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  1. #1

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    Default inexpensive speaker wire insulation changing color over time.

    inexpensive speaker wire insulation changing color over time.

    will this disscoloration effect the preformance of the audio signal.

    Here is my Monoprice AWG12 two years old laying next to new Monoprice.
    STB


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    It won't affect the sound for a long time, check back in 20 years. All my grandmother's rubber lamp cords eventually crumbled to dust. Re-terminating this wire might not go well.

  3. #3

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    Make sure the copper isn't oxidizing, causing the insulation color change.
    If you can't hear a difference, don't waste your money.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by decal View Post
    Make sure the copper isn't oxidizing, causing the insulation color change.
    If there is any green inside the insulation you have problems.

  5. #5

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    Stop buying cheap speaker wire and buy some higher quality. Sweep the floor and go brush your teeth.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

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    Hello, stevethebrain. The insulation on these types of wires are in fact porous and oxygen will eventually seep through. What you are looking at is not only the insulation changing colors but the copper itself with subsequent oxidation results and yes, it will effect the performance. To what degree would be dependent upon many factors.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  7. #7

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    Here is my Monoprice AWG12 two years old laying next to new Monoprice.
    I hope that all those here that have suggested that brand will stop now. Stuff is cheap for a good reason.

    will this disscoloration effect the preformance of the audio signal.
    Absolutely! Oxidized copper is a poor conductor and oxidized copper is what you're looking at. Send your new cables back or throw them away along with the old cables and buy high quality speaker cables.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  8. #8

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    looks like just the plastic oxidizing

  9. #9

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    Nope, plastic doesn't turn green.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  10. #10

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    Correct. It turns an antique brown over time and looks just like the equivalent sound over time.
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    "The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction". - Kenneth Swauger

  11. #11

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    Here is a close up photo of what's happening with your cable. The photos below were taken on August 27, 2011. Notice the date of manufacture of this cable.. 09/15/09. Not quite 2 years old, and already corrosion has ruined this cable inside the insulation. This is a perfect example of why you do not want to get the cheap cable.
    Click image for larger version

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    Click image for larger version

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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    Stop buying cheap speaker wire and buy some higher quality. Sweep the floor and go brush your teeth.
    +1. And don't forget to floss.

  13. #13

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    Get rid of it and spend a little more on some decent cable, you'll gain audible improvements and it'll last a lot longer.
    Theater Room: Pioneer Elite SC-35, RTi12's, Csi5, Fxi5's, Fxi3's, ED A5-350 sub, Optoma HD20, 92'' Elite Screen, Sony BDPS790, Xbox One, APC H15, MIT Exp 2 SC's, Pepster PC's

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  14. #14

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    It is the copper oxidizing and you cannot stop it. I had the same happen with some of my OFC Monster cables that I had run into the walls and needed to replace it all.
    Main Family Room: Sony 46 LCD, Sony Blue Ray, Sony DVD/VCR combo,Onkyo TXNR 708, Parasound 5250,
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    In most cases I see Steve in the process of learning more about audio. For many of us we all have used tiny zip cord,and lamp cord until we were educated on the sonic value of heavier gauge wire. I mean he is atleast using 12 guage, the next step if his system supports the interconnects would be banana plugs or blades. Wires have been to subject of many debates over the years and still there is no hard defined measure of which is best, good,or ok like we have in the video connect side. dealing with electrical impulses every type of connection will suffer from oxydation in time if not attended to on a normal routine. And how many of use crawl behind our rigs weekly to dust off and polish the RCA's, HDMI amd other connections.
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    I buy CL2 12 gauge cable from Monoprice it looks better, well protected and is rated for in the wall use.

    http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

    I know it's not the best but really good for what it is.

  17. #17

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    It could be that some companies, that used to make decent stuff, are just making it cheaper and cheaper. I know this goes without saying for most things nowadays but I have some old Phoenix Gold speaker cable, 12 gauge I think, that's old enough I can't remember (meaning it's probably around 15-16 years old) and it has no oxidation whatsoever. It still looks like it did when I bought it, only shorter from all the different moves, set-ups and what-not.

    As a side note I purchased some 10 gauge speaker cable in the past and within 3-4 years it was junk with all kinds of oxidation on the inside of the insulation...

  18. #18

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    floss your tongue.unwaxed.front to back.
    listen to Alex Jones
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by recoveryone View Post
    In most cases I see Steve in the process of learning more about audio. For many of us we all have used tiny zip cord,and lamp cord until we were educated on the sonic value of heavier gauge wire. I mean he is atleast using 12 guage, the next step if his system supports the interconnects would be banana plugs or blades. Wires have been to subject of many debates over the years and still there is no hard defined measure of which is best, good,or ok like we have in the video connect side. dealing with electrical impulses every type of connection will suffer from oxydation in time if not attended to on a normal routine. And how many of use crawl behind our rigs weekly to dust off and polish the RCA's, HDMI amd other connections.
    Are you in early recovery?
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by treitz3 View Post
    Hello, stevethebrain. here's the speaker wire I have
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...1&format=2What you are looking at is not only the insulation changing colors but the copper itself with subsequent oxidation results and yes, it will effect the performance. To what degree would be dependent upon many factors.

    Tom
    Tom here's the speaker wire I have
    http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

    thought I was getting decent cable from these folks previously bought HDMI, Tosh link and RCAs for the sub.

    I'll check w/ these folks at Monoprice and see if they stand behind there products.


    Tom when you say "The insulation on these types of wires are in fact porous and oxygen will eventually seep through" are you saying the oxygen seeps though anywhere on the cables? I can understand oxygen seeping though the ends where the insulation was removed exposing the wire.

    I work in telecommunications equipment room the installation Guy's use a phasty wax like grease called noox thus no oxidation where the insulation was removed from the cable. mite be a way to prevent the new wire from becoming oxidized.

    Thanks Guys for the tips

  21. #21

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    Steve,
    I'm sure monoprice stands behind their cables, but in a sense, who doesn't ? Imho, monoprice quality isn't any better than you'll get at Walmart or Home Depot. Better choices abound from Signal cable or BlueJeans cables when on a budget. Of course as your budget grows the world is your oyster when it comes to cables.

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    I agree with Tony....check out Signal cable or go on Ebay and do a search on "Legend Audio". I just picked up three long runs of terminated 11awg bi-wire speaker cable for my HT and I am happy. If he doesn't have the exact length you are looking for, send him a message, and he will post a listing with what you need. I'll post pics later of what I bought to give you an idea...

  23. #23

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    I personally think the cable was already bad from the get go, just not noticeable yet and be honest who actually looks at their cables every time they walk up to their stereo?
    Especially if its cheap cable.
    I've had old speaker wire in my garage hooked up and not hooked up and there is no sign of corrosion at all, I even re-terminate it every time I run it to something else in my garage.
    I think he just got a bum batch of wire that's all.

  24. #24

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    LOL, that was the name of my Private Investigation/Personal Protection business.
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  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    Steve,
    I'm sure monoprice stands behind their cables, but in a sense, who doesn't ? Imho, monoprice quality isn't any better than you'll get at Walmart or Home Depot. Better choices abound from Signal cable or BlueJeans cables when on a budget. Of course as your budget grows the world is your oyster when it comes to cables.
    Quote Originally Posted by kevhed72 View Post
    I agree with Tony....check out Signal cable or go on Ebay and do a search on "Legend Audio". I just picked up three long runs of terminated 11awg bi-wire speaker cable for my HT and I am happy. If he doesn't have the exact length you are looking for, send him a message, and he will post a listing with what you need. I'll post pics later of what I bought to give you an idea...
    this store has some serious cables.
    I did'nt know I could plug a RCA cable into a speaker like I plugged in my sub.? or are RCA only for subs.?

    I have some small heatshrink I can cover the exposed ends however I was lead to believe from Tom is post #6 that the insulation was porus and oxogen will leak into the cable even in the middle thus the intire cable has changed color.

    I observe banana plugs on these quaility cables however I would only be able to use them on on end (the speaker) the new amp I've picked out the Yamaha Aventage 2000-10-20 is a huge amp and won't fit my cabinet w/ plugs so I ask would it be redundant to only have banana plugs on one end?
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Legend-Audio...item20cf9f360f

    Quote Originally Posted by Jhayman View Post
    I personally think the cable was already bad from the get go, just not noticeable yet and be honest who actually looks at their cables every time they walk up to their stereo?
    Especially if its cheap cable.
    I've had old speaker wire in my garage hooked up and not hooked up and there is no sign of corrosion at all, I even re-terminate it every time I run it to something else in my garage.
    I think he just got a bum batch of wire that's all.
    I report back w/ Monoprices response.
    Last edited by stevethebrain; 03-04-2013 at 07:54 AM.
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  26. #26

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    I'm not a believer that oxygen really has anything to do with the tarnish. I think it's chemicals leaching out of the jacket. Otherwise, why would it be so consistant all the way thru long runs?

    Flat strap copper, open to air, that is 25 years old turns a bit darker, but not green! I've removed wiring with cloth jackets that comes from the 40's. Not a hint of green! Heck, I'd reuse it without a problem if I could of!

    Almost all clear jacket stuff does that greening thing. But not all of it. Why? Maybe the jacket is made with different material? How else to explain two year old stuff that's got green slime all but dripping from it and other that's years old and while not shiny any more, has no green?

    A friend running a DJ service a couple years ago had gotten some really, really heavy speaker cable from Guitar Center. Clear jacketed, woven stands, two or three times bigger than most jumper cables I've ever seen. He had speakers that needed Speakon connectors which I put on for him. So now a couple years later, he's changed amps and need yet a different connector at that end. So I hadn't seen the cables since new and couldn't believe what they now looked like! Green all over and all the way back through the run. I stripped back a ways and actually tried experimenting with the green gook. It's slimy, can't really be cleaned with any of several chemicals I had on hand. Just nasty, nasty kind of sticky slime! I tried tinning it away and it just didn't take well. I decided those cables were now junk!

    The morel of the story for me, is that if it has a clear jacket, I'd avoid it. They sell this notion of "oxygen free" purity that just sounds like worthless come-on to me. People confuse resistance of the cable with sound quality. Formulation including jacket makes much more difference! And connector metals are part of that. Do you really think you buy gold at Radio Shack in a bubble pack? Come on people....!!!

    CJ
    As seen on the AVS forum... "Radio Shack zip cord kicks butt."

  27. #27

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    Maybe I should redact my earlier post.

    From the Stephen Lampen of Belden Cable book:

    Audio/Video Cable Installers Pocket Guide

    Jackets
    Most often, a jacket extruded over the core ans shield has no effect on the electronic performance of a cable. There are a couple of rare exceptions. When the chemical constituents of the plastics that make up the jacket are of such low quality that they begin to separate, they can move, or "migrate", into the shield and sometimes even into the core. This can hasten oxidation or corrosion of the braid.
    If the chemical constituents migrate into the core, especially in a co-ax, it can change the dielectric constant, which would change the RF impedance of the cable increasing the return lose, and possibly rendering the cable inoperative. This is called "compound migration" and most often occurs in low-cost cables.

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