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Over-priced cables?

Discussion in 'Sound, Music, and Intercom' started by derekleffew, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Follow this link. Very informative.
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Last edited: Feb 24, 2008
  3. BNBSound

    BNBSound Active Member

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    Ugh! Here we go again. I'm not going to get in to the technical side of this argument this time, just tell a couple amusing stories. Fortunately techs seem to me mostly immune to expensive-cable-itis, it's mostly home audio dweebs and guitar players.

    One guitar player friend of mine stood next to me in Banjo Center and wanted my expert sound-guy opinion on a pair of hand made, $100 guitar cables and how they would affect his sound. I told him you'd need some pretty sensitive lab equipment to tell the difference, but he bought them anyway and now swears by them. His neurosis about his rig is legendary in these parts, but it sounds great so we mostly just poke fun at him.

    "It's time to wash my cables again... my precious tone molecules are escaping!"

    The other guy is my cousin who hooked up his surround sound speakers, not with Mon$ter cable, but with some 6/4 SO cable (the same size I feed my distro with) he got from the local electrical distributor. Not that he needed four conductors, mind you, he just thought that big black cable would be sexier than some of the other options. So, having gone to great lengths and spent, at the time, nearly two dollars a foot to run a whopping 240 watts (peak not RMS!) to his cabs, he flatly refused to believe that my system didn't suffer a bit of degradation when I routinely ran 1400 watts down a meager strand of 12/2. HA!
     
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    You can go to a banjo center?
     
  5. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    It's an inside joke among sound people.:lol:
     
  6. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I'll go wash some gels now....
     
  7. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator Premium Member

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    Yup, cables are definitely overpriced. Just make your own - it's really not that hard (and the video above shows you how!)
     
  8. David Ashton

    David Ashton Active Member

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    The only criteria as to whether or not a cable is over-priced is, are you buying it or selling? it.
     
  9. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Makes me laugh when someone "hears" a difference using Monster cables.

    Stupid is as stupid hears.
     
  10. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    When my dad had his mid-life crisis, in addition to buying a sports car (which I'm not complaining about), he bought a better surround system and TV, replacing the POS Bose cubes (no highs, no lows, must be Bose). Unfortunately, the sales geek at Ultimate Electronics (what a misnomer) sold him the $200 a piece MonsterCables for the three front channels and a spool of MonsterCable something or another for the rear channels. I tried to talk him out of it, but he went with it anyway. Sad. He's a smart guy too, so I don't know how he was duped into it.

    My personal favorite was when the salesjerk was explaining the cables were directional, and that they prevented the backflow of electricity when the magnet moves back over the wire in the speaker (exact words). I laughed right in front of the guy. I also love how the cables have "Signal Flow --->" stamped on them. I don't think they have a good grasp on what AC current is. Sadly, dad was worried he was wiring up wrong when running cable for the rear channels, after getting the wire run, and the arrows pointed to the receiver. I just told him to plug it in and try it.
     
  11. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Now let's talk about the guy I know who has his speaker cable on little stands to keep it off the floor so the vibrations of the sound don't affect it. He writes for a Hi Fi magazine...

    If you are installing a rack permanently, then in 90% of cases, it's quite fine to use cheap cables within it - they aren't going to be subject to much stress and the runs are short anyway.

    We are buying in a couple of months time at work a precision analyser and plan on doing some tests between genuine Neutrik XLRs and the stuff our guys in China can get for a dollar per mating pair... I'll see if I can post results up in a few months time when we have them.

    Even ignoring the AC factor, copper does not have directionality. So there will be ABSOLUTELY ZERO difference between connecting it one way around or the other...

    Now let's not get started on "Oxygen Free" cable...

    The hand made cables may in fact be a better product, because they will likely be using respectable cable, decent connectors and properly soldered and connected. But is that worth the price?
     
  12. soundman1024

    soundman1024 Active Member

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    I recently bought some Monster USB Cables.

    I got four six foot monster USB cables with LED lights on the ends of them shipped for under $20. Since everyone needs these for printers these days they have insane markup on them to the point to where I have noted store brand versions of these going for $36. I'm sure these Monster ones with the LED go for $50 each in stores.

    I returned a borrowed cable to where it was and hooked my Monster cable up. I can say my printer now prints noticeably faster. LOL

    They were a good deal and I needed one. Now why I bought four..I don't know that. I don't think there will be another Monster cable in my future unless I find another deal on them.
     
  13. BNBSound

    BNBSound Active Member

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    DIRECTIONALITY!!!! HAAAAAAAAAAAH!

    Picking self back up off floor.

    I had completely forgotten about that one! My brother-in-law used to work at Cell Phone Shack around the time they started selling Mon$ter cables and he showed me the little arrows and the propaganda the Mon$ter people wanted him to spew.

    "It's called Back EMF son. It's a force of nature, get over it! The guys who built your amp did!"
     
  14. mbenonis

    mbenonis Wireless Guy Administrator Premium Member

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    So if I buy directional speaker cable, wouldn't that mean that only 1/2 of the waveform would be passed along the cable (since it's an ac signal)?
     
  15. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Um, Charc, the industry-standard Neutrik Speakon NL4 and NL8 speaker cables ARE male on both ends. I also bet you didn't know that ALL cables have a Capital and a Period end. Usually the female goes on the period end, for reasons we won't discuss here.
     
  16. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that visual Derek :(:shock::oops:
     
  17. Pip

    Pip Active Member

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    I've always laughed at the "Signal Flow -->" marker on cables- what a joke.
    But you guys are missing one of the main reasons why Monster Cables are so high priced.

    Cable quality discussions completely out the window, we have to remember that they will replace the cable for free, no questions asked, as a LIFETIME guarantee.

    My dad had a fellow engineer who's daughter used one of his cables as a jumprope, completely twisting to hell and destroying the cable- he brought it in, got it replaced.

    When I did reenforcement for the marching band at my high school and we got them to buy new cables, I insisted all of the mic and speaker cables were Monster. (They get thrown on the concrete, stepped on, wrapped wrong, etc.) Now, considering the amount of wear and tear they get, we just take the whole lot in, and replace them all yearly, regardless.

    THAT, in my opinion, makes Monster's prices worth it 100%
    (Think about it- we replace 30 cables every year... They pay for themselves FAST)

    Of course, that being said, yes- it's stupid to pay that much if the cables won't ever see any wear and tear, like in a home AV setup, or even if you're just going to run the cable and forget about it... But that's obvious- you pay for the cables that will be right for your application... Makes sense to me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2008

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