AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was in (ugh) best buy today looking at video cables and I noticed cables from Acoustic Research. Are they any good?


6' component Monster: $90

6' component AR: $30


I know monster is way overpriced, but what's the overall quality of AR in comparison? What sort of reputation do they have?


--Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
351 Posts
if you are looking for cheap (but decent quality) component video cables, go to radio shack, and get some rg6 cable, along with some f-to-phono adaptors...That's what I am using right now, and it works great for connecting my dvd player to my mits rptv IMHO. You should be able to put together a component cable for about $15. If you want high quality cables, check out bettercables.com, from what I hear their cables are a million times better than monster's, and the prices are comparable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,304 Posts
Acoustic Research interconnects are very good. I have them in all my equipment. Their quality is comparable to Monster and, as you've already found, cost a lot less. I recommend them.


That price seems even lower than usual for a 6' component cable. I'd jump on it right away before they change it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I just noticed your post and since it's been a few weeks you have probably purchased cables by now or you have a lot more patience me. While I cannon say that Monster is better than AR I can say that you get what you pay for. Monster is expensive without question but quality cables are an investment in your system that is not just noticeable but invaluable.


Connecting high end equipment with inferior cables is like buying a Ferrari and then filling the tank with cheap gas. Not only are not going to get the best performance from your components but you can also do damage to them over time if not right away.


Fortunately my most recent Monster purchase was from someone I saw on an auction site. I contacted him since I needed two S-video and two sets of Audio cables and he gave me an excellent price (about 30% below retail) and was truly a pleasure to deal with. Since I'm always shopping for something for myself or for friends I had asked about future availability and he said no problem. If you're interested let me know and I'll get in touch with him.


It's back to the Sampo calibration nightmare for me...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
zenjen, thanks for the reply.


No, i haven't yet bought the cables. I'm still waiting to move into my new house before i get my new gear. However, the main reason I posted was because it's unclear to me how much the adage of "you get what you pay for" applies to MonsterCables. I know they're overhyped and overpriced, but is the performance difference between them and the AR worth the huge difference in price? Or heck, I'd almost accept that the AR's might even be better. Who knows these days with Monster since they have such a brand presence.


I guess the main question is this: are they comparable in quality, or is the Monster really a better cable? I'd prefer to go on something other than price to be the only indicator of quality.


Thanks

--Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
As I said in my earlier post I haven't used the AR cables so I can't comment on their quality. I've read good things about them but I have bought only Monster Cables so far. The retail price has a huge markup and I'm sure there are other cables that are just as good or better.


Believe me that when the sales guy started telling me the cost of the Monster cables to connect the TV and line-doubler I was buying I was no easy sell. In fact, he probably regretted it because I kept him on the phone at least an extra 30 minutes while I had him explain to me exactly what they all were and why I "needed" them. Of course, I also made him see that he "needed" to cut me a break on the cables, not too hard since I was buying two Sampo SME-34WHD5's and two DVDO iScan Pro's (one for myself and one for my husband).


I'm a lifelong audio enthusiast so I knew Monster was a quality product but speaker wire, no matter how good is no where near the kind of money that the A/V cables run. Hell, I wasn't even thinking about buying a new TV at the time but my husband asked me to help him with the final stages of his research. The Sampo had just come out and so there was very little information on it and even though I live in Manhattan there was no where to see one.


Point being that I spent more money than I could ever have imagined on a TV made by a company no one ever heard of and I hadn't seen but the few reviews I read were stellar and the no other set had as many features and mostly because it was at least $1000 less than anything else in it's class. If the guy wouldn't have given me a discount on the Monsters I probably wouldn't have bought them. I don't know but I'm glad I did because compared the junk that comes in the box even my grandmother could see the difference! Particularly with the Component video cables.


Even though I'm sitting here looking at a black screen while I try to find some insight into how to correct the color on my set because I screwed them up so badly I love my TV and want the best for it/from it.


I would not recommend the low end Monster Cables because I didn't find them to be worth the money. I actually replaced the Interlink2's that I purchased with the TV with video3s and audio 4s and reference cables. The audio reference series is expensive but excellent. Extremely well shielded which for the amount of equipment I have to cram into a New York City studio apartment is a necessity for me but may not be for you. I paid retail for a Z series cable for my center channel speaker, because I had no choice but to run it over the back of my set and it's been there for nearly a year and hasn't pulled the picture one bit.


My suggestion would be that you go to a store that carries a variety of higher end cables and see/hear for yourself. You might find something better or cheaper and maybe something you never heard of before. One thing though that you will get from Monster and probably some other brand name products is a satisfaction guarantee and from the company not whoever you buy it from. This is a plus because you can return them to almost anyplace that carries them no matter where you purchased them. Since Monster is probably the most widely carried high end cable that also factored into my decision to stick with them.


If you do find something better and cheaper please let me know. And if you decide to go with Monster I'd be happy to see what kind of a price I can get from the guy I mentioned. To give you an idea, I paid $35 a piece for 2M Video3 series S-video cables brand new in the box.


One final note on my experience with Monster. The best thing I ever bought from them wasn't a cable but a power conditioner. My husband proved it's true value when I accidentally fried his by plugging it into an outlet his friend had just finished working on. That $200 box turned out to be worth over $5000 because even though it had smoke coming out of it everything plugged into it was completely unharmed.


Sorry for the long winded response but I hope it was somewhat helpful. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
638 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by mikepinkerton
However, the main reason I posted was because it's unclear to me how much the adage of "you get what you pay for" applies to MonsterCables. I know they're overhyped and overpriced, but is the performance difference between them and the AR worth the huge difference in price? Or heck, I'd almost accept that the AR's might even be better. Who knows these days with Monster since they have such a brand presence.
Take it from an electrical engineer (rather than from "info" gathered from a salesmen) that those AR cables will be just fine and MC are indeed over-priced and over-hyped. I do agree you get what you pay for to an extent, but those AR cables are plenty good. I have other friends with EE degrees, and it's generally accepted all of those expensive cables are all hype (and marketing) with little substance. BTW, I'm not anti-MC. In fact I have some of their cables but I got them for ultra cheap ($4.95 for a 12-foot composite video cable, etc.). So I'm not saying MC is bad -- just over-priced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
STL

Quote:
Originally posted by STL
...I got them for ultra cheap ($4.95 for a 12-foot composite video cable, etc.). So I'm not saying MC is bad -- just over-priced.
Every time I contemplate upgrading some component in my system I think if only I had known then what I know now but then I also find that the more I learn the more I see how much more there is to learn! When I said that you get what you pay for I did not mean that as a justification of the ridiculously high markup on MC products which most of the general public is asked to pay. I'd never encourage anyone to pay retail for cables or anything else. My comment was more in reference to out of the box cables versus purchasing something of a higher grade. The end price one pays is almost always going to be higher for something that is of better quality. Whether you pay $4.95 or $49.95 you are still paying more for quality it just becomes a question of how much more.


The main reason I originally posted was to let Mike know that if he decided to go with Monster I could probably help him get the cables for a lot less than retail prices so he could choose a cable based on what he found to be best quality without having to rule out something due to retail markup.


Perhaps my original comment from 3:20 am that you get what you pay for may have been more aptly phrased as...


...An educated consumer is a good consumer.


Hopefully we will all be better consumers for having spent time on this site. With all of that being said, is there any chance you might be able to help Mike and others here find prices like you pay? I'd certainly be interested in that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
754 Posts
I have had very good luck with AR.


I happen to get items at cost at a particular electronics store, and they carry all AR cables.


I have:


AR component video for my DVD player

AR S-Video for my DTC100 (SDTV only)

AR Interconnects for all of my audio

AR Subwoofer cable w/ Y


I have been VERY pleased with the performance of these cables.

For the money, I haven't found anything better. Although, I did get quite a discount on them. (I think the component cables were $8.00, because the package had been opened)


I also have some various Monster Cables.. and I've done side by side comparisons between the two.


To my untrained eye, there is no difference.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
638 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by zenjentbnyc
My comment was more in reference to out of the box cables versus purchasing something of a higher grade.
I agree with that statement, but unlike you I think even the "low end Monster Cables" would likely be just fine -- unless they are now making some really cheap models that I'm not aware of.

Quote:
Originally posted by zenjentbnyc
With all of that being said, is there any chance you might be able to help Mike and others here find prices like you pay? I'd certainly be interested in that.
Keep an eye out at www.partsexpress.com or get their catalogs and sales flyers. They occasionally get over-stock and discontinued items and sell them at deep discounts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
320 Posts
Quote:
Originally posted by vruiz
Acoustic Research interconnects are very good. I have them in all my equipment. Their quality is comparable to Monster and, as you've already found, cost a lot less. I recommend them.


That price seems even lower than usual for a 6' component cable. I'd jump on it right away before they change it.
Vic, you're using What?! You are using AR's on your $25000+ HT gear?! I was imagining only the very best custom stuff for you. What a travesty.

;)


In fact I use Monster Video3's, if I have known about the AR's, I would have gotten them first. They also score high on the cool looks factor.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
434 Posts
I am using alot of AR in my system and I think for the price they are great. Great build quality and look.

Just a side note because you mentioned that you saw them at Best Buy. But it seems that AR has two different lines now. They have the pro line (which I am guessing is the one that everyone is talking about here as they have been around a while. It will say AR Pro on the package.) And a newer less expensive one which is the one you probably saw at BB. They both look like they are well built, but I like the way the pro series looks and feels better. They are a little more but still not at the price of Monster. The pro line can be seen in the New York area at The Wiz and P.C. Richards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
One thing I don't understand is why triple cables with shielding and gold interconnects sold for composite video (with stereo audio) made by the same manufacturer (e.g., AR, Monster, Radio Shack, etc.) cost much less than the triple cables with shielding and gold interconnects sold for component video, sold by the same manufacturer. The packaging looks about the same, the cable thickness looks about the same. About the only difference is the colors on the 3 components cables are Red Green and Blue and on the composite with stereo audio, they're Red White and Yellow.


My local Best Buy carries 12' AR component cables for $40 and 12' Monster component cables for let's just say much more. I went to my local Radio Shack to see what they charge for 12' component cables (hoping they'd be less than the AR's) but found them to be $10 more than the AR's so I went back to Best Buy and bought the AR's.
Quote:
Target has G.E. double shielded gold plated 12' component cables for $19.99. They work perfect in my system.
I have 12' AR component cables but think if I had life to live over again, I'd get the $20 ones from Target.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
189 Posts
I have worked with signals from AC to microwaves over the past 30 years. To me, gold-plating any video cables or audio cables is a frill that yields little or no benefit in performance. There are many inexpensive metal alloys that work just as well and cost a lot less.


AS for dielectrics - we didn't need to use Teflon as a dielectric until we got into the microwave (500 MHz - up) range. Why would you need it at baseband video freqencies (5 MHz)??


I use a mixture of garden-variety Belden coaxial cables for interconnects. I have also used Extron cables (also Belden, I think), Aplha, Columbia, and JSC.


Gold-plating is generally reserved for harsh environments (like outer space and areas with high concentrations of salt moisture or other corrosives).


I will say that companies selling these high-priced wires have done an excellent job identifying the "ego" part of the home theater purchase (mine's bigger/louder/less lossy/higher priced than yours) and selling to it.


If you can get good performance out of cheaper wire, why not do so and put the savings towards a better DVD player, receiver, or RPTV?


Pete Putman

ARS KT2B
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
The difference between composite video with left and right audio cables and component video cables is that audio and video cables are usually constructed differently and can be terminated differently. An audio cable is typically a twisted pair of wires while a video cable is a coax type cable with a center conductor. Higher end video cables will also be terminated with 75ohm RCA connectors. The 75ohm cuts down on signal reflection on the line.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,058 Posts
Quote:
The difference between composite video with left and right audio cables and component video cables is....
Are the thick shielded composite video cables (with left and right audio) not appropriate to use for component cables. I thought the main goal is to get cables that are well-shielded and thick (which both the premium composite audio/video cables and premium component cables are).
Quote:
Higher end video cables will also be terminated with 75ohm RCA connectors.
Are the RCA connectors different in the high end video versus audio cables? They seem alike to the untrained eye, that is, without physically cutting the cable and looking inside.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top