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post #1 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 04:34 AM
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Speaker Cables - choice

4 choices of cable:

They vary in price range.

Some are marked as directional - copper cable directional?
Some are unshielded - heard arguments from both sides
Some are rated for amplifiers upto xx watts - Is it OK to use a more powerful amp?

Thoughts and advice appreciated


Kimber 8VS - http://www.kimber.com/products/base/vs/8/
QED Silver Anniversary XT - http://www.audioquest.com/flat_series_bulk_spools/x2
Audioquest X2 - http://www.qed.co.uk/speaker_cables/..._xt_cable.html
Oehlbach SP-25 - http://www.oehlbach.com/en/home-hifi...lverline-sp-25
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post #2 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 04:59 AM
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Monoprice 12g and some bannana fittings and have enough money left over to have dinner catered to you and your wife, in your room, while listening to music or enjoying a movie. Some of the claims those links make! Descriptions like "superior" and "nitrogen assisted hand termination"...Seriously? LOL

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post #3 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 05:05 AM
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All a complete waste of money. Buy plain old two conductor 14 ga copper speaker wire. Directionality of a cable is nonsense. Audio signals are alternating current. They travel in both directions in a speaker wire. You are encountering the snake oil part of the audio industry. I recommend you not play.
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post #4 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 05:29 AM
 
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None of the above, they're all snake oil. Use the least expensive pure copper cable you can find of the smallest gauge required. Use this to determine the gauge:
http://www.bcae1.com/images/swfs/spe...rassistant.swf
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post #5 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 06:54 AM
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+1. Lubricant of the serpent.

The ONLY thing worth paying a little bit more for in "speaker wire" is finer strands for more flexibility, and that doesn't matter in most situations.

Monoprice, 14ga. 12ga if you're wiggy or have a very long run.

The concept of cable directionality was a started to invent something that made a very expensive wire product unique. They stamp arrows on the jacket, for goodness sake. As FMW said, audio is AC, goes both ways zillions of times a second. You'll also bump into cable "conditioning" in this slippery snake pit. Ignore that one too.
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post #6 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 09:13 AM
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Ignore everything but the price and the physical thickness of the copper inside the wire. Use the link in post #4 to figure the minimum thickness you need (14 guage is usually fine), then find that cable at the cheapest possible price, job done.

Anything else is a waste of money. Except perhaps shielding, but that's only in the extreme situation where you have a lot of electric/electronic gear with poor shielding in close proximity to the speaker cable. Example: I had a run of cable that went behind an old and quite large freezer, every time the solenoid clicked the compressor on or off it would make an audible 'pop' from that speaker, slightly annoying and I was worried about damage to the tweeter. 5m of shielded cable solved the problem.
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post #7 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post
None of the above, they're all snake oil. Use the least expensive pure copper cable you can find of the smallest gauge required. Use this to determine the gauge:
http://www.bcae1.com/images/swfs/spe...rassistant.swf
Very intesting site. I'm running a mix of 12 and 14ga (depending on the locations of the speaker) wire. According to this, I could run 18ga and still be fine in all but my longest run.

Within the scope of this topic, I'm curious how much room correction software like Audyssey would correct for a under-gauged situation. In a previous setup of mine before I gave any thought to wiring, I went cheap and bought a 1000 foot spool of 24ga wire and went with that for the entire setup. I'm sure looking back I had some audible DB loss on my longer runs.

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post #8 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaddie View Post
The ONLY thing worth paying a little bit more for in "speaker wire" is finer strands for more flexibility, and that doesn't matter in most situations.
Having some low frequency RF experience, I've drunk a little of the kool aid on the advantages of Litz wire. I've regularly recommended the 8 conductors in Cat(whatever) cable in parallel. With each a 24AWG, 8 in parallel is similar in cross sectional area to #15 . In lieu of #18 "lamp cord", I've used 2 pairs in the 4 pair cable for each terminal.

Do you feel there is any practical advantage at all? I know I can show minute theoretical advantage in uniformity of impedance over the 3 decade range of audio..
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post #9 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 02:17 PM
 
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Another good site for speaker wire info http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm
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post #10 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbynum View Post
Having some low frequency RF experience, I've drunk a little of the kool aid on the advantages of Litz wire. I've regularly recommended the 8 conductors in Cat(whatever) cable in parallel. With each a 24AWG, 8 in parallel is similar in cross sectional area to #15 . In lieu of #18 "lamp cord", I've used 2 pairs in the 4 pair cable for each terminal.

Do you feel there is any practical advantage at all? I know I can show minute theoretical advantage in uniformity of impedance over the 3 decade range of audio..
The short story is, no, we aren't working with an impedance matched system in audio, especially with speakers. Impedance uniformity of a cable in a system of this type is unimportant. Until we get into extremely long cable lengths, like miles, wire characteristic impedance is not a factor at audio frequencies.
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post #11 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 02:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEREZASRBOVA View Post
4 choices of cable:

They vary in price range.

Some are marked as directional - copper cable directional?
Some are unshielded - heard arguments from both sides
Some are rated for amplifiers upto xx watts - Is it OK to use a more powerful amp?

Thoughts and advice appreciated


Kimber 8VS - http://www.kimber.com/products/base/vs/8/
QED Silver Anniversary XT - http://www.audioquest.com/flat_series_bulk_spools/x2
Audioquest X2 - http://www.qed.co.uk/speaker_cables/..._xt_cable.html
Oehlbach SP-25 - http://www.oehlbach.com/en/home-hifi...lverline-sp-25
What type of speakers do you have? As for directional they are generally marked by the manufacturer as to which end goes near the source and yes, follow the directions. If you aren't sure you can always test both ways. As for which of these four cables is best you can audition them risk free at http://thecableco.com/content.aspx?iid=5777
I don't know about how much shipping to Germany would cost. I have used the Audioquest power cables and really liked them but have not tried their speaker cables. I don't know what speakers you are using but you will be surprised how much better they sound when you use a high quality speaker cable. As long as you have the right to return them after an audition period you may as well compare and decide for yourself. As long as a cable sounds good, it is good.
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post #12 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by witchdoctor View Post
I don't know what speakers you are using but you will be surprised how much better they sound when you use a high quality speaker cable..
He says this because he hasn't engaged in bias controlled comparisons and therefore doesn't understand that the sonic differences are in his hearing bias, not in the cables. Wire is wire.
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post #13 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 03:11 PM
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Here we go again...
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post #14 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by witchdoctor View Post
What type of speakers do you have?
It doesn't matter.
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As for directional they are generally marked by the manufacturer as to which end goes near the source and yes, follow the directions. If you aren't sure you can always test both ways.
It doesn't matter, copper has no directional properties as to current flow, audio changes direction thousands of times a second, there is no scientific evidence or principle behind directional cables. If the cable had a directional characteristic it would function as a diode and work as a distortion generator.
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I don't know what speakers you are using but you will be surprised how much better they sound when you use a high quality speaker cable.
Sorry, there is no evidence to support the concept of speaker cables making anything sound better. Cables have one function: to transmit the signal from the amplifier to the speaker without changing it at all. The cable that changes that signal is defective.

It is nearly impossible for the average enthusiast to compare cables in a meaningful way at home, without massive amounts of expectation bias, which in itself is responsible for the difference is that some people claim to hear.
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As long as a cable sounds good, it is good.
Agreed. But, bad sounding tables are extremely rare, and are most likely the result of applying the wrong cable type completely. A good sounding cable, one that does nothing audibly negative to the signal that's passing through it, is easily obtained at very little cost, and is not at all unusual.
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post #15 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 03:54 PM
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Here we go again...
The guy probably works for one of those 4 companies and he's just trying to increase the search engine ratings. The mods of the forum really need to look out for this.
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post #16 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 04:17 PM
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Here we go again...

I know you've heard it all before but the OP hasn't. Feel free to ignore my posts. They aren't aimed at you anyway.
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post #17 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 04:51 PM
 
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TEREZASRBOVA never take advice about steak from a vegetarian and never take advice about audiophile cables from people who use stock cables. Just because they can't tell the difference doesn't mean you can't. Audition cables in your OWN system with your OWN ears and then decide if they add value. As long as you can return them the only risk you have is not hearing how good your system can really sound and THAT would be a shame.

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post #18 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 04:53 PM
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Good speakers do not come with cables. Do you have a HTiB? What are "stock cables"?

Aren't you the one that started the last speaker cable debate, which got closed by the moderators Witchdoctor?

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post #19 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 04:56 PM
 
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Having some low frequency RF experience, I've drunk a little of the kool aid on the advantages of Litz wire.
Do you feel there is any practical advantage at all?
No. Litz wire is of benefit at radio frequencies, but it doesn't do diddly in the audio frequencies. The same applies to skin effect, and for that matter many more of the bogus claims made by the cable crooks and those sufficiently uninformed and/or foolish enough to believe them.
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post #20 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 05:01 PM
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Bingo, Witchdoctor has a history of stirring up trouble when cables are discussed. This is just one recent thread.
https://www.avsforum.com/forum/91-aud...o-cable-7.html

And anyone that argues with Bill when talking about this, is frankly ignorant. This same discussion has already been beat to death in the link I am posting here.
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post #21 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 05:05 PM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post
I know you've heard it all before but the OP hasn't. Feel free to ignore my posts. They aren't aimed at you anyway.
It is OK, it helps to let the OP know that this is a highly debated subject, IMO.
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post #22 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 05:06 PM
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Wow! Audioquest uses Long Grain Copper! Gotta get me some of that!

Here we go again about wire. And here I go again posting.

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post #23 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 06:57 PM
 
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Here we go again about wire.
It's just like Whack a Mole.
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post #24 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by witchdoctor View Post
TEREZASRBOVA never take advice about steak from a vegetarian
Why not? Do you think vegetarians were born that way? Could it be they might have eaten their fair share of stakes before choosing to be a vegetarian? Bad analogy. Bad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by witchdoctor View Post
and never take advice about audiophile cables from people who use stock cables.
Excuse me, but how do you know who has tried what? And what on earth is a "stock cable" anyway? Do you know or have any idea how many cables some of us have tested, measured, analyzed etc., and with what equipment? Have you never read the seminal papers regarding the amp/wire/speaker issues, such as:

Amplifier-Loudspeaker Interfacing
Greiner, R.A.
JAES Vol. 28, No. 5 (May 1980)

Another Look at Speaker Cables
Greiner, R.A.
BAS Speaker (December 1978); addendum (March 1979)

Cables and the Amp/Speaker Interface
Greiner, R.A.
Audio (August 1989); addendum (November 1989)

Greiner actually did test cables, and does have it figured out, has for decades. Then, some of us actually bothered to go replicate his tests, and guess what? He's right!

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Originally Posted by witchdoctor View Post
Just because they can't tell the difference doesn't mean you can't. Audition cables in your OWN system with your OWN ears and then decide if they add value.
As I said clearly before, the typical home audio enthusiast has no facility for properly auditioning cables without considerable expectation bias. Expectation bias strongly affects perception, and the entire process, when expounded upon by the "audiophile" is simply a means of deception and delusion. If you want to know the truth about how something affects the sound, you must remove all bias, and use only your powers of observation. That cannot be done by one individual at home.

So, by "auditioning" cables at home, what is really being "auditioned" is the entire experience of the product, the packaging, the look, feel, and description of the pseudo-science involved in the design. If you swallow all of that, knowingly or not, you've just been bias-doped, and no longer have the ability to be objective.
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As long as you can return them the only risk you have is not hearing how good your system can really sound and THAT would be a shame.
Or, you could just save your precious TIME and not bother, get decent but non-exotic cables, wire them in, and spend your time enjoying the music and movies rather than trying to hear and discern something that isn't really there in the first place. That's called wasting time, and time is something you can only spend, you can gain it back.
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post #25 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 07:35 PM
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Wow! Audioquest uses Long Grain Copper! Gotta get me some of that!

Here we go again about wire. And here I go again posting.
I prefer long grain rice to long grain copper.

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Insist on Quality Posting.
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post #26 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 07:36 PM
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I love the cable wars threads. I use bare copper wire of a heavier gauge than needed for the run. I usually get stuff from Monoprice but in the mid-90's got a roll from Monster (12 gauge). Still going strong in my HT system. I don't believe ANY of the nonsense the cable pushers, their junkie victims, or paid audio reviewers say about them. If you want to get something nicely made and at least not get ripped off, look into Blue Jeans cable/wire.
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post #27 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 07:45 PM
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Hey guys. Did you know oehlbach cable is bi directional? That will solve a lot of problems with connecting speaker wires backwards.

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post #28 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 08:16 PM
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I use bare copper wire of a heavier gauge than needed for the run.
That's brave. I've thought of it, but would worry about shorting the amplifier outputs.
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post #29 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 10:07 PM
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That's brave. I've thought of it, but would worry about shorting the amplifier outputs.
How on earth would/could you do that?? You cut the bare wire to the right length and Bob's your uncle.
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post #30 of 83 Old 07-08-2015, 11:25 PM
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How on earth would/could you do that?? You cut the bare wire to the right length and Bob's your uncle.
So...if you like to use big bare copper wire, then you probably keep some space the conductors so nothing bad happens. And, by spacing them, you know what you just did? Raised the cable's inductance! Significantly!

Just stick to the standard 14ga or 12ga paired speaker wire, it's all you need, and all you really want.
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