Would I be wasting money?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by ehaus81, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. ehaus81

    ehaus81 Guest

    Jan 7, 2007
    My friend in another band suggested that I purchase the Monster Cable Monster Bass cable as it sounds so much better than my current LiveWire cable. Has anyone had any experience with this cable? Is it just marketing or is there an actual appreciable sound difference? Also, since I'm using the effects loop on my amp, would I have to replace the cables that form the loop or just the cable from my bass to my amp?
  2. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    You'll get as many different opinions as you get answers. I'm not sure which one you're talking about. The way I normally see them advertised are Monster Cable's "Good"; "Better"; and "Best". The "Best" is very expensive. I might be way off here, but several years ago they were close to $100.00 for the "Best" (for a 20' cable).

    My son was working in a music store, and the Monster rep came in and did a demo in which he A/B'd the Monster with other cables. The sales staff was impressed, and said you could definitely hear a higher clarity with the expensive Monster. Because my son could get them at a substantial discount, I went ahead and got one. I think it was $40.00 at the time (with the discount). The cable itself is substantially thicker than your normal instrument cable. At home, when I'm playing, I use a Monster "Better" bass cable. It's not as thick. I keep the "Best" in a gig bag with various equipment I take to gigs. To be totally honest, however, I don't notice any difference in the sound when I use them.
  3. toolfann615

    toolfann615 Guest

    Apr 28, 2007
    Albuquerque, NM
    i use them, i dont know how much better they are than regular cables since i went from a $10 20' cable to a 35$ 12' monster (as you can tell i had very bad cables to start with) but the main bargining chip they've got going is the lifetime warranty, if you buy one its the last one of those you'll ever need. if it breaks they replace no questions asked. so id say its worth it just for that, but again i didnt search the market first.
  4. I have a fairly high end Monster Bass cable, an Mogami Gold instument cable ( I really like), a Planet Waves cable with a built-in switch, and several Fender Cali. cables.

    I don't hear any difference between the first three (they cost about $50.00 each), but the cheap cables tend to be more noisey. The cheap ones break more easily too.
  5. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP

    Nov 4, 2006
    I think cables matter, but only to a point. I notice a definite tone improvement in clarity and top end between good and cheap cables. That said, I have a george L and a bayou (that is either mogami or canare) and I can't really hear a difference even though the two are supposed to be different.
  6. MrHarrison

    MrHarrison Guest

    Nov 5, 2007
    Lynnwood, WA
    My experience with such things is that what you are really paying for a lack of failure and replacement/repair in the event of failure (I know, it's technically syntactically incorrect...thhpppt)...which you also happen to get with the Livewire.

    When you filter out the b/s in Monster's technobabble, all you are left with is "solid cable of sufficient gauge and high quality contact points." I'd stick with the Livewire.

  7. Honestly, I can't tell any difference between my Monster and the Mogamis I used to use, tone/clarity-wise. There is, however, a HUGE difference in dependability. I'm kind of rough on my cables, not always recoiling them, and generally treating them with less respect than they deserve. Mogamis never lasted me more than about four months, but I kept buying new ones because they sounded so damned good. Then I bought a 12' Monster 'better' bass cable, and while it sounds the same, it has so far lasted me 14 months, with almost no noticeable wear. Good enough for me, especially for $55.

    One thing to note: The Mogami's I was using were not the thicker, Monster-like ones (a friend of mine uses one of those), so I'm sure that was part of the durability issue.
  8. Beav

    Beav Graphics Whore

    Jul 17, 2003
    Middle Tennessee
    I used to work in a guitar shop and you wouldn't believe how many jacks I had to replace because guys used Monster cables. Apparently, they're larger so they strip out jacks.
  9. I can tell you from working retail these stores pay about 11 bucks for these cables they sell for 30-90 bucks.

    Hype. All hype. Much better than say a 2 dollar Radio Shack cable, but not better than say a Horizon 13 dollar cable. Just prettier.
  10. jbutler1982

    jbutler1982 Guest

    Jul 15, 2007
    Its all about gauge. Thats all that matters when it comes to sound quality. Anything else is bull. Its simple math. A different gauge cable will present more or less resistance to the signal, and that can have a demonstrable effect on signal loss and sound clarity. However, two 18 gauge cables will always sound exactly the same. Two 12 gauge cables will always sound exactly the same. This has been proven on an oscilloscope a thousand times - if it doesn't look different on a frequency graph, it cannot sound different to your ear. Anyone who says they hear differences between two cables of equal gauge is fooling themselves. Further, the signal run needs to be long enough for gauge to come into play. For example, a 12 gauage cable will sound identical to a 18 gauge cable on a 3-foot run - its simple math, the length the signal has to travel isn't long enough to degrade enough for the human ear to detect it. Up to about 20 feet, there is no mathematical difference b/t a 12 guage and 16 gauge cable. Anyone who says they can hear a difference is being deceived - its simple physics that it cannot provide enough harmonic distortion to be perceived by the human ear.

    Most of the dirt-cheap cables are 22 gauge. And you will definately hear a change over the 16-14-12 gauge deluxe cables. But a 16 gauge horizon $10 cable will sound identical to the best monster cable until you get up to 50-70 feet of cable run. And you should never be sending an unbalanced cable on that long a run anyway. Any difference under that length is all in your head.

    There is definately a difference in durability, but not in sound quality. Its physics.

    Further, monster cables use slightly larger connectors than all other cables. Why? because over time in loosens the jack in instruments and amplifiers so that after you use a monster cable for a few months no other cable will fit tight anymore and you have to keep buying monster.

    Buy a few instrument cables from audiopile.net and you're set. Avoid monster unless you need really long cable runs and you don't mind using them for the rest of your life.
  11. It's not "all about gauge." It's about establishing a balanced ratio of conductor resistance to cable capacitance, conductor inductance to cable capacitance, and low electro-mechanical resonance, along with proper shielding and dielectric material selection, and conductor purity and geometry, among other things.

    I've been into two channel hifi music reproduction most of my life (tubes and vinyl, baby!), and speaker, interconnect, and power cables make a tremendous difference in that application (FWIW, Monster's hifi cables are cr@p, but at least they're better than zip-cord)


    As far as bass cables go, if you're pounding out roots 'n fifths all night on a P bass with dead strings, you won't hear much of a difference between instrument cables. OTOH, if you're playing a modern bass into modern high-rez amplification and speakers, a good instrument cable will definitely give you a subtle edge in tonal clarity, note attack, and frequency extension, but nothing even close to the improvements you hear in hifi music reproduction.
  12. jbutler1982

    jbutler1982 Guest

    Jul 15, 2007
    You're the type who keeps the $700 power cable manufacturers in business.

    They did an experiment over at harmony central live sound a while back where they measured different power cables on a scope. They were all exactly the same. The same is true for instrument cables of the same gauge. The human ear CANNOT hear the differences - the human ear has a certain sensitivity, and all those cables produced changes in the scope smaller than the human ear can detect. All those changes you mention simply do not produce enough distortion to matter. Its all in your head.

    With regard to instrument cables, it is "all about gauge". Where the cable runs are so short and the amplifier is putting out .1% THD ANYWAY, making a cable change to some hifi cable that gets you .000004% less THD over the cable run is meaningless.

    Whenever I see a post where someone says something like "trust me, i've been involved in X for Y years", I know something is fishy. Theres no need for any of that. Explain your point. Why do all those things matter? All your post did was state a conclusion, then say "I know what I'm talking about because I've done it for a while." (which may or may not be true).

    How much THD does the change in conductor correct? Is it outside the human sensitivity range? Over how long a cable run? And how in the world will that tiny change in THD be heard in an amplifier that has a THD of .1% anyways?!?
  13. I brought up my exposure to high resolution music reproduction because it's a far more revealing application in which to hear the sonic effect of cable than the comparatively limited resolution of bass amplification.

    Telling me that the obvious differences I hear between power cords are a placebo effect is like me telling you that the same is true of the differences you hear between basses. Have you actually spent some time listening to the sonic effects brought about by different types of cable in a high-rez audio system?

    Simply measuring a cable on a scope tells you exactly the same thing as reading total harmonic distortion spec on a 70's solid-state stereo receiver (they all tested "perfectly" and they all sounded different). If you want to actually learn something about power cables, read this: http://www.geocities.com/jonrisch/ac-cords.htm, or better yet, try listening for yourself. Anecdotal opinions without first-hand experience are meaningless.