• 05-05-2009, 04:54 AM
    audio amateur
    I tried to make the most direct comparison between a pair of 1.5 foot Merlin Cables 'Chopin' (approx 150 bucks) and a 2 foot pair of Radioshack Gold and as hard as I tried I wasn't hearing any difference. This wasn't a usual test in that I played a mono source, had one cable going in to different inputs on the amp, and stacked my two B&Ws. I could then make a direct switch between the two speakers, same source material, different cable. Obviously this was mono playback, and the two speakers weren't EXACTLY in the same spot as one was on top of the other. Still, im sure it gave me a good idea of revealing the differences, which were either minute, or non-existing.
    I returned the Chopin (1 month trial) as 1. I couldn't hear any difference, and 2. I needed the money back. The locking connectors were a nice touch though, that's one thing I miss about the cable, and the very stocky looks.

    I'd like to try Blue Jean Cables and even perhaps monoprice but as I'm not living in the US at the moment it's not really a possibility.
  • 05-05-2009, 08:00 AM
    Poultrygeist
    Expensive cables and human suggestability
    If you think it sounds better then it does - the placebo effect is alive and well and highly profitable.
  • 05-05-2009, 09:56 AM
    Hyfi
    I recently started using Synergistic Research Signature1 Speaker cables I got with a complete system I bought in a garage sale. They are 14' in length. When I contacted Synergistic about the possibility of cutting them in half to make two pairs, they replied that their cables are "Components" and "would you cut an amplifier in half to make two". They did say that they would shorten them only for $300 but not make two pairs.

    I was not happy with the answer but I'm not about to screw up the value, resale value, and possible positive snake oil included in their construction.

    I said it a ways back in this thread. A pair of ICs costing $500 in no way "sound" 5X better than those costing $100.

    I can tell you that in my experience, the Synergistc speaker cables worth $1200 do sound better than my $200 Tara Labs Prism cables but not 6X better.

    The other thing to consider, just like matching amps to speakers is that a single set of ICs will appear to sound different between different Amp and Pre.

    The bottom line is what your expendable budget is, how much you believe in cable differences, and mostly which cables sound better coupled with YOUR gear no matter what the cost is.

    If you believe with all your heart and the info you have read that there are no differences, then just use the Black & Reds that came with your gear and move on.
  • 05-05-2009, 09:59 AM
    audio amateur
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Poultrygeist
    If you think it sounds better then it does - the placebo effect is alive and well and highly profitable.

    haha :lol:
  • 05-05-2009, 10:00 AM
    audio amateur
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hyfi
    I recently started using Synergistic Research Signature1 Speaker cables I got with a complete system I bought in a garage sale. They are 14' in length. When I contacted Synergistic about the possibility of cutting them in half to make two pairs, they replied that their cables are "Components" and "would you cut an amplifier in half to make two". They did say that they would shorten them only for $300 but not make two pairs.

    That's a shockingly bad answer
  • 05-05-2009, 04:37 PM
    Kevio
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by audio amateur
    That's a shockingly bad answer

    Not a bad answer from the perspective of making money though.
  • 05-05-2009, 04:46 PM
    markw
    This is hard to believe.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hyfi
    I recently started using Synergistic Research Signature1 Speaker cables I got with a complete system I bought in a garage sale. They are 14' in length. When I contacted Synergistic about the possibility of cutting them in half to make two pairs, they replied that their cables are "Components" and "would you cut an amplifier in half to make two". They did say that they would shorten them only for $300 but not make two pairs.

    Not what you posted, but their response.

    Are they implying that cutting the cables in half and terminating both ends will hurt the sound in the two cable pairs, but only terminating one pair so you only wind up with one pair won't? What happens to the surplus wire?

    ...and who is trying to tell me that greed and gullibility aren't the two main driving factors in this industry?
  • 05-05-2009, 06:59 PM
    IBSTORMIN
    1 Attachment(s)
    Already ordered Monoprice
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    IBSTORMIN, I find the Monoprice site a little confusing to browse. You have to dig a little to find some of their cables. Be sure to try only their premium cables. They have blow up photos that give you a good picture of the ends. There service is very fast and shipping is cheap.

    Blue-Jeans are definitely more attractive but I think the difference ends there. You might also be interested in Tartan Cable which is Blue Jeans cheaper brand. Lots of good reports on Tartan cables.

    http://www.tartancable.com/stereo-cables/index.htm

    Emotiva will have their line of cables out in several months. Photos look very nice, but no price info yet.

    RR6

    NOW you tell me. I ordered these right after my last post. Hopefully I got what you suggested, as you can see I am going to try several. I'll let you know what I think.
  • 05-06-2009, 02:48 AM
    audio amateur
    Thos cables are DIRT cheap. It'd be nice to have some pics too when you get them
  • 05-06-2009, 05:25 AM
    IBSTORMIN
    Can do.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by audio amateur
    Thos cables are DIRT cheap. I'd be nice have some pics too when you get them

    From what I figure, they should be in today. I'll post pics with my comments after I listen to them.
  • 05-06-2009, 06:36 AM
    RoadRunner6
    IBSTORMIN, those all look like the premium cables except for the #2743 which appears to be the regular version of the premium #2681.

    AA, for some nice close up photos, go to http://www.monoprice.com/home/index.asp and enter the part numbers on the left side of his invoice into the Monoprice search window. Click on the description and then on "click for larger image" to view closups of the cables and connectors or any other of their products. Customer feedback on all products under "customer review."

    Check here for products listed by category: http://www.monoprice.com/products/index.html
  • 05-06-2009, 07:04 AM
    zepman1
    I'll chime in since I have used the Monoprice cables a number of times. Generally speaking their cables and interconnects are of very good quality and build. Unbelievable for the price really. But when you break it down, what it costs Blue Jeans to build a 3' interconnect, the profit margins are pretty large so it is easy to see how Monoprice can be priced so low and still have a similar product.

    I have compared them directly with Blue Jeans cable and Monster and think they are all about the same with some differences (not in sound though, only build). Monoprice uses RG-59 and RG-6 for all interconnects, just like Belden (used by Blue Jeans). Monoprice cables seem to be very stiff, which makes them hard to work with in some cases, but not excessively so. Monster cables are always nice and supple which is nice. Blue Jeans Canare connectors are a bit nicer than what is used on the monoprice. The monoprice (premium cables only) still use a nice connector though, its just not Canare quality. In all cases I have heard no difference between any of these cables (on my modest mid-fi equipment anyhow, Onkyo, Marantz, Monitor Audio etc.).

    Monoprice HDMI cables are the same as the lower priced Blue Jeans cables, and priced similarly. I do not see why you would need anything more when they are selling HDMI v1.3a Catergory 2 certified cables. I would only buy the more expensive Blue Jeans if I needed a really long cable 50', because the cheaper ones are only certified to 35-40' I think.

    Just my 2 cents. If you have a mid priced system, I think monoprice is a great way to go, and definitely sounds no different than Blue Jeans or Monster. If you have a high end setup, I would at least try something nicer for comparisons sake. If you need eye candy, then monoprice is not that either.
  • 05-06-2009, 08:28 AM
    audio amateur
    Tanks RR6
  • 05-06-2009, 08:34 AM
    audio amateur
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kevio
    Not a bad answer from the perspective of making money though.

    Not if you loose customers doing so...
  • 05-06-2009, 09:05 AM
    Hyfi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markw
    Not what you posted, but their response.

    Are they implying that cutting the cables in half and terminating both ends will hurt the sound in the two cable pairs, but only terminating one pair so you only wind up with one pair won't? What happens to the surplus wire?

    ...and who is trying to tell me that greed and gullibility aren't the two main driving factors in this industry?

    I was floored also after several emails to Synergistic. They told me that in order to cut and properly re-terminate the cable that it would interfere with production of new cables. Also, I would have had to be the original owner with papers to prove it which I am not.

    I don't know if there is any proprietary termination techniques used that I would screw up if I did it myself. I could not find anyone willing to do it for a fee except some guy in Canada. I was also advised that if I cut and re-terminated them that they could no longer be resold as true Synergistic cables.

    I am a little apprehensive to touch these cables since they cost $1200 when the guy I got them from bought them.

    All in all I did not like their responses and posted about it on another board and someone from Synergistic chimed in to call me a liar and then I posted the full email from his co-worker that he must have been unaware of and the thread ended there.
  • 05-06-2009, 12:07 PM
    E-Stat
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kevio
    Not a bad answer from the perspective of making money though.

    Re-terminating sealed cables is labor intensive. Similarly, Shure doesn't *repair* their earbuds. They offer a flat replacement charge and throw away your core.

    rw
  • 05-06-2009, 12:23 PM
    markw
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Re-terminating sealed cables is labor intensive. Similarly, Shure doesn't *repair* their earbuds. They offer a flat replacement charge and throw away your core.

    rw

    Earbuds area a bit different due to their size and complexity. We're talking cable ends here.

    It costs $300 to put on four terminations? That's $75/each. Heck, send 'em to me!

    If that's the case they should have offered to charge him $600 for the eight, no?

    Sorry, but in that, or any, boutique business, accommodating the customers needs should be item one on the agenda. After all, customer satisfaction is directly tied in with the customer's perception of quality.
  • 05-06-2009, 02:08 PM
    IBSTORMIN
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RoadRunner6
    IBSTORMIN, those all look like the premium cables except for the #2743 which appears to be the regular version of the premium #2681.

    I needed two so, for the price, I bought both regular and premium to see if there is any difference.
  • 05-06-2009, 04:41 PM
    Kevio
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by E-Stat
    Re-terminating sealed cables is labor intensive.

    And probably tricky too do properly. If I'd paid kilobucks for cables I would be happy to spend $300 to have them re terminated by the manufacturer.
  • 05-07-2009, 04:58 AM
    Hyfi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Kevio
    And probably tricky too do properly. If I'd paid kilobucks for cables I would be happy to spend $300 to have them re terminated by the manufacturer.

    Too bad I'm not the original owner, they don't want "new happy customers" unless you buy new cables. Oh well, still glad to have them at the price I got them for.
  • 05-07-2009, 05:48 AM
    markw
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hyfi
    Too bad I'm not the original owner, they don't want "new happy customers" unless you buy new cables. Oh well, still glad to have them at the price I got them for.

    Now this is the way to win the hearts and minds of loyal customers, or potential customers.

    http://bryston.com/warranty.html
  • 05-07-2009, 07:03 AM
    Hyfi
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by markw
    Now this is the way to win the hearts and minds of loyal customers, or potential customers.

    http://bryston.com/warranty.html

    Odyssey lets you transfer their 20 year warranty.

    http://www.odysseyaudio.com/service-20yearwarranty.html
  • 05-07-2009, 07:13 AM
    markw
    So does Bryston
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hyfi
    Odyssey lets you transfer their 20 year warranty.

    http://www.odysseyaudio.com/service-20yearwarranty.html

    [sarcasm on]I guess these aren't as technically complex or as difficult to work on as those cables of yours.[/sarcasm off]
  • 05-08-2009, 07:48 PM
    IBSTORMIN
    Monoprice
    I Am Going To Give My Thoughts On Monoprice Cables In A New Thread.
  • 05-20-2009, 08:05 AM
    angelgz
    OK, it feels good to be back : )

    First of all, I haven't read all of your replies, but the comparison between cables and fuel just caught my eyes. I drive a Mercedes S55 and the manual specifically says that I need gas with a minimum 91 Octane rating. I talked to my mechanic about the science behind this and he replied that dedicated engines are build with little room for dust and impurities. These impurities build up in the engine and eventually ruins it. This is not some electrical theories or something can't be seen with naked eye. It's real, tangible facts, which if you take apart an engine, you will see it. With audio cables, it's totally different. As long as the cables deliver deliver the same AWG, I don't think it makes a difference at all. Given that, I still bought some Tara Labs cable and it made no difference at all compared to my regular 12AWG cable bought from Home Depot.

    I also took the opportunity to talk to a professional musician about cables. He told me that the only time a cable makes a NOTICEABLE difference is if it goes over 50 feet. To be safe, he says that I should use a relatively higher grade interconnects if the preamp is more than 25 feet away from the amp. Also, a XLR cable is superior than a RCA cable when it comes to distant wiring.