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Audio Cable questions

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
I am just beginning to learn about audio systems, and it seems one point of contention is the relevance of audio cable qualities. It seems that oxygen-free copper is pretty agreed upon, but how relevant is long-grain copper? Do longer cables (to say, surrounds/rears) need to be higher quality, given the length of transmission, or does the importance of mains and the center outweigh that difference, even if they are 1/3 or 1/4 the length of the cables for the rears? Are Chinese company cables (or copper suppliers) sketchy in a way which must be concerning?

Right now I am looking at 2 companies: Blue Jeans cable, recommended by a friend, and AudioQuest cable, recommended by the speaker dealer I am looking at. The system I am building is going to be ~$7k range, probably B&W with an Anthem integrated amp. On that cost/quality basis, can anyone recommend between these 2 cable companies, or recommend any other cables which you think would be a good fit? Thanks.
post #2 of 47
Blue jeans or mono price.

Also you will want body armor as this discussion could turn into a war zone.

Matt
post #3 of 47
Many, many posts about cables and speaker wires.

Use www.monoprice.com and save your money.
post #4 of 47
Quote:


It seems that oxygen-free copper is pretty agreed upon

Nope. All copper is oxygen-free enough.

Quote:


but how relevant is long-grain copper

Very relevant to the scumbucket who is charging you a premium for it. But for you...

Quote:


Do longer cables (to say, surrounds/rears) need to be higher quality, given the length of transmission, or does the importance of mains and the center outweigh that difference, even if they are 1/3 or 1/4 the length of the cables for the rears?

The only relevant issue for speaker cables in most cases is resistance. Longer lengths mean higher resistance, so you want to use correspondingly thicker cables to offset that. Here's a very handy chart to help you figure out what you need.

Quote:


Are Chinese company cables (or copper suppliers) sketchy in a way which must be concerning?

Nope. 12-gauge copper wire is 12-gauge copper wire.

Quote:


Right now I am looking at 2 companies: Blue Jeans cable, recommended by a friend, and AudioQuest cable, recommended by the speaker dealer I am looking at. The system I am building is going to be ~$7k range, probably B&W with an Anthem integrated amp. On that cost/quality basis, can anyone recommend between these 2 cable companies, or recommend any other cables which you think would be a good fit? Thanks.

Wouldn't touch AudioQuest with a 10-foot pole. Typically dishonest cable company. Your dealer loves it, because he gets a nice profit off it. But AudioQuest's 12-gauge cable isn't any different than anybody else's 12-gauge cable. In fact, they probably buy it from the same plant.

I use Blue Jeans cables myself. They're an honest merchant. But basic suppliers like Monoprice and Parts Express are just as good.

BTW, my advice to you would be the same if you were assembling a $70K system.
post #5 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

...Monoprice and Parts Express are just as good.

And lets not forget your local home improvement store. 12AWG zip cord makes good speaker cable.

FWIW the in-wall stuff in my house came from Parts Express, the rest from a variety of places none of which were expensive.

Any benefits of oxygen free copper and long grain copper for audio are due to miniscule reductions in resistance over equivalent electrolytic tough pitch (ETP) copper. And ETP copper has low enough resistance for the purpose already.
post #6 of 47
InTheHolodeck, so far, you've gotten all the advices you need for the proper cabling of audio system. Now, be forewarned that there are boutique cable vendors trying to shill for their products with fancy terminologies and hyped up tech talks. Also, there are trolls with too much free time on their hands posting BS just to stir things up. Learn to spot and filter their words.
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by diomania View Post

Also, there are trolls with too much free time on their hands posting BS just to stir things up. Learn to spot and filter their words.

I didn't perceive that happening in this thread. Why stir the pot?
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

I didn't perceive that happening in this thread. Why stir the pot?

Enemy fire incoming!!
post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Why stir the pot?

I didn't. I said, "be forewarned" and it's based on the track record of what went on.
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by InTheHolodeck View Post


Right now I am looking at 2 companies: Blue Jeans cable, recommended by a friend, and AudioQuest cable, recommended by the speaker dealer I am looking at.

Pick up some Monoprice 12AWG. Put the dealer in his listening spot and have him pick out the AQ's 7 out of 8 random swaps.

Try the same for yourself.

Disclose the results at the end.
post #11 of 47
Quote:


I didn't. I said, "be forewarned" and it's based on the track record of what went on.

And you waved a red flag in front of the bulls. Please do not do that. You cause enough problems around here.
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

And you waved a red flag in front of the bulls.

Agreed. IMHO, just answer a question without encouraging the bulls to charge. Or... being a "bringer of storms".
post #13 of 47
In Texas, the term is "sh*t disturber". Walking through a field kicking cow paddies when you don't have to is frowned on.
post #14 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Or... being a "bringer of storms".

hey!! I was productive in my first post in this thread. For a change.... :S
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

In Texas, the term is "sh*t disturber". Walking through a field kicking cow paddies when you don't have to is frowned on.

Although any real farmer worth a salt lick knows that having the crap spread around is necessary. Spent many a summer driving a tractor with 50 foot harrows breaking up and spreading out cow crap. Hated it.

Matt
post #16 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_Vai_rules View Post

Although any real farmer worth a salt lick knows that having the crap spread around is necessary. Spent many a summer driving a tractor with 50 foot harrows breaking up and spreading out cow crap. Hated it.

Matt

i'm shocked...
post #17 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post


i'm shocked...

Wasn't the smell (was no smell actually) it was the heat and tedium. Driving around in circles in a big field really blows.

Matt
post #18 of 47
There are always the annual cowpie tossing contests.
post #19 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

There are always the annual cowpie tossing contests.

My trebuchet came in second place at the big fair in that event!!! Won me a nice big pig.
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post

Agreed. IMHO, just answer a question without encouraging the bulls to charge. Or... being a "bringer of storms".

You think those cable shills start posting because I warned a new member who asks about audio cable? I started warning newbies / potential cable purchasers after seeing those shills do their thing to anyone they think can be swayed. Any cable shills who post after the warning to OP will look that much more obvious and if anything, the warning will be a deterrent to them.
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_Vai_rules View Post

Wasn't the smell (was no smell actually) it was the heat and tedium. Driving around in circles in a big field really blows.

Matt

gee, and i thought the summer i spent making pallets was the worst job ever... however, i pass the crown of suckiest job to you...

although... you did win a pig...
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_Vai_rules View Post

Spent many a summer driving a tractor with 50 foot harrows breaking up and spreading out cow crap.

any Steve Vai air guitar solos while on the John Deere?
post #23 of 47
Quote:


Any cable shills who post after the warning to OP will look that much more obvious and if anything, the warning will be a deterrent to them.

Boy, you haven't got a clue about human nature.
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by holt7153 View Post


any Steve Vai air guitar solos while on the John Deere?

Yep. And petrucci!!
post #25 of 47
I like the red cables. Taste much better.
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccotenj View Post


gee, and i thought the summer i spent making pallets was the worst job ever... however, i pass the crown of suckiest job to you...

although... you did win a pig...

Worst job was working with concrete. That stuff sucks. Form oil screws your skin up and ruins your clothes and concrete dust I am sure has cut a few years off my life.

Matt
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Boy, you haven't got a clue about human nature.

I know what you are trying to say but that's not quite what I did. What I was doing is a spoiler to their usual "moves". Less effective their "moves" are the better.
post #28 of 47
Quote:


I know what you are trying to say but that's not quite what I did. What I was doing is a spoiler to their usual "moves". Less effective their "moves" are the better.

I don't care. You're still stinking up the thread with posts about your petty fights. And all those fights do is give the idiots more air time, by giving them something to respond to.
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_Vai_rules View Post

it was the heat and tedium. Driving around in circles in a big field really blows.

Sounds like early Nascar. And late nascar, but with less concrete.
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Nope. All copper is oxygen-free enough.

My company buys millions of dollars in cable (not audio) a year. A couple of years back we were given a tour of one of the local manufacturer's factories, and spying the spools of 8mm diameter copper wire from the foundry, I asked about purity. he replied, "Do you know what four 9's means?". I replied that I did, and later he expanded that that was the tested minimum purity they got (too noisy where we were).
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