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I Will Never Buy Another Monster Cable

Brandon Drury —  April 19, 2008

I don’t like mixing politics with audio engineering stuff. I get involved with both, but there isn’t a whole lot of room for my anti-socialist rants here at Recording Review. With that said, I have wasted most of my adult life making music in one capacity or another and I do feel like a big part of music is making a statement about our own beliefs (even if you are socialist, unfortunately) when we aren’t writing songs about snorting blow off the chests of exotic dancers.

Here is a situation where I feel inclined to open my big mouth. It appears that Monster Cable, the makers of the overpriced cables for guitar, mics, speakers, and the consumer garbage you find at Best Buy, have been going sue crazy. I personally find the legal system in America to be in total shambles in practically every way and I have no tolerance for this:

According to the article found here.
Monster fiercely protects its name
Cable products company sues those who use M-word

Monster Cable has sued the following companies:

  • Discovery Channel for Monster Garage
  • Disney for Monsters, Inc
  • Bally Gaming International Inc. for its Monster Slots.
  • Hansen Beverage Co. for a Monster Energy drink.
  • The Chicago Bears, whose nickname is Monsters of the Midway.
  • MonsterVintage.com
  • Monster.com

Apparently, I’m not the only one who is boycotting Monster Cable. Support Tekzilla and Blue Jeans Cables – BOYCOTT Monster Cables

Conclusion
I don’t know the whole story, but I don’t like corporate bullying especially for a company that is more into using shady salesman tactics to sell useless consumer gear than actually making audio recording better.. I’m not a super strong anti-corporationey guy, but when a company steps out of line, they should pay the price. Monster Cable has the right to sue whoever the way. I’m sure they are getting some cash out of the deal or they wouldn’t continue to do it. However, the gains of their legal department have got to be a pain in the neck for their PR department.

PS
If you want high end guitar cables, go with George L. If you want high end anything else cables, quit wanting high end anything else cables and buy something that actually matters.

Brandon Drury

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Brandon Drury quit counting at 1,200 recorded songs in his busy home recording studio. He is the creator of RecordingReview.com and is the author of the Killer Home Recording series.
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18 responses to I Will Never Buy Another Monster Cable

  1. Hmm, now I’m not all that familiar with the US legal system, but I would have thought they’d have about the same chances with this as the proverbial snowflake?
    I don’t think you CAN actually protect a name across all spectrums like that. It’s not like they own the word Monster after all (oops I’m probably also going to get sued now, I used the word Monster without the explicit permission! Drat! I did it again!! my oh my, better bring out the big checkbook…)
    If another company started making cables using the Monster name they’d be in their rights, but suing Disney, the Discovery channel and a football team??? This could be fun (“…and they shoot them selves in the foot again! ooh, that must have hurt…”) …good thing I don’t own any M*%£^!r cables…

  2. That’s Crazy! I don’t buy their expensive stuff. There are always alternatives that are better and much more cost efficient. How are you going to claim a word as an original idea anyway??? Maybe that is why their products costs so much…..because they waste so much money chasing their tails! I’m with you on this one.

  3. Can you say Hosa? They have better stuff for cheap!

  4. That’s just silly. I have bought monster cable (ooh, didn’t use the capital letters! whatever, sue me..) and did a blind comparison with a Mesa Boogie dual rec, and an SM57. The monster adds a TOUCH (and by touch, i mean absolutely miniscule) amount of high-end to the overall sound. But not enough to pay 3 times more for. I eq’ed the guitar afterward, and guess what? it sounded EXACTLY like the monster cable. you could buy 4 xlr’s for the price of one 8ft monster cable. maybe if they lowered their prices, people would buy into all that crap about cables actually making your sound that much better, but i somehow don’t buy into the myth.
    Sign that petition, and just buy other cables period.

  5. Just a plug for Planet Waves cables. I’ve found them to be well worth the money. Never had one go bad, lifetime guarantee…

  6. That is pretty absurd on Monsters part.. Monster cables are pretty pricey, but you don’t need a receipt to exchange a cable if it dies out on you, which means you’re pretty much buying that cable for life. Does George L cables offer anything similar to that by any chance?

  7. Rafael Bonilla April 25, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    this case is an example of a company victim of its own arrogance. i will not buy from them any more!

  8. You can’t own a word you didn’t create. The word “monster” was around long before Monster Cable was. Further, the use of the word in movie titles or otherwise does not devalue their Monster Cable brand in any way.

    I will boycott.

  9. Do what I do, make them yourself! It’s cheaper and you have quality control. Good luck on their big PR stunt. Anything to make a buck since the company is going under.

  10. TheSilentDrummer April 28, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    See, something that has been coming up is lifetime warranty. I simply don’t abuse my stuff enough to need something like that. I always coil them nicely, tell people to step over them, and treat them nicer than my second cousins.

  11. Monster cable is AUDIO MYTHOLOGY – no one should be buying it anyway! See also: “contact enhancers”, “digital ready” headphones, etc.

  12. Monster Cable has the same sort of name recognition as Bose and Kleenex. We’ve all heard the questions from the uninformed who ask “Does it sound as good as the Bose?” when clearly it does or “Need a Kleenex?” while holding a box of Puffs. Those same sorts use Monster as the generic term for something perceived to cost more than the “gimme” cables that come with most electronic components. There are countless cables out there that cost less or are similar in price that sound better than Monster. Go to any higher end specialty hi-fi store than Best Buy and Circuit and you’ll find them. And you can become informed by sales staff that knows and cares something about music and how it’s supposed to sound as opposed to high school age kids that know all the ins and outs of the latest Grand Theft Auto game. They’ll say “Of course it sounds good; it’s Monster.” Give the independents a try; they’ll be a revelation.

  13. I think you hit it on the head with the Bose comment. Bose is considered the gods of fidelity to the masses. Their marketing approach is genius.

  14. cranksandbeans June 27, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    There’s a great post on consumerist.com about how Monster tried to sue a small independently owned cable company for infringing on some of their patents. As it turned out, the owner of the small cable company had retired as a lawyer specializing in patent law in order to start his cable company. Man, you should see the letter he wrote to Monster in response to their cease and desist letter. Here’s a link:

    http://consumerist.com/tag/cease-and-desist/?i=380082&t=monster-cable-threatens-the-wrong-small-cable-manufacturer

    There’s also tons of other Monster-bashing articles over at consumerist.com as well. My favorite: “Do Monster Cables Sound as Good as Coathangers?”

  15. I agree about never buying their cables. Too expensive by far and the company has an arrogance about their products which is rubbish. I’ve been in sales & marketing for years and know that they are far to ‘up their own arse’ to know that they talk shit…..

    Cheaper, better cables by other companies and far less rubbish packaging which is a waste and not very green..

    I hate them too

    mark in UK

  16. TheSilentDrummer October 21, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    So, I just bought a Stereo 1/8″ to RCA cable this weekend, care to guess which one:

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=4888866&st=MOnster&lp=2&type=product&cp=1&id=1051806268853

    http://www.guitarcenter.com/Hosa-Stereo-Y-cable-Mini-Male-Two-RCA-Males-333055-i1128939.gc

    So what’s the difference? The Hosa cable I at a local music store sale cost $3.75 (that is including tax). It comes in an ass-nasty container (red and brown… ewww) that simply says “Specialty Cable 3FT.” on the front. The Monster Cable looks very fancy, and it clearly states that it is a “Monster iCable for the Apple iPod”. Since we invoked to big three big names (Monster, Apple, and iPod…. oh, we probably should also consider that it is being sold at Best Buy), it looks fancy, and we gave it a very specialized task to perform, it sells for $30.

    If we get past the vomit-inducing aspects of this, it is quite brilliant. If I wanted to make a lot of money selling cables, I probably would do what Monster is doing: targeting the vast majority of people, the uneducated masses who are influenced such things as packaging and well-known names and too ignorant to be shopping around for an equal quality and purpose good that costs less.

    So really what I am trying to say is this: apart from suing everyone, Monster has done no wrong in they way they sell their products. If stupid people want to pay more for a substitutable product, they can go ahead (I mean, it makes me feel good about my purchases even!). It’s no different than drugs. I personally haven’t/don’t plan on shooting up anytime soon, but I think that if someone wants to get high in the privacy of their own home, they have the right to do so.

  17. I’ll never buy monster cables again. I bought them once years ago, and they were 4x more expensive and I couldn’t tell the difference. And I don’t like to support companies that are complete jerks. They don’t know the word “monster”.. It’s in the dictionary with a definition that isn’t “ridiculously expenses cables made in CA for pretentous people who probably can’t tell the difference”.

    And they don’t have to win a law suit. Their suit against Monster Mini Golf may drive them out of business just in legal expenses.. They are scum…