is there a difference between car speaker wire vs home theater speaker wire? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 08-23-2007, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
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is there a difference between wires sold as car speaker wires vs wires sold as home theater speaker wires? both are the same gauge, was wondering if there is any difference in them?
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post #2 of 47 Old 08-23-2007, 11:22 PM
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No difference, copper is copper.

He who dies with the most toys wins.
Just make sure your toys are over 18.


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post #3 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 01:32 AM
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nope. You can even use lamp cord, and many people recommend it. Don't be fooled by any of those expensive cables. All you need is an adequate gauge wire for the length you are running, and clean connections and you won't notice a difference between one cable and the next.
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post #4 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 04:30 AM
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Kind of a touchy subject since no one really knows what measurements or properties to quantify sound quality. I thought cable was cable till Wednesday when I did back to back auditioning a couple of different, and very expensive speaker cable. There was a VERY noticable difference in sound quality, period. I'm now a convert! LOL! I bought them and still can't believe I paid that much for a pair of cables but they did complete my package and I would be regretting not doing it.

I think it depends on the gear your hooking up. I could not tell any difference with my old Onkyo receiver and 15 yr old cheap 3-way speakers. If your running mass market gear lamp cord or car speaker wire would be the way I'd go. If you sunk a bunch of money into separates then you should audition some of the expensive brands because they will add an amazing level of detail.
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post #5 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 05:57 AM
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copper wire gauge is the "key", the larger the wire (smaller wire gauge numbers) the lower the resistance per foot and the least amount of voltage drop on the cable run. Auto speaker wire may have a slightly tougher insulation material (and pretty colors), but the copper conductor is the same. 14 gauge is a good "all round" choice, unless your runs are over 40' or so....then consider 12 gauge.
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post #6 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 06:23 AM
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Quote:


I thought cable was cable till Wednesday when I did back to back auditioning a couple of different, and very expensive speaker cable. There was a VERY noticable difference in sound quality, period. I'm now a convert!

I do read this a lot...how expensive? I have done Monster crap vs lamp cord and I get no difference. Maybe your expensive stuff has some other components too it, is it all just wire, no resistors/capacitors?

Was it a blind test? Did you clean off your old speaker wire? They say that not once in any double blind test did someone choose the expensive wire extensively so if this is true how come people do think they hear a difference?

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post #7 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 06:54 AM
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a lot of times its the guage jump in wire lamp cord and monster are usually 14awg
some of the more expensive brands use 14/2 ,11 and 10 awg most of the time the
difference was the increase of the wire diameter or awg some amp speaker combo's
like the larger awg then the rest of the time no loss or gain.
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post #8 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 07:45 AM
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In blind listening tests where you don't know which wire is hooked up, you won't hear a difference. Gauge and length for your application is what is important. God didn't make different types of copper.

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post #9 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 09:20 AM
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Yes, there is a huge difference, and anyone will notice - you don't have to be a big audiophile to tell the difference.

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You can get car wire in lots of different colors!
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post #10 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conflate View Post

is there a difference between wires sold as car speaker wires vs wires sold as home theater speaker wires? both are the same gauge, was wondering if there is any difference in them?

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post #11 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 10:37 AM
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Yes, there is a huge difference, and anyone will notice - you don't have to be a big audiophile to tell the difference.

prove it

http://www.vxm.com/21R.64.html

http://www.theaudiocritic.com/downloads/article_1.pdf

read on people.
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post #12 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 10:44 AM
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Quote:

You obviously didn't read both lines of that post...
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post #13 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 02:02 PM
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No, get 100 ft 14 gauge cable at monoprice.com for $26 plus shipping (get your other hookups there as well)
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post #14 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 02:36 PM
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Theres no friggin way I'm going to pay more than $1.00-$3.00 for copper wire! I cant beleive some wire goes for $1.00-$3.00 a foot!!
$3.00 is probably what it cost to make the roll of wire!

If I indeed purchased $14.00-$1,000 wire then I'd be having some serious issues!!

Because at a thousand dollars I could go on a best buy/thrift shop/circuit city/office max shopping binge!

It's all copper wire to me and the difference in sound quality is probably not enough to have me pay $100-$1,000 for run-of-the-mill wire makketed under hype

One shall stand... One Shall Fall... - Optimus Prime
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post #15 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx6rpete View Post

Kind of a touchy subject since no one really knows what measurements or properties to quantify sound quality.

But everyone except audiophools knows the measurements of electrical quailty, which is resistance, capacitance and impedance.
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post #16 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vitaminc View Post

But everyone except audiophools knows the measurements of electrical quailty, which is resistance, capacitance and impedance.

Resistance, capacitance and inductance. Also, gauge and insulation.

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post #17 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 03:00 PM
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Heck, even using a thinner cable, the only thing that's going to happen is the voltage will drop a bit and the speakers won't sound quite as loud. We all paid good money for our volume knobs and surround settings. Might as well use them.

Shielding is a legitimate issue, but can be avoided by not running your speaker wires in parallel with 120V AC power lines.

Hmm

Audio is considered pretty low-tech in the realm of electrical engineering. Transmitting let alone reproducing a signal below 20KHz is not especially hard nor misunderstood.
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post #18 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Resistance, capacitance and inductance. Also, gauge and insulation.

Gauge (and wire material) determine the resistance. Insulation effects the capacitance of the wire. Shielding effects the mutual inductance.

Gauge and insulation are properties of wire that will effect the specs, but we don't need to know them or measure them to tell how well a piece of wire will carry a signal.
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post #19 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 04:14 PM
 
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Kind of a touchy subject since no one really knows what measurements or properties to quantify sound quality. I thought cable was cable till Wednesday when I did back to back auditioning a couple of different, and very expensive speaker cable. There was a VERY noticable difference in sound quality, period. I'm now a convert! LOL! I bought them and still can't believe I paid that much for a pair of cables but they did complete my package and I would be regretting not doing it.

Ha, ya and the best sound always comes from the most expensive cable.
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post #20 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 07:00 PM
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your right, i didnt notice the bottom part of his quote, perhaps i mistook it for a signature
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post #21 of 47 Old 08-24-2007, 07:28 PM
 
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If you think cables make a difference maybe you can try this.

http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina60.htm
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post #22 of 47 Old 08-25-2007, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonW747 View Post

Gauge (and wire material) determine the resistance. Insulation effects the capacitance of the wire. Shielding effects the mutual inductance.

While that is true, there are issues of power handling that depend on the gauge and insulation and, while it may not affect sound, it is an additional factor.

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post #23 of 47 Old 08-25-2007, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by penngray View Post

I do read this a lot...how expensive? I have done Monster crap vs lamp cord and I get no difference. Maybe your expensive stuff has some other components too it, is it all just wire, no resistors/capacitors?

Was it a blind test? Did you clean off your old speaker wire? They say that not once in any double blind test did someone choose the expensive wire extensively so if this is true how come people do think they hear a difference?


It was blind and I didn't know what kind they were swapping out till the end when I kept telling them to put the blue/black ones ( http://www.kimber.com/Products/LoudS...s/8TC/8TC.aspx ) back on. I think it depends on what your hooking up because with my 15yr old Onkyo receiver I couldn't tell the difference between Radio Shack or Monster Cable. Most people have that quality level of gear so I can understand the wire is wire comments because I agree. With my new system the Kimber's brought out higher level of detail. Not just a little bit but pretty substantial. My plan was to select speakers and buy some cheap wire but I'm now a convert. Last week I would have fought on the side it didn't make a difference. It was alot more than I wanted to spend but its a one time cost that should provide enjoyment for many years.

I'd say if you buying expensive components to give it a try. In my case I brought my actual equipment into the store to audition with the speakers but I'm sure high end places would let you bring a couple pairs home to listen for yourself. I never saw conflate reply back with what he was hooking up so the point of expensive cable may be moot.
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post #24 of 47 Old 08-25-2007, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

While that is true, there are issues of power handling that depend on the gauge and insulation and, while it may not affect sound, it is an additional factor.

Not true at all.

Power loss is proportional to resistance. At DC frequency you only need to know R (resistance) to know the power loss, at AC frequencies L (inductance) and C (capacitance) come in to play.

Multi-stranded cable may carry more charge then the same mass of single-stranded cable, but that's because it has a lower resistance. Using gold wire instead of copper would result in a lower resistance as well.

Measure the R, L, and C of the wire and you know exactly what effect it will have on the signal.
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post #25 of 47 Old 08-25-2007, 07:57 AM
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The debate about speaker wire goes on forever.

I wonder if we are even talking apples vs apples here.

If its copper vs copper then there is no doubt in my mind that no matter how much it costs its going to sound the same even 16AWG vs 10AWG at 10 feet will sound the same.

What if its not...is there another metal used or mixed into the expensive stuff. I have never read anything about the make up of these wires but could it be different?

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post #26 of 47 Old 08-25-2007, 08:01 AM
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Those 8TCs use Varistrand Hyper-pure copper.....I wonder what that is, really! They are braided, similar idea to twisted pair used in Cat5e applications.

Not your average lamp cord but how much is it different....

8TCs

• (Cp) parallel capacitance: 821.0 pF @ 20 kHz
• (Ls) series inductance: 0.345 H @ 20 kHz
• (Rdc) dc loop resistance: 0.018
• (Xt) total reactance: 0.044 @ 20 kHz
• Frequency response ± 0.5 dB dc - 300 kHz

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post #27 of 47 Old 08-25-2007, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zx6rpete View Post

It was blind and I didn't know what kind they were swapping out till the end when I kept telling them to put the blue/black ones ( http://www.kimber.com/Products/LoudS...s/8TC/8TC.aspx ) back on. I think it depends on what your hooking up because with my 15yr old Onkyo receiver I couldn't tell the difference between Radio Shack or Monster Cable. Most people have that quality level of gear so I can understand the wire is wire comments because I agree. With my new system the Kimber's brought out higher level of detail. Not just a little bit but pretty substantial. My plan was to select speakers and buy some cheap wire but I'm now a convert. Last week I would have fought on the side it didn't make a difference. It was alot more than I wanted to spend but its a one time cost that should provide enjoyment for many years.

I'd say if you buying expensive components to give it a try. In my case I brought my actual equipment into the store to audition with the speakers but I'm sure high end places would let you bring a couple pairs home to listen for yourself. I never saw conflate reply back with what he was hooking up so the point of expensive cable may be moot.


They were swapping the cables? who is they, so this was at an audio shop hmmmm, one way to pay your overhead. Sucker born every minute.
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post #28 of 47 Old 08-25-2007, 08:08 AM
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From http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/c...ble-face-off-1


Someone else posted this in another wire discussion thread.

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post #29 of 47 Old 08-25-2007, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

While that is true, there are issues of power handling that depend on the gauge and insulation and, while it may not affect sound, it is an additional factor.

It might also effect how well the wire physically fits.

Everything I say here is my opinion. It is not my employers opinion, it is not my wife's opinion, it is not my neighbors opinion, it is My Opinion.
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post #30 of 47 Old 08-25-2007, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluray_1080p View Post

If you think cables make a difference maybe you can try this.

http://www.machinadynamica.com/machina60.htm

Is that for real?

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