What are the best speaker wires? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 29 Old 08-07-2019, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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What are the best speaker wires?

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=2817
Monoprice Access Series 12AWG CL2 Rated 2-Conductor Speaker Wire, 100ft

Is this a good one?

What are some of the factors that we need to look into when buying speaker wires?

TIA!
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post #2 of 29 Old 08-07-2019, 10:21 AM
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http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm


12AWG may be overkill.
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post #3 of 29 Old 08-07-2019, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vizag View Post
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=2817
Monoprice Access Series 12AWG CL2 Rated 2-Conductor Speaker Wire, 100ft

Is this a good one?

What are some of the factors that we need to look into when buying speaker wires?

TIA!
Didn't use that cable but lots of people do and they are super happy! so it will work for sure. no need to spend $$$

I just got myself the Belden 5000UP 12AWG for a really good deal (eBay), was like 60% of MSRP.

Here is a link to it, and i only got it because i need something flexible for my in-wall installation.Also it's made in the US.


https://www.parts-express.com/belden...-usa--102-1174

Some other cables i would recommend you look at are also here:

https://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/speaker/index.htm

Good luck

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post #4 of 29 Old 08-07-2019, 10:59 AM
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I use this Van Damme HiFi speaker cable: http://www.van-damme.com/vandamme_pr...speaker-cable/

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post #5 of 29 Old 08-07-2019, 11:59 AM
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http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable
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post #6 of 29 Old 08-07-2019, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post
See post #2
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post #7 of 29 Old 08-07-2019, 01:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vizag View Post
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=2817
Monoprice Access Series 12AWG CL2 Rated 2-Conductor Speaker Wire, 100ft

Is this a good one?

What are some of the factors that we need to look into when buying speaker wires?
That's a good one.

The link to Roger Russell's site provide by Ratman will give the picky details but basically you need to know:

- what is the distance to be used
- what is the impedance load from the speakers the amp will see
- is the wire truly just copper [don't worry about "how pure"] or is it CCA, copper clad aluminum, which has a higher resistance for the same gauge. I'd stick with true copper but CCA sounds fine, the problem is you have to buy thicker varieties to equal copper's lower resistance and at that point you often are no longer saving any money. Plus all the on-line charts assume you are using copper.

There can be additional concerns for lengths over 50 ft and of course only some wires are rated to safely/legally run through walls, such as the one you linked to.

Last edited by m. zillch; 08-07-2019 at 01:35 PM.
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post #8 of 29 Old 08-07-2019, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
- is the wire truly just copper [don't worry about "how pure"] or is it CCA, copper clad aluminum, which has a higher resistance for the same gauge. I'd stick with true copper but CCA sounds fine, the problem is you have to buy thicker varieties to equal copper's lower resistance and at that point you often are no longer saving any money. Plus all the on-line charts assume you are using copper.



Get the most out of your home audio system with high quality, oxygen-free, pure bare copper speaker wire from Monoprice!
This speaker wire features two conductors made of high purity (greater than 99.95% pure), oxygen-free bare copper. Pure Bare Copper is a superior conductor to the copper clad aluminum (CCA) conductors used in most other inexpensive speaker wire. CCA is only about 68% as conductive as pure bare copper.



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post #9 of 29 Old 08-07-2019, 02:17 PM
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Pro tip: the way to test if a wire is truly just copper or actually CCA [they look awfully similar even with a magnifier] is to see what happens when you attempt to melt the exposed [stripped insulation] ends with a standard BIC style lighter [do not use a "jet torch" style lighter, they are hotter]. If it melts you have aluminum. If it blackens but doesn't melt you have true copper.

This is a useful tip because some vendors aren't entirely upfront about what they are selling. [I don't mean Monoprice, I mean other companies.]
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Last edited by m. zillch; 08-07-2019 at 02:31 PM.
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post #10 of 29 Old 08-07-2019, 03:53 PM
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I like Canare 4s8. Use it for alot of dc cables too. http://www.canare.com/ProductItemDis...oductItemID=64
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post #11 of 29 Old 08-07-2019, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratman View Post
Get the most out of your home audio system with high quality, oxygen-free, pure bare copper speaker wire from Monoprice!
This speaker wire features two conductors made of high purity (greater than 99.95% pure), oxygen-free bare copper. Pure Bare Copper is a superior conductor to the copper clad aluminum (CCA) conductors used in most other inexpensive speaker wire. CCA is only about 68% as conductive as pure bare copper.

The measurements in this test indicate that for at least some of its speaker cable, Monoprice may not be offering all of the copper promised. The cable is inexpensive however if that is the number one goal.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...ot-12-gauge.3/
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post #12 of 29 Old 08-07-2019, 04:30 PM
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^ Can't tell for sure but looks to me [based on the lo res image at least] like he used one of the absolutely worst methodologies for speaker wire connections, prone to huge variations in precise resistance per measurement session, per clamp force per session, and per irregular contact surface area [raw wire?], also differing per session: alligator clips.

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He also mentions copper strands were lost when he stripped the Monoprice wire: "Stripping it resulted in loosing fair number of strands." Subtracting a fair number of strands from 12AWG wire means higher resistance. . . . I don't think he performed a valid test.

Last edited by m. zillch; 08-08-2019 at 11:05 AM.
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I use this stuff, works well for me. I have some fairly long runs ~25' because of having all my equipment in the back of the room behind the listening position. Mediabridge claims it to be solid copper. Never tested it myself, but might try the lighter test mentioned a few posts above to confirm.

https://www.amazon.com/Mediabridge-1.../dp/B00N18V91W

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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
He also mentions copper strands were lost when he stripped the Monoprice wire: "Stripping it resulted in loosing fair number of strands." Subtracting a fair number of strands from 12AWG wire means higher resistance. . . . I don't think he performed a valid test.
Completely agree . Losing a fair amount of strands when stripping and still conducting the test is proof enough that this guy shouldn't be listened to at all . Losing strands is solely caused by improper stripping , and when it happens (happens to all of us) the proper remedy is to cut the cable and strip again . I am an electrician so losing strands is far more critical in my field than with speaker wire , but the concept and proper procedure are the same .
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post #16 of 29 Old 08-09-2019, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vizag View Post
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=2817
Monoprice Access Series 12AWG CL2 Rated 2-Conductor Speaker Wire, 100ft

Is this a good one?

What are some of the factors that we need to look into when buying speaker wires?

TIA!

Yes, this wire is good. It may / may not be overkill in your situation. Myself, I like overkill. Especially since 12AWG isn't all that more expensive than others really, and still easy to terminate. I ran this same wire to my 4 x 8 ohm Atmos speakers, longest run about 30 feet.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
^ Can't tell for sure but looks to me [based on the lo res image at least] like he used one of the absolutely worst methodologies for speaker wire connections, prone to huge variations in precise resistance per measurement session, per clamp force per session, and per irregular contact surface area [raw wire?], also differing per session: alligator clips.
Not to mention the difficulty measuring a short wire without lab grade Ohm meter.
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Originally Posted by CharlesJ View Post
Not to mention the difficulty measuring a short wire without lab grade Ohm meter.
Yes, agreed.
I'm not an EE but my inclination would be to measure the resistance of a 100 foot length [a full spool], measure it with a run-of-the-mill meter and then figure it out using division.


I'm also of the mind that if it were true that different brands of 12 AWG were significantly different in the actual amount of copper used to the point of audibility, it could be weighed on a scale [stripped wires of the same length].
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
...


I'm also of the mind that if it were true that different brands of 12 AWG were significantly different in the actual amount of copper used to the point of audibility, it could be weighed on a scale [stripped wires of the same length].
Larry Greenfield,
"Speaker Cables: Can you Hear the Difference?", Greenhill, Larry, Stereo Review, Aug 83, pg 46-51.

Tested 12 ga, 16 ga and 22 ga. 12 vs 16 didn't show a difference. 22 did but not all listeners could hear it.

Now the resistance between 12 and 22 is pretty large. If that didn't produce 100% for all listeners, small resistance difference is not that critical.
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Regarding a few lost strands, audio users and electricians have different standards. 12 gauge wire is rated for 20 Amps; to put 20 Amps into a 4 Ohm speaker would take 1600 watts! For a long time for the extra resistance due to the few lost strands to cause excessive heating. That's the electrician's concern. For an audiophile, it's the total resistance in the run which is important so if you have 1 inch of cable length with a few lost strands, it will be inconsequential. But, where did those strands go? If they are truly lost, then there's no problem, but if they are still attached but just not in the connecter, then that's a concern.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Pro tip: the way to test if a wire is truly just copper or actually CCA [they look awfully similar even with a magnifier] is to see what happens when you attempt to melt the exposed [stripped insulation] ends with a standard BIC style lighter [do not use a "jet torch" style lighter, they are hotter]. If it melts you have aluminum. If it blackens but doesn't melt you have true copper.

This is a useful tip because some vendors aren't entirely upfront about what they are selling. [I don't mean Monoprice, I mean other companies.]
https://youtu.be/CbbOft2M8PQ
You should take this down, I almost caught my house on fire lighting my audiophile speaker cables.
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post #22 of 29 Old 08-17-2019, 07:32 AM
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^^^ But in your case, the Cryogenic Treatment of your cables should save you.
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https://www.biline.ca/audio_critic/audio_critic.htm
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For factory terminated cables with banana plugs where you just have to put it in, look at the Audioquest type 4 or the Chord Clearway, cables with nice build qualities and will last you long. For cables that you cut from spools, there are quite a few options and cheaper ones too, depends on what you want and budget.

Last edited by Gerry1975; 08-17-2019 at 08:46 AM.
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I was a member of the cables don't make a difference club, but I bought, surprisingly, SVS speaker cables based solely on the way they look and the price. Not a ridiculous idea if you think there is no difference in the sound. After hooking up and playing familiar music, there was in fact a noticeable difference in a good way from the speaker cables I had been using.

I didn't even know SVS sold cables till I ran across their ad. They sound and look good at a good price and are returnable.

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Quote:
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I didn't even know SVS sold cables till I ran across their ad. They sound and look good at a good price and are returnable.
And if you're happy with the purchase and results, that's what matters.



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I didn't even know SVS sold cables till I ran across their ad.
Me neither. Do they make claims theirs sound better?

UPDATE: By my read, they don't. Their only claim is they don't degrade the signal . . . which I can say for my cheapo zip cord stuff too.

" Performance You’d Expect From the World’s Finest Speaker Cables, At a Fraction of the Price

Expertly hand-soldered by our craftsmen in Ohio to any length you desire with custom terminations, the SVS SoundPath Ultra Speaker cables pass the full power of any AV receiver or amplifier with high fidelity and no signal degradation. SVS SoundPath Ultra cables use the same fabrication techniques and materials as the finest cables in the world, but cost a fraction of the price.
Custom Hand-Soldered Cable Terminations Tailored to Your Needs

Each individual SVS SoundPath Ultra Speaker Cable can be custom terminated with your choice of 24K gold plated brass spades, 24K gold plated beryllium copper banana plugs, or a mix of both if you prefer spades for your speakers, and banana terminals for your amp or AVR, and always to the exact length you specify.
Purity of Sound Starts with Quality of Build Materials

SVS SoundPath Ultra Speaker Cables deliver absolute signal purity no matter what speakers or source components are connected. Each SoundPath Ultra Cable is made with two braided Dual Balanced conductors, with a total of 82 strands of 99.99% pure stranded copper across both conductors. This rating matches up with the best speaker cables in the world and enables SVS SoundPath Ultra Cables to transmit a consistent signal with absolute purity"

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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
Me neither. Do they make claims theirs sound better?
Doesn't every speaker wire retailer?
EDIT:
If it doesn't "degrade" or improve, why buy it?


" Each SoundPath Ultra Cable is made with two braided Dual Balanced conductors, with a total of 82 strands of 99.99% pure stranded copper across both conductors. This rating matches up with the best speaker cables in the world and enables SVS SoundPath Ultra Cables to transmit a consistent signal with absolute purity"


Which "best speakers cables in the world"? How were the technical caparisons evaluated? Where are the documented comparison results?


Doesn't matter...………… if the poster is happy. That's good. No need to build up callouses on the fingertips.



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I'm very happy with my dirt cheap, 18AWG Monoprice wire and I'm happy to report it does not degrade the sound at all, [over the 12ft run I use it] compared to even the finest speaker cables, made from the purest of copper, ever made, and I'm not afraid to thrown in that I mean at any price.


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post #29 of 29 Old Yesterday, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m. zillch View Post
I'm very happy with my dirt cheap, 18AWG Monoprice wire and I'm happy to report it does not degrade the sound at all, [over the 12ft run I use it] compared to even the finest speaker cables, made from the purest of copper, ever made, and I'm not afraid to thrown in that I mean at any price.

If you're happy and don't experience sound degradation with 18AWG …. we're happy.
And don't be afraid! Throw it in!



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