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Old 28th January 2010, 04:27 PM   #51
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It's certainly a good point (& no offense meant above BTW). There are a lot of cottage-industry hi-fi wire companies around selling extremely expensive / fancy looking products. I've no problem with that per se (other than with a lot of the waffle they come out with to flog the things), but I'd love to know how many of their mains wires actually would pass a standard safety rating / test. Not all of them I fear. Doesn't necessarily mean they are unsafe, but it's something to think about.
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Old 28th January 2010, 05:51 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cygnus x1 View Post
So let’s get back on subject, what good quality, inexpensive wire, that sounds good, are you using for speaker cable?
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Originally Posted by mondogenerator View Post
I have always used twin core mains wire of the normal unsophisticated appliance flex type, 13amp or similar. Failing that i just buy cheap zip speaker cord of about 0.75mm≤ to 1.5mm≤ or just look for many strands as possible and rated about 15 - 20 amps. Never noticed a cable sounding better than ordinary cheapo cable. The most i ever spent on cable was £0.80/metre and now i can get the same stuff for £0.19/m i wont be doing that either.
maybe this stuff for a thin wire app:

Browse for Products | CPC

or this if you fancy pushing the boat out a little more, and like the fancy stuff:

Browse for Products | CPC

or this if you like the simple, cheap approach, like me:

Browse for Products | CPC


BTW the £0.19/m stuff is tiny diameter...lol my mistake. my personal fave is the stuff i got free from work. mains 2 core flex, silicone insulation with braided outer. like heat resistant iron cabling only with a purple sheath, and no earth wire. Either that or 'Megger' wire....HT silicone insulation, and a huge amount of very fine strands for a 1mm≤, ultra flexible so wont rattle inside the box OR against it. Only trouble is i have to cut twice as much wire lol
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Last edited by mondogenerator; 28th January 2010 at 05:57 PM.
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Old 28th January 2010, 08:33 PM   #53
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Just a few data points:
- Cat 5 is rated to 30 volts between conductors. The higher voltage ratings you see are for the outer sheathing, where the cable may come into contact with mains wiring in trunks, plenums or outlet boxes

- Cat 5 comes in solid core and stranded. Solid core is used for fixed wiring (in walls and plenums). Stranded is used for patch cords. Use the right variant for the right job.

- For audio use, consider Type 1 instead of Cat 5, especially for in-wall distribution. Two twisted pairs, each pair shielded, then both enclosed in an outer shield. (Type 1 for fixed wiring, Type 2 includes 4 unshielded pairs for phone etc, Type 6 for flexible use, Type 9 for plenums.) For Ethernet use, Cat 5 is usually rated to lengths of 100 meters. Type 1 is rated to 300 meters.
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Old 28th January 2010, 08:35 PM   #54
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One of the tests done on mains rated cables is what fumes come off them when they get very hot under fault conditions, while the general fire risk of all cables controlled and regulated it is usually done under the conditions they are normaly subjected to plus the expected extremes, low voltage/sognal cable in a fire is only carrying signals. Some cables suitable for underground are only allowed 1m in a dwelling, due to fumes in a fire.
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Old 29th January 2010, 02:34 AM   #55
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In North America the typical "Fire Ratings" for "Low Voltage" cable are "CL2" and "CL3". Other ratings exist but are seldom seen. The difference between "CL2" and "CL3" is the the "CL3" has a higher signal voltage spec.
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Old 31st January 2010, 04:54 AM   #56
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Cat5 and Cat6 also have a "Shielded" variant. Called STP (shielded twisted pair). Whereas most are UTP (unshielded).

This extra shield is usually a foil wrap around the twisted pairs, and would be excellent for protecting your cable from acting as an antenna for all that 60Hz hum, and other nasty noise.

Hard to find STP sold though, prolly have to order it online.

I use Cat5 UTP solid core, just because I had a bunch lying around the house. I'm thinking of going to STP when I run out.
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Old 20th January 2013, 07:54 PM   #57
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For what it's worth, I just built a pair of speaker cables out of CAT5 to see (hear) for myself whether they are a good match to my system.

I used 2 conductors for + and 4 conductors for - terminated with gold-plated banana plugs.

The cables I was running up till now were Energy branded, 12 gauge, "high performance". I spent more money on them than I'd care to admit.

The CAT5 cables, compared to the old ones, are like a veil has been lifted from in front of the speakers. All the difference is in the upper mids and highs. I literally had to adjust EQ after the cable swap. The thought of adding a tweeter to the EL70s is now sort of funny to me. Also, bass has not been affected, as far as I can tell.

I suspect that my new tube amp (on the way) will like these cables, too.

Last edited by cogitech; 20th January 2013 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 20th January 2013, 08:04 PM   #58
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Logically, I don't know why I ever thought 12 gauge wire was a good idea. The interconnect wire from the binding posts to the drivers is maybe 18 gauge (at most), and I doubt the wire from the OPT to the terminals in my amp is much bigger, so the advantage of a 12 gauge speaker wire is beyond questionable, really. Silly of me to have spent the money.
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Old 20th January 2013, 08:09 PM   #59
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I rather think that depends on the length of the run, loop resistance and acceptable voltage-drop. It's only a waste if it significantly exceeds requirements.
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Old 20th January 2013, 08:23 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottmoose View Post
I rather think that depends on the length of the run, loop resistance and acceptable voltage-drop. It's only a waste if it significantly exceeds requirements.
Distance ~ 11.5 ft. (23 ft. loop)
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