newbie: SPEAKER WIRES

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by emile engel, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. emile engel

    emile engel Auditioning

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    Hi there, fairly new to HT

    Got a yamaha rx430 receiver with Yamaha NSP 230 speaker package with active 50w sub.

    Speakers came complete with speaker wires.

    Would like to know if i should replace these wires, and if there will be any improvement in my sound.

    Any suggestions as to what wire to use. The speakers have these spring loaded clips so i imagine the size cable that i can use is limited. The sub is connected to the receiver lfe connector via a single rca cable, fairly thin. Should i replace this as well?
     
  2. JamieS

    JamieS Stunt Coordinator

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    Short answer

    YES

    Long answer: Many people have vastly different oppinions about cables. Some say they hear no difference between Home Depot wire 12 gauge and 1000 wires. Others swear you MUST match your wires and speakers.

    Given that you have consumer grade gear (not $10,000 audiophile gear) and a 50 W sub I would say you are pretty safe with any decent wire. However the wires that came with your system are probably very cheap and could be very thin also. Depending on how long your wires need to be I'd just go to Home depot or whereever and buy some 14 GA speaker wire cut it to length and enjoy. 12 GA or thicker may not fit in spring clips and you won't notice a differnce. You may or may not notice a differnce in sound but for the 20-30$ you spend it will last longer be less prone to breakaage etc. As for the sub cable you don't need expensive I'd just get something sturdy to preven breakage.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I'd recommend Monster XP, which is about 14ga (actually a bit smaller I think, but that is not that important). Decent wire for the price, and should work fine for the speakers in question. Runs about $30 for a 50' spool.
     
  4. JamieS

    JamieS Stunt Coordinator

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    Don't waste your money on 14 GA moster speaker wire.

    I can't find pricing on your system but I would be surprised if it was more than $400-500 US. you can buy wire that is just as good (sound the same just as tough) from a bulk store for 1/4 the cost. Monster is a rip off I would challange anyone to hear a differnce in Monster 14 GA and other 14 GA in a less than $500 system.
     
  5. JohnnyCorona

    JohnnyCorona Agent

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    The higher guage wire the better, in other words FAT wires ROCK!!

    But dont waste your money on monster cables. I have tested them, and when using 1 speaker with it, and one with a generic cable with some gauge size... there is NO difference!!!

    PS, I worked for United Artists Theater Corp, and they don't use "Monster" Cables, so why should we?


    Johnny
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    FAT wire is great for a lot of POWER, but we are talking about SIGNAL. Fat cable, likely with a higher strand count, encourages "smear", which is disortion from the interaction of separate strands of wire. "Basic" wire does not use a dielectric core. Even the cheap Monster XP uses a center dielectric that keeps the copper on the outside, where the signal mainly travels.

    Everyone hears different things, if you know what you are listening for, the differences are more obvious. I can hear the difference between cheap wire and decent wire, which is why I am using Audioquest solid bi-wire for my 2ch system.

    Someone like UA wouldn't need to use Monster, because they can get as good or better for less...not a surprise there.

     
  7. Ernest Yee

    Ernest Yee Supporting Actor

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    I would just like to add that you should get some "decent" wire like generic 12ga to replace that crappy thin wire that you have. Everyone will probably agree w/ that statement. As for more exotics, just make sure you get your priorities straight. Replacing your HTiB speakers w/ a quality set will make EONS of difference vs using your current speakers w/ Kimber Kable or Nordost.
     
  8. KrishnaP

    KrishnaP Extra

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    check out local RadioShack for speaker wires or placs like Target. I spend quite a bit on TaraLabs speaker wires and been using them for 5 years. Just recently, I purchased Radioshack speaker wire to test the difference as the builder for my new house is going to use some HomeDepot cable for in-wall wiring and believe me I found no difference. I felt so bad that I've been robbed couple of 100s by the sales guy who sold me into getting these cables when i got my Paradigm speakers.

    But, the audio interconnects sure made difference when i replaced the ones that came with the receiver with the $30 interconnects I purchased.
     
  9. ScottRCapt

    ScottRCapt Stunt Coordinator

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    You’re getting a load of answers here...

    I don't know if you can handle the overload of one more?

    But I am on the side of spending money wisely!

    Go to Home Depot. And remember, Home Depot has two different aisles where they sell speaker wire. One aisle has all of the other speaker wire and HT connectors and coaxial connectors and such...

    But if you walk around to the other side (usually) in where they sell the bulk cable and romex that electricians use. You will find that they have spools of 12Ga and 14Ga wire over there as well!

    It is super cheap price and very good quality! It's what electricians who pre-wire homes for Home Theater use. I bought a 250' spool of 12 Gauge copper speaker wire for $35.00. That was about 9 months ago in Florida, can't guarantee the price now, but I guarantee it will be lower than anywhere else you go! And you never know when that extra speaker wire will come in handy! New speakers? New placement of speakers? Go for it!

    About the Subwoofer, You will most likely replace that in less than a year. I suggest you just go to Best Buy every once in awhile and look at the audio cable aisle; you want a real "Subwoofer cable". If you keep an eye out at Best Buy, you can usually find one that has been opened and returned, and then marked down. When you buy one make sure you install it with the arrows going the right way!

    I am not a "Monster Cable" Or "Monster Wire" fan. I am one who thinks it’s all phooey... And I have a pretty good system. So buy what you need!

    A wire never impressed anyone, except the guy who sold it to you!
    [​IMG]
     
  10. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    1) If cables really made no difference, there would be no market for them.

    2) I was of the camp that did not believe, until I spend a LOT of time comparing and critical listening. It DOES make a difference.

    3) Interconnects will make a bigger difference than speaker wire.

    I too will not spend money unless I feel it is well spent.
     
  11. RichardHOS

    RichardHOS Second Unit

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    I hate to further drag this thread off-topic, but I can't resist the urge to reply to such a nicely bulleted list. [​IMG]
     
  12. JohnnyCorona

    JohnnyCorona Agent

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    one more thing...

    most of the material that fancy cables use do indeed increase the sound that can get through them, for example, gold plated connectors do conduct better, the PROBLEM is that these frequency's cannot be heard by the human ear.

    As my electronic professor says it best "Buy the expensive cables, your dog will love you for it!"


    Johnny
     
  13. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    We aren't talking about morons, pardon me, gullible, who buy magnetic bracelets or water with a fancy name. I'd like to believe that many of those who frequent this board are interested in more than the average joe.

    Critical, in terms of subjectivity, not TECHNICAL, analytical measurements. I figured since I just put this system together, I'd try it out with cheap wire (Monster) and picked up some Audioquest type 4 solid bi-wire just for the sake of testing to appease myself (meaning I was skeptical already), just to compare. I left each config for 2+ weeks, running all day while I was at work. After their respective "break-in" periods, I listened to specific tracks that I am familiar with, focusing on particular aspects of the song, and I could hear a difference. Was it worth the price difference? Perhaps not, certainly not for everyone, but now that I already paid for the wire ($30), I figure I will just leave it. The point is, as a skeptic by nature, I had to admit, there was a subtle change in the sound. Don't forget, this is an OPINION.

     
  14. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

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    Since when is Monster "cheap". What do you call Soundking wire, ghetto?
     
  15. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    If the shoe fits...[​IMG] I don't think there is anything special about Sound King wire. Carrol Silver coated cable would be better, but I didn't see it listed on PE any more. It is likely only a modest step above what you can get at Home Depot. I've always considered Monster "XP" and basic black Monster to be cheap.
     
  16. Earl Simpson

    Earl Simpson Supporting Actor

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  17. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Jason,
    Cheap is a relative term. A $50,000 audi would and could be constued as cheap to an Owner of a Bugatti.

    Have I heard and Do I believe in the differences that wire makes? Yes.

    Would I recommend a higher end wire to emile? NO.

    Now with you being in South Africa, I'm not sure what options you have as to what to pick up. Monster maybe your best bet if you don't have some place like Home Depot or Radio Shack around. This is something I think everyone is overlooking. It's not like he's in NYC [​IMG]
     
  18. emile engel

    emile engel Auditioning

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    gents, thanx for all the advice.

    we do have hardware shops selling 12 ga or as we call 3mm square wire which is the equavalent.
    will be looking into it

    but as i stay in SA, i have trouble with my pet tiger chewing up the cables hahah...
     
  19. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    If you are in South Africa, I hope that it is a pet lion, not a tiger.

    I personally think that hyenas make better pets[​IMG]
     
  20. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    What also has not been discussed, and may not be relevent to the original poster, is that there are many other factors, besides interconnects, that will make a bigger difference than wire will. To me, speaker wire is the absolute LAST think one should be tweaking/experimenting with to achieve what they want from their system.

    OK, the thread was linked by Earl Simpson, but let me just recapture the best comment from Matrice in one of them, because I agree with what he says:

     

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