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Cable Upgrade?


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#1 of 20 Jarret Eubanks

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Posted October 27 2004 - 02:18 AM

I have done lots of research on this, but wanted to get some opinions here.

My system:
Denon 3803
Def Tech BP2002TL towers
Def Tech 2500 center

I am currently running some generic 12-gauge wire with Radio Shack gold banana plug terminations but was looking to possibly upgrade. The speaker cable I have found that I really liked (upon reading reviews and being "somewhat" affordable) was the JPS Labs Ultra Conductor Bi-wire.

I listen to probably 95% HT on my system and some music. My question is whether this cable (or another recommended)cable would justify the hundreds of dollars in cost? Not being the best ear for this stuff but wanting the "maximum" quality, is this upgrade really worth it?

Thanks!

#2 of 20 Jack Briggs

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Posted October 27 2004 - 03:41 AM

Jarret, there's no reason to upgrade. Your generic 12-gauge wire is fine. Electrons don't remember what kind of wire they have flowed through. The exotic speaker-wire cottage industry is one of audio's notorious rip-offs. And people who claim to hear a "difference" are demonstrating a psychological trait, not hearing accuity.

#3 of 20 Ted Lee

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Posted October 27 2004 - 05:41 AM

i agree with jack, but i'll add this caveat.

1. go ahead and buy the wire.
2. have someone switch the wires so you don't know which ones you're listening to.
3. if you still hear a difference, then the choice is obvious.

i have some decent, 12g monster wire and it sounds just fine. to be honest, i haven't even tried my own above suggestion, but i'm pretty sure i wouldn't hear a difference. plus i'm too poor to afford nicer wire anyway. Posted Image
 

#4 of 20 Allan Jayne

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Posted October 27 2004 - 07:02 AM

How long have you owned and used your existing wires?

If for several years, if you undo and redo the banana plugs (f not soldered on) on the wire ends you will probably get more sonic improvement (if any) compared with getting all new wires. If the banana plugs were not soldered on, there is a slight chance of oxidation that degrades the electrical path.

Many new wire and boutique wire salesmen get away with selling their high priced stuff because the new wire with fresh connections happens to give better sound than someone's old wire with old oxidized connections.

One other reason for getting new wires -- if the old wires are starting to look ugly because the copper is turning green inside the transparent sheath, or if the old wires were ugly to begin with.

Video hints:
http://members.aol.c...ynejr/video.htm
.

#5 of 20 Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted October 27 2004 - 07:24 AM

Jarrett,

I agree with the others. Personally I’m not big on esoteric speaker cables to begin with, and I especially think, given your equipment, that you will not hear a difference.

I suggest you go back and take another look at the “research” you’ve already seen. Were they using equipment similar to yours, or did it cost ten times as much?

I think that’s the “big omission” when it comes to stuff like this: It seems the people who enthusiastically advocate the sonic qualities of cables never take in consideration (a) the quality of equipment they’re using, and (b) whether or not their conclusions will “trickle down” to lower-level gear. All you get is a generic and unqualified, “these things are great!” endorsement.

Of course, there is always a chance you will hear a difference with those cables, but as Ted noted, you won’t know until you audition them first hand. However, I wouldn’t take them out the door unless you have an iron-clad return policy from the seller. I’d even pay with a credit card to further guarantee my protection.

Ted also noted:
Quote:
3. if you still hear a difference, then the choice is obvious.
What he was saying, of course, was if the expensive ones sound better, then go for it. Personally I wouldn’t jump quite that fast. At that point, the question would move from “Do they sound better?” to “Is the improvement worth the price of admission?”

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Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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#6 of 20 Jarret Eubanks

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Posted October 27 2004 - 07:30 AM

Dang it, I just wrote a really long post but it got deleted since I can't post URL's until after 15 posts or something.

Basically, I appreciated everyone's feedback.

Part of my wire is exposed on the "dual" bananas that I have from Radio Shack. Do I need to do something with it (i.e. spray something on it) or just try to trip it short?

I have clear and extra thick 12-gauge wire, so maybe I could at least switch to a thinner insulated coating.

#7 of 20 Jarret Eubanks

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Posted October 27 2004 - 07:36 AM

Thanks for the replies.

Wayne,
I think you make some goood points. It is amazing to me that you spend several thousand dollars on some HT equipment, and to lots of people, you're at the low-level quality of things! Posted Image

#8 of 20 Chu Gai

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Posted October 27 2004 - 08:09 AM

That's because the audio industry is rife with snobbery. I believe it has something to do with this meterosexual trend among males which attempts to remove them from their testicular pouch. Now they can be just like women who fawn over nailpolish, wrinkle removers, the latest diet craze except that they fawn over wire with manly sounding names like Valhalla, Transparent, Stealth, and all that.
If you don't like a clear sheath, try the KnuKonceptz wire which comes in an attractive blue color. It will give your system that 'je ne sais quoi' for somewhere in the vicinity of 0.50/foot.

#9 of 20 Jack Briggs

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Posted October 27 2004 - 08:36 AM

Remember when, in the 1970s, cult audio designer Mark Levinson marketed his silver speaker wire at $200 per foot. And, of course, his echo-chamber gurus over at The Absolute Sound magazine raved about how the stuff "improved" the "sound." Makes me sick.

#10 of 20 Ted Lee

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Posted October 27 2004 - 09:22 AM

Quote:
However, I wouldn’t take them out the door unless you have an iron-clad return policy from the seller.
very good point ... i usually try to remember to include that little caveat. Posted Image

---

side note (since the guys i like to hear from are in this thread already), do you guys think strand count makes any diff? is it better to have lots of thin strands, a few thick strands, etc?
 

#11 of 20 Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted October 27 2004 - 09:28 AM

Quote:
side note, do you guys think strand count makes any diff? is it better to have lots of thin strands, a few thick strands, etc?
Absolutely. Lots of thin strands makes the cable very supple and pliable, so it lays down nice and pretty across the floor.

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Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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#12 of 20 Ted Lee

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Posted October 27 2004 - 11:18 AM

Posted Image thx wayne! that pretty much tells me what i need to know. Posted Image
 

#13 of 20 Chu Gai

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Posted October 27 2004 - 12:37 PM

Whose Levinson shacking up with now since he's no longer the Sex in the City man? I'd love to see the particulars of that divorce settlement!

#14 of 20 Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted October 27 2004 - 03:11 PM

Work with me Ted, I’m trying to keep a straight face here! Posted Image

Seriously, though, it’s true. You’ll find that cable with fewer strands (usually cheaper fare) doesn’t lay out nearly as neatly as the super fine stuff. It's one of the reasons I’ll pay $1/ft. for something like Radio Shack’s Megacable instead of 35c/ft. for the cheap stuff.

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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#15 of 20 Chu Gai

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Posted October 27 2004 - 10:54 PM

So basically Wayne, you're saying that to get a good lay, you've got to pay more?

#16 of 20 Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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Posted October 28 2004 - 03:24 AM

Good one, Chu!
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#17 of 20 Ted Lee

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Posted October 28 2004 - 05:53 AM

Posted Image

jarrett - don't take our shenanigans (sp?) too seriously. most of us actually know what the *beep* we're talking about.

Posted Image
 

#18 of 20 John S

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Posted October 28 2004 - 06:16 AM

Gotta love audio and ht enthusiasts!!!!


Great thread here.... To freaking funny.


I met Mark Levinson once in person, and even he bags (pokes fun) on himself for the Silver Wire phase of his life. lol

#19 of 20 Anish

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Posted November 06 2004 - 04:24 AM

Test... sorry Posted Image

#20 of 20 StephenHa

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Posted November 06 2004 - 01:49 PM

my theory on the whole wire issue is when you spend umpteen dollars for the new gadget your brain tells you it had better sound better or you got screwed, so it "does" it's psychosomatic




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