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speaker cable myths and facts
speaker cable myths and facts
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Old 24th July 2011, 02:05 PM   #31
SY is offline SY  United States
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speaker cable myths and facts
Theoretical and experimental analysis have been extensively published. There's no black magic.

If someone wants to understand the realities beyond the hype, I would suggest:

1. Fred Davis, "Effects of Cable, Loudspeaker, and Amplifier Interactions," JAES Vol 39, June 1991, 461.

2. Dick Greiner, "Amplifier-Loudspeaker Interfacing," JAES vol 28, May 1980, 310.

3. Dick Greiner, "Cables and the Amp/Speaker Interface," Audio, vol 73, August 1988, 46.
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Old 24th July 2011, 02:12 PM   #32
ThorstenL is offline ThorstenL  Germany
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightanole View Post
I think me and thorsten got off on the wrong track. During this whole time im talking about buying stuff, not diy. No diy amps/preamps nor making your own cable.
Hmm, sure. But this DIYAudio, not BIYAudio... ;-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightanole View Post
For power cables, i was talking about replacing the 2 prong (here i have yet to find 3 prong equipment in my $1500 and below price range) with a $100-500 premade unit that people sell.
Even 2-prong cables have the potential to make differences, just think of the various current and antennae loops in the system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightanole View Post
For interconnects i was comparing $150 2meter cables to the $30 canare rg59/rg6 stuff that i can buy locally at a shop that sells commercial equipment.
Hmmm, to me the concept of associating sales price and quality is a difficult one.

A more expensive cable is not necessarily a better cable, but a cable with a construction that is more appropriate to the purpose will be a better one. In the case of the $ 30 Canare cables (I use them on production testing stations where low replacement cost and durability are paramount) and what I am suggesting my "more appropriate cable" would also be "more expensive", as it would use a higher quality cable and higher quality connectors, which cost more.

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Originally Posted by nightanole View Post
Also i believe the rohs ENIG - Electroless Nickel Immersion Gold is only for the solder mask, not for the entire trace, and the amount of gold used is so little its not even funny. The gold is designed to be blown away during reflow. Gold in a solder joint is a very brittle solder joint.
It really depends. I do know of and myself specify different in some areas.

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Originally Posted by nightanole View Post
As far as using network cable, my last purchase from mono price for plenum cat6 was $275 for 1000ft plus $40 shipping.
As said, keep an eye out for contractors wiring up buildings, one can usually blag quarter full boxes easily and for zip...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightanole View Post
As far as bananaers, i still need to find some good one as spades do not place nicely with my receiver.
If I am forced to use Banana's for some reason I use so-called Z-Plugs. These are hollow pin, single piece solder types normally found on test cables. They are beryllium copper, goldplated. They look like this:

Click the image to open in full size.

They are a bit fragile, it must be said, but they cann be tensioned to make very good contact with a rubber insert in the tip...

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightanole View Post
As far as people preferring copper lugs to high copper brass, dont they turn green pretty quick?
The ones I use are gold plated and so go not turn green.

Ciao T
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Old 24th July 2011, 02:12 PM   #33
Bill poster is offline Bill poster  Thailand
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Is it best to have one metal ie copper in the signal path rather than lots of different ones ie copper cables brass plugs nickel coatings etc

EDIT i guess the plugs need a coating
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Old 24th July 2011, 02:13 PM   #34
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightanole View Post

For interconnects i was comparing $150 2meter cables to the $30 canare rg59/rg6 stuff that i can buy locally at a shop that sells commercial equipment.
Interconnects will sound different in different systems due to different output and input impedance, and the type of RCA connector used. You should if possible demo the cables in your own system and trust your own ears. Reviews of cables are more meaningless than any other equipment review.
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Old 24th July 2011, 02:14 PM   #35
ThorstenL is offline ThorstenL  Germany
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Hi,

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Originally Posted by Bill poster View Post
Is it best to have one metal ie copper in the signal path rather than lots of different ones ie copper cables brass plugs nickel coatings etc
Well, lets put it this way:

Limiting the number of metal on metal contacts without solder or welding and minimising the number of layering plated metal/metal interfaces cannot do harm...

Ciao T
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Old 24th July 2011, 02:15 PM   #36
ThorstenL is offline ThorstenL  Germany
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Hi,

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Originally Posted by erin View Post
I agree with you about the Neutrik connectors, but if a person was after "the ultimate connector" surely it would be direct soldering.
Soldering does not really count as "connector"...

Ciao T
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Old 24th July 2011, 02:19 PM   #37
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Hi,
Soldering does not really count as "connector"...

Ciao T
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Old 24th July 2011, 02:58 PM   #38
vacuphile is offline vacuphile  Netherlands
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FYI soldering on gold is considered bad practice because the gold dissolves in the solder and produces brittle intermetalic compounds.

For that reason, the European Space Agency requires that gold plating on components is removed by mechanical means before soldering. Now, most audio equipment does not experience the same high G forces that space based electronics do, but when we aim for the best, why not avoid issues known from other fields of application?
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Old 24th July 2011, 03:05 PM   #39
Soundminded is offline Soundminded  United States
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Originally Posted by ThorstenL View Post
Hi,



Up to a point at least.

What few seem to understand is that wires rarely if ever only are exposed to the intended signals in a controlled environment in which they are simply tested in loopback.

OF COURSE, all the interesting stuff that happens in real world systems at least on first and second order effects (which cover IME most of the audible differences claimed) are easily understood by anyone who passed EE101, as Ohm, Kirchoff, Thévenin, Farraday and Lentz (plus the others thought there) generally cover it, but only if we take the full spectrum of issues in REAL systems into account.

If we do not account for the real problems in real systems it is easy to com e to the conclusion that wires cannot make differences, while if the basic electronic circuit theory is understood it is absolutely clear that differences in wire MUST make observable changes in the system under test/investigation.



The problem is that those who should know and understand (e.g. those who have passed EE101 and beyond) generally in wilful disbelief and supposed scepticism and deliberately ignore the very basic and simple issues at hand and generally try to talk them away so those who remain rarely actually understand.

Further, many such claims may be deliberately misleading. For example, I know precisely why certain types of mains cables make a measurable and audible difference and I have it on good authority that the cables designer knows the same things, however you will not find anything about this in the marketing material for these cables...



This is a very simplified view. It is true only on a highly abstract level. In reality cables end up doing more than this, as they rarely if ever only deal with intended signals.

I would suggest that the real definition for cables interconnecting multiple independent devices requires more than what is stated.

They also need to make sure that any possible sources of interference (be they circulating ground currents, RFI injected due to the aerial action of the various loops in the system and so on) have a minimised effect on the signal.

A cable that fulfils your definition can still easily fail mine, unless your statement was intended taking into account all unintended but present sources of interference. And when we do this, throw connectors into the mix as well something apparently very simple can become very interesting.

Ciao T
"Further, many such claims may be deliberately misleading. For example, I know precisely why certain types of mains cables make a measurable and audible difference "

And what type would that be? Our standards here in the US for what you call "mains cables" in Europe are THHN, XHHW, and UF. Which one sounds the best? I've installed some of the most sophisticated cutting edge lab equipment that exists, far more demanding than any audio equipment could possibly be and I have yet to see even one equipped with special power cables that defy ordinary standards. If a piece of equipment is so poorly designed and manufactured that its performance can be improved by changing its power cable, it can't be much of a product and it does not speak well for the manufacturer.

"They also need to make sure that any possible sources of interference (be they circulating ground currents, RFI injected due to the aerial action of the various loops in the system and so on) have a minimised effect on the signal."

I've heard this nonsense over and over again. RF in speaker wires? Turn off your amplifier and listen to what comes out of your speakers, that's the effect RF has on the wire. Interconnects? It's easy to modify commercial wire to provide increased RF shielding with a bare drain wire and aluminum foil. That's how the manufacturers of well shielded wire do it. (The other method is additional 100% braiding.) Do your wires have foil shields and drain wires? RF shielding of power cables is a very dangerous idea. Unless it is manufactured that way and UL listed, don't try it. The ampacity rating of the wire depends on it being open to the air to dissipate heat from I^2*R losses. Applying shielding invalidates its ampacity rating.

I lived on the infield of a commercial radio station's FM transmitter for many years. I know what RF noise injection is about first hand. The main culprit is direct capacitive and inductive coupling to the preamplifier circuit itself. Unshielded enclosures and vacuum tubes even with shields are vulnerable. The only signal level cables that are vulnerablle are phono cables which are easily modified for improved shielding. The whole thing is a pile of nonsense sold by an industry that invented a cure to a problem that doesn't exist and sold it to a market that has far more enthusiasm and money than knowledge.

If you insist on buying premium price wire, the best choice is Belden. Their prices are reasonable and they are the world standard for high quality wire. Because of their largely industrial customers, they cannot make wild claims like cottage industry audiophile wire makers can or they'd be laughed off the market. Anything else is a lateral or downgrade in quality and performance.
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Old 24th July 2011, 03:11 PM   #40
Soundminded is offline Soundminded  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThorstenL View Post
Hi,



Soldering does not really count as "connector"...

Ciao T
Why not? Soldering is the best and most reliable connection there is short of an exothermic weld because there is a continuous flow of materials. There is no mechanical interface surface to oxidize or become coated with airborne oil or dust. For all practical intents and purposes a soldered connection is perfect. It also will not exhibit any diode detection phenomenon I've observed where splices of different types of wire caused false (nuissance) alarms in detection systems where there was significant RF radiation present.
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