Can you tell the difference between music that passed through a pricey Monster stereo Cable, and a coat hanger? A reader forwarded us a post from the Audioholics Home Theater Forum and its author says no. He says his brother ran an experiment on him and four other audio aficionados listening to a new CD from a new group blindfolded. Seven different songs were played, each time heard with the speaker hooked up to Monster Cables, and the other time, hooked up to coat hanger wire. Nobody could determine which was the Monster Cable and which was the coat hanger. The kicker? None of the subjects even knew that coat hangers were going to be used. This is, of course, “nothing new,” a Google of “monster cables vs coat hangers” shows that some users have been saying this for a while. Still, this is an experiment begging to be recreated under controlled conditions (say, for instance, a double-blind test). Science fair project! Read how it went down, inside…
I’m so sorry, but I do not buy into 90% of the hype brought to us audiophiles by the commercial sector of our hobby and the home entertainment industry at large. My brother, an audio engineering whiz kid has proven to me what is real and what is not. Let me rehearse with you an example of how he does this.
We gathered up a 5 of our audio buddies. We took my “old” Martin Logan SL-3 (not a bad speaker for accurate noise making) and hooked them up with Monster 1000 speaker cables [ed. Monster Ultra Series THX 1000 Audio Interconnects] (decent cables according to the audio press). We also rigged up 14 gauge, oxygen free Belden stranded copper wire with a simple PVC jacket. Both were 2 meters long. They were connected to an ABX switch box allowing blind fold testing. Volume levels were set at 75 Db at 1000K Hz. A high quality recording of smooth, trio, easy listening jazz was played (Piano, drums, bass). None of us had heard this group or CD before, therefore eliminating biases. The music was played. Of the 5 blind folded, only 2 guessed correctly which was the monster cable. (I was not one of them). This was done 7 times in a row! Keeping us blind folded, my brother switched out the Belden wire (are you ready for this) with simple coat hanger wire! Unknown to me and our 12 audiophile buddies, prior to the ABX blind test, he took apart four coat hangers, reconnected them and twisted them into a pair of speaker cables. Connections were soldered. He stashed them in a closet within the testing room so we were not privy to what he was up to. This made for a pair of 2 meter cables, the exact length of the other wires. The test was conducted. After 5 tests, none could determine which was the Monster 1000 cable or the coat hanger wire. Further, when music was played through the coat hanger wire, we were asked if what we heard sounded good to us. All agreed that what was heard sounded excellent, however, when A-B tests occurred, it was impossible to determine which sounded best the majority of the time and which wire was in use. Needless to say, after the blind folds came off and we saw what my brother did, we learned he was right…most of what manufactures have to say about their products is pure hype. It seems the more they charge, the more hyped it is.
This is for a short run of cable. If you’re going over 50 ft, then you may benefit from better shielding, but for most home people’s home theaters, this is not the case. Remember folks, just because something performs better spec-wise doesn’t mean it actually sounds better. Specs are one thing, psychoacoustics are another. Of course, a coat hanger doesn’t have a Monster Cable lifetime warranty, so if your coat hanger breaks, you’ll have to go out and buy another coat hanger.
Speakers; When is good enough, enough [Audioholics] (Thanks to Shane!)