Good Inexpensive Speaker Cable?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Mike Coady, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. Mike Coady

    Mike Coady Agent

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    I'm having to rearrange my Home Theater and Audio setup so I'm needing longer speaker cables than I currently have. I need about a 12' run going to some large 5 - way towers (about $3000). There was a time when I wouldn't even consider using anything but the best cables out there when it came to speaker cables and interconnects but I can no longer afford to do that. Through the years I've used Discovery, Audioquest, Tara labs, Kimber, Cardis, Sonoran, DH Labs, Straight Wire and many more but I've forgot their names.

    My instincts tell me not to use cheap cable for my revealing speakers but my budget says otherwise. So would something like Blue Jean cable's Beldon 10 or 12 gauge be something I could live with or is there something better out there that is inexpensive but very good quality? I would like to spend $100 or less for a 12' pair if possible.

    I'm also open to buying used speaker cable so where would a person look besides Ebay?
     
  2. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

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    How many watts are you pushing to your speakers?
     
  3. Mike Coady

    Mike Coady Agent

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    My main speakers that I'm needing the speaker cable for is powered by a Bryston 4BST which is 250 watts plus.
     
  4. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    Home Depot, Lowes... plenty of zip cords there..bought by the foot.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I second the zip cord from Home Depot or Lowes. Get 12 guage, 100 feet. ~$30.00 or so.
     
  6. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

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    For 250 watts and 12', 12 gauge is fine. I got my at Lowes.
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    With all due respect, what is it about the former cables you used that indicated to your mind that they somehow represented 'the best' tier and that choosing something pedestrian like Lowes, PartsExpress, or for that matter Knukonceptz would somehow compromise your system? IOW, what makes one cable better than another if we keep something like the gauge a constant?
     
  8. Mike Coady

    Mike Coady Agent

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    Well I really don't want to get into the argument whether or not all cables sound the same but I've always felt like I could hear the difference in interconnects and speaker cables. Sure impedence and gauge make a difference and in fact may account for some or alot of audio differences. To my ears after learning to listen some cables have a soft high end, some bloated, some too lean, some almost too analytical, some with more appealing bass than others, some very neutral and for sure some are just better constructed as far as the way they are terminated. I'm not trying to put down anyone for not hearing what I hear or the cables you have suggested being lesser cables, they indeed may be very good. In fact the Lowes cable you have suggested was very well reviewed by Martin DeWulf editor of Bound For Sound and I think he always pretty much tells it the way it is. I believe the specific cable he reviewed though was a particular 6 gauge E51583 and that was about a year ago. I would imagine it would be a bear to terminate.

    So I welcome your suggestions whether I agree with you or not after all I asked for your opinions. Personally even if all cables sounded the same I would rather pay a little more for someone to do a better job than I might do when it comes to termination.

    I actually thought after posting I might get comments on cable from Blue Jeans, Cobalt, Better Cables, etc. but everyone here seems to use Lowes Cable. Anyway I do appreciate your suggestions.
     
  9. brendy

    brendy Agent

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    Given the level of your system (making me jealous!)one probably would hear a difference.The main advantage to higher priced cables,like the companies you mentioned,are the end terminations.Try audiogon,a high end used marketplace.
     
  10. Mike Coady

    Mike Coady Agent

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    Okay thanks I'll check out Audiogon.
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    If you're into reviews then perhaps you'll recall that an orange extension cable, available at HD, was favorably reviewed online a year or two back.
     
  12. Dick Knisely

    Dick Knisely Second Unit

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    Mike -- no argument on the good, at all but
    means to me that your idea of Inexpensive Speaker Cable and mine are a tad different.

    Enjoy![​IMG]
     
  13. Mike Coady

    Mike Coady Agent

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    Well I may very end of spending far less than what I stated I'd spend after seeing what's out there (I haven't bought any new ones for maybe 5 years). As several as suggested you can buy Lowes cable really cheap, and if I terminate them myself I can get what I need from Blue Jeans for about $30 incuding terminals. You may have convinced me to go cheap.
     
  14. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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  15. Mike Coady

    Mike Coady Agent

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    I've never even heard of the KnuKonceptz is it decent wire and do they have nice terminations or have you bought any. So you think any of HD wire or cords would work? If you go in to HD or Lowes you just look for 10 or 12 gauge extension cords, it would all be the same except for gauge? Then I guess you would need terminals of some sort and heatshrink.
     
  16. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I don't personally own any KnuKonceptz but if you do a search, you'll find many that do. What's nice about the brand is that it's very highly stranded which makes for very good flexibility so that it lies nicely. Also, FWIW, being blue, it's a nice departure from the clear stuff. I don't know if they make pre-terminated versions but a fair amount of people like to terminate them in the way that suits them best. For example, bananas (locking even) on the receiver end and spades on the speaker end. Others choose to 'pimp' out their wires by putting techflex followed by shrink tubing for a finished look. Otherwise, if you want to go for preterminated types, there's nothing wrong with Blue Jeans or for that matter Cobalt or Signal or a host of others. Like anything else, you'll pay more for somebody else to do the work and for some that's worth it.

    Twelve feet is an extraordinarily short run and unless you go to a pathologically small gauge, the FR drop at say 20 kHz is not going to vary by much more than maybe a tenth or so of a dB no matter whose wire you buy and that is assuredly inaudible.
     
  17. Mike Coady

    Mike Coady Agent

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    I ended up going with Blues Jeans and they seem to be very good quality. I've ran into another problem when I rearranged things my surround speaker cables (either 16 or 18 gauge) are about 5ft short of my amp (140W), do you think it would hurt to just solder on a short piece of cable? The surround speaker cable run is about 40ft so it would require a little work rerunning a new longer cable but do you think it really is necessary?
     
  18. chris_everett

    chris_everett Second Unit

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    In my experience, you lose a lot in a splice. I don't know how much of an effect you would see in a speaker cable, but I would be inclined to run new lines. Especially if it's only 18 gauge.
     
  19. Mike Coady

    Mike Coady Agent

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    I really couldn't decide if the splice would be a big deal or not. If I did run new cable what gauge would you run?
     
  20. JohnST

    JohnST Auditioning

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    Hey!

    First post here and enjoying the reading so far. Recently found this on the web and thought it might be relevant to the OP or other readers.

    I'm not into wiring debates but according to my friend, who bought this exact item for $100 at Target, this is a very sweet deal.

    Ooops! Okay, can't post URLs yet so just email me if you'd be interested in a Monster Cable Home theater wiring set, I guess.



    --John
     

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