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Author Topic: Say what you want about Monster Cables...  (Read 1611 times)
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« on: February 06, 2006, 10:09:20 PM »

... but I'm a recent convert.

I've been fiddling with trying to get my GameCube's signal into my computer through my video capture card.  It worked fine but was always very blurry with lots of visual artifacts and what appeared to be smearing around the edges of the on-screen models.  I had been using a basic Radio Shack S-video cable and on a whim today I bought the Monster Cable Gamelink 300 GC S-video cable.  On the way home I kept telling myself that I wasted my money and would probably take it back because I wouldn't notice a difference.

Well I was stunned.  The picture was amazingly sharp and the artifacts were gone and the only thing that I changed was the cable.  Now maybe I'm noticing it more because of the high resolution of my monitor (LCD 1280x1024) instead of a TV but the difference was immediately clear with every game I tried.  I used to joke about the placebo effect and how ridiculously overpriced the cables were but now I'm a believer.
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2006, 11:22:18 PM »

Keep an eye out for Monster cables used at Gamestop. It isn't that uncommon to get them in, and the skus used for system cables aren't brand specific, so you can walk away with some good quality cables cheap. Same goes for a lot of other used accessories (e.g. I got a Nyko PSP charger case for 7 or 8 bucks).
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bluntman72
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2006, 01:42:31 AM »

for consoles Monster cables are good cause you have no other high end options, for anything else shop around.
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cirdan
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2006, 05:23:56 PM »

Wait a second, the GameCube uses a proprietary connector. So are you using an off-brand all-in-one cable or did you pick up a basic S-Video cable from the Shack with an RCA to S-Video converter? If you are using the converter, then you are adding noise to the signal. If one of your cables is also going bad, then quality will definitely suffer.

I'm not saying that Monster Cables are junk, but the hefty premium is more about the brand than it is about how the cables are manufactured. Nintendo also sells its own S-Video cable on-line. I wonder how that would fair against the Monster?

- David
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2006, 05:41:01 PM »

The one I was using was a Radio Shack brand Gamecube S-video cable.  It didn't have a RCA converter/adaptor but it did have audio jacks in addition to the S-video connector.

I'm not sure how it would test against Nintendo's own S-video cable but that would be interesting to find out.  The Monster Cable I bought was actually marked at $19.99 even though it retails for more.  It seemed like a good deal for the price.  Oddly enough their corresponding PS2 S-video cable cost $39.99.   :evil:
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Thin_J
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« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2006, 05:58:25 PM »

Quote from: "warning"
lotsa stuff


It's not that there's anything wrong with Monster Cables, at least not the cables themselves.

The problem is that you can get other cables that are shielded just as well for half the price. Sure, $40 for cables is still expensive, but if they perform just as well as the $80 Monster Cable set, I'm sold.

Any shielded cable would have given you far better quality on your picture than a generic Radio Shack unshielded cable.

I'd say it's a solid bet that your original cable was picking up a lot of noise from your computer and other hardware.
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2006, 06:01:07 PM »

Good to know.  I'm new to this as you can tell by the fact that I was using a Radio Shack brand cable!

What are some other good brands to look out for when shopping for shielded cables?
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Thin_J
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2006, 06:10:18 PM »

Just as an example, I used to have an unshielded cable on my subwoofer on my home theater setup, only every time the dog walked past and nudged the cable there was a loud buzzing noise. The damned animal only did it when no one was in the room for a couple of months.

So there would be this noise, and then I would come running thinking my stereo was going to explode.

Then one night she stood on it while I was watching TV.

Fixed that in a hurry.

Anywho, shielded cables:

I'm not going to tell you they're all created equal because they're not. But in general the differences will be minor.

If you get into big fat detail on it and examine every little layer of shielding, yes, the Monster Cable set you have will likely be the best consumer-level cable you can get.

I've had good luck eliminating noise with a couple of other brands though. The one I used to replace the above mentioned subwoofer cable was from a company called Acoustic Research. I ordered it online for like $10.

I have an optical audio cable from them too that fixed a weird fuzziness on all my home theater speakers. Funny story: before that optical cable I was using a little spindly thing I bought from... come on, you can guess it...

Radio Shack.

As always, YMMV. I've never hooked anything up to my computer before. All those cables hanging out the back probably make good shielding kind of a big deal. I would assume that's why monitor cables are always so thick-feeling and don't bend very well.
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2006, 06:17:03 PM »

Quote

I've had good luck eliminating noise with a couple of other brands though. The one I used to replace the above mentioned subwoofer cable was from a company called Acoustic Research. I ordered it online for like $10.


Yeah, I was going to recommend AR as well.  The majority of my component cables are AR.
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bluntman72
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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2006, 06:18:55 PM »

Does Acoustic Research do console cables? I would buy them over monster if I was given the choice but I have never seen any other high end cables for consoles other than Monster.
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cirdan
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« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2006, 06:14:19 PM »

Quote from: "warning"
The Monster Cable I bought was actually marked at $19.99 even though it retails for more.  It seemed like a good deal for the price.  Oddly enough their corresponding PS2 S-video cable cost $39.99.   :evil:


Yeah, I expect to see higher prices like that from Monster Cable. At $19.99 you got a nice deal on the GameCube cable.
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« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2006, 09:00:28 PM »

Quote from: "cirdan"
Quote from: "warning"
The Monster Cable I bought was actually marked at $19.99 even though it retails for more.  It seemed like a good deal for the price.  Oddly enough their corresponding PS2 S-video cable cost $39.99.   :evil:


Yeah, I expect to see higher prices like that from Monster Cable. At $19.99 you got a nice deal on the GameCube cable.

Yeah.. the Nintendo one is $16 + shipping.

I'm using Nintendo's component adapter, $30 plus shipping.  No problems except some banding in Wind Waker (on the ocean.)
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Bob
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« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2006, 09:04:37 PM »

On a side note: of course you noticed a change.  You went from the worst possible option to the best possible option.

The anti-Monster arguement isn't: Radio Shack = Monster
It's that Monster is not worth the price over middle-grade stuff.  Like MS's or Nintendo's own accessories.
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2006, 09:26:46 PM »

Quote from: "Bob"
On a side note: of course you noticed a change.  You went from the worst possible option to the best possible option.

The anti-Monster arguement isn't: Radio Shack = Monster
It's that Monster is not worth the price over middle-grade stuff.  Like MS's or Nintendo's own accessories.

Well if someone wants to send me their Nintendo S-video cable I'd be happy to post screenshots with it and with the Monster Cable I'm now using.   Tongue

I'm not sure there'd be much difference either but it might be fun to try.
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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2006, 01:26:54 AM »

Oh man, don't even get me started on cables again.  biggrin
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ChaoZ
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« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2006, 01:33:45 AM »

On a slight tangent, are gamecube HD cables still only from Nintendo direct? I know they removed the HD support from later Gamecubes, but mine is one of the older ones.
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