Jumper cables as speaker cable?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Stephen Hopkins, Aug 9, 2003.

  1. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I work at a local sears dealer store as a summer job and yesterday while helping a customer find jumper cables I had an interesting idea. We have 16ft jumper cables that are made from 6 gauge stranded copper line for 9.97. They are red/black color coded and seem to be very heavy duty (atleast as far as speaker cable would be concerned). I'm considering cutting the jumper ends off, splitting the cable into 2 8ft sections, and putting crimp on spades on both ends (the kind used on power amp cables in car audio).

    Is there any fundamental reason this wouldn't work? It seems that I would have a high quality heavy duty set of cables for around $20 a set.

    Thanks for your input [​IMG]
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well yes, it'd work, but then so would 12 or 10 gauge etc. from auto installation places. The thing is, is that the resulting cable will be pretty inflexible, heavy on acount of the insulation, and although beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, kinda ugly. So is it high quality given the aforementioned?
    Why don't you give www.knukonceptz.com a look and while the overall prices might not be much different (assuming you go heavy gauge and twisted), the flexibility, weight, and appearance might be more favorable.
     
  3. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    I've had it out and checked flexibility and it's just as flexible if not more so than the monster Z series. I don't think it's ugly at all, and if i decide it is I can always cover it in tech-flex of any color I want. I was able to get the cable for $8 the gold spades for $7, so for $15 I don't think it can be beat.
     
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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  5. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

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    If you like how it looks and fits and it's flexible enough, Stephen, I'd say you're in good shape [​IMG]
     
  6. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Simulation:
    "Say, those are the biggest bananas I've ever seen on speakers."

    Oh, those are dual purpose speaker cables. If I get in a bind and my car won't start, I yank em off and boost it. Great for burning in your speaker cables too. but hell on binding posts though. [​IMG]

    Ok, enough of my wire simulation there.

    Your forgetting an audio basic though. The cable is probably either in flamarrest jacket or PVC at best. Neither the audiophile's friend. Just because it will work, don't make it right for the job. [​IMG]

    Lex
     
  7. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    What about flamarrest or PVC are particularly not good in an audio environment? I know the 12awg from home depot, lowes, and soundking are all PVC. Also, the signal is high enough current that RF interference is really a moot point. What about the jacket material am i missing?

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Inquiring minds would like to know.
     
  9. Jason.Soko

    Jason.Soko Stunt Coordinator

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    LoL jumper cables for speaker wires. This is great [​IMG]

    It's always good when your speaker wire is a smaller gauge than your power cord.
     
  10. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Only slightly smaller [​IMG] I'm using a 10-3 hospital grade power cable for my receiver that I picked up for $2 from MECI [​IMG]
     
  11. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer
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    Sure it would work but if you were determined enough so would a pair of coat hangers. If you're looking for a good deal on quality cables try a home improvement store like Menards, it's not difficult to get quality stuff without spending Monster Cable prices.........
     
  12. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    we all know coat hangers are suitable as digital interconnects. let's get our applications straight now shall we?!
     
  13. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Teflon is the best audio dielectric other than no dielectric at all. Why? Because it sounds better. That's your answer.

    Lex
     
  14. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    The answer is appreciated, the rudeness is not. 99% of speaker cable out there is PVC, so i'm guessing anything using teflon is out of my league. I know this thread has turned into a joke, but i'm ok w/ that... i'll post some pictures when i'm done w/ my cable... maybe then i'll be taken somewhat seriously.
     
  15. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Steven, I'm sure what you're going to do will work just fine, it just struck me as possibly being a bit on the heavy side due to the insulation. And fwiw, I once hooked up, carefully mind you, a set of jumper cables that were thick as hell and probably suited to jump-starting a top-fuel dragster and that was with those heavy duty clamps. A friend of mine had come over to try his cables out at my place but rather than hooking them up, the jumper cables, which could not be seen, were in place. After about 1/2 hour of listening to stuff he'd brought over he asked me to switch his wires for what i was using. Now his cables were in place. The power of human suggestion led him to point out all the subtle details that were missing with 'my set'.

    The thing with the teflon goes back to old played out theories on things like Dielectric Absorption and generally goes something like teflon sounds better than polyethylene sounds better than PVC. Within that general unsupported classification, one will hear things like the color of the insulation affects the sound. Of course there's not a shred of scientific proof for the claims of audibility but then what area of human existence doesn't have its share of products with no proof but testimonials. Q-Ray bracelets and all that.
     
  16. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    Yeah Chu I wasn't putting much stock in the whole teflon sounding better thing. I also don't put much stock in one cable sounding better than another, but i do like the look of a heavy duty cable and the idea just popped into my head while at work, so i gave it a try. For $15 total I don't think it would matter much either way, and it gave me something to do while there were no customers in the store. I wasn't saying you have been rude at all chu, it was dougW's response that caught me as rude. Thanks to everyone else for their responses and humor [​IMG]
     
  17. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well I'm not so sure doug was being rude but he is in the cable business. Worse comes to worse, you can always throw the clamps back on and have a spare set of jumpers!
     
  18. Matt_Doug

    Matt_Doug Stunt Coordinator

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    First off I'm not an audiophile so don't flame me BUT!! As I understand it, the dielectric determines the velocity of propagation (vop) for electrical signals through a cable and vop determines the wavelength of those signals. The lower the vop the shorter the electrical wavelength as compared to propagation through free air. The argument most used by cable skeptics is that the wavelengths of electrical signals in a cable are much too long for the short distances of the interconnects they travel through to have any effect. But if the wavelengths are shortened by cables with low vop then that argument doesn't hold for high frequencies. Despite my pleads for mercy I know you guys are gonnna flame anyway so let'er rip.
     
  19. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    the most compelling argument to my mind is that there has yet to be a reliable and repeatable test using competently designed cable that establishes an audible difference.
     

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