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Cables from Monoprice?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I usually stay away from this subforum post-wise because its a minefield for someone like me who is not science or a 100% objective guy. I personally like a little subjectivity in my audio but that's just me. But I am an avid reader nonetheless because I want to learn (I have no idea what people are talking about when they start throwing numbers) from people who know their stuff and plus I want to not get ripped off to an extreme degree.

 

So here's my question: I know the argument that a $1000 or even a $100 USB cables is ridiculous. But what about a $0.99 USB cable from Monoprice? Will it at least be shielded from EMI? If not, will the interference create a noticeable difference in SQ?

 

And if upgrading USB cables is a bad move, what about power cables, RCA cables, speaker cables, and going from unbalanced to balanced? Are they all audio myths as well?

 

I'm not asking as challenge for anyone to prove anything. I'm thinking of replacing every cable in my computer/audio system with cables from Monoprice because my computer/listening area is a Mecca of messy multi-colored cables. If I can replace them all with black, non-branded cables without losing any SQ for under $30, it'd be awesome (I'm anal about neatness, uniformity, and black is good color. So yeah, that's the rationalization for what I'm doing).

 

Thank you and any advice is appreciated.


Edited by NinjaSquirt - 12/31/11 at 10:41pm
post #2 of 23

If anything you should be adding SQ to your system.

post #3 of 23

I like buying cables from Monoprice. no problems with any of the cables I bought from them.

post #4 of 23

Stick to Monoprice.

As for cables, everything you listed is mythological apart from balanced operation, which does have advantages for very long cable runs. Driving headphones with balanced amplifiers, however, is not generally a good idea and the benefits reported are largely mythological, or perhaps a factor of the higher effective output impedance of balanced drive in general (so not really "improvements" at all.) Some engineers at Benchmark Audio have spoken about this: I'm sure you can dig out their stuff with Google.

post #5 of 23
The monoprice price cables are really good for the money, I find the proel die hard ic's much better quality there more flexiable and more durable because the connectors are molded on the cables.
post #6 of 23

I really like Monoprice's USB cables and display cables - they're excellent.  I especially like the display cables.

 

But I don't really like their RCA interconnects (somewhat shoddy and definitely cheap-looking connectors) - although I buy them anyway because there isn't anything else that good in the same price range.  Even Blue Jeans Cable is ridiculously priced in comparison.

 

I don't like and would never buy again their banana plugs.  The non-locking kind wear out with repeated use and eventually go limp in binding posts - potentially causing shorts.  I use a knife to pull out the springy bits and make them tight again, but they also go loose at several other points.  Basically, stick to bare wire, spades, or locking banana plugs.  The locking kind (I want to get the ones by GLS) don't wear like that, although they are quite a bit more expensive.

post #7 of 23

USB is used for digital communications.  You'll only get any degradation if the bits that are transmitted are incorrect, i.e. there is enough noise and you get unlucky enough, such that a '1' gets interpreted as a '0' or vice versa.  It also depends on the mode of USB operation as to how errors are handled, if at all.  That's mostly an issue with excessively long cables, not really cheap ones.

 

I haven't had an issue with Monoprice USB cables in terms of physical durability or anything like that.

 

With speaker cables you need to be more careful, since if the wires are too long and too thin, they will have non-negligible impedance compared to the speakers they are connected to.  Just get the cheapest thing with sufficiently low gauge for the length of cable used and impedance of the speakers.

post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackbeardBen View Post

I really like Monoprice's USB cables and display cables - they're excellent.  I especially like the display cables.

 

But I don't really like their RCA interconnects (somewhat shoddy and definitely cheap-looking connectors) - although I buy them anyway because there isn't anything else that good in the same price range. 

 

 

Tartan ? - These are like the Monoprice Premiums but have a hefty $5 price tag http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/125/tartanrq2.jpg/

 

post #9 of 23

If you end up with a USB cable from Monoprice that doesn't give you exactly the same performance as any other USB cable, then you should inform Monoprice because they are selling a USB cable that doesn't meet the USB specifications, so it shouldn't be sold as a USB cable in the first place. This is why there is a specification. Yes, it's really that simple.

 

EDIT: You may find that the $0.99 cable might be lacking in build quality and/or aesthetics, compared to a $5 cable. But it won't perform any worse.


Edited by Iniamyen - 1/3/12 at 10:44am
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaSquirt View Post
I usually stay away from this subforum post-wise because its a minefield for someone like me who is not science or a 100% objective guy. I personally like a little subjectivity in my audio but that's just me. But I am an avid reader nonetheless because I want to learn (I have no idea what people are talking about when they start throwing numbers) from people who know their stuff and plus I want to not get ripped off to an extreme degree.

So here's my question: I know the argument that a $1000 or even a $100 USB cables is ridiculous. But what about a $0.99 USB cable from Monoprice? Will it at least be shielded from EMI? If not, will the interference create a noticeable difference in SQ?

And if upgrading USB cables is a bad move, what about power cables, RCA cables, speaker cables, and going from unbalanced to balanced? Are they all audio myths as well?

I'm not asking as challenge for anyone to prove anything. I'm thinking of replacing every cable in my computer/audio system with cables from Monoprice because my computer/listening area is a Mecca of messy multi-colored cables. If I can replace them all with black, non-branded cables without losing any SQ for under $30, it'd be awesome (I'm anal about neatness, uniformity, and black is good color. So yeah, that's the rationalization for what I'm doing).

Thank you and any advice is appreciated.


I would not be surprised if other "Name Brand" cables come from the same source that Monoprice gets theirs from.

 

 

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post


I would not be surprised if other "Name Brand" cables come from the same source that Monoprice gets theirs from.

 

 



^ this

post #12 of 23

What about the Monoprice Premium RCA cables like this one?

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10218&cs_id=1021814&p_id=5347&seq=1&format=2

 

Do you guys think it has enough shielding to properly reject noise from AC power cords?  The reason I ask is that I just changed out my subwoofer location and now it has to pass by a rat's nest of 120V AC lines that my equipment is powered from.  I am concerned I could pick up 60Hz hum in my subwoofer.

 

What I find interesting is the mainstream use of twisted pair wires for RCA interconnects compared to what seems to me being the "correct" coaxial 75 ohm cables.   What is the impedance of twisted pair cables?

Also, one would think that metal braid shielded coaxial cable would reject noise much better than twisted pair that aren't shielded by a metal jacket.

 

EDIT:  Okay, so I noobishly overlooked that the impedance of cables is apparently specified at 100MHz.  In this case, audible frequencies should have negligible impedance and therefore no impedance mismatch concerns if using coaxial vs twisted pair cables.  Do twisted pair cables have inferior 60Hz hum rejection compared to shielded coaxial cable?

 


Edited by headfinoob - 2/21/12 at 1:41am
post #13 of 23

Another satisfied Monoprice user. I've swapped out more expensive cables and cannot tell the difference. Let me put it this way: Cables are the LAST place I spend money. There's a reason 

Best Buy is selling Monster cables to the Rubes who  buy Bose. 

post #14 of 23

I'm also plenty satisfied from monoprice :D

 

INtiI.jpg

post #15 of 23
My monprice has started to fall apart, I had no sound though 1 speaker I wiggled about at the connector joints and the sound came back the soldering on the cable is shoddy the cable hasn't been mistreated and is the first cable i've had fail, it was a xlr female to trs balanced cable maybe there other cables aren't as bad.
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