How much of an improvement will there be with better cables?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan Cruz, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. Ryan Cruz

    Ryan Cruz Stunt Coordinator

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    I just bought PSB Image 2b's for my front and the new Alpha center. I'll have to use my Bose acoustimass speakers for my surrounds for the meantime (yes i know they suck) [​IMG]
    As some of you know, they come with these really thin wires. Does it really matter if I upgrade them to better and thicker cables? The length would be at around 30 ft to the receiver.
     
  2. Kevin Coleman

    Kevin Coleman Second Unit

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    Yes for a thirty foot run a higher gauge speaker wire should make a noticeable difference. I like the 12 gauge stuff at Lowes myself.
    Kevin C. [​IMG]
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I agree with Kevin, though I would recommend cable from Spidergear www.spidergear.com (you'll have to call them) instead of hardware store stuff. I've read reports of harware store stuff having trouble with oxidation that a purpose built speaker cable won't have. The Spidergear cable is very nice and inexpensive.
     
  4. Duane Robinson

    Duane Robinson Second Unit

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    Do better cables make that much of a difference on a HTiB setu? I have a HTiB setup in my bedroom and I'm using the skinny ass spaghetti wire (I think it's 18 gauge) that came in the box. The system is a Philips FR 975 system using the speakers that came in the box. Based on this equipment do you think it would make much of a difference moving up to 16 gauge wire or even 12 gauge wire like some Acoustic Research wires (50 ft for $20 16g) or some Home Depot 12 gauge wire?
     
  5. Mark Larson

    Mark Larson Supporting Actor

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    You should all upgrade to AT LEAST 16ga wire. Failing that, 14ga. You should notice an improvement, and the wires packaged with the equipment are compromises at best. After all, you paid for the equipment, not the wire.
     
  6. Duane Robinson

    Duane Robinson Second Unit

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    Thanks, I was in BB the other day thinking about getting some 16ga wire and I was looking at the Monster and the Acoustic Research. The clerk was trying to push the Monster Cables and I was thinking of going with the AR. After a while I just left because I thought it wouldn't make much difference on a HTiB setup. Guess I gotta go look for some 16ga wire. Wanna recommend some good, reasonably priced brands.
     
  7. Mark Larson

    Mark Larson Supporting Actor

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    I use Generico speaker wire. [​IMG]
    Get any, it won't make a LOT of difference.
    Use the expensive stuff when you get good quality stuff - like Bose!
     
  8. Mike Knapp

    Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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    Please buy the quality of wire commensurate to your equpiment.

    Dont put 50 dollars of speaker wire on a HTIB. And most assuredly dont put 50 dollars worth of speaker wire on a 20K system.

    Just use some common sense is all. A good formula that generally seems to work is to dedicate 10% of the entire system cost to the cables.

    500 dollar HTIB, spend 50 bucks on replacing ALL the cables

    20K system, spend 2K on ALL the cables.

    That is just a suggestion, I spend more and others spend less, but that is an average.

    Mike
     
  9. Kevin. W

    Kevin. W Screenwriter

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    Home Depot 12G wire would work well

    Kevin
     
  10. Keith Ro

    Keith Ro Agent

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    Check out the ABX homepage on this:
    http://users.htdconnect.com/~djcarlst/abx_wire.htm
    It bears out what I've seen elsewhere: in blind and double blind testing situations people can't tell the difference between the stuff you get at radio shack and the thousand dollar esoteric cables.
    I think even luxury cable proponents would agree that they're not a great value-for-the-money proposition -- i.e. The difference between $100 speakers and $1000 speakers is obvious to absolutely everyone... the difference between $100 and $1000 cables is either nonexistent or relatively subtle.
     
  11. Ryan Cruz

    Ryan Cruz Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks guys.

    keith, I was just about to ask the question whether there would be a difference between the same type of cable but with different brands. Maybe the true audiophiles can tell but for most people, it won't make much of a difference.
     
  12. Ryan Cruz

    Ryan Cruz Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh btw, I'll probably buy really good cables for the center and front speakers, but would they make a big difference for my surrrounds? They're gonna be the most expensive since the wire's gonna have to travel up and down my room and through the ceiling.
     
  13. Mike Knapp

    Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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    Cables are the last place you should improve. Other components should be scrutinized closely prior to any cable upgrades.
    Yes the dfference may be subtle, bit when you have 25K invested in audio gear, subtle takes on a whole new meaning.
    The surrounds can be wired with any 12 or 14 guage wire. Nothing back there but car horns and nature calls. Unless of course you listen to 5.1 music and then you may find a trombone or a zither back there. [​IMG]
    Mike
     
  14. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Some speaker sites recommend the following gauge of wire based on the run-length:
    1-10 feet: 16 ga
    11-20 feet: 14 ga
    20+ feet: 12 ga
    So while you would like to run the thinner & cheaper wire to the rears and thicker wires to the fronts, this is opposite the recomendations.
    You can get Sound King 12 ga speaker wire from www.partsexpress.com for less than $0.50/ft. A lot of us just buy a spool and use it for all our speakers.
    I agree with Mike, you can get away with thinner wires for DVD movies that mainly send special effects to the rears.
     
  15. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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  16. Mike Knapp

    Mike Knapp Supporting Actor

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    Full range yes, but really there is just ambience back there (noise really). Not nearly as important as accurate music or dialog reproduction.

    I dismiss all multi-channel music as folly so discount my opinion accordingly.

    Good wires on the front three. Whatever works on the back.

    Mike
     
  17. Robert_Dufresne

    Robert_Dufresne Stunt Coordinator

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    Ryan I have to agree with Mike

    A rear spoiler makes no difference on a ford escort

    but it makes a world of difference on a porshe 911.

    Robert
     
  18. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    And on some cars a rear spoiler only looks "good", but actually slows it down because of the increased drag. In fact, mine is one. In my defense though, all the spolier-less versions I've seen of my car look strange [​IMG]
     

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