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decent speaker wire for not-so-great system
decent speaker wire for not-so-great system
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Old 18th August 2001, 02:51 AM   #1
zach is offline zach
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Join Date: Aug 2001
I am almost done with my first DIY speakers (swan 305, seas mp14rcy, vifa ds27tg35) and they are turning out nively, I think. My elevtronics are VERY limited (all Onkyo) and being a 17-year old going into college it might be a while before I am able tp upgrade them. Hey, I'm a beginner. My question is what will I gain by upgrading my cables and interconnects when the speakers are done. (now I'm using 12 ga monster cable and the interconnects that come in the box when you buy some new cheesy consumer audio piece from like circuit city). Is it going to make a difference to upgrade and if so what should I go to within a budget? Thanks.
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Old 18th August 2001, 03:31 AM   #2
Super is offline Super  United States
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There's no doubt that getting better interconnects and wire will make a HUGE improvement. (And trust me, I'm only 15.) If you really are on a budget, but still want some great cables and interconnects, then go the DIY way. I made the DIY Cat5 cables by Chris VenHaus, and they sounded pretty dang good for the price. These can be found here: http://www.geocities.com/venhaus1/diycatfivecables.html
These cables can rival several middle to high end cables costing MUCH more. I made a pair for the mains in my HT, and when my Dad walked in, he said "what did you buy without me?" If he could hear the difference over the Monster, well, that shows you how significant a change it was.

I currently use the diy silver interconnects which can also be found on his sight. They're not the cheapest out there, but they're still considerably less than most of the commercial ones, and I found that they beat or equaled all of the other interconnects I've tried thus far.

If you'd like another great, inexpensive interconnect (how about 8 bucks if you buy in bulk?!) then try this link: http://www.enjoythemusic.com/etmcable.htm

It's nearly a true 75 ohm cable, so it can double as a component video cable as well.

There aren't too many good, cheap interconnects out there, but they can play one of the most important roles in any system. You can also try taking three twisted pairs of Cat-5 cable, and use the first pair as the center conductor, and the other two as the ground. This yielded satisfactory results, it can be compared to some of the lesser Kimber models. And the price was right (you can spend 10 bucks on RCA plugs, and use the leftover wire from the speaker cables!)

If you'd like some cheap, good, commercial speaker wire, the lower Kimber series may be up your alley, but I think that for a few hours work, the Cat-5 cables beat these models by a longshot. Interconnects, unfortunately, arent as forgiving in my opinion, but either of those DIY models, may be the way to go if you're on a budget. And if you opt to make a good diy (silver or otherwise) interconnect now, you can more than likely carry it over when you upgrade your equipment. By doing it yourself, even making the silver interconnects can cost you less than $300 for your entire system. Will it be the best? Maybe, maybe not. But playing around with interconnects costing hundreds a piece on a tight budget isnt much of an option, and it will undoubtedly surpass what you have right now. Good luck.


[Edited by Super on 08-17-2001 at 10:38 PM]
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Old 20th August 2001, 01:44 AM   #3
GRollins is offline GRollins  United States
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Columbia, SC
For simplicity and low cost, don't overlook simple twisted pair using small (say, 28-30 ga.) single-strand copper or silver wire.
People smirk because it doesn't take forever to make and doesn't involve the use of special braiding patterns known only to Mothers-Who-Braid-Their-Daughters'-Hair.
Use the best quality (metal purity, insulation, monocrystal, etc.) you can afford...but note that 30 ga. wire just isn't that expensive, so it's great for budget-minded people (and embarassing to those who spend large amounts of money on interconnects).
Sound quality is excellent.


P.S.: It's a little known fact that those who infringe on the Mothers Guild Braiding Patterns find themselves inexplicably cursed with yukky food at mealtimes. In extreme cases, repeat offenders have been forced to eat lima beans pureed in a blender with spinach and boiled okra.
It doesn't pay to mess with the Mothers Guild...
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Old 21st August 2001, 02:52 AM   #4
zach is offline zach
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Thanks for the tips. I think I'll try the braided cables, as I don't much mind spinach, okra, and lima beans. yum yum
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Old 16th September 2001, 02:54 AM   #5
fishball79 is offline fishball79  Singapore
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I reccomend jon risch's 89259 speaker cable recipe. I have braided some Belden 1585a (FEP insulated) and it did not sound as good as 89259 on my system. I also feel that high gauge braided cat 5 cables are extremely high in capacitance and would be a slower sounding cable.
C h r i s
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Old 16th September 2001, 07:44 PM   #6
Super is offline Super  United States
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As far as braided cables go, many believe that teflon is the best material for the dialectric. Also, the cables capacitance is rather high, and is basically a non-factor in terms of sonic performance. There are many high end speaker cable designs, which offer outstanding performance, and have high capacitance as well, i.e Kimber and Goertz. The only problem you may have with a high capacitance cable is the possibility of your amplifier oscillating, but this is very unlikely, especially with most modern amplifiers. If this does happen, this can sometimes be avoided by using as short a length of cable as possible.

Also, it isn't absolutely necessary to use the 1585A cable, any high quality Cat-5 will suffice, but I found the results to be better when using Plenum-rated Cat-5.

[Edited by Super on 09-16-2001 at 02:48 PM]
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