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  1. #1

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    Thumbs up Signal Cable vs Monster Cable - Speaker Cable

    Demo: Signal Cable Double Run (8ft Length) vs Monster Cable Original (8ft Length)

    Receiver/Amplifier: Sony STR-DA2ES 6.1 AVR (2003)

    Source: Sony CDP-745, 5 Disc Changer(1993)

    Selections: School Of Fish(School of Fish)/ Sheryl Crow(Sheryl Crow)/ Luscious Jackson(Luscious Jackson)/ Maxwell(Embrya) I chose all self titled, because I was weird that day.

    Speakers: Polk Audio RTi38, wall mounted on BT-77 BTech brackets(Dynamatted). 5 deg downtilt, 2 deg toe-in, 7 ft separation.

    Enviroment: 13' x 18', basic room.

    Listener(s): dorokusai


    Demo: This is actually a preview of a full on review. The cables are not burned in enough to justify a full review, IMO.

    I will offer my immediate thoughts, as the change in the sound was quite obvious.

    Construction:

    Signal Cable - The conductor - stranded high purity oxygen-free annealed copper

    PE Insulation offers low capacitance and low series resistance for improved frequency response over long distance cable runs

    Twisted design reduces Electro-magnetic interference (EMI) Noise

    DC resistance/1000' - 4.5 Ohms
    Nom. Capacitance - 4 pf/1KHz
    (per Signal Cable website)

    Simply put, the SC is an OFC heavy gauge wire covered in a PE jacket. The cables were pre-terminated with Analysis Plus Banana plugs on each end. Cable is covered in a black sleeve, crimps are solid and overall quality is hard-on level. This cable looks like its ready to kick your arse.


    http://signalcable.com/images/DoubleRunSingleWire.jpg

    Monster Cable -

    ADVANCED TIME CORRECT HIGH DEFINITION SPEAKER CABLE

    Time Correct windings and Magnetic Flux Tube constructions deliver a new level of speaker cable performance
    The new Monster Cable uses large gauge construction for improved power transfer and adds the latest advances from Monster's highest performance audiophile cable designs. Special Time Correct windings control distortion producing magnetic fields for a smoother, more natural re-creation of the music. Patented Magnetic Flux Tube construction provides improved bass response and dynamic range, important for home theatre and top quality music systems. A special LPE jacket minimizes dielectric distortions for smoother, more natural sounding highs. These advanced technologies in the new Monster Cable provide impressive sonic improvements, allowing you to listen into the music to more realistically experience the original recorded performance.

    Flexible, round jacket for easy routing and installation
    The new Monster Cable also features an entirely new, flexible, round shape that allows it to be smoothly run through round holes for easy installation. And our DuraFlex jacketing which is UV stabilized, and abrasion and chemical resistant keeps the cable looking good as well as sounding good.

    Patented 24k Angled Gold Pins with our Lock-Notch design for a superior connection
    Monster Angled Gold Pins are designed to provide an excellent connection for both push-type connectors and popular 5-way binding posts. The convenient angle makes it easy to get to hard-to-reach places. And our OmniFlex color-coded insulators take the strain off the connecting point allowing flexible rotation in all directions.

    Get all the sound you paid for. Monsterize your entire sound system
    With new Monster Cable you'll be able to maximize your loudspeakers performance to get all the sound you paid for. For improved performance throughout the entire playback system, we invite you to audition our Interlink and Monster Video high performance audio and video interconnects for the best possible performance and the most enjoyment from all your audio and video components.

    (per Monster Cable website)

    Simply put, the MC is a OFC heavy gauge wire covered in a heavy duty LPE jacket. The cables were terminated with Phoenix Gold Banana BI-Plugs. It is not pretty like the SC. The cable is basically a raw OFC heavy guage cable covered in clear LPE. This is a higher level of MC speaker cable. I have owned this run for many years, and it is extremely burned in.


    http://www.monstercable.com/productPage.asp?pin=39

    The difference in jacket composition of both, is n/a or negligible.

    Demo: My main keyword in the whole review, is Depth. The cables from minute 1, exibited more depth than the MC. It is hard to explain, but all the music auditioned thru them feels "heavier", feels more well developed. Everything played through my source, just feels like it has substance now, like....fook....I cannot explain it. The MIT's originally opened up my soundstage so much that I thought I would ****e myself. The SC has been the best compliment to the MIT's AND my system. Thank You F1Nut for letting me demo your MIT babies....oh and keep them safe :D

    Example: Maxwell(Embrya) was pronounced and punchy, I was realy impressed. The bass, was so tight, I heard the pad hitting the drum, not just the thump. Midrange for his voice was really motivating as a listener.


    I honestly cannot expound on any benefits of the MC as oppossed to the SC in any way. The SC speaker cables completely blow them out of the water, IMO. This is just 2 hours into the configuration.

    Conclusion: I feel the SC speaker wires from day 1, have outdone my years old MC. Is this a fair comparison? Yes it is. The price is very competitive, and comparable to its MC counterpart.

    MC is not going to cut custom lengths for you either, so waste is a factor. The self-termination factor of the MC is fine if that's what you want, but the pre-terminated Analysis Plus goodies on the Double Run are so good looking you should re-consider. The SC is also available with un-terminated ends. Honestly, I think this is an outstanding cable, and the best value you could possibly ask for.

    You will not be disappointed


    I apologize if this has been a loose review.

  2. #2

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    Great review. I wonder how the SC would stand up against the M1.4 I have?? Is the RTi38 bi-wireable?

    Signal Cable is good stuff and I have Russ to thank for recommending my Analog 2.

    Yes the Analog 2 is "just" Belden cable. But I did a search for the exact model # cable, and it turns out that particular cable is famous in DIY cable making circles and beats out OEM cables costs hundreds more.

    I'm sure Frank got his start in the DIY community, so none of this surprised me. The Belden he uses in the Analog 2 is only surpassed by another even more expensive Belden cable. I also read that the quality of the terminations makes a big difference with the Belden, and Frank doesn't skimp in that department.

    Doc
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  3. #3

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    Doro, great preview! I am glad you immediately experienced the difference! Back in '85, I bought a pair of MC original clear cable (heavy 12 gauges) and thought those were so special (since I paid premium back then, and not to mention that the wire myths was considered black magic by average joe) When I got my SC, I retired my MC and who knows, it might become a collectible vintage one of these days. Having said that, I recently missed out a great deal on HTF in which a MC M2.4 8ft was offered for $200 almost new. I am curious as to compare them, since M1.4 and M2.4 were the two MC reference with great review. They are overpriced, that's why I am interested to own if the price is substantially less (M2.4 8ft retailed north of $400)
    I am sorry, I have no opinion on the matter. I am sure you do. So, don't mind me, I just want to talk audio and pie.

  4. #4

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    Thanks guys. :)

    No the RTi-38 isn't bi-wire capable, it would be a nice feature.

    I wanted to stay in the same theory of the MC wire, beings that it had individual runs for + and - . I have heard alot of good things about the M series, it would compare favorably I am sure. I am really just blown away with the quality of the cable, its nice and heavy also. The MC original just looks plain compared to high end speaker cables, MC M included. Belden is aok in my book, lol.

    The video cables and digital coax showed up today, so a mini-review will be coming for them also. Now I can actually hear DTS, this should be good :)

  5. #5
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    Good stuff Dorok.

    I notice that Signal Cable appears to be very popular with a crowd who are hesitant about wire..

    Your review seems to be a testimony of that bridge signal seems to be creating for its customer base.

    Good review, glad to see you are reaping the benefits.

    When funds allow (probably not for many, many months), I will conduct a shoot out between my Ixos wire, some Kimber 4tc, and the Signal cable. Three different classes (if you go by price).

    As for Monster cable. The M series is not worth the coin in my opinion, not by a long shot. It looks cool. Its heavy. It disappointed me.

    Congrats on the purchase.

    Sean

  6. #6

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    Sean, sounds like you really dig cables. ;) Right on man, why spend a $1000 on a component and never reach it's potiential by masking it with bad cables?

    I'll be getting a Signal Cable Magic Power Cord in the mail next week. I've never ventured into the power cord realm before. It should be interesting. After it burns in, I'll be borrowing a wack of power cords from my local shop and have a shoot out. It'll be fun.

    Here's a question. Could I burn in that power on my computer while I work? Or should burn it in through some audio equipment?

    Derick.
    SDA-2a, Anthem Pre-2L, Anthem Amp 1, MF A324 DAC, Rotel RCD1070

    Senn HD650 Cardas, Mapletree Audio Ear+ HD2, Kimber KS1030, Bel Canto DAC2, M-Audio Transit, Laptop.

  7. #7

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    You know at the end of the day it's not the brand on the cable it's the way it sounds that matters....

    Having said that Beldon cable company is a well respected custom wire company.I have used it for years with steller results.I don't however think it's better then most premade interconnects made by monstercable.DIY is something in custom we do every single day.I built thousands upon thousands of cables from speaker wires,digital coax,interconnects(Analog),Cable and dss feeds,Network cat5e,phone,etc.Proper termination is key.Poor ends result in poor performance.

    What Signal cable is offerring you is a nice quality hand built product that will out perform most cheaper interconnects.Once you get into higher quality interconnects and speaker wire,the signal cable/Beldon products start to be left behind.

    Doc your M1.4s will crush the 16/4 signal cable bi wires.Yes they cost 300.00 for a reason new.But for what your paying for the 16/4,it's a very fair price.If I was Frank and selling my cables,I would ask his prices or even maybe alittle more.Mantis cable might hold alittle more value then a Frank cable.........LOL!!!Huh...Mantiscable.......hmmmmm ......Mantiscable.com.....

    All joking aside cool review.I dig wire shootouts.It doesn't really matter to me who wins or looses.It's the fact that you can hear a difference between the 2 cables is what tickles me.....Sweet.
    Dan
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    coming soon!
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  8. #8

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    Originally posted by mantis
    Doc your M1.4s will crush the 16/4 signal cable bi wires.Yes they cost 300.00 for a reason new.
    I'll take your word for it Dan. All I know is that I'm very VERY happy with your recommendations on the 3803, 2900, M1.4, and Russ' recommendation on the Analog 2. The combination is most excellent - synergy - the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

    Doc
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

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  9. #9

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    Post Power Cable Burn In

    Originally posted by dcarlson
    Here's a question. Could I burn in that power on my computer while I work? Or should burn it in through some audio equipment?
    Derick.

    The ideal way to burn in a power cable is with a high current power amplifier playing lots of bass heavy music.;)

  10. #10

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    Originally posted by mantis
    Mantis cable might hold alittle more value then a Frank cable.........LOL!!!Huh...Mantiscable.......hmmmmm ......Mantiscable.com.....

    All joking aside cool review.I dig wire shootouts.It doesn't really matter to me who wins or looses.It's the fact that you can hear a difference between the 2 cables is what tickles me.....Sweet.
    Dan
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    coming soon!
    And they can be bright green and yellow. Some good model names, Locus, Grasshopper and Praying Mantis.

    Praying Mantis: One listen and you'll be dying over them....
    Damn....8 lines...I've gotta put my sig on a diet now....

  11. #11

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    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

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    I'm thinking about getting that speaker wire for the LSi15s. Anything else I should consider? I know Frank is the bees knees and all that, but I'm just curious if there are any others out there to think about before I make the dive?

    I tend to be pretty loyal, so if I buy 2 runs of wire for my mains and I like them, eventually my ICs, power cords, and other speaker wire will be Signal Cable.

    Anything will be a step up from what I have now.

  13. #13

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    right now the bulk of my cables are AQ, I have been very tempted to try SC, myself. and I like you would then need most of my cables if not all to match. could be pretty expensive. But I only hear good things about SC.

  14. #14

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    I have both AudioQuest and Signal Cable. I really like them both. Most of my speaker cables and power cables are SC while most of my interconnects are AQ. Back in the days of the Cable Swap I had an entire rig set up with Signal Cable and it was very nice. SC may be the better value.

    Some of the Anti HI-FI Audio Insurgents (I just love that phrase big Ted came up with) will probably jump in to tell you to get some lamp cord from Home Depot and call it a day.
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  15. #15

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    I have analog 2 IC's and l love them; AQ type 4 for speaker cables, but need another pair and SC seems like a good option....I've also been looking into the "anticables"...they are supposed to be good; anyone tried them? Great reviews...
    http://www.anticables.com/
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by shack
    Some of the Anti HI-FI Audio Insurgents (I just love that phrase big Ted came up with) will probably jump in to tell you to get some lamp cord from Home Depot and call it a day.
    :(

    Most of the taste you guys have is far more refined than I could ever hope for myself. I can definitely tell a difference in quality cables and wire. If it's all in my head, well, I think it's worth the money.

  17. #17

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    I'll say it first...

    Go get some lamp cord from Home Depot and call it a day.;)

    I'm still really not a firm believer that certain brands make a difference in sound as long as the quality is there.

    I did shell out a few bucks and get some BestDealcables speaker wires for my LSi15's and did notice a difference, just something I'd say very negligible.

    Maybe when we have the gathering this summer, I might change my mind.

    Mike

  18. #18
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    That reminds me, I need to pull Maxwell Embrya off the shelf and listen to it. I don't think I've listened to it on my current setup.

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    I picked up some SC double run locally for real cheap (only half was terminated) just to give it a shot.

    I love it. Quality of construction is awesome for the price. I was shocked at how thick and high-end it looked and felt. Heavy cables, and anything heavy seems to be better in this hobby.

    I'm definitely gonna try some of Frank's other stuff when I have a need.
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  20. #20

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    Let's just hope that JohnADA doesn't see this thread and start trashing it!
    Robert
    Quote Originally Posted by zombie boy 2000
    You are officially in the high-end of the deep-end of the top-end.

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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by shack
    Anti HI-FI Audio Insurgents (I just love that phrase big Ted came up with)

    You know it ShackDaddy, one day we will shorten it to AHAI, we will talk about it when we meet to discuss the secret handshake.

    I am RT1 unclean, unwashed, unshaven, audio wire buying Infidel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shack
    Some of the Anti HI-FI Audio Insurgents (I just love that phrase big Ted came up with) will probably jump in to tell you to get some lamp cord from Home Depot and call it a day.
    I was just thinkming that some of that there orange stuff from Home.......oh never mind.:) :) :) :) :)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demiurge
    I'm thinking about getting that speaker wire for the LSi15s. Anything else I should consider? I know Frank is the bees knees and all that, but I'm just curious if there are any others out there to think about before I make the dive?

    I tend to be pretty loyal, so if I buy 2 runs of wire for my mains and I like them, eventually my ICs, power cords, and other speaker wire will be Signal Cable.

    Anything will be a step up from what I have now.
    Damn you guys keep digging up the old ones. But i love it.

    To answer your question, I suggest for your Lsi15's is Audioquest Rockefellers. Or stepping down to type 8 bi wires or straight 2 conductors will also work well.

    Good luck with your wires man.

    Dan
    Dan
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  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by reeltrouble1
    You know it ShackDaddy, one day we will shorten it to AHAI, we will talk about it when we meet to discuss the secret handshake.

    I am RT1 unclean, unwashed, unshaven, audio wire buying Infidel.
    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAA

    Dan busting out the old flava o' the month chart. Just like old times.

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    Advanced Time Correct High Definition Speaker Cable?! Talk about Snake Oil - WOW!!! LOL
    Do you hear that buzzing noise?

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyD
    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAA

    Dan busting out the old flava o' the month chart. Just like old times.

    BDT
    oldies but goodies. You know you miss me.

    Dan:D
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    Quote Originally Posted by candyliquor35m
    That reminds me, I need to pull Maxwell Embrya off the shelf and listen to it. I don't think I've listened to it on my current setup.
    That's a bad ass album.

    I didn't realize until now, that this is one of my first, "useful" posts on the forum after I joined....before I became jaded and mean.

    It's still an excellent bang for buck cable and the construction makes BJC look like kindergarten toys. Canare terminations are lame.
    Last edited by dorokusai; 02-14-2007 at 09:43 PM.

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    Hey guys,

    I am currently looking for speaker wires, probably just for the surrounds, but if the deal is good, I'll rewire all 5 speakers.

    My setup is in the signature. The runs will be around 10 ft to each main, same to center, and around 25 ft to each surround speaker, so total 80 feet should do the trick.

    Can anyone recommend good wire, best "bang for a buck", either locally in Houston (Texas), Toronto (ON, Canada), or online? I am on a pretty tight budget, so probably 14 AWG will do (maybe 12 to mains?).

    Thanks!
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    Excellent review! Love my Signal speaker cables. :)
    Main System: Polk SDA SRS 1.2 Speakers, Sunfire Signature 600~two Amp, Carver C-16 Preamp, Carver TX-11b Tuner, Marantz 6350Q TT, Philips CDR-775 Recorder, Teac V-707RX Cassette Deck, Signal Cable Double Run Speaker Cable

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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperZ
    Hey guys,

    I am currently looking for speaker wires, probably just for the surrounds, but if the deal is good, I'll rewire all 5 speakers.

    My setup is in the signature. The runs will be around 10 ft to each main, same to center, and around 25 ft to each surround speaker, so total 80 feet should do the trick.

    Can anyone recommend good wire, best "bang for a buck", either locally in Houston (Texas), Toronto (ON, Canada), or online? I am on a pretty tight budget, so probably 14 AWG will do (maybe 12 to mains?).

    Thanks!
    OK. First off, the longer the run the larger the wire. Not the other way around. But in your case, as short a your surround runs are 14 AWG will be good for everything.

    IMHO, the best "bang for the buck" is always DIY. Check out this excellent post by mlhm5,
    http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49044

    There are also many online resources for speaker cables. Blue Jeans Cable, BetterCables, Signal Cable and AudioQuest just to name a few. What specialty cable shops offer is high quality materials put together in a painstaking fashion. Some use very exotic stuff and most are down right pretty.

    But know this. On the sonic front, and were talking speaker cables here not interconnects. When you start laying out the bucks, you quickly hit the point of diminishing returns.
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    Polk Audio LSiC, center
    Polk Audio LC65i in wall, surrounds
    SVS PB12-Plus Piano Black
    Outlaw PCA interconnects
    BetterCables for HDMI & SUB

    Master Bedroom
    Sony KDL-46XBR4
    Sony 40GB PS3, 2nd Blu-Ray Disc
    Polk Audio i-Sonic

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