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Going to Monster Cable

March 24th, 2008

Oh no, has Clint finally succumbed to the powers of Monster Cable marketing? Has Monster Cable threatened to sue AV Rant for any past misgivings about their overpriced cables or power centers? Perhaps the offer of a ride in one of the many luxury sports cars available to tier-one sales persons has finally allured us to the west coast in a hedonistic fit of uncontrollable yearning.

Or maybe we’re just taking advantage of an offer to use their Tektronix scopes to evaluate over 36 cables sent to use by various manufacturers over the course of several months. Yeah, baby.For months I’ve been “preaching” about how the debunking of analogue speaker cables and the almost universal adequacy of optical and digital coax cables does not reflect equally on the world of HDMI.

With HDMI, cables that barely passed 720p and 1080i at 8-bit were suddenly thrust into 1080p – doubling the bitrate. Then they were asked to do 1080p at 10-, 12-, and 16-bt color. This was never the case with other digital or analogue audio formats. HDMI has been a moving target for cable manufacturers – and the format was already taxing on cable lengths over 7.5 meters before HDMI 1.3 dramatically changed the rules of the game and added features no one had really asked for.

So there you have it – a preview of my article without the measurements. Going to Monster Cable allows me to test my theory and show which cables can truly pass both the current Deep Color 1080p standards as well as the full capacity of HDMI 1.3 which allows for even greater resolution then is currently shipping with consumer electronics HDMI chipsets. It’s a safe bet that cables under 2m – 3m should be able to pass with flying colors, however I am expecting somewhat more varied results when we test cables exceeding 5m in length – and we have quite a few of those. One of the tests I am excited about is seeing how well an active cable solution works to improve a sub-par cable that may be installed in some users’ walls. If an active cable solution can compensate for an older cable that was spec’d only for 720p or 1080i, then some users have options before they need to rip out their installed cables.

So I’m excited. Currently very very tired starting my journey to the airport at 3am, but excited about this opportunity to finally test cables using a more scientific method than any employed by other publication we’ve seen to date. As for Monster Cable – I’m planning on testing their cables as well. And considering they have about 5-6 speed-rated cables plus a new budget line, I’m guessing the results on several of the cables will be completely identical, rendering much of their line a bit superfluous.

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  1. BobMac
    March 24th, 2008 at 16:31 | #1

    Monster gets a bad rap. There are lots of over-priced, over-marketed cables out there, but Monster seems to symbolize all that’s wrong with audiophile hype…kinda like McDonald’s symbolizes all that’s wrong with our poor food choices. Monster makes quality cables. Are they better than any other cable or coat hanger? Probably not.

  2. March 24th, 2008 at 16:48 | #2

    Can’t wait to get your “rant” on this trip Clint!

  3. March 24th, 2008 at 16:57 | #3

    I just heard the new “Monster Beats by Dr. Dre” headphones. They are active NR/isolation headphones ad they probably have the most incredible low frequency response I’ve ever heard in a headphone. No boominess and it actually felt a little like a subwoofer. SUPER deep response.

    We listened to a few tracks that wre mostly Hip Hop/R&B. I told them that locating a demo with some nice overhead reverb and cymbal decays would be a good thing to see how well the high frequencies played back without compressing.

    $399 I believe… They are taking on the Bose Quiet Comfort headhones – which shouldn’t be hard if they market it correctly… Playboy, Men’s Health, DiscoveryHD channel and SkyMall should just about do it.

  4. March 24th, 2008 at 18:26 | #4

    Skymall… that’s where I make ALL my AV purchases… 😀

  5. March 28th, 2008 at 13:56 | #5

    Skymall is the ONLY bose dealer I trust…

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