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HDMI cables (cheap vs expensive) "Monster" vs no-name

by jcr0911 / June 8, 2005 9:22 AM PDT

just bought the bargain HDMI to HDMI cable $14.95... cant tell a difference in the video versus the RGB cable, but the sound difference is exceptional.

I was looking hard at the "monster" cable for $150, but figured I'd try the cheap one first. I am curious if the name-brand cables are better than the no-name cables... ???


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Cables - good, bad,- what's worth the price
by sgreent / June 9, 2005 9:45 PM PDT

Noel Lee (head Monster) is a fine gentileman, and I don't want to disparage his cables. Generally they are pretty good, but they are expensive. These cables are priced "consumer driven" much like Bose speakers are. I suggested you click onto a website called "Cables to" I use their stuff and it is better and costs less than the Monster.

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Cables to Go is coming up
by Richard1213 / November 16, 2007 4:19 AM PST

I agree that Cables to Go is a good quality at a great price. I found this company that sells Cables to Go products at fraction the cost. Hope someone finds this helpful

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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For the average consumer
by r1208 / November 16, 2007 9:53 AM PST

Most people wont be able to tell the difference between the "cheap" and the Monster brand cables. I will tell with 120hz televisions the Monster cables make a huge difference. The durability of the monster cable is far better than any cable on the market. They also have a lifetime guarantee. But they are not necessary to get a good picture.

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Gold Plated adapters, are higher quality
by Jonathanmstyoung2010 / November 14, 2011 12:36 PM PST

Gold Plating is less conductive then silver or tin there for it is better.

Now if your device doesn't have a gold adapter then your benefit is less but is still there.

The Cables quality is more important then the adapter quality but is still important

Adapter Specification: (Highly Recommended 2011)

RG-6 compatible COMPRESSION connecters

Gold Plated 1.3/1.4 compatible

RJ-45 CAT7 compatible with GOLD tips

Quality cables have a metal clip on the adapter

Cable Specification: (Highly Recommended 2011)

Coax RG-6/U or RG-6/UQ
(RG-6/UQ is higher quality and has Quad Shielding pervading better quality cable and higher durability)

HDMI 1.3 or 1.4
(1.4 is better quality and has a higher data transfer speed)

Ethernet Cat 6 or Cat 7
(Cat 7 has a wire shield pervading better quality cable and more durability also has a higher data transfer speed)

(SATA III is better quality and has 2XSATAII data speed)

Gold plating - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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HDMI/DVI cables
by HankP88 / June 9, 2005 11:14 PM PDT

I am also in need of a cable--HDMI to DVI no less--and am asea in a storm of cable makers/sellers and a price range that is from the ridiculous to the sublime. Can anyone cut through the B.S. and provide any documentation--or at least qualified opinions--on the differences between the budget priced and high priced cables in terms of improved TV/video performance and not just whether the ends are gold-plated or silver-plated?

Thanks in advance for your info and opinions!


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by mangledpenguin / June 10, 2005 12:30 AM PDT
In reply to: HDMI/DVI cables

I have a hard time figuring out what (other than 60HZ) your video/audio cables are trying to isolate you from. I have often wondered if Monster Cables are both consumer driven and over-kill priced.

Gold and silver are the top of the line. I am not sure if Gold really offers that much better performance over silver for price. Again it would be the difference in price between the two that i would wonder about. Unless Monster has lock-solid manufacturing quality, the cables are probably very simliar. Granted the $14 dollar one is not the way to go either.

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Gold vs Silver
by jcr0911 / June 10, 2005 8:13 AM PDT
In reply to: Gold/silver

FYI... The $14.95 HDMI cable that I bought has the gold plated connections... I believe the manufacturer was ciberlinks, cablelinks, or some odd derivation of "cable" and "links"


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by sears tv guy / June 10, 2005 9:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Gold/silver

you do know that silver is a better conductor than gold and there "should" have better signal transfer and thats why monster charges more for their silver plated models. Also one other thing that can effect price is if it is hand saudered. I know monster likes to add a good bit of price for that

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Gold pins in aircraft
by Techorama / December 7, 2008 4:32 AM PST
In reply to: silver

I could be wrong, but I thought silver was susceptible to tarnishing
and therefore electrically doesn't offer the optimum long-term protection against surface oxidation or corrosion as does GOLD.
So, any minor, perhaps even interpretable advantage 'electrically' which
Silver may provide, it is off-set by the insurance of optimum signal transfer provided by GOLD over the lifetime of the componet interconnection. This is why military aircraft near-elusivly use
the durability of military style connectors with Gold pins.
But the pure military and scientific types of experience out there are free to shoot me down on this....

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by 3luke3 / June 10, 2005 10:02 AM PDT
In reply to: Gold/silver

besides the 60Hz AC power in your house... there is a whole slew of signals & power transmissions across the whole elecromagnetic spectrum that shielded cables protect your precious audio/video signals from. here is a reference sheet:

some freqs don't apply, but A LOT do. Happy
Now granted most people don't live next to a radar tower or a radio tower or set their cordless phones right next to their AV receiver (etc etc)... but even running a microwave technically effects it.

Point to note:

(ie: digital video (DVI/HDMI) & digital audio (probably optical audio))

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by xfactor01 / May 21, 2012 4:12 PM PDT
In reply to: here....

This response doesn't really help answer the HDMI cost question. You're just stating (very indirectly) that it doesn't matter that the shielding on an HDMI is pointless because the information being sent through the cable is digital.

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generic cable testimonial
by User name / June 10, 2005 1:27 AM PDT
In reply to: HDMI/DVI cables

I purchased the HDMI/DVI cable from an online vendor
for $15 for my Cox cable box and Pioneer Elite 1110.
The feed quality is the same as the $100 Monster brand. I returned the so called premium cable with fancy packaging and put the money to better use.

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a good site re: cables
by fg3068 / June 10, 2005 8:56 AM PDT
In reply to: HDMI/DVI cables
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Good Site - Some (but not all) Good Advice
by sgreent / June 10, 2005 11:27 AM PDT
In reply to: a good site re: cables

There is a definite difference in cable. Price isn't necessarily a good indication of quality, however, most good cables are expensive. These "good" cables allow music through an audio system (let's say), where lesser cables let the sound through. That is a very difficult concept to understand if you haven't experienced a) what real music sounds like in real space, and b) what cables can do. I have replaced 1000 dollar/a meter cable for 1000/dollar/meter cable and the difference was stunningly better. Some cables change the color of music (bright, bass heavy, metalic, silky, etc) some allow a 3 dimentionality to come through, some are flat, some allow the sound to extend beyond the speaker cabinet, some trap the sound behind the grill gloth. The only way to determine the validity of a cable is to try it in your system. See/hear what happens. If it gets somehow better, and the price difference is worth the difference, go for it. ALWAYS try the cable before buying. This poses another problem. Cable changes - breaks in with usage. When first you install a cable, it will perform WAY different after a month of working. and - OOPS - update your CD player and a cable you thought was really bad, now sounds really good. It's a search that will take you to Nirvana or the nut house. Enjoy!!

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Overly concerned point
by NM_Bill / January 31, 2007 5:28 AM PST

Perhaps some have professionally trained ears, but we're talking about differences of a minute magnitude which are pretty well indiscernable only on test equipment.

Also, a couple posts up thinks silver is a better conductor than gold. Really? Besides, gold does much less oxidation.

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"Cable changes - breaks in with usage"
by jcrobso / March 19, 2008 2:00 AM PDT

This is not true, this concept is pure hogwash!!!!
Monstor Cables are way, way, way, way over priced.
The DC resistance between gold and silver is so small it is not worth even talking about.
The big advantage of gold plating on the connector is that it won't tarnish, silver will tarish.
Yes; Bo$e and Monstor products are sold with a lot FUD!!!!! If you can't dazzle them with brilance baffle them with BULL. John

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by sgopiani / December 9, 2008 2:56 AM PST

Yes I agree with you man just go to a shop and get a gold plated on for like

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Cable changes - breaks in with usage"
by gailey78545 / February 14, 2010 9:58 AM PST
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broken link
by xfactor01 / May 21, 2012 4:16 PM PDT

You're link doesn't work...

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hdmi cable
by mjcarpo / January 31, 2007 1:57 AM PST
In reply to: HDMI/DVI cables

monster vs. generic. any differnce

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HDMI cables (cheap vs expensive) "Monster" vs no-name
by jcrobso / June 10, 2005 5:56 AM PDT

There are people are people who say they can see or here the difference. But the best test equipment can't tell the difference. So be glad you saved a lot of money and enjoy. John

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it's all about the money
by iknowstuff / December 2, 2008 6:07 PM PST

When it comes to hdmi cables, GPS is very important. Monster gets all their wires ISF certified and places the specs all on thier box. The reason that people can't see the difference in their picture is the fact that the tv is probably not really good enough to harvest all the capabilities the wire carries from the source.

Chances are if a salesperson put the monster HDMI cable and the no name brand in front of you and told you that you can have either one for the same price, you would probably take the Monster one.

The best question to ask yourself is "how important is picture quality to you"? chances are if you feel it is very important, then you probably are the customer that will shell out the extra few hundred to get the higher performing tv models. If you are that customer, then you will see the value in getting a monster HDMI cable.

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it's all about looks
by pmeaster / May 23, 2009 6:20 PM PDT

Yes of course Monster HDMI cable looks "better" than standard/economic HDMI cable and anyone would choose Monster if they were just "shown" the 2 given the same price. What you don't understand is that HDMI is a digital cable; either it works or it doesn't. The only time higher end cable matters is when you are running several yards+ of cable, like from one floor to another or throughout an office building. This is because of the increased possibility of electrical interfernece; the thicker, more insulated cable will help this. Even in this case it's still either it works or not. There is no "it looks better". The few feet from a DVD player to your television has pretty much 0 interference. The only real time "cheap" HDMI cable may be "bad" is if it was so poorly made, the actual connector isn't the right size and becomes loose and falls out, but I have never seen this happen.

Basically if anyone tells you expensive HDMI cable is "better" for home use, they are making more money/commission by selling you expensive cable or they do not know what they are talking about. Period.

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Of course: That all depends......
by respiro / June 11, 2005 3:59 AM PDT

The best way to buy cables is to stay within about a ten percent rule. While you cant get $7 component cables for a $70 dvd player, think of your whole system in general. Is it really worth buying thousands of dollars worth of cables for a basic HTIB, probably not.
The internet has many sites that deal with questions like this. One of the better places to learn is They have some good articles on how HDMI, DVI and standard RCA (audio, video, etc) cables measure up and what differences to look for.
Finally, what has always been most important to me is my perception of how they perform. The speaker cables I have cost about 25% of the cost of the speakers, but I can hear a tremendous difference (enough to keep them). Bottom line...that all depends.

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HDMI carries digital signals. Cheap is fine.
by elbaso / June 24, 2005 1:57 AM PDT

From what I understand, HDMI and DVI cables both carry digital signals. Since all that's being transmitted are 1s and 0s, the quality of the cable isn't as important as for analog signals (e.g. speaker cables). So, while you probably don't want to use a 2-dollar cable, using a 15-dollar cable instead of a 150-dollar cable for digital signals is fine. I don't use Monster cables for HDMI and DVI cables, but I do use a high-quality high-gauge speaker wire for my surround sound system.
Hope that helps.

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Cheap is Never Fine
by sgreent / June 24, 2005 8:19 AM PDT

Would you rather climb a cheap or good ladder?

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by dhancock / June 25, 2005 3:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Cheap is Never Fine

Does it matter if the ladder is gold plated?

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Surely You Jest
by sgreent / June 26, 2005 8:53 AM PDT
In reply to: Ladders?

Gold plated feces smell all the same. I'm talking about the Gratus ad Parnassum

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Re cheap is never fine
by metalalloy419 / January 31, 2007 3:07 AM PST
In reply to: Cheap is Never Fine

You are making an assumption that a "cheap" ladder can not be a "good" ladder. The appropriate question should be "would you rather climb a cheap or expensive ladder. and my answer would be it depends on what gets the job done. if the cheap ladder works, you would be dumb to throw money away. WIth HDMI cables, they either work or dont, cables from these online retailers work perfectly. the markup by monster and co is for people who prefer to throw money away. if you do them more kudos to you.

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RE: "WIth HDMI cables, they either work or dont"
by ns387241 / April 8, 2008 4:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Re cheap is never fine

Cars, they either work or they don't. False. Different cars will perform better in different aspects (or sometimes in all aspects). This applies to cables, video or audio, analog or digital.

I'll bet $1,000 one will be able to tell the difference between a Philips HDMI cable and an Analysis-Plus X-Factor HDMI cable (same length). I can say this because I have tested it myself.

Digital signals are less prone to interference, but that does not mean that they are immune to interference. Interference can change the digital clock dictating the signal. This reduces sound quality in the departments of clarity, soundstaging and transients. This reduces video clarity in the departments of on-screen noise, pixel-count resolution, black level depth, and color accuracy. EMI and RFI are very real threats to an audio/video system, don't let them take away from your expreience!

Be sure to have a cable that is ISF certified, as not to take away from color accuracy. Be sure the cable is THX certified (although this is much a joke, if it can't pass these standards, it really sucks). Look at construction (hand-soludered, OFC (silver, gold plate), shielding (two or more layers of differing materieals), dialectric(s), etc.). Lastly, look at bandwith (it should be at or above 10.2Gbps), this will determine its data streaming abilities.

I am not saying MOnster is a good value, but I am saying they hold higher standards than places like I strongly recommend either Analysis-Plus or Nordost for one's cabling needs.

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