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What is better: AR or Monster Cables? (1 Viewer)

Thik Nongyow

Stunt Coordinator
Jun 3, 2002
I noticed that in many electronics stores, there are two recognizable brand names that sell video or audio cables: AR (Acoustic Research) and Monster Cables. I often see their products side-by-side, each brand claiming the best in a video or audio cable. They both seem reputable, even though Monster Cables boast winning many awards for excellence. The AC cables cost less, while the Monster Cables products cost more.

Now, with both brand boasting that their products represent quality, which one is better? Remember, that I am asking for an opinion, not a sales pitch.

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
May 22, 1999
AR cables are great "bang-for-the-buck". I would say that Monster is possiably better quality, but Monster has at least 4 different "grades" or "levels" so it's hard to say one is better than the other.
I would/have recommended AR cables for "Modest" systems. These are systems that are NOT sensitive enough that AR vs Monster would make a difference.
A "Sensitive" system that might show a difference with a better cable would be any of the following:
- Display size greater than about 40 inches
- Display that is HD Ready (up-converts the incoming signals)
- Pushing progressive or HD signals
- Long runs of cables ~12 feet or more
My personal opinion would be to suggest you buy a good/high-end video cable for high-quality video sources (DVD, HD box). Then use AR brand cables for:
- Audio & Video interconnects from VCR/CATV/DSS box's
- Subwoofer Cable
- Coaxial-Digital interconnect
And you can get very good, HD compatible video cables from the custom web sites that equal/better the Monster CV300 cables ($230 for 6 ft):
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You can even go with silver-plated cables from www.bettercables.com and still pay less than the high-end monster.
Hope this helps.

Mark Rich

Second Unit
Oct 24, 2001
CobaltCables uses Canare cable and is really expensive!! You can buy the same cables from someone like Heartland and save a bundle.
Wickedcables uses RG59 cable. Which is bettered by the RG6 cables offered by Canare and Belden.
Belden 1694a is a better performing cable than the current Canare offerings. Canare still has not released a competing product.
You can compare the full specs on the Canare and Belden websites. The numbers pretty much speak for them selves. The info can also be used to compare against other brands as well.
To save a bunch of money and IMO get the very best bang for the buck check out one of the Custom cable makers who sell the belden 1694a or even better the 1695a cable.

An alterntive to the very high perfroming Belden cables (1694a)is the Gepco cables offered by avcable.com
The Gepco is probably the only serious competitor to the Belden (1694a/1695a)cables.

Lee Scoggins

Senior HTF Member
Aug 30, 2001
Atlanta, Georgia
Real Name
I think you will be much more happy ultimately with entry level audiophile cable such as Audioquest Sidewinder for interconnect and similar cables.
If I had to choose, I would go AR. At the upper Monster ranges, most Kimber and Audioquest dust Monster.

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