Large strand vs fine strand speaker wire

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by RobWil, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    Any opinions on the advantages/disadvantages of large strand copper wire vs fine strand? How about opinions on different gauge wire for highs and lows? I have a couple types of Monster speaker wire, one in particular is the 12 ga. flat white cable, has strands so thin you could break them with your fingernails. I also have some thin strand 14 and 16 ga Monster wire. On the other side I have some Belden 5000 series 10 ga and some Canare 4s11 14 ga which both have strands so thick you could poke a hole in your finger. It's hard to A/B speaker wire by yourself but my impressions so far, with bi-wiring, is that the Belden 10 ga has provided the tightest bass so far. For the highs though it appears the thin strand wires, in particular the Monster 14 ga and 16 ga, have given me the best sound in my system over the Canare 4s11 (14 ga) and the Monster 12 ga.
    I know it makes sense that the larger gauge would perform better on bass than smaller gauge. But is it possible thin strand and smaller gauge is better for highs than thick strand and/or larger gauge, all other things equal?
    My runs are 12 feet or less. I'm sure a lot is system dependant but any opinions or comments?
     
  2. DarrenHo

    DarrenHo Stunt Coordinator

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    this is only my opinion so take it for what it's worth. given wires of same gauge with same type of jacket, the thinner stranded wire should be more flexible. that's about it.
     
  3. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    LOL! Thanks for the insight! [​IMG]
    That Belden and Canare are mighty stiff for sure!
    So what you're saying is, given the same qauge wire, you don't think the hundreds of very fine strands have any different electrical properties than a much smaller number of large diameter strands. And if you haven't seen the Belden 5000 series of cable, these strands are so thick they can do serious damage to body parts!
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Any opinions on the advantages/disadvantages of large strand copper wire vs fine strand?
    In applications involving connecting your speakers, there's a lot to be said for finely stranded, flexible copper. Why use something that's difficult to work with?

    How about opinions on different gauge wire for highs and lows?
    It's a waste of time. Manufacturers add an extra set of binding posts because its cheap and they don't want to alienate the biwiring or biamping crowd. Strictly marketing. You've got to stop visiting those sleazy audiophile websites and smoking their crack or you'll start believing that Scott Petererson really went sturgeon fishing.

    Even thinner RobWil would be stuff from DeCorp. Now that's a flat wire.

    I know it makes sense that the larger gauge would perform better on bass than smaller gauge. But is it possible thin strand and smaller gauge is better for highs than thick strand and/or larger gauge, all other things equal?

    It is as simple as the gauge should be large enough so that the total loop resistance is less than about 0.1 ohm in order for the wire not to add impedance that can affect the frequency response of your speakers. For the lengths you're running, you could use very thin wire and not have it affect matters any, but then it looks wimpy. After all, we are not girly-men, ja?

    I'm sure a lot is system dependant but any opinions or comments?
    Jeezus. System dependant are reviewers ways of making themselves sound more important instead of the posturing, condescending, I know something you don't know, I buy equipment that is so f*cked up it actually sounds bad unless I buy another f*cked up piece of equipment to act as perfume, couldn't get laid with a C-note in Tijuana, brain cell deprived people they are. How's that for a comment?

    ...you don't think the hundreds of very fine strands have any different electrical properties than a much smaller number of large diameter strands
    The differences are neglible. You need rather large, and we're talking an order of magnitude, if not 1000's of orders of magnitude different. It just ain't there.

    Look, you want tight bass then head on over to the beaches of Copacabana in Brazil.
     
  5. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    Sometimes first impressions can be misleading I guess. I replaced the 14 ga monster to the mids/highs with the Canare 4s11, ends twisted together and, for whatever reason and after further listening ,I like it better . The other was a little bright and 'thin' sounding I guess you could say. The very high 'tinkly' sounds were more clear with the Canare.
    Sorry Chu.....I'm not going to tell you I can tell the difference between the different gauges of Monster, but I could tell the difference between the Monster (14/16 ga) and the Belden/Canare. And I can tell a slight difference between the Canare 14 ga and the Belden 10 ga to the lows, not to the highs though.
    BTW, I don't visit sleazy audio websites....unfortunately the 'sleaze' is self inflicted [​IMG] .....and as far as Scott Peterson......I think he's guilty as hell! [​IMG]
    And if you saw the wiring in my system you'd know I could give a rats ass about looks! :b
    And if I could afford a vacation of that magnitude, I don't think I'd choose Brazil. I don't like Anacondas and Pirrahnas (sp) and all those government topplers with machine guns! [​IMG]
     
  6. DavidLW

    DavidLW Stunt Coordinator

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    So let me get this straight. Supposed you heard Yogi tube system (with your ears) and deternmined that it sounds better than your system (I don't think there's a good sounding tube system that don't react to the load). Do you break out your meters and o-scope and proceed to tell Yogi what a f*cked up system he has? Obviously you must own the perfect sounding system because your o-scope (not your ears) tells you so. So by chance if there's a better sounding system, it must somehow be f*cked up. I bet you that I can somehow f*ck up my system so that it sounds like yours. But, would that be a good thing? Is a Porshe or Ferarri poorly designed because you take a performance hit if you use the cheaper regular gasoline insted of the more expensive super? Or is my Nissan pooly designed because I can't tell the difference between regular and super?

    Chu, you aren't educating anyone by declaring that your prejuices applies to 100% of the sound systems out there.
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    I don't know what to tell you Rob except if you feel like biwiring then you certainly won't be harming your system in any way so by all means do it.

    Look, its a tough thing carrying out reliable determinations and being as you're the only one doing it, you'll get any answers that your inherent belief system wants to give you.

    How's about you try a different approach? Play along with me a bit. Let's say I'm all wrong and that there's a definite rigorous approach that can be used if you know such things as how the speaker was designed. Let's further say that this approach is predicated by the crossover points, the speaker's impedance, and maybe the total resistance in the wire. Maybe there are other factors. However if anyone is in a position to know them it should be the speaker manufacturer. After all, they put in the ability for you to do it. They certainly wouldn't do it to increase a consumer's 'relationship' with the speaker now? [​IMG]

    Write them an email asking it be directed to someone technical for a reply. Tell them you own such and such a speaker and you're looking for specific recommendations as to what gauges you need for a 12' run. If not gauges, then what total inductance, capacitance, and resistance are needed to optimize the speaker's performance. Take that same email and send it off to other speaker manufacturers changing only the speaker and see what they say. Follow up that email if necessary to ask for clarification as to the nature of the improvement. For yucks and giggles, send off the original email to several cable manufacturers such as Cardas, AQ, Signal...there's tons out there and see if there's any consistency in their reply.

    I can point you to a website, http://www.pcavtech.com/techtalk/biwire/ that will illustrate this is a bunch of hogwash. You might counter with something like, 'Well thousands of people are doing it and raving about it. They can't all be wrong.' What can I say Rob? Hundreds of thousands of consumers and millions of voters have been wrong before.
     
  8. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    LOL! Thanks for participating DavidLW. That was an entertaining post!
    Chu, that sounds like an awful lot of work just for someone else's opinions. I think I'll just trust my own ears [​IMG]
    You know, I had no intention of bi-wiring, even though the Paradigm owners manual said it would provide better imaging and other things. I had read many very technical threads explaining the reasons why there should be no difference, and they made sense to me. But I did try it one day and, not expecting to hear any difference at all, my first impression was "'Wow! I'll be damned!" Maybe I was just in a very favorable listening state that day and anything would have sounded better....I don't know but, as you stated, it sure doesn't hurt anything so I decided 'why not'.
    As far as the different speaker wires, maybe the difference I hear has nothing to do with the wires gauge or strand type. Maybe one just has better shielding or some other interference related properties. But there definitely is a difference and I can hear it and it doesn't really matter to me what some speaker maker or speaker wire maker might have to say about it.
    Anyway, even though I could have guessed what your responses would be, always interesting to read your comments! Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    If you've got a couple of friends, I'll point you to a procedure you can use to determine if you really can hear the difference between biwired and not.

    Heck how much work is it to write an email? What has become of our youth?
     
  10. RobWil

    RobWil Supporting Actor

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    Sorry......no friends or youth [​IMG]
    Besides....if you're right I'd have to admit it and then you'd go getting a big head and all....I mean a big-GER head! [​IMG]
    Thanks for the offer though [​IMG]
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    When have you ever seen me gloat over the fact that someone tried a sound approach and got a result?
     

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