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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I needed to buy some speaker cables and found the following types of wires online:


12 ga zipcord

12/2 twisted

12/4 twisted


Is there any difference between the 12 gauge cables with 2 wire or 4 wires besides for bi-amping or bi-wiring?


Does the twisting do anything for the cables?


I was orginally going to buy the 12 gauge zipcord because it was the cheapest, but I wasn't sure if the other types of cables are any better. Thanks for the help.
 

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I think more or less no significant difference for twisted vs zip cord - at least at audio frequencies and speaker signal levels.


The 4 wire cable might have a place if you wanted to make just one cable run, albeit a thicker one, and then just match the pairs at the amp/receiver and split them out at the speakers too. Or, as you have said, to bi-wire/bi-amp if you decided later on to go that way. Also, I suppose, you could parallel the conductors for even more wire gauge equivalent conductor, but unless you are making a long run (say more than 50 to 75 feet) 12-ga is plenty good.


Just go with the plain ol' zip cord. Actually, if you don't mind black, the low voltage outdoor lighting cable in 12-ga works great. It's about as cheap as you'll find 12-ga; about $0.20 per foot last time I looked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info guys. I did some more reading online and found out that resistance is the main thing you should worry about in a speaker cable. But since, I'll be using 12 gauge zipcord that won't really be a problem for short runs. However, I haven't really been able to find anything on inductance and capacitance.


How does the inductance and capacitance effect the signal on a speaker cable? What about an interconnect? Thanks again
 

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That depends on the amp and the speakers. It *shouldn't* affect the sound, but it some rare cases it may. Interconnects link high-impedance stages so the effect there is nil in the audio band.
 

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The "twisted" thing for speaker cable has only come up in th elast couple of years (unless I've been asleep...).


My theory is that it's the marketing guys/gals trying to capitalise on the developments in data cablng.


The big breakthrough there was CAT5 UTP = unshielded twisted pairs. This was a big breakthrough in data transmission - unshielded twisted pair (4 x 2 pairs) could carry more than the old big fat ethernet cables (somebody who knows - please tell us why).


How this applies to speaker cable (except for those marketing dudes) I do not know??


D
 

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The use of 10BaseT (UTP EtherNet, e.g. CAT5) is in high impedance fully balanced circuits for digital signals. The well-known noise rejection is due to the differential circuit, not to the cable. Make no mistake, the analog waveform transmitted over 10BaseT is butchered. The fact that the signal is digital allows the data to be extracted and the signal re-created affresh. So it does just fine in the digital domain.


In the analog domain, Cat5 sucks bigtime. It is wire so it still works - sort of, but it is doing nothing good for the signal.
 
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