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Old 12th April 2008, 08:50 PM   #1
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Default Favorite speaker wire?

What is your favorite speaker wire?
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Old 12th April 2008, 09:28 PM   #2
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Well, keep in mind that amplifiers & drivers have caused more problems than wire ever has (especially if mis-matched) Same goes for connections.

Assuming you don't want the wire to do anything to the components it attaches together, then solid core, 14AWG or better is probably about as good as you're likely to get. If you can't do solid core for whatever reason, stranded of as heavy a gauge as possible does fine. If you actively want it to do something, it entirely depends on your system & what you're wanting to achieve.
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Old 12th April 2008, 09:56 PM   #3
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Speaker wire is speaker/amp dependent. It is part of a system. Pure copper, solid core, and thin is what i find works best in most of my systems, but for higher current applications i'll use multiples. For my mains (usually a Fostex, most often an FE127eN, with an SE tube amp) i have been using single strands of cyro-treated Cat 5 (i can't tell you whether the cryo makes a big difference) ie 24g solid core high purity copper, but lately have been using some thin film copper ribbon (~30g thick x 20mm wide). For my woofers which are 5-10 dB less efficient i'll use 4-8x as much cat 5. This is all in keeping with keeping my system frugal-phile(tm) approved, but have vanquished much more expensive contenders.

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Old 12th April 2008, 09:59 PM   #4
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I like the orange kind from Home Depot.

in fact, i take the jacket off and use it in power supply wiring as well.
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Old 12th April 2008, 10:11 PM   #5
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Keeping in mind that this is the "Full Range" forum, so I presusme that you are not trying to push 500 watts to you speakers....

16ga zip cord is the standard that I use to judge any cable. This is the best general purpose cable. A good variety is available in the USA from Wal-Mart. They sell it in the automotive audio section. One of the popular variations on this theme is the orange jacket extension cord from HD. Another is the white jacketed wire sold for low-voltage garden lighting.

If you are using SS, T-amps or low-Z tubes and low-Q drivers, thin wire cables might work better. Single pairs of Cat5 work well. The ultimate is a single pair of 30ga magnet wire (Radio Shack).

What am I running? Whatever I happen to be testing at the moment. I have a pair of proprietary cables on my Lowther MLTL's that I think are star-wound 4-wire solid 16ga. My FE206E (not a misprint) BR's have 4-pair cross-connected stranded CAT5. My HT has 16ga zip cord. My demo cables are 4-wire star-wound CAT5.

Take your pick.

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Old 13th April 2008, 12:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Brines
Keeping in mind that this is the "Full Range" forum, so I One of the popular variations on this theme is the orange jacket extension cord from HD.
There's some company out there which sells a cable in which a battery is used to polarize the (vinyl?) insulation.

Perhaps much the same effect could be realized with the orange HD cable and a 9V bunny-battery connected to the green conductor in the HD cable.

I was over at a real audiophile's house in which the spkr cables were elevated off the floor by about 5" with some very expensive audio-pillars. I guess that the tongue-n-groove oak flooring was really screwing up his audio experience. Were I 20 years younger I would probably trip over the darn things getting the baby's bottle at 2:00 a.m.
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Old 13th April 2008, 01:14 AM   #7
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Cardas makes a large gauge wire that while not cheap is much cheaper than commercial "high end" cables. It is a Teflon jacketed 6N copper multi-strand litz design drawn between ceramic rollers in a nitrogen atmosphere and enameled to prevent oxidation.

Look under Chassis wire at Michael Percy Audio. The 9.5 AWG is $3.95/foot (so an 8 foot stereo pair would be $126.40). Lower prices for smaller gauges.

Cardas also makes a nice rhodium plated lug (I like lugs better than bananas because of lower total contact resistance).

For better systems, a generously oversized cable seems to improve sound quality beyond any clear electrical engineering reason.
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Old 13th April 2008, 02:35 AM   #8
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I think I will split the dirrerence and use two strands each of plenum rated CAT 5 for + and - in my new speakers. Quite a bargain at Home Depot. Just curious as to what everyone else used.
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Old 13th April 2008, 04:00 AM   #9
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Just be careful using cat5 with some amps, the capacitance of the closely twisted conductors makes a good capacitor which can make the amp take off and go PFFFFT. Especially if you braid multiples into a huge rope.

I'm using a truly hideous combination of brown packing tape, old telephone wire and dust bunnies.
Still 24AWG solid copper but the twist rate is only 2 or 3 per foot. I untwisted it and stuck it between two bits of tape to keep the conductors an inch apart. The dust bunnies are a recent addition.

For high power easy low inductance cables get a 4 core cable and wire as follows:
+ -
- +

Some use two pieces of RG59, inner of one and screen of the other in parallel. IMHO only worth the effort if you got a bunch of it for free.
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Old 13th April 2008, 04:10 AM   #10
hermanv is offline hermanv  United States
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Quote:
Originally posted by G
I think I will split the dirrerence and use two strands each of plenum rated CAT 5 for + and - in my new speakers. Quite a bargain at Home Depot. Just curious as to what everyone else used.
Two strands of 24 gauge equals one strand of 21 gauge, pretty small for a speaker cable.
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