Interconnect: Monster vs.....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Red Spencer, Aug 3, 2002.

  1. Red Spencer

    Red Spencer Agent

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    I am close to purchaseing seperate pre/pro & amp. Thinking about Monster M1000 series interconnects. I've read alot about high-end interconnects (Kimber, Nordost, Silver) Is there any REAL difference in SOUND quality between these and top of the line Monster????
     
  2. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    Red, welcome to the Forum
    Usually when someone asks a question that's been asked and answered a gazillion times and even with ongoing threads, folks will just tell you to go Search. But that would be a disservice to you because this debate is the biggest time-suck you can find.
    Do cables/wire make a difference? Of course, but not in any linear fashion where where spending more equals automatic high-end performance IN YOUR SYSTEM.
    Analog interconnects terminated with RCA plugs will carry close to a 50ohm signal, and actually are not as critical as 75ohm video cable where often one can observe the quality.
    You seem to be looking for some quality, since Monster M1000 is $200 per 1 meter pair.
    Monster's "Ultimate" top of the line isn't always the best choice in bang-for-the-buck value. I'm sure they are made great, but $500 for five off a 5-channel amplifier?
    Let's look at four other choices.
    BetterCables Silver Serpents - $90 a 1 meter pair. BC is a forum sponsor with link above main index.
    Outlawaudio.com is selling a popular set of PCA Coppers at $50 per 1.2 meter pair.
    AR Pro (available at partsexpress.com) are everyday, serviceable cables, not the bottom, not the top -- $54 for pair of 1-foot.
    Me? I like the Outlaws. I also recommend www.catcables.com a custom owner-run company.
    bill
     
  3. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Red,

    Yes

    .... Monster is one brand among MANY, as you know.

    Look around, read up some more, and whatever you buy, make sure you have a minimum of 30 day return period.

    Good Luck,

    BOK
     
  4. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Check out the new Zu Cables products.They also have a well deserved reputation for service, trade-in policy etc..
    Unlike Bill Kane's recomendation of Outlaw cables they even allow returns if you dont like them! Why anyone would buy a cable (or for that matter any product over the internet)from a company that does not allow returns is beyond me!

    Other custom cable makers besides some of the ones already mentioned are. They tell you what you are getting and the prices are fair considering the quality offered.
    Rhinocables.com
    Boldercable.com

    I would say that most of the cable makers listed here and above will perform at least as well if not a lot better than the Monster products.
     
  5. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    The primary factor that is important in interconnects is capacitance. What excessive capacitance does is roll off the high end. If you're running long lengths (50'?) then assuming your pre/pro can drive this distance, it's critical. Also if your pre/pro is passive, low capacitance is important. You'll find products from companies that span several models at quite substantial price points differing in capacitance. The more expensive ones typically of lower capacitance. However there is a point where this does not matter one single iota in terms of audibility.
    I have some quotes which I present for your consideration. Mr. Dunlavy has done much research on this issue. He compared the Radio Shack Golds with
    a dozen or so premium priced interconnects. Consider what he has to say as this person is no slouch.
     
  6. Red Spencer

    Red Spencer Agent

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    Man, alot of great info...Thanks so much [​IMG]
     
  7. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Chu,
    Rather than sharing your scientific/technical knowldege with us simple folk why dont you hop on over to the more techical forums so we can hear an opposite view from people who can actually discuss these views on the same level?
    Cable asylum is one place where I'd be interested in seeing your views discussed.
     
  8. Bill Kane

    Bill Kane Screenwriter

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    hey, I for one don't mind trying to stretch...like what the heck is interconnect cable "capacitance" Chu has thrown out.

    I like Chas T's comment in the Receivers Forum on another topic:

     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Why how thoughtful of you to suggest that Mark. I do visit there from time to time but too much that's faith and not fact based goes on for my tastes. If you have specific issues with the information I posted and you feel it is in error somehow please bring it to my attention otherwise I'll be pleased to provide you an email address for Mr. Dunlavey where you can directly state your concerns. Listening can be a magical experience, the selection of suitable cables doesn't need to be though. Nonetheless, Red has been exposed to information and he is quite free to do with it as he sees fit. Perhaps he will obtain specifications from Zu or Kimber or whomever. I see no reason why a person might not want to choose lower capacitance interconnects either off the shelf or DIY strictly for theoretical preferences even if they don't confer an audible advantage. With knowledge that there is no statistical evidence to suggest an audible difference, the consumer can decide if they'd like to pay more if the cable is heavier, has locking RCA's, has a texture or feel they prefer, they like the name, etc. We can each assign our own arbitrary value and pay accordingly. This is not such a bad thing.
     
  10. Mark Rich

    Mark Rich Second Unit

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    Chu,
    The reason you should consider posting your opinions/views on the audio asylum forum is that there are people there who can actually debate some of your scientific knowledge. There are audio and electrical engineers as well as cable makers there who could hold a debate with you on the same level. It would interesting to read that was my point.
    You can quote Dunlavy all you want but I'm not very impressed with his speakers or interested in his views on cables. Are you a buyer of his speakers by any chance? They must sound great with lamp cord and radio shack interconnects
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    There are plenty of competent people who discuss matters over at the asylum and i'm not a fan of the moderator who bends the rules to suit his own needs. i do enjoy browsing through the asylum from time to time and i've found matters of genuine interest also. depends what i'm looking for. by the same token you might want to consider posting over at audioreview. you know, i don't object to people making/buying things based upon a technical merit or some other factor. i've issues with companies that make some pretty speculative claims that they look to wrap in the guise of theories and then foist it off to the unsuspecting public. that's my position not just on audio, but on medicine, food products, you name it. the truth to me mark doesn't wear several faces, it is what it is, nor does it bend to suit anyone's particular beliefs. but you ought to try running a blind test with some friends one day and maybe discover some of your own, which aren't peculiar to you. so you don't like dunlavey, maybe a bunch of others, maybe you don't like einstein's moustache, frank lloyd wright's homes...maybe you just don't like the results from his and other's investigations. that i can't help. there comes a time when you've got to stop saying 'science can't explain everything' and stop using that as an excuse for perorming bad science or basing a product on opinion and heresay. that helps no one execpt the people making these things who bilk the people out of resources they could be directing elsewhere. btw, efforts have been made to measure the supposed inter-crystalline distortions in copper wire compared to say that single-crystal stuff that seems to be the current rage. no one's found a difference going down so low as 120 dB. that tell you anything about the people selling this stuff?
    btw i'd put up 10 feet of 12 gauge lamp cord to any 10 feet of whatever in a level matched blind test but you've already indicated your unwillingness to participate in something like that. you ought to try it one day and try being honest with yourself. its not all about being 'cool' and if you don't like the Shack interconnects there's many out there, less expensive, that'll perform equally well as those costing 20x as much.
     
  12. MichaelBJ

    MichaelBJ Auditioning

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    Red,
    As you can see, this issue generates a great deal of mixed opinion. I am currently using Monster Cable 850i interconnects and their mid-range speaker cable, and don't find a night and day difference between their performance and 12 guage zip cord from Home Depot. I have some DH Labs speaker cable ($250.00 for a run of 8-feet) on order from a company that has a 30 day return policy. I am curious to see if these cables make any difference in my listening room, which like all rooms, has a unique acoustic signature.
    If you made a list of the top 30 things that might impact the musical enjoyement (note that I did not say technical accuracy) of your stereo/HT system, cables would be near the bottom of the list. In my opinion, speaker placement, speaker design, and room treatment will impact how your system sounds more than what brand of cables you use (assuming the cables are well made).
    Once you get to cables/interconnects, yes, there are slight differences based on my experience. www.bouldercables.com is a good place to start. Just make sure that you have a 30 day return policy and that any component you get serves the music, i.e., enhances musical enjoyment.
    Good luck, Michael
     
  13. Christopher Lyn

    Christopher Lyn Stunt Coordinator

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    People buy cables based on "how well they sound in their system," that's why people audition cables and don't just buy them based on numbers, thus why people return cables that are quoted with great specs.
    As I see it, pain, vision and hearing is really just one's individual perception. How can one measure something so subjective like perception through current objective means? What's harsh or bright to one person may be loud and "with less bass" to another. Sound is processed information from the temporal lobe of the brain, a sound wave can be measured. How we interpret the sound wave is the sound one hears, which is subjective.
    Blind testing would not matter because the method of evaluation (our ears and brain) is not accurate or the same accross everyone's perception, keeping as many variables constant as possible. Magazines like Stereophiles Guide to Home Theater, have tried blind testing with speakers and everyone of their examiners had differing opinions and some general consesus regarding the speakers.
    What was neutral to one was warm to one was boomy to one etc. from the same speaker. So which examiner had the most accurate ears and brain? All them did, they just and incoming auditory stimulus differently. How come if the speaker remained constant, one liked it and one did not like it? Just a matter of preference.
    It's just a matter of preference and perception. Whether one chooses to do a cost vs. value calculation as part of their purchase is up to them.
    Now granted, up to a certain point, the parts and build of a speaker cable or interconnect will differ in how well they transmit electrons and eliminate noise interference.
    Nonetheless, if you are looking to get some interconnects that are well built and at a reasonable price you can try
    www.signalcable.com
    good service, good product compared to other brands, reasonable price.
     
  14. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    you can determine if differences exist Chris which is done all the time.
    insofar as blind testing of speakers, read this link
    Stereophile and other places don't do blind testing because doing so, they would run the very real risk of looking foolish to both themselves and to their readers. So much for trusting one's ears.
     
  15. Eric S

    Eric S Agent

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    Red: You still around after nearly having your thread torn to pieces?? I have a set of Monster 950i interconnects that I used to used with my system (Marantz AV600 pre, MA500 amps, Atlantic Technology 350 speakers). Because these were my "best" interconnects (most expensive), I put them between my pre and amps for my front left and right speakers. For a while, they sounded fine.
    Then I started learning about how to build my own silver interconnects (http://www.venhaus1.com/diysilverinterconnects.html). I purchased some 30 ga silver wire, teflon tubing, and some nice RCA terminators. Making 6 pairs of interconnects cost me about $18 each.
    IMHO, the silver interconnects are better than the Monsters. A few of the immediate differences include: increased and smoother trebble as well as increased overall volume. It was disappointing to have my expensive Monsters bested by $18 and 45 minutes worth of construction, but I'm glad I did it. If you don't want to make your own, check out CatCables.com as someone else already recommended.
    Now, we are not talking "night" and "day" differences here. The differences are subtle, but clearly present. To put this in perspective, I originally came from the camp of "wire is wire" and all wire that transports a signal from point A to point B should be the same. After some experimentation, I no longer believe this is the case...
     
  16. Blake R

    Blake R Stunt Coordinator

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    I personally scout garage sales so I can obtain lamps just to salvage the cords for my "Hi-Fi." I believe the crucial factor is deciding whether to use red wire nuts or yellow.

    You're right Chu, those ABX cable/wire tests are like Kryptonite to the cable cultists.
     
  17. John Royster

    John Royster Screenwriter

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  18. Lee Petty

    Lee Petty Stunt Coordinator

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    i prefer to also look at the construction of a cable. AR pro cables have machined rca ends. things that would hopefully allow a cable to not tear up easily. a cable can sound wonderful, but if its gonna fall apart if i unplug it too many times, i dont want it. not if i paid a lot for it anyhow.
    personally i like the AR pro cables. they are well made, have good quality performance, and dont break the bank when buying them.
    i have also heard that the lower end monster cables and the low end ar cables are the same exact thing, down to the construction, materials and everything, just different colors and the fact that monsters cost 2x as much.
     
  19. Blake R

    Blake R Stunt Coordinator

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    You are correct John. The wire size would determine the splicing parameters. Being a former J-man myself I was always partial to 3M "Scotchlocks." I would recommend yellow for wire pairs in either 16 or 14 AWG. For #12 or #10 I would use the red. Use blue or gray for anything larger than that. If you don't have any wire nuts you could just twist them up, put on some "Scotchkote" lap it with 33 vinyl, then lap it with Slipknot Gray, then add a layer of rubber tape, put the manhole cover back on and your done. You might want to meg it out just to be safe.

    -This has been satire
     
  20. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I go to garage sales from time to time because people have no idea what they throw out. example, i picked up a set of older Stax earspeakers for $35...they sound pretty good but i'd never have bought them list price. one can certainly make themselves a fine set of interconnects for next to nothing and i think that's a great idea.
     

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