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Power and Speaker cables
Power and Speaker cables
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Old 3rd January 2012, 03:35 AM   #1
brucetassin is offline brucetassin  United States
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Default Power and Speaker cables

I want to understand as much as possible.
I was reading on another forum that power and speaker cables make a big difference in the sound of a system.
I went to this site and looked at the prices of cables. Is this for real? Can cables make that much difference? Is the price justified?

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Old 3rd January 2012, 03:39 AM   #2
TonyTecson is offline TonyTecson  Philippines
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Power and Speaker cables
i wonder if guys like Bill Gates, Walton and the other billionaires use these kinds of cables......
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Old 3rd January 2012, 03:53 AM   #3
GloBug is offline GloBug  Canada
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You must be hanging out at Audio Asylum.

As with most things, there might be a grain of truth, but for the most part I doubt you will get any gain paying $800 for a cable.

Nobody to date has been able to prove or even explain what's with these midas cables.

Now I won't write it completely off, because I have not tested them all myself.
I also think material selection can have some effect, good or bad, but not to that extreme.

You could spend that money elsewhere and hear tangible improvements.

Where does it end? Those guys even go on and on about wall outlets. Fine, except some of the outlets they are talking about were made by taking apart a $2 walmart power strip and mounting the outlets onto a piece of wood.

Take this one for example, at least they dropped the price to $69, it was a couple hundred last month.

Buyer beware, fool and his money bla bla blah.

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Old 3rd January 2012, 05:08 AM   #4
HollowState is offline HollowState  United States
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Originally Posted by brucetassin View Post
I was reading on another forum that power and speaker cables make a big difference in the sound of a system.
I think the reality of this depends on at least three things. The kind of music you listen to. The quality and level of tuning in your system setup. And how sensitive you are to subtle changes in your system. Rock, rap, pop and similar music will not lend itself to the benefits of high end accessories. Mostly because it's not recorded well enough. Classical, vocals and specialty recordings fair much better.

As a long time member of the New Jersey Audio Society, I've had the opportunity to hear many refined systems in member's homes. Some were modest, and others more exotic and expensive. Often we do comparisons of various things like interconnects, power cords, speaker cables and isolation devices as well as the usual active items. (amps, dacs etc.) I can honestly say that on most decent systems I can hear a difference between some cables and, to a lesser extent, power cords. Interconnects, definitely yes.

But this was not always the case for me. Years ago I didn't hear the subtleties that I do now. Not because my hearing has improved, (at 68 it's surely less then it was at 30) but my brain has learned what to listen for and discern. And I'm still not as golden-eared as many of the other members. I remember reading one audio critic saying that anything more then twelve gauge zip cord for speaker cable was a waste of money. Today I know this to be dead wrong because I know what I hear.

Does this justify spending thousands on cables? Not to me it doesn't. I can't, and wouldn't if I could. My ego doesn't need them. But I guess some audiophools do, and so there is a market. The funny thing is this, I know a lot of audiophiles that use cable elevators. Those little stands under the speaker cables that keep them up off the floor. They say they make a difference, but I haven't gotten that far. Hope I never do.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 05:29 AM   #5
soren5 is offline soren5  Denmark
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I say, let the test speak for itself:

ABX Double Blind Tests: Interconnects and Wires


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Old 3rd January 2012, 05:49 AM   #6
benb is offline benb  United States
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Consider the length of these cables. Consider the length of electrical conductors between the plug in the wall that these cables plug into and the pole pig that that converts electricity from the high voltage transmission line to 120 volts. If there's a problem with "ordinary" wire, these power cables fix less than ten percent of it.

I say eliminate power cables altogether. Remove the plug from the wall, pull out the wall wiring and connect it straight into your monoblocks.

Yes, cable CAN make a noticeable difference in sound, if it has too much inductance, capacitance, and/or resistance. High-dollar cables sometimes have one or more of these characteristics, thus "proving" that they are "improving" the sound.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 09:26 AM   #7
v4lve lover is offline v4lve lover  Netherlands
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Power and Speaker cables
some simple things you should keep in mind .

* there is nothing wrong whit copper .
* any copper used in cables is OFC
*stranded wire is supperior to solid core wire . althrough the skin effect does not occur at the frequencies where talking about

* good shielding and plugs of good quality is the key .

* 800 is for some is a months salary

* avoid anything whit brandnames on them . if you want good cables get what the PA guys are using XLR interconnects 20 meters long whit nearly
no hum .

* BNC is also exelent

* if your thinking of buying super expensive cables . think about the things you could do whit that money .

* speaker cables made of car battery wire and some heatschrink will outperform ANY brand wire . as NO ONE will put that much copper in their products . its way to expensive they prefer to get as cheap materials as they can and spend the rest on the box .

* use your common sense . this is complete BULL amplification topology matters a great deal more than what wire you use for your power cable .

* the greatest improvement must be had whit adding a DC blocker to your amplifier that is the only thing that makes sense as theres normally a significant amount of DC on the power lines

feel free to add more . course ive had it whit the ignorant species of man .
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Old 3rd January 2012, 11:18 AM   #8
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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My view on this is that if equipment is fussy about cables then this probably means that the equipment has design flaws. For example, poor filtering can mean RF picked up on mains or speaker cables finds its way in. High output impedance in a source can have trouble driving a long interconnect, with possibly non-linear dielectric insulation - a low output impedance can drive any cable.

Some (but of course not all) so-called 'high end' equipment has these design flaws so may be fussy about cables. Strangely, some expensive cables have poorer behaviour at the basic requirements of screening etc. so can cause problems with RF pickup which a bog-standard cheap (but well-engineered) cable can solve.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 05:10 PM   #9
Evenharmonics is offline Evenharmonics  United States
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Originally Posted by brucetassin View Post
I was reading on another forum that power and speaker cables make a big difference in the sound of a system.
You want to stay away from forums like that. There's a high chance that you will be misguided and end up wasting your money.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 05:36 PM   #10
Zeta4 is offline Zeta4  United Kingdom
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I have a friend who has been making speaker and interconnect cables for some
years quite succesfully. I belive he tries to buld them to sound engineering
principles however that is not the point.

One thing he is continually being told by some prospective dealers (and some customers)
is that his products "are not expensive enough" so they cant be any good.
Not enough profit in other words.
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