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Are Monster Cables Worth It??

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by PinguinoGrande, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. I own a couple of these and they seem to be pretty good. I am looking at needing a lot more cables however for microphones and instruments and I was wondering if there is an alternative to monster that is just as good but cheaper or better and the same price. I also wouldn't mind making my own cables if I know what cabling and connectors to use. Any input would help. Thanks
  2. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    I order nuetrik connectors/jacks and dayton Pro-Grade Mic/ Signal Cable from partsexpress.com.

    I don't think monster cable is worth it.
  3. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    For mic cables I like the 20' or 25' Mogami silver series from MF for $19. Can't beat them for studio use IMO.

    Redco always has the killer deal (to me) on Mogami interconnects in whatever configuration I need at redco.com and their service is great.

    Of course Canare is always a great cable to buy as well.

    I don't like Monster cable at all. Never have.
  4. farside

    farside Active Member

    The only thing that makes Monster Cables worth it is the guarantee. Break one, take it back to Banjo Mart and get a new one for free ...I've replaced at least 5 instrument and speaker cables for free.
  5. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Well... lots of cable manufacturers offer that. (I think even Hosa does...)

    But, I'm going to take a VERY unpopular stance here and probably piss some people off, but hey, that's what I do... :wink:

    Yes, I believe that Monster Cables are worth it. (and I'm speaking of their 500 series cables.)

    Furthermore, I don't think that Monster Cable is expensive or over-priced.

    The quality of construction is excellent. The way they wind their cables (their, as they call it, "Time Correct" winding) is both sound in physics and verifiable by looking at a cross-section of the cable. It is not standard stranded wire in a quad configuration (which, BTW, quad configuration is fine, but there are issues with it over long cable runs).

    Frankly, I actually get quite annoyed at those who jump on the Monster Cable hating band-wagon. Why? I just don't understand it. Many of these people say "They're just TOO expensive and over priced." These same people say later on, "I like Mogami MUCH better." Ironic ey, cuz Mogami pre-packaged cables are more expensive than the Monster cable 500 series.

    Of course, then you get into all sorts of debates about their other products as well - such as power conditioners and what not. I will go as far to say that many of the Monster Cable products are VERY good, some downright amazing. Still, others are aimed at the "stupid consumer" who will buy it just b/c it says "Monster Cable" on the label. (Such as their 100 series. If you want cheap cable, buy whirlwind or hosa, don't spend 50% more on cheap monster cable, it's really no better.)

    True, if you roll your own, you can save a TON of money. Me personally, I don't roll my own. (Other than a few oddball cables I make from time to time.) I like having a company back a product. If I plug in a monster cable and it doesn't work - I don't mess with GC. I call Monster directly and they drop ship me a new cable. Period.

    I've only ever had this happen 1 time and it was with a consumer level speaker cable. (Though one of their VERY pricey ones at that.) Never have I had one of their pro cables fail me. And the speaker cable issue happened within the first 30 days, so I'm suspecting it got overlooked in the QC phase.

    Now, I'll caveat all of the above with stating that I feel that cables DO in fact matter. Not just in the pro audio world, but in the consumer side of the house too. My SACD player is hooked up with just under $2,000 worth of MIT cables and it sounds amazing. All of my gear in my studio (or at least the important stuff) only goes through either Monster or Mogami.

    BTW - I have performed a test:

    Single loudspeaker playing a 30 second audio clip.
    Single Schoeps CMC6MK2s 1 meter back from the speaker directly between the mid-range and tweeter of the loudspeaker (NHT 2.5i).

    Recorded the output of the loudspeaker through Schoeps with both Monster cable 500 series mic cable and then through Whirlwind mic cable.

    Both cables were identical lenghts. (within tolerances of less than 1 inch) The environment was 69 degrees farenheit for both evaluations and the operating noise level in the room stayed a constant 21 dB, never varying more than .5 dB over the beginning of the test through the end of the test. (All silences measured - if room noises such as me walking were captured, they were not measured.)

    Mic stand was duct taped to the floor (quite a bit) and the mic was duct taped to the stand to ensure that when changing cables, the mic remained in the exact location.

    After recording the wav files, I lined them back up in a DAW and flipped the polarity. Program material remained throughout the entire spectrum. Granted, it was more present or more attenuated in various regions, but the simple fact that I could recreate in my brain the original recording tells me that there ARE in fact significant differences between cables.

    "Significant" being the KEY work here.

    J. :cool:
  6. stickers

    stickers Active Member

    Cucco maybe i should send one of my cables your way so you can test them..hehe.
  7. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    He he - Hey, I don't mind - if you got one to send, I'll put it through and send you the output files. (That way you can subjectively judge for yourself.) :cool:

    One thing that I didn't state is that, there is of course a difference in cables. The important thing is that this difference is in fact subjective. One really has to pick a cable they like. The good news is that the difference is really not all that subtle. (or as subtle as most would assume.)

  8. Shinyville

    Shinyville Guest

    I've had good experiences with Monster Cables in general. I worked at a music store in Indiana for a couple of years that sold 'em, and I can say that in those two years we never had any come back. And we sold quite a few. We had LOTS of damage returns on other cable lines we sold, like Peavey and a few Horizon. The cheaper ones also had the free replacement guarantee, so if durability is one's primary concern, I guess they all even out considering replacement.

    While I worked there and had an employee discount, I also switched out all of my own live and studio cables with Monster, and I've loved them. I use the 500 series live stuff for guitar and mic cables, and the 1000 series for studio connections. I had 'em make me a 1000 series extra-long mic cable for live applications, too, and that thing has seen a LOT of abuse, but it's still kicking in hi-fi. I even switched out my home stereo cables and power supplies with Monster products, and they're sounding/working great as well. I've had all of those cables for five or six years now, and they all still work and sound good as new.

    I have heard people talk about the cable tips breaking off (on 1/4'' cables), but I've never actually seen one do it. A lot of mine do spin around after a lot of use, but it hasn't affected their performance.

    Do they actually sound better? I think they have somewhat of an edge, at least to my ears. I didn't do any formal tests, but I did a/b them against other cables I had at home and in the store now and then, mostly guitar and mic cables in those cases, and I think they had a slightly more balanced, clean signal. And on really long cables, they seem to lose less signal.

    But maybe I have bad taste: I love Neuman TLM 103s and Yamaha NS10Ms, too, and those don't seem to be warmly received on recording.org!
  9. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    I bought some monster cables mic for my studio a couple years ago and they have never failed me- on the other hand, some cheapo musicians friend cables I bought (I bought a lot, they were cheap!) consistently fail and I've probably lost half of them already in just 3-4 years or so- so subjectively i do say that they are worth it, if nothing else it saves you from heartburn anytime you plug in a cable and its no good anymore... 8)
  10. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    You see - that's what's REALLY cool about this environment. I may hate the gear you use and you may hate the gear I use, but in the end, I don't disrespect you for using it. To each their own.

    Now, of course, if you tried to tell me about your EQ which adds dynamics, then that's a different story...

    IOW, don't worry - your tastes are just fine. They're just that - your tastes.

  11. Shinyville

    Shinyville Guest

    Ha! The week I first started snooping around on this site was right around the time of that jp22 post starting. At first, I thought it was kind of a hack-site, with really uninformed people, but then when everybody started tearing into him and correcting him with very informed, articulate answers (and properly mocking him for intense stupidity), I decided to sign up!

    So cheers to different tastes! I'll admit to having some strange tastes in timbre, anyway, so my plan is to generally stay out of the mixing/mastering forums. I have a penchant for really abrasive, over-the-top sounds, and music, for that matter, so I'll stick to what might be useful for folks in a more general sense.
  12. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Hey I'm glad this is coming out. I personally think Monster 500 cables sound great. I know people like to bash them for being expensive, but so are a lot of other high end things. I have most of my rack hooked up with Monster 500 cable, but recently I made some of my own cables using Mogami. Now, I probably need to do some further testing to be sure, but I did notice a difference between the two. And I liked the Monster better! Neither sounded "bad" but, you know.
  13. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    I like Monster Cables, but I've noticed that lately some of the connectors have been getting some extra cosmetic attention (more plastic around the connector) and this can get in the way of stuff. More specifically I noticed this with some optical cables I got from them for one of my home theater systems. The optical input of my Dolby Decoder is tucked in a slot, and I had to shave some plastic off the cable connector to get it to fit in there.

    In my studio I use mostly Mogami Gold, simply because at the time it was on sale at GC for about 1/3 the price of Monster 500, so I bought a shitload of it.
  14. JeffSanders

    JeffSanders Active Member

    I think Monster cables are great.

    It's popular for people to bash/boycott Monster, not for the price - but because they are lawsuit-silly...taking many companies to court for using the name "Monster"... which is very lame. But whatever, the cable is excellent quality.

    For me, yes, they are worth it.
  15. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    just out of interest
    did you perform the test twice with the same cable ?
    and did the same cable satisfy a NULL test ?
  16. axel

    axel Guest

    i personally think the only point about monster cables is that they have a monster price, but if you like to throw money out of the window... go for monster.

    otherwise try: KLOTZ (german quality!)
    they are the best cables made on the planet, just try them once and you will never touch anything else again, I GUARANTEE THAT!!
    and they are very nicely priced :D :D :D

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