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View Full Version : Speaker wire does make a difference



dragon1952
03-13-2008, 01:22 AM
I've proven to myself yet again. I had some Audioquest Midnight speaker cable in my system for a couple years. This wire is so stiff and hard to work with it's basically not worth hassling with. When I moved into the new house I decided I wasn't going to screw with it anymore so I used some Canare Star Quad I had laying around. Well I haven't been real happy with the system lately. I gave it a good 2 months and I finally decided to try the Midnight again. It took me a freakin' hour to change the bananas. It's like wrestling an anaconda for crying out loud. I stabbed myself with the screwdriver several times, lost a lot of blood and muttered lots of nasty things under my breath, but wow what a change. Anybody that says speaker cable can't make a difference is seriously uninformed. I don't know...maybe it's just the blood loss affecting me. :rolleyes:

Face
03-13-2008, 01:27 AM
I've proven to myself yet again. <snip>Anybody that says speaker cable can't make a difference is seriously uninformed.
Thank you!

I've tried a few different cables in my rig. While some sound alike(monster, monoprice, etc...), some cables can sound drastically different, for better or worse. It's all about synergy.

dragon1952
03-13-2008, 02:31 AM
I've had that Canare in various systems over the past 3 years and I always end up dissatisfied with it. I need to give it away so it doesn't end up in there again.

bbeacham
03-13-2008, 02:33 AM
Thank you!

I've tried a few different cables in my rig. While some sound alike(monster, monoprice, etc...), some cables can sound drastically different, for better or worse. It'll all about synergy.


Yes. I went from 16 guage wire to 12 guage stranded copper that I bought at the hardware store, and it made a fantastic improvement in sound quality.

dorokusai
03-13-2008, 04:45 AM
Enjoy your upgrade!

mule
03-13-2008, 07:29 AM
I'm not trying to start a flame war, but I have a few questions.

Copper is copper is copper, right?

The electrons are supposed to pass on the surface of the wire as opposed to the core so I understand that the same gauge of wire with more strands theoretically should have less resistence, but can this make a difference and how does this make a difference in the end result of speaker sound?

Gold is a better conductor, but at some point you will have to go from copper to gold, How does it make a difference going from gold to copper at a banana or at the post, sooner or later there is going to be a connection between gold and copper.

I don't have a concrete opinion one way or the other, just looking for a technical reason and not a opinion swayed by bling appeal.

I will say that when I asked my brother, (who has a rediculous amount of expirience and education with electronics) without going into a long winded reply told me to use 14 gauge stranded copper, didn't matter if it was lamp cord or some fancy pants "audio" cord.

m00npie
03-13-2008, 07:50 AM
when I asked my brother, (who has a rediculous amount of expirience and education with electronics) without going into a long winded reply told me to use 14 gauge stranded copper, didn't matter if it was lamp cord or some fancy pants "audio" cord.

Well... I asked my mom, and she told me that cables do make difference and she told me to be happy with my new MIT's.

Mike Reeter
03-13-2008, 07:56 AM
I think it depends on the "Quality" of copper...Most of your better wire is almost "pure" in mixture.

Most of the cheaper stuff is just that,copper that is mixed with alot of "filler" tin.

mule
03-13-2008, 08:01 AM
Well... I asked my mom, and she told me that cables do make difference and she told me to be happy with my new MIT's.


I am very proud of you, and your mom.:rolleyes:

mule
03-13-2008, 08:02 AM
I think it depends on the "Quality" of copper...Most of your better wire is almost "pure" in mixture.

Most of the cheaper stuff is just that,copper that is mixed with alot of "filler" tin.


Makes sense, but how would one know if it is pure copper or not?

Just my curious nature.

treitz3
03-13-2008, 08:11 AM
A lab will verify it it's pure for ya'.

mule
03-13-2008, 09:11 AM
Ok, so bare with me for a minute,

The wire is moving current, it dosen't know if its music or not, just electrons buzzing along.

Lets use the analogy of water through a hose. The voltage is like the pressure and amperage is like the volume of water being moved. 220v like the fire hydrant and 110v like your garden hose. Compareing a ten foot length of 1/2 inch hose to a 5/8 inch hose would show no noticable difference, but comparison between 25 foot length of hose would show the 5/8 hose flowing a greater volume of water= less resistence. The longer the run the need for a larger diameter hose to move the same volume of water, or you could increase the pressure to overcome the resistence.

So I think we can all visualize the need for a larger gauge wire to move the same current over longer runs but I think we can also see that at some point a larger gauge wire is no longer going to have effect on the current being passed.

Now I would guess that comparing dirty copper conducter to pure copper conducter would be like comparing a smooth piece of pipe to a pipe that is rough. The rough pipe will cause some resistence in water flow but at the same time if you increased the diameter of the rough pipe it would balance out and as the length of pipe increased the resistence would be more noticable.

So I can see how in extremely long runs or in systems moving extreme amounts of current (fire hydrant not garden hose) there could be a difference in the wire but for the average home system in a 300 sqrft room I don't see how it could make a difference in the current being moved.

I don't think the speakers know if the electrons got "dirty" in the wire, they just know how many got there. I guess if there was enough resistence in the wire it could cause the amp to run hot and less efficient and degrade performance.

Sorry for being long winded, if you see anything inacurate in my analogy or have any opinions please post, I am allways eager to learn. Just my curious nature.:D

tonyb
03-13-2008, 09:16 AM
If your eager to learn,the search button is your friend.This topic has been beaten to death so much,most will avoid this conversation.

janmike
03-13-2008, 09:23 AM
Synergy.

shack
03-13-2008, 09:26 AM
Dragon,

It's all in your head...you have fooled yourself AGAIN into believing all of the audio cable VOODOO! You are a sheeple who has bought into the hype. SHAME ON YOU!

I am of course willing to help you fight through this serious affliction. I can get you back on the path of sanity and reason.

First...you must send me those Midnights. You have my address. I will see that they are disposed of. After that we can get you back on the road to recovery. Iím here for you.

janmike
03-13-2008, 09:28 AM
Well Shack, maybe you can help me as well. I will send you all my MIT's at once. :)

shack
03-13-2008, 09:31 AM
Well Shack, maybe you can help me as well. I will send you all my MIT's at once. :)

Send them to me. I'm just here to help...Dr shack

tcrossma
03-13-2008, 09:31 AM
Punch a whole bunch of holes in your hose, put a bunch of diamonds in your "source" water, and push it all through your hose. And don't come crying when you've lost a lot of your diamonds on the other end. But hey, you'll have plenty of water.

Sure, diamond don't float very well and probably wouldn't escape through the holes. So what. It's an analogy based completely on something other than fact because you know what? I'm not an expert.

I don't think "copper is copper", no. I also don't think that using water is a good analogy, because if there's no holes in your hose then all the water will eventually get to the other end. I don't think that those little electrons going down a cable follow the same rules. They can be lost or changed by many different means, such as interference from other sources or from within.

I sure am getting sick of these debates. If you don't think cables make a difference in your system, then maybe they don't. Maybe your equipment sucks or maybe you've never tried good enough cables that make a difference. To me, in my system, they do.

Gaara
03-13-2008, 09:36 AM
Anybody that says speaker cable can't make a difference is seriously uninformed.


I sure am getting sick of these debates. If you don't think cables make a difference in your system, then maybe they don't. Maybe your equipment sucks or maybe you've never tried good enough cables that make a difference. To me, in my system, they do.

Why does someone who doesn't think there is a difference in wires must be uninformed or their equipment sucks? If you can hear a difference great, but please don't throw insults at guys who can't, thats how the fights generally start (or vice versa).

tcrossma
03-13-2008, 09:40 AM
Apologies for the insult, it was not intended as one. Sorry for letting that slip in there.

stereo_luver
03-13-2008, 09:51 AM
Apologies for the insult, it was not intended as one. Sorry for letting that slip in there.

BANNED

Chuck

Road Runner
03-13-2008, 10:48 AM
Lets use the analogy of water through a hose. The voltage is like the pressure and amperage is like the volume of water being moved. 220v like the fire hydrant and 110v like your garden hose. Compareing a ten foot length of 1/2 inch hose to a 5/8 inch hose would show no noticable difference, but comparison between 25 foot length of hose would show the 5/8 hose flowing a greater volume of water= less resistence. The longer the run the need for a larger diameter hose to move the same volume of water, or you could increase the pressure to overcome the resistence.

If you believe this stuff, then there's a whole lot more going on:


In reality, a high-end audio cable must balance resistance, capacitance, inductance, conductance, velocity of propagation, RF radiation and absorption, mechanical resonance, strand interaction, high filtering, reflections, electrical resonance, dissipation factors, envelope delay, phase distortion, harmonic distortion, , structural return loss, corrosion, cross-talk, bridge-tap and the interaction of these and a hundred other things.

http://www.cardas.com/content.php?area=insights&content_id=5&pagestring=Why+Cardas?

Based on what I've read, I'm pretty skeptical. If they have a higher profit margin for cables than anything else, then that makes me even more skeptical.

Sami
03-13-2008, 11:08 AM
Putting enough of water flowing that big pipe, and then narrowing it down you'll be cutting down those diamonds in no time. :)

Want to get technical, start here: http://www.roger-russell.com/wire.htm

Excellent read.

Imperitor
03-13-2008, 11:12 AM
I'll be so happy when they invent cordless speakers... until then let round 52384 of the debate continue.

I still want to try out those coat hangers...

mule
03-13-2008, 11:16 AM
Thanks for the Cardas link, I read the stuff there.

To simplify, their idea is that by using a larger conducter you would move the same volume but loose "speed and pressure" to stick with the water analogy over using a better conductor. Makes sense to me. And by using a "shielded" conductor the sine wave will not be altered.

I am simplifying all the jargon but that is the way I understand it, but I could be wrong.

Interesting and logical, now I am curious if I could really hear a difference.

Gaara
03-13-2008, 11:22 AM
Apologies for the insult, it was not intended as one. Sorry for letting that slip in there.

No biggie, just saying that usually thats how the fights begin. I personally don't really hear a difference in well constructed speaker wire and feel my system is adequate, but won't try and convince those that do.

Looking at the next few posts I guess I was wrong, they start anyway. Ohwell.

Sami
03-13-2008, 11:24 AM
To simplify, their idea is that by using a larger conducter you would move the same volume but loose "speed and pressure" to stick with the water analogy over using a better conductor. Makes sense to me.

If that's an argument, then they are forgetting that the speaker bind is not the signals final destination. There is still wire to travel inside the speaker and that will get the "pressure" to equalize to the same with even largest cables. Only if the cable is too small in diameter will the flow be less.

mule
03-13-2008, 11:28 AM
If that's an argument, then they are forgetting that the speaker bind is not the signals final destination. There is still wire to travel inside the speaker and that will get the "pressure" to equalize to the same with even largest cables. Only if the cable is too small in diameter will the flow be less.

Damn, thats a good point, shoveling sh!t through a funnel

hearingimpared
03-13-2008, 11:37 AM
Yawn~~~~~~~~~~~

maximillian
03-13-2008, 11:40 AM
If you believe this stuff, then there's a whole lot more going on:
http://www.cardas.com/content.php?area=insights&content_id=5&pagestring=Why+Cardas?


From the site:

In reality, a high-end audio cable must balance resistance, capacitance, inductance, conductance, velocity of propagation, RF radiation and absorption, mechanical resonance, strand interaction, high filtering, reflections, electrical resonance, dissipation factors, envelope delay, phase distortion, harmonic distortion, , structural return loss, corrosion, cross-talk, bridge-tap and the interaction of these and a hundred other things.

Mechanical resonance?!? Strand interaction?!? Structural return loss ?!?

Crap, why not throw in stuff like cable sag losses, corona discharge, or anti-cat coating.

shack
03-13-2008, 11:41 AM
Yawn~~~~~~~~~~~

HEY! That's my line....

steveinaz
03-13-2008, 11:43 AM
The cables' topology is probably as important as the materials used--this is often over-looked.

Road Runner
03-13-2008, 12:18 PM
anti-cat coating.

That's the most important of all. It contains a special substance called anti-cat nip designed to repel even the most enthusiastic of cats.

Deadof_knight
03-13-2008, 12:54 PM
There is differences and anybody can tell sometime only very sublte but other times its drastic.

mule
03-13-2008, 01:03 PM
There is differences and anybody can tell sometime only very sublte but other times its drastic.


I am not trying to dispute if there is a difference, just curious as to why there would be a difference.

Hell I can't even hear the beeper tell me when the laundry is done unless I am within 10 feet of it, yet my girlfriend can hear it at the other end of the house.


Steveinaz, what do you meen by "topology"?

Face
03-13-2008, 01:44 PM
If you want to try a cable that has a different sound to it.

http://www.goertzaudio.com/mi.html

They have a low impedance, to match your speaker's impedance. Make sure you have a high current amp though, a receiver or tube amp may not fair well with this cable.

I run the AG2's in my 2 channel setup. IMO, they have great highs and lows, but aren't to be paired with a bright sounding speaker. For a warmer sound, try the copper HT Flatwire or MI cables.

dragon1952
03-13-2008, 02:22 PM
Dragon,

It's all in your head...you have fooled yourself AGAIN into believing all of the audio cable VOODOO! You are a sheeple who has bought into the hype. SHAME ON YOU!

I am of course willing to help you fight through this serious affliction. I can get you back on the path of sanity and reason.

First...you must send me those Midnights. You have my address. I will see that they are disposed of. After that we can get you back on the road to recovery. I’m here for you.

What a guy! :)



The cables' topology is probably as important as the materials used--this is often over-looked.

This is so true.


Synergy.

Also very true.

FWIW, this was not a move to a more expensive wire, or even something new, so there's no psychology involved. I think I paid about $1 a foot for the Canare and I got the Audioquest used and unterminated (and cheap) from a fellow Polkie. Both have been sitting around the house for a couple of years and have been in and out of the system. There are some obvious differences. The Audioquest is a larger gauge and has a ton more dielectric material. I'm sure this has something to do with it. In other words, I am not just comparing two hunks of copper.
The Canare always seemed a little 'tizzy'. The Audioquest has clarity. The Canare seemed to separate instruments better but they sounded dis-jointed I guess. The Audioquest doesn't throw out as large of a soundstage but everything sounds more coherent, together, musical, toe-tapping...not dis-jointed and tizzy. The Canare didn't sound nearly as bad on some recordings. I can't really explain what's going on. My wire lengths are only around 7 ft, I'm using relatively high-efficiency 8 ohm speakers and a good 50wpc tube amp that's good down below 4 ohms. At that wire length, supposedly there shouldn't be a difference, but there obviously is.
When I said people who demand that there is no difference are uninformed it wasn't meant as an insult anymore than them telling me it's in my head. I fail to see the difference. :rolleyes: That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :cool:

jakelm
03-13-2008, 02:27 PM
My reality is reality.

Zero
03-13-2008, 03:23 PM
There are three critical elements to a cable; the conductor, the geometry of the conductor, and the connector. Since our system is little more than a glorified collective group of metals used to pass along an electrical signal, you bet that the composition of metals that interlink components will have an audible impact.

To lightly touch on a few questions raised by Mule;


Copper is copper is copper, right?

Incorrect. One of the most common assumptions people tend to make is that every specific element that is mined shares exact similarities after modifications in a factory/lab. This simply is not the case. There are different purities of copper. These grades are typically based upon the volume of crystal within each copper strand/block. You have industrial copper, OFC copper, PCOCC copper, directional PCOCC copper, stranded, solid core, threaded and so on.


The electrons are supposed to pass on the surface of the wire as opposed to the core so I understand that the same gauge of wire with more strands theoretically should have less resistence, but can this make a difference and how does this make a difference in the end result of speaker sound?

Electrons ‘bounce’ around the metal and thusly pick up and transmit anything they encounter. The audio signal travels slow enough to hit well into the ‘core’ of the conductor. What you may be thinking of is the video signal, which transmits faster (typically in the megahertz range), subsequently causing it to travel more along the surface of the conductor.

Using a thicker gauge conductor gives you advantages in terms of conductance and resistance. Running even el cheapola 12 gauge wire from lows should create an immediate improvement over 22 gauge lamp cord. The differences will likely be an improved sense of scale and low end authority. This is due to the above advantages. The downside however is that using thicker gauge wire creates greater inductance and can even create an impedance mismatch between your amplifiers and speakers (in severe cases). In many instances, you will notice these effects will cause a slight loss in your systems high end extension and bass resolution.


Gold is a better conductor, but at some point you will have to go from copper to gold, How does it make a difference going from gold to copper at a banana or at the post, sooner or later there is going to be a connection between gold and copper.

Gold is a fantastic conductor, but it too is not without issues. First and foremost, it is extremely expensive to produce, so much so, that you rarely see it being used in speaker cable applications. When you see high purity gold in audio, it’s almost always used in interconnects and solder. Because costs limit it to thin gauge, and because the metal is so soft, when used with the wrong connectors- it can lose a sense of refinement at frequency extremes. It’s also worthy to note that there are a number of RCA’s that do not use copper. Your right however, eventually the signal will run back into a copper conductor. The general idea is to maintain the integrity of the signal during the critical stage of linking components. High purity metals are the go to choice because not only can they pass that information more reliably, but in many cases, they just sound better.

Hell, we haven’t even begun scratching the surface of hybrid designs using multiple conductors, the multitude of rca designs, general geometries, shielding, the works. There’s a lot to it, and just like anything else, you can’t buy a ritzy cable and expect it to transform your system. To make the right choice, you really should be intimately familiar with the topology of your system, and what cable design would best suit it. However, that can be a lot of work. For those that are wanting to keep it simple; I’d encourage anyone with a credit card to scrounge around for companies that offer generous 30 day money back trial periods – bring in a few cords that use various materials and vastly different topologies and have some fun! The only time I would ever discourage anyone from conducting these tests is if the bulk of your system can be purchased at Circuit City or Best Buy. I encourage anyone to graduate beyond cheap components before entering cable territory and passing judgment.

I hope this helps! Good luck, and have fun!

Sami
03-13-2008, 03:35 PM
I hope this helps! Good luck, and have fun!

You are pretty much saying that the diameter of the cable is what matters. Purity of the copper has very little to contribute to the overall resistance of the cable so I wouldn't pay too much attention to it.

Zero
03-13-2008, 03:43 PM
Sami,

Honestly, I don't understand how you got "purity of copper has little to contribute" out of the above post. I said the exact opposite. And yes - diameter certainly plays its role as well.

jakelm
03-13-2008, 03:46 PM
To go solid or not.

I have heard and read many different reviews on both sides of the fence about solids. I have taken the advise, of some peers here, and went solid copper core RG59 coaxial. But I notice that in terms of "speaker" wire, stranded is best.

Confusing..... IC's work better with solid core copper, but speaker wire works best with stranded copper? Of corse if going stranded, it should be the same solid copper as a solid core?

Sami
03-13-2008, 03:46 PM
Sami,

Honestly, I don't understand how you got "purity of copper has little to contribute" out of the above post. I said the exact opposite. And yes - diameter certainly plays its role as well.

Not from your post but as the defining characteristic is resistance on cable, purity doesn't contribute as it affects the resistance very little. Unless we are talking about something that really isn't copper anymore (which isn't really relevant as the stuff you buy isn't that dirty). If purity is something you are concerned of, just buy larger diameter cable and the problem is solved.

mule
03-13-2008, 04:59 PM
Thanks zero, for the relatively simple explanation. Like sami I thought a larger "dirty" conductor would do the same job as a smaller "clean" conductor. After reading the definition of "inductance" It seems in simple terms that the electrons in a clean condutor have a more direct path and be better responsive to current changes.

AAAhhhh, something just occured to me, this would be why bi amping speakers and setting crossover frequencies at the amp would produce better sound. The wire would have less frequency change and thus less inductance ??!!

Sami
03-13-2008, 05:06 PM
Thanks zero, for the relatively simple explanation. Like sami I thought a larger "dirty" conductor would do the same job as a smaller "clean" conductor. After reading the definition of "inductance" It seems in simple terms that the electrons in a clean condutor have a more direct path and be better responsive to current changes.

Inductance only affect the sound with long speaker cables, and only in higher frequencies. Even then its not audible as the human ear can't detect the difference.

Face
03-13-2008, 05:09 PM
Inductance only affect the sound with long speaker cables, and only in higher frequencies. Even then its not audible as the human ear can't detect the difference.
This is correct.

jakelm
03-13-2008, 05:13 PM
The beautiful laws of physics..

Zero
03-13-2008, 05:33 PM
It's the old adage of "You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear". Throwing in 'more' conductor will not magically match a genuinely better metal. In most situations, the purist conductor will nearly always yield better results.

The take on inductance sounds like something straight out of a dated EE book. Everything about the conductor and its shielding will have a dramatic impact on the cables inductance. You say its not audible. I disagree. I'd also say its a safe bet that neither one of us will walk away with our minds changed on the subject. Chalk this one up to the "lets agree to disagree" files, or as Stephen Colbert would say; "I respect your right to be wrong". :p:D

Sami
03-13-2008, 05:47 PM
You're not going to magically improve the purity of a metal simply by increasing the diameter of a lesser conductor.

You don't have to improve the purity. Impurity effects the resistance on the cable, only by a marginal amount, and by increasing the diameter you lessen the resistance. Simple.


You say its not audible. I disagree.

Well, how much of a difference is there going to be in two decent audio cables at 10kHz or 16kHz? How well can you hear that difference? Put in some test tones at those frequencies and test how much of volume you have to increase to distinguish the difference. Be careful not to damage the speaker though...and of course make it a double blind test.

Repeat with a cable that you know doesn't sound as good and record the results.

:p


"I respect your right to be wrong". :p:D

Yes, I respect the fact that you're wrong. ;) (sorry, couldn't resist, these aren't fighting words at all, I'm just killing time waiting for A-GPS test to execute)

mule
03-13-2008, 05:51 PM
I would say that I could probably not hear the difference, especialy since most music I listen to is mp3 or wma and half of that was probably made in a basement with a computer and samples of old vinyl.

Its just that if someone says somethings better I like to know why its better. I can now understand why its better even if I can't hear that it is better.

treitz3
03-13-2008, 06:13 PM
The higher the resolution of one's format recording, synergy and gear, the more apt one is to hear a change in the sound.

Yashu
03-14-2008, 03:21 AM
Everything makes a difference.

Monster Jam
03-15-2008, 03:03 PM
I've proven to myself yet again. I had some Audioquest Midnight speaker cable in my system for a couple years. This wire is so stiff and hard to work with it's basically not worth hassling with. When I moved into the new house I decided I wasn't going to screw with it anymore so I used some Canare Star Quad I had laying around. Well I haven't been real happy with the system lately. I gave it a good 2 months and I finally decided to try the Midnight again. It took me a freakin' hour to change the bananas. It's like wrestling an anaconda for crying out loud. I stabbed myself with the screwdriver several times, lost a lot of blood and muttered lots of nasty things under my breath, but wow what a change. Anybody that says speaker cable can't make a difference is seriously uninformed. I don't know...maybe it's just the blood loss affecting me. :rolleyes:

I was of the opinion that, for the most part, speaker cable and interconnects are way way over-rated. That goes for other cables and power conditioners as well.

That said, dragon's first hand experience is the first testomony to speaker cable I've read and agree with. Now dragon didn't state that the speaker cable sounded better, just that the old cable was a total pain in the ass to handle. Can't argue that!

ben62670
03-15-2008, 03:38 PM
To go solid or not.

I have heard and read many different reviews on both sides of the fence about solids. I have taken the advise, of some peers here, and went solid copper core RG59 coaxial. But I notice that in terms of "speaker" wire, stranded is best.

Confusing..... IC's work better with solid core copper, but speaker wire works best with stranded copper? Of corse if going stranded, it should be the same solid copper as a solid core?

Hey Jake
I like solid on speaker wires too. I have AQ star Quads with 4 solid conductors. They work great. I use them on the lows of my speakers, and I use my silvers on the highs. I have both the DBS, and none DBS versions of the AQ star quads. The DBS is definitely better. Not worth over twice the price, but better. And yes I laughed at the though of having batteries on my cables. Then I tried them.

dragon1952
03-15-2008, 08:00 PM
..... Now dragon didn't state that the speaker cable sounded better, just that the old cable was a total pain in the ass to handle. Can't argue that!

I actually did state that the Audioquest Midnight was much better sounding in my system, even though it's a royal pain in the ass to work with. In other words, the old cable that was a total pain in the ass is now the new cable :D

mrbigbluelight
03-15-2008, 08:48 PM
One word:

Waveguide.




:rolleyes:

Monster Jam
03-15-2008, 10:37 PM
I actually did state that the Audioquest Midnight was much better sounding in my system, even though it's a royal pain in the ass to work with. In other words, the old cable that was a total pain in the ass is now the new cable :D


....yet again!!!!:p

dragon1952
03-15-2008, 10:51 PM
At least someone's paying attention :rolleyes:
:D

candyliquor35m
03-15-2008, 11:29 PM
I'm happy with romex which doesn't move once you get it bent (sculpted) just right. I don't have the urge to try anything else unless someone is donating something or starting up a new cable swap thread.

mmadden28
03-15-2008, 11:36 PM
...The only time I would ever discourage anyone from conducting these tests is if the bulk of your system can be purchased at Circuit City or Best Buy. I encourage anyone to graduate beyond cheap components before entering cable territory and passing judgment.
...

Sounds like solid advice. I'll heed it. (no pun intended)
:cool:

Road Runner
03-21-2008, 11:17 AM
Here's something about these Pear cables:


Frequency Response

The differences in sound quality that cables make can be both heard and measured. The frequency response of a system is one of the most basic ways to measure the accuracy of a sound system. Although it certainly does not give all of the information about the sound quality of a cable, it does illustrate the basic cable accuracy. An ideal system would have a frequency response that was completely flat from 20 Hz to 20kHz. That would mean that the system was able to play all frequencies, from low bass to high pitch symbols, without any distortion or decrease in volume.

The graph shown here is an example that gives a direct comparison between the frequency response of two audio systems that are identical except for the cables. As can be clearly seen, the system using the Pear Cable (depicted in dark green) shows greatly extended frequency response. When we say that our cables are more accurate, we actually mean it, and can prove it.

By allowing a virtually flat frequency response all the way to 20 kHz, the Comice Cables used in this test preserve the harmonic information of the original recording. When this system is compared side by side in listening tests, the difference is obvious. The "Other Cables" sound much harsher and tinny. Pear Cables on the other hand will sound far more natural, with an infinitely improved soundstage, because they are more accurate.

The bottom line is that if the sound never gets to the speakers, the quality of the rest of your system will not matter. Pear Cables allow your system to reach its full potential.

System Specifications

So what exactly is the comparison depicted on the graph?

The frequency response comparison has been specifically designed to be as fair of a comparison as possible. The setup is a 4 channel audio system that uses a cd player, a pair of 2-channel amps, and 2 pairs of coaxial 5.25" speakers. 2 channels are hooked up with our competitors cable, and 2 channels are hooked up with our Comice Cable.

The sets of cable are all identical in length and gauge. The Pear Cable side utilizes Comice Silver Interconnects, Comice Speaker Cable, and Comice Power Cable. The "Other Cable" is major name brand "high quality" cable. The interconnect pairs are both 5 meters long and utilize shielded twisted pair configurations. The speaker cables are all 14 foot long 12 gauge runs. The "Other Cable" speaker cable is a standard 12 gauge zip design, whereas the Comice Speaker Cable is a 12 gauge cable utilizing a unique 6 conductor configuration. Finally, the amplifiers are both hooked up using 2 foot runs of 8 gauge power wire.

The measurements were taken with a digital storage oscilloscope at the speaker terminals. Because this system utilizes just 5.25" coaxial speakers, the low frequency roll-off can clearly be seen in both cases, but this has nothing to do with the cables. This is due to the fact that the system was not designed to play low frequency bass, and cuts that information out.

One final important note is that the frequency response of cables will not, of course, give all the information about how they will sound. However, it will demonstrate the basic accuracy of the cables. Other factors such as cable vibration, noise, etc. will not show up in a frequency response plot, but are still important. Pear Cables are designed to deal with all of these factors.

http://www.pearcable.com/sub_products_comice_frequencyresponse.htm

kl3640
03-22-2008, 01:46 PM
I'm not trying to start a flame war, but I have a few questions.

Copper is copper is copper, right?

The electrons are supposed to pass on the surface of the wire as opposed to the core so I understand that the same gauge of wire with more strands theoretically should have less resistence, but can this make a difference and how does this make a difference in the end result of speaker sound?

Gold is a better conductor, but at some point you will have to go from copper to gold, How does it make a difference going from gold to copper at a banana or at the post, sooner or later there is going to be a connection between gold and copper.

I don't have a concrete opinion one way or the other, just looking for a technical reason and not a opinion swayed by bling appeal.

I will say that when I asked my brother, (who has a rediculous amount of expirience and education with electronics) without going into a long winded reply told me to use 14 gauge stranded copper, didn't matter if it was lamp cord or some fancy pants "audio" cord.

In an analog system, the quality of the conductor (and thus signal loss, interference, etc.) makes a big difference. Not so much in a digital system so long as the transmission standard's minimum requirement is met. Thus, in an analog system, 18ga gold wire vs 18ga copper wire with the same exact construction, insulators, etc, will make a difference. In a digital system, such as say a data network, I won't purchase anything beyond the minimum design for the maximum data throughput (current or planned) for my system. Therefore, if I was wiring an insurance office for gig-copper and I never thought I'd need more than that, I might only get Cat 5e. However, if I was wiring a computer graphics shop, I'd go with Cat 6e or fiber or something, because I'm always going to push the envelope of the data rate.

Perhaps a better example: I might spend a lot on a certain brand of copper cables for my SDA SRS 1.2 TL's, but I wouldn't spend a lot on a HDMI or digital optical audio cable so long as they're certified to meet the minimum transport standard. Those MONSTER "silver" and "gold" HDMI cables are the biggest rip-offs going...after all, it's a digital standard!

Mownhoj
05-14-2013, 01:20 PM
Thanks Fellas for keeping this thread so informative and respectful. I suppose that I'm a total noob compared to you guys and I arrived here via a Google search asking if speaker wire makes a difference. So, just to show you guys how great a respectful debate can be, I feel like I have learned a good bit from this thread and I am glad to see that even with all the technical knowledge passed around, it seems both sides are comfortable with the views of the other side.
So, that said, I'm wondering if you guys can help me decide whether to spend money on good wire. My system was purchased in 1998 from a local store that is respected as a shop where audiophiles can go to get things better than what is typically available at big box stores. I spent about $3500 I think it was for a Pioneer Elite tuner, a set of Solid Solutions surround speakers (4 speakers, a center channel, and a woofer), and other items that have since been retired like Sennheiser wireless headphones, a tape deck, and a cd carousel. Now I just use my iphone and a DVD player and the tuner & speakers. I have my first home now, and I can finally crank my music without annoying anyone downstairs.
A few problems though, I have a permanent ringing in my ears from a few too many concerts and an afternoon of skeet shooting in which I forgot to wear ear protection. My dad was an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor trained at Johns Hopkins, and he was really mad about the shooting day, he said I said significant high frequency hearing loss, which was a bummer. All my life I had meticulously protected my hearing then one day of shooting combined with a few too many Van Halen concerts and here I am with hearing damage. Plus, I'm 46 and am starting to notice that it's getting harder for me to hear things in general.
I never have been very satisfied with my system, it seems like I have to turn it up pretty loud to be able to hear any complexity in the music, (and the Sennheiser headphones were a complete waste of money, I think my cats would have a hard time hearing the music from them, the volume just didn't get anywhere near loud enough). But, I went about a year without turning on the system when I lived with my ex girlfriend, and when I set the system up after that, the surround never really has worked right. I can't seem to get the rear speakers to function properly, they always seem much lower in volume than the front, no matter how much I fiddle with the settings. That was the case right out of the box, but after the year of not being turned on, it is much worse. Sometimes they do work well, other times barely at all.
So, after reading these posts, I am wondering if my speaker wire might be an issue. I left my wire in my last place since it was hung in such a way that it was painted over, and if I had removed it, it would have left stripes. So now I am shopping for speaker wire and was thinking of running the wires through the ceiling and walls. But considering I am house-broke, have hearing damage and a so-so system, what do you guys think I should do? I think even the home improvement center cheap stuff would cost a hundred bucks, plus I don't where I would get wire that might be better than what I can get at a local big box store, but still kind of entry level.
Thanks for any and all opinions and tips!
John

thsmith
05-14-2013, 04:42 PM
Welcome to club polk.

What wire are you using today ?

As long as its approperiate gauge for the lenght of your runs you will be fine for your system.

IMO to tell the difference with cables your system needs to be revealing. If you decide you want to try something not to expensive I suggest Canare 4S11 Cable at bluejeanscable.com or a used pair of AudioQuest Type 4s ($75 8' pair).

You can use a Radio SHack SPL meter to level match your speakers manually.

Jhayman
05-14-2013, 05:43 PM
Nope, we were just informed by you..
Old house old wire old room, new house new wire new room different sound of course..
Personally I think it was the spilled blood on the cable that affected it sonically, lol

I've proven to myself yet again. I had some Audioquest Midnight speaker cable in my system for a couple years. This wire is so stiff and hard to work with it's basically not worth hassling with. When I moved into the new house I decided I wasn't going to screw with it anymore so I used some Canare Star Quad I had laying around. Well I haven't been real happy with the system lately. I gave it a good 2 months and I finally decided to try the Midnight again. It took me a freakin' hour to change the bananas. It's like wrestling an anaconda for crying out loud. I stabbed myself with the screwdriver several times, lost a lot of blood and muttered lots of nasty things under my breath, but wow what a change. Anybody that says speaker cable can't make a difference is seriously uninformed. I don't know...maybe it's just the blood loss affecting me. :rolleyes:

Jhayman
05-14-2013, 05:46 PM
You obviously were not here for our big HDMI cable debate, apperantly there is or is not a difference.........bring popcorn


In an analog system, the quality of the conductor (and thus signal loss, interference, etc.) makes a big difference. Not so much in a digital system so long as the transmission standard's minimum requirement is met. Thus, in an analog system, 18ga gold wire vs 18ga copper wire with the same exact construction, insulators, etc, will make a difference. In a digital system, such as say a data network, I won't purchase anything beyond the minimum design for the maximum data throughput (current or planned) for my system. Therefore, if I was wiring an insurance office for gig-copper and I never thought I'd need more than that, I might only get Cat 5e. However, if I was wiring a computer graphics shop, I'd go with Cat 6e or fiber or something, because I'm always going to push the envelope of the data rate.

Perhaps a better example: I might spend a lot on a certain brand of copper cables for my SDA SRS 1.2 TL's, but I wouldn't spend a lot on a HDMI or digital optical audio cable so long as they're certified to meet the minimum transport standard. Those MONSTER "silver" and "gold" HDMI cables are the biggest rip-offs going...after all, it's a digital standard!

custopper30
05-15-2013, 12:18 AM
college student budget, monoprice ftw

halo71
05-15-2013, 05:17 AM
Jhayman.....psst....you are arguing with posts that are 5 years old! lol

Jhayman
05-15-2013, 06:44 AM
Not arguing just having fun, note the , lol and bring popcorn Humor..

Polkie2009
05-15-2013, 08:19 PM
I'm really looking forward to ordering some of Doug's speaker cables!!!

treitz3
05-15-2013, 09:02 PM
Thanks Fellas for keeping this thread so informative and respectful
Hello, John and welcome to the forum. It is nice when that happens. Folks actually learn.


So, after reading these posts, I am wondering if my speaker wire might be an issue.
From what you mention, I would tend not to think so. Upgraded cables, while they *can* and will make a positive change [given the right circumstances], will not correct any rear channel deficiencies. The home improvement stuff would be on par with what you currently have....unless they are oxidized beyond recovery.

Tom

Rick88
05-15-2013, 09:31 PM
85208

Mownhoj
05-18-2013, 09:20 PM
OK, thanks for the info everyone. It sounds like my system really isn't at a level that wire could make much of a difference. I'm only running wire maybe 15 feet at the most so I suppose I'll just get some affordable wire for now.
Thanks,
John

Jhayman
05-18-2013, 09:48 PM
That is the best looking Velociraptor I've ever seen..

85208

Geoff4rfc
05-19-2013, 08:11 PM
That is the best looking Velociraptor I've ever seen..

Maybe so, but that's a very impressive rack....uh....gear rack, right?? Ok, how 'bout classic rack? Thanks Rick, for bringing a classic rack to an outdated thread :mrgreen:

TheHammer610
05-22-2013, 05:57 PM
I think it depends on the "Quality" of copper...Most of your better wire is almost "pure" in mixture.

Most of the cheaper stuff is just that,copper that is mixed with alot of "filler" tin.

LOL. What is the filler? Kitty litter? Nope, there is none.

Some people get into oxide free. Well, copper oxide does not conduct well. If it were in standard wire, then the resistance would be higher and that is measurable.

Sorry, the only difference between wire is resistance, stranded vs. solid, gauge. #16 stranded gauge is fine unless your speaker wires are exceptionally long.

And don't forget about all that wire inside the speaker (the speaker coil). And the crossover...

OK, don't believe me? Then try a double-blind test yourself. But it has to be blind, or your expectations will influence what you "hear". In every test ever done with speaker wire, when the tester did not know what was being tested, the listener could not find the difference. ABX would be better, but that requires special equipment.

OK, I know I will never convince you, but I feel better.

http://consumerist.com/2008/03/03/do-coat-hangers-sound-as-good-monster-cables/

http://home.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx_wire.htm

http://www.head-fi.org/t/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths

Jhayman
05-22-2013, 06:14 PM
Popcorn anyone?

ken brydson
05-22-2013, 06:20 PM
LOL. What is the filler? Kitty litter? Nope, there is none.

Some people get into oxide free. Well, copper oxide does not conduct well. If it were in standard wire, then the resistance would be higher and that is measurable.

Sorry, the only difference between wire is resistance, stranded vs. solid, gauge. #16 stranded gauge is fine unless your speaker wires are exceptionally long.

And don't forget about all that wire inside the speaker (the speaker coil). And the crossover...

OK, don't believe me? Then try a double-blind test yourself. But it has to be blind, or your expectations will influence what you "hear". In every test ever done with speaker wire, when the tester did not know what was being tested, the listener could not find the difference. ABX would be better, but that requires special equipment.

OK, I know I will never convince you, but I feel better.

http://consumerist.com/2008/03/03/do-coat-hangers-sound-as-good-monster-cables/

http://home.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx_wire.htm

http://www.head-fi.org/t/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths

Did you join just for this? Where's the Roger Rabbit, I mean Russell link?

DSkip
05-22-2013, 06:58 PM
Sigh. I think someone on this forum has planted a pepper garden recently. We've got all kinds of flavors now.

F1nut
05-22-2013, 07:04 PM
In every test ever done with speaker wire, when the tester did not know what was being tested, the listener could not find the difference.

That's an outright lie and just goes to show that you don't know what you're talking about.

So, what cables have you actually tried in your rig?

ZLTFUL
05-22-2013, 07:19 PM
Note to self...personal attacks will get you banned so no comments about the questionable genetic make up of a human/jackass experiment.

Toolfan66
05-22-2013, 08:12 PM
LOL. What is the filler? Kitty litter? Nope, there is none.

Some people get into oxide free. Well, copper oxide does not conduct well. If it were in standard wire, then the resistance would be higher and that is measurable.

Sorry, the only difference between wire is resistance, stranded vs. solid, gauge. #16 stranded gauge is fine unless your speaker wires are exceptionally long.

And don't forget about all that wire inside the speaker (the speaker coil). And the crossover...

OK, don't believe me? Then try a double-blind test yourself. But it has to be blind, or your expectations will influence what you "hear". In every test ever done with speaker wire, when the tester did not know what was being tested, the listener could not find the difference. ABX would be better, but that requires special equipment.

OK, I know I will never convince you, but I feel better.

http://consumerist.com/2008/03/03/do-coat-hangers-sound-as-good-monster-cables/

http://home.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx_wire.htm

http://www.head-fi.org/t/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths


Glad you feel better, but I hope you realize you haven't sold anybody!! Still feel better? I have done my own testing, in my own rig, and your rant means nothing..

Jhayman
05-22-2013, 08:23 PM
See a preschool timeout does wonders..lol
Welcome Back:wink:

Note to self...personal attacks will get you banned so no comments about the questionable genetic make up of a human/jackass experiment.

headrott
05-22-2013, 08:42 PM
LOL. What is the filler? Kitty litter? Nope, there is none.

Some people get into oxide free. Well, copper oxide does not conduct well. If it were in standard wire, then the resistance would be higher and that is measurable.

Sorry, the only difference between wire is resistance, stranded vs. solid, gauge. #16 stranded gauge is fine unless your speaker wires are exceptionally long.

And don't forget about all that wire inside the speaker (the speaker coil). And the crossover...

OK, don't believe me? Then try a double-blind test yourself. But it has to be blind, or your expectations will influence what you "hear". In every test ever done with speaker wire, when the tester did not know what was being tested, the listener could not find the difference. ABX would be better, but that requires special equipment.

OK, I know I will never convince you, but I feel better.

http://consumerist.com/2008/03/03/do-coat-hangers-sound-as-good-monster-cables/

http://home.provide.net/~djcarlst/abx_wire.htm

http://www.head-fi.org/t/486598/testing-audiophile-claims-and-myths

Let me post a page of my own and please read and understand everything that Darqueknight posted. Thank you and I look forward to your responses after doing some learning and understanding.

http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/show...-Blind-Testing

Habanero Monk
05-22-2013, 08:46 PM
That's an outright lie and just goes to show that you don't know what you're talking about.

So, what cables have you actually tried in your rig?

There are cables (http://www.goertzaudio.com/contents/en-us/d16_MI_Speaker_Cables.html) that sound different. They also measure differently. Whether that difference is preferred is another question.

It's the same for any other component: Make it different then market that difference.

I wonder what's going to happen when the wireless standards congeal and you no longer have to worry about L/C/R and gauge in some installations.

Jhayman
05-22-2013, 08:52 PM
Then it will be all about the quality of the wi/fi signal and receiver..


There are cables (http://www.goertzaudio.com/contents/en-us/d16_MI_Speaker_Cables.html) that sound different. They also measure differently. Whether that difference is preferred is another question.

It's the same for any other component: Make it different then market that difference.

I wonder what's going to happen when the wireless standards congeal and you no longer have to worry about L/C/R and gauge in some installations.

theshawn
05-23-2013, 11:09 PM
So has anyone ever tried this stuff as speaker wire?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002MBZVFE/ref=oh_details_o01_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I just ordered some for the hell of it to try out and see if I notice any diff over 16 gauge I'm using now. I'll be cutting it in half so it'll only be 9 foot runs to my fronts. I'll probably notice a difference just because I want to. lol

BlueFox
05-23-2013, 11:24 PM
You can get equal, or better, 12 gauge at the hardware store.

I had a mixture of cheapo 14 and 16 gauge wire in my my HT, and I decided to clean it up. I bought 100 feet of stranded, twisted copper 12 gauge at Home Depot and spent a Saturday afternoon cutting exact lengths to each speaker, and I upgraded the speaker (LSi15s) jumpers with it. Turned it on and let it warm up. That night when I watched a movie I knew it sounded better. That was the point where I started to realize maybe speaker wire does make a difference.

Now I am a complete convert to speaker wire, inter-connects, and power cords. I cannot say it enough. Better cables, and power, make better music. Assuming you aren't deaf.

theshawn
05-23-2013, 11:37 PM
Better at the hardware store? How come? I mean I know Monster is over rated but didn't think it was THAT over rated. lol

AjsCrown
05-24-2013, 12:54 AM
Dang! Sounds like someone's trying to use data transmission specs from a T1 line! Bridgetap?? Really!!
How many KF are we talking? How far from the source,or load for that matter??
Alot of those fancy words dont apply to audio cable!
If i had to guess,the most critical thing would be connections,and surface area of the connection.
Just my 2 cents. :)

Speedskater
05-24-2013, 09:39 AM
Better at the hardware store? How come? I mean I know Monster is over rated but didn't think it was THAT over rated. lol

Better, in that the hardware store doesn't make claims like:

Extra low noise construction
Patented Magnetic Flux
High Quality
Breaks up internal electromagnetic fields

Better in that the hardware store price's it as a commodity not as a magic device.

Nothing wrong with M***** if the price is right, but nothing special either.

theshawn
05-24-2013, 01:11 PM
OK so how much would 18' of 12 gauge cost at the hardware store? For $9 I'll take the chance that a company more geared towards audio cables just might have a technology in their wires that exceeds plain jacketed copper. This thread spoke about internal wire issues, does this magnetic flux do absolutely nothing and is 100% marketing bs? I get their marketing bs and for the most part think they are over rated and way to expensive for what you get. You and others here are more knowledgeable than myself so I have no problem being educated (or re-educated as the case may be lol). If this "magnetic flux" crap is truly just marketing bs and has no actual audio value then I want to know.

I think what I'd like to ask is....is this Monster 12 gauge for car subwoofers any better than 16 gauge home speaker wire? Because of marketing bs I'm thinking their home speaker cable as mass marketed at Best Buy, etc. is no better, and if you purchased 12 gauge "home speaker" wire there you'd pay a lot more per foot than 0.50 imo. BECAUSE of marketing bs, the wire marketed for home speakers in the home audio section is of the same quality as the stuff in car audio but they can't get the same markup in car audio?

tonyb
05-24-2013, 01:49 PM
Yes and no my friend, certainly marketing B.S. exists in the cable industry but shouldn't define the industry as a whole. Same with other audio products. Thing is to get YOUR ears on as much as possible to see which brands float your boat and then give them a whirl in your system. It's not rocket science, but does take some trial and error.

ZLTFUL
05-24-2013, 02:10 PM
Shawn,

My recommendation for a quality speaker cable that you literally can't go wrong with is the Audioquest Flex series CL rated wire.
Audio Etc. in Centerville *should* sell it in bulk. Just buy 18ft of their 14/2.
Either that or the whatever bulk CL rated cable Hanson in Dayton sells.

Heck...isn't Parts Express in Springboro? Just pick up some Dayton Audio CL rated cable from them...

F1nut
05-24-2013, 07:08 PM
As long as you're sticking with that kind of standard generic stranded copper cable, they're all going to sound pretty much the same.

WLDock
05-25-2013, 05:23 AM
Better, in that the hardware store doesn't make claims like:
Extra low noise construction
Patented Magnetic Flux
High Quality
Breaks up internal electromagnetic fields
Better in that the hardware store price's it as a commodity not as a magic device.
Nothing wrong with M***** if the price is right, but nothing special either.Sounds like an issue with Monster as a company or their advertising etc...? They all claim something about the quality of their wire...some more than others.

Nevertheless, I disagree about their basic or XLN wire products. If I can get it at cheap Amazon prices I would take it anyday over the off the roll Home Depot stuff. I've used their wire for ages in the home and in the car and the wire is true 12 AGW, is well marked for polarity, has a durable yet flexible jacket, is easy to work with, and sounds fine. Also, the wire holds up over time....even in the car...it does not corrode as fast and turn green like the cheap off the roll stuff.


Anyway, that Monster wire is a good deal at about $0.45/ft. shipped for 12 AWG. The basic Gepco pro A/V wire that I plan to use to rewire my HT system is about $1.05/ft: who knows...I might end up using the cheaper Beldon.

Anything more in terms of wire ...and now one must consider the crossovers and all internal wire feeding the speakers.

theshawn
05-25-2013, 01:00 PM
Thanks for the input y'all, much appreciated.

NJPOLKER
05-25-2013, 09:35 PM
Everything makes a difference.

Poor quality components don't matter if you can't hear a difference

High quality components don't matter if you can't hear a difference

Nothing matters if you can't hear a difference

tonyb
05-26-2013, 09:16 AM
As long as you're sticking with that kind of standard generic stranded copper cable, they're all going to sound pretty much the same.

Bingo....then the comments of I can't hear a difference follows.

Drenis
05-26-2013, 09:17 AM
FWIW, I had bought some of this Monster speaker wire for subs long ago and guess what? It wasn't copper inside! AT least, not in color.

tonyb
05-26-2013, 09:48 AM
FWIW, I had bought some of this Monster speaker wire for subs long ago and guess what? It wasn't copper inside! AT least, not in color.

Same experience here in my youth of course. Lessons learned the hard way.

Hows the new joint coming along btw ? All moved in ? Got your pics of Celine Dion and David Foster up yet ? :biggrin:

Drenis
05-26-2013, 10:02 AM
Hows the new joint coming along btw ? All moved in ? Got your pics of Celine Dion and David Foster up yet ? :biggrin:

LOL... no pictures up yet and it's been a unusually long and stressful unpack. Haven't listened to the stereo since the day I set it up. Enjoying the new place though as it saves money long term.

Thanks for asking.

WLDock
05-26-2013, 03:03 PM
FWIW, I had bought some of this Monster speaker wire for subs long ago and guess what? It wasn't copper inside! AT least, not in color.

Same experience here in my youth of course. Lessons learned the hard way. Hows the new joint coming along btw ? All moved in ? Got your pics of Celine Dion and David Foster up yet ? :biggrin: Coming from someone who thinks Monster has a marketing team that is giving Bose a run for their money....I think you guys are being a little hard on monster.

While I have no idea what the XLN cable is coated with on the outer, it has a different color center:
http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/NjAwWDYwMA==/z/7HUAAMXQdwpRjDBC/$(KGrHqRHJFEFGBSYU6kbBRjDBBtDW!~~60_3.JPG

So if one believes that stranded wire is stranded wire in terms of sound..then why not go for the one that the the cheapest and has known good quality? IME, the no name off the roll wire corrodes and turns an ugly green real fast and in contrast the Monster wire has held up over time...was even used in different installs in the various car and home systems I have done for myself and others.

Here are some prices:


Stranded wire
AudioQuest FLX 14 AWG- ~$1.00/ft
Beldon 5000UP 12 AWG - $0.59/ft
Canare 4S11 14 AWG x 2 - $1.35/ft
Carol 2C SJ 12 AWG - $0.87/ft
Gepco HBW Series 12 AWG - $1.05/ft
Gepco HD Series 12 AWG - $0.90/ft
Home Depot Speaker Wire off the roll 14 AWG - $0.64/ft
Home Depot Southwire 500 ft. Black 12-Gauge THHN Wire - $70 roll or $0.14/ft
Mogami W3103 12 AWG - $2.80/ft
Monster original ~10-11 AWG - $0.87/ft
Monster XLN 12 AWG - $0.45/ft SHIPPED!
Monoprice CL2 12 AWG - $0.33/ft

In all, if one can get the Monster Original stranded wire or the XLN stranded wire at a cheap price like $0.45/ft shipped then it is worth it IMO. That same roll of 18 FT 12 AWG is $24 at another site!!!! The regular retail price on many of their products is not worth it. Still, anything on the list above will get the job done in the lower priced wire segment....especially for the multiple runs needed for HT.

However, IMO, if one is to spend a lot of money on multi-strand solid core wire then I think there are several other things that need to be in place: The equipment, the room, the source material, the interconnects, the crossovers, etc. and ONES OWN EARS really need to be worthy.

WLDock
05-26-2013, 03:42 PM
The speaker wire making a difference question will always be a matter of opinion as we all hear different. I can't help but to think of my own hearing vs. a good friend of mine. We have both played music every since we were kids and he is an awesome talent and has a good ear for music and improvisation. However, going back to our teens, 20's, 30's I always thought his high frequency hearing was off. Whenever he would adjust the PA the top end and even mid range was HOT! I would always have to go behind him and flatten out things. In contrast my hearing was more sensitive. Hot or badly adjusted PA systems would give me a headache.


If we both were to audition the same high end 2 ch system in the same room I am sure our ability to hear differences in wire/cables would be totally different. Now in our 40's I can't deny the fact that my high freq hearing is not the same as it was in my 20's. Still, I am convinced that I could hear more subtle difference in equipment than my bud even though he turned out to be a much better musician than myself. I guess I have heard cases of the musician and the engineer disagreeing about the final mix.:biggrin:


So, I think one would really have to get all the other factors together before they can decide that a $250, $500, or $1500 set of speaker cables is worth it to them. Then there is the DIY cable vs. brand ? argument and blind test debate as well. IMO, speakers are the most subjective piece of equipment in a system in terms of defining what sounds good to ones ears. I see wire as being a more subtle difference when compared to speakers.

PolkieMan
05-26-2013, 03:43 PM
Since we are having a good discussion on wire how about those little iron rings that I see from time to time on like VGA/ HDMI cables would they serve a purpose on speaker wire?

dragon1952
05-26-2013, 05:10 PM
Ha ha.......a five yr old thread and still the same arguments going back and forth. It picked up right where it left off like we all just fell asleep for 5 yrs.

WLDock
05-26-2013, 06:24 PM
This will go on till wire is no longer needed to connect components and speakers.:mrgreen:

Toolfan66
05-26-2013, 06:42 PM
This will go on till wire is no longer needed to connect components and speakers.:mrgreen:

Agreed!!

tonyb
05-27-2013, 09:31 AM
... I see wire as being a more subtle difference when compared to speakers.

Yes and no, it can be subtle or more pronounced. Everything in the chain is going to impart something on the sound. In general, yeah, speakers will contribute the most to the sound imho too. Thing for me is, once you start moving up the chain of speakers, the electronics and cables have to follow too. After all, whats the point of forking out the coin for great speakers if you won't let them operate at their best ?

theshawn
05-27-2013, 10:13 PM
This will go on till wire is no longer needed to connect components and speakers.:mrgreen:

Uh huh....then the argument will be about wired vs. non-wired sound or about how one company makes a wireless signal that is better than another.....

polkfarmboy
05-28-2013, 01:07 AM
Uh huh....then the argument will be about wired vs. non-wired sound or about how one company makes a wireless signal that has less jitter than another.....

Fixed it for ya :cheesygrin:

BlueFox
05-28-2013, 01:22 AM
That's right PFB. It will either be jitter, or something else unique to wireless, that people will try to correct. And if it exists then we will have another interesting subject to discuss.

Jhayman
05-28-2013, 08:15 AM
Which we should already be aware of, as you know BF they already have a high priced Ethernet cable..

WLDock
05-28-2013, 08:45 AM
Yes and no, it can be subtle or more pronounced. Everything in the chain is going to impart something on the sound. In general, yeah, speakers will contribute the most to the sound imho too. Thing for me is, once you start moving up the chain of speakers, the electronics and cables have to follow too. After all, whats the point of forking out the coin for great speakers if you won't let them operate at their best ?I agree....that's why I posted on the "LSIM707 BiWire post"

http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?149305-Lsim-707-and-bi-amps&highlight=LSiM

They were talking about $200 jumpers and Bi-Wiring, etc. which I think is absurd when you think of all the connections inside of the 707 speaker. Why spend a bunch of money on speaker wires and jumpers when there are a ton of metal to metal connections and cost effective, wire, compnents, PCB, in the signal chain? Your end result will only be as good as the weak link in the chain:

IMO, this should be the start before spending a lot of cash on speaker wire:
http://www.hometheater.com/images/Polk%20Inside.jpg?1315751397

Not saying that what Polk did was not sutable as they are awesome physicist and engineers....but, they have to get mass produced high quality out the door at a decent price that the bean counters and the consumers are good with....so they can only go so far on the wire, crossovers, and connections.


I guess i still don't get the $200 jumpers? Hell, if I had $100K burning a hole in my pocket and I just picked up a set of JBL Everest and a couple of Krell mono blocks, I guess $200 jumpers and $5k+ wire falls right inline?

tonyb
05-28-2013, 09:29 AM
Gotcha....but your hitting the extremes. You don't need to spend 5g's on cables either. There's a vast amount of real estate in-between monoprice and 5g cables. Your analogy just doesn't hold water. You yourself said if you had the cash, Krell mono blocks would be on your radar. If that's the case, how could all that electronics benefit from the crap wiring in the wall, if following your thought process. The only other assumption is that by stating if you had the cash only reflects that you must justify somehow that you don't. Well, some people do have the cash, which elevates them to be able to play audio on a whole other level.

We have this discussion a gazillion times a year, and I'll wager within the next few days someone else will come along and post why cables don't/do matter.....blah blah. Gets old my friend, but one has to be willing to try new things before jumping to conclusions.

For me personally, I could give a rats behind if a cable is made with 6n copper or 9n, stranded, twisted, 9ga or 14 ga. Silver, Palladium, or some other exotic metallurgy. Solid core, air dielectric, or whatever. It could be made out of dog poo for all I care. It's how it sounds in my system to my ears and that's the bottom line. How it happens, why it happens, the science of it all, irrelevant to me.

DSkip
05-28-2013, 09:34 AM
It could be made out of dog poo for all I care.

I'm sure Patrick can help you with this.

tonyb
05-28-2013, 09:39 AM
Hey man, anyone that can form dog poo into cables.....and shield them to hide the smell, has my admiration.:biggrin:

ZLTFUL
05-28-2013, 11:56 AM
Hey man, anyone that can form dog poo into cables.....and shield them to hide the smell, has my admiration.:biggrin:

What do you think that playdough looking stuff on the ends of his cables really is? :eek:

headrott
05-28-2013, 02:01 PM
I agree....that's why I posted on the "LSIM707 BiWire post"

http://www.polkaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?149305-Lsim-707-and-bi-amps&highlight=LSiM

They were talking about $200 jumpers and Bi-Wiring, etc. which I think is absurd when you think of all the connections inside of the 707 speaker. Why spend a bunch of money on speaker wires and jumpers when there are a ton of metal to metal connections and cost effective, wire, compnents, PCB, in the signal chain? Your end result will only be as good as the weak link in the chain:

IMO, this should be the start before spending a lot of cash on speaker wire:
http://www.hometheater.com/images/Polk%20Inside.jpg?1315751397

Not saying that what Polk did was not sutable as they are awesome physicist and engineers....but, they have to get mass produced high quality out the door at a decent price that the bean counters and the consumers are good with....so they can only go so far on the wire, crossovers, and connections.


I guess i still don't get the $200 jumpers? Hell, if I had $100K burning a hole in my pocket and I just picked up a set of JBL Everest and a couple of Krell mono blocks, I guess $200 jumpers and $5k+ wire falls right inline?

Sir, there have been an innumerable number of posts about Polkies updating their speakers PCB's, Caps, resistors, binding posts, internal wire, and a great number of other internal to the speaker tweeks to update and improve their speakers. Particualrly the SDA line of speakers. If you haven't seen/read them please look up Darqueknight's (Ray's) very thorough and informative threads regarding the updating and improvement to the sound (or lack of improvement, or detriment too). Aslo, there have been an innumerable number of posts regarding speaker wire, jumpers, amps, pre-amps, sources, etc. external to the speakers (and the improvement, lack of improvement, or detriment to the audio). Go check it out please.

Jhayman
05-28-2013, 02:13 PM
long story short Don't listen to anyone but yourself about wire, if YOU hear a difference then that's all that matters..
I've come to a conclusion that Human ears and the ear canal are not all created equal and the region of the brain that makes Logical decisions..
BUT you have to at least try different cables or wire before dismissing it.:smile:

DSkip
05-28-2013, 02:39 PM
long story short Don't listen to anyone but yourself about wire, if YOU hear a difference then that's all that matters..
I've come to a conclusion that Human ears and the ear canal are not all created equal and the region of the brain that makes Logical decisions..
BUT you have to at least try different cables or wire before dismissing it.:smile:

Everything makes a difference, its just whether or not you can hear it. If you can't it doesn't mean it isn't altering the sound in some way, better or worse. When listening on your own system, its far easier to hear the differences since you're already so familiar with the system.

It's like saying there's a difference between a 92 mph and 95 mph fastball. If you can't hit either one, it doesn't matter which one you see. You can't deny or dismiss that there is a difference in speed, it just doesn't matter in your situation. For someone who can hit a 92 mph fastball, facing a 95 mph fastball might be an entirely different monster.

Kazimir
05-28-2013, 04:51 PM
Uh huh....then the argument will be about wired vs. non-wired sound or about how one company makes a wireless signal that is better than another.....

Don't forget about the air purity and humidity levels that are more optimal for wireless transmission.

treitz3
05-28-2013, 05:18 PM
Since we are having a good discussion on wire how about those little iron rings that I see from time to time on like VGA/ HDMI cables would they serve a purpose on speaker wire?

Hello, PolkieMan. I do not believe anybody addressed your question yet. What you are talking about is a ferrite. I would tend to think that they would have no impact on a speaker wire due from most speaker magnets being made of ferrite or alnico. I personally do not ever recall seeing a speaker wire having a ferrite core around it. PC's, IC's and other types of interconnect cables, yes. SC's, no.

Tom

Jhayman
05-28-2013, 06:09 PM
That's what I Said, if You hear a difference then that's all that matters..
If you can't hear any differences then buy yourself a $99 system

Everything makes a difference, its just whether or not you can hear it. If you can't it doesn't mean it isn't altering the sound in some way, better or worse. When listening on your own system, its far easier to hear the differences since you're already so familiar with the system.

It's like saying there's a difference between a 92 mph and 95 mph fastball. If you can't hit either one, it doesn't matter which one you see. You can't deny or dismiss that there is a difference in speed, it just doesn't matter in your situation. For someone who can hit a 92 mph fastball, facing a 95 mph fastball might be an entirely different monster.

DSkip
05-28-2013, 06:19 PM
In a roundabout, but I wanted to elaborate that you can't dismiss that it actually does make a difference, even if you can't hear it. For me, changes are not up for debate. As certain members say, 'the level you play the game on' can elicit debates on how much of a change is there and how significant it really is at each level.

Smallies
05-28-2013, 07:03 PM
Pedro Martinez career highlights
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5DO2da00IY

pepster
05-28-2013, 07:53 PM
I posted this in the wrong thread.
But IMHO:
Either speaker cables make a differnece or they do not make a difference and I have have heard it both ways.
From my personal experience YMMV..... IC's make a bigger difference than speaker cables.

Combined with a good digital cable, I would upgrade the source cables first.

Then the speaker cables.
Look at the Nordost Flatline when your ready for SC's (doubt you will ever go back to any other, and only look forward from there).

Under $100 for the Flatlines, depending on how long you need.

PS: I have some of the AQ Midnight on hand here if you need more!:lol:
Make ya a good deal Dragon1952!:cheesygrin:

WLDock
05-28-2013, 08:44 PM
Sir, there have been an innumerable number of posts about Polkies updating their speakers PCB's, Caps, resistors, binding posts, internal wire, and a great number of other internal to the speaker tweeks to update and improve their speakers. Particualrly the SDA line of speakers. If you haven't seen/read them please look up Darqueknight's (Ray's) very thorough and informative threads regarding the updating and improvement to the sound (or lack of improvement, or detriment too). Also, there have been an innumerable number of posts regarding speaker wire, jumpers, amps, pre-amps, sources, etc. external to the speakers (and the improvement, lack of improvement, or detriment to the audio). Go check it out please. I've read posts here, there, and other places around the net. I've played with DIY passives vs. active a little, etc, etc....I even want to do a DIY design at some point. I know these post are old , tired and drawn out but I think we are on the same page........Ultimately its ones own ears that will determine at what point one needs to leave well enough alone! I know its been said a million times before.

Jhayman
05-28-2013, 08:53 PM
Does anyone remember these cables, they were my first expensive cable purchase in the early 90's..
I also have the Black Knights which are in use..8565085651

pepster
05-28-2013, 09:11 PM
Does anyone remember these cables, they were my first expensive cable purchase in the early 90's..
I also have the Black Knights which are in use..8565085651

Never heard the Nordost IC's?:eek:
Any good?

I bought a pair of the Nordost Flatline speaker cables about 4 years ago (my second pair), and still have them in use today!:cheesygrin:

Jhayman
05-29-2013, 10:59 PM
Well lets see, as some old say here, you move up in gear and the cables should follow..
These Blue Angels were if I'm not mistaken $ 350-400 back then and used on gear not worthy of them as I really only used. Sony receiver and a Yamaha CD player and not expensive ones either.
So long story short I really did not notice a difference but I think I told myself I did because of the $ I spent..
Not to mention the sneaky salesman, you know saying all the right things..
But they are Nordost Flatline hence should be good on good gear, I forgot I had loaned them to a buddy years ago..
The Blue Angels are copper coated with silver individually wrapped in a Teflon jacket..
I will put them back in system to try out again for the First Time Properly..lol