is a testament to their experience in this field. IT may or may not make a difference, but that's something that I can appreciate.

    One of the local boutique stores that sell a lot of "tweaks" offers special soldering and cable terminating services because they are able to make any custom length cable and for its customers. HOwever, they were unable to work on the M series of Monsters because of the complex shielding in the cable.

    On the other side of the coin, a friend of mine built a set of AC POWERCORDS that were terrific. His speaker wires were also impressive but his initial time and money investment was a bit high. But, as with any DIY project, there's always a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction if you get it done regardless of cost and time.

    Elbert
     
  16. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Elbert, good points!!!

    I think you missed something though, you mention that the M series is the less expensive cables (unless I miss understood you), they are actually the more expensive cables, not less.

    contrary to popular audiophile beleif, Monster does do a significant amount of research (thus the shieldings, and various wires used). Some audiophiles like to beleive that they just throw them together, this is far from the truth. The do have a sigma line that is very high quality (about $2500 for a set of speaker cables, my bro got a pair as a "gift" and can testify that they do sound much better than his Kimber that he uses for his rears and the audioquests that they replaced. Monster does make decent stuff, but it really isn't an exciting brand to brag about. Kind of like an S2000 being talked about as "just a Honda", but If you have driven that car, you know that there is something more to it than "just a Honda", but it doesn't have the sex appeal that BMW and Porsche have.
     
  17. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2000
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    0
    Rodney - Sorry for any confusion in my post. "M" series as a more expensive line than their Interlink series, but some of the lower "M" series, such as the M550i, etc., are priced competetively and are of decent quality. There regular posts by HTF members who post huge REVALATIONS about how other cable brands beat out their older Monster Interlinks at only $10-$40 more. Unfortunately these members fail to compare them to the "M" series that truly only cost $10-$40 more, but they cannot be blamed of their limited knowledge of the Monster Cable lineup because the large chain stores do not carry the "M" series, which have been largely sold in boutique or specialty audio stores. I consider the "M" seriess as the DEFINITIVE LINE of "M"onster Cable, and not their mass market Interlink line. The "M" series line of products is fairly comprehensive, covering quite a large range of prices without getting in the truly high costs of some of the other cable brands.

    Monster does have very well established engineers in cable design. I even had the pleasure of speaking to several of them and they know their stuff.

    Being as large as they are, they do have their cables made in bulk overseas. While a lot of them are pre-packaged and arrive at Monster's headquarters in Brisbane, CA, many of them arrive in large spools that need to be terminated locally. Because they do such large volume, I can only assume that some of the complaints about defects can be attributed to the termination process. Having gone through quite a few Monster Cables myself, I've had one experience where the cable failed to work properly out of the package.
     
  18. Jeff_H

    Jeff_H Auditioning

    Joined:
    May 3, 2000
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Im sorry but I still would think of monster cable as the Bose of cables...This is not saying that their cables are junk, but Im saying you can get the same thing for a lot less.

    The same would go for Bose as speakers...The term "junk" is a relitive term because you are comparing them to speakers in the same price range. If you could disregaurd the price & compare them to lower quality speakers, they would no longer be junk.

    Good=Quality >or= Price(compared to others in same range)

    Bad=Price > Quality (compared to others in same range)
     
  19. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jeff, so I guess you don't understand what we are saying the M series is as good or close to, as any pre-packaged cable in the similar price range. (I think when you look at the interlink 400 and 300, perhaps it is $10 too much in price, but that is far from spending 2-3X as much on a Bose product for JUNK), if that is your opinion, great. We will agree to disagree. btw the M550 is much better quality and build in the $59 price point as the MIT's, Audioquest, and Vampire cable I have been using (If you have seen how the Vampires and MITs are terminated, VS the 550, you would know exactly what I mean).
     
  20. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2000
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    0
    It would be "enlightening" to hear if other forum members have ever tried or even heard of Monsters "M" series. It's unfortunate that Monster's reputation is based purely on bad press from the cables sold at CC, GG and Sears. It's also worthy to note that those who feel that the AR and RCA cables "sound" better than Monster should know that Monster also makes their cables as well, which are based on cheaper parts than what they using in the interlink. (of course these brands are slightly cheaper, but goes to show that the "big" name brand will always be percieved as the BOSE of its industry because of the need to show expertise in this area) I have yet to hear a criticism about the "M" series or any real comparisons and I have to reiterate the fact that most people base this opinion on the interlink which, IMO, is a small segment of Monster's cable lineup, which is like saying that the BOSE Wave Radio is the DEFINITIVE BOSE product.

    I'm not a huge supporter of Monster, but I can respect what they have accomplished in this field and I don't use all of their cables. I actually prefer other brands in some areas and I use the Monster "M" series as a "reference" point with which to base my purchasing decisions. I don't discount them as "GENERIC" and overpriced without listening to them because, after speaking to some of their knowledgeable engineers who have given me their PERSONAL opinions on their products (not corporate lines)(Noel Lee made sure he hired some respectable people in this field), I feel comfortable about basing my cable decisions on the RIGHT MONSTER products to base my comparisons on.

    Elbert
     

Share This Page