What kind of speaker wires do you use ?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' 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. Mike_J_D

    Mike_J_D Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Mike,

    I can't speak for anyone else but I like Tara Labs speaker cable. www.taralabs.com I use the RSC Prime 1000 for my front three. And use the less expensive Prism Omni for my surrounds. I have been very happy with it. I know Bettercables is supposed to be good stuff as well. I use a Bettercables sub interconnect and I noticed a big difference in that upgrade (from a Monster cable). You mentioned Canare, I use Canare where I work and they have nice stuff as well. And the price you listed is less than the Tara Labs. Which I think run about $1 or so a foot. Good luck with your decision. Mike D
     
  3. MikeJN

    MikeJN Extra

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    Thanks for your help Mike. What kind of equipment and power are you running to your speakers ?
     
  4. Mike_J_D

    Mike_J_D Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,

    Your welcome. I run a Denon 2801. I think it is eather 85 or 90 watts a channel. It is pushing NHT ST4 in the front SC1 center and SB2 for the surrounds. My sub is a SVS powered by a NHT SA3 sub amp. I am saving money for a upgrade to my reciever. But it sounds good to me so I don't know when I'll upgrade. Mike
     
  5. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    I used to run $20/ft AQ speaker cable until I did a blind A/B comparison with zip cord and other cables. I now use the zip cord. My system is Paradigm Studios & a Denon 5700 (at the time of the comparison I was testing higher end separate amps).

    For long audio interconnects get something with decent shielding. AR and Radio Shack Gold are two options.

    For video you'll need something well shielded that can handle the bandwidth of the connection. Quad-shield RG6 with 75 ohm terminations is a good place to start. I ended up with a Canare cable with BNCs for my projector...
     
  6. RISUG

    RISUG Stunt Coordinator

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    My center and front L/R are connected to the receiver via
    10 gauge Hi-Resolution Monster Cable. The front L/R are terminated with gold plated Monster Quick-Lock banana plugs at both ends. The cable for the center speaker has one end that is terminated with Monster Quick-Lock banana
    plugs, that end plugs into the receiver, the other end is
    terminated with gold plated pins that connect to the spring locks of the center speaker.

    My rears (L/R) are connected to the receiver via 14 gauge Flatwire Mega Cable, and are terminated with silver
    standard configuration banana plugs at the receiver end, and bare wire (non-terminated) at the speaker end.

    I bought the 10 gauge Hi-Res Monster Cable at Best Buy, and
    the 14 gauge Flatwire Mega Cable at Radio Shack. I spent the extra on the Monster Cable simply because speakerwire is a proponent in my system that will be the longest lasting. I went "midgrade" for the rear speakerwires due to
    the possibility of being in a larger room in the future.

    To be honest I personally would not be able to hear a difference between 10 gauge Monster Cable and 10 gauge brand "X",- in my case spending the extra money affords me
    nothing but peace of mind. I know that totally makes me sound like a lemming, and you know what?, in this particular area I'm willing to allow myself to be one; again due to how long I'll have the wire I have no problem
    swallowing hook line and sinker.

    Ultimately it's up to you to decide whether or not you are able to discern an aural difference that justifies a higher
    price tag, and if not, is it worth paying the extra fee believing that it's a long term investment?, along with having the peace of mind that if any acoustic anomalies
    should arise down the road you can feel confident in ruling
    out the wire as a suspect?. Whatever route you take in your
    decision make sure that you are at peace with it, I've seen
    people in forums torture themselves silly over this issue,
    and it only leads to the overall diminishment of their enjoyment of the hobby.
     
  7. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    We might be opening a pretty nasty can of worms here as there are several camps on speaker wires. Me? I have a combination of Monster 12g and Home Depot 12g. I got the former as a freebie of sorts and finished off the rest with the cheaper latter.
     
  8. Andy Goldstein

    Andy Goldstein Stunt Coordinator

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    12ga stranded THHN machine/industrial wiring, red and black twisted together just to make it easier to handle. cant beat free, large-diameter wire! been using plain zip-cord since the '60s, and yes, i have A/B tested 14ga zip cord against esoteric wires. no dif.

    andy g.
     

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