Question about speaker wire

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by GlocksRock, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. GlocksRock

    GlocksRock Glock > You

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    Is there any audible difference between the regular radio shack type speaker wire, and the expensive monster cable speaker wire? I know the monster cable wire is very flexible, but can you hear a difference? They had a demo setup at Circuit City that allowed you to switch between a left and right speaker, both speakers were identical Polk Audio bookshelf speakers, and supposedly the one speaker had regular speaker wire, while the other one had monster cable speaker wire, and you could alternate between the two with a knob. I will say that the speaker with the monster cable wire sounded better, but there is really no way for me to know if that was the only thing that was changed whent the knob was turned.

    So is there really a differece, or is it just some sort of marketing gimmick?
     
  2. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    Use quality cable, but extravagance will buy no more genuine performance. You will be able to obtain far greater benefits by biamping the system than spending the same amount on exotic speaker leads.

    All well designed interconnects will sound the same. This is a contentious claim, but is regrettably true - regrettable for those who have paid vast sums of money for theirs, at least.

    Oxygen free copper (or OFC) supposedly means that there is no oxygen and therefore no copper oxide (which is a rectifier) in the cable, forming a myriad of micro-diodes that affect sound quality. The use of OFC cable is therefore supposed to improve the sound.


    Try as I might (and many others before me), I have never been able to measure any distortion in any wire or cable. Even a length of solder (an alloy of tin and lead) introduces no distortion, despite the resin flux in the centre (and I do realise that this has nothing to do with anything - I just thought I'd include it :). How about fencing wire - no, no distortion there either. The concept of degradation caused by micro-diodes in metallic contacts has been bandied about for years, without a shred of evidence to support the claim that it is audible.

    Claims that power leads and interconnects will magically transform the sound of your system are false and misleading in the extreme. The various system components may be influenced by some combinations, but a well designed system should not care.

    Bottom Line on Interconnects:

    Use home made ones, or buy cables that are well made and reasonably priced. The expensive ones that will "make your system sound better" won't - you are just making some idiot richer, and yourself poorer.



    I know that this is heresy to some, but I really don't care. This is factual, and I can prove my claims, while the makers of these fancy cables can't.



    I have seen home-made cables, braided from multiple strands of wire-wrap wire. The shielding on some of these can be mediocre (at best), so experiment, but don't expect miracles.


    Bottom Line on Speaker Leads(wire):

    Before one even considers the alleged benefits of one cable over another, here is something to think about ...

    "What does "veiled" mean (in reference to high frequency reproduction), and how is it determined that the veiling effect is caused by anything specific, as opposed to everything in general? This includes state of mind (i.e. good day, kids acting up, wife annoyed about something), health (cold or flu, hay fever), position of listening chair (was it moved to vacuum the floor?), etc."



    And, no, these are not trivial questions. They are every bit as important as anything else, and all the more so if we have only a subjective interpretation of the sound, without measured results that show the effect

    All of the above was taken from audioholics.com, they had like a 10 page article on the truth about wires and interconnects.



    In response to your actual question:
    It depends on a lot of things, could you tell that the gauges were the same? Were you able to look at a receiver which displayed the same settings for each speaker?

    Like in the text excerpt a lot of that is marketing, you could percieve the audio quality to be better because you expect it to be.

    With me it goes like this this: Get good speaker wire, nothing you think is horrible overpriced. Acoustic Research makes decent wire, you can get in some really beefy sized gauges, its not expensive (it might get up there if ur wiring a HT set up, I just use it for my mains) And its easy to find, amazon.com sells it and I get free shipping from there.

    Look around though, and dont spend a lot of money on cable for a lower end system. I just have some 800 dollar bookshelfs, I dont need 200 dollars in cable. I think you should keep a certain ratio with value for higher end speakers would be the ones to show ANY difference.

    As far as interconnects go with www.bdcable.com You can choose specific lengths, (i only recommend the cheaper subwoofer interconnect style cabes and digital coaxs here) Theyre all hand built. And they tell you exactly what each thing is made out of.

    I am not aware of differences that may exist in using certain kinds of video connections, I'm not the one to ask on this. (I inherited a load of monster cables, so that is what my component video consists of)

    http://www.bluejeanscable.com/ is another safe bet. (a tad spendy but their stuff is legit)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 2, 2005
  3. GlocksRock

    GlocksRock Glock > You

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    Thanks, I'm just thinking of getting a 7.1 receiver, and would need some more speaker wire to run my rear center channel speaker, and figured I might as well re wire all my speakers with new/better wire if it would make a differnce, since I could get it cheaper in bulk.
     
  4. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    yeah
     
  5. JRock10

    JRock10 Active Member

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    I just happened to have some Rockford 14 gauge laying around (i've been involved with car audio for a while). I used it on my modest system and i've got a great sound IMO. since most common home systems don't break 200w/ch (that I've seen), I don't see a need for anything much larger than 14 gauge wire, since audio signal is AC current anyways. The main thing i would look for is flexibility and strand count. They usually go hand in hand (higher strand count makes more flexible wire, because the copper strands are thinner) While Monster is nice, you don't need to pay the money for it to get quality wire.
     
  6. Ronin

    Ronin Guest

    :word:
     
  7. itr452

    itr452 VTEC motherfucker, GOT ANY?

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    do what i'm doing now, use magnet wire, you can get it at radioshack for about $5 and it comes in a 3 pack; red, green and copper colour. 30 gauge 26 gauge and 22 gauge.

    This stuff is all solid core, it might be a bit tough to handle, but for the price, you CANNOT beat this stuff. Look at www.anticables.com they use the same stuff, but charge you $10 per stereo foot (4 leads) although they use 12 gauge. Go with the higher gauge (smaller) cable, as it negates the perceived skin effect. Or do what i did, take a few strands of the 30, twist, then twist around the 26 gauge, then get some 16 gauge, and twist around that and you've got a ghetto setup of audioquest's SST (spread spectrum technology), which basically means different gauges for different frequencies. It worked so well for my setup, i dont think i'm going to be experimenting for a while until i get my hands on some copper foil inductors.

    BTW, 30 gauge magnet cable also works well on DIY interconnects.

    Bottom line, try some magnet wire, for less than a foot of kimber 4tc, you can make your own cables that will sound better.
     
  8. itr452

    itr452 VTEC motherfucker, GOT ANY?

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    or you can run out to home depot and buy "commercial electronic" extension cord (black and orange). cut that up and use it as speaker cable. Check it out in www.audioasylum.com search in the cable forum "hd-14" it's all the rage, but i personally didnt have a good experience with it.

    Try different shit out, some like stranded cable, some like solid core.
     
  9. JRock10

    JRock10 Active Member

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    :eek3: :hsugh: interesting theories on your wire there.....i guess if it works it works tho
     
  10. veonake

    veonake OnT poster, OT lurker

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    Very. Especially the skin effect part.
     

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