Speaker cables (What to do? What to buy?) - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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post #61 of 74 Old 10-12-2013, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by ursus999 View Post

between what was voted the worst cable ( very thick copper) & the best very very thin copper there was a huge difference which even my old ears could hear
That goes to the marketing mantra that bigger is always better. It isn't, but the average consumer doesn't know that, and will pony up silly amounts of cash for something that looks like it will work better. As long as there are people willing to pay the price for snake oil there will be those lining up to sell it to them.

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post #62 of 74 Old 10-12-2013, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

That goes to the marketing mantra that bigger is always better. It isn't, but the average consumer doesn't know that, and will pony up silly amounts of cash for something that looks like it will work better. As long as there are people willing to pay the price for snake oil there will be those lining up to sell it to them.

Well, if a thicker cable is made just as well as the one that's thinner. then the thicker gauge would obviously be better. You still can't avoid the laws of physics.. Just, that's not the only factor, yet it's the simplest to understand, so obviously it's taken advantage of. Wouldn't be fair to say that for every case, or even most though...
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post #63 of 74 Old 10-12-2013, 01:20 PM
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I would have a question regarding loudspeaker cables in general.Maybe is difficult question but please help if you know something about it.I live in a place where lightning happens almost every month if not week.The question is - can lightning that strikes 50 or 100 meters far ,induce voltage in 4 meters long loudspeaker cable damaging very sensitive parts in SS amp., and if - would shield cable resolve the problem?
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post #64 of 74 Old 10-12-2013, 01:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

The number one factor that determines cable performance is capacitance. There is virtually no correlation between capacitance and price. Some of the most expensive cables are also some of the worst with respect to capacitance.
There is no #1 factor that is universal. The weakest link is the most important.

What happens when the resistance gets too high? First, there is power lost in the wire and the speaker will not play as loud. More important, as the resistance in series with the speaker increases, it makes the amplifier look more like a current source. This means the speaker frequency response will tend to follow the rise and fall of its impedance curve. The greater the impedance variation, the more noticeable the response changes will be. If the speaker has constant impedance versus frequency, the only change will be reduced output.



The red (upper) curve is without any added series resistance. The green (middle) curve is with one ohm added in series with the speaker and the black (lower) curve is with 2 ohms in series. You can see there is an overall loss in output but it is not the same at all frequencies. For the green (middle) curve in the area of 125 and 2500Hz, where the impedance is high, there is only about 1/2dB of loss in output whereas at the area of lowest impedance, at 300 and 10 kHz, the loss is about 2dB. The larger 2 ohm resistance shows even greater changes.

The resistances used in this example are much larger than the recommended wire resistance of 0.2 ohms but they do show how impedance variations can influence response. Response changes this large can be easily heard in an A-B listening test.

- http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#resistancehigh
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post #65 of 74 Old 10-12-2013, 02:28 PM
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Well, if a thicker cable is made just as well as the one that's thinner. then the thicker gauge would obviously be better. You still can't avoid the laws of physics.
It may be obvious to someone who doesn't have any knowledge of the laws of physics, which applies to the vast majority of consumers, and that's what keeps the cable crooks in business. Where gauge is concerned there is a minimum required to have inaudible insertion loss and adequate current capacity. Anything larger will not work the slightest bit better.
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can lightning that strikes 50 or 100 meters far ,induce voltage in 4 meters long loudspeaker cable damaging very sensitive parts in SS amp., and if - would shield cable resolve the problem
No, and no. A hit that severe would take out all of your gear anyway, even with surge suppression.

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post #66 of 74 Old 10-12-2013, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

It may be obvious to someone who doesn't have any knowledge of the laws of physics, which applies to the vast majority of consumers, and that's what keeps the cable crooks in business. Where gauge is concerned there is a minimum required to have inaudible insertion loss and adequate current capacity. Anything larger will not work the slightest bit better.

As always, not without some amount of condescension on your part.

Yes Bill, that's what I meant. Gauge also sometimes helps (depending on the design of the cable) with EMI or could actually make it worse. Point is, it makes a difference. You're always taking everything further than it has to or ever fully applies. If a company manufactures a thicker gauge and somebody buys it even though it's for a short distance, that may be because they didn't know any better, but it has nothing to do with the company purposely manufacturing those cables just for that reason. Yes, clearly there are companies that do that, and people are largely uninformed (not their fault), but that's not a case for everything where you feel it's always pertinent for making this assertion.
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post #67 of 74 Old 10-12-2013, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Typhoon859 View Post

Yes, clearly there are companies that do that, and people are largely uninformed (not their fault), but that's not a case for everything where you feel it's always pertinent for making this assertion.
if you want to know whether a company is preying on the ignorance of the general public with respect to what wire can and cannot do, it's pretty obvious in their advertising. If they say that their wire will make a system sound better, they are.

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post #68 of 74 Old 10-12-2013, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

if you want to know whether a company is preying on the ignorance of the general public with respect to what wire can and cannot do, it's pretty obvious in their advertising. If they say that their wire will make a system sound better, they are.

Oh, well yeah, of course. I mean every company does that with everything. Marketing BS, sure. I'm saying there are specific cases for cables with companies like Monster, but in general, it's no different than with anything else.
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post #69 of 74 Old 04-29-2014, 12:28 PM
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Try some Sewell wires and connectors..... they have 259 strand oxygen free copper wire in a 12 gauge thickness, with gold plated banana plug connectors. They are inexpensive, and of high quality. Their 3 foot center channel wire with connectors is about $8.00. These are made in the U.S.A. in Utah. Take a look at sewelldirect.com. The only knock that could possibly be told is that the plugs are held with two set screws... No problems here however. Good hunting!
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post #70 of 74 Old 04-29-2014, 01:53 PM
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I have my system wired with Sewell cables and like them ALOT. Very nice feel to them. Well constructed and great sound from what I can tell. And a great price compared to the really crazy prices I've seen. I think i have the 12ga terminated with the banana plugs. And they are very THICK. I like the double screw set in them.

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post #71 of 74 Old 04-29-2014, 02:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walbert View Post

Just truck on down to whatever your equivalent of Home Depot is, and get however many feet you need of 16-2 or 14-2 (18-2 if its a really short run). Bare wire to the amplifier and speakers is perfectly fine, and there's no need to spend a fortune on wire (you're just spending more to spend more).

Some background information if you want more "why" - http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm


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post #72 of 74 Old 05-22-2016, 04:36 AM
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I in one of my brainless moments purchased & tried about 20 different speaker cabled from budget to fairly exotic & came to most peoples conclusion.change in sound is in the mind. it should be obvious that all 12 guage oxygen free copper cables will sound the same whether you pay £2 a metre or £100 a metre. its allliberal amounts of snake oil by greedy manufacturers.
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post #73 of 74 Unread Today, 01:43 PM
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Belden is great. QSC branded speakers use Belden internally. BJC has good pricing as well. I run 2 12 ga to each main, one for mid/hi and one for low. Subs get 10ga. Surrounds are 12 ga.
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post #74 of 74 Unread Today, 04:58 PM
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I ran calculations on all the available parameters of a variety of speakers cable. Capacitance never matter even in the worst case scenarios. However, at extreme lengths in the range of 50ft 2.5mm² (~13ga) wire started trimming away at the high frequencies.

Speaker Cable Debate in Perspective

As far as size, it just needs to be big enough. That is also an easy calculation to make.

FYI: % Signal Loss for Speaker Wire Length

14ga wire has a working power of 1800 watts (15A x 120V), but in reality general 14ga wire is rated at 20 amps, so 2400 working watts. Though I haven't calculated recently, from memory, 14ga wire has a failure power of about 8000w. So, 14ga gets the job done under a vast majority of circumstances. Even 16ga for short runs is overkill.

You can go to larger wire is you want, it is your money, but there are reasonable limits. In my opinion 10ga or 4.0mm² exceed those reasonable limits in all but the most extreme and rare circumstance. Like 1000w/ch amps with 2 ohm speakers.

Here is the worst case scenario that I calculated for very common 2.5mm² (~13ga) wire -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Inductive Impedance of 50ft of very common 13ga/2.5mm² twin lead cable.

At 2.286% Inductive Impedance loss, the frequency was 3,614hz.

That is MUCH lower than I would have imagined.

At 10% Inductive Impedance loss, the frequency was 12,650hz.

Capacitive loses were still well outside the Audio Range. But, again, the Inductive losses were much more significant than I imagine.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Keep in mind this is just inductive loss, you still have to add the Resistive loss. However, as extreme as 10% to 12% loss might seem when converted to dB, it is roughly -1db. So, even at these extremes, the loss is not that great.

Now if you have a nice system, and you want some nice looking cable, fine spend some money - your money, your life - but keep it restrained. There is a point where the price is more about ego than performance.

I would have no trouble spending perhaps $100 to $150 for speaker cables - if I won the Lottery. I can afford it, though I acknowledge it offers little beyond cosmetics.

But $300, $500, $1000, $20,000 - bounds of reason people. The only think that will give you is a thinner wallet.

Probably if I only has a minor Lottery win, say a few hundred thousand, I would probably go with Mogami Cable at about $3/ft, and dress it up with some sleeving and some pants. Then add some decent Banana or Spade terminals.

There is a guy on this forum who has some $350/pr Audioquest cables, and he absolutely raves about them, but then ... he spent $350, what is he going to say - they suck? Not likely.

So, I say, under about 5% for all Wire and Cable, and some research bares that out. Even people with $30,000 to $60,000 systems spend less than 5% on all their wire and cable.

Here are charts from that research -

USA -




UK -



Bounds of reason people - bounds of reason.

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