That is an interesting observation, indeed.
Yes, there absolutely are fake Monster branded cables.
In fact, Monster has a page dedicated to this topic: http://www.monstercable.com/counterfeit/
Like many premium products, Monster products are being counterfeited and sold at flea markets and on popular auction and other e-company Websites, usually at extremely reduced prices. If a price for a product being sold as Monster from a non-authorized dealer seems "too good to be true," most likely it is, and is not a genuine Monster product. Counterfeit Monster products do not meet the high standards of quality and performance you expect from Monster. For example, any of the counterfeit HDMI cables will not carry a 1080p signal properly. You may pay less, but you will not get the performance you expect. If you would like to report a suspected counterfeit Monster product, please send an e-mail to email@example.com. Monster appreciates your assistance in preventing the distribution of counterfeit products.
However, I would also add that Monster branded a/v cables are not necessarily the best cables around -- just the most expensive. Gold, for example, is overused and simply adds to the cost of the wiring. Gold does nothing for signal integrity (indeed, copper is better), and was added simply for "corrosion protection" -- something that almost never happens anyway. Like gold DVDs, a "gold wire" is something that is sold simply because people are gullible enough to buy it.
On the other hand, Monster cables are better than most, being built with well-shielded thick cables. That's really where the quality comes in -- shielding and thickness, and not the gold.
Radio Shack, Philips and several other "generic no-name" cables are just as good as Monster, but for lower cost. HDMI cables, for example, can be found at Supermediastore
for under $10, and those are every bit as good as the $30-50 cables sold by Monster (or other brands found in local offline stores).
I would definitely think twice before buying a $2 "Monster" cable from some John Q. Nobody on Amazon
. Then again, it's a decent $2 gamble -- not a big investment there. And it may turn out to be a quite decent cable, even if it's fake!
Hope that helps.
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