I picked up two new toys of late. I’m not going to go into details of what because it’s not important. But I can assure you that, because the consumer electronics industry loves to make things obsolete, I continue to not have a super-impressive home theater setup because I’m just not enough of a movie or TV watcher to pay the early adopter tax.
But I needed cables…
Now, I’ve written about this in the past… but there once was a day where you could go to Radio Shack, pick up the cables you required, and not pay insane absurd amounts of money. And in this modern era where many of the interconnects are digital, it doesn’t even actually matter if you’ve got a good cable… pretty much anything that doesn’t drop more bits than forward error correction will prevent is fine.
I did discover that modern gear doesn’t bother to include the crappy in-box cable like old gear used to. I mean, that’s fine, because it was often so cost-engineered that it wasn’t worth keeping, but…
Either way, I’m well aware that, regardless of if you pay less than $5 at Monoprice, or $50+ at Monster, you are pretty much going to see the same signal. Realistically, I have no problems paying a smidge more than the lowest possible online price for a cable if it looks nice and I can have it right then and there. After all, physical stores have to keep stock handy, deal with shrinkage, etc. and they have a certain right to pass that on to the customers.
But all I saw, although I didn’t look too closely, was Monster. Thus, after leaving the store with my new toys, I tweeted that I ”explicitly avoided @monstercable cables. Partially because they are a ripoff, but mostly because Monster is a bunch of litigious bastards.”
There are a lot of ways to pay too much for cables and other accessories. Radio Shack doesn’t sell their cables for cheap anymore, for example. But I also recognize that if you shop at a company like Monster cable, you are paying a company that has a track record of barratry.
Thus, when faced with a rack of Monster cables, I’d much prefer waiting for several days for a Monoprice order, even it it will bug the crap out of me in the interim. In theory, I’m the right audience for Blue Jeans Cable, partially because the owner used to be a lawyer and therefore had a very amusing run-in with Monster, but mostly because I’m obsessed with doing things right. But sometimes I don’t even care especially much about doing it really right, just good enough.
Monster Cable tweeted back, trying to figure out if they’d done something wrong.
But, like Bose, the continued profitable existence of Monster Cable as a continued monument to people being screwed over is so offensive to me that the only solution I’d really like to see is for them to enter voluntary liquidation and spend a good amount of their ill-gotten gains educating the American consumer that you could use coat-hangers to transport analog audio signals and they wouldn’t know the difference.