October 04, 2007
Wired for Sound

Everyone's favorite psychic debunkerhas decided to take on my own favorite junk-science hobby, high-end hi-fi. James Randi is offering $1 million to anyone who can prove a $7500 cable is any better than an $80 one.

I was just getting started in the hobby when Monster Cable made its debut. Until that point, the "big secret" of stereo gear was .25c/ft. lamp cord you got from the hardware store. Half a dozen double-blind tests from the likes of Stereo Review and Hi-Fi (back before Monster Cable became a major ad buyer) showed zero difference between this pedestrian staple and the $20/ft stuff available from MC.

Twenty-five years later, absolutely nothing has changed. While I don't actually use lamp cord (it's not exactly an attractive choice), I have no qualms whatever buying the much cheaper store-brand cables and wire. I also have zero sympathy with the sales drone who tries to sell me something fancier. It's simply not worth it because it doesn't matter. Really!

But hey, it's your money. Who knows how many Chinese workers are being kept employed by loons purchasing hyper-expensive copper wire?

Posted by scott at October 04, 2007 11:39 AM

eMail this entry!

Funny, Joshua and I were discussing this very thing in reference to HDMI cable for the BFTV...was Monster's $70 cable (for 3 feet!) any better than an "off brand" Acoustic Research's $30 cable.

Posted by: Mark on October 4, 2007 12:03 PM

I don't remember what we bought to wire up my Downstairs. I do remember it was a PITA to do it though.

Posted by: jeff on October 4, 2007 05:07 PM

Well, to be fair, it IS possible for some cables to be better than others.

...when you're talking about military-grade radio systems pumping multiple kilowatts down a single cable at 4300 GHz, that is.

Posted by: DensityDuck on October 4, 2007 06:12 PM
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