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Monster brand cables - worth the money?


eric

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I've heard a lot of hype about Monster brand patch cables but have not used them. They seem expensive and I'm wondering if there really is a difference.

 

Any insights are appreciated.

 

Regards,

Eric

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Hype.. they are good, but not that good. Better than your typical HOSA variety, but way too much hype around them.

Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II

MBP-LOGIC

American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

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You'd have to try them to know for sure, but I imagine you'd only hear a difference if you played guitar. In my experience, a good 20 gauge cord, hopefully Mogami oxygen free, sounds just fine. But then I'm a synth player. :thu:
This keyboard solo has obviously been tampered with!
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The soldered connections of Monster cables are usually more carefully done than garden variety. In super critical audiophile testing you might notice a difference in the cables. But in about 98% of the cases, you will not. Kcbass

 "Let It Be!"

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I made most of my cables using regular "by the foot" cabling and soldering quality Neutrik connectors and a little shrink wrap tubing for extra protection. I made them in custom lengths and snaked them together using zip ties. A couple of cables are still kicking after 10 years of pretty heavy use (3-4x per week). I also carry some extra generic cables that you buy at music stores for $15. I have not had any issues with these.

 

I was curious about Monster cables because that is the one part of my rig I have not scrutinized and I thought it might be a good way to quench some gear lust without too much investment.

 

Based on what I am reading, I am going to stick with my home grown cables and be happy.

 

Regards,

Eric

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Originally posted by eric:

I made most of my cables using regular "by the foot" cabling and soldering quality Neutrik connectors and a little shrink wrap tubing for extra protection. I made them in custom lengths and snaked them together using zip ties.

I think you're way better off this way. Less expensive, more reliable. What a concept! :D I've had kind of pot luck with the off-the-shelf Horizon quality cables. Some last for years, others die or start working intermittently (which is as bad as dead, IMO) after a few months. As long as you've got the time and patience, keep on rolling your own! :thu:

 

Peace all,

Steve

><>

Steve

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  • 2 years later...

Eric, you'll be so proud of me! I'm bumping a thread you started over two years ago. ;)

 

I'm wondering if you're still rolling your own cables, or have started using any particular brand?

 

I think I'd be proud to make my own, but gosh I've never soldered anything and don't have the iron (gun?). And if they last 20 years, I don't see how the tools would ever pay for themselves. LOL

 

Need an updated recommendation. Thanks.

sue

"........! Try to make It..REAL! compared to what? ! ! ! " - BOPBEEPER
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It's amazing how much money you will spend on cables over the next 25 years-especially if you are just starting out. Even if a cable last 10 years you'll want different lengths as your setup changes/evolves. I didnt get into making my own cables until about 5 years into this(late 1980s. I havent bought a premade audio or midi cable in probably 15 years (well maybe 1 or 2 in an emergency). Go into you favorite music store and see how much that 15 ft midi cable or audio cable cost. When/if your system gets as complex as some of ours your talking hundreds if not thousands of dollars in cables.

 

Of course soft synths will reduce what us old farts went through but the point is still valid. And like you said if sodering is not your thing and you have no desire to learn that's fine too.

I started into it just to get the exact length I was looking for in a semi permanent home studio situation. For live this would not be much of a factor.

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Originally posted by Markyboard:

And like you said if sodering is not your thing and you have no desire to learn that's fine too.

Not so fast! I'm into it. I'm a very hands-on kind of person. I've done my own drywalling, plumbing, I'm a seamstress extraordinaire, just to name a few.. :freak:

 

I hadn't thought of the possibilities of needing more than one cable. Or should I say two cables. The trouble is, I might only be able to find do-it-yourself-cable at Radio Shack. Like, I just can't buy radio shack cable for my PM3, I don't care Dave Horne says.

"........! Try to make It..REAL! compared to what? ! ! ! " - BOPBEEPER
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Originally posted by Byrdman:

To change the topic a bit, what do people use for cable testers? Are there any that can reliably detect intermittent cables early rather than waiting for them to die in the middle of a gig?

I just carry a Rat Shack multimeter (the $40 one).

Moe

---

"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker

http://www.hotrodmotm.com

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Well, what the heck - I might as well throw in a voice of disagreement.

 

I've been playing as a pro for 34 years and frankly I just got tired of dealing with cables and soldering and associated problems. Plus, to be honest, my eyesight isn't getting any better so soldering isn't fun anymore (accidental burns don't heal as fast either). And the final caveat is that I play in some places where right-angle cables are a blessing on the back of my keyboard, and I truly hate to solder and deal with right-angle jacks... so yes I do use a few Monster Cables. But it was worth the cost to me for stage use because I only use two cables (for L/R) from my keyboard to my Motion Sound stereo amp and that's it. I simply wanted the best pair of matching cables with zero problems and no soldering.

 

At home I use whatever cables are handy (after 34 years of playing you collect a lot anyway). So I invested in a SoundCraft cable tester that tests every kind of cable I use, especially MIDI cables. I went through my cable collection with it and threw out every faulty cable. Now I'm happier - see? :)

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For video connections (DVD set to your TV, for example), Monster brand would be a good choice as there IS a perciptible difference in video signal. For audio, I agree it's mostly hyped and too expensive. For Midi cables, NO WAY would I ever consider shelling out for Monster brand (all that expensive casing just for a Midi signal??)

 

The salesmen at many home entertainment stores (Circuit City, e.g.) are pushing nothing but Monster brand on their customers like you can't do without it or you're buying complete shit. Bunch of assholes. Sometimes it's the only brand in the store. I laugh at them and walk out. I order my stuff on MusiciansFriend.com now.

Kurzweil PC3, Yamaha MOX8, Alesis Ion, Kawai K3M
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One thing I didnt address was the up front cost. Besides the iron you need to buy some bulk cable. I like Mogami - easy to work with, reliable and it just sound so incredibly warm (sorry.. that part was for Dave Horne). But seriously I buy half a role(164 ft) of single conductor cable(guitar type - 2524 I think ) and half a role of balanced cable(2549) at a time and this will cost several hundred dollars. Mogami Midi cable (2948) was cheaper if I remember correctly. Others like the Canare cable so you would have to research this. Then there's the connectors - stereo, mono, 1/4 inch, XLR, male/female midi, etc. I like the Neutrik and switchcraft. There's also need for right angle (low profile) connectors some times that cost more. Specialty cable for inserts with send/returm for example can be real expensive.

 

Anyway you may be laying out $300- $600 initially. Then there's the time invested. You may be looking at 15 minutes or more per cable depending on the type ( midi take longer) and your skill (no offense intended in earlier post). You need a vice( I like porno - :o ) and needle nose pliers , good wire cutters/strippers( I like porno- :D ) and soder wick.

 

Of course once you have all this stuff any time you need a cable you're saving a trip to the music store which in my case could save me several thousand dollars per trip :eek::D

 

I buy a lot of this stuff from Zack Electronics and Bi-tronics but definitely shop around. Just because a place has the best price on cable does not mean they have the best price on connectors.

 

Good luck.

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Byrdman: About a cable tester.......

 

I have a SESCOM CT-100 cable tester that I've had as long as I can remember. It runs off a 9 volt battery and is palm size. You can test XLR and 1/4" cables. It tests for shield, high and low or sleeve, tip and ring. The one thing I like about it is that you can see a cable that is shorted in a instant. The bad thing about it is that cables that are "borderline" and still show continuity may test good, but be noisy when you rattle them around when plugged in. But it's definitely better than not having a tester at all. Periodically I go through all my cables and put aside the ones that fail testing. Sometimes they can be repaired, other times you're better off pitchin' them. I think its worth having for how little I paid for it. :thu: I only buy commercial cables for replacements these days. I have so many cables, that I only buy a few more spares when I see a deal on a good quality cable that I've used in the past.

 

Note to Marky. I laughed my ass off when I read your comment about your trips to a music store! Funny. :D Fortunately, there aren't many stores close by and when I do go, I'm usually going to buy something anyway. I leave my credit card at home. Protection against myself.

 

Cheers,

 

Mike

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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I've decided to rewire my telephone with Monster cable for clearer conversations. I've also decided to rewire my entire house with Monster cable so the electricity going to the TV and my stereo is better ... not just better, but the end result will be warmer. Wait a minute, I've decided to rewire the entire infrastructure of the Netherlands with Monster cable to make this a warmer country. (I'm working on a way to rewire the neural synapses in my brain but Radio Shack is still behind the times.)

 

Make your own cables and buy the gauge according to the following chart listed here ... wire gauge chart

 

There's also the test results from Stereo Review - Monster Cable vs. 16 gauge wire. Guess what the results were? Stereo Review dares

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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I don't like monster cables because they are a poor value.

 

I have found that good-quality house brand cables from pro sound places are usually put together better than anything I'm likely to construct myself, and are usually no more expensive than the components. I have some Rhythm City guitar cables that have lasted "forever" and more recently have been getting cables from Sweetwater sound. Their house brand is a quarter the price of monster and probably better made. I believe that some if not all of their cables carry a lifetime warranty.

 

Cable does not need to be of large diameter to be effective and reliable. Some monster cable products just have a large-diameter jacket on them to produce a heavier-looking and more weighty cable, which, in my opinion, serves no purpose.

 

Bartlomeo.

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Cable does not need to be of large diameter to be effective and reliable.
With speaker wire it will make a slight difference in sound and 16 gauge wire will be adequate for most applications.

 

(I am not an electrical engineer, but I would imagine that for patch cords, shielding alone would make the only appreciable difference in sound. Regarding reliability, I just use store bought patch cords with the plugs and the cable entering the plugs dipped in rubber or whatever is used.)

 

I initially thought this thread was about speaker cable and not patch cords, but the previous links I posted are still interesting to read.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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I've got a couple monster "guitar" cables and they're terrible. The only cables I've ever bought that actually pick up mexican radio and any other hash floating out in the atmosphere. I use mostly Mogami for my gear to patchbay connections, and George L for my guitar rig. My most reliable cables are the Lifeline and Conquest cables I bought 17 years ago. I used them live all through my younger years and they're still working today. The only place I use Monster is for amp to speaker connections. A friend gave me a pair of those huge garden hose looking monster cables. They sound great but I've never A/B'ed them with regular speaker cables.

Rob Hoffman

http://www.robmixmusic.com

Los Angeles, CA

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Monster Cable is a burn. They don't even tell you what guage it is! Hosa sucks worse, as do most stuff you can get in the GC.

 

Canare and Mogami make good cable, Neutrik makes excellent connectors, and that really does make a real difference. You can get premade Canare or Mogami and Neutrik cables from markertek.com and some other places too, for no more than cheap cables cost at the GC. Best is roll your own- I wish I had the skills! I'm always needing something I don't have.

A WOP BOP A LU BOP, A LOP BAM BOOM!

 

"There is nothing I regret so much as my good behavior. What demon possessed me that I behaved so well?" -Henry David Thoreau

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Originally posted by eric:

I've heard a lot of hype about Monster brand patch cables but have not used them. They seem expensive and I'm wondering if there really is a difference.

 

Any insights are appreciated.

 

Regards,

Eric

Probably not but I know from personal experience there are some lously cables out there. Seems best way to get a good cable is to make it yourself.

 

I just bought a little Behroinger cable tester and found a number of faults in my collection of cables, and went in and fixed them. Some of the work on the original cables was quite poor. Its not clear that paying a bit extra for a cable gets you a better cable.

 

There's basically two kinds of cable out there. Copper served and aluminium foil. Avoid foil - it breaks. Look for good quality connectors, such as genuine neutrik. It really does make a difference. Unfortunately unless you do it yourself you are not going to find a cable with good connections between the cable and the connector - non of the cables I have had the wire mechanically bound to the post before soldering. Rather the solder was being made to hold the wire in place. This is not so bad if the strain releaf on the connector works well, but on the cheap connectors it does not.

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I don't know if stores in other areas do this -- but I swear by the Guitar Showcase house-brand cables. (GS is a local store in the South Bay). They seem fine to my ears, and they're guaranteed for life. I've probably bought a couple of dozen of them, and I've had two go bad after heavy use.

 

Walked in the store, plugged them in to show they were bad, and walked out with a brand new one, without touching my wallet.

 

Doesn't get much better than that...

 

--Dave

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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Originally posted by Ted Nightshade:

Canare and Mogami make good cable, Neutrik makes excellent connectors, and that really does make a real difference. You can get premade Canare or Mogami and Neutrik cables from markertek.com and some other places too, for no more than cheap cables cost at the GC. Best is roll your own- I wish I had the skills! I'm always needing something I don't have.

A couple of years ago, I had my studio almost entirely rewired with custom-made Canare cables and Neutrik plugs. I've never once regretted it.

 

Best,

 

Geoff

My Blue Someday appears on Apple Music | Spotify | YouTube | Amazon

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