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  #1  
Old 01-04-2010, 11:57 AM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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How does Monster Cable manage to scam people into buying their cables?

I am looking to buy a few cables and of course mixed in the results I notice a few Monster brand cables priced 4x-10x higher than everything else and I can't help but admire the giant swinging balls of this company.

I mean, I get that sometimes people will pay more for what they think of as a "quality" brand if it fits in with their self-image. Although it's vain, I can sort of understand this with cars, clothes, etc... but a friggin' cable? Something that is going to spend its entire life coiled up in a corner behind your computer or TV somewhere? People actually pay $150 for one of those when they can get the same exact thing for $15 from Target? Do they really think they are getting a more quality product somehow?

Too mild for the Pit, but seriously, WTF?
  #2  
Old 01-04-2010, 12:04 PM
El Nene El Nene is offline
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Like a lot of companies, they prey on the ignorance of consumers. I've talked at least six people out of buying their absurdly overpriced products. Then again there are people who just like paying more. One co-worker I had to go through great lengths to discourage him. Even after I showed him the testing Gizmodo did on HD cables a while back, he insisted on getting monster rip off.

Last edited by El Nene; 01-04-2010 at 12:07 PM.
  #3  
Old 01-04-2010, 12:20 PM
Mindfield Mindfield is offline
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Two things:

1. Ignorance, as mentioned, is an easy tool to use against its bearer. As long as you throw enough technical-sounding bullshit at them, they'll say, "Oh, well then, it must be good, because the other cables don't have that."

2. Pride and Jonesism. Those who partake of the high end markets of anything like to be able to brag that they have expensive cables because they just look and/or sound better than the competition. The cables might indeed have more expensive components, like gold filaments or titanium plugs or adamantium flashing or other such crap, but even if they make a difference, they're probably so small that only the most anally retentive whatever-phile would give a damn, even though they can't tell a damn bit of difference despite claiming that they can.

I paid $12 for my HDMI cables. They work just fine, thank you very much.

And if you think Monster is bad, you haven't taken a look at Pear. As a point of interest, they refused to take James Randi's challenge to prove that they're quantitatively superior.

Last edited by Mindfield; 01-04-2010 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:33 PM
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And if you think Monster is bad, you haven't taken a look at Pear. As a point of interest, they refused to take James Randi's challenge to prove that they're quantitatively superior.
Has Randi branched out from paranormal fraud exposer to consumer advocate?
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:34 PM
brewha brewha is offline
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Wow, what a ripoff. Never heard of them and will certainly never pay those prices.

I just bought 75' of network cable. I didn't want to pay the $40 the local big box store wanted.

I looked at monster, and they want $60 for 25'. So, I guess it'd be $180? Better yet - if I bought in 3' sections, I could spend $625! What a deal!

Here's a tip for anyone buying cables - any kind of cables. I'm in no way associated with them, but I get all my cables at monoprice.com

With shipping, I got that 75' for about $12.

I got red cause it's classy!
  #6  
Old 01-04-2010, 12:37 PM
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Just have to chime in. One of the worst ripoffs are on the HDMI cables. We use a lot of them and I refuse to pay more than $20 per cable. Even discount stores often have only the expensive cables. The thing with HDMI is they are digital. Either they do or don't work. There is no signal to degrade.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:37 PM
Mindfield Mindfield is offline
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Has Randi branched out from paranormal fraud exposer to consumer advocate?
Nope, but Randi was so completely put off by Pear's claims that their $7,250 Anjou speaker cables were quantitatively and qualitatively justified by their price that he offered anyone $1M to prove it. In response (i.e. as excuse not to have his bluff called) Pear CEO Adam Blake called his offer a hoax. Oh, the irony.

Last edited by Mindfield; 01-04-2010 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:00 PM
Jaledin Jaledin is offline
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I've never heard of any audiophile company that has volunteered to enter an A/B or James Randi-type experiment, although I bet there are some, and certainly the kinds of equipment (including cables) used by professionals in, for example, recording studios, tend to have all sorts of verifiable data out there.

To play devil's advocate, though, Monster does seem to make some physically robust things -- it's probably worth it to some people for the touch-and-feel element.

Lots of bad rap about their sue-happy company, retarded claims about sound "quality" (?), and big-ass price makes them an easy target, though.

(For disclosure purposes, I personally use whatever cheap cables, albeit in fairly large gauge, I happen to find for my live keyboards and stereo/computer/TV stuff, including some I made about ten years ago from bulk Belden cable which still work just fine). I think of cables/interconnects as basically disposable and am pleased when they last more than a few years.
  #9  
Old 01-04-2010, 01:10 PM
El Nene El Nene is offline
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To play devil's advocate, though, Monster does seem to make some physically robust things -- it's probably worth it to some people for the touch-and-feel element.
This is even more ridiculous. You're going to pay 3-5 times more for something you're only going to feel once while connecting it?

Monster cable might, maybe, make sense if you're installing the cable in the wall of your house but only because of its durability not for picture quality.
  #10  
Old 01-04-2010, 01:18 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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Monster cable might, maybe, make sense if you're installing the cable in the wall of your house but only because of its durability not for picture quality.
I shudder to think of how much that would cost, though, considering you usually need a lot of cable for in-wall installation.

Monster sells a 4' HDMI cable for $100 (marked down to $85 on Bestbuy.com! Get it now! ).
It's possible to buy a 25' cable rated for in-wall installation for $50 online.

Monster is a gigantic, gigantic ripoff. They may be higher quality than "generic" cables, but I guarantee you they are not 12 times better.

Last edited by Bosstone; 01-04-2010 at 01:18 PM.
  #11  
Old 01-04-2010, 01:22 PM
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Nope, but Randi was so completely put off by Pear's claims that their $7,250 Anjou speaker cables were quantitatively and qualitatively justified by their price that he offered anyone $1M to prove it. In response (i.e. as excuse not to have his bluff called) Pear CEO Adam Blake called his offer a hoax. Oh, the irony.
Ironically, Randi could probably have sued Blake for slander (or maybe libel, depending on whether Blake wrote it down). Legally speaking, Randi can not only afford to pay but would be legally obligated to if Blake actually took the challenge and won (it would definitely qualify as an open-ended offer).
  #12  
Old 01-04-2010, 01:39 PM
Jaledin Jaledin is offline
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This is even more ridiculous. You're going to pay 3-5 times more for something you're only going to feel once while connecting it?

Monster cable might, maybe, make sense if you're installing the cable in the wall of your house but only because of its durability not for picture quality.
Of course it's ridiculous -- I don't even think the durability argument holds for the inside-the-walls argument. It's pretty doubtful that Monster makes more durable product than any number of industrial or commercial products (cf. the Belden or similar bog-standard stuff used by professionals in the "music industry"). But I think it's clear that *impression* of quality trumps reality for most consumers, especially those without the time or interest to explore more serious options.

I've never heard that they make actually *bad* cable, though -- I think the reasons for eschewing their brand would more commonly be dislike of business practice, general principle of disliking the "woo-woo," and all the other stuff associated with the company (and it goes without saying all of the more esoteric audiophile stuff -- I wouldn't consider Monster really an audiophile company, compared with some of the ridiculous stuff out there [directional AC cables, etc]). I certainly wouldn't turn down some free cable from Monster, though, and I could see why people who don't necessarily need to hold onto their greenbacks would pull the trigger. Their customers are probably pretty regular square apples who just don't care that much about blowing an extra double-sawbuck or two on the odd cable for their system.
  #13  
Old 01-04-2010, 01:46 PM
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Half Man Half Wit Half Man Half Wit is offline
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Google fails me, but I remember not too long ago reading about a new sound quality enhancement gadget that was basically just a box you put near a speaker that was supposed to generate some sort of 'field' to 'clear' the audio signals/prevent interference/reverse the polarity of the neutron flow. I think it was called something like simply 'The Cube' or 'The Box' or something like that, came in sleek, simple black design, and cost somewhere around a thousand bucks.

Anybody got an idea what I'm talking about?
  #14  
Old 01-04-2010, 01:47 PM
Mindfield Mindfield is offline
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Ironically, Randi could probably have sued Blake for slander (or maybe libel, depending on whether Blake wrote it down). Legally speaking, Randi can not only afford to pay but would be legally obligated to if Blake actually took the challenge and won (it would definitely qualify as an open-ended offer).
True, though Blake's assertion that Randi's offer was a hoax came from what could only be called the lamest, most transparent attempt at misdirection ever, since he took Randi's original JREF paranormal challenge rules and applied them -- in writing, in his public response to the challenge -- to Randi's Pear Cable challenge.

No one ever took Randi up on the challenge -- but I chalk that up to the fact that in order to do so, one would have to spend $7,250 on a cable first, and then decisively identify the Pear cables in a double-blind test that, deep down, I think even the most hardcore audiophiles know they'd lose.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:55 PM
Mindfield Mindfield is offline
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Google fails me, but I remember not too long ago reading about a new sound quality enhancement gadget that was basically just a box you put near a speaker that was supposed to generate some sort of 'field' to 'clear' the audio signals/prevent interference/reverse the polarity of the neutron flow. I think it was called something like simply 'The Cube' or 'The Box' or something like that, came in sleek, simple black design, and cost somewhere around a thousand bucks.

Anybody got an idea what I'm talking about?
I remember something about that yes, I'm certain I saw it on Engadget some time back, but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called or any good keywords to use to search for it. But it sounded like utter bunk.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:55 PM
El Nene El Nene is offline
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Still, you have to wonder about people who see two identical products sitting next to each other and don't wonder why one is 1/4 of the price. I guess fancy packaging does make a difference.

OT: Does anyone know someone who has an HDTV but do not have it set up to receive HD content?
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:00 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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Still, you have to wonder about people who see two identical products sitting next to each other and don't wonder why one is 1/4 of the price. I guess fancy packaging does make a difference.
Most of the time, I would guess, when it's noticed the thought isn't, "The 4x one must be a ripoff," but more often, "Wow, the 4x one must be tons better!"
  #18  
Old 01-04-2010, 02:02 PM
kathmandu kathmandu is offline
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I'm one of the dumb people who bought an expensive cable.

I bought my husband a Blu-ray player for Christmas at Best Buy (I know, I know). The guy told me I needed a cable, so I bought a cable. It was $50.00. Apparently, you can get them at Wal-Mart for $15.00.

We wanted to watch a movie, so we used the cable. I suppose I could have returned it and gone and gotten a cheaper one, but it didn't seem worth the bother at that point.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:08 PM
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To play devil's advocate, though, Monster does seem to make some physically robust things -- it's probably worth it to some people for the touch-and-feel element.
I was in a music store the other day, and watched a young kid's mom plop down $40 for a ten foot cable to match her son's $1200 Christmas guitar. Curious, I walked over to where the keep the Monster cables, and gave one the eye. For forty bucks, Monster could at least make sure that the little decals that say 'Monster' are on straight, and don't have an end sticking up where you'll want to pick at it.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:13 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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Originally Posted by Half Man Half Wit View Post
Google fails me, but I remember not too long ago reading about a new sound quality enhancement gadget that was basically just a box you put near a speaker that was supposed to generate some sort of 'field' to 'clear' the audio signals/prevent interference/reverse the polarity of the neutron flow. I think it was called something like simply 'The Cube' or 'The Box' or something like that, came in sleek, simple black design, and cost somewhere around a thousand bucks.

Anybody got an idea what I'm talking about?
Are you sure you're not thinking about the gag site Machina Dynamica? They sell the Clever Little Clock, which promises to improve not only audio but video simply by being in the room.

Personally, my favorite product of theirs is the Brilliant Pebbles. Why, simply by taping a bag of these miraculous pebbles to your cables, you can resolve "specific resonance control and RFI/EMI absorption problems associated with audio electronics, speakers and cables, as well as acoustic wave problems associated with the listening room boundaries and the 3-dimensional space within the boundaries." A steal at $39-159 per bag!
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:16 PM
Bosstone Bosstone is offline
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Never mind. Gag site. Dangit.

Last edited by Bosstone; 01-04-2010 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:22 PM
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I was in a Best Buy one time. I over heard a sales guy trying to sell a couple a $75 HDMI cable.

I felt so bad for them that I had to interupt the sales guy to inform the couple how a digital signal works and why you don't have to spend that much freak'n money.

The couple thanked me and left. The sales guy looked at me like I just shot the family dog.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:23 PM
Dag Otto Dag Otto is offline
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Google fails me, but I remember not too long ago reading about a new sound quality enhancement gadget that was basically just a box you put near a speaker that was supposed to generate some sort of 'field' to 'clear' the audio signals/prevent interference/reverse the polarity of the neutron flow. I think it was called something like simply 'The Cube' or 'The Box' or something like that, came in sleek, simple black design, and cost somewhere around a thousand bucks.

Anybody got an idea what I'm talking about?
Was it the Tice Clock?
  #24  
Old 01-04-2010, 02:30 PM
Covered_In_Bees! Covered_In_Bees! is offline
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Since we're on the subject, what is the word on headphones that are supposedly way more bad ass than your normal headphones for peons? Bose and other such insanely expensive brands.

We've had a thread or two about them before, anyone got some linkage?
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:31 PM
Critical1 Critical1 is offline
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I heard (but havent actually seen) of a test where they had some self proclaimed audiophiles testing headphones and cables, without being able to see what was being put on their heads. one set didnt even have cables, it was headphones connected via WIRE COAT HANGERS!!! and no nobody noticed a difference in sound.

and after a single google search http://consumerist.com/2008/03/do-co...mments-content

Last edited by Critical1; 01-04-2010 at 02:32 PM.
  #26  
Old 01-04-2010, 02:35 PM
Jaledin Jaledin is offline
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I'm one of the dumb people who bought an expensive cable.
I wouldn't feel too bad -- the best bass player I've ever played with used Monster 1/4" TS cables. And he had multiple cables in his bag as well, as I had to borrow an extra once. Clearly they worked for him, and he wasn't *that* stupid (for a glorified [simplified?] guitar player ).

Not my thing, but there's a *lot* of extra stupid junk out there in audio-land even more deserving of contempt than some mid-priced cables.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:39 PM
El Nene El Nene is offline
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The headphone thing we could really get in a fight over. There is a difference in quality and it does, somewhat, correlate with price.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:44 PM
Covered_In_Bees! Covered_In_Bees! is offline
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The only reason we'd get into any fights over the subject would be if no one ever coughs up some cites.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:48 PM
El Nene El Nene is offline
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Do my ears count as a cite? Cause they're very adamant that these $100 headphones sound way better then the ones that came with my mp3 player.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:49 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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I wouldn't feel too bad -- the best bass player I've ever played with used Monster 1/4" TS cables. And he had multiple cables in his bag as well, as I had to borrow an extra once. Clearly they worked for him, and he wasn't *that* stupid (for a glorified [simplified?] guitar player ).
That raises another question in my mind -- is Monster one of those entities that made its name at a pro-grade line of product (back in the analog age when the wire's characteristics woudl really influence the sound) and then for marketing carries over the cachet of the brand name into consumer-grade product, that may be good but not five-times-more-expensive good?
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:51 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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Do my ears count as a cite? Cause they're very adamant that these $100 headphones sound way better then the ones that came with my mp3 player.
The headsets bundled with our mp3 players are mostly cheap gear barely a step above those we get for the inflight movie. OTOH are the $500 headphones better than the $100 ones?
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:58 PM
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That raises another question in my mind -- is Monster one of those entities that made its name at a pro-grade line of product (back in the analog age when the wire's characteristics woudl really influence the sound) and then for marketing carries over the cachet of the brand name into consumer-grade product, that may be good but not five-times-more-expensive good?
I think that's it.

I first saw Monster cables when I bought my Fender bass -- more expensive but they were more ruggedly made and appeared more durable than a lot of other cables hanging on the wall. I've heard people say that they stand up to stress better -- if you're gigging a lot and dragging your gear all over creation you want stuff that will work when you take it out of the bag, gear you can depend on. Monster seems to hold up to that claim, at least on the instrument end of things. But instrument cables are being pulled around on the stage. and are sometimes subject to harsh conditions, etc. So this makes sense.

When you go on to other kinds of cables I think spending that kind of money is pretty foolish -- you don't have the same sort of need for durability. Who would? I'm not convinced they're worth the expense for anything else.
  #33  
Old 01-04-2010, 03:01 PM
Covered_In_Bees! Covered_In_Bees! is offline
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The headsets bundled with our mp3 players are mostly cheap gear barely a step above those we get for the inflight movie. OTOH are the $500 headphones better than the $100 ones?
And what about the 20 or 30 dollar headphones versus the $100+ varieties?
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:09 PM
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Seriously, between $30 and $100, yes; between $100 and $500 only for your dog.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:12 PM
Covered_In_Bees! Covered_In_Bees! is offline
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**COUGHcite?COUGH**

**SNEEZElink?SNEEZE**

Excuse me, this cough and sneeze have just snuck up on me. I was healthy yesterday I swear.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:23 PM
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Do my ears count as a cite? Cause they're very adamant that these $100 headphones sound way better then the ones that came with my mp3 player.
Did it occur to you that they are telling you this via a brain that is trying to justify why it approved the idea to spend $100 on headphones?
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:24 PM
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If your average Joe is at Best Buy and drops $1500 on a new giant TV, I tihnk it's probably a pretty easy sale to get it to throw in $100 worth of cabling. Also, I remember that Circuit City literally didn't carry any cables other than Monster, so it looked very much like you had no choice. It wasn't like you were staring at $15 and $100. And this was before everyone had internet access on their phone, so it wasn't a simple task to comparison shop cables.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:25 PM
El Nene El Nene is offline
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Sorry CIB. Here you go. It says so right there in the link.

http://gizmodo.com/5371253/giz-expla...-less-than-100
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:27 PM
Mindfield Mindfield is offline
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There are definite differences in headphones, though I suppose there's a point at which everything starts to level off and then it gets into a Monster Cable-style debate. However, there are definite innovations and improvements on higher end headphone brands. Sennheiser, Shure, Etymotic, and other high end brands do indeed make quality stuff. I know with Shure, while the difference between, say, the SE210s, 310s and 420s are primarily performance and range-related, the SE530s have two speakers per ear to separate lows and highs for clearer audio with less distortion and better dynamic range. But the quality of headpones is much easier to measure both mechanically and aurally; those with good ears can definitely tell the difference when one has tepid highs or another has muddy mids, or still another starts distorting above certain volume levels, etc. Even without expensive test equipment, these are easily discerned.

Cables, not no much. Even if ridiculously expensive cables do have qualitatively better builds and contain better materials, the practical difference they make in the end product, if any, is often so small that anyone who claims they can tell is fooling themselves.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:28 PM
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If your average Joe is at Best Buy and drops $1500 on a new giant TV, I tihnk it's probably a pretty easy sale to get it to throw in $100 worth of cabling. Also, I remember that Circuit City literally didn't carry any cables other than Monster, so it looked very much like you had no choice. It wasn't like you were staring at $15 and $100. And this was before everyone had internet access on their phone, so it wasn't a simple task to comparison shop cables.
That's not how I think. I would be more like "I'm plopping down 1500 for the TV AND I gotta skip another child support payment to make it actually look good!?"
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:38 PM
Mindfield Mindfield is offline
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If your average Joe is at Best Buy and drops $1500 on a new giant TV, I tihnk it's probably a pretty easy sale to get it to throw in $100 worth of cabling. Also, I remember that Circuit City literally didn't carry any cables other than Monster, so it looked very much like you had no choice. It wasn't like you were staring at $15 and $100. And this was before everyone had internet access on their phone, so it wasn't a simple task to comparison shop cables.
Not for me. I dropped $1200 on a TV just a few months ago, plus money for the HD box, Blu-Ray player, HD home theater, TV stand and other assorted bits, and my approach to cables was, "There is no way in hell I'm dropping another $300 on cables just to hook this crap up." Quality hardware makes a difference. $70 cables better damn well come with an affirmation coach to continuously massage my buyer's remorse.
  #42  
Old 01-04-2010, 03:44 PM
Jaledin Jaledin is offline
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And what about the 20 or 30 dollar headphones versus the $100+ varieties?
This will sound kind of cliched and lame, but you should really check it out for yourself. I have a few hundred-ish level speakers (Grado SR60s -- not quite a hundy new, but getting close -- maybe sixty bucks or so) and my 1970s Dynaco (12") speakers (you could probably get some used for twenty or thirty bucks or less), plus some $50-$100 Sony and Sennheiser cans (don't know the model numbers).

Absolutely there's a difference between even lower-end speakers like mine and lower-lower-end products like you'd find for similar prices at a big-box store. I'm not saying anything is *better* necessarily, but there is for sure a big difference. Boutique AC cables, eh, not so much, maybe. But the first part of the audiophile battle is getting to hear that there is *a* difference, and then and only then figure out if you *like* the difference.

Anything else, I'd agree, but speakers (including speakers in headphones) are one of the few areas in audio where *anybody* can hear the difference.

(FWIW I'm still skeptical about even well-known, well-respected audio engineers (the guys with real EE degrees and major chops in the studio) talking about "resolution" in amplifiers, though -- maybe I'm not the best source, or what's probably also true, don't have the best ears.)
  #43  
Old 01-04-2010, 03:55 PM
Tastes of Chocolate Tastes of Chocolate is offline
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Originally Posted by JSexton View Post
If your average Joe is at Best Buy and drops $1500 on a new giant TV, I tihnk it's probably a pretty easy sale to get it to throw in $100 worth of cabling. Also, I remember that Circuit City literally didn't carry any cables other than Monster, so it looked very much like you had no choice. It wasn't like you were staring at $15 and $100. And this was before everyone had internet access on their phone, so it wasn't a simple task to comparison shop cables.
This lines up with my guesses. Try going to Best Buy and buy a cable that isn't Monster. First you will have trouble finding one, then you will get a hard sell from the salespeople on how Monster is da BOMB and nothing else is worth looking at, whywouldyouevenconsiderbuyingoneofthosecheapcablestogowithyourprettynewHD?

Anyone work at Best Buy? I've wondered if they get a higher/extra commission of selling Monster Cables.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:55 PM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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Cables matter for guitar-to-amp, and Monsters are medium-to-high priced cables that are rugged and good for the money, although I am not buying gold-anodized tips, etc. that the high-priced Monster cables have.

I have a few, alongside a few other brands. There was an article in last month's Vintage Guitar, where a vintage amp repair expert said one of the best mods you could make, besides upgrading your amp's tubes, was getting a well-made cord.

What's funny is that is that folks like Stevie Ray Vaughn preferred the lower-priced, lower-quality curly cables if they could find them and they worked. Those old Radio Shack specials would cut some of the highs and therefore his tone was less ice-picky. I got that from an interview with his guitar tech, Cesar Diaz - who also said that SRV got it by idolizing Jimi Hendrix, who apparently also liked those cords...
  #45  
Old 01-04-2010, 05:15 PM
Covered_In_Bees! Covered_In_Bees! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaledin
This will sound kind of cliched and lame, but you should really check it out for yourself.
Yeah ok. I'll PM you my address and you can send me some $100+ earbuds for testing purposes. How soon can you have them to me?
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:34 PM
Shalmanese Shalmanese is offline
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On the scale of things normal people care about, cables are pretty damn far down there. If you just bought a $3000 entertainment center, the relative price difference between premium & non-premium cables is pretty small and it easy to convince someone to plump for the difference to get the "optimum viewing experience".
  #47  
Old 01-04-2010, 05:37 PM
Jaledin Jaledin is offline
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Originally Posted by Covered_In_Bees! View Post
Yeah ok. I'll PM you my address and you can send me some $100+ earbuds for testing purposes. How soon can you have them to me?
Oh, come on. You don't really think that there's *no* difference between even a $2 earbud and a $60-$70 Grado, do you? Even a $500 set of cans will sound *different* from a lower-end set like mine and that's a verifiable natural fact. There's no need of a cite, because, well, a blind nut-squirrel can get it done without one also.

  #48  
Old 01-04-2010, 05:48 PM
robardin robardin is offline
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Originally Posted by Covered_In_Bees! View Post
Yeah ok. I'll PM you my address and you can send me some $100+ earbuds for testing purposes. How soon can you have them to me?
You could come and try mine out any time if you're nearby.

Seriously -- there is a world of difference in quality from tinny treble/muddy bass sounding mass-market headphones and speakers and higher grade equipment. There are definitely "diminishing returns" after a certain price point, so that while the aforementioned Grado SR-60s or SR-80s at about $70 a pair are clearly superior in sound to any stock headphones you might get with a music player, that's not to say that you should go out and drop $1,700 on Grado's top of the line PS1000 headphones unless you're the sort who (a) has got that kind of money to blow, (b) can (or believe you can) appreciate the incremental improvement in sound quality, and (c) deems it worth it. (I had SR-60s until the cable broke, then I got the SR-80s, I would recommend the SR-60s to anyone.)

As for earbuds: I tried both the Etymotic ER-6i earphones at about $75 a pair and the higher-grade ER-4Ps at double the cost. To me, ER-4Ps were clearly much superior in a blind test. The ER-6i's were OK but they didn't blow me away. Forget "noise cancelling" software baloney, the best noise cancellation is ISOLATION!

Of course, it all comes down to what is outputting the sound signal anyway, and what you're listening to. If you're mostly happy with listening to MP3s compressed at a 128kbps bitrate on a bus, don't waste your money.

The same is true of video cables as well, particularly for analog signals: more expensive, thick-gauge and heavily shielded cables may be necessary for long runs to avoid ghosting. (Digital cables will be an all-or-nothing thing.) I've run 50-foot component video cables for a DLP video projector (and later upgraded to HDMI), and can say from firsthand experience that using more expensive cables definitely made a difference even for HDMI. But what Monster does in charging ridiculous prices for three- and six-foot cables is just marketing aimed at preying on the unknowledgeable shopping on a price basis and hearsay ("I'm spending $1,500 on the HDTV, why not $75 on the cable, and I know I've heard about Monster Cable").

One area I will speak up for Monster though, again from personal experience, is in their power supply products. After using a higher-quality (not Monster) 50-foot component cable, the ghosting and drifting in the image quality I'd been seeing before went away, but I continued to get a "hum bar", a vertical line of interference that scrolled from the bottom up to the top of the image at a regular rate (about 60 Hz). Very annoying on an otherwise very clear picture. A guy at a local A/V shop recommended using one of Monster's power bars "to clean the A/C power", and I skeptically bought the $40 HTS800 with the promise that I could return it the next day if it didn't resolve the issue.

Well shut my mouth, it did the trick. And then I looked up "dirty power" and "A/C hum bar" and it's a legit phenomenon with a legit technical solution, and at $40 Monster's even got a very nice price on it.

Last edited by robardin; 01-04-2010 at 05:50 PM.
  #49  
Old 01-04-2010, 05:49 PM
Covered_In_Bees! Covered_In_Bees! is offline
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Originally Posted by Jaledin View Post
Oh, come on. You don't really think that there's *no* difference between even a $2 earbud and a $60-$70 Grado, do you? Even a $500 set of cans will sound *different* from a lower-end set like mine and that's a verifiable natural fact. There's no need of a cite, because, well, a blind nut-squirrel can get it done without one also.

Can't say I was expecting this type of response.

My last post a comment on the price in general. It doesn't matter if $100 headphones sound better than what I'm currently using if I can't afford to just run out and drop a hundred bucks.

You apparently can, therefore I (jokingly I should add) felt ok with hitting you up to send me some. Forehead smack indeed.
  #50  
Old 01-04-2010, 05:50 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Originally Posted by El Nene View Post
That's not how I think. I would be more like "I'm plopping down 1500 for the TV AND I gotta skip another child support payment to make it actually look good!?"
That may be true, but there's ample evidence that that's how most people think.

It's basically anchoring at work. When buying expensive things, people don't weigh the add-ons nearly as much. So, if you're already spending $1500, another $100 is just a 7% increase. This is why people routinely spend hundreds of dollars on floor mats for $20,000 cars without much thought, but will drive an extra mile and wait in line to save $3 filling up their tank. The floormats (or, in this case, the cable) is lost in the noise.
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