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I'm in a "Protect the Members from themselves" state of mind.

Back a few many years ago I was lucky enough to meet Henry Kloss. A few of you may know his name. He was a audio guru who started many a high end audio company in his day. At the time he was taking on Bose with Cambridge Soundworks. I had won a radio contest and the prize was an Ensemble system by CSW. Henry was at the store when I went to pick it up. Back then, the store was staffed by audio engineers. It was kind of cool :)

This being my first set of 'good' speakers, I asked him about wire. The wire supplied with the speakers was thin. Something like 16 gauge twisted pair speaker wire. Standard "Radio Shack" stuff. Monster Cable was still farly new and hadn't yet driven the price of everything but lamp cord through the roof.

What did Henry tell me? Monster is a scam. It is more important to run equal length cables than to run that multilayered over priced welding cable they sell. For his speakers at the lengths supplied, the 16g was oversized.

The point? Most of the cable out there that is specifically designed and sold as "High End Audio" cables can be bought much cheaper. Nitrogen shielding? JOKE. Large gauge (12) cable can be bought from electronics supply stores in rolls of 50 to 100 feet for a 10th of the price of Monster.

And what about HDMI cables you may ask?

read : HDMI / Monster Scam

Beware of people who assume that you do not understand basic electronics. You can always save a lot of money once you realize that electricity doesn't care about Nitrogen Sheilding. Read the specs on your amp, buy the suggested 'size' for the proper power delivery but stay away from 'fancy' wires. normal wire works great.
 

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Yeah Monster being a scam has been common knowledge for at least 5 years if not more.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Common Knowledge is rarer than me spelling 'Knowledge' correctly without spell check.


Known or not, they have pushed the price of wire through the roof. Even Radio Shack charges $40+ for a 3 foot HDMI cable.

Electricity simply takes the path of least resistance. If you have enough 'room' for it than it will flow. Changing the wire shape or number of wires wrapped up to make a certain gauge wire doesn't change that fact. If you have enough wire to handle the voltage you are good to go. That works for power supply and grounding as well.

Think of it this way. You got a bucket (power supply). You got Water (Electricity) and You got holes (wire), You got a funnel (amp). If there are enough holes to empty the bucket in 1 minute and all your funnel can handle is a bucket of water in a minute, Adding more holes will not help. If you decide you don't like one big hole, pluggin that hole and drilling 20 smaller holes that flow the same, doesn't change the action of the funnel.
 

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It's always funny how they push the super-duper expensive digital cables as having the best signal quality. As if you would be able to notice anything, digital signals are just bits- ones and zeroes- so the signal either gets through or it doesn't. The video/audio isn't any better with a $100 Monster HDMI cable vs. a $5 cheapo one. In fact even the cheap ones have gold-plated contacts.
Of course none of the above has much to do with car stuff, but since it was already brought up- ;)
On a side note, I have a Tivoli PAL AM/FM radio which I believe was one of the last things that Henry Kloss designed. This is one of those things that IS worth a premium over a more common product, it sold for $150.
 

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Sure it has to do with car stuff. Car Audio is a prime target for overpriced gimmick sales.
 

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Sure it has to do with car stuff. Car Audio is a prime target for overpriced gimmick sales.
A good twisted pair and/or sheilded (not nitrogen, Rf shielding) RCA cable in a car is vastly superior to a generic radio shack RCA.

A car is a far noisier electrical environment than a home.

Ima preface this by saying that I run only Monster RCA's and speaker cable in the Van (my DD). I have old (1999) Street Wires ZN5.0 RCA's and MC wire (XPCL) in the GTO.

In a car, the rules are a little different. Multi-Strand wires are just as much about flexibility as power transfer. This goes for power and speaker. I like the XPCL because the outer jacket over the twisted pair pulls nicely thru door boots and grommets.

Equal Length wires are still a plus in car audio.

When I was much younger and much heavier into the 12V world, I did a little testing. I'll spare you the sordid details, but High-end cables perform better when measured with an RTA. So this wasnt a subjective thing. We did the tests in 2 different cars. I dont remember what all we had in the delsol, but one of them was my 94 Z34. CDX-C90 toslink connection to XDP-210EQ. From there, 3 1 meter RCA's to 3 Orion XTR amps (800,600.4 and 300).

How ever, when we used the same cables to connect a Yamaha CD player to a Yamaha RXV unit, we measured no difference.
 

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i have always bought my cables from a local place here in town that sells nationaly as well.....parts express......bought hdmi cables rated for something like 1600p for like 7 bucks so yeah monster can suck a big one:)
 

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Well There is some good info in here a little biased info too.

Pj and Konnie, in ways you are both right (how's that for piss pour engrish).

Konnie, you are correct that a car is far noiser than your house when it comes to interference. However today your home is bombarded with more EM than it was 20 years ago.

PJ - monster is a scam to a point. There is some electrical benefit to Gold Plated connections, better Conductor material (Look up 6 9's copper for conductance, or silver cables). The nitrogen shit, that still debate able but I'm not spending the paper.

ON HDMI costs. Don't forget that the cable end is a propriatery connection and its not cheap. But its getting better as more people have switched over. Same was true 10 years ago with Toslink Optical. ALso I prefer optical to wired anyday and wish they would go back to it. Any HDMI plug with gold plated connectors will do you fine.

Digital Co-ax: make sure the cable has gold or pladium connectors, clean then, and I prefer braided cable for a little bit of noise rejection.

standard Co-AX (or analog RCA's): Again conductor material helps, but for car audio must have an overbraid. Or braided conductions. Sometimes called a Listritz braid or tri braided geometry. This is where the conductor and ground are braided so they cross at 90 degree paths, this technique allows the ground to act like a noise trap every 1/2 inch or so. Cheap braided cables will work as well and expensive non-braided 8 layed ect ect nonsense. This technique works for power carrying cables too, but isn't all that necessary due to the current load.

Amp cables to speakers: Carrys voltage and Current, conductance is king and flexibility (like Konnie said) is key for car audio. Usually I like to keep the runs as short as possible. Due to the higher than 1 amp of current carried, noise is not much of an issue. Put it this way. A 1/2 gpm ripple in a fire hose is not as noticed as a 1/2 gpm ripple in your shower head. This is why Audio and Electrical engineers will say that Lamp Cord is sufficient. In a car I agree, there is so much other audio noise in the car, that a minor amount or induced noise after the AMP will never be noticed. But remember power needs current and current needs conductance. Its not about the speaker but about the AMPS or wattage to the speaker.

This is where I will mention RMS vs Peak. Never look at peak ratings except for a Sub amp. and even then RMS is the most important rating. For speaker wires, look at the RMS wattage to the speaker. Devide the RMS wattage by 14 and this will give you a swag of what current the cable needs to carry. Then look up a wire guage chart in the interent and compare amperage to wire gauge. One size larger than listed is perfectly OK, 2 sizes is not necessary, save the paper stacks for a better CAP or AMP. The PEAK rating is basically a one time, millesecond surge and not a sustained load. Peak ratings are usually fictictious anyway.

Most of this is my pet peeves from inspecting wiring on aircraft and done many Car and home theater istallations. Some of that crazy shit ain't necessary. I will say this, my front and center channel speakers at home, have 14 GA braided cables running to the AMP, my rears have basic 16GA flat speaker wire run around the base board. WHY, becasue the 14 GA braided cable was on sale when I bought those speakers, and it was 4-9's copper. Those speakers are only 10 feet away from the amp with a 16 foot cable.
 

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Just my $0.02

I wouldn't say that Monster cable is a scam but it is over priced. There is a huge difference between expensive cables and cheap cables. Ive always said name brand products are engineered, cheap ones are built. As far as HDMI cables are concerned with picture and sound quality speed is key. To get a true 1080p picture the cable has to be able to pass information at 10.2 Gbps. So if the cable can't do that you aren't getting the whole 1080p picture quality. Another problem with cheap HDMI cables is that the connection that plugs into your TV has to be engineered good so it doesn't break off because of its cheap build and weight the cable. Personally I think the HDMI connection could have been designed better. It sticks way too far out of the tv to have a TV completely flat on the wall. If they put a way to have a small screw to keep the weight of the cable off the connection it would be 100 times better. As far as the Nitrogen injected wire goes it is supposed to keep the same resistance from the signal wire and shielding from RF interference. I'm not really sure if you really need that on an HDMI cable because I don't think RF noise can interfere with a digital signal. Please correct me if I am wrong there.

As far as power and speaker wire. I know there is a difference in cheap wire and moderately priced wire. It all has to do with what the packaging says it is. I have seen a lot of cheap power wire that says 4ga on the packaging but the actual copper wire was only 10ga in size. The size of the wire and insulation together made the wire 4ga. You also want to look at how many strands of wire are in the wire itself. If the wire strands are too big you loose space in the insulation and don't get as much copper in the same amount of insulation. Also the larger the strands the harder is it to move and flex the wire. the pics below show what I am talking about. The image below shows what I am trying to explain. The bottom left would be an example of quality power wire. The bottom right would be a lesser quality power wire.

 

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Can't help ya, Sorry.
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Discussion Starter #13
I wouldn't say that Monster cable is a scam but it is over priced.
The fact that they are extreemly overpriced and no differnt than other reasonably priced cables is what constitutes the scam.


There is a huge difference between expensive cables and cheap cables. Ive always said name brand products are engineered, cheap ones are built. As far as HDMI cables are concerned with picture and sound quality speed is key. To get a true 1080p picture the cable has to be able to pass information at 10.2 Gbps. So if the cable can't do that you aren't getting the whole 1080p picture quality.
There is not "Partial" transmission on these signals. It is a digital signal. If the information isn't there you get nothing. If the cable can't pass the required amount of info, you get squat.
 

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sxty8goats if you don't mind me asking. What brand of TV do you have?



There is not "Partial" transmission on these signals. It is a digital signal. If the information isn't there you get nothing. If the cable can't pass the required amount of info, you get squat.
Actually you can get a "partial" trannsmission of a digital signal. If the cable is unable to transmit a certain frequency then it can not transmit a certain color therefore you do not get the correct color intended for the video. You will still see a shade of the color but not the intended shade of the specific color.

Lets say color A it sent at 50MHz and color B is sent at 300MHz but they are just different shades of green corresponded by the signal 00101101. If your cable cannot pass a 300MHz signal your TV will never show that shade of green. It will always show it as the 50Hz shade.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Panasonic 1080P Plasma, 50 inch. Yep, a noob tv if I ever saw one :)
 

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Actually Panasonic makes some of the nicest plasmas on the market. When Pioneer had plasmas they used Panasonic parts. Samsung plasmas used to use Panasonic parts as well. Not sure if they still do. So what made you get the Panasonic over a cheaper brand?
 

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And be careful with the "Name Brand = Engineered" bit. I've talked to a couple x-Bose engineers that had gone over to work a Cambridge Sound Works back when H.Kloss was still around and running the ship. At Bose, the engineering was mainly focused on achieving a very narrow frequency range with the absolute cheapest components possible. This was achieved by sacrificing a major part of the "middle base" in favor of a low, near sub, bass. To do this cheaply they use the same audio mechanics you find in a Tuba and a very cheep paper cone woofer. Their satellites are single or duel cone units but even in the duel cone units, they only have a single size full range speaker. The duel units just use two of the same speaker. People that don't know better mistake it for a nice smooth bass tone without realizing how much they are really missing in the lower end of the mid range. Bose is nearly as bad as Monster.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Actually Panasonic makes some of the nicest plasmas on the market. When Pioneer had plasmas they used Panasonic parts. Samsung plasmas used to use Panasonic parts as well. Not sure if they still do. So what made you get the Panasonic over a cheaper brand?
Research. I know what I bought. :) The noob comment was sarcasm.
 

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sxty8goats if you don't mind me asking. What brand of TV do you have?





Actually you can get a "partial" trannsmission of a digital signal. If the cable is unable to transmit a certain frequency then it can not transmit a certain color therefore you do not get the correct color intended for the video. You will still see a shade of the color but not the intended shade of the specific color.

Lets say color A it sent at 50MHz and color B is sent at 300MHz but they are just different shades of green corresponded by the signal 00101101. If your cable cannot pass a 300MHz signal your TV will never show that shade of green. It will always show it as the 50Hz shade.
You're assuming the colors are encoded and sent on separate frequencies.

From what I read about HDMI, all of the data for each of the colors is in one single data stream and sent over the TMDS channel of the link. It appears that the data is encoded for each pixel individually and not for separate color scans.

The only "partial" connection you can get is if your cable or connections aren't up to spec and you lose data. That will result in a pixelated picture, choppy pictures (freezing once in a while) to having basically no picture at all, depending on how much data is lost.

But, if you have a cable that meets specs and no hardware faults (frayed/worn cable, corroded connections in the plug, etc.) you'll get the whole data stream. All you have to do is meet the minimum threshhold for transmitting the data. A cheap cable that meets spec will give you just as good a signal as an overpriced monster cable.
 

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And be careful with the "Name Brand = Engineered" bit. I've talked to a couple x-Bose engineers that had gone over to work a Cambridge Sound Works back when H.Kloss was still around and running the ship. At Bose, the engineering was mainly focused on achieving a very narrow frequency range with the absolute cheapest components possible. This was achieved by sacrificing a major part of the "middle base" in favor of a low, near sub, bass. To do this cheaply they use the same audio mechanics you find in a Tuba and a very cheep paper cone woofer. Their satellites are single or duel cone units but even in the duel cone units, they only have a single size full range speaker. The duel units just use two of the same speaker. People that don't know better mistake it for a nice smooth bass tone without realizing how much they are really missing in the lower end of the mid range. Bose is nearly as bad as Monster.
I would defiantly agree that Bose is a scam.

You're assuming the colors are encoded and sent on separate frequencies.
Yes I am. I don't know how every aspect of how HDMI works. But on the HDMI website it does say there is a difference between standard HDMI cables and High-speed HDMI cables.
 
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