You are here

Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

All about the tools and techniques involved in capturing sound, in the studio or on location.

Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Aftertouch » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:49 am

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2022949/HDTV-cable--2-leads-work-just-100-ones.html

The irony is that I had a debate with someone only yesterday who was convinced that a gold-plated HDMI lead gave a "much better picture" than the standard HDMI lead they had. In fact, they were totally insistent!

This was after someone i knew spent a fortune on an HDMI lead at John Lewis and i questioned the wisdom. I didn't want to be one of those know it all types, so I left it. Then by chance I came across this today.
Aftertouch
Frequent Poster
Posts: 569
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 11:00 pm

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Scope » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:27 pm

Nothing like a good bit of BS to get those £££ rolling in.
Its just like a certain PC retail outlet that sells USB cables for £20 and the same cable is available in Poundland !

But then people will believe the most outrageous crap !
I am sure some of it is just one-upmanship.

Well my cables are made from dark-matter so there, top that.
:headbang: :headbang:
Scope
Frequent Poster
Posts: 551
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:00 pm

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 06, 2011 1:38 pm

There are some people who want the very best, and can afford to pay top prices. They would never be happy with an item that wasn't the most expensive available. These things are badged for them.

It doesn't mean they are the best or that you can't get as good for less. It's just a range for people who can afford it.

A bit like Gibson guitars or alfa cars, say.
Guest

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Aftertouch » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:26 pm

Cars are very different. If I buy a Mercedes, I am paying for reliability, performance, quality parts etc, all of which have measurable and demonstratable benefits. I don't even buy the argument that it's people with more money than sense that want these, so it's not an issue. People are being deliberately hoodwinked by the likes of Curry's, PC World and John Lewis.

An expensive gold plated HDMI or optical cable has one aim and one aim alone, to rip off the customer.
Aftertouch
Frequent Poster
Posts: 569
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 11:00 pm

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby hollowsun » Sat Aug 06, 2011 2:43 pm

ow wrote:There are some people who want the very best, and can afford to pay top prices. They would never be happy with an item that wasn't the most expensive available. These things are badged for them.
There's something else going on with this though, isn't there?

If I want - say - a prestige (overpriced) car, I know what I am letting myself into and am prepared to pay for that 'badge' so that *I* can swank around looking prestigious (the 's' in 'swank' being optional, obviously!). I have deliberately chosen to buy into and pay over the odds for the 'brand' or 'the badge' or the prestige....

In much the same way that I can choose to buy a £10 Sekonda watch or a £5,000 Brietling, both of which will perform the same task equally well (in fact, I did buy a £10 Sekonda once which kept better, more accurate, time than many expensive 'name' watches I've owned!).

But this situation is more like buying a bog standard Skoda and being conned into buying Porsche tyres, a gold plated exhaust pipe and an expensive Blaupunkt audio system to get the best out of it. IYSWIM. I am being duped, in other words, because, as a hapless motorist, I know no different.

I once bought a DVD player for something like £20 and the sales droid tried to flog me some £70 SCART lead FFS. I laughed in his face! But he wouldn't have it - HE believed all the BS and snake oil!

So I went next door to Maplins and bought one for £3!

And frankly, I couldn't give a toss about picture (or audio) quality and have little or no interest in 'high definition' this, that or the other - I am more interested in the quality of the content.

But that's just me I suppose!
User avatar
hollowsun
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2122
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:27 pm

hollowsun wrote:
ow wrote:There are some people who want the very best, and can afford to pay top prices. They would never be happy with an item that wasn't the most expensive available. These things are badged for them.

There's something else going on with this though, isn't there?

There's lots more going on when we make a choice about a purchase - and depending on the purchaser - price, will be more to the fore in their list of purchasing decisions.

There's a marketing trick that's well known and it goes...

good stuff is expensive - therefor - anything expensive is good - therefor - anything inexpensive is rubbish.

There's a price-point for all items below which quality falls off rapidly and a price point above which quality improves little.

I bought a scart adaptor from a pound shop last week and it was so crappy that it didn't fit the socket. It was just too cheap.

Then there's the issue of getting the right quality for the application. If i were plugging this here laptop into the mini amp that drives the speakers for my office sound, i will use a cheapo moulded cable. But if i was preparing some cabling for a live rig then i'd get good cable and neutrik connectors and i would make up the cables so that i knew they were going to stand the wear and tear.

It's horses for courses.

But, there is a certain type of person that presented with two identical high quality cables, one that costs a fiver in a plasic bag and the other that costs a hundred in a flashy box with rubber covers over the connectors and a piece of paper teling them how good it is - buys the one for a hundred.

And they just would not ever be happy until they have the most expensive one. And marketeers know this and who can blame them for taking advantage of the 'swankers'?
Guest

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Aftertouch » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:16 pm

ow, with all due respect, I think you have missed the point here.

Whilst I agree that it is perfectly acceptable and to some extent expected that you will always have a variety of products to choose from at various price points, this really isn't what's going on here.

These retailers are pushing grossly overpriced products at an unsuspecting public. I have witnessed this now on three separate occasions. The first time was when I bought a TV and media centre package from PC World, the salesperson was almost insistent that the cheaper cable I had picked up, which itself I thought was overpriced was not going to be suitable. Even though I already knew better, I decided to play along and ask him why the more expensive one was better. He came out with the most complete and utter bullshit of an explanation as to why I needed to part with £40 or £50 more.

On another occasion in a different PC World store, I was accompanying somebody who needed a HDMI lead. We were directed to what was a large selection of them. The cheapest one was at least £50 and the most expensive was over £100. I asked two sales "assistants" if they had any cheaper ones and was told no, they were the only ones they stocked. It was only after I had said to a third worker that I was suprised that they only stocked such very expensive cables that he said, "we do have some basic ones over here, but they will not provide an as good picture". He then lead us to a small section well away from the TVs and the prominently displayed more expensive cables.

PC World, Curry's, John Lewes etc are consumer stores. Had I been your typical punter, their target market, I would have taken them at their word and probably paid £80 for something I did not need on their advice. Just remember how these companies go out of their way to promote their "expert advisers". The public often fall for this. It shouldn't take someone of my technical background to have to ask four workers about cheaper HDMI leads before I am shown some, and even then, to get told that it would produce an inferior picture. That is very different to the situation you describe.

I fully expect the OFT or Trading Standards to investigate these shoddy practices.
Aftertouch
Frequent Poster
Posts: 569
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 11:00 pm

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 06, 2011 5:23 pm

Ok, first off you owe me no respect (unless you think i've earned it) imo. Second, i did see your point and raised you a point. And thirdly i agree with you.
Guest

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:00 pm

There is a broader issue imo and that is that the whole cabble/connector market is one big scam. Everytime the designers incorporate a new socket into their <name your tech kit> they open up a whole new market in bits of wire and adaptors and gender changers etc... That's what should be adressed.
Guest

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Aug 06, 2011 6:38 pm

Have a look in the News section of this site. Currently featured is "...the new EXCELSIOR High Speed HDMI cable of the Blue Water Series with its 15 microgram 24 carat gold-plated connectors and a noise-free, no-crosstalk configuration or stranding technology of its single litz wires." I don't see the editorial comment reminding us this is BS. But it must be there somewhere?...
Exalted Wombat
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5652
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:00 am
Location: London UK

You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Guest » Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:42 pm

Yep, this one... http://www.soundonsound.com/news?NewsID=14137

Flashy box and a piece of paper telling you how good it is. Everyone's at it!

But if there's a market ?
Guest

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby ef37a » Sat Aug 06, 2011 7:44 pm

Exalted Wombat wrote:Have a look in the News section of this site. Currently featured is "...the new EXCELSIOR High Speed HDMI cable of the Blue Water Series with its 15 microgram 24 carat gold-plated connectors and a noise-free, no-crosstalk configuration or stranding technology of its single litz wires." I don't see the editorial comment reminding us this is BS. But it must be there somewhere?...
I am sure they are getting to it EW!
In any event the "noise free" claim would hold up since only the NPL I suspect could measure the noise of a few mtr of copper? Zero crosstalk has to be porkies tho' just as you cannot advertize a product as shockPROOF there must be some crosstalk. But then maybe the HDMI technology has active crosstalk nulling like CATXX systems?

The cable quality question is not quite cut and dried.I think on these forums folks have said that only very high quality Firewire or usb cables will work reliably at max length and max data throughput?

But yes, for audio it is all bollox and there orta be a law!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7336
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk

#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#


At least its electrical contact transmission.

Postby Tim Keep » Sun Aug 07, 2011 9:33 am

At least if you pay for a gold plated SCART cable you are theoretically purchasing an improved of contact between electrical points. I like the theory, the results have been proved that there's no discernible improvement so there's no point.

These guys here however sell an 'high end product' improved by its use of gold plating (unless its just for show in which case you want it completely made out of gold'?

http://www.play.com/Electronics/Electronics/4-/8056195/Lindy-TosLink-Premium-Gold-SPDIF-Cable-30m/Product.html?_%24ja=tsid:11518%7Ccat:8056195%7Cprd:8056195

DUH, Optical?

Txx
Tim Keep
Poster
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Zhongli, Taiwan

Music Lover www.elo3n.com


Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Tui » Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:13 am

ef37a wrote:

The cable quality question is not quite cut and dried.I think on these forums folks have said that only very high quality Firewire or usb cables will work reliably at max length and max data throughput?

But yes, for audio it is all bollox and there orta be a law!

Dave.

You are certainly right about FW cables and adapters. I remember reading comments to the effect that only certain makes deliver reliable results.

The same can be true for audio, too. There is no question that cheap leads have a higher failure rate than those made by Studiospares, for example (I mention Studiospares because I've been using some of their insert leads for the last 15 years). Moulded plastic connectors will break sooner or later, for sure. Also, the diameter of the copper wiring can vary substantially between different makes.
User avatar
Tui
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1067
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2002 11:00 pm

 


Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby dmills » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:36 pm

Standards are a funny thing.

If you are working withing the defined maximum length and all the components (including the cables) meet the relevant standard then the system will work reliably (No matter how cheap the cables are).
It is when trying to work beyond the length limits or with kit that does not actually follow the standard that you sometimes find that wire (or the phase of the moon!) matters.

Personally I tend to favor working within the design parameters of the system and having everything just work reliably with my firewire, USB & HDMI cables that I got on special offer from CPC.

On the subject of gold plating, it tends to be gold flash on consumer connectors which wears quickly with repeated connections exposing the nickel layer (needed to form a good intermetalic, otherwise the gold just flakes off), Meh! Give me silver plating any day, simpler metallurgy so less to screw up and the oxide conducts just fine (it is sulphide compounds that are the problem with this).

Ref the 'connector conspiracy': Apple laptop video ports have me fuming about this, EVERY fecking time that shower release a new model it has a different video port (A real pain when working AV at conferences)!

Regards, Dan.
dmills
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1552
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: High Wycombe, UK

Audiophiles use phono leads because they are unbalanced people!


Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby ef37a » Sun Aug 07, 2011 2:55 pm

Yes Dan,
It IS all about limits.
I worked for ten years for a network equipment manufacturer (a VERY small cog I assure you!)and saw the time and trouble and expensive kit it took to get CAT 5e then CAT6 cables, plugs, patch leads and RJ45 modules to work at the design specs and at the cable length limits (they would makeup 20-30 plugs and get one maybe two that were top bllx on the analyser).

But, you and I can buy a 2mtr 2quid patch chord from RockBottom and because it is short and we are not trying to shift huge files fast we don't notice that it is crap! And if that is a shielded lead it will connect audio to the highest possible fidelity because the quality of almost any cable is far above that required for a 20kHz bandwidth.
And by the way, the network industry has very stringent cable specifications (they even check the number of twists per mtr!) but THEY don't hold any truck with O2free or precious metal plating sphericals!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7336
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk

#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#


Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Folderol » Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:07 pm

Bring back RS232 :protest:
The only link that will work reliably on 100M of standard 3 core mains cable :bouncy:
User avatar
Folderol
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4883
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2008 12:00 am
Location: Rochester, UK

Save paradise, Pull up a parking lot!


Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby dmills » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:24 am

Both CAN and RS485 do fine at low speed on mains cable as long as the environment is fairly quiet (Otherwise something twisted helps), and I remember a demo where someone (Canford possibly?) sent AES 3 digital audio over wet string (literally) at a show!

Holding '232 up as a fine example is wince inducing to those of us that were there, the number of manufacturers that did NOT get the difference between DCD and DTD class devices (and the fact that they were not pinned the same)...). At least the 25 pin D was a little bit robust compared to USB (Or worse micro USB or feckin mini firewire).

The fact that modern stuff pushes speed over cheap wire over long link reliability is somewhere between unfortunate and bloody annoying (In the case of trying to use a PC for online video mixing with a pile of Firewire cameras).

And yea, for the most part almost anything works fine for line level audio, more so if the link is balanced.

Regards, Dan.
dmills
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1552
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: High Wycombe, UK

Audiophiles use phono leads because they are unbalanced people!


Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Pete Kaine » Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:34 am

Aftertouch wrote:Cars are very different. If I buy a Mercedes, I am paying for reliability, performance, quality parts etc, all of which have measurable and demonstratable benefits.


If you buy German then yes. If you buy Italian.... well 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

Exalted Wombat wrote:Have a look in the News section of this site. Currently featured is "...the new EXCELSIOR High Speed HDMI cable of the Blue Water Series with its 15 microgram 24 carat gold-plated connectors and a noise-free, no-crosstalk configuration or stranding technology of its single litz wires." I don't see the editorial comment reminding us this is BS. But it must be there somewhere?...


I might knock up an ad for some ten quid one's we have knocking about and accompany it with some nice photoshop gfx.

"1.2m HDMI cable. Transmits 1's and 0's . Lets you see and hear stuff. Doesn't empty you wallet"

Would that work as an effective ad?
User avatar
Pete Kaine
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2563
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:05 am

dmills wrote:I remember a demo where someone (Canford possibly?) sent AES 3 digital audio over wet string (literally) at a show!


Yes, it was their party piece at IBC and a couple of other shows a few years back. It involved a 1 metre long salt water bath with two lengths of saturated string rigged just above the water and an AES3 signal passed along the string to a detector at the far end. Most amusing... ;)

hugh
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 17512
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Worcestershire, UK

Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Shambolic Charm » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:34 am

Firstly I wouldn't believe anything written in that rag but I am sure it is true that people pay too much for their leads. I did however have an experience needing a slightly more expensive cable. IT was going form an ATI graphics hdmi port to a philips TV over 10 meters and I was getting sparkles all over the picture, spent a bit more on the lead and voila no sparkles! SO there must be some difference.
User avatar
Shambolic Charm
Frequent Poster
Posts: 674
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2005 11:00 pm

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:01 am

Yes. Better designed and constructed cable will often have less capacitance, resulting in less cable-induced jitter and HF losses, resulting in better eye-pattern and easier signal recovery with fewer errors.

But there is a difference between a poor cable (usually very cheap), and adequate cable (usually slightly more expensive but not silly), and a rip-off cable (usually the same as the adequate cable but ten times the price). The trick is to be able to spot the difference...

Hugh
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 17512
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Worcestershire, UK

Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Aftertouch » Mon Aug 08, 2011 11:40 am

Well summed up the Hugh, but what about the unsuspecting consumer, which is what this thread is about?

After all, how can Joe Public be expected to know what what is required and what is simply profiteering?
Aftertouch
Frequent Poster
Posts: 569
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 11:00 pm

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby ef37a » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:41 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:
dmills wrote:I remember a demo where someone (Canford possibly?) sent AES 3 digital audio over wet string (literally) at a show!

Yes, it was their party piece at IBC and a couple of other shows a few years back. It involved a 1 metre long salt water bath with two lengths of saturated string rigged just above the water and an AES3 signal passed along the string to a detector at the far end. Most amusing... ;)

hugh
LOVE! To use 20ft of 18mm copper gas pipe with two pairs of plastic coated iron garden tie wire in it feeding some decent active monitors and set it up next to a R.A. demo...Except that he has nothing he CAN demonstrate!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7336
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk

#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#


Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:42 pm

Dificult -- how can any of us know when we're being taken for a ride over something of which we have little experience or knowledge. The answer is to do some homework and always to buy from a reputable and -- more importantly -- a knowledgeable dealer.

Hugh
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 17512
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Worcestershire, UK

Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby ef37a » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:56 pm

I think the difficulty for many non-technical people is that they read reviews and comments about monitors, microphones, pre amps, converters etc where a subjective view is given. The "old hands" know that the differences between good equipment and high end equipment is in most cases small and in many cases only those with the very best supporting gear and rooms can really tell things apart. Then of course, at any given price point there is no "right" monitor/mic/preamp.

Not suprising then that when the noob sees cables with a 1000:1 price difference, wider even than converters say, he is bound to think there MUST be something it it!

Dave.
ef37a
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7336
Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 11:00 pm
Location: northampton uk

#They did not listen, they are not listening still...Perhaps they never will?#


Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Arksun » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:02 pm

Monster Cable is nothing compared to the epic BS world of Russ Andrews :lol:

http://www.russandrews.com

I like to visit it from time to time for a good laugh.
Arksun
Poster
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:00 pm

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:13 pm

I believe it was Einstein who said: Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

...and perhaps everyone should take some responsibility to develop at least a basic understanding of what they are dealing with. ;)

hugh
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 17512
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 11:00 pm
Location: Worcestershire, UK

Technical Editor, Sound On Sound


Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby chris... » Mon Aug 08, 2011 2:39 pm

ow wrote:There is a broader issue imo and that is that the whole cabble/connector market is one big scam.
Ha - I wasn't sure if that was a typo, and whether you'd meant to write "cable", or "cabal"... ;)
User avatar
chris...
Frequent Poster
Posts: 2720
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Sunny Glasgow

Re: Will people finally see through the likes of Monster Cables?

Postby Guest » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:13 pm

Hugh Robjohns wrote:

But there is a difference between a poor cable (usually very cheap), and adequate cable (usually slightly more expensive but not silly), and a rip-off cable (usually the same as the adequate cable but ten times the price). The trick is to be able to spot the difference...

Hugh

Easy, just look at the price. :smirk:
Guest

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests