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Topic: Do You Really Get What You Pay For? Monster Cables and Coat Hangers

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  1. #1
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    Do You Really Get What You Pay For? Monster Cables and Coat Hangers

    Engadget and Boingboing ran an interesting piece:

    "We've always believed that the perceived quality boost that comes from using high-end cables is really just a trick of the mind (read: justifying the ridiculous cost of premium cables to yourself) -- if you've dropped enough cash, you can probably hear anything you want. Still, our belief is one thing -- cold hard proof is another, and it looks like a group of 12 self-professed "audiophiles" recently couldn't tell the difference between Monster 1000 speaker cables and plain old coat hangers.

    Yeah, coat hangers. The group was A-Bing different cables, and unbeknownst to them, the engineer running the test swapped out a set of cables for coat hangers with soldered-on speaker connections. Not a single one was then able to tell the difference between the Monster Cable and the hangers, and all agreed that the hangers sounded excellent. No wonder Monster has to rig HD displays. Still, we bet people still fall for the hype -- oh hey, if you're looking for the ultimate in sound, we've got half a meter of oxygen-free, triple-wrapped double-insulated Sonically Shielded AmpliSized Egyptian Llama cable here that we'll part ways with for just a couple grand.


    Coat hangers? I need to try that in my studio.

    This reminds me of a segment a few years ago Jogn Stossel did on "20/20" about a coffee taste-test. The most expensive coffee brand, the $12 a pound Dean & DeLuca's, ranked near the bottom. The coffee company spokesman kept on reiterating their coffee was so expensive because of quality considerations yet no one felt the same way the company did.

    Lots of smoke and mirrors in the world today. Do any of you have Monster Cables or similar products?

  2. #2
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Really Get What You Pay For? Monster Cables and Coat Hangers

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan View Post
    Lots of smoke and mirrors in the world today. Do any of you have Monster Cables or similar products?
    No, but I drove cross country with a coat hangar jammed into the antenna socket on the fender of my Chrysler. Worked perfectly all the way, and for a long time thereafter.

    Richard

  3. #3
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    Re: Do You Really Get What You Pay For? Monster Cables and Coat Hangers

    Quote Originally Posted by rwayland View Post
    No, but I drove cross country with a coat hangar jammed into the antenna socket on the fender of my Chrysler. Worked perfectly all the way, and for a long time thereafter.
    Richard,

    Next time try these expensive antennas (or is that antenni)...


  4. #4

    Re: Do You Really Get What You Pay For? Monster Cables and Coat Hangers

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan View Post
    Lots of smoke and mirrors in the world today. Do any of you have Monster Cables or similar products?
    I used to. They are now gone. Also used to have a PDA or two. Now my most efficient PDA in a small pad of paper and a pencil. I'm no Luddite but being uncluttered and efficient also includes getting rid of many electronic "wonders" that just get in the way.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

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  5. #5
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    Re: Do You Really Get What You Pay For? Monster Cables and Coat Hangers

    That's no fair - just think what gauge wire a coat hanger is....

    BTW - Richard, I think my dad drove his Chrysler the whole '70's with a coat hanger instead of an antenna. At least that is how I remember it....
    Trent P. McDonald

  6. #6
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    Re: Do You Really Get What You Pay For? Monster Cables and Coat Hangers

    I was discussing cables with an electrical engineer friend. When it comes to digital cables such as HDMI, he recommended buying the cheapest cables. The loss of signal in the length of most home theater type setups is very small according to him and will not cause any issues. This is from a guy that has 25 patents and designs digital circuitry for Intel so he knows his stuff. Network cables run 300 feet without any issues so a 6 foot cable won't have problems. The last HDMI cable I picked up cost $2 and works just as well as the $50 that came with my TV.

    He also had issues with power conditioners that they try to sell you at audio/visual stores such as the $500 Monster unit. Quality equipment should have no problems with voltage fluctuations. A decent surge protector is all you need according to him.

    Audio/visual stores can easily run up an extra $500 by telling you that you need both expensive cables and power conditioners. Instead, just go on the internet and you'll find decent cables for a couple bucks. If you're worried about power, then pickup a UPS battery backup. I pickup rebuilt ones from APC for $40. Then I just buy another rebuilt one every few years which is cheaper than replacing the batteries in them.

    Jim

  7. #7

    Re: Do You Really Get What You Pay For? Monster Cables and Coat Hangers

    I think the gauge of the wires you are comparing (and the quality of the connector . . . i.e. is it soldered on correctly, or is it going to short out?) can make a difference. But it depends on what you've got connected to it. A crappy speaker is going to sound equally crappy whether you are using a wire hanger or platinum cables.

    As for the brand names, I think we can all agree that that's mostly hype.

    And, if I'm not mistaken, for digital signals, anything that gets the signal through is fine. You don't get "better" quality with thicker cable.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Do You Really Get What You Pay For? Monster Cables and Coat Hangers

    One of the biggest hypes ever was the switch to heterodyne receivers, and for advertising, calling the technology Superheterodyne. But I have liked regenerative feedback grid leak detectors, and once designed and built one, which had better sound quality than most of todays fm. Looked a mess, but it worked, built of scrap parts, including the core from a toilet paper roll.

    Richard

  9. #9

    Re: Do You Really Get What You Pay For? Monster Cables and Coat Hangers

    Hi Gary,

    I think it all depends on the equipment that you are running arround the Monstercable.

    For example: If you use a high-end microphone like a Neumann and use also a high end mixer, amp and studiospeakers, then you can hear that when using the Monstercables the sound has a little bit more crisp... .

    Yeah, I use Monstercables and am verry happy with them.

    Gunther
    "Music is the shorthand of emotion." Leo Tolstoy

    Listen to me, tuning my triangle http://www.box.net/shared/ae822u6r3i

  10. #10

    Re: Do You Really Get What You Pay For? Monster Cables and Coat Hangers


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