I love my movies, and by association aside from being a movie geek, that also makes me a home theater geek, or an Audiophile.
With the onset of each improvement in home theater technology I have to resist the urge to run out to the local big box electronics shop and indebt myself to their unfair interest rates to get the latest and greatest gadgets. As much as I want to be, I am not an early adopter. I do however, manage to resist (mostly) until the true early adopters have expressed their regrets and the shiny new price tags fade a little and they offer up more reasonable prices.
I always make sure I don’t cheap out, which sometimes means buying the more expensive cables and higher gauge speaker wires. All this leads me to a very interesting impromptu case study to determine if the hefty exaggerated cost of the MONSTER brand cables is really worth it.
The test set a small group of self-confessed audiophiles to listen to a selection of “smooth trio easy listening jazz” on a Martin Logan SL-3 speaker set at 75db and 1000KHz. The Monster 1000 audio cables (retailing at around $180 for a 12ft cable) connected one set of speakers and were facing off against another connection made from coat hangers!
Not kidding. In order to REALLY put a quality gap between the two samplings almost guaranteeing a winner, a coat hanger was jury rigged with audio connectors on each end and set to square off against a $180 24k gold tipped, noise-shielded, engineered multigauge braided audio cable.
After sampling the music a number of times in a blind test, the audiophiles could not distinguish which was the monster cable and which was the “other” cable. Each was satisfied with the tonal quality and sound of each cable offering.
Granted, the test was not conducted by a professional audio engineer and the small test group were “self-professed” audiophiles. However, you would think that there would be SOME obvious difference. Even the common person should be able to distinguish between the pricey engineered cables and the makeshift trash pretending to be cables.
Personally, I have tried cheap dollar store cables or those shoe string sets that come with a basic player and I can tell a difference from using a quality cable, however I also am not about to spend more than my Bluray player is worth on cables. I do buy good quality cables, but I base that on resistance ratings, connectors and wire gauge.
This only removes any doubt I have that my home theater system would sound better if I followed the advice of the commission sales monkey who was trying to pimp the Monster cables when I bought my receiver.
For those of you out there who take pride in their Home Theatre systems, do you trust in high end brands like Monster?