"Speaker Wire A History...."

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by SanfordL, Mar 19, 2002.

  1. SanfordL

    SanfordL Stunt Coordinator

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    Wait, not too certain I buy that title, and the article does go against my take on the whole subject, but don't accuse me of being biased. [​IMG]
    http://www.sundial.net/~rogerr/wire.htm
    If this article has already been covered, sorry, but it seemed fairly indepth, so if you haven't seen it, check it out. Chu, I don't know, but the information does seem fairly scientific, and I might just have to scrap my ideas to spend a few benjamins on wire. Well, that leaves more money for the amp. upgrade that is next on my list....
    "Oh, now I have guilt." - Toy Story
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Ahh. What do those people at McIntosh know about high end audio anyway. [​IMG]
    Interesting article, particularly the part at the bottom stating that "All inexpensive wires are not the same" and showing some corrosion problems on Home Depot speaker wire. Problem for the consumer is how do you know which cheap wire will eventually get cruddy and which will work fine?
     
  3. SanfordL

    SanfordL Stunt Coordinator

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    Philip,

    This is taken directly from Jon Risch's website on building the best wires. Note down at the bottom regarding the insulator materials. The green wire was probably made with some formulation of the undesireables although I don't know for certain.

    "-Speaker Cable Materials-

    ================================

    -Preferred Conductor Materials-

    In descending order of preference:

    Bare copper

    Enameled copper

    Tinned copper

    Silver plated copper

    NOT RECOMMENDED FOR SERIOUS AUDIO USE AT ALL:

    Cadmium copper, beryllium copper and other copper alloys.

    Nickel plated copper

    Silver plated copper clad steel

    Copper clad steel (Also called Copperweld)

    Tinned steel

    Bare steel

    -Insulator Materials-

    ================================

    -Inner Conductor Insulation-

    In descending order of preference:

    Foamed Teflon (TFE)

    Solid Teflon (TFE)

    Foamed FEP Teflon

    Solid FEP Teflon

    Foamed Polypropylene / These two are real close

    Solid Polypropylene

    Foamed Polyethylene

    NOT RECOMMENDED FOR SERIOUS AUDIO USE AT ALL:

    Solid Polyethylene

    Rubber

    PVC (Polyvinylchoride) These two actually attack most conductors

    Polyurethane / over a period of time, the severity

    depending on the exact formulation. "

    Sorry, I didn't post the link for the above, but just poke around for Jon and speaker cable and you will come up with it.
     
  4. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Interesting post [​IMG]
    I find it particularly interesting how the wire tests referenced came from such recent vintage as 1980, 1983, and 1990 and from decidedly less than audiophile rags such as Stereo Review, a firm believer in the "if we can't measure it, you can't hear it" camp.
    [​IMG] Ric, any views on this one?
    Looks like my NYC cable test could be even more important!
    Lee
     
  5. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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    Great article [​IMG]
     
  6. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Lee: that's cold!! Its an old article for sure, but I've yet to see Stereophile do any credible tests. They should lay off the Roget's and pick up on some standardized methodology.

    Risch is an interesting fellow...bright but prone to making many speculative claims such as being able to hear the difference in one additional foot of 12 gauge. Amazing powers. He also is a fan of the 'belief' that the color of the insulator plays a role. Tsk tsk!
     
  7. Phil A

    Phil A Producer

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    I did not think that the article went into depth at all. There was no mention of music used, equipment, room set-up, detailed information that would give some understanding of the box and whether it could play a role in the outcome, not to mention it is 20 years old (obviously CD was not the source - tapes?), no mention of skin effects, dialectrics, 8 ohms for a speaker (and what speakers) is not an indication of its charactistics since it is not a test resister and I did not recall seeing anything about inductance. It would not matter anyway since electrical properties would not tell the whole story. For example, was the test conducted at sea level, 5000 ft., or other atmospheric conditions that could impact the results. The problem of measuring such things is that there are properties that cannot yet be measured such as soundstage depth or height or width. Were the wires brand new or had they played them awhile? How about the equipment or speakers?
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  9. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Philip,

    One reason I joked about the vintage is that wire extrusion technology has come a long way since 1990. The quality of connectors is up and the ability to do more interesting designs with higher purity copper and silver has increased dramatically since 1990.

    And the wire test details are not mentioned and from sources that audiophiles know to believe of the scientific school.

    Maybe we should agree to disagree, but I think a wire test might convince a number of people that the right cable does improve the overall sound.

    Also, thank you Phil A. You are right soundstage depth and width is not currently measurable but our ears clearly hear the dimensions.

    Lee
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    speaking to the subtopic of soundstage, how would you define that....subjectively speaking of course.

    no doubt there've been alternate alternate extrusion techniques such as a chinese method that Better Cables uses (although one must read carefully in their website to understand just what is being claimed and what is being left for the consumer to 'think' they're getting), micropolishing and the list goes on. Now whether this results in a better sounding cable remains to be heard. Many of the innovations that you speak of Lee, did at one time, come at a price because they were new and didn't have the bugs worked out of them. But with time comes the capitalist economies of scale, even in China. However from a marketing point of view, it becomes touted as a wondrous innovation, with the consumer never knowing that the actual cost to manufacture may well be the same or less. Instead, a greater price is paid for something that actually costs less. My own experience with Better Cables is that they're very good (or had been) at answering questions about orders. They're pretty piss poor at answering a question about either their website or technical questions regarding their wares. Can't say that about SVS.
     
  12. Jim A. Banville

    Jim A. Banville Supporting Actor

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  13. SanfordL

    SanfordL Stunt Coordinator

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    So, then if I had to hazard a step back in, not too certain when it was developed, but what about Litz (sp?) regarding skin effects as a technological development? Is that all a load of hooey then too? I am not stating it is or isn't just asking a question and looking for the experts to duke it out.
    Check it out for your estimating pleasure:
    www.wssh.net/~wattsup/audio/wire_xl.xls
    But Iron Head, what's with this thingie? http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/spkcbl_e.html
     
  14. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Okay Jim...here we go...
    You asked to point out ANY connector that has had its quality improved:
    Cardas Rhodium RCA connectors - substantial improvement, I win! [​IMG]
    Also, extrusion does matter if the new wire is of higher purity (like X-nine silver or copper), allows more intricate designs (like Cardas Golden Ratio) or is shaped to further reduce skin effect and other cable phenomena.
    Lee
     
  15. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Jim,

    You may also be interested in this...

    Cardas’ cable design incorporates patented, Golden Ratio, Constant Q, Cross-Field, pure copper Litz, conductor technology. Why should I use it? What will it do for my system?

    It is said, wire is just wire. In reality, a high-end audio cable must balance resistance, capacitance, inductance, conductance, velocity of propagation, RF radiation and absorption, mechanical resonance, strand interaction, hysteresis, high filtering, wavy serial impedance and reflections, electrical resonance, dissipation factors, envelope delay, phase distortion, harmonic distortion, piezoelectric effects, hall effect, field effect, voltage and current tracking, thermoelectric phenomenon effects, structural return loss, skin effect, corrosion, cross-talk, bridge-tap and the interaction of these and a hundred other things. As a high-end cable manufacturer, Cardas Audio strives to address every detail of cable and conductor construction, no matter how small.

    An elegant solution deals with quality, not quantity. Cable geometry problems are resolved in the cable’s design, not after the fact with filters. George Cardas received U.S. Patent Number 4,628,151 for creating Golden Section Stranding Audio Cable. It is truly unique. George introduced the concept of Golden Section Stranding to high-end audio, but Golden Ratio, 1.6180339887... : 1 is as old as nature itself. Golden Ratio is the mathematical proportion nature uses to shape leaves and sea shells, insects and people, hurricanes and galaxies, and the heart of musical scales and chords. "Discovered" by the Greeks, but used by the Egyptians in the Great Pyramid centuries before, man has employed Golden Ratio to create his most beautiful and naturally pleasing works of art and architecture.

    The sound or audio signal produced by your system, be it digital or analog, through tube or solid state, is always alternating current. The cyclic effect of alternating current vibrates the wire in your system like the strumming of a guitar string. The beating of the capacitive, inductive and mechanical elements in audio cable is set in motion by the transient energy of the audio signal, just as the guitar string is set into motion by the strike of a pick. This form of vibration or resonance distorts the audio signal and produces many sound anomalies, from colored bass to glare. Every interconnect, every speaker cable, every chassis and speaker wire has its own resonant signature. Like the mass, tension and hardness of the guitar string, the mass, tension and hardness of the conductor, coupled with its inductance and resistance, and the capacitance of the cable, determine what sound is made. Each strand in a cable has its own note or beat. When strands are combined in a conductor they interact with other same sized, near unison, and multiplistic sized strands. This creates beats the same way a cube listening room would, or one with multiplistic dimensions like 8’ x 16’ x 32’.

    The sound produced by any stereo system depends on the purity of the audio signal it produces. When the cable linking all components together imparts its own sound, the audio signal is corrupted. Cardas created a multiple strand conductor, where every individual strand is coupled to another, sharing no common mathematical node or resonant point, which in effect, absorbs or cancels the noise that each strand creates. This is the same reason the standard audio listening room is 10’ x 16’ x 26’ (read:10.00000’ x 16.18033...’ x 26.18033...’ or Golden Ratio). An infinitely indivisible progression known as the Fibonacci Sequence or Golden Section is the key to controlling resonance. The ratio of ø (Phi), or 1 to 1.6180339887... to (infinity), is the Golden Mean, called Golden Ratio or Golden Proportion. George Cardas holds the patent, U.S. Patent Number 4,628,151, where the ratio of ø is applied to any electrical conductor.

    In Golden Section Stranding, individual strands are arranged so each strand is coupled to another, whose note or beat is irrational with its own, thus nulling interstrand resonance. This is the famous "Silent Conductor". It is the silence of Cardas conductors that allows them to be so uniquely musical and pure.

    At the heart of cable oscillation is inductively stored energy. This energy results from the lowered internal "Q", or resonant point, of conventional conductors. George Cardas has a second U.S. patent, number 4,980,517, describing a unique stranding method where strands diminish in size towards the interior of the conductor. This design is called Constant Q Stranding and it allows each strand of the cable to share the load equally. It is a very effective method of reducing the internal rise in inductance seen in ordinary conductors, without compromising the symmetry of the conductor or the capacitance of the cable.

    Ordinary Cables are di-pole antennas, both radiating and absorbing RFI/EMI, which sustains system resonance. George’s cable design incorporates Crossfield Construction in its manufacture, which reverses every other stranding layer to defuse the di-pole effect.

    Cable resonance is further reduced through the use of ultra pure copper, air dielectrics and quad-eutectic solders. Copper has proven to be the best conductor for an audio signal, but the purity of the copper is critical to the signal’s quality. Cardas uses only diamond dies, in an atmosphere of pure nitrogen, to draw the individual copper strands. This prevents the surface contamination that occurs when standard metal dies are used. As each strand is drawn, while it is still in the nitrogen atmosphere, the critical surface area is immediately given an enamel "Litz" coating for insulation and cable longevity. Ordinary uncoated copper stranding corrodes in a relatively short time. During every step in the manufacturing process Cardas maintains the purity of the copper until it is sealed during termination.

    Every detail in Cardas cables is at the leading edge. Pure Teflon® is used as a stabilizing wrap to firmly bind the conductors, while thin wall tubes provide an air dielectric to isolate the conductors from each other. George created an ultra pure, quad-eutectic solder for a perfect joining of conductor to connector. All connectors are custom machined with rhodium over silver contact surfaces. Finally, to insure the quality of each cable, they are terminated by hand and individually inspected.
     
  16. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Jim and Chu,
    I just found some scientifically measured data on cable performance on the cardas site. [​IMG]
    Go to the Insights section of www.cardas.com and look for the paper titled "Measuring cable resonance is easy". Clearly the graphs provide evidence of sonic improvements in Cardas cable over regular zip cord. This also backs up my prior response and info from the site. [​IMG]
    I could not figure out how to do a direct link to the article.
    Lee
     
  17. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    Here you go Lee.
    http://www.cardas.com/cgi-bin/main_c...able+Resonance
    Of course this will get shot down pretty quickly since it's the evil cable people reporting the information.
    Of course people never say anything about these kinds of claims against these evil cable people;
    There are many speaker and interconnect cables on the market. I suggest you listen to the difference between any typical parallel twin and 12 gauge bare stranded. If you can’t tell the difference, don’t spend your money on high end cable. Focus your system a little better.
    Or
    There are many good economical interconnects on the market. My cables are better by a subtle but measurable margin. That margin matters to some, to others, it does not.
    Sounds like somebody who is truly out to screw us hard headed audiophiles [​IMG]
    Andrew
     
  18. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Thanks Ajay,
    If it gets shot down that's too bad because one should be able to recreate his simple tests easily. [​IMG]
    Lee
     
  19. John Sully

    John Sully Stunt Coordinator

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  20. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    John,

    All I can say is that this wire revolutionized the sound of my stereo. It is now more open and clear sounding and I have a nice rich midrange.

    Think what you want to but George Cardas makes a great product...

    Lee
     

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