This is Monster's current top model from the M-series of interconnect cables. It's a moderately bulky cable that apparently conceals quite a lot of technology beneath its undemonstrative exterior.

Monster makes much of this in its literature - such details as 'Three-Way Bandwidth Balanced Construction' and 'MicroFiber' dielectric.

The former refers to the use of different wire gauges, which allegedly conduct different frequency ranges within the audio band, ensuring time coherence in the emerging signal. The latter, meanwhile, is a low-loss dielectric that separates individual wires within the same conductor.

We remain somewhat sceptical about the justification for all this in scientific terms, not least because the most boringly ordinary cables can give time-coherent results (by our test instruments). All the same, it's intriguing to see what Monster has come up with, and the results can only be helped by the high-quality materials used, the very grippy 'Turbine' phono plugs and the floating screen, connected at one end only.

In the end, what matters is the sound - and we heard some very good ones via the M1000i. It is a very neutral cable in tonal terms and also has some very fine detail to offer. As one would hope at this kind of price, bass is extended, clear and tuneful, though just occasionally we thought it seemed a touch dry.

No such criticism applies to the treble, however, which is particularly sweet and open and as a result makes for revealing but still relaxed listening. Imaging is excellent too, with extensive and precise depth. Richard Black