View Full Version : Monster Cables: Not better than coat hangers

03-05-2008, 02:05 PM

Can you tell the difference between music that passed through a pricey Monster stereo Cable, and a coat hanger? ... Seven different songs were played, each time heard with the speaker hooked up to Monster Cables, and the other time, hooked up to coat hanger wire. Nobody could determine which was the Monster Cable and which was the coat hanger. ... Still, this is an experiment begging to be recreated under controlled conditions (say, for instance, a double-blind test). Science fair project! Read how it went down, inside...

Go to the Consumerist to read the whole thing.

03-05-2008, 03:48 PM
In fact, a huge chunk of "audiophile" equipment is a bunch of BS. When people hear that I went to audio engineering school, they like to tell me about the $1,000 wood paneled speaker set they just got and I just smile and nod. The truth is this:

a) All music is engineered to sound really good on crappy speakers. Proffesional studios use speakers that emulate basic, Wal Mart level speakers to mix the music, because that's what 95% of the audience will be listening to the CD on.

b) "Super Clear Maximum Audio Theaters" do two things: they use speakers that can handle really loud frequencies of all ranges (especially low), and contain an EQ that changes the sound of the CD to take advantage of this fact. You aren't hearing the music with super-clarity, you are hearing an artificially enhanced sound.

So what does that mean? Wood paneled headphones and $50 cables don't do a damn thing, and spend all your money on systems with powerful wattage and great EQ's.

Tom White
03-05-2008, 04:09 PM
While I FULLY agree that Monster cable is a waste of money, I will disagree about the speaker comment in FlavaDave's post.

Well designed speakers and enclosures should give as flat or equal a response over as wide a frequency range as physically possible. Physics does come in to play here.

Take a home theater set-up DVD such as Avia and run a frequency sweep on your speakers. Have a Sound Level Meter (available at Radio Shack, for instance) handy, and watch the readings as the frequency sweep is in progress. You might be surprised what you see testing speakers from different companies. Thus the ability built into many receivers to EQ the sound based on your speaker configuration.

Having said that, there are a number of speaker manufacturers that are as full of it as Monster is.

When looking at speaker wire or interconnects, just look for quality in the construction, ignore the industry jargon, and you will be just fine. Put the money that you save into the music and movies instead.

By the way, my speakers are all Paradigm Reference series speakers, and I guarantee they sound better than the Polks they replaced. I still buy my speaker wire from the local hardware though. Just good 99%+ oxygen free copper, and a heck of a lot cheaper than Monster.