What kind of speaker wires do you use ?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by MikeJN, May 13, 2003.

  1. MikeJN

    MikeJN Extra

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    I will be getting the Rocket ultra package speakers with the 750's in front and rear and the 200 center.

    I am using a Sunfire amp with 425 watts per channel X 5 at 8 ohm and I am wondering what speaker wire would be best to use. What are other people using with powerful amps on their speakers ? I hear a lot of people using plain 12 gage zip wire from Parts Express, but I am wondering if other more expensive wires really make a difference in sound quality ? I really don't want to scimp on the wire after buying all this nice equipment, but I also don't want to blow extra money that I don't need to. I just don't know realistically how much difference their will be. Has anyone experimented with different speaker wires ? My right rear wire will be the longest at 35 feet and left rear will be about 20 feet.

    Does anyone know about using Canare 4S11 Star Quad cable which is 4 x 14 gage wires and you use 2 wires to each terminal of the Rockets. It is supposed to reduce signal loss and reflect any interference due to the 4 wires spiraling around each other under the outer jacket. The 2 wires twisted together makes an 11 gage wire.

    I can get it for .69 per foot as opposed to .35 a foot for regular 12 gage speaker wire so the price is not that much different as I will only need about 100 feet.

    Does anyone have any other ideas ? Also I was wondering where to get some good spade connectors at a good price ? Any suggestions would really be appreciated.
    THANKS, MIKE
     
  2. Jonathan_D

    Jonathan_D Stunt Coordinator

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  3. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    I use single crystal, nitrogen-foamed Teflon insulated, double braid shield grounded at the source, with an overall outer insulation of Tibetan Yak foreskin, cryogenically treated, heat treated and broken in for 500 hours with Rap music.

    Naaah - I actually use Sound King 12-guage wire from Parts Express.
     
  4. CarlDais

    CarlDais Stunt Coordinator

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    well you asked one of the loaded questions of Audio.
    And congratulations on your nice equipment purchase.

    Listen for yourself and be critically and brutally honest with yourself. It's your system & money. But don't spend a lot of time or money at first. Get the soundking, or the Home depot or Radio Shack 12g or 14g stuff. That star quad may be better..maybe not. And it certainly won't cost yo and arm & a leg. If afer awhile of enjoying your system. And assuming you've taken pains to set it up well. You might want to see what everyone is spouting off about. Buy something used. Borrow someones wire du'jour. Ask a dealer for a loaner pair.

    I have over the years tried and bought a few different recipes. I still have a nice collection of wire in the garage. Sometimes with some odd ball setups I think I hear a difference. It's way down on the totem pole of critical things.
     
  5. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    As I stated in the other post Quad Star is gread wire and
    certainly worth the price (it's cheap) The twist you refer
    to is Common Noise Mode Rejection where the signal wires
    are arranged in a 12 twist per inch, they absorb and then
    naturaly cancel out external noise.

    Is it needed? No but the price is not expensive either and
    it is a nice cable since it's all wrapped up in a very nice
    and easy to manage sheath.

    I use SoundKing 12Awg and it works for me.. But for cosmetics
    I will go with QuadStar just so I only have one thick cable
    rather than 4 small one's running to my BiAmped mains.
     
  6. MikeJN

    MikeJN Extra

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    Thanks for the laughs everyone. Jonathan, thanks for the link it was very informative. What kind of equipment and power are you guys running to your speakers ?
     
  7. Ronnie Ferrell

    Ronnie Ferrell Second Unit

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    Has anyone used 4S11 Star Quad in this scenario? I am thinking about using it for my surrounds. Run one cable and once I have it half way between my rears, I will strip the outer insulation and use 2 of the wires for the right rear and 2 of the wire for the left rear. This would make it a lot easier when pulling the rear speaker cable. Would this be a good option to keep the installation as clean as possible or am I asking for trouble?


    Ronnie
     
  8. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Ronnie,

    I see absolutely no reason why you would be asking for
    trouble. 14 Awg will be adequate for 50 feet or so.. easily.


    Mike,

    I run the Sound King on my mains (Bi Amped AR9's) I run
    500 watts to the dual 10" subs and depending on my mood I
    run 110Watts x 2 to the Mids/Tweets or I can switch over to
    my 20 Watt Class A Tube Monoblock amps for the Mids/Tweets.
     
  9. Darren_T

    Darren_T Second Unit

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    I'm a 12 gauge parts express wire guy myself. I've listened to several types of different newfangled solutions and haven't heard a difference. My ears are far from golden though [​IMG]

    Darren
     
  10. NathanH

    NathanH Stunt Coordinator

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    I just bought the 12 guage parts express inwall wiring at a very great price [​IMG]
     
  11. Paul Stiles

    Paul Stiles Agent

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    I use metal wires with insulation on the outside.

    Paul
     
  12. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    I tried some 10 year old decaying lamp cord and the bass became dry, while the highs fatigued. I don't know if it was all in my head though since I didn't do a blind test.

    Just so you know, The Carol/Home depot speaker wire, after a few months, will likely turn green in the last 2-3" of each end. I guess this is just the oxidation that I couldn't prevent even though I did use glue filled heatshrink tubing to see if I could reduce the "green acoustic eating machine". What ended up happening is the green oxidation crept up through the tubing and started working its way up the wire.

    No audible difference in sound though, I think because the connections I used were soldered and not pressure fit like others.

    In the future I plan to use Acoustic Zen Hologram II speaker wire when I'm in the mood for a fast yet somewhat slippery cable for my Jazz and classical moods.
    When I listen to my underground rap and death metal shredder, I use a more raucous cable with a hint of vigor such as the
    AudioQuest Everest.

    When I get into more critical listening, I want a cable with a lesser sonic signature than the above two in which case I bring out the big guns....

    Lucas Signature Solid Gold 0AWG cold weld Rebars.

    Hehe, I use mostly Home depot, Carol, and Sound King like the rest of the shmoes. [​IMG]
     
  13. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

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    Mike,
    Another vote for Home Depot 12 ga. It works great in my system: 400 wpc @4 (Bryston 4BST) to mains, 250 each (2x Sumo Andromeda) to surrounds, 550 each (Metron A4000) to center channel and platform sub, and 600 (bridged Adcom 555) to front sub. Speakers are Dynaudio; pre-pro is Lexicon MC-12.
     
  14. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Hank,

    I have a question for you reguarding the Tibetan Yak Foreskin
    covered cables. I have heard that this dialetric adds a
    somewhat creamy flavor to the music. Am I correct in
    that assumption? I am guessing the amount is more noticeable
    than say North Ameriecan Bovine Foreskin.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Dave Crigna

    Dave Crigna Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Hank, any chance we can get a group buy going for the Tibetan Yak Foreskin?[​IMG] It seems you are the only one who has the source for this. Plus it could come in handy with your other project in the tumult review thread involving the nurse. [​IMG]

    Seriously, so far in my lsitening sessions with different wire, I have heard some differences. The bigest one coming from the type of wire material used. Pure silver vs. pure copper vs. silver coated copper. I would say go for soundking, the canare quad. They will be fine until you want to go crazy testing other wire and seeing if you can hear a difference.
     
  16. Jerry Parker

    Jerry Parker Stunt Coordinator

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    I too use the Soundking 12awg wire on all my speakers. Pretty cheap, at around 50 cents a foot. With the banana plugs, a pair of the cables cost less than 20 dollars to make.
     
  17. Allen Ross

    Allen Ross Supporting Actor

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    i am a 14 gauge man, not 12 and not 18 just in the middle, my longest run is only 30 feet so i am happy, i got a 50 foot reel of cambridge soundworks 14 awg and i use it on my mains and center chanel, i also have the sound king running to my surrounds. I like the CSW 14 because the wires can take more abuse, and the shelthing is really nice (not yak forskin quality though) where as the 14 sound King seems like i am lossing quite a few strands each time i connect, (yeah i need to get some more banna plugs) I can't tell the difference, and the prices were the same so i am happy.
     
  18. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    For you boys interested in my exclusive speaker wire, I must say that yes, I am the only Western man allowed access to the exotic, but unique dialectric Tibetan Yak foreskin material. It's a long story, but you can get an idea by picturing the scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark", wherein Karen Allen drinks the local tough guy under the table. Well, in a similar situation, there I was, taking a detour on a tour of Tibetan monestaries. I was offerred by some friendly monks to imbibe in their local "nectar of reflection". After a couple of drinks and some attempts by me to mimic one of their chants (which they found wildly hilarious), I told them of the soul-releasing aspects of tequila, upon which I produced a bottle of Sauza Hornitos and proceeded to pour the boys in orange a shot. After a couple of those, a look of sublime tranquility washed over their faces and the head monk declared me an honorary "Supreme Contemplator of Life". He then opened a large pouch and produced a smooth, almost irridescent, silky skin and gave it to me as a token of kindred spirit. He then offered this Texan a unique opportunity to move into the monestary and take on a new position of Grand Contemplation Priest. He did ask if I could assure future supply of tequila, as an indication of my sincerity. I won't bore you with details, but I managed to gracefully decline the offer with no loss of face on the part of the head monk. We are fast friends and upon my return and experimenting with interconnects and speaker cables and my gift skin, I have secured a supply of Tibetan Yak foreskin for my outer dialectric needs, and as long as there is no tequila shortage, my dialectric supply is secure.
    If you haven't experienced the creamy blend of musical euphonics enabled by my interconnects and cable, then you, my fellow audiophile, have not lived at the Comtemplator level.[​IMG]
    HF Soundwerks Interconnects, Speaker Cable and S.O. Power Cords - sublime sound and *feel*
     
  19. Chris Keen

    Chris Keen Stunt Coordinator

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    I definitely do NOT want to contemplate any creamy blends coming from your foreskins (yak or otherwise).

    Speaking of foreskins, did you guys here about the plastic surgery techniques that they had been using a few decades back with regards to "recycling" of those foreskins from young circumcised boys for poor injured children who were born into 3rd world countries without eyelids? Apparently the skin was of a type and consistancy which made it appear to be the ideal candidate for eyelid replacement. Can you imagine going to sleep and never being able to really close your eyes. Can you imagine seeing some poor SOB sleeping in deep REM sleep with their eyes rolling around in their head (uncovered from eyelids). Sounded like a nice thing to do.

    Anyways, they had to cancel the procedures. Apparently they found out after several dozen procedures that it left all of the patients cock-eyed.
     
  20. Dave Crigna

    Dave Crigna Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok Chris that one was just plain bad.[​IMG]
     

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