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so I posted a thread about building a cheap system here:

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1519352/threw-together-this-cheapo-system-what-do-you-guys-think

 

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upon heavy recommendation from the forum, and nearly half of the forum viewing that monoprice is the best audio cable on the market for the best price.

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1518761/whats-your-favorite-cable-manufacturer-poll

 

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with that said, I took the plunge and ordered some of it. and I went to radio shack to buy AUVIO to decided what I wanted to run.

 

first impressions of mono-price cable. along with a comparison to what is available to me locally.

 

1: dirty, when I opened the box, the spool looked used, beaten to hell and wrapped in what looked to be used/recycled sandwhich wrap.

it's not a big deal, so I took the cable off of the melting card board spool and discarded it. smelled like cheap china product you get on ebay, which nobody tells newbies for some reason.

 

I ordered 50 feet no logo, I got 50 feet no logo so that's a plus. radioshack's 25 foot spool only had about 20 feet in it.

 

2: it's thinner, and the strands are wrapped in a sloppier manner than the AUVIO cable. Radioshacks cable looks good, looks expensive, looks quality like what you would expect a "high end" speaker system to use.  Mono-price stuff SHOULD BE SLEEVED/COVERED/BOOTED in my opinion

 

3: it's closer to radio-shack's 14 gauge cable than the 12 gauge, monoprice claims that the jacketing is thicker on the radioshack stuff hence the thickness difference, not true, I striped the jacketing off to get a banana plug on it, and there is more copper on the radio shack AUVIO 12 gauge.

 

jacketing quality is poor, takes 1-4 strands when you strip it no matter how great your stripper is. auvio cable is easier to strip, strips kind of like Monster cable i had in my boat/car 10 years ago, or like the great speaker cable that pioneer gave us on my dad's 90's 5.1 DD theater system. 

 

the fittings from monoprice are harder to use than the banana plugs I picked up at radio-shack as well (however there is a $15 price difference PER SET, so pick your poison there, I just dealt with the so-so plugs at the speakers and sub, but I sprung for the higher end plugs at the amp end due to it being the expensive part of the system)

 

ending notes: I would NOT recommend this cable for someone who will have speakers in a visible location. but If it is used in a manner where you can see very little of it, or if you plan on sleeving it, it works fine.

 

monoprice 12 gauge cable is low end, cheap cable made thicker, if you take anything from this review, buyer beware, this brand is hyped because ......i don't know................it looks nearly identical to the low end RCA brand speaker wire sold at Walmart, just about 3 times as thick.

 

 

 



 



 



 

 

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Quote:
I took the cable off of the melting card board spool and discarded it. smelled like cheap china product you get on ebay

How does cardboard melt?


Do you really think radio shack manufactures cable in the US?
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it's thinner, and the strands are wrapped in a sloppier manner than the AUVIO cable.

It's wire, it doesn't matter.
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Mono-price stuff SHOULD BE SLEEVED/COVERED/BOOTED in my opinion

Why? Does that make it sound better?
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jacketing quality is poor, takes 1-4 strands when you strip it no matter how great your stripper is.

This has nothing to do with cable and very much to do with your skill in using tools.
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the fittings from monoprice are harder to use than the banana plugs I picked up at radio-shack as well

Again, your skills appear to be lacking.
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monoprice 12 gauge cable is low end, cheap cable made thicke

Makes very little sense, perhaps you don't know what wire gauge means.
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i don't know
 

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Discussion Starter #3

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM64  /t/1520500/review-incl-just-got-mon...you-guys-reccomend-this-so-much#post_24427298



 How does cardboard melt?
the way that the cardboard is in the pic is how it was delivered to me, looks like it was exposed to water or damaged at somepoint.  I highly doubt that Norco overnite, overnight service damaged it that badly in transit.
Do you really think radio shack manufactures cable in the US?
china made goods, still have variable quality differences, radioshack's cable is clearly a higher end cable
 
 It's wire, it doesn't matter
it's a car it doesn't matter, it's just a house quality doesn't matter !!!!
Why? Does that make it sound better?
more visually appealing,  and it doesn't lay as nicely as radio shack's cable. I spent good money on a fractal design define case, why would I lay a bunch of cheap cable next to it?

Makes very little sense, perhaps you don't know what wire gauge means
alluding to the fact that it's not as advertised. I guess you don't know what a Ferrari is? I slapped a Ferrari badge on my camry therefore it's a Ferrari and anyone who says otherwise is an idiot
 

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Including the words best and monoprice in a sentence is almost sure to result in an oxymoron. Monoprice is nothing more than a reliable supplier of commodity products at hard to beat prices. You are comparing $.30/ft cable from monoprice to $1.00/ft cable from Radio Shack. For the difference in price you get a plastic reel instead of a paper one, which is meaningless once you install the cable. You also get rope lay cable that looks better and larger than the monoprice cable, and strips a little easier. But they are both 12 AWG and you won't hear a difference. Most folks aren't very concerned with the look of the cable because it is out of sight and who bothers to look at speaker cable anyway. If looks are important, it may be a good idea to use something other than the cheapest cable.
 

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At first I thought this was going to be a "sounds" better thing, at least its only about the aesthetics. Hard to compare values when the OP doesn't even indicate how much he paid for each....or what connectors specifically he used.
 

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Good review. Thanks for posting it. I do fair amount of bargain shopping at Harbor Freight for tools. While there are a number of tools that are good enough, the nasty stuff is nasty. Yes, they can do the job. But boy, you pick them up and they feel terrible. Such was the case with a set of screwdrivers. The handles looked ergonomic and fancy in the picture. But the moment you picked them up, you wanted to put them back down. It was anything but ergonomic and the feel was just awful.


How well something feels is of value. You don't want to feel disgusted as soon as you open the box. Folks should report the things you mention in their recommendations just in case it matters to some.


It would be interesting to measure the resistance of the monoprice cable to see if it is indeed 12 gauge. So much Chinese stuff is mis-marked as being better than it is.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm  /t/1520500/review-incl-just-got-mon...you-guys-reccomend-this-so-much#post_24428640


It would be interesting to measure the resistance of the monoprice cable to see if it is indeed 12 gauge. So much Chinese stuff is mis-marked as being better than it is.

Please do that and report back with your findings.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman  /t/1520500/review-incl-just-got-mon...you-guys-reccomend-this-so-much#post_24429124


Please do that and report back with your findings.
Happy to do so. Will you send the me the two samples please?
 

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No need for me to invest in both cables for you to test and prove a point. But! Ask the OP to send samples to you so you can perform the testing and provide the comparison.


What speaker wire does your business use?


In all reality, based on the OP's thread about building a "cheap system", I don't understand why the "quality or lack of quality" of a speaker wire should be so important.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman  /t/1520500/review-incl-just-got-mon...you-guys-reccomend-this-so-much#post_24429736


No need for me to invest in both cables for you to test and prove a point. But! Ask the OP to send samples to you so you can perform the testing and provide the comparison.
Well, sounds like you weren't interested in the answer that much after all! Let me know if your curiosity ever rises above that. As for OP sending it, he bought a very short length of it. While I can use a 4-wire Kelvin measurement system, preferably I like to have much longer lengths to measure its resistance properly. 100 foot would be nice.
Quote:
What speaker wire does your business use?
Not monoprice
. Not only do we care how good the wires is now, we also care how good it is down the road. I have cheap crappy speaker wire from years ago and some are totally disgusting with green leads, sticky insulation, etc.
Quote:
In all reality, based on the OP's thread about building a "cheap system", I don't understand why the "quality or lack of quality" of a speaker wire should be so important.
That's fine. He doesn't expect everyone to get it....
 

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Quote:
jacketing quality is poor, takes 1-4 strands when you strip it no matter how great your stripper is.

While I agree this is cheap stuff, the fact that you lose a few strands on a 12awg wire means nothing performance wise. Some people think that if any strands are lost, the wire is no longer the same gauge. This is not exactly correct. It's all about resistance. The loss of a few strands for the half inch going into a connector is highly insignificant. Probably far less increased resistance than the connector it's self adds.


P.S. I am talking about communications cable here with high strand count. Obviously losing strands on electrical power wire with lower strand count is a different matter.
 

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I have a roll of the Monoprice AWG 12 speaker wire, as well as a roll of AWG 12 wire of the "Sound King" brand that I got from Parts Express. I compared them, and sure enough, the Sound King wire looked quite a bit thicker. So I looked at them both under a magnifying lamp, and the result is just as Colm says. It is the "rope lay" that makes the Sound King wire look bigger. For readers not familiar with rope lay, there are multiple, smaller groups of stranded wire bundled within the insulation. It looks like six smaller stranded wire groups: five around the outside and one in the middle. The insulation of the Sound King wire is thicker too.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm  /t/1520500/review-incl-just-got-mon...you-guys-reccomend-this-so-much#post_24429830


That's fine. He doesn't expect everyone to get it....
But you do.



What speaker wire does your business use? You never answered.


And when I test wire, " I have a dual-column gas chromatograph, Hewlett-Packard model 5710a with flame analyzing detectors."
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman  /t/1520500/review-incl-just-got-mon...you-guys-reccomend-this-so-much#post_24430158


But you do.
Of course. I appreciate well engineered and manufactured products. I know what shortcuts can be taken and like it when that is not done. I examine anything I buy and when there is an effort above and beyond, I appreciate it. Ask anyone who buys Apple products what they think of their packaging. Surely you don't take the iPhone packaging with you and it does nothing for the phone (other than safe keeping) but it is part of the draw of Apple products. We call that OOBE: out of box experience.
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What speaker wire does your business use? You never answered.
It is not the topic of the thread.
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And when I test wire, " I have a dual-column gas chromatograph, Hewlett-Packard model 5710a with flame analyzing detectors."
Good to hear you at least have good taste in movies
.
 

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Nobody said Monoprice was the best. What we say is that it is inexpensive and will do the job of any other wire. Nothing incorrect about that.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm  /t/1520500/review-incl-just-got-mon...you-guys-reccomend-this-so-much#post_24430254


It is not the topic of the thread.
Well, perhaps it is.

You stated you don't use Monoprice speaker wire (with wink and a smile).

You also stated, "Not only do we care how good the wires is now, we also care how good it is down the road. I have cheap crappy speaker wire from years ago and some are totally disgusting with green leads, sticky insulation, etc."


So? What product (speaker wire) do you promote, sell, install etc. to your customer(s)?

I think that's a fair question.


(Did you take dance lessons from Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly?)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman  /t/1520500/review-incl-just-got-mon...you-guys-reccomend-this-so-much#post_24430513


Well, perhaps it is.

You stated you don't use Monoprice speaker wire (with wink and a smile).

You also stated, "Not only do we care how good the wires is now, we also care how good it is down the road. I have cheap crappy speaker wire from years ago and some are totally disgusting with green leads, sticky insulation, etc."


So? What product (speaker wire) do you promote, sell, install etc. to your customer(s)?

I think that's a fair question.
I said your question is off-topic. The topic is monoprice quality. I said we don't use it. And gave reasons.


BTW, I took a look at the Monoprice 12 gauge speaker wire spec. This is what it says:

"Resistance per Meter: 0.0072 ohm

Cross Sectional Area: 3.0mm Sq."



If we look up the wire guage nominal specs, we get this for 12 gauge:

Resistance per meter = 5.211 milliohm/meter or .0052 ohm = 1.588 milliohm/foot

Cross sectional Area = 3.31 mm squared



Let's cross check our reference with Belden 12 gauge speaker wire:
Nom. Conductor DC Resistance: 1.56 milliohm/foot


The Belden matches our reference almost to the digit when it comes to DC resistance: 1.56 vs 1.588. So our reference and real products essentially match which is good.


The monoprice on the other hand has a DC resistance per meter of .0072 instead of .0052. This means its resistance is 39% higher per meter than Belden/reference for 12 gauge. By my interpolation the monoprice DC resistance is somewhere between 13 and 14 gauge wire!


We can see the reason why. The cross section area of the monoprice conductor is 3.0 mm instead of 3.31. Thinner wire --> higher resistance. Thinner wire --> cheaper cost.


Someone should double check my quick math above and unless I made a mistake, you sure are getting something else than what it says.


Anyone who has dealt with chinese products in electronics knows about such exaggerations and then some. Never trust the stuff without testing and performing some due diligence.
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(Did you take dance lessons from Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly?)
Let's be professional please and stay on the technical topic.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW  /t/1520500/review-incl-just-got-mon...you-guys-reccomend-this-so-much#post_24430289


Nobody said Monoprice was the best. What we say is that it is inexpensive and will do the job of any other wire. Nothing incorrect about that.
Is there any test results that states so? I.e. that it does the job of any other wire?
 
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