Monster Cables - are they really better?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by RichAS, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. RichAS

    RichAS Auditioning

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok Here is the question.

    If you compare the specs of a Monster Cable with another know name brand cable manufacturer - and if the specs are the same wouldn't there preformance be the same?

    Many stores push Monster cables as the best. Against no name brands perhaps there is a difference but matching spec for spec of the cable with another name brand there should be no difference in my opinion.

    Has anyone any experience comparing this? Actual listening results versus metered results (using some electronic measuring device)?

    I just want to know for a THX Home Theatre or any 5.1 system does Monster Cable provide a better experience than another known brand that is noticable to human ear?
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Messages:
    5,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    I say no...

    Not that they are bad.. But not better enough for what they charge.

    I never go to better cables for increased audio / video performance. I do it for the better build quality.

    At Circuit City, I love the relative bargain GE cables.
    Beyond that several outfits on the net like BlueJean Cables, have build quality equal to or exceeding Monster for a lot less money.

    One thing Monster does give I'm pretty sure, is replacement if it ever goes bad. Worth it to many people.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Discuss specific brands of cable here in this section. The Basics area is for general discussion at the beginner level.
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    I've used a fair amount of Monster in my time. My take:

    Audio and digital interconnects - way overpriced for the performance, not worth it. They are definitely an improvement over the junk that is usually included in the box with various components, but they are not audiophile stuff. I wouldn't bother with them unless they are the only thing available in a pinch.

    Video interconnects - pretty good actually, most are ISF certified, but you can get just as good for less $$ internet direct.

    Speaker wire - I still use it and it's OK. Bought in bulk, it's pretty comparable to any decent wire at an average price, though more expensive than Home Depot-type bulk wire. Wire will make the least amount of difference in your system, so it isn't necessary to spend a ton of money here regardless.
     
  5. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    uh...exactly what the two john's said. :b

    bottom line, i buy it but only because i get it at discounted prices. if i had to pay retail, i'd probably buy the acoustic research or rat-shack stuff.

    definitely stay away from the crappy cables that come with the gear. as we say, "there's a reason they're free".
     
  6. MichaelPR

    MichaelPR Second Unit

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2003
    Messages:
    401
    Likes Received:
    0
    In my experience the Acoustic Research stuff is identical to anything monster has. I've done swapping and notice NO noticable difference at all between Speaker, OPtical, and component.
     
  7. VinhT

    VinhT Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2002
    Messages:
    357
    Likes Received:
    0
    I used to think that Monster cables were overpriced, but solid. Now, I'm not so sure. I use Monster cable exclusively in my vehicle, and one of the RCA's has developed a loose connection internally near the plug. This has really let me down because it will be a great inconvenience to replace it.

    On the home audio side, I have noticed that if you compare the "features" listed on the product packaging, and match them up between Acoustic Research and Monster, AR will always be significantly cheaper. Very strange. This implies that Monster's inexpensive products are really low-end (perhaps equivalent to the free cables?).

    For now, I use AR cables exclusively for home applications. I must, however, admit that Monster definitely has the prestige factor. Monster cabling connotes a certain level of affluency.
     
  8. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0

    Thats a problem. Monster provides marketing hype rather than technical performance specs. The number of grooves on it's RCA plug is hardly useful.

    An engineer would never use a retail Monster cable because of the lack of specs.

    The short answer is: the $48 Component cable from a custom site like BlueJeansCables will likely out-perform all of the retail Moster cables with a possible exception of the $200 silver-coated Z300cv cable. (and even this is subject to debait).

    It was a Canare-based video cable that "Secrets of Home Theater and Hi Fi" used for it's Progressive DVD player shootout. This did use sensitive video-analysis equipment and they found that many retail/botique cables caused the readings to jump all over the place if the cables were touched or moved. The Canare cable proved stable where many retail cables did not.
     
  9. Adil M

    Adil M Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    922
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you want better value, buy a whole bunch of Monster AA batteries. The amount spent on these can be redeemed towards their other products essentially getting you double the value. Everyone needs AA batteries.. even hundreds of them [​IMG].
    Monster also will send you a Monster rechargeable battery kit for sending them a video of yourself claiming you like their batteries.
    I do this for my customers. Sometimes they run the promotion giving away a screen cleaner w/ purchase of component cable.
    Guess which has the larger margin GE/RCA cables or Monster cables?
    Buy a set and return it if they do not look better. Like any product line there are good choices w/i the line.
     
  10. DerekCV

    DerekCV Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    151
    Likes Received:
    0
    I always thought that you just needed to look for speaker wire that was the gauge you want and OFC.... is that not the correct thinking?
     
  11. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

    Joined:
    May 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,182
    Likes Received:
    0

    For home theater - yes.

    I tend to suggest you buy a 50-100 foot spool of good 12 ga speaker wire and use it for all your speakers.

    But, it's a bit different for a higher-end audio system.

    The speaker wires are a bit like the cup you drink wine from. The glass does not really change the taste - but the experience is different between a coffee-cup, water glass, a $4 wine glass or a $80 wine gobblet. Speaker wires do make a slight difference. But you need to have a fairly "sensitive" system like electrostatic panel speakers, 300+ watt-per-channel amps, a higher-end SACD transport before the influence of the speaker wires becomes noticible.

    Home theater sound - is different from music for several reasons. Because of this, the speaker wires have less effect on the over-all experience.

    Hope this helps.
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,571
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    I agree with Bob. Music is typically much more revealing, so I feel smaller differences are easier to detect with music rather than the typical movie. The two are also generally recorded and mixed in very different environments with different end results in mind.
     
  13. Elbert Lee

    Elbert Lee Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2000
    Messages:
    501
    Likes Received:
    0
    there is solid construction behind the Monster Products. Be carefull as most of the comparisons done are with the lower end Monster while there are better M Series of line that are also significantly cheaper than its competition in its respective channels. Being the biggest, Monster is a good measurement in which to base your cable decision on. Unfortunately, it's extremely difficult to measure out performance since its so subjective.
     
  14. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    www.cablesforless.com is all you will ever need. Keep your money don't buy into the "experience" of expensive cables.
     

Share This Page