Is it possible to use power cable as speaker cable?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by David K., Nov 15, 2004.

  1. David K.

    David K. Second Unit

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    (Admin note - Active auction link removed per forum guidelines)

    Thats a 4 awg power cable, Recently I purchased some locking bananas that do not fit with 8-9 awg cabling,
    I was thinking about using those? Can I just twist two runs and sleeve them together?

    what is the difference between these and regular speaker wire?
     
  2. Mitch N

    Mitch N Stunt Coordinator

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    The difference other then being a pain to work with, would be nothing. You could use lamp cord if you wanted to. I would though be worried in the added stress added to your binding posts from the weight of those cables.

    If I may suggest some good inexpensive wire, www.partsexpress.com always has good deals on quality wire. Sound King and Belden are common well known brands that compare to many "brand names."
     
  3. chuckg

    chuckg Supporting Actor

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    Speaker wire is just wire. As long as you've got enough diameter to avoid any unreasonable resistance, you can use it. 4 gage sounds awfully huge -

    When I put in my system I looked at fancy speaker wire, then found that plain old 12 gage extensions cords have the very same oxygen-free copper and fine strands as the monstrously large expensive stuff. So, instead of over $100 for big fancy wire, I bought a 100 foot cord for $17.50. After cutting it into five pieces for my five speakers, I still had some very nice molded plugs on shorty cords left over.
     
  4. Allen Ross

    Allen Ross Supporting Actor

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    4 gage is way to much, you will just be wasting your money, unless you need to handle that much power, if so i want to see pics of your set up.
     
  5. David K.

    David K. Second Unit

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    nah I bought a lot of 20 locking banana plugs, I was going to use them to terminate some canare 4s11, but these plugs have shafts that are too large, so I decided to fit two 14 awg conductors which results in 11 awg total and it was way too small for the plug, then I doubled up the 11 awg copper lead and plugged it in, I must be well over 10-9 awg now, and its still too small.

    its more of a waste not using these plugs then to buy the 4 awg power cable which is fairly cheap and make use of them. As long as it does not have a negative effect.

    I have another question, can dual wall heatshrink be used to safely cover the conductive metal of banana plugs? Ive been using polyfin heatshrink for the plugs but I want some stronger strain relief, Ive always had a fear that the adhesive material inside the heatshrink would have a bad reaction if it were to come into direct contact with the metal plug?

    Also can pet tech flex touch the metal part of the plugs too? since I want to flex the leads leading up to the plugs. Thanks

    I dont want to wast these plugs so I was looking around and found those 4 awg cables. They also sell 8 awg but from the looks of the doubled up 11 awg lead.. 8 awg will still be too small.

    Thought I might go with 4 awg and dress them up real nice.
     
  6. Mattak

    Mattak Stunt Coordinator

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    Those must be some gnarly banana plugs...it seems to me that would be awfully excessive...

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Actually, doubling up 11 gauge wire would result in an 8 gauge conductor.
     
  8. David K.

    David K. Second Unit

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    really? Then I guess 4 gauge is the way too go, thats some monsterous cabling. i wonder If I would hear any sonic differneces form the canare 4s11 I use right now.

    can some answer my dual wall flex question though? thanks!
     
  9. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    I've used the adhesive lined heatshrink on soldered joints with zero trouble so I wouldn't expect it to be an issue on the bananas either.

    BTW, what do you mean about the shafts being too big for the wire? I haven't seen the bananas so I'm not sure what you're referring to.
     
  10. David K.

    David K. Second Unit

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    the barrel of the banana is humungous. I took a sample plug to my local good guys, they carry 4 awg power cable, and placed it next to it. The barrel is the same with as the 4 awg power cable! the the shaft inside the barrel (entry for the copper strands) seems to be a perfect fit.

    the bananas advertised on ebay as taking up to 6 awg cabling. which is incorrect. It actually requires 4 awg! to even have a tight enough fit so the screws can get a grip.

    I can make some monstrous cablins with these, I already found an online distributer that has both the red and block translucent power cables for 4 awg. I will buy two runs and twist them then use some clear flexing. = some hardcore looking speaker cables.

    Ill probably sell some online, I just need some qualioty strain relief, so thats why I want to know if its safe to use dual wall heatshrink on these all metal plugs. Ill post pics when I finish them.
     
  11. Brian Fellmeth

    Brian Fellmeth Supporting Actor

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    You can make those bananas work with smaller wire by just folding over the strands 2x or even 3x to get enough bulk.
     
  12. Rob Bird

    Rob Bird Agent

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    Not to rattle any cages, but a 4 gauge wire is almost thick enough to put the skin depth frequency down into the low couple hundred hz. I bet the midrange bloom with something that big and fat will just be horrendous.

    Regarding the use of stranded conductors...if they aren't individually jacketed, stranded conductors are a bad thing for all things sonic except flexibility. The wire inside the cable is merely a waveguide...the field travels mainly in the dielectric and partly (depending on frequency and physical thickness of the wire) in the wire. Skin depth, mentioned above, is the frequency at which there is 8.69 db of loss. The MAXIMUM gauge for any single, jacketed wire, is about 24 gauge in order for the skin depth frequency to be 20Khz or higher.

    If you want to really DIY some cables, I suggest you ignore the "lamp cord is the same as anything else" crowd and check out some of the Cat 5 plenum cable recipes. I will be more than happy to take the pepsi challenge with any set of lamp cord/romex/fire pole speaker cables asserted to be "the same".

    There are only a few legitimate technologies out there in the cable business, but the physics exists whether it's convenient for you or not. For commercial cables, I would look at Kimber (litz shielded...geometrical...twisted and braided cables....nice high capacitance) and Goertz (parallel thin foils...completely eliminating the need for lots of separate jacketed conductors by having an exceptionally high skin depth frequency and practically no gauge limitations using width).

    Believe me...if bigger really WAS all that mattered, you would see a raft of "audiophile" companies selling 2"x4" copper bars with banana plugs on the end. Not only would the y be heavier and even more intrusive, but they could charge lots of money for even less engineering.
     

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