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Discussion Starter #1
Just need to vent, brethren. I'd like to send a virtual turd to the good folks down at Monster Cable. Their component and audio cables are so tight-fitting that pushing them all the way onto my connections is almost enough to break the connection mounts on my DVD player. I see the whole set of three connections pushing into the DVD player housing as I try to wrestle these things on. Luckily my tv connections are sturdier, but it isn't any easier getting them on. And then getting them off is just as hard, which isn't helped by the fact that the plastic housing that you grip is a lot fatter than it needs to be, which makes it hard to grab one of them securely when all three are plugged in right next to eachother. Yarrrrgh! I want quality signal, but damn! You don't have to make your cables look like spaceships to get me to buy them! And ease up on the dang tightness. If I don't just return these things outright, I'm going to have to come at them with some needle nose pliers just to loosen them up. YArrrgh!


Hey, in the seeing-through-the-marketing-hype department, do people think Monster's prices are worth the quality? Would a mid-priced, non-Monster cable be good enough for someone who isn't a hardcore videophile and just wants DVD and HD to look "nice"?
 

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Most would agree that Monster is outrageously priced. That being said, I think the quality is good, you just pay way too much for it. I hear you about the tight fit. I got some Monster component cables with my TV (only brand they had in the store and I didn't want to fuss with another stop), and I was really worried I was going to damage my DVD player putting them on. They worked a little better on the TV where there was weight to offer resistance.
 

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PCWorld compared some component cables:

PCWorld cable test


They found no practical difference in performance between the $18 cable, and $275 cable.


If you search, you can find other, similar tests, with similar results. In the end, save your money on the cable, and use the extra to buy some movies.
 

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To back chmilars statement, R. Harkness performed a wonderful cable vs. cable test that was complete with screen caps, etc. Do a search, the results were quite interesting!


-JR
 

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You buy enough cables and you'll come across some that fit too tight. Solution, as you have guessed, is grab a screwdriver or pliers and carefully pry open the ends for a better fit. I've done this once or twice. Or, simply return them. Next set may or may not be such a tight fit.


I agree that the Monsters are taking advantage of their name branding and charging way over the top. They are one of the first companies to come out with premium cabling.
 

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ive had some practice with these wires from all the new tvs and new components, a thing i learned is if your trying to get them off turn them clockwise it will open those prongs. although this works there never is any room to actually twist them off :rolleyes: the more expense they cost the harder they go on and off :(
 

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In our showroom we use a variety of cables. I don't think the average person is going to notice a difference between Monster cables and another brand. In a side-by-side comparison there might be a small difference (depending on the TV you are using for the comparison) but it's not much to be concerned about.


However, I do notice a difference in build quality. Monster cables are definately built better than the average cable. We rarely have to throw away a Monster cable but we do find ourselves tossing out cables from other brands that we've used from time to time. Granted, we're unplugging them and moving them more than you normally would at home but the point is, the Monster ones do seem to be durable and hold up better under abuse.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVwillKillUsAll
Just need to vent, brethren. I'd like to send a virtual turd to the good folks down at Monster Cable. Their component and audio cables are so tight-fitting that pushing them all the way onto my connections is almost enough to break the connection mounts on my DVD player. I see the whole set of three connections pushing into the DVD player housing as I try to wrestle these things on. Luckily my tv connections are sturdier, but it isn't any easier getting them on. And then getting them off is just as hard, which isn't helped by the fact that the plastic housing that you grip is a lot fatter than it needs to be, which makes it hard to grab one of them securely when all three are plugged in right next to eachother. Yarrrrgh! I want quality signal, but damn! You don't have to make your cables look like spaceships to get me to buy them! And ease up on the dang tightness. If I don't just return these things outright, I'm going to have to come at them with some needle nose pliers just to loosen them up. YArrrgh!


Hey, in the seeing-through-the-marketing-hype department, do people think Monster's prices are worth the quality? Would a mid-priced, non-Monster cable be good enough for someone who isn't a hardcore videophile and just wants DVD and HD to look "nice"?
Ha ha. I went throught this same BS also. I'm returning these $80 POS Monster Cables. They are so tight...unbelievable. I bought a set of Acoustic Research which were only $30 and longer in feet (6 feet vs 4 feet)....nice and snug easy to connect.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well hey thanks everybody. Back go the Monsters. Those Acoustic Research ones look like they have thinner handles too, easier to handle. R Harkness's cable ratings were very helpful. My favorite images ended up being from the cheapest cable. Go figure. But really the differences were almost imperceptible. So this kid is going cheapo.
 

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We have a demo set up in our showroom that has a DVD player hooked up to two 20" LCD TVs. One is hooked up with composite and one with component. Frequently customers say they prefer the composite picture because the colors seem darker. They ignore the obvious dot crawl and other imperfections. We are constantly having to inform customers that they're only selecting that picture because they're used to seeing that quality. They're not used to seeing more realistic skin tones and such like you see with the component cable.


I only mention that because you said you liked the image from the cheapest cable....I know it's not the same comparison but it reminded me of that.
 

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Agreed on the Monsters overly tight fit. Acoustic Research cables are good enough.


Now where you really do need Monsters is for DVI cabling. Don't skimp here, get the monsters. You'll be glad you did. You know all those extra oxygen atoms in cheap copper cables affect the digital signal, ending up with jaggies, dot crawl, sparklies, macroblocking.


So, avoid all these significant problems and get Monster DVI.


And, BTW, heard any good Bose systems lately? Hey, get 7 channel sound from 2 speakers the size of a can o' beans. Virtual reality at its best.
 

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Let's give credit where credit is due. Monster Cable is largely responsible for creating the cable industry as we know it. Without Monster's marketing would the general consumer even know that there might be a performance gain with a slightly better cable? Wether you buy them or not, you can thank Monster for the huge selection of cables available today. BTW, Monster makes cheap cables too. They fit nice and loose for those 2 cent RCA connectors on less expensive DVD players and TV's.
 

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Better display technology, new input modes like component, more demanding consumers, drove the market for better cables. We would have good choices in cables today if Monster had never existed.
 

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Monster cables are designed to be turned clockwise while applying, and turned the same direction when removing.


Makes it easier.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_1080p
Now where you really do need Monsters is for DVI cabling. You know all those extra oxygen atoms in cheap copper cables affect the digital signal, ending up with jaggies, dot crawl, sparklies, macroblocking.
Sorry, but this is absolutely untrue. (Since you also mentioned Bose and "best" in the same paragraph, I half suspect that you are "pulling our legs". But, just to make sure the record is straight....)


The same PCWorld article linked above also tests HDMI cables, and finds no difference between the $31 cable and $300 Monster Cable. HDMI and DVI transmit the video signal digitally, and work essentially identically, so the findings for HDMI are applicable to DVI. Indeed, they hated the Monster HDMI because it kept pulling off of the connector.


Since the signal is transmitted digitally, a faulty signal will not manifest itself as jaggies, dot crawl, or sparklies. You will see either no picture at all, a picture with huge flashing blocks (at sizes like 1/8 or 1/4 of the screen), or huge areas of crazy random patterns. You will think that your TV or source player is completely broken.


The effect of a bad DVI cable is not subtle!


So, with a DVI cable, there is no worry about "subtle differences" in cables. The signal either gets to the receiver, or it doesn't. There is no middle ground. There is no gradual degradation of the image. If the cheapest DVI cable does the job, it cannot be improved upon. Spending more is wasting money.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark_1080p
Better display technology, new input modes like component, more demanding consumers, drove the market for better cables. We would have good choices in cables today if Monster had never existed.
While I would agree that the enthusiast has helped to drive this market, I disagree that Monster is not partially responsible for the healthy number of cable choices we have today. Monster with its marketing hype has really propelled the interest in quality cabling to the mainstream. That is why we now see several different brands of cabling at local stores such as Wal Mart, Best Buy, and Lowes. You may not like Monster but the company has certainly been a boon to the enthusiast.


The quality of the build of a cable is an important aspect. I run into this in my audio/video but even more often in computer networking. Whenever I have to diagnose a communication problem between a computer and a printer or a computer and the server, it is almost always due to a cable defect. I have had similar problems using poor quality video cables. When I first connect the cables there is no difference in the picture. But inevitably with movement or reconnect the cables become damaged. Now this doesn't mean you have to purchase monster cables. But there is a lot of room between a cheap cable and an overwhelmingly expensive Monster Cable.


For note, I use AR cables in most of my rooms and use Monster for my plasma display. I only use Monster because I have a clean setup that looks wireless. In order to maintain this look I have to have the cables bend and stay in certain places to remain hidden. Monster cables (some of them) are extremely thick and inflexible enabling me to keep this look.
 

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Quote:
Since the signal is transmitted digitally, a faulty signal will not manifest itself as jaggies, dot crawl, or sparklies. You will see either no picture at all, a picture with huge flashing blocks (at sizes like 1/8 or 1/4 of the screen), or huge areas of crazy random patterns. You will think that your TV or source player is completely broken.
You are correct that some of the problems he mentioned are impossible. Dot crawl is a phenomenon limited to composite cabling and is caused by intermodulation of the chroma and luma. Macroblocking and jaggies are the result of the algorithms used to compress, scale, or process digital video.


For longer DVI/HDCP cables, I believe bit errors (i.e. "sparklies") are possible. Check out this article: http://www.bluejeanscable.com/articl...icomponent.htm
 

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Mark, come on now. Don't let your personal distaste for a brand cloud your vision so much that you can't even admidt that they have done something positive. :) Monster Cable is the Kleenex of cords and is asked for by name.
 
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