1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

Does speaker wire honestly make a difference?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by London Lawson, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. London Lawson

    London Lawson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    0
    i use some old cheap, thin speaker wire I got from Wal-Mart, I just didn't think their would be a justifiable difference for the price of better wire. So is there really? And how big of a difference?
     
  2. Jongyoon Lee

    Jongyoon Lee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Messages:
    125
    Likes Received:
    0
    short honest answer:

    depends.

    caveat:

    The rest of your system needs to be "better" than the cable you are replacing. Identifying the bottleneck in the system is the key. If you have superb speakers and amps, then you may be able to hear different nuance in the cable. $500 HTIB probably won't reveal $100 cable. (and economically it doesn't make sense to buy $100 cable when the rest of the system is $500)

    The selection of the cable is more of a tweaking process. If you are reasonably happy with the system, and don't want to invest an arm and a leg, then the next thing you may want is to try different cables. If you hear improvement, job well done! If you don't, then you don't have to waste money improving something you can't hear.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,572
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    No. As long as the AWG is sufficent for the length you are using, it won't make a considerable difference. In terms of things that make a difference, speaker wire is probably the lowest on the toem pole.

    http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm#wiretable

    I compared 5ft runs of $0.30/ft (multi-strand) wire to $3.00/ft wire (single conductor, ultra high purity). I percieved a small difference in favor of the more expensive wire (though that could have been nothing more than perception), but in terms of cost vs performance, there was no question that the difference would not even come close to justifying the cost difference.

    Wire and interconnects (RCA) aren't the same thing. Interconnects have a build quality associated with them, and small factors can make one cable sound slightly different from another. I've tried a number of interconnects and found there to be a much more noticable difference with them. I agree that the level of the system is related to how far one should go when looking for interconnects and that they are more or less a tweak (not a FIX for a problem) - really nice interconnects may improve the sound of an HTiB using the lowest form of interconnect (included in the box), but they aren't going to make it sound better than it is realistically capable of.
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Messages:
    2,867
    Likes Received:
    0


    It really depends on the AWG. If you just bought speaker wire from Wal-Mart, I would guess that it's probabaly 18, 20 or 22awg. Most people want 16 or 14awg for short runs and maybe 12 for longer runs.
     
  5. Ari

    Ari Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 1999
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    0
    Boy...that question will get you in a raging debate. Here is what I tell most people:

    Speaker wire will make a difference only if you can hear it. Some people can tell the difference, some can't. Some systems will sound different, and some won't.

    If it does make a difference to you, then the law of diminishing returns applies (i.e. you'll have to spend unproportionately more to get any further improvement).

    In the end, you'll have to try it out and listen for yourself....
     
  6. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,962
    Likes Received:
    0
    Let me tell you man, asking that here is akin to asking people whether abortion is immoral or not. At best you're going to kick off a massive, heated debate in which both sides already have their minds made up and no one will ever budge an inch.

    Luckily, that need not happen. Search for 'speaker wire' in this (speaker) forum and in the tweaks forum and you'll get the whole messy enchilada of wire debate. Read it, enjoy it, and decide which side of that fence you personally fall on.

    Personally, I use 12 gauge wire I buy from home depot and it is solid, but again I don't mess with other folks' religion or another audiophiles' wire beliefs. It just isn't worth it...
     
  7. alanR

    alanR Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    The only way to know the differences between wire or any type of component is a doube blind test. period.
     
  8. Dick Boneske

    Dick Boneske Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    0
    Double blind test--well said. It has been proven time and again that speaker wires DO NOT make an audible difference. If you use 16 gage zip cord as a reference, wires that sound different from that are distorting the signal. This argument will persist forever in spite of the fact that, to this point, NO ONE has been able to demonstrate expensive wires result in superior sound!!!
     
  9. MikeLi

    MikeLi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with Dick above but I do up the quality on my interconnects.
    Mike
     
  10. Arthur S

    Arthur S Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Speaker wires make a huge difference in the bank accounts of those that make name brand speaker wire. Making speaker wire (and interconnects) is one of most lucrative undertakings in audio. All you need is an outlet to advertise.

    As John Garcia said, 16 gauge is fine for runs up to about 35 feet. 12 guage for runs longer than that.

    Go to your local Home Depot or Lowe's type store and buy some 16 gauge lamp cord. 50-100 feet should meet all your wiring needs for a while. I prefer white.
     
  11. London Lawson

    London Lawson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why do people get so worked up over such an insignificant thing as speaker wire?
     
  12. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 1999
    Messages:
    4,952
    Likes Received:
    0

    Likely due to their other...insignificancies.

    I've found length to be the critical factor in cabling. If one side is too short, the soundstage collapses to the other.
     
  13. Arthur S

    Arthur S Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    >>>If one side is too short, the soundstage collapses to the other
     
  14. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 1999
    Messages:
    4,952
    Likes Received:
    0
    If one cable is "too short",it doesn't reach the speaker.
     
  15. Arthur S

    Arthur S Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 1999
    Messages:
    2,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Jack, your sarcasm is most enlightening.
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 1999
    Messages:
    11,572
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    NorCal
    Real Name:
    John
    [​IMG] LOL.
     
  17. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 1999
    Messages:
    4,952
    Likes Received:
    0
  18. JediFonger

    JediFonger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Messages:
    3,955
    Likes Received:
    24
    london, it's one of the most subjective topics at hand. you can't get an "honest" answer out of anyone.

    but honestly...

    as long as the speaker wires aren't prohibiting you from making secure/firm connections, it should all ok. there are some poorly designed speakers with poor termination ends that doesn't connect properly to either ends. that'd bad.
     
  19. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,888
    Likes Received:
    2
    Short answer. No.
     
  20. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    7,270
    Likes Received:
    1
    friggin Jack! Had me going there. If you want some sharp looking wire that won't break the bank, check out KnuKonceptz.
     

Share This Page