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Upgrading speaker wire?


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10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 OFFLINE   Patri858

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Posted January 12 2009 - 12:36 AM

I have an Onkyo HT-S5100 and I was woundering what difference a better guage of speaker wire will have on the quality of sound. The wires that came with the system are very thin and do not look like they are very good quality. This is the same with the subwoofer cable. Does anyone have any suggestions and what do you think I can expect by changing to the wires. The room is pretty small about 11' by 14' so the cable will not be running very long.

Thanks
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#2 of 11 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted January 12 2009 - 01:22 AM

You aren't going to get a significant change in sound, but going to a heavier guage wire will not hurt. Sub sounds are the lowest frequencies and are probably not effected by much in the way of cable quality. Basically, you could send sub frequencies through a coat hanger and not suffer loss of quality.

The single biggest thing you can do to improve sound from a HT is to calibrate the speaker levels. If you haven't done this, do it immediately. You can get 100 times the improvement from calibration than you would from new wires.

And if you do buy new wires, don't waste your money on Monster or anything like that. Extruding copper wire is something that's been done for hundreds of years, and there is nothing special about what Monster does that makes their wires are any better than your average 10 cents a foot Home Depot lamp cord.

#3 of 11 OFFLINE   Richard Ferns

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Posted January 12 2009 - 09:50 AM

Is'nt regular 14 guage wire the best way to go for any speaker setup ?

#4 of 11 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted January 12 2009 - 01:05 PM

Quote:
The wires that came with the system are very thin and do not look like they are very good quality.
That right there is reason enough to upgrade the wire.
Quote:
Is'nt regular 14 guage wire the best way to go for any speaker setup ?
14 gauge is probably good enough for most systems but 12g is the default recommendation. And if the run is long enough or ampifier strong enough I'd say 10 gauge might be better.
"Everyday room": Panasonic 58" Plasma, Dish HD DVR, Pioneer Elite vsx-23, BDP-23 BR, dv58avi universal dvd player, Paradigm Studio 20 V1, CC-450, Dayton HSU-10 subwoofer.

"Movie/Music room": Toshiba 65" DLP, Dish HD receiver, Marantz 7005, CC-4003, BD-7006, Polk LSI25's-LSi7's-LSiC, 2 original Dayton 10" "Mighty-Mites" subwoofers. (subject to change without notice).
 
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#5 of 11 OFFLINE   Brett DiMichele

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Posted January 12 2009 - 02:33 PM

Jeff,

Now now....Anyone who's anyone knows that Monster Cable uses a proprietary process where the copper is forged with the hammer of Thor and then cold drawn through dies made from iron smelted from Mt.Vesuvius, and the final product gets a liberal sprinkling of magic pixie dust just to add some "air" to the mid range.
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#6 of 11 OFFLINE   Patri858

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Posted January 12 2009 - 11:39 PM

Ok sounds good. Thanks for all your help. What do you think about blue jean cable. Its not to expensive and I have heard alot about it on this forum?
Sanyo PLV-Z60 720P HT projector   Focupix 84" screen
PS3
Denon AVR 1910
SVS STS-01 mains  SVS SCS-01 center  SVS SBS-01 surrounds and back surrounds 2 SVS PB10 NSD's
 

#7 of 11 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted January 13 2009 - 12:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patri858
Ok sounds good. Thanks for all your help. What do you think about blue jean cable. Its not to expensive and I have heard alot about it on this forum?

Blue Jeans is great. Great prices and great service.

#8 of 11 OFFLINE   toddbigeasy

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Posted January 13 2009 - 09:55 AM

so honestly, lamp cord from Home Depot will work ok?

#9 of 11 OFFLINE   jakewash

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Posted January 13 2009 - 10:15 AM

Lamp cord of the proper gauge size from Home Depot would work.

As far the idea of needing anything over 12 gauge, unless you are running 1000's of watts with over 100A 14-12 gauge is really all anyone needs and 14 guage is sufficient for most home systems as long as the run isn't really long.

Google speaker wire length and you will find a plethora of sites detailing the right guage wire to length, but as I said 14 gauge works for just about anything most people would need.

Monoprice.com is another great place to look for wire/cables.

#10 of 11 OFFLINE   Jeff Gatie

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Posted January 13 2009 - 02:32 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddbigeasy
so honestly, lamp cord from Home Depot will work ok?

Yup, copper is copper. The differences in current flow between the very best and the very lowest grades of copper used in wiring are going to be inaudible. Monster and other premium cables, at least the cables that do not use anything to purposefully color the sound from the original, are nothing more than lamp cord with a dressed up jacket.

#11 of 11 OFFLINE   Patri858

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Posted January 15 2009 - 12:25 AM

I think ill go with 300ft 14AWG from monoprice for $56. Thanks for recommending the site Jason, and thanks for all the other help I received.
Sanyo PLV-Z60 720P HT projector   Focupix 84" screen
PS3
Denon AVR 1910
SVS STS-01 mains  SVS SCS-01 center  SVS SBS-01 surrounds and back surrounds 2 SVS PB10 NSD's
 


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