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Lowes speaker wire (woods cable)  

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I picked up a spool of this Woods 14 ga speaker cable at lowes...it doesn't say its oxygen free so i guess it isn't....is it decent for non critical listening uses?
post #2 of 11
Just because they didn't try to fool you with useless marketing terms, doesn't mean the cable is bad.

It will be fine.
post #3 of 11
There will be many opinions. Mine is that it is fine. You can do even better over at monoprice.com . I recently bought 300 FEET of 12 gauge for around $50. Problem is, I used half of the roll and can't find the other half!
post #4 of 11
Critical, non-critical and casual--good for all. Here are some reads about the oxy free hype

http://www.aqdi.com/goldcon.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen-free_copper

To make matters more confusing there is more than one sort of oxy free copper made, and those who use it in cables rarely tell about the type and characteristics. In any case for low voltage speaker wires of typical lengths it may be that the slightly lower DC resistance can be measured but is not important.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey, great responses, thanks. I figured it wasn't a big deal, but now i can see it is *no* deal at all.
post #6 of 11
I used some of the same stuff a few years ago to wire my garage system. Not sure if it was from the extreme temp & humidity swings, but it turned green in a year or so. And I'm not just talking the exposed ends, I mean all the copper turned green. It's since been replaced with a CL3 rated inwall wire & no issues that I can see.

-Dave
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveHolland
I used some of the same stuff a few years ago to wire my garage system. Not sure if it was from the extreme temp & humidity swings, but it turned green in a year or so. And I'm not just talking the exposed ends, I mean all the copper turned green. It's since been replaced with a CL3 rated inwall wire & no issues that I can see.

-Dave
I've seen that once or twice although when it happened to me the green did not extend to the areas under the connectors. It was ugly and I replaced it but it did not seem to have any deleterious impact. For the record the wire was a Chinese or Taiwanese, no-name import from a long defunct audio chain, known to its fans as Pathetic Stereo.

I've read speculation that the green layer was caused by a reaction with poor quality insulation and was not any sort of normal oxidation. Assuming that is that you are not in an extremely damp environment or exposed to corrosive or hight sulphur atmospheres ;)

After that I've used nothing but American made cable from the hardware store. These days the odds favor it being Chinese made cable, although the quality is surely better. I will not give my opinion on the foolishness of being a nation that sells raw materials, and imports mostly finished goods, oil and lately food.
post #8 of 11
Don't they teach chemistry in US schools?
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Targus
Don't they teach chemistry in US schools?
They did and they do, but what's your point?

Is it that copper reacts with the oxy in air and copper oxide is created, and that copper oxide looks green, or that copper also reacts with the combustion products by products of coal and natural gas or various industrial aerosols?

I've have personally observed two brands of clear jacketed wire used in the same room; one turning green along its entire length and one not. Normally the insulation so slows the formation of oxides that only the bare ends show it even after years of service.

When the green discoloration appears along the entire length of the cable, it strongly suggests something other than normal atmospheric oxidation. 14AWG wire used in outdoor low voltage lighting shows far less deterioration. Even out of doors a green patina takes a long time to develop.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Is it that copper reacts with the oxy in air and copper oxide is created, and that copper oxide looks green
No, and that's why I asked.
Copper oxide is black, chlorides are green and sulphates are blue. Most wire insulation is PVC (the C is for chloride). It is on the surface, and has very little effect on the flow of current through the wire.
post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Targus
No, and that's why I asked.
Copper oxide is black, chlorides are green and sulphates are blue. Most wire insulation is PVC (the C is for chloride). It is on the surface, and has very little effect on the flow of current through the wire.
Yikes, my HS chem teacher, Miss Petty, always knew that I would come to a bad end. But wait, there's more--
Copper(I) oxide or cuprous oxide (Cu2O) is an oxide of copper...
Copper(I) oxide is found as the mineral cuprite in some red-colored rocks. When it is exposed to oxygen, copper will naturally oxidize to copper(I) oxide, but this takes extensive periods of time.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...pperIoxide.jpg

Copper(II) oxide or cupric oxide (CuO) is the higher oxide of copper. It is a black solid

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...perIIoxide.jpg

When the entire wire turns green the insulation outgassing or breakdown is the best hypothesis with chlorine the agent.

However in many cases relating the color of the oxide to the cause is not so easy.

I have some copper pipe exposed out side for the past 20 years. It runs over redwood and concrete or is elevated from just above to two feet above the concrete. No parts are in contact with PVC. Some parts are in direct light, some are not, some are contaminated with solder or flux, some parts may have had fertilizer or cleaners spilled on or washed over. The the dominant surface colors run from very oxidized copper, to a darker brown/aged bronze. There are a few spots or streaks of black or near black, and a similar number of splotches of green/blue.
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