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Apple investigating iPhone issues with Monster-branded headphones

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Apple is said to have advised its support employees of iPhone and iPod issues caused by some Monster headphones with integrated microphones and controls.

An anonymous tipster provided Engadget with information claimed to be from an internal memo from Apple detailing the purported issues. The documentation shows issues with a variety of Monster-branded headphones, including Jamz, Turbine and Heartbeats models.

"Several Monster headphone models using Apple's Remote and Mic technology do not meet Apple's technical specifications," the alleged memo reads. "These headphones use conductive flanges, which can result in electrical shorts that can cause an iPod or iPhone to pause and play erratically."

The information was apparently provided to support personnel at Apple because the company has received complaints from customers who believe the issue is the fault of their Apple device. The documentation states that the headphones can cause issues with Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod lines of products.

"Customers may not be aware that the issue is caused by the headphones and may believe that the iPod or iPhone is defective instead," the memo reads. "There are no known safety concerns and no known risk of damage to the iPod/iPhone or headphones."

Symptoms of the apparent issue include pausing, playing and skipping forward or back through songs. Engadget noted that the list of problem headphones does not include any of the "Beats" line of products that Apple sells in its own stores.

post #2 of 35
I'm having trouble with apple branded headphones for iphone4. I have returned 3 within warranty so far. The microphone is failing.

Apple has been great sending me the headphones for each warranty event.
post #3 of 35
I thought Monster made the best engineered cables and such on the plant. This is why a 6ft HDMI cable costs half a months paycheck. You mean to tell me their products are no better or worse than anything else, and sometimes defective and non-functional? /sarcasm
post #4 of 35
crazy since Monster is a premium brand
post #5 of 35
Interesting....

I plugged my sons Skull Candy headphones into my iPad a few weeks back and couldn't get a sound out of them. I then tried them in my iPhone4 and again no sound.

I thought he'd broken them but i've seen him wandering around the house and walking to college with them plugged into his iPod. He assures me they work perfectly well.

Very odd.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Underhill View Post

Interesting....

I plugged my sons Skull Candy headphones into my iPad a few weeks back and couldn't get a sound out of them. I then tried them in my iPhone4 and again no sound.

I thought he'd broken them but i've seen him wandering around the house and walking to college with them plugged into his iPod. He assures me they work perfectly well.

Very odd.

my skull candy Full Metal Jacket earbuds+mic work great on the iPhone 4 for listening... as soon as you try to hook up to a mic-enabled program (phone , recorder, google voice search), they freak out. If I had my druthers, my guess is the noise cancellation logic on the iPhone4 is totally confused by the noice cancellation of the SC mic.

I reported this, and no action has occurred (thought 4.1 would fix it, but nope).

I bought my Skull Candy FMJ at an Apple Store... when I went there last, they were not on the shelves. Likely a new spec for mics and noise cancellation is the issue.
post #7 of 35
Monster stinks. Funny how the peeps that sell it at stores swear by it.
post #8 of 35
I had this with my first set of Dr Dre Beat earphones! I took it back to the Apple store the next day and swapped it for another, identical, pair which are fine, I've been using them for about 3 months now.
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Monster stinks. Funny how the peeps that sell it at stores swear by it.

Agree. Remember when a 6 ft. Monster HDMI cable cost $100?

Monster's cables are cheaply made to resemble real high-end audio cables.
And they're sold at high-end prices. How else do you think Monster could
afford to put their name on Candlestick Park?

In the digital era, even a coat hanger wire will deliver as pure an audio signal as
silver plated Linear Crystal Oxygen Free Copper. For one ten-thousandth the price.
(Of course, speaker cables, which are still analog, do require high-quality
interconnects...)

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post

my skull candy Full Metal Jacket earbuds+mic work great on the iPhone 4 for listening... as soon as you try to hook up to a mic-enabled program (phone , recorder, google voice search), they freak out. If I had my druthers, my guess is the noise cancellation logic on the iPhone4 is totally confused by the noice cancellation of the SC mic.

I reported this, and no action has occurred (thought 4.1 would fix it, but nope).

I bought my Skull Candy FMJ at an Apple Store... when I went there last, they were not on the shelves. Likely a new spec for mics and noise cancellation is the issue.

My sons are over the ear types with what looks like a mic built into the cable. I'll have to have another try.
A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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A reputation is not built upon the restful domain of one's comfort zone; it is made out of stalwart exposition of your core beliefs, for all challenges to disprove them as irrelevant hubris.- Berp...
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post #11 of 35
I work for at&t and all but the cheapest Skullcandy earbuds are doing the same thing, but, additionally, the microphone seems to way too sensitive, or the peak levels within the iPhone are too sensitive for the microphones included with these earbuds.
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by revilre View Post

I thought Monster made the best engineered cables and such on the plant. This is why a 6ft HDMI cable costs half a months paycheck. You mean to tell me their products are no better or worse than anything else, and sometimes defective and non-functional? /sarcasm

They don't (sarcasm noted). And although another user described them as a 'premium brand', they are that in name only. They make generally good products which are marked up to ridiculous levels, not very unlike Bose and other would be 'top-tier' brands which have such strong brand recognition. A consumer is almost always better off avoiding Monster unless they can get the product on an exceptional sale. (A good example is that fine $4 HDMI cable from MonoPrice performing just as reliably as that made-from-genuine-angel-feathers-and-unicorn-horn-dust $150 Monster HDMI cable).

Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

In the digital era, even a coat hanger wire will deliver as pure an audio signal as
silver plated Linear Crystal Oxygen Free Copper. For one ten-thousandth the price.
(Of course, speaker cables, which are still analog, do require high-quality
interconnects...)

Metal and shielding do matter, though I expect you were being sarcastic.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

They don't. And although another user described them as a 'premium brand', they are that in name only. They make generally good products which are marked up to ridiculous levels, not very unlike Bose and other would be 'top-tier' brands which have such strong brand recognition. A consumer is almost always better off avoiding Monster unless they can get the product on an exceptional sale. (A good example is that fine $4 HDMI cable from MonoPrice performing just as reliably as that made-from-genuine-angel-feathers-and-unicorn-horn-dust $150 Monster HDMI cable).


Metal and shielding do matter, though I expect you were being sarcastic.

Sarcasm seems to be the theme of the day when it comes ot Monster.
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by revilre View Post

Sarcasm seems to be the theme of the day when it comes ot Monster.

Couldn't be happier about that.

It is nice to see that people actually recognize the company for what they are.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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post #15 of 35
Quality in name only

Too bad people foolish enough to be suckered into buying Monster products have to find it out the hard way.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Monster stinks. Funny how the peeps that sell it at stores swear by it.

They probably get a spiff for pushing them. Enthusiastic salesmen should always be regarded with caution...
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Agree. Remember when a 6 ft. Monster HDMI cable cost $100?

... (Of course, speaker cables, which are still analog, do require high-quality
interconnects...)

Actually, expensive speaker cables are a big ripoff as well. Audio uses such low frequencies (< 20 kHz) that fancy cable designs have no audible affects. Double-blind listening tests have confirmed this. Regular 16-guage lamp cord sounds the same as expensive speaker cables for lengths up to 50 feet. For longer cable runs, simply use heavier-gauge lamp cord.

See http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#reviewdares
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

They probably get a spiff for pushing them. Enthusiastic salesmen should always be regarded with caution...

Curiously they are pushed heavily at stores like Best Buy, where there is no associated commission, by salesmen who believe through and through that they are the superior product. This is because displays at stores of this nature are hooked up using this type of cabling and this idea is sustained through management and other established employees (where the only people who might know better are tucked away at the Geek Squad counter).

It is a pretty easy trap for an employee to slip into. Monster cables look like they are high quality in every way. That Belkin HDMI cable (sorely overpriced at $30-40) just looks so boring. The one that comes in the box might look even cheaper. Generally a rational person assumes that the higher level of quality in manufacturing equates to a better product (and in some cases this is true—some pre-boxed HDMI cables are actually rather poor and can result in some interference, such as a faint haze of moving red pixels upon close inspection, or may not be sufficient 1080p). Without the money and experience to really experiment with this (even most people accusing Monster of BS lack first-hand experience with these products) it is hard to draw conclusions. It isn't necessarily a shady salesman. Monster just has a good angle from which they can exploit people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boboosta View Post

Actually, expensive speaker cables are a big ripoff as well. Audio uses such low frequencies (< 20 kHz) that fancy cable designs have no audible affects. Double-blind listening tests have confirmed this. Regular 16-guage lamp cord sounds the same as expensive speaker cables for lengths up to 50 feet. For longer cable runs, simply use heavier-gauge lamp cord.

Here's the gold (generally speaking; there are circumstantial exceptions to the above). For most wiring purposes you just need to make sure you're not using junk (you'll find that at the Dollar Store in many cases), and that you have the right gauge and shielding for the distance you need to cover. That shielding doesn't have to come in the form of impressive sounding precious materials as it can come from the proper presentation of cheap boring materials like plastic. Copper (boring unplated copper) does a marvelous job of transmitting data.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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post #19 of 35
My first choice these days goes to Belkin. Long-time cable and accessories manufacturer - quality products - reasonable prices - broad range.

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post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Monster stinks. Funny how the peeps that sell it at stores swear by it.

While I had no love for Monster Cables, the Beats in-ear headphones were some of the best I had ever used from a function standpoint and general quality.

Left them on a plane though, so my wife bought me some ER's... which are slightly better silicon, but lack the cool tangle-free cord or remote volume control.
post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by boboosta View Post

Actually, expensive speaker cables are a big ripoff as well. Audio uses such low frequencies (< 20 kHz) that fancy cable designs have no audible affects. Double-blind listening tests have confirmed this. Regular 16-guage lamp cord sounds the same as expensive speaker cables for lengths up to 50 feet. For longer cable runs, simply use heavier-gauge lamp cord.

Really depends on if you have any mutual inductance issues, but yeah... not worth 10x the price. "Normal" speaker cable is less than 16AWG though-- often see 18-20AWG.
post #22 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibitzer View Post

My first choice these days goes to Belkin. Long-time cable and accessories manufacturer - quality products - reasonable prices - broad range.

Monoprice.com was mentioned earlier and they do deliver very high-quality cables at a fraction of any retail-sold cables (like Belkin or certainly Monster).

They are the first and often only place to go for cables. Specially for Mac's as they have a great selection of mini Display Port adapters and cables.

Cheap and good. Great combo
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

Curiously they are pushed heavily at stores like Best Buy, where there is no associated commission, by salesmen who believe through and through that they are the superior product. This is because displays at stores of this nature are hooked up using this type of cabling and this idea is sustained through management and other established employees (where the only people who might know better are tucked away at the Geek Squad counter).

It is a pretty easy trap for an employee to slip into. Monster cables look like they are high quality in every way. That Belkin HDMI cable (sorely overpriced at $30-40) just looks so boring. The one that comes in the box might look even cheaper. Generally a rational person assumes that the higher level of quality in manufacturing equates to a better product (and in some cases this is true—some pre-boxed HDMI cables are actually rather poor and can result in some interference, such as a faint haze of moving red pixels upon close inspection, or may not be sufficient 1080p). Without the money and experience to really experiment with this (even most people accusing Monster of BS lack first-hand experience with these products) it is hard to draw conclusions. It isn't necessarily a shady salesman. Monster just has a good angle from which they can exploit people.


Here's the gold (generally speaking; there are circumstantial exceptions to the above). For most wiring purposes you just need to make sure you're not using junk (you'll find that at the Dollar Store in many cases), and that you have the right gauge and shielding for the distance you need to cover. That shielding doesn't have to come in the form of impressive sounding precious materials as it can come from the proper presentation of cheap boring materials like plastic. Copper (boring unplated copper) does a marvelous job of transmitting data.

Monster offers ridiculously high margins for retailers. Even if the individual salespeople are not on commission, they are encouraged/incentivized to sell them by the retailer.
post #24 of 35
Monster has perpetuated the biggest myth on the consumer electronics public since using green markers on the outer edge of your CDs.

I believe there is a special section reserved for them in Hell, that is just a little nastier, a little hotter than the rest.

They sue anyone and everyone who uses the word Monster in their name, even if they are not in the audio business, even if they were founded *before* Monster. And the CEO zips around trade conventions on his Segway, making pronouncements and being obnoxious.

In the music stores, Monster even makes separate cables for Guitar and Bass! Ridiculous.

The profit margin on cables is beyond ridiculous. +1 for MonoPrice - great cables at ultra- reasonable prices.
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post #25 of 35
I used to work for Monster Cable, and I can assure you that their products are overpriced, shoddily made crap. They give Monster employees a 70% discount off retail for their own use, and they STILL make a profit. Stores love selling Monster Cable because it has the highest profit margin of anything they sell, including TVs or iPods, and often salespeople make a bonus from selling that junk.

Monster spends far more money on the look of their cables and packaging than they do on engineering the cables themselves. The engineering that goes into Monster interconnects is nothing special and they perform no better than the cheapest interconnects that Radio Shack sells.

The claims Monster makes about the superiority of their products are a carefully contrived mixture of half-truths and double talk, whose sole purpose is to fool you into parting with your money.
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by revilre View Post

I thought Monster made the best engineered cables and such on the plant. This is why a 6ft HDMI cable costs half a months paycheck. You mean to tell me their products are no better or worse than anything else, and sometimes defective and non-functional? /sarcasm

Even more ironic as this is a web site where Apple fans equate Apple's higher prices with superiority.
post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post

Monster offers ridiculously high margins for retailers. Even if the individual salespeople are not on commission, they are encouraged/incentivized to sell them by the retailer.

Yeah. I spent about three years working for Best Buy/Geek Squad (in charge of multiple Geek Squad stores in the East Bay Area) so I'm pretty familiar with the situation. IIRC, the ~$150 Monster HDMI cables cost the store about $70. That's huge markup for Monster and Best Buy, which explains why upper management (at Best Buy and other stores) works so hard to propagate a learning environment where these products are taught and presented as the best solution for home A/V. It would also tie-in to commissions at commission-driven stores.

My point, though, is that in this environment it is rarely the employee who actually knows that they're hawking trash on their customers. Most of them sincerely do believe they're offering the highest end product which may be right for customers that have the money to spend on the entertainment system. These employees often-times even believe that the product they're selling offers an appreciable difference over cheaper solutions because they lack the first-hand experience needed to truly verify these claims. Customers rarely discover that they've been had.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
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post #28 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post

Quality in name only

Too bad people foolish enough to be suckered into buying Monster products have to find it out the hard way.

I have never had a problem with the quality of any Monster product. I don't know why people are saying that the quality is low. I have always found it to be fine - somewhat above average.

The prices are stupid-high, but the quality is perfectly fine.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

crazy since Monster is a premium brand

Yeah, a premium price, but thats about it.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve-J View Post

I have never had a problem with the quality of any Monster product. I don't know why people are saying that the quality is low. I have always found it to be fine - somewhat above average.

The prices are stupid-high, but the quality is perfectly fine.

Quality is usually good, definitely. Most of the complaining probably stems from Monster being comparable in performance to similar products which cost a small fraction of the price.
The true measure of a man is how he treats someone that can do him absolutely no good.
  Samuel Johnson
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post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

Yeah. I spent about three years working for Best Buy/Geek Squad (in charge of multiple Geek Squad stores in the East Bay Area) so I'm pretty familiar with the situation. IIRC, the ~$150 Monster HDMI cables cost the store about $70. That's huge markup for Monster and Best Buy, which explains why upper management (at Best Buy and other stores) works so hard to propagate a learning environment where these products are taught and presented as the best solution for home A/V. It would also tie-in to commissions at commission-driven stores.

My point, though, is that in this environment it is rarely the employee who actually knows that they're hawking trash on their customers. Most of them sincerely do believe they're offering the highest end product which may be right for customers that have the money to spend on the entertainment system. These employees often-times even believe that the product they're selling offers an appreciable difference over cheaper solutions because they lack the first-hand experience needed to truly verify these claims. Customers rarely discover that they've been had.

For what it's worth... I had 2 cheap GE HDMI cables that I was using for both of my PS3 systems and after a couple of months, both of them were cutting out quite often (not even touching them) and I had to wiggle them around a bit before the picture would come back. Since then, I've trashed those and purchased the official PlayStation HDMI cables. They're much higher quality and the signal doesn't cut out even if I move it around.

So yeah... HDMI cables all provide the same signal (if they provide a signal at all), but not all HDMI cables are built the same and the cheaper ones may go bad and stop working. I bought a higher quality cable and it works 100% of the time (even though the signal quality was the same with both... provided that a signal was shown).

I'll never buy a Monster cable though.
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Agree. Remember when a 6 ft. Monster HDMI cable cost $100?

Monster's cables are cheaply made to resemble real high-end audio cables.
And they're sold at high-end prices. How else do you think Monster could
afford to put their name on Candlestick Park?

In the digital era, even a coat hanger wire will deliver as pure an audio signal as
silver plated Linear Crystal Oxygen Free Copper. For one ten-thousandth the price.
(Of course, speaker cables, which are still analog, do require high-quality
interconnects...)


Uh dude wrong company monster audio is different then the beverage company
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post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

Quality is usually good, definitely. Most of the complaining probably stems from Monster being comparable in performance to similar products which cost a small fraction of the price.

I can't disagree with that.

Aside from always looking pretty cool, Monster Cables perform about the same or maybe a tiny bit better than cables that cost a fraction of their price (but might look ugly). Some of their higher end analog stuff might actually be very good. I don't know.

I have a few Monster products, but I buy cables on eBay usually. I just got a nice 20 foot HDMI for the laptop-to-TV connection for 11 bucks. It is one of the new ones, which will transmit ethernet. It is certified (Class 2? I looked that stuff up at the time, but have forgotten...) I shudder to think of what a Monster cable would have cost, and they both would just be transmitting bits, with similar performance and throughput.

Monster's guitar cables, OTOH, are a digestible premium above the other stuff, and are very well made. But the real bonus is that if they ever stop working, which is a perennial issue with guitar cables, Guitar Center will replace them for free. Forever. All the Monster products they sell, actually. So if durability is important (and in interconnects, it seldom is) then Monster might make sense.
post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

In the digital era, even a coat hanger wire will deliver as pure an audio signal as
silver plated Linear Crystal Oxygen Free Copper. For one ten-thousandth the price.
(Of course, speaker cables, which are still analog, do require high-quality
interconnects...)

This is not even wrong. C'mon.

Here's a bit from Wikipedia on how HDMI cables are certified:

HDMI 1.3 defines two cable categories: Category 1-certified cables, which have been tested at 74.5 MHz (which would include resolutions such as 720p60 and 1080i60), and Category 2-certified cables, which have been tested at 340 MHz (which would include resolutions such as 1080p60 and 2160p30).[54][58][59] Category 1 HDMI cables are to be marketed as "Standard" and Category 2 HDMI cables as "High Speed".[1] This labeling guideline for HDMI cables went into effect on October 17, 2008.[60][61] Category 1 and 2 cables can either meet the required parameter specifications for interpair skew, far-end crosstalk, attenuation, and differential impedance, or they can meet the required nonequalized/equalized eye diagram requirements.[58] A cable of about 5 meters (16 ft.) can be manufactured to Category 1 specifications easily and inexpensively by using 28 AWG (0.081 mm²) conductors.[57] With better quality construction and materials, including 24 AWG (0.205 mm²) conductors, a HDMI cable can reach lengths of up to 15 meters (49 ft.).[57] Many HDMI cables under 5 meters of length that were made before the HDMI 1.3 specification can work as Category 2 cables, but only Category 2-tested cables are guaranteed to work.[62]


My preference is for cheap Category 2 cables. I use neither Monster cables nor coat hangers.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by boboosta View Post

Regular 16-guage lamp cord sounds the same as expensive speaker cables for lengths up to 50 feet. ]

The results depend greatly on the test setup. In most home systems, these results would be relevant and correct.

IME, FWIW, using average equipment, cables (and especially speaker cables) matter only a little. But with high resolution equipment, cable differences are more apparent. And with certain equipment, cable selection can be very important.

I have a few nice interconnects (I used to work for an electronics retailer in the '80's). I use them in critical places, like for certain analog signals. I also have nice speaker cables. The front speakers are connected using them, while the rear speakers are connected using better-than-average quality 16 gauge zipcord.

The subwoofer is connected using the good speaker wire. Each terminal has 4 strands of high quality twisted 12 gauge pure copper wire carefully crimped into a quality spade lug which mates perfectly with the binding posts on the sub. The sub is made by a small New England company. It is a single 12 inch driver in a VERY solid sealed box. I have it connected to an Adcom GFA 555 amp. Bridged into mono, the Adcom is rated at 500 watts RMS.

I wouldn't dream of using zipcord in that application.
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