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Speaker Cables for Paradigm

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Clayton G, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. Clayton G

    Clayton G Extra

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    Hi everyone this is my first post here.

    My question concerns speaker cable. I recently bought a Paradigm HT System. The speakers I'll be using are the Monitor 7's, CC-370, and ADP-370. The place where I ordered the speakers sells Monster Cable products. Before anyone goes balistic on Monster brand hear me out. I'm looking at the XPHP in I believe 14 gauge. I'm needing 100 ft. and with this type of cable that will run me right at $100. I'm open to any suggestions to other cable ideas IN THAT PRICE RANGE (apx. 1 dollar per foot) So is there anything better out there?
     
  2. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well if you mean audibly better, the answer is quite an emphatic no. For about 60% less, including s/h, you can get some 12 gauge SoundKing OFC copper at www.partsexpress.com. While you will find on websites, in magazines, testimonials to the contrary, the fact remains to this day, that not one solitary person has ever demonstrated the ability to reproducibly differentiate wires that are of the same approximate length and gauge. I'm sure one can make a wire that is able to be audibly differentiated, however that in all likelyhood implies a poorly constructed wire.
    Nonetheless, one may have other reasons for choosing more expensive wires...colors and style, electrically they may measure better, the uniqueness of a particular wire such as its method of braiding, compostion.
    Your ball.
     
  3. Clayton G

    Clayton G Extra

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    Chu,
    Do you think that wires can alter the characteristics of sound like brightness, etc. I'm just trying to find a good match for my system. But I guess if wires don't alter characteristics then it doesn't matter. This is my first HT system so I'm just wanting to get it right the first time. Thanks for your help.
     
  4. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    No. They are not tone controls and if a wire functions as such, then there's something wrong with that wire. First of all, let me say that speakers have a personality. Some have larger sweet spots than others, different degrees of resonances, signatures if you will. Terms like bright, warm, depth, etc. often take on different meanings to different people.
    Often, we wind up being stuck with the speakers we have and just wind up plopping them someplace and that's it. And often for whatever reason, we need to make the best of what may be a bad situation. That said, one needs to pay attention to how the speakers are placed for starters. Are they toed in a bit so that they point towards you. An inch or so difference and the sound can be quite different. Some have used the el-cheapo laser pointers to ensure the speakers are pointed to where your head will be. Where are the tweeters located? Ear level? You might find raising the speakers to improve matters. Moving them from the rear and away from the walls or windows can reduce reflections. The typical room is not symmetrical and this can make for some havoc. So don't be afraid to use your tone controls or even balance to see if that gives you the effect you're looking for. There's far more of course that can be done, but it depends upon your room layout, if you can move things around, add perhaps heavier curtains to the windows...Hey, if you've got a camera, take a picture of the room and come up with some room dimensions. Maybe we can go from there, make it like an ongoing excercise and try and get it more perfect.
     
  5. Mike Matheson

    Mike Matheson Second Unit

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    Clayton,

    Chu's suggestion of the SoundKing wire is a good one, particularly if you need 100 ft. You can always try some fancy cable later on your mains and see for yourself if it might make a difference to your ears in your system.
     
  6. Clayton G

    Clayton G Extra

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    Chu,
    I made a layout when I was purchasing the speakers and went over it with the guy that helped me. I'm actually going there next week to pick them up. That is why I'm trying to get this cable thing figured out. The room is about 15 ft deep and 27 ft long. I know that probably sound backwards, but that is how it has to be layed out. It is actually the kitchen and the family room (they're open to each other). One of the big problems I faced was with the surrounds. All of my seating is against the back wall, and the space between the speakers would be to far apart if I went with stands (there are no side walls to mount them too feasibly). So we decided to mount them on the ceiling. I know that the heigth will be taller than ideal but the spacing between the speakers would be much better. Anyway, that might give you a vague idea of the room.

    Back to cables, I guess if they don't make an audible difference unless they are of poor quality, do you think that the Monster Cable is a good buy as far as a quality stand point. I thought they would be better as far as consistency vs. stuff you buy at Radio Shack or someplace like that. I also figured 100 is only 5% of the price of the speakers so it didn't seem to far fetched (overkill). I guess what I'm asking is the quality okay? Are there cables of better or equal quality near that price point?
     
  7. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    There's no reason to suspect that Monster's quality is poor as there is no reason to suspect SoundKing's is either. These are not difficult things to manufacture. Whatever you're comfortable with.
     
  8. Clayton G

    Clayton G Extra

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    Chu,
    I was just at HIFI.com and checked out some of their cables. I found 100 ft. of 12 gauge cable for 45 bucks. I priced their Monster Sub cable the M351 and the Lightspeed 100 optical cable also. The M351 is a "higher grade" cable then the one I originally planned on using but only 10 bucks more. Which brings me to another point, how do you feel on sub cables and optical cables? Are there any performance differences in these? In all, with 100 ft of speaker cable, 20 reusable banana pins, sub cable and toslink cable would run 200 bucks delivered. Do you think this is a pretty good buy?
     
  9. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Of all the cables, the sub requires the least concern. We're passing 20-120 hz signals, give or take a few. A shielded cable is good since the sub, in certain circumstances, could amplify a signal. So as long as its shielded, you could use various coax such as RG6 or RG59 with a copper center conductor. Various RCA's will work, analog and digital audio, as well as video cables will also do the trick. One can also run rather long lengths of cables and that's nice because it allows for a lot of flexibility in the positioning of a sub without any noticeable degradation. I don't know about HIFI.com but I'd compare their prices to places like partsexpress.com and others i'm sure can suggest equally good sources. If you're of the mindset that you want superior shielding, you can always go with various quad-shields, but for the very typical home environment, its overkill. Nonetheless, it doesn't have to cost much and its easy to make yourself.

    When checking prices don't forget to factor in taxes (if any) and s/h.

    Optical...glass or plastic fibers don't matter after all you're not running miles now are you. Buy something that looks like its built well. Gold plating doesn't do anything on the terminations, although some companies tout their benefit. AR makes decent stuff. If you need lengths over 12 feet, you'll have to hunt around a bit, but i as well as others did post sources for custom lengths of optical at very reasonable prices.

    I've nothing against people wanting their cables to look a certain way or feel a certain way, etc. You'll pay extra and for some that's worth it.

    Good luck.
     
  10. Bruce Chang

    Bruce Chang Second Unit

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    I got the 10 gauge soundking OFC wire for $35 along with some other stuff. I'll be using it to biwire my speakers. Many people tell me that interconects make more of a difference then speaker cable. Well I couldn't tell copper interconects to the high quality coppers. I could tell the difference between silver and copper. Silver on my system was a little more detailed on the highs.
     
  11. Clayton G

    Clayton G Extra

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    Bruce,
    I think you're right about the connects being more important than the cable. What connections are you using? Do you know of other companies that make silver connectors? Just out of curiousity what kind of speakers are you running?
     

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