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Old 18th May 2009, 03:21 PM   #1
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Default cheap cat5e cable for speaker cable

Just want to let folks know that there's a good deal on 1000 ft. cat5e (ethernet) cable ($60 free shipping):
http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?inv...2&CJPID=552179

The cheapest I've seen was around $12 for 100-ft from monoprice. This is quite a bit cheaper, if you can use the 1000-ft.

There are several versions of diy cat5e speaker cables around.
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Old 19th May 2009, 01:06 AM   #2
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Why would you use that? Why not some 14 or 16 gauge stranded copper?
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Old 19th May 2009, 02:01 AM   #3
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by larryfff
Why would you use that? Why not some 14 or 16 gauge stranded copper?

If you have to ask, you might not understand - there are more than a few us, having recovered from the vertigo/nausea & sticker shock of the interconnect / speaker wire merry-go-round, for whom the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of CAT5E cabling is a welcome relief. This can particularly be the case with higher efficiency full-range speaker systems.

Hell, there are more than a few folks using magnet wire that makes a single strand of #24 CAT5 wire look like cab-tire.

About 10yrs ago, when I was taking my first tentative steps outside the brain-washed "comfort-zone" of mainstream audio manufactures ( in my case Linn) telling me what products I needed to periodically upgrade to support their corporate profit structure, one of the first changes I made was to trash my K-400 speaker cable (bi-wire for Keilidh) for a Chris Van Haus DIY braided CAT5 configuration. As the saying goes, "I never looked back". My current speakers are all single driver systems (Fostex / Hemp Acoustics/ Mark Audio), and use anything from a single to four strands of CAT5 per pole.
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Old 19th May 2009, 04:11 AM   #4
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I followed the link. They make no claim to applications, so I doubt if it is plenem or riser grade. That would almost guarantee that the wire insulation is PVC as is the jacket. However, blue jackets normally indicate a high temperature cable, so I'd make a call before I bought a box.

That said, we all know that PVC is bad and teflon or FEP is good, but why? Exactly what is the mechanism and is it really important at audio frequencies?

Bob
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Old 19th May 2009, 04:39 AM   #5
bigdh31 is offline bigdh31  United States
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I have used and like cat5 for speaker cable. I found another cheap speaker wire I like a little better. It is the golden helix stuff Mapleshade sells. It is $80 for a 8 foot pair.
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Old 19th May 2009, 04:18 PM   #6
chrisb is offline chrisb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally posted by bigdh31
I have used and like cat5 for speaker cable. I found another cheap speaker wire I like a little better. It is the golden helix stuff Mapleshade sells. It is $80 for a 8 foot pair.

No doubt the Mapleshade is a fine product, and $5 per lineal foot is certainly not stupidly expensive, but I'd not exactly consider it "cheap" , either.
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Old 19th May 2009, 08:42 PM   #7
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Someone gave me almost 700ft of white CAT3 (same 4 twisted pairs of 24AWG as CAT5). It's plenum rated, but has the PVC(?) insulation covered by a very thin layer of Teflon. My plan is to braid 4 runs of this to get 12AWG speaker cables. (So keep a lookout on craigslist, etc. to stretch that DIY dollar.)

Some of the surplus CAT5 I've seen has a weak ("powdery") outer housing that doesn't seem very durable, but others have appeared better.
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