Are Monster Cables A Rip-Off?

Hangers vs monster cables

Monster Cables has a reputation for making quality cables and for suing every company that uses the word “monster” in its name.

That may be why audioholic Dr. Bob Dean and his brother Dr. Dennis Dean put Monster Cables to a bizarre sound check test:

We gathered up a 5 of our audio buddies. We took my “old” Martin Logan SL-3 (not a bad speaker for accurate noise making) and hooked them up with Monster 1000 speaker cables (decent cables according to the audio press). We also rigged up 14 gauge, oxygen free Belden stranded copper wire with a simple PVC jacket. Both were 2 meters long. They were connected to an ABX switch box allowing blind fold testing.

Volume levels were set at 75 Db at 1000K Hz. A high quality recording of smooth, trio, easy listening jazz was played (Piano, drums, bass). None of us had heard this group or CD before, therefore eliminating biases. The music was played. Of the 5 blind folded, only 2 guessed correctly which was the monster cable. (I was not one of them). This was done 7 times in a row!

Keeping us blind folded, my brother switched out the Belden wire (are you ready for this) with simple coat hanger wire! Unknown to me and our 12 audiophile buddies, prior to the ABX blind test, he took apart four coat hangers, reconnectd them and twisted them into a pair of speaker cables. Connections were soldered. He stashed them in a closet within the testing room so we were not privy to what he was up to. This made for a pair of 2 meter cables, the exact length of the other wires.

The test was conducted. After 5 tests, none could determine which was the Monster 1000 cable or the coat hanger wire. Further, when music was played through the coat hanger wire, we were asked if what we heard sounded good to us. All agreed that what was heard sounded excellent, however, when A-B tests occured, it was impossible to determine which sounded best the majority of the time and which wire was in use.

Needless to say, after the blind folds came off and we saw what my brother did, we learned he was right…most of what manufactures have to say about their products is pure hype. It seems the more they charge, the more hyped it is.

What do you think? Are expensive audio cables a rip-off?

Update: This got picked up by Engadget today and is exploding.

4 thoughts on “Are Monster Cables A Rip-Off?

  1. I have wonered if Monster cables are mostly hype until recently. I was having a problem with my audio interface picking up noise, and when I replaced the USB cable with a Monster Ultimate USB cable (not an audio cable, I know), the problem went away.

    Any audio system will only sound as good as it’s weakest component. It could still be possible that the difference could be heard with other components being upgraded. However, if you are testing with the equipment you are using, the Monster cables might not make a difference.


  2. i would be a little more likely to value that point if the post had said that he had replaced the USB cable with a new cheap one, and THEN moved to 'monster cable'

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