What’s in a Name?
published onJune 28, 2013

Through all my years in the A/V Industry I have always argued the same point: copper is copper! Even as a novice in my early teenage years I could not understand why people went gaga over gold tipped anything, especially a cable where the inside is copper conductor. That notion has not changed for me nor will the need to spend money on an expensive cable just because it has a big name like Monster.

I look at my cabling like a human being, all that matters is what is on the inside. Gold tipped, fancy jacket, beautiful emblem in a high end package. . . .none of it makes the quality better (Yes, we are still talking about cables. I’m just trying to score points with women readers. Is it working?).

When trying to understand this, perhaps a good analogy might be: What good are fancy racing slick tires on a Toyota Prius? I promise you, the car is not going anywhere fast. Just the same, does a gold tipped RCA connector make the signal quality better? NOPE!!!! Especially, if the inner core of wire is a tiny gauge copper. Now, if the whole cable were gold, then yes, being that gold is a better conductor, it would be a better cable. With the price of gold being what it is, if you ever lay eyes on an all gold cable, odds are you can’t afford it.

For the most part – now, do not take offense to this – but it is the size that matters. Using the proper gauge cable for the distance of the run is more important than any name on the cable. Key Digital, Honeywell, Monster, Acoustical Research, it doesn’t matter. When using different forms of data transfer, the right twist will make a difference – not the label. In short, being properly educated about the right cable for the job takes precedence over any name on the package.

I have conducted my own tests over the years to prove my theory but none to the extent that I will win a Nobel Prize. However, if my comments piqued your interest then I have a must read article for you. The link below is a piece written by Jason Imms last year. If you have ever walked into Best Buy or PC Richards only to walk out paying more for an HDMI than for the HDTV itself, this piece will blow your mind.


Image source: Grainger