Stupid question regarding speaker wire... - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
gizzygone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 85
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hello all,
Just a quick question about speaker wire. I bought some audio quest in wall speaker wire for my new surround sound system. I noticed there are arrows on the shielding... Is speaker wire directional, or is that decoration on the jacket?


Thanks,
gizzygone is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 02:13 PM
 
SAM64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1,592
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Liked: 74
It's probably to indicate which conductor is which.
Cables are not directional.
Insulation is not the same as a shield.
SAM64 is offline  
post #3 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 02:48 PM
AVS Special Member
 
mcnarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,167
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 119 Post(s)
Liked: 321
Quote:


Is speaker wire directional, or is that decoration on the jacket?

Speaker wire is not directional, but the arrows aren't just for decoration. They're there to fool you into thinking that Audioquest wire is better than other wires because it is directional.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

mcnarus is online now  
post #4 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 04:23 PM
Newbie
 
krazedj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
AudioQuest tests out the resistance on both ends of the cable. The end direction that has the least amount of resistance is the direction that the arrows point in. Arrows go from the source (Blu-ray player) to either your display device (TV), or Audio Device (AVR).

Do or do not. Try, there is no try.
krazedj is offline  
post #5 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 04:37 PM
AVS Special Member
 
DonH50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Monument CO
Posts: 6,188
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 191 Post(s)
Liked: 282
That's a joke, right?

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
DonH50 is offline  
post #6 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 04:58 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
ccotenj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: the toxic waste dumps of new jersey
Posts: 21,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazedj View Post

AudioQuest tests out the resistance on both ends of the cable. The end direction that has the least amount of resistance is the direction that the arrows point in. Arrows go from the source (Blu-ray player) to either your display device (TV), or Audio Device (AVR).

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonH50 View Post

That's a joke, right?

i HOPE it is...

but, sadly, i think he is serious...

- chris

 

my build thread - updated 8-20-12 - new seating installed and projector isolation solution

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1332917/ccotenj-finally-gets-a-projector

ccotenj is offline  
post #7 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 05:00 PM
AVS Special Member
 
67jason's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,900
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Liked: 793
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazedj View Post

AudioQuest tests out the resistance on both ends of the cable. The end direction that has the least amount of resistance is the direction that the arrows point in. Arrows go from the source (Blu-ray player) to either your display device (TV), or Audio Device (AVR).


I don't need snobs to tell me how to think, thank you!
67jason is offline  
post #8 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 05:05 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Ivan Beaver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,639
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazedj View Post

AudioQuest tests out the resistance on both ends of the cable. The end direction that has the least amount of resistance is the direction that the arrows point in. Arrows go from the source (Blu-ray player) to either your display device (TV), or Audio Device (AVR).

If you have ANY resistance on EITHER end-YOU have a problem.

If you hook a meter between the terminals-it should read an open (ie VERY high resistance).

But like others I really hope you are just kidding and trying to get people "excited".

Danley Sound Labs

Physics-not fads
Ivan Beaver is offline  
post #9 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 05:22 PM
AVS Special Member
 
holt7153's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: City of Angels
Posts: 3,238
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked: 108
Just make sure you don't connect them backwards--ambient sounds in your house from garbage disposals or air horns will be fed through your speakers and could overload your AVR .
Sammy2 likes this.

******************
Somebody told me it was frightening how much topsoil we are losing each year, but I told that story around the campfire and nobody got scared.
holt7153 is online now  
post #10 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 05:39 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jproy13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: East of West, Canada
Posts: 1,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by holt7153 View Post

Just make sure you don't connect them backwards--ambient sounds in your house from garbage disposals or air horns will be fed through your speakers and could overload your AVR .

For real? could it also cause my BD player to clip?
jproy13 is offline  
post #11 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 05:42 PM
AVS Special Member
 
William's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 8,410
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazedj View Post

AudioQuest tests out the resistance on both ends of the cable. The end direction that has the least amount of resistance is the direction that the arrows point in. Arrows go from the source (Blu-ray player) to either your display device (TV), or Audio Device (AVR).

Actually they ask the electrons which way feels better to them and then line the atoms up in the cable (one by one) so the electrons are happy. Happy electrons = superior sound.?
William is offline  
post #12 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 05:43 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jproy13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: East of West, Canada
Posts: 1,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazedj View Post

AudioQuest tests out the resistance on both ends of the cable. The end direction that has the least amount of resistance is the direction that the arrows point in. Arrows go from the source (Blu-ray player) to either your display device (TV), or Audio Device (AVR).

that is kind of like saying that the arrow on my garden hose is for showing the path of less restrictive water flow. I better go check if it's hooked up correctly, wouldn't want the water to come out of my neighbor's tub when I want to water my lawn

for the record, there is no arrow on my garden hose
jproy13 is offline  
post #13 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 05:44 PM
AVS Special Member
 
jproy13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: East of West, Canada
Posts: 1,195
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by William View Post

Actually they ask the electrons which way feels better to them and then line the atoms up in the cable (one by one) so the electrons are happy. Happy electrons = superior sound.?

he he, I like your analogy better
jproy13 is offline  
post #14 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 06:04 PM
AVS Special Member
 
DonH50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Monument CO
Posts: 6,188
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 191 Post(s)
Liked: 282
For optimal electron alignment in my listening room I use my Tice clock.

"After silence, that which best expresses the inexpressible, is music" - Aldous Huxley
DonH50 is offline  
post #15 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 06:32 PM
AVS Special Member
 
lovinthehd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: OROR
Posts: 6,844
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 306 Post(s)
Liked: 848
I was curious just what specs they might sell this stuff with so a googling I went and found this in the Crutchfield ad. When I first saw the sequential footage markers I thought maybe that's it, but then the next line squashed that. I think the best feature is the last one listed:
14-gauge, 4-conductor cable (14/4)
UL-rated for in-wall installation
rated for direct burial
high-purity copper for high-integrity signal transfer
Concentric Pack stranding ensures high conductivity and low distortion
twisted pair construction combats interference
sequential footage markers printed on jacket for accurate cable measurements during installation
directional arrows tell you which way the signal should flow for the best sound
warranty: 5 years
Our 60-day money-back guaranteee.

If you're going to run inwall why would you want four wires? You always plan on co-locating speakers? Or bi-wiring/bi-amping?

lovinthehd is online now  
post #16 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 06:49 PM
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,524
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazedj View Post

AudioQuest tests out the resistance on both ends of the cable. The end direction that has the least amount of resistance is the direction that the arrows point in. Arrows go from the source (Blu-ray player) to either your display device (TV), or Audio Device (AVR).

Really? I never knew that. I thought that the arrows were there as a way to tell dust bunnies which way to migrate, to make more dust bunnies.

What other wisdom do you have for everyone?
gregzoll is offline  
post #17 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 07:01 PM
AVS Special Member
 
lovinthehd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: OROR
Posts: 6,844
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 306 Post(s)
Liked: 848
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

Really? I never knew that. I thought that the arrows were there as a way to tell dust bunnies which way to migrate, to make more dust bunnies.

What other wisdom do you have for everyone?

Maybe he's just a kraze dj...or being sarcastic.

That's pretty funny that they would test each wire and mark 'em! Marketing does work! The bonus that you can use your speaker wires to connect your components as well is pretty good, too...

lovinthehd is online now  
post #18 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 07:13 PM
AVS Special Member
 
mcnarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,167
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 119 Post(s)
Liked: 321
Quote:


I thought that the arrows were there as a way to tell dust bunnies which way to migrate, to make more dust bunnies.

Bunnies do not need to be told how to make more bunnies.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

mcnarus is online now  
post #19 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 07:19 PM
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,524
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Bunnies do not need to be told how to make more bunnies.

Tell me about it. We seem to always find a second or third Golden Retriever in our house, when we vacuum, at least twice a week.
gregzoll is offline  
post #20 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 07:23 PM
 
gregzoll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,524
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 32
lovinthehd, only place that the arrows really matter, is with stuff like Diodes, etc, filters for liquid agents, etc, or when marking pipes for flow, so that when people are trying to trace the route, even though they have blueprints or schematics, they may not have them at that point.

Never really in my life of handling hundreds, if not thousands of various gauges of wire, from everything from wire wrapping, to hauling huge Ship to Shore power lines, has there ever been an arrow on that. Now of course, if some joker decided they wanted to pull one over on the new guy, yes we would take some length and mark it, to see if they would catch it.
gregzoll is offline  
post #21 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 07:27 PM
AVS Special Member
 
mcnarus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 6,167
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 119 Post(s)
Liked: 321
Quote:


directional arrows tell you which way the signal should flow for the best sound

And don't forget: They charge more for the wire with the arrows.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

mcnarus is online now  
post #22 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 08:32 PM
AVS Special Member
 
chikoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,067
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazedj View Post

AudioQuest tests out the resistance on both ends of the cable. The end direction that has the least amount of resistance is the direction that the arrows point in. Arrows go from the source (Blu-ray player) to either your display device (TV), or Audio Device (AVR).

I am getting more laughs at avs forums than comedy central !!!!
chikoo is offline  
post #23 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 09:13 PM
AVS Special Member
 
lovinthehd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: OROR
Posts: 6,844
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 306 Post(s)
Liked: 848
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

lovinthehd, only place that the arrows really matter, is with stuff like Diodes, etc, filters for liquid agents, etc, or when marking pipes for flow, so that when people are trying to trace the route, even though they have blueprints or schematics, they may not have them at that point.

Never really in my life of handling hundreds, if not thousands of various gauges of wire, from everything from wire wrapping, to hauling huge Ship to Shore power lines, has there ever been an arrow on that. Now of course, if some joker decided they wanted to pull one over on the new guy, yes we would take some length and mark it, to see if they would catch it.

Yer preachin' to the choir as they say. I was just curious what bs those trusty folk in sales/marketing might come up with and just to see what the product actually was.

lovinthehd is online now  
post #24 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 10:25 PM
AVS Special Member
 
domino92024's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Liked: 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by jproy13 View Post

that is kind of like saying that the arrow on my garden hose is for showing the path of less restrictive water flow. I better go check if it's hooked up correctly, wouldn't want the water to come out of my neighbor's tub when I want to water my lawn

for the record, there is no arrow on my garden hose

You obviously do not have an AudioQuest garden hose.
domino92024 is offline  
post #25 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 10:32 PM
Member
 
mirkolop's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 95
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I have very old speaker wires. There is some green discoloration in one of them. It is clear and I can see the green going a ways. what is it? Should I think of replacing? It is thick wire, I think 10 gauge, maybe 12. Thicker than lamp cord. The only problem is that they run through a built in cabinet. They may be a PIA to replace. If my speakers still sound good, should I worry about it?
mirkolop is offline  
post #26 of 206 Old 04-30-2012, 11:37 PM
 
dragonfyr's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 809
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizzygone View Post

Hello all,
Just a quick question about speaker wire. I bought some audio quest in wall speaker wire for my new surround sound system. I noticed there are arrows on the shielding... Is speaker wire directional, or is that decoration on the jacket?

Since you have not been more specific with the precise cable topology, such as between twin conductor or coaxial variants (although I would normally assume a twin lead for regular full range speakers...), it may indicate neither 'electron directivity' - where electron drift measured in inches/feet per second and is not a significant factor in signal flow, considering that the signal is actually carried by an EM field..., nor some imagined difference in resistivity; but rather another more practical factor.

It can very possibly indicate that while "normal" cables can incorporate an outer circumferential shielding that is connected at both terminating fittings, that in order to reduce ground loops and the associated hum, that one end of the sheathing is disconnected (unterminated). thus the arrows indicate the recommended orientation of the cable and the terminated fitting(s).

Not an optimal solution, but it can work to a limited degree.

So in some cases there is a manner of reasoning behind the concept of a 'directional' cable. But even with such cases considered, I fear you (and to many in the market as a whole) are being influenced more by the marketing techno-babble, appearances and suggestive rationalization than to any objectively determined actual behavior in a product niche where significant profit margin exists, and where vendors count on such accessory sales to constitute a inordinately large and significant percentage of their actual profits.
dragonfyr is offline  
post #27 of 206 Old 05-01-2012, 03:45 AM
AVS Special Member
 
William's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 8,410
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked: 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

And don't forget: They charge more for the wire with the arrows.

Do you know how much it's costs to print arrows on the casing? Also after testing a them a large percentage are rejected because the arrows were printed in the wrong direction and they will short out your amp/speakers.

Also they can't print the arrows before testing because the cables can change direction and it becomes fixed after printing.
William is offline  
post #28 of 206 Old 05-01-2012, 04:26 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
arnyk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Posts: 14,382
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 753 Post(s)
Liked: 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by William View Post

Do you know how much it's costs to print arrows on the casing?

If they are printing anything else on the wire, adding the arrows costs next to nothing.

Quote:


Also after testing a them a large percentage are rejected because the arrows were printed in the wrong direction and they will short out your amp/speakers.

I don't think there's much danger of the printing going on wrong, since the wire itself is fully bi-directional. ;-)


Quote:


Also they can't print the arrows before testing because the cables can change direction and it becomes fixed after printing.

Testing? Do tell how one tests copper wires for their preferred direction of conduction!

Dowsing rod?

Inspection of goat entrails?

Observe splatters of chicken blood?
arnyk is offline  
post #29 of 206 Old 05-01-2012, 04:34 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
arnyk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Grosse Pointe Woods, MI
Posts: 14,382
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 753 Post(s)
Liked: 1167
Quote:
Originally Posted by mirkolop View Post

I have very old speaker wires. There is some green discoloration in one of them.

If the wires didn't get green until you had them for a long time, I'd replace them immediately because they must be slow wires. Some of the wire I've had turn green did so quite quickly, which indicates that they give "fast bass". ;-)

Seriously, the green color is probably due to a very thin layer of copper sulfate or other copper compound forming on the surface of the wire. Sulfur r comes from either the atmosphere or from the insulation. If it happens along the length of the wire, then the insulation is the most probable source. If it happens only at the ends, then the atmosphere is the most probable source.

Other than making the wire hard to solder and very much in need of cleaning at the ends before you reconnect them to equipment, it has no electrical effects.

Quote:


It is clear and I can see the green going a ways. what is it?

Basically its corrosion. In a few hundred years it might have some effect on how the wire conducts signals.

Quote:


Should I think of replacing? It is thick wire, I think 10 gauge, maybe 12. Thicker than lamp cord. The only problem is that they run through a built in cabinet. They may be a PIA to replace. If my speakers still sound good, should I worry about it?

The only reason I can think for replacing this wire is aesthetics. If you foresee a visit by the wire police, then you may want to change them out. The corrosion might be very detrimental to bragging rights.
arnyk is offline  
post #30 of 206 Old 05-01-2012, 05:45 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Swampfox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,711
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
It's actually the direction of the ch'i.
So if you want your music to 'go with the flow' you make sure it's oriented in the right direction. Unless, of course, it's death metal, then you probably want to hook it up backwards.
Swampfox is offline  
Reply Audio theory, Setup and Chat

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off