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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,


Things are starting to come together with my HT albeit not as quickly as I'd like (nothing new there, I'm sure).


I've selected my receiver, DVD player and projector and just went to pull together information on cables to connect it all together. I've got a friend in the business that can get me 50% off Monster Cables but am still dumbstruck by how much it all adds up to, even with the discount.


To connect all my components (including a digital cable box) the cabling and HT surge protection will come in somewhere between $750 and $800 (I have to pay tax and shipping from his location and that's included in these prices). I can sum that up in one word: D'OH! BTW, most of the cable I'm looking at is the M1000 series which might be overkill but see the next paragraph.


I didn't go out and drop a TON of money (it was a lot to me anyway) on my pj, receiver, etc. for nothing. I don't want to negate their potential by shortcutting on the cables but is their a less expensive alternative taking into consideration the "break" I'm getting on the pricing or should I take the approach of "Don't look a gift-horse in the mouth"?


BTW, I hope I'm posting this message in the correct forum.


Thanks in advance for your feedback.


Cheers!


- Ed.
 

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Monster is about a 50 to 60 point product line, so your friend is "hooking you up"! Bad joke!


If you are sticker shock buying even dealer prices then you make want to buy lower quality for now then upgrade as you go. OR just close your eyes, hand over the CC and sign on the dotted line.


Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by David Richardson


OR just close your eyes, hand over the CC and sign on the dotted line.


Dave
Dave,


Thanks for the quick reply.


Your quote above is pretty much where I'm at. The WAF on this is going to be non-existent, however.


But, as the saying goes, it's easier to get forgiveness than it is permission. Matter of fact, I'm going to add that to my signature. :D


Cheers!


- Ed.
 

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My general rule of thumb...Entry level cables=10% of the equipment cost.

Higher end has no limit, but I usually spend 20%.

This is NOT counting the surge protection. JM.02
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by truaudiophile
My general rule of thumb...Entry level cables=10% of the equipment cost.

Higher end has no limit, but I usually spend 20%.

This is NOT counting the surge protection. JM.02
Ok, using your rule of thumb, I'm in the pipe five-by-five (I love that line from Aliens) so I should just close my eyes...


Thanks!


- Ed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update...


I just got off the phone with my bud who told me that half of the stuff I'm looking for isn't stocked and would take 30-days to come in from Monster. That puts me out past Christmas and my target grand opening of The Money Pit.


So I started thinking that there's GOT to be an alternative to Monster, obviously motivated by the I-want-my-HT-NOW! factor :D. I did a Google groups search for monster cable alternative and found that, like Bose, Monster seems to be a marketing machine. Maybe not as bad as what Bose seems to be (from what I've read here as well as other places), but still on the "snake oil" side.


My eyes hurt from all of the back-and-forth of the usenet forums, but the jist seems to be that there are, indeed, alternatives. Need to dig more.


What brands are you guys using for your interconnects?


Thanks,


- Ed.
 

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I may be opening myself up to flames but aren't we talking about wire here? Any reasonable quality, adequate gauge speaker wire and interconnects should sound pretty much the same. This is especially true of cables sending digital signals (1's and 0's).

I remember reading about a study done a few years back where they blinded a group of listeners (both audiophiles and "regular folk). The groups listened to the same music on high quality (ie $$$) cable and high quality radio shack cables. They could not tell the difference with any statistical significance.

I think many posts you read extolling the virtues of zillion dollar interconnects and speaker cable are written by those who just spent said zillions on those cables. Of course they sound great...they better!

I'm not advocating wiring your speakers and equipment with zip wire. I do think monster cable and the like spend large amounts of money on marketing and brand awareness. Maybe you should pick up a couple of different cables and compare them for yourself. Caveat Emptor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
galvinjm,


I came across reference to that study over in the usenet groups so I'm familiar with what you're referring to. However, I'm not 100% sure about whether we're talking about digital or analog. I'm not educated enough which is one of my problems. For years now, everytime I've needed a cable for this or a cable for that, it's been automatic that I've reached for Monster (they're marketing has certainly cast its' spell on me) but with this time having to get all of them at the same time is like, wow, that's a lot of money.


I'm in no way sitting here thinking Monster is the only way. Quite the opposite. Yes their cables feel and look good as well as perform solidly from what I can tell, but there's got to be proof in the pudding. I can't seem to find any statistical analysis showing why Monster is better than any other cable and don't know if I ever will.


If there were some data to back up shelling out bukoo bucks for Monster over other offerings out there, then I'd have no problem doing it.


Thanks for your input.


- Ed.
 

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AR Pro Series and Master Series are a good alternative to Monster Cable. I use the Pro series for all my cabling and am very satisfied. The Pro series is also very reasonably priced. The AR cables seems to have good reputation with very few negative comments.


Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by QQQ
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...highlight=bunk


Ed:


Here is an extremely long debate on the subject of speaker cables. I'm pointing you to it because about half through the thread you will find some advice from Tom Bombadil and others on where to get good speaker cables for reasonable prices.
Thanks for the heads up. Just an FYI, I'm not concerned with speaker cables at this point (already sealed behind the walls so the horse is way out of the barn on that) but rather with the interconnects, specifically to my projector. I'll go have a look as the discussion may still be relevant to my concern.


I appreciate all the feedback guys!


Cheers!


- Ed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
QQQ,


Ok, so I didn't make it through the complete 24 pages (just a small thread, eh?), but after 5 pages, I'm getting the jist. I'm going to have to print this out so I can keep it for reading while in the throne room. :D


Thanks again for bringing this to my attention.


Cheers!


- Ed.
 

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When I built out my theater, I bought some custom video cable assemblies from avcables.com . There are similar custom cable companies out there. I ended up testing them head-to-head with some decent "mid" quality stuff I had on hand and was very satisfied. I have only used them for video + digital audio, not analog audio, but I've bought $1500+ stuff from them so far and they have great quality and service. In addition to some of the pricing being better, the ability to keep the cable lengths down through custom ordering really helps keep down the rat's nest in back of the rack...


-Aaron
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey Aaron,


Good call on the avcable.com site. Seems that they've got better pricing than the "deal" I'm getting from my bud AND they actually list technical specs of their cables, something Monster doesn't seem to do on their site.


I've got an email into them on the custom lengths I need.


After doing some additional searching on the usenet groups, it seems that avcable and bettercables seem to get better user "press" than Monster does.


I feel a whole lot better but will even more once I get the bottom line on everything.


Thanks again for the heads-up on that site.


Cheers!


- Ed.
 

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And then there's always the 'grab some RG-6 and F-to-RCA connectors and call it a cable' approach. It might be worth trying a few blind tests to see if you can really tell the difference; many people can't. You just might save yourself a boat-load of money.
 

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Radio Shack my friend. Try their gold series and I am sure that you will be more than happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Alan,


True-dat. However, I don't trust my cable making abilities at this point and since this is a "make or buy" decision, that pretty much leaves me the latter as the only feasible option for my situation.


As for the Shack, I could do that but fear tripping over the pile of RC toys on the way in :D


I went the AVCable route and wound up spending less than 1/4 of the 50% discounted price I would have gotten on the Monster cable. Go figure!


Thanks all for your input. Aaron gets a gold star and an honorable mention in my custom HT intro!


Cheers!


- Ed.
 

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Just as an FYI, AVCABLE.COM is GEPCO's cable shop. Anything you direct order from GEPCO comes from them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A quick update...


I got my shipment of cables in. Pretty nice stuff and that RGB component snake is sweet. Good solid construction and quality connectors. Of course I haven't been able to hook anything up yet (HT still under construction).


BUT... As you'll note my tag-line I tend to do this, I measured wrong on the cables for the run to the PJ (went off design spec vs. as-built... D'OH!). AVCable was very cool about taking back the custom length I originally ordered.


So, although I can't report on the performance of their cables just yet, their customer service to this point (with both orders) has been outstanding. A+ in my book.


Thanks again for the lead to those guys. Best buying experience I've had yet.


Cheers!


- Ed.
 
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