Monster Cables

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As part of the re-setting-up of my home theater system, I’ve decided I want to do away with all the crappy, chintzy cables that hold everything together and update to some actual quality cables.

I went searching on the Monster Cable site and found that they offer somewhere close to eighty gazillion different “levels” of cable. While I somehow don’t feel like I’ll be going for the ultra-high-end ones, I think it’s not entirely unreasonable to look for something in the middle-to-upper end.

I put together this “cable hierarchy” guide for the people cruising the site wondering which cable series is better than which. It’s probably not complete because I didn’t invest a whole lot of time into it, but it gives you an idea. From “worst” to “best,” here you go…

Audio Cables

Monster Cable Core Products

  • Interlink Junior
  • Interlink 100
  • Interlink 200
  • Interlink 250
  • Interlink 300
  • Interlink Reference
  • Z100i
  • Z200i

M Series

  • M350i
  • M550i
  • M850i
  • M950i
  • M1000i

Sigma Retro

  • Sigma Retro

Video Cables

Monster Cable Core Products

  • Monster Video 1
  • Monster Video 2
  • Monster Video 3
  • Z300

M Series

  • M500
  • M1000
  • M2000

The thing about that chart you need to remember is that the top end of the Monster Cable Core Products section will overlap slightly with the bottom end of the M Series stuff, particularly in price. So if you have the choice of the top end of the Core Products or the bottom end of the M Series, take the top end Core Product.

Monster Cable also puts out a set of THX certified cables for audio and video. They all run on the same scale and end up somewhere in the low-to-middle end of the M Series cables from the above charts (at least, price-wise). The THX cable scale goes like this:

THX Cables

  • Standard
  • 600
  • 800
  • 1000

Price comparison-wise, as of this morning when I checked things out, this was the cost for a dual-RCA cable 2m/6ft long (the kind you connect your right-and-left audio channels on your VCR to the TV with):

  • $10 - Interlink Junior
  • $20 - Standard THX
  • $50 - M350i
  • $130 - Interlink Reference
  • $130 - THX 1000
  • $300 - M1000i
  • $1500 - Sigma Retro

No, that’s not a typo on the Sigma Retro set. It really is $1500 for six feet of cable. I only wish I had the disposable income to throw down on cables like that.

I think I’m going to shoot for the THX cables; they’re good quality, seem to be right about the price range I was looking at, and have certain ease-of-installation-and-labeling standards they adhere to that I like. I think, if I can, I’ll stick with the upper end of that.

Hence, I’ve added Best Buy to the gift certificates list for housewarming because apparently they carry this stuff. From the look of it, they don’t have it in the stores, though - you have to get it online. At least in Oregon.

I also added Circuit City to the list. They do carry the stuff in the stores. Not the largest selection, but it’s there.

It will probably end up being a slow-but-sure sort of replacement process. Like, one cable a month or something. Also depends on the disposable income, which I’m sure will be minimal now that the whole house thing is in place. It’s a good goal to shoot for, though.