Internal speaker wire for Alpha LS

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JonWB, Jan 7, 2003.

  1. JonWB

    JonWB Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm in the process of gathering parts for the assembly of my Alpha's. I'd like some recommendations on what to use for the speaker wire inside the enclosures (and probably in the cross-overs too). Danny recommended some of the Teflon Silver Plated Copper Wire sold at Apex Jr. The price is right, but I only want to do this once. I've read that braided CAT5 wire is sometimes used.
    I posted this query over at audiocircle.com also, but I thought I'd see what you guys think would be best.
    Bonus question... the speakers themselves have (male) spade connectors on them. Should I buy some gold plated quick-slides (like these) or solder my wire right to the terminals (with my fancy silver solder)?
    Thanks,
    Jon
     
  2. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Teflon insulated silver plated copper = mil spec wire. It does have a definite sonic signature compared to straight copper. Most of the difference is heard in the high frequencies.

    So if you like that sonic signature then yes certainly use it. If you don't know what the differences sound like buy a few feet and give a listen.

    I prefer to solder all connections except for those speakers with spring loaded terminals. That way nothing vibrates loose
     
  3. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2001
    Messages:
    1,281
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thomas, can you give us some insight on what the sonic signature is like?
     
  4. ThomasW

    ThomasW Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,282
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Silver either pure silver wire or plated over copper tends to add emphasis to the top end. Some characterize it as 'bright'. I'm not sure I agree with the term. But I can certainly hear a difference between it vs copper only wire.

    Wire will function as a passive form of 'tone control'. So it's a good idea to know what you like.
     
  5. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 1998
    Messages:
    2,573
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've used some of that wire from Apex Jr. (nice guy to deal with, BTW). I made up some muliti-strand speaker wire (enclosed in TechFlex). Used some 12-guage to make my "snake oil" power cords. The only criticism I've read about silver plated copper was from a guy who said the "diodic effect" or interaction between the silve plating and copper wire causes a signature, if you will.
    I have no idea if that's true. If you have the hearing to tell minor differences in the HF region, then do as Thomas suggests and buy a small amount and try it. DIY involves experimenting sometimes.
     
  6. JonWB

    JonWB Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hank said, "...buy a small amount and try it. DIY involves experimenting sometimes."
    Hey, I'm all about experiments! I'm an engineer after all. But Hank, you saw Danny wire his. You got a picture of him doing it on your site.
    [​IMG]
    I kinda only want to do this once!
    I've read similar things about the Silver coated wire being a bit brighter. I wonder if this might make it a ggod match for the Alpha LS's with their NEO 8's (considering the theoretical roll-off over 15kHz).
    I suppose, when you think about it, I could wire the tweets with the siver coat and the woofers with good "regular" copper.
    Another benefit of DIY, options!
     
  7. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 1998
    Messages:
    2,573
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yep, that's Danny on my garage floor. When I said experiment, I didn't mean wire up the Alpha's. If you have a pair of good monitors, you could rewire one with the silver-plated stuff and do a comparison test, or better, wire up on or two of those ribbon tweets and compare. That would be your best indicator. If that "brightening" effect is in actuality true, then the silver/copper wire might be just the ticket to subjectively counter the roll-off you mentioned. The Alpha's did not sound "bright" in the least when Danny hooked them up.

    BTW, how do you like the Padauk veneer I used on the cabs? It was Danny's choice.
     
  8. JonWB

    JonWB Agent

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2002
    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    That's not a bad idea, my current speakers could probably benefit from a re-wiring.
    I think the Padauk looks great! You can stay at my place when you come up and finish mine like that! [​IMG] Actually mine are mostly veneered in Birch (top, sides, back) and the front baffle that I am (re)building will likely be birch board(s) over MDF. I'll be rounding over the front baffle vertical and top horizontal edges. They'll get a medium stain that will look similar in color to Danny's but not quite as red.
    Couple months away yet...
     
  9. Hank, it looks like you have high solids PVA veneer glue on the shelve in the LS picture. Did you use a vacuum for the veneer?
     
  10. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2000
    Messages:
    3,716
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Tony,
    I'm almost positive that Hank used contact cement with those. IIRC, the FSV glue only has a 5-10 minute open time. I doubt Hank works quite that fast! [​IMG]
     

Share This Page