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Speaker cables - copper, silver, or ?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by ChrisAG, Oct 3, 2001.

  1. ChrisAG

    ChrisAG Supporting Actor

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    This subject was touched on briefly in another thread, but I think it deserves its own topic.
    I have two sets of speaker cables. The first is plain OFC copper bi-wire, 12 and 14 ga.
    The other is silver-plated copper wire, single connectors (not bi-wire).
    I've heard contradictory reports about silver. Its my understanding that pure silver wire is good, but silver plated copper wire is bad. Is this true?
    How would experts rank the various types, i.e., solid silver, hollow, plain copper wire, etc.?
     
  2. Nick G

    Nick G Stunt Coordinator

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    It makes absolutely no difference, they all sound the same. Radio Shack or Home Depot 12G copper speaker wire sounds as good as any.
    Regards, Nick
     
  3. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Chris:
    Answer to your question is easy. Try them out in your system & 'hear' which one sounds better to you. If you really want to find out more audioasylum.com has a dedicated section on wires & cables for you to explore.
    The current issue of Stereophile compares several models of speaker cables from Alphacore & the reviewer likes the silver plated one best. I myself been using pure silver interconnects and like what I hear but still hasn't decided on my speaker cables yet.
    The bottom line is what sounds good to you with your system (equipment/room/personal taste) matters most.
    PF
    [Edited last by PomingF on October 03, 2001 at 07:53 PM]
     
  4. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Nick, with all due respect, you might want to consider adding an IMO to your statement. Right now, it sounds a little God like, as if you know all about audio and interaction with wires. Do you?
    I been doing this a long long time, and don't prefess to know it all. I do know that there is a phenominon called "Skin Effect", which is not a good thing. Where I believe this can have the most impact is on speaker cables. For this reason to date, I have avoided a silver coated speaker wire. I will sell OFC copper, or solid silver, but not silver coated copper. Later, if I hear something to relieve my concern about "skin effect", then I will once again, reconsider the silver coated coppers as a viable alternative to solid silver, and hopefully a step above solid copper. Until I am convinced, I won't sell them though. I have been researching this subject, as CAT will be introducing it's first speaker wire very soon.
    Po-ming, interesting the finding in Stereophile.
    Doug
    CATCables.com
    ------------------
    Lexman's Theater
     
  5. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    Chris,
    PF is right in recommending you head over to www.audioasylum.com (cable forum) for a more extensive examination of the notable (subjective/objective?) differences between speaker cable composition.
    Many silver/ hybrid silver/ OFC Copper speaker cable users share their experiences, with multiple cable brands discussed.
    Keep in mind that AA is a 2 channel (mostly) forum and the inmates typically have highly revealing systems.
    But it is a great place to learn about audio and all the pieces that make it work. Just keep in mind that those guys have more expensive toys than most of the HTF guys here. And, now and then, the AA inmates will fall on their respective swords to make it known wire is not just wire.
    It's the first place I visit every day. Lots of crumbs left around every day for anybody who is eager to pick them up.
    BOK
     
  6. Nick G

    Nick G Stunt Coordinator

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    Doug, I have listened to the arguements from both sides of the fancy speaker wire issue. The evidence that the sound produced by yours or other supposedly superior speaker wire is no different than 12G speaker wire you can buy at Radio Shack or Home depot is overwhelming. IMO. Here are some links to sites that provide what to me are compelling arguments and research debunking the fancy speaker wire myth.
    Regards, Nick
    http://2eyespy.tripod.com/myaudioand...epage/id3.html
    http://www.sundial.net/~rogerr/wire.htm
    http://home.austin.rr.com/tnulla/
     
  7. PomingF

    PomingF Second Unit

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    Nick, I am sure if one looks hard enough there are always two sides to everything. As I said what floats YOUR boat, go for it.
    Doug, interestingly Kimber just came out with their first silver speaker cable (not sure if pure or plated) under the Kimber Select category. As much as I whine about the cost of the regular Kimber BiFocal XL, I am sure this one will cost much more than the BiFocals. Stay tune. [​IMG]
    PF
     
  8. dougW

    dougW Stunt Coordinator

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    Well said Po-ming. Just because someone prints it on their web page, doesn't make it undisputable fact. When the Engineers start talking about measuring and telling me that there is no audible difference by their tests, the discussion immediately looses credibility to me. Why? Because you cannot measure all sound differences. There is no equipment to measure that this exists or doesn't exist.
    However, even if there is no sound difference. Some people just like to have a better finished product. One they feel good about. One that looks professional, and high quality. A feeling you can't normally get by purchasing zip cord at home depot.
    Also, Nick, it just dawned on me that you said something to the effect that I somehow thought that my wire or that of other higher end retailers was superior to standard wire. I really never said that, though in reality, one of the sites you posted a link to, as good as said there were differences substantiated. Not necessarily in the sound, but definitely in wire and sheathing quality and thickness.
    So, to avoid further degradation of this thread into tweaker/geeker arguements, I have no further comment here except to say, that wire from home depot didn't look to good after a period of time lapsed with significant oxidization present. Is that what you want on your system?
    Doug
    CATCables
    ------------------
    Lexman's Theater
    [Edited last by dougW on October 04, 2001 at 06:39 PM]
     
  9. Mark Austin

    Mark Austin Supporting Actor

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    I have seen those sites a thousand times, and they don't prove anything. Just a bunch of jibberish.
    Even the ABX site says:
     
  10. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    might as well head on over to audioreview.com and mosey on down to their messages forum and browse through the cables/interconnects section just to see another side to the cable issue. audioasylum takes the other approach where virtually everyone will approve of a home made concoction or the latest wire braiding/composition.
    Doug is in the business of cables and would appear to be researching marketing aspects and current audiophile thoughts in conjuction with wire availability and their inherent costs. I suspect he'll come up with something that looks good although the data will be lacking as to whether there are any audible differences. Then it'll be up to you to decide what price differential you're willing to pay for cosmetics. Not that its a bad thing to buy something that is constructed differently, just realize you're not buying it because there's a sonic difference or improvement. To that end its why we read reviews that contain the phrases:
    the instruments were better focused 'to my ears'...
    my friend (father, mother, wife, girlfriend, etc.) immediately noticed a difference...
    regretfully manufacturers of these products can never point to audible testing that has been performed to substantiate either their or a reviewer's (someone relatively skilled at using adjectives and catch phrases) claims. yes there are usually two sided to every idea such as the earth is curved or the earth is flat...homeopathic mixtures are effective or not effective...astrology accurately predicts the future or doesn't...john edwards speaks with the dead or doesn't.
     
  11. Brian OK

    Brian OK Supporting Actor

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    .
    ... speaking of jibberish......
    BOK
     

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