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post #1 of 126 Old 05-23-2019, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Speaker cable

Does it really matter what speaker cable you use?

LOL

Whats the best bargain type speaker cable?

The economical Best Buy stuff with banana plugs work ok???
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post #2 of 126 Old 05-23-2019, 09:01 AM
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Best Buy stuff is far from economical.

Head to amazon and buy a 100ft roll of 14 gauge OFC from mediabridge or Monoprice. Best cable you can get for the price.
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Leave it at 8 ohms and call it a day :)
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post #3 of 126 Old 05-23-2019, 09:20 AM
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^correct
and no need for Banana plugs unless you are planing on switching out your equipment all the time.
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post #4 of 126 Old 05-23-2019, 09:55 AM
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Any solid copper stranded wire will be fine as long as you follow the length to gauge recommendation. You can use clad but you will need to increase the wire diameter to account for losses.


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post #5 of 126 Old 05-23-2019, 09:58 AM
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I agree that cables tend to be overpriced at Best Buy, even if you avoid Monster Cables. Or the more expensive Audioquest cables they sell in their Magnolia stores.

Buy the bare stuff. Add a good quality wire stripper - maybe $10-15US. Avoid CCA (copper clad aluminum), like some of the Amazon Basics cable. There is nothing basically wrong with it, but it has lower conductivity than copper: a 12 gauge CCA cable is roughly equivalent to 14 gauge copper. (Because of the way gauge is defined, add 2 to CCA to get the equivalent copper.) CCA isn't enough cheaper than copper to make it attractive.

I like banana plugs, as I don't have easy access to the rear of my receiver. I like Sewell Deadbolts or the similar ones from Mediabridge. (Toll-less connection, no setscrews.) For the speaker ends of the cables I like Mediabridge 45° spade plugs; they can't compress (and loosen) like bananas. (Too wide for use at the AVR end, though.)

As for what gauge you need, here's a guide: https://www.audioholics.com/audio-vi...er-cable-gauge

Take any advice (including this) with a grain of sale. Speaker cables are one of the favorite subjects of debate. Remember that some audiophiles claim to be able to hear differences due to cheater cords (the cord that connects the electric power from the wall to the receiver or amplifier). You can spend hundreds, or thousands, of dollars on a single cheater cord.
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post #6 of 126 Old 05-23-2019, 10:06 AM
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Agree with the above. Best Buy has very competitive prices on components, but they charge a lot for accessories and cables. Better to buy online from someplace like Amazon. As several have said, just be sure to get wire that is "oxygen free" solid copper wires rather than copper clad.

I had my first experience with copper clad speaker wire and, although it conducts fine when all is well, the build quality is terrible. You can feel the aluminum core when you twist the strands of raw wire after stripping. I guess I had only dealt with OFC before, so now I finally understand the copper clad concerns. Copper clad will still work, but it's better to avoid it.
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post #7 of 126 Old 05-23-2019, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redrovermiami View Post
Does it really matter what speaker cable you use?

LOL

Whats the best bargain type speaker cable?

The economical Best Buy stuff with banana plugs work ok???
This is basically all you'd need for a standard setup. Banana plugs are not a must have, however they do make installation a lot easier, especially on the receiver end.
https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-...s%2C138&sr=8-6
https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-...s%2C144&sr=8-7
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post #8 of 126 Old 05-23-2019, 10:14 AM
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i agree with all of the above .. get affordable wire from amazon or walmart .. i don't even mind the copper over aluminum .. to me just get whatever works for short runs (under 20 ft.) .. there just isn't enough difference to worry about it...now if it's longer runs or in wall things change.. longer runs need better conductivity and in wall needs better shielding and sometimes solid wire..

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post #9 of 126 Old 05-23-2019, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pase22 View Post
This is basically all you'd need for a standard setup. Banana plugs are not a must have, however they do make installation a lot easier, especially on the receiver end.
https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-...s%2C138&sr=8-6
https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-...s%2C144&sr=8-7
Thanks!

I have some 14g wire that Ive been using but Im getting new speakers figured Id do it right...I bought the plugs though

Thanks for the tip!!!

If I need more wiring Ill def get the one you recommended!
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post #10 of 126 Old 05-23-2019, 12:32 PM
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I almost always go to Monoprice for all my cable needs. If they don't have something I am looking for or I need something in a hurry than Amazon Prime is my backup.

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post #11 of 126 Old 05-23-2019, 01:23 PM
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Canare makes quite good cables. Another good alternative is your local electric appliance shop - bad cables for house wiring are threat to safety and it is more or less regulated, so you know what you are buying.
But I would take canare over them, for bith signal and speaker cables.
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post #12 of 126 Old 05-23-2019, 02:10 PM
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I worked as a professional recording and live sound engineer for 34 years. I use Canare or Belden speaker cable and get it made in custom lengths by Blue Jeans Cable. I like the sonic weld termination they use.

https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/speaker/index.htm
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post #13 of 126 Old 05-23-2019, 07:29 PM
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I prefer these banana plugs to any others

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F162096760910

--------------------------------------------------
FOR SALE:
Lots of stuff. Check the Audio Gear Classifieds
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post #14 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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I dont know what cable I have...I think I got it at Best Buy about 5 years ago. Its 14g wiring. I got the banana plugs from Amazon that was suggested earlier in this thread.

One guy I spoke to said that he custom solders the plugs on. Said you have to be careful when you use the plugs etc you can short out stuff.
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post #15 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 07:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redrovermiami View Post
I dont know what cable I have...I think I got it at Best Buy about 5 years ago. Its 14g wiring. I got the banana plugs from Amazon that was suggested earlier in this thread.



One guy I spoke to said that he custom solders the plugs on. Said you have to be careful when you use the plugs etc you can short out stuff.


That is why I like bare wire but there is a risk of strands shorting across terminals too and causing the receiver to go into protect mode.


-To be an audiophile you must abandon all research and science.
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post #16 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 07:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redrovermiami View Post
One guy I spoke to said that he custom solders the plugs on. Said you have to be careful when you use the plugs etc you can short out stuff.
That shorting possibility is why I only use "paired" banana plugs. It is very easy to bend single banana plugs at the pin if you move the speaker or amp without realizing the speaker cable is taut because there is a lot of leverage from where the wire attaches to the plug and the (necessarily) hollow pins take very little force to bend. I seem to be the only person on AVS concerned about that (last time I mentioned this I heard crickets).

I agree with comments that connecting speaker wire directly to the posts is at least as good as, and often better than, using banana plugs ("less is more" when it comes to connections).

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
(The color coding is nice also -- red is used for the right speaker, black for the left)
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post #17 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 08:37 AM
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According to the Audioholics chart I need to get some 16 or 14 gauge for my 6 ohm rear speakers. They’re about ten feet from my AVR.


Amazon shows 16 footers on the page, the max length is 9.8 feet in the drop down menu. The gauge is not shown, but they look like 14 or 12 gauge.
https://www.amazon.com/KK-ZB-ZB-Spea...YBR6SB2ZNSE243

I was thinking about getting these for my fronts.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M641W3W...ing=UTF8&psc=1

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post #18 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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My rears would be about needing 30 feet of cable each
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post #19 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redrovermiami View Post
My rears would be about needing 30 feet of cable each
12 or 14 gauge should be ok

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post #20 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machavez00 View Post
Amazon shows 16 footers on the page, the max length is 9.8 feet in the drop down menu. The gauge is not shown, but they look like 14 or 12 gauge.
https://www.amazon.com/KK-ZB-ZB-Spea...YBR6SB2ZNSE243

I was thinking about getting these for my fronts.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M641W3W...ing=UTF8&psc=1
It's very weird that they don't list the gauge, but it looks pretty thick (hard to tell how much is insulator and how much is wire). These look like a nice practical set of speaker wires. Pay attention to the connectors, the first pair looks like they slip into the binding post hole (rather than a banana plug) and the second set has bananas on one side and pins on the other.
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post #21 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 10:56 AM
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Does it need to be 14AWG? 16AWG won't work?

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post #22 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjp View Post
It's very weird that they don't list the gauge, but it looks pretty thick (hard to tell how much is insulator and how much is wire). These look like a nice practical set of speaker wires. Pay attention to the connectors, the first pair looks like they slip into the binding post hole (rather than a banana plug) and the second set has bananas on one side and pins on the other.
I ordered the banana to pin 3M pair. My AVR has banana plug for the fronts, and spring connections for the surround and center. My 301’s have spring connections, thus the banana to pin. When I replace the surround and center I will buy speakers that have banana terminals so I can use the 16 foot banana to pin. The center can use pin to pin.

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post #23 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boldventure View Post
Does it need to be 14AWG? 16AWG won't work?

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You can use 16awg, but you should follow the recommended gauge on the chart below if you have longer runs.
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Quote:
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Does it need to be 14AWG? 16AWG won't work?

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If you use a higher gauge than recommend you risk distortion. It is your system so you can choose the higher gauge wire.


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post #25 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 11:18 AM
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You can use 16awg, but you should follow the recommended gauge on the chart below if you have longer runs.
Thanks.
My surround wire, the longest maybe 20ft

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post #26 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 11:21 AM
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Does it need to be 14AWG? 16AWG won't work?

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Based on the Audioholics chart, 14 gauge for 6 ohm.

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post #27 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 11:41 AM
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Thanks.
My surround wire, the longest maybe 20ft

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I just used Amazon Basics 14awg for my entire setup. A 100ft roll ($35 CDN-$25 USD) was more than enough. My system suffers no loss in sound quality compared to the more expensive wire I had from Best buy years ago. If you have 16awg wire on hand use it. If buying new, the price difference between 16awg and 14awg is negligible so may as well get 14awg.
https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-...gateway&sr=8-5

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post #28 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redrovermiami View Post
Does it really matter what speaker cable you use?

LOL

Whats the best bargain type speaker cable?

The economical Best Buy stuff with banana plugs work ok???
Nope. Any wire that can pass the current needed over the required distance will result in the exact same speaker performance. There is no magic wire.
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post #29 of 126 Old 05-24-2019, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobknavs View Post
I agree that cables tend to be overpriced at Best Buy, even if you avoid Monster Cables. Or the more expensive Audioquest cables they sell in their Magnolia stores.



Buy the bare stuff. Add a good quality wire stripper - maybe $10-15US. Avoid CCA (copper clad aluminum), like some of the Amazon Basics cable. There is nothing basically wrong with it, but it has lower conductivity than copper: a 12 gauge CCA cable is roughly equivalent to 14 gauge copper. (Because of the way gauge is defined, add 2 to CCA to get the equivalent copper.) CCA isn't enough cheaper than copper to make it attractive.



I like banana plugs, as I don't have easy access to the rear of my receiver. I like Sewell Deadbolts or the similar ones from Mediabridge. (Toll-less connection, no setscrews.) For the speaker ends of the cables I like Mediabridge 45° spade plugs; they can't compress (and loosen) like bananas. (Too wide for use at the AVR end, though.)



As for what gauge you need, here's a guide:



Take any advice (including this) with a grain of sale. Speaker cables are one of the favorite subjects of debate. Remember that some audiophiles claim to be able to hear differences due to cheater cords (the cord that connects the electric power from the wall to the receiver or amplifier). You can spend hundreds, or thousands, of dollars on a single cheater cord.

thanks for the good advice, i was just wondering the same thing
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post #30 of 126 Old 05-25-2019, 01:39 AM
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Nope. Any wire that can pass the current needed over the required distance will result in the exact same speaker performance. There is no magic wire.
It's too vague description and is not true.
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