Monster Cable® Products, Inc. is the world's leading manufacturer of cables for audio, video, home theater, car, computer, satellite, and custom installation.
Monster began manufacturing premium speaker cables 21 years ago. Monster has since grown to encompass several different new divisions that manufacture and market a variety of superior quality products including Monster Game®, Monster Power® power conditioning solutions, Entech® audio and video components and Monster Sound® loudspeakers. Monster products have become an indispensable accessory for music lovers, audiophiles, recording studios, sound professionals, musicians, custom installers, computer users and home theater enthusiasts throughout the world.
With their entry into the PS2 market, gamers can now expect the same quality cables and surge protectors that audiophiles the world over have enjoyed for many years.
Monster Cable obviously created the LightWave 100 Fiber Optic cable to match up with the PS2. With the vibrant blue color that comes close to matching the blue PS2 logo on the top of console, the cable is a nice accessory to string along the back of the system.
The connector ends features nice rubber fins that make it easy to grab and install or remove the cable. The LightWave 100 Fiber Optic cable comes in a 10-foot (3m) length to allow for ease of PS2 placement in or out of an audio rack. Performance:
First things first, for those of you that are not familiar with fiber optics…They are basically specialized strips of rather flexible glass that allows digital signals to be passed through (in 1's and 0's) by means of a finely focused light beam. This is considered by many to be the purest way to transfer audio messages. The other method is digital coax…but I won't get into the merits of this fine medium here.
As for our testing, I will start off by saying that it really would not be far to compare the quality of digital fiber optic out to analog RCA outs as there really is no comparison. The fiber totally blows the RCA away. The other nice thing is that the PS2 appears to do some sort of analog to digital conversion so that when you play CD's, PS1 or PS2 games you don't need to disable the optical and switch to RCA. I though this was freaking great!! Just so you know though, there are at least two PS2 games that WILL NOT work with the optical cable, so don't go cutting the two RCA jacks off your PS2 A/V cable just yet.
Going digital for the first time can almost be a religious experience. The depth and clarity of the sound…the overall imaging…it is enough to make you thank the lord for technology advancements. Popping a Dolby Digital or DTS DVD into a PS2 that is connected to a DD receiver is quite a treat. The sound separation between the 5 speakers (two front, two rear and one in the center) is nothing short of breath taking. If you really want to hear a fantastic example of this, pop in the DVD movie of Air Force One and skip to the chapter where the jet fighters circle around the big Boeing 747. The planes literally buzz from speaker to speaker in a marvelous display of 360-degree circles of sound.
No while I wouldn't exactly say that the PS2 games benefited much from the optical cable…they eventually will. To date even though there are a number of PS2 titles pressed onto the DVD format, none as of yet take advantage of the DD format. This will off course all change with the release of Square's The Bouncer early next year. Rest assured, there will be many other games that will take advantage of this feature in the future as well.
Now, how does the LightWave 100 compare to budget brand optical cable? Well much to our surprise, all 0's and 1's are obviously not created equal. While I wouldn't dig myself into a pit here and say that sonically the Monster cable blew away the cheaper cable, there was one incredible benefit that the cable brought to the table. It virtually eliminated the lip-syncing problems that we had repeatedly experienced with the crap cable. The extra low-loss qualities of the LightWave 100 proved to be clearly superior in this aspect and made this the obvious winner hands down.
Professionally calibrated 50" Mitsubishi RPTV
Denon 5800 A/V Receiver
Timber matched 5-piece Mirage speaker set-up (OM-6 fronts, OM-R2 rears, OM-C2 center)
Mirage 1500 Watt SubStrata subwoofer
2 Sony PS2's
· Fiber Optic connection allows you to take advantage of PS2s Dolby Digital and DTS capabilities.
· Precision polished fiber optic connector minimizes distortion for cleaner, more transparent sound.
· The preferred high performance digital connection of PS2 to receivers with fiber optic audio inputs.
· Specially optimized extra low loss optical fiber provides crystal clear highs and powerful, articulate bass.
· Out-performs ordinary analog audio connections. Reliability:
I have always considered fiber optic cables to be somewhat delicate. Caution must be taken to ensure that you don't crimp the cable as this will cause deviation in the light path and create problems.
Monster has gone to great lengths to insure their cable is durable and worry free. The outer casing is extremely flexible and not prone to crimping yet the casing is heavy-duty is prevent damage to the fiber itself. Even the connector is constructed with a double strain relief configuration to prevent damaging the fiber when inserting or removing the cable.
To back up their cable Monster tacks on a 100% lifetime replacement warranty…break the cable and you get a new one for free. Now how's that for reliability.
If you want to take advantage of the digital capabilities of your PS2 you are going to have to purchase an optical cable…plain and simple. There are certainly cheaper optical cables to be found on store shelves, but in this case you most definitely get what you pay for. If you want a long lasting, 100% guaranteed trouble free digital optical cable, then I would suggest looking no further than the Monster LightWave 100 Fiber Optic cable. It is extremely well constructed, sounds incredible, eliminates the lip-sync problems of the cheap shit cables and looks smashing with its cool blue coloring.