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Major SCAM alert!

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  • Major SCAM alert!

    I recently bought some stranded copper speaker wire from the local Dollar and More store. The have good prices on various gauges of stranded copper wire that I use for low voltage wiring to operate remote functions on my telescope and other similar applications.

    This time they had a new product which is packaged exactly the same as the other speaker wire but is "monster" 10 gauge stranded wire for around 10 or 15 dollars. I don't remember exactly how much it was but it was a very good priced for that amount of copper wire in that size.

    Tonight I had a use for some and proceeded to cut a short piece. Surprisingly my small nippers didn't even make a dent in it. I hauled out the Excellite piano wire cutters and even they had a tough time cutting it.

    This was very unusual and I puzzled over it for a bit. Then it struck me that all may not be as it seemed. I grabbed a handy magnet and it smacked itself against the roll.

    THIS WIRE IS 99% STEEL, NOT COPPER.

    It has a micro thin plating of copper to make it look like copper. The strands are purposely very thin to keep it flexible like copper. The insulation is polarity striped as it should be for copper speaker wire and it is sold on the same display as the rest of the copper wires.

    BUT IT ISN"T COPPER.

    It wouldn't have made a dangerous difference for my application but if somebody bought fake copper wire like this to wire up a lamp or some other appliance it would present a serious fire hazard because of the high resistance of steel wire.

    This wire is from China and this scam has the potential to cost lives. I think it would be a good idea to take a magnet with you when you go shopping for any type of wire. Who knows where this scam will turn up?





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  • #2
    Doesn't look to have Monster stamped on it at all. Was it just the packaging?

    Real "monster cable" has stupid stranding inside (marketing BS), so you know it's the real thing. It's also printed every foot for dispensing/charging customers for installed quantity.

    Personally, I only buy surplus off known spools and only buy brands made in USA. Someone's gotta keep our people employed.

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    • #3
      Wow- what a scam! I think I'm going to take a magnet and some real copper to the dollar stores here and point this out- should be fun, especially if there's lots of people in there at the time-
      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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      • #4
        There is really no reason to buy any special speaker wire. The differences between regular lamp cord (zip cord) and the most expensive speaker wire are going to be so small that I doubt that anyone could hear the difference in a blind test. The main purpose of these cables is to enrich the makers.
        Paul A.
        SE Texas

        Make it fit.
        You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

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        • #5
          I agree regarding speaker wire, but the difference between copper and steel for many applications can be pretty serious.

          Mostly it tells us the vendor is not serious about a long term relationship based on trust. Kinda reminds me of an ex-wife...

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          • #6
            I can tell you that speaker wire does change things in an audio system. The resistance and capacitance of your wires has the same effect a passive crossover network does in delivering the frequency ranges to the drivers.

            My speaker cables are nothing more than plenum grade cat5 cable braided 3 to a speaker and then having the twisted pairs split to make positive and negative leads. They sound better than all the high end cables they've been A/B/X'd against and cost all of about 5 bucks when I made them.

            There's few things more fun than bringing in a home brewed pair of cables to a snooty audio boutique and having the salesman (reluctantly) agree your cables sound better than his after he thought he'd been voting for his house favorite.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Paul Alciatore
              There is really no reason to buy any special speaker wire. The differences between regular lamp cord (zip cord) and the most expensive speaker wire are going to be so small that I doubt that anyone could hear the difference in a blind test. The main purpose of these cables is to enrich the makers.
              -True, but the point of the post is that Evan bought "copper" wire and ended up with iron wire. As he notes, if somebody used it for a 110V application (unlikely, but possible) it could result in a fire.

              Some Chinese factory got an order for X tons of copper speaker wire, charged for the cost of copper, but sold the buyer much cheaper iron wire. As noted, 100% deliberate scam, and interesting to hear about.

              Doc.
              Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

              Comment


              • #8
                " Hey Fong, yu erd vis won? Some plick in Amelika bou sum of owr "Cheap" clopper wire and is comlpaining abow it."

                If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

                Before we complain about foriegn scams, didn't some form of quality control have to be instituted for checking the tension wires on the Brooklyn Bridge when first being built???

                Regards Ian
                You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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                • #9
                  Theres so much bull in speaker cables, thats why they make so much cash out of it.
                  Good amps have a low source impedance and some think that national grid wire is necessary, as a sound engineer for 5 years I'm qualified to say it isnt, good quality 02 free with a greater number of thinner strands is good, but you dont really need 'trick' cable capable of jump starting the royal brittania.
                  In this country I think selling that cable would probably be contradicting the trades description act, they'd have to mark it up as steel.
                  It would be good for stringing up outside though, if you wanted low voltage lighting or a speaker in that tree, the cable would be strong enough physically to take the strain.
                  Anyways Blitish wire is made from 100% pure oxygen rich clopper.
                  Last edited by dr pepper; 04-07-2010, 05:05 AM.
                  Build it, bodge it, but dont buy it.

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                  • #10
                    "Oxygen free Copper wire"

                    Now there's a piece of Audio salesmans bulls**t to ponder on.

                    Bit like the term "Musicality" bandied about thirty years ago by the Hi-Fli all knowing.

                    Regards Ian (Ex Leak & Wharfedale)
                    You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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                    • #11
                      This has nothing to do with the so called Monster wire and it wasn't labled as such. I used that as a desciptive term because of the gauge of the wire. What it is is fake copper wire that is dressed to appear as real copper wire for a specific application. The trouble comes from the very real possibility that this wire might be used for some other purpose where the difference is of primary importance and could represent a safety hazard. It is clearly a deceptive trade practice and as such is illegal both in Canada and the USA as well as many other countries around the world.

                      This particular scam need not be limited to any specific geographical location and could well show up anywhere. Nor is there any particular reason to think it is limited just to this specific product. It could easily apply to just about any application that depends on stranded copper wire.
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                      • #12
                        Perhaps they're sending this over to combat the drywall panel problem??

                        Regards Ian.
                        You might not like what I say,but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.

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                        • #13
                          I didn't know that you had a drywall problem. You should try taking a magnet with you the next time you buy some wire.
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                          • #14
                            What a dirty trick. Did the label say it was copper wire? Are you going to take it back to the store and complain?

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                            • #15
                              I don't believe it was labled as to the type of wire but neither is the rest in the same packaging and appearance but smaller gauge. The smaller gauges are real copper wire, it's only this size that isn't.
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