Building my first xovers...no clue what to choose for wire - diyAudio
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Old 8th March 2015, 07:53 PM   #1
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Default Building my first xovers...no clue what to choose for wire

I'm building the Markwart networks for my Altec 604-8Gs and the design specs out a Vampire cable that has long been out of production and is not readily available in the market (18g CCC, if you're curious). I'm all too familiar with the controversy that surrounds wire and cable selection, but is there a wire out there that tends to get the nod with consistent regularity from you DIY speaker builders?

thanks,
Michael
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Old 9th March 2015, 10:37 AM   #2
system7 is online now system7  United Kingdom
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I can never hear any difference with any adequate cables. Most decent stuff has an electrical rating above 5A, like lighting wire. Resistance is really negligable.

A more practical consideration is robustness and flexibility and whether you can fit two or three to the same solder tag.

This is middle of the range at 15A, 42 x 0.2mm copper and good enough inside the cabinet and for speaker runs IMO:
HD Speaker Cable 20 m Drum White | Maplin

Any thicker would be hard to work with. I use 20A tinned copper fuse wire for hook ups, and wooden mounting with tagstrip rather than metal plane PCBs which can interact with coils. Interaction is measurable and audible with the 1mH coil below!

Some good ideas here:
Placement of coils in crossover networks
Tips and ideas Copyright 2012-14
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Simple Crossover.jpg (112.2 KB, 73 views)
File Type: jpg Crossover Components system7.jpg (94.9 KB, 72 views)
File Type: jpg Coil Interaction 1mH 0.2mH 3.3uF.jpg (99.7 KB, 73 views)
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Old 9th March 2015, 01:43 PM   #3
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pretty much use this exclusively throughout everything I do:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Van-Damme-Pr.../dp/B0030BXCDI

relatively low cost, OFC and good compromise of LCR - basically it won't add or take anything from the sound, so why pay more?
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Old 9th March 2015, 01:55 PM   #4
Lojzek is offline Lojzek  Croatia
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Hi Michael,

what controversy, wire is wire. They produce neither linear nor non-linear
distortion. Multistranded 13,14,15AWG is practical and decent enough even
for longer distances.
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Old 10th March 2015, 01:45 AM   #5
system7 is online now system7  United Kingdom
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Over the years, we have looked at most components in Audio at this forum. We've measured stuff and estimated little parasitic effects that might spoil the sound.

Here's some surprises:

There is no reason to think that cheap wirewound resistors are poor performers, especially with overrated 10W types. They just don't get hot and change value, and the inductance is way lower than any tweeter that I can think of.

Polypropylene (MKP) capacitors just plain work well, and there's little point in buying huge 630V and 1000V types. 250V cheapies will do.

Bass ferrite coils are obviously a bit of a compromise. There are saturation non-linearities involved. Ideally we'd use air coils. But since most speakers use ferrite magnets, it's not going to be 100% improvement and saturation will only kick in at high levels.

Cables, largely, are cables. There are some interwoven Litz Wire types that is really just like wiring 10 in parallel. I can do impedance calculations on cables, and I don't see any significant effects. The theory says that characteristic impedance of cables is around 100-150 ohms, whereas speakers are mostly around 8-15 ohms, but it's hardly significant at Audio frequencies, especially since amplifiers have an output Zobel to protect them from radio frequency effects and instabilities.

Careful right-angled crossover layout of coils is just a good thing to do IMO. But mainly I like to keep all the connections tight and solid. Preferably hard soldered or tightly crimped. This avoids fuzziness in the sound. I often wonder if the new exotic cables just sound better because they are fresh metal. Oxidisation is bad for connections.

On the left is the sort of banana plug I like. On the right is the sleeved sort that is a bit undefined. They go into a connection block, which again I like to hard solder to the internal wiring. Nuts and bolts come loose.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg QED Banana plug Good.JPG (31.1 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg Banana Plug Sleeved.JPG (14.9 KB, 39 views)
File Type: jpg Banana Plug Connector.JPG (15.9 KB, 10 views)

Last edited by system7; 10th March 2015 at 02:02 AM.
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