Cat5e vs. Cat6 for DIY speaker cables - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 53 Old 07-18-2008, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by johnu View Post

Then why are you asking your original question? Get some cat 6 cable and run you own test. Since you apparently can discern the difference in cables, why would you trust anybody else's opinion, let alone make a decision based on some specs that don't translate directly into audio quality.

I was trying to get as much information so that I didn't have to purchase two large rolls of cable. The basis of my question was if the difference in Cat5e and Cat6 would transfer into audio quality.
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post #32 of 53 Old 07-18-2008, 09:59 AM
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IMO...
Go to Home Depot or Lowes. Get a few feet of each and test. Let us know if you perceive a difference in "audio quality".

The bottom line is that Catx cables are spec'ed for data/telephony. I don't think that you will get much support on AVS using it for audio applications. But then again... it's just copper. There really shouldn't be any difference, right?
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post #33 of 53 Old 07-18-2008, 10:21 AM
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Those who are questioning the use of Cat5 as speaker cabling should do a search on it. It should amuse you. People use it, mostly just for kicks. Of course it probably works as well as anything else. It was included in a wire shootout, HERE, and scored pretty well; based upon their critieria, of course.

edit: oops. noticed this had been linked to already.

"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
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post #34 of 53 Old 07-18-2008, 11:33 AM
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Agreed, Cat5 is used in residential distributed audio, running from the amplifiers to the wall box controllers, but then distributed to each speaker with normal CL3 speaker wire. Not sure why it is done this way, except perhaps by the ease of running a thinner cable through the walls. My point was why use this instead of speaker cable to begin with if it's not being run through walls. Now, on to your link to see what it states!

Interesting read, and I recall seeing that discussed in another thread. Final rank of 1 through 4 in favor of the home-brew Cat5 cables!!!
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post #35 of 53 Old 07-18-2008, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

HERE, and scored pretty well; based upon their critieria, of course.

edit: oops. noticed this had been linked to already.



And shown that it was opinion.
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post #36 of 53 Old 07-18-2008, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim Hef View Post


Interesting read, and I recall seeing that discussed in another thread. Final rank of 1 through 4 in favor of the home-brew Cat5 cables!!!


Not the final. It was the opinion that it was better.

I quote" So, here before you, I give you my opinion on which of these cable is the best"
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post #37 of 53 Old 07-12-2011, 12:40 PM
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Sorry to thread bump, but this thread still gets google hits.

FYI: most cat6 is just cat5 with a "+" type insulator/separator for the 4 twisted pairs. the wire inside was identical to my cat5. I found the cat6 much harder to work with due to this extra insulator, and I see absolutely no benefit in audio for having that anyways. stick to cat5, unless you can find some cat6 with better gauge.

P.S. I ended up wasting 200 feet of ethernet when I realized how crappy it looked, and my fingers blistered... I just caved and went to radio shack and got some real wire. huge waste of money for the 100ft cat5/100ft cat6
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post #38 of 53 Old 07-13-2011, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jlafrenz View Post

I was trying to get as much information so that I didn't have to purchase two large rolls of cable. The basis of my question was if the difference in Cat5e and Cat6 would transfer into audio quality.

In case you didn't get it, neither CAT 5 nor CAT 6 transfer into audio quality as compared to traditional speaker wire, except in some people's minds. One thing that helps some people think that CAT 5 sounds better than traditional speaker wire with the same amount of copper per foot is being ignorant about audio and electrical engineering. Another thing that helps is not knowing how to do a proper bias-controlled listening test.
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post #39 of 53 Old 07-13-2011, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jlafrenz View Post

I was trying to get as much information so that I didn't have to purchase two large rolls of cable. The basis of my question was if the difference in Cat5e and Cat6 would transfer into audio quality.

What nobody has answered is what are the technical differences between CAT 5 and CAT 6 cable. You can find a reasonable discussion of that here:

http://www.broadbandutopia.com/caandcaco.html

"The general difference between category 5e and category 6 is in the transmission performance, and extension of the available bandwidth from 100 MHz for category 5e to 200 MHz for category 6. This includes better insertion loss, near end crosstalk (NEXT), return loss, and equal level far end crosstalk (ELFEXT). These improvements provide a higher signal-to-noise ratio, allowing higher reliability for current applications and higher data rates for future applications."

So, as soon as you get some CDs with 100-200 MHz music on them, and obtain the power amplifiers and speakers to match, all you would need is ears that also work in the 100-200 MHz range to hear a difference.

When I go downtown I occasionally see people who are having imaginary conversations with unseen people. No cell phones, nothing! They say that Haldol can help these poor folks. If you're hearing differences due to your CAT5 "upgrade" you might be hearing some the same things as they do. ;-)
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post #40 of 53 Old 07-13-2011, 05:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim Hef View Post

Agreed, Cat5 is used in residential distributed audio, running from the amplifiers to the wall box controllers, but then distributed to each speaker with normal CL3 speaker wire. Not sure why it is done this way, except perhaps by the ease of running a thinner cable through the walls.

There are many advantages to distributing audio using CAT-5, including the one you mentioned. It is always good to have the speakers reasonably close to their amplifiers, and it is always easier to get a clean volume control at line level instead of speaker level. CAT-5 is generally quite bit less costly than good speaker wire given that it passes 4 independent audio signals.
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post #41 of 53 Old 01-20-2013, 08:04 PM
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Old thread but interesting topic, and i got about half way through the replies and the % of confident disinfo / complete misunderstanding of the question astounded me so much that i feel compelled to share what info i have. If i am incorrect, please let me know how and i will be glad to learn. Forgive my arrogance if you can, but if there's one thing i can't stand it's people handing out knowledge they don't have. And if i'm doing the same then tell me and i will thank you for it.

The first 2 or 3 respondents clearly didn't read the initial post/question, even though one of them pretended he had by quoting the thread starter, even though his reply clearly demonstrated he hadn't understood what he had just copied & pasted. Frightening, and possibly useful when evaluating the reliability of the info you can find here. I find this is most often the case, things like Yahoo Answers being another perfect example of totally uninformed people feeling a strange need to reply and spread disinformation, which then gets voted up and "confirmed" by a bunch of people who didn't know anything about the matter either.

I am no expert yet after a couple of searches i feel i know more than a lot of the first half of the posts here.

To say or insinuate that there is no difference between cables is about as moronic as saying there is no difference for other elements in the audio chain. If there were no difference then why use copper? Why not use something cheaper? Why not use something that doesn't oxide, for example? Of course there are differences. A cable removes part of the signal and may distort it and/or pick up interferences of various sorts. So of course there are differences.

Gauge
Most people seem to think that gauge is everything when it comes down to quality (then they admit there is a difference between cables, btw). This is not true. If your + & - are far apart it will sound like ****, no matter what gauge you are using. Some smart arse said that the best cable for speakers is speaker cable. Wow, so the best paste for teeth is tooth paste, and the best laces for shoes are shoe laces. Beware, we have a genius on our hands.
Well, it isn't speaker cable, and in fact Cat5e is probably one of the best cables you can use for speaker cable, as long as you double it for each speaker. That isn't opinion or subjective, it's based on a few simple facts.
You don't want multi-strand copper for any audio cable, you want mono strand. Furthermore, you want the + & - to be as close as possible to increase rejection of interference. So the best you can do is to have a + next to a - next to a + next to a - and so on. And you want that heavy gauge so you use two cables for each speaker (i'm not talking about bi-cabling or bi-amping here).

You can buy cables like that, and they cost the price of a Corvette. OK, they will be better quality inside and shielded, but if you want cheap & decent you will use Cat5e. Cat5e is better than Cat5. Look it up if you don't know the difference. For those too lazy, click here : http://www.cableorganizer.com/articles/cat5-cat5e-cat6.htm

Cat6
No, Cat6 is NOT better for this purpose than Cat5 or Cat5e. Just because it has a higher number doesn't mean it's better for audio (although, yes, it is better for digital data if you need the extra speed and want it to be more future-proof). Don't recommend that based on some sort of conditioning with product numbers if you don't know the difference.
The difference is NOT just gauge, it is mostly thicker insulation between the cores, which means the + & - are further apart in our case, since we will be using each of the 8 cores as either a + or a - (4 or each, obviously). So you don't want a Cat6 because that will actually worsen your sound. Unless of course you cable is better insulated without thicker insulation, in which case you could use Cat6 but unless you have checked that precisely then you need to steer clear of Cat6 for audio purposes.

Finally, for the skeptics who have either never tried or don't have the ears for it who still think there is no difference between cables (an assumption that is totally unsubstantiated and very unlikely when you think about it), try an average guitar cable and try a Vovox Sonorus. Night and day. Much wider bandwidth, much much less distortion, more detail, clearer, better in every way. I'm talking about the Vovox cable. Sure, it doesn't cost 10 Dollars. It's 100 € for 3.5m. But you only buy it once, and contrary to so many other cables, its construction is brilliant and i'd bet a lot it will last for decades. Spread the cost over the life span of the cable and you're talking a few dollars a year for excellent sound.

Now, if i'm talking bollocks then please let me know, call me a twat if that makes you feel better, and teach me something because i'm trying to learn here, regardless of my tone.

Cheers
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post #42 of 53 Old 01-21-2013, 04:21 AM
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Cat 5 and Cat 5e cables typically use 24–26 AWG wire and has a maximum current carrying capacity of .577 A per strand. Category 6 cable tends to have slightly more copper in each cable, with standard gauges of 22–24 AWG and has a current capacity only slightly higher. They both have maximum voltage capacity of 125 V.

for data use, the noise level becomes too great due to resistance after 100 feet. For use in audio frequencies with dc voltage you would introduce capacitance noise relatively quickly and be confined to short runs with many strands, perhaps 30 or so to carry amplified currents from an AVR. to calculate this use this formula::>

P(W) = I(A) × V(V)

The power P in watts (W) is equal to the current I in amps (A), times the voltage V in volts (V):
you can find the measurements necessary in your manual for you amplifier. Then simply determine how many strands are necessary to carry your amperage.

If you are bent on continuing this folly, read here






but when returning to the real world: use this:::

http://www.lowes.com/pd_95381-226-112-3872J_4294722493__?productId=3129845&Ns=p_product_avg_rating|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_avg_rating|1&facetInfo=
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post #43 of 53 Old 01-21-2013, 05:11 AM
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Quote:

Holy smokes...
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The Synergistic Research TESLA Plex SE is a 20A duplex AC receptacle / power outlet that uses a Quantum Tunneling treatment: a process that changes the way a conductor works at the sub atomic level, impacting the entire TESLA Plex SE AC receptacle assembly. By applying a two million volt signal to each receptacle, at a specific pulse modulation and an ultra high frequency, for an exact duration of time, the outlet is transformed at the molecular level.

And it's a bargain at 95 bucks! rolleyes.gif

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post #44 of 53 Old 01-21-2013, 05:22 AM
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Holy smokes...
And it's a bargain at 95 bucks! rolleyes.gif

the Tesla wires are so ridiculously expensive,

thousands of dollars for a meter of cable! come on man....
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post #45 of 53 Old 01-21-2013, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by TheMasteringMan View Post


To say or insinuate that there is no difference between cables is about as moronic as saying there is no difference for other elements in the audio chain. If there were no difference then why use copper?
Why not use something cheaper? Why not use something that doesn't oxide, for example? Of course there are differences. A cable removes part of the signal and may distort it and/or pick up interferences of various sorts. So of course there are differences.

The above appears to be an attempt to misdirect the reader by raising a false issue. Everybody knows that different cables are at some perhaps microscopic level different. If nothing else, some are different colors. The more important question seems to be whether or not their are audible differences.
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Gauge
Most people seem to think that gauge is everything when it comes down to quality (then they admit there is a difference between cables, btw). This is not true.

Again, what appears to be an attempt to distract by means of misdirection. Nobody is seriously saying that guage is everything except perhaps the author of this post. This appears to be an example of the well-known straw man argument.
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If your + & - are far apart it will sound like ****, no matter what gauge you are using.

What appears to be yet another attempt to misdirect the readers. In general speaker cables don't spread the + and minus conductors far apart. However what happens technically when you do that is well known, and within reasonble bounds there are technical issues that justify the claim that it necessarily sounds like ****.


Quote:
Cat5e is probably one of the best cables you can use for speaker cable, as long as you double it for each speaker. That isn't opinion or subjective, it's based on a few simple facts.

However, we see no recitation of those facts. I will try to correct this. It is indeed possible to make adequate speaker cables with CAT5e or other similar cables. These cables contain 8 24 gauge wires and they can be connected in parallel. Parallel 2 of them and you have the equivalent of 21 gauge wire. Parallel 4 and you have the equivalent of 18 gauge wire. Parallel 8 and you have the equivalent of 15 gauge wire. Parallel 16 and you have the equivalent of 12 gauge wire, etc. Of course this whole discussion begs the common-sense guestion "What is wrong with simply buying the gauge of wire that you actually want?
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You don't want multi-strand copper for any audio cable, you want mono strand.

Which interestingly is not what you get when you parallel the internal strands of CAT5 cable. ???????????

Again, no actual reason has been given for avoiding stranded cable in the first place. I guess the author wants us to take this exceptional claim based on his personal authority. Why would you raise so high the personal authority of a person who contradicts themselves?

Quote:
Furthermore, you want the + & - to be as close as possible to increase rejection of interference.

While there is usually no reason to avoid placing the + & - conductors close together, one has to think about the last time one had problems with audible interference pickup by speaker cables. Its been a very, very long time.... ;-) Because of the low impedance and high voltages generally carried by speaker cables, interference pickup by speaker cables is rarely an issue.
Quote:
So the best you can do is to have a + next to a - next to a + next to a - and so on. And you want that heavy gauge so you use two cables for each speaker (i'm not talking about bi-cabling or bi-amping here).

Again we see that despite the (highly questionable) claim that solid wire is best, the author is essentially recommending the use of a multistranded wire.

I've had enough of this post - its just too strange to continue to comment on! ;-)
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post #46 of 53 Old 01-21-2013, 07:30 AM
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Paranoya, anyone?
I'm not trying to mislead anyone and i don't think i have contradicted myself either. The initial responses to this thread were, however, misleading and incorrect, as pointed out already.

Multi-strand can oxide between the strands. That's why you should prefer mono-strand.

And just because i don't explain everything in detail doesn't mean it's false or incorrect : i don't expect my "personal authority" to lead anyone to believe me, belief/faith is the enemy of knowledge, i expect people to do some research. Based on the words i use that should be fairly simple. I take it as a given that all the people on this forum have internet, a keyboard and means to type or copy & paste.

Thanks to all, however, for the added detail & information provided here.
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post #47 of 53 Old 01-21-2013, 07:51 AM
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i expect people to do some research

You haven't done any. you've posted a bunch of myths perpetuated by people who don't understand basic electronics.

you clearly don't understand capacitance, inductance or how they relate to characteristic impedance.
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post #48 of 53 Old 01-21-2013, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by SAM64 View Post

You haven't done any. you've posted a bunch of myths perpetuated by people who don't understand basic electronics.

you clearly don't understand capacitance, inductance or how they relate to characteristic impedance.
I have done very little so far, it is true - it's a work in progress, only just started.
Care to share any links where i can fill some of the gaps in my ignorance ?
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post #50 of 53 Old 01-21-2013, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by TheMasteringMan View Post

Paranoya, anyone?
I'm not trying to mislead anyone and i don't think i have contradicted myself either. The initial responses to this thread were, however, misleading and incorrect, as pointed out already.

Multi-strand can oxide between the strands. That's why you should prefer mono-strand.

So what? I know that there are lots of audiophile myths about stranded wire that is corroded. I've investigated that situation myself and found conclusively that the worst thing about stranded wire with corroded strands is that it can be hard to work with. However if you get some fine sandpaper and clean the strands, its solders up and otherwise makes good connections.

Besides, there is such a thing as multistranded wire that has strands that are coated with corrosion resistant materials such as tin.
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And just because i don't explain everything in detail doesn't mean it's false or incorrect :

Nevertheless your box score for reasonable explanations or even just being consistent with yourself is pretty close to 0.0%.
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i don't expect my "personal authority" to lead anyone to believe me, belief/faith is the enemy of knowledge, i expect people to do some research.

And I would respectfully expect you to do some research before you come in here and start spouting off a bunch of weird stuff. Fair enough?
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post #51 of 53 Old 01-21-2013, 09:39 AM
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knock it off guys

seems just a few regulars are responsible for the majority of thread reports...
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post #52 of 53 Old 01-21-2013, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3rdHerd View Post

Cat 5 and Cat 5e cables typically use 24–26 AWG wire and has a maximum current carrying capacity of .577 A per strand. Category 6 cable tends to have slightly more copper in each cable, with standard gauges of 22–24 AWG and has a current capacity only slightly higher. They both have maximum voltage capacity of 125 V.

for data use, the noise level becomes too great due to resistance after 100 feet. For use in audio frequencies with dc voltage you would introduce capacitance noise relatively quickly and be confined to short runs with many strands, perhaps 30 or so to carry amplified currents from an AVR. to calculate this use this formula::>

P(W) = I(A) × V(V)

The power P in watts (W) is equal to the current I in amps (A), times the voltage V in volts (V):
you can find the measurements necessary in your manual for you amplifier. Then simply determine how many strands are necessary to carry your amperage.

If you are bent on continuing this folly, read here






but when returning to the real world: use this:::

http://www.lowes.com/pd_95381-226-112-3872J_4294722493__?productId=3129845&Ns=p_product_avg_rating|1&pl=1&currentURL=%3FNs%3Dp_product_avg_rating|1&facetInfo=

The site you linked to looks DOA since 2007....so I guess that closes the chapter on using network Cat cable as speaker cables?
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post #53 of 53 Old 01-21-2013, 06:48 PM
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Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

The site you linked to looks DOA since 2007....so I guess that closes the chapter on using network Cat cable as speaker cables?


yep. case closed. Would be better to use lamp wire like our forefathers than cat5 or 2000 dollar per meter magic tesla wire. "changed at the molecular level"
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