Speaker Cable

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by aron_w, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. aron_w

    aron_w Auditioning

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    I am interested in learning a bit more about speaker cable. Everything I have read has stated that there are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there, but no one really seems to list who they think these snake oil salesmen are and why. How much difference does upgrading speaker cable make? What level of components is necessary to hear the difference? And finally, what brands are worth it and aren't. It seems like Monster Cable has the market cornered for the general public, but are they any good? Thanks.
     
  2. Cornelius

    Cornelius Stunt Coordinator

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    Oh boy. There are lots of opinions out there. Some people say that any metal conductor which works is fine. Others take it a step further and say that the conductor should be copper and of large enough gauge (thickness) so that there isn't a large signal loss. Still others say you should at least get a decent quality speaker cable with decent terminators so that you don't have to worry about the copper corroding or the cable coming loose. Finally you have the people who think that you can't get good sound without cyrogenically treated silver cable set on cable stands. Good luck finding any consensus!

    FYI, I am of the thought that you should get a decent quality set of speaker cables. IMHO, Monster Cable is alright, but overpriced for what you get at the retail level. Take a look at www.partsexpress.com for some decently priced and decently made speaker cable.

    CJ
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well, I'll leave it to you to start to figure out who the snakeoil vendors are. Sometimes it's not so easy because they sound so convincing.

    That's entirely up to you and now we get into the area of personal preferences. If you like wire that's got a nice looking techflex cover on it and is preterminated with either spades or bananas, then you should expect to pay more for that service. A reasonably priced alternative in my opinion, is the wire from www.knukonceptz.com which comes in a color that's a nice alternative to clear PVC. Some people need flat wire for a variety of reasons and that's going to cost a bit more.

    I'll leave you with the following link: http://www.vxm.com/21R.64.html
    It talks about what happened when the President of Transparent audio (you've got to figure that the President would have a very fine audio system and would certainly know the sonic signature (if there is one!) of his wire compared to something mundane like zip cord.
     
  4. Steve Griswold

    Steve Griswold Stunt Coordinator

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    Personally, I upgraded my mains from standard 14ga zip cord to custom made 11ga Canare Star Quad speaker cable.

    I couldn't tell you if it sounds better but it sure looks professional. [​IMG]
     
  5. ChrisHeflen

    ChrisHeflen Supporting Actor

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    Yesterday I browsed through the latest issue of "A Perfect Vision" and they had a cable article. Right before AQ's battery operated "double house payment" cable they had "HD14" which stood for Home Depot 14 gauge extension cord. (he made up the # himself). He started with "This is no joke", and went on to say it sounded fine and that all you have to do is cut off the plugs on the end and terminate to your liking.

    I'm thinking...then why are you even finishing this review?
     
  6. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    As a general guideline I like this:

    Budget no more than 10% of the cost of the devices you are hooking up for the wires

    This helps keep things in perspective.


    A music system tends to be made up of more sensitive speakers so changing cables/electronics make a more noticible difference. (You also tend to listen to the same favorite disks several times per month. This makes YOU more sensitive to changes.)

    A HT system has highly-compressed sounds, not constant bombardment like a music system and your main focus is the video, not audio. This means you can get away with much-less sensitive speakers and cables and still have a great system.

    This is why for a HT system I usually recommend basic speaker wires, less expensive speakers, but more higher-end video cables and subwoofer. This tends to distribute your money to give you a better return.
     
  7. Michael__M

    Michael__M Stunt Coordinator

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    You can think of it this way. It doesn't take much to satisfy the needs of your system but some people just can't stand having their $5K amp hooked up to their $5k spekaers with $.50 speaker wire.

    I pretty much accept the fact that any 12-gauge wire will satisfy the needs of most systems (if not all). Now, why did I just hook up some Canare star quad for my stuff? Well, it just makes me feel better and I think it's darn pretty. Get some decent stuff that won't make you loose sleep at night. That level is different for everyone.
     
  8. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    And that may be the most honest answer of all Michael. Just as when our incomes go up way past inflation and we suddenly start looking at the various things in our house and decide that our dishes and silverware are no longer reflective of our newly found economic status in life.
     

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