litz inductor wire for speaker wire.

2 things: First I apologize if this has been discussed in a previous thread, could not find it on a search.
Second, this question is directed to the people who believe that different wire makes a difference to the sound ( I know it does), my own ears don't lie to me when doing comparisons.

On to my questions:

I currently have laying around different values of 14 gauge litz varnished inductor wire from Solen that were intended for old speaker projects that never made it to the inside of a cabinet.

It has been said (advertised) that there are many advantages to this type of wire in an inductor, skin effect etc...

Aside from the insulation factor (a lack of), is there any reason that this wire wouldn't make an excellent speaker wire? (Once unravelled from it's coil form of course).

Interested in all of your thoughts on this.
 
fazman said:
Aside from the insulation factor (a lack of), is there any reason that this wire wouldn't make an excellent speaker wire?

No, not really. Well, expense, but that hasn't stopped anyone... at least, anyone out to make a buck.

Relatively? Say compared to stranded 18AWG twin-lead with PVC insulation (aka "zip cord")? Nope, no difference.
It's a fraggin' speaker.
A 100W 40-meter transmitter wouldn't notice the difference.

Tim
 

soongsc

Member
2005-03-26 2:31 pm
Taiwan
fazman said:
On to my questions:


It has been said (advertised) that there are many advantages to this type of wire in an inductor, skin effect etc...

Aside from the insulation factor (a lack of), is there any reason that this wire wouldn't make an excellent speaker wire? (Once unravelled from it's coil form of course).

Interested in all of your thoughts on this.


I asked someone that does speaker mods once, he indicated litz wires mixes the imaging up. Technically I think its possible because energy differences in each of the individual strands do not get redistributed until the cable end where they com together again. But I would also like to find out.

Let us know what you think if you do make them speaker cables.
 
fazman said:
Aside from the insulation factor (a lack of), is there any reason that this wire wouldn't make an excellent speaker wire? (Once unravelled from it's coil form of course).

I've been wondering the same thing ever since I heard of people using copper foil from an inductor as speaker cabling. See http://www.audiosold.com/articles/specables.htm.

I wouldn't try this with foil, because it's uninsulated therefore subject to shorting. It would also be highly sensitive to RFI (it's virtually an antenna.) But the Solen Hepta-Litz wires are electrically insulated and the Litz construction should provide good RFI shielding.

I have a 12ga Solen Hepta-Litz (7x22ga) that I will try one day as speaker wire. I preferred the sound of the Hepta-Litz inductor compared to a 12ga Goertz Alpha-Core when I was playing around with crossover mods.
 
Re: Re: litz inductor wire for speaker wire.

Sch3mat1c said:


No, not really. Well, expense, but that hasn't stopped anyone... at least, anyone out to make a buck.

Relatively? Say compared to stranded 18AWG twin-lead with PVC insulation (aka "zip cord")? Nope, no difference.
It's a fraggin' speaker.
A 100W 40-meter transmitter wouldn't notice the difference.

Tim

So much for posting who I had intended to respond to this thread.:rolleyes:
Your point is duely noted thank you.

As for the other responses: I think I may very well try it out. As for the RFI factor, would that not be related to how the positive and negative leads interact with each other and not so much what the one lead does on it's own (twist or otherwise)? As far as I know the litz configuration does help in reducing the skin effect but I'm not certain about it's effect on RFI.

This is the part that I'm not sure of - how to get the pos. and neg. leads to act with one another. Is it a good idea to twist them or braid them together even though it is only a varnish that is protecting the bare copper. The thought of looping 20 ft. of wire through a sleeve of some sort doesn't impress me much, I have better things to do than that.

Anyone with some suggestions on what you could do here?
Also, would doubling up the runs for a 20 ft length help?
I probably have enough to do it.
 
Re: Re: Re: litz inductor wire for speaker wire.

fazman said:


So much for posting who I had intended to respond to this thread.:rolleyes:

Perhaps you should ask the target individual to respond in the subject line or text, rather than hope they do.

fazman said:
As for the RFI factor, would that not be related to how the positive and negative leads interact with each other and not so much what the one lead does on it's own (twist or otherwise)? As far as I know the litz configuration does help in reducing the skin effect but I'm not certain about it's effect on RFI.

This is the part that I'm not sure of - how to get the pos. and neg. leads to act with one another. Is it a good idea to twist them or braid them together even though it is only a varnish that is protecting the bare copper. The thought of looping 20 ft. of wire through a sleeve of some sort doesn't impress me much, I have better things to do than that.

I know of two main reasons for using litz. The first is flexibility.

The second is the reduction of skin effect based resistive losses which occur at rather high frequencies.

At audio frequencies, the litz will still have it's internal inductance of 15 nH per foot. To use a litz pair for a speaker, the overall inductance will still follow the terman equation...with the exception of the delta times mu part. For a typical zip, the internal inductance is about 18% of the total L, total L being about .2 uH per foot. Litz wire does not re-distribute the current as a function of frequency until much higher frequencies, so I believe the 15 nH per foot drop will be suppressed until the higher frequencies..

The bulk of the inductance will be exactly like a pair of #14 wires. The better resistance vs freq of the litz might do something for low impedance mids and tweets.

The varnish as an insulator is scary. Not very abrasion resistant.

Litz, by design, is made to allow the current to distribute very uniformly within the wire, so re-distribution of energy is not an issue.

RFI sensitivity is entirely based on the wire to wire spacing and twist..closer is better, as is a reasonable twist. In this respect, it is no different from regular #14.

Cheers, John
 
Re: Re: Re: Re: litz inductor wire for speaker wire.

jneutron said:




RFI sensitivity is entirely based on the wire to wire spacing and twist..closer is better, as is a reasonable twist. In this respect, it is no different from regular #14.

Cheers, John


Thanks John.
Do you think there would be a problem in twisting the pos and neg conductors together when there is only a varnish to protect them?
Would I have to pay attention to the direction of the litz from one conductor to another?
 
Well, I just finished one length of the 14 gauge litz wire in a twisted configuration and compared it to the 12 gauge stranded Home depot wire I was using.
I don't know technically what is happening but what a difference in the type of sound I'm hearing.
At first I thought the highs were a bit rolled off but after more listening I realized that all the highs were there just not screaming like the stranded wire.
I also noticed that these new litz wires are not as loud as the other one as there is a very slight drop in output.

Wonder if this drop in output and sweeter highs has something to do with inductance?

Definitely worth trying out to see if it works in your own system.
 
I asked someone that does speaker mods once, he indicated litz wires mixes the imaging up. Technically I think its possible because energy differences in each of the individual strands do not get redistributed until the cable end where they com together again. But I would also like to find out.

I know this is an old thread. But after reading that?

Its just the opposite. Stranded wire that is not insulated like litz (each fine strand insulated from the other) causes the flowing electrons to leap randomly from strand to strand down the wire. That effect homogenizes the signal, and that is what does mix the image up. Typical wire caused a fuzziness to the sound that you do not know is there until you hear it gone.

In contrast. Litz allows for a very accurate transfer and pin point imaging if your system will allow for it. That means all the audio line (speakers wires and interconnects) would need to be litz to achieve this. Solid core can work on short connections inside the electronics where you find litz too hard to implement.

Back in the day I had a high end integrated amp with a phono input. It had only about two inches of thin stranded wire from the input RCA jacks to the board. That weak signal was amplified many times higher for a phono cartridge. When I replaced these short wires with thin litz? The high end buzziness (often times attributed to solid state) was removed. At first it can make the higher frequency instruments sound dull in comparison because that high-end frazzle is removed by the litz. Cymbals and drums take on a much more realistic sound. That is, if your entire audio chain is devoid of any typical uninsulated stranded wire throughout.

Just could not leave that rest.

Loving litz, GeneZ
 
Now, now, the OP only asked for comments from people who already agree with him!

As I understand it, Litz wire has advantages for inductors in the 100kHz to low MHz range - hence used in some AM radio receivers. Very thick Litz wire might have some benefits for long cables carrying very high power audio at the upper end (10's of kHz). In both cases it has lower resistance than comparable single strand wire.

It is nice to know that removing 2 inches of stranded wire (out of probably 10's-100's of metres in the entire recording/replay chain) has such a big effect. How many microphone cables are made with solid or Litz wire? Not many, I would guess.
 
I would like to know what mechanism causes the electrons to jump from wire to wire and thus homogenizes the signal! As electons dont move far or very fast, I'd have thought the E and H fields would be pretty much homogenizes anyway!

Its commonly called called the skin effect. Nikolas Tesla invented true Litz. Electrons do not move that fast? Maybe we are thinking in different definition of terms? Electricity moves very fast. Electrons do not move far? Yes, when there is nothing there to conduct them. Please explain. You mean to say if you have a wire 900 feet long? It will only travel 25 feet down the wire? What you said makes no sense to me.

If you think about it? What is to keep the electrons staying on one strand within an entire wire, if it makes direct contact with another bare strand right next to it? How do you think the electrons move from the end of a cable to the RCA jack? To the binding post? I do not understand your reasoning.

I took the time and some money to have litz configured cables and speaker wires (true litz) and when done, heard a definite change for the better of the music. I can't argue with that. You might. But you have not heard it. I learned this from an audio engineer who designed speakers and made a living improving electronics by modifications.

I have a very modest system. Not very expensive at all. Not some super expensive system that often times will include litz in the audio chain. Ever wonder why?

SoundStage! - Audio Research Corporation Factory Tour (10/2001)

Please.. Keep an open mind. All I hear right now is slamming doors.
 
Now, now, the OP only asked for comments from people who already agree with him!

As I understand it, Litz wire has advantages for inductors in the 100kHz to low MHz range - hence used in some AM radio receivers. Very thick Litz wire might have some benefits for long cables carrying very high power audio at the upper end (10's of kHz). In both cases it has lower resistance than comparable single strand wire.

It is nice to know that removing 2 inches of stranded wire (out of probably 10's-100's of metres in the entire recording/replay chain) has such a big effect. How many microphone cables are made with solid or Litz wire? Not many, I would guess.

That was for the phono inputs. A very weak signal that is amplified many many times! You ask me to explain it? How? I simply replaced the standard wiring with thin litz. Heard it instantly. I guess if one's system is not very revealing it will make little difference, so why bother?

I might add. The tone arm cables were also litz. And the Grado tone arm came wired with litz. Ever consider that maybe some folks out there can hear a big difference, and others can not? I sure could. The high quality Grado tone arm came factory wired with litz, including the head shells.

I know I am not alone. And, I have also learned over the years that some folks are hyper cynical to their own loss of finding audio pleasure. I will not argue for long with those who only question continuously but never find out for themselves. Audio is for those with a pioneer spirit of sorts. Exploring and learning from mistakes, and benefiting from successes. Others just want to sit on their ears and only find reason to be critical.

Don't ask for additional technical reasons when already enough has been given, and their is an audible improvement many can witness to for themselves.
 
No, I don't ask you to explain anything. Your universe and mine must use different laws of physics, so any explanation would not be valid over here.

If you do a Google search you will see that a good number of hi-end manufacturers of cables and electronics will use litz. Its harder to work with, so there must be a good reason to go the extra mile in this regard.

On certain systems one may hear no difference. That does not mean its good that way. It just means that transparency is not its strong point.

I own a hybrid tube integrated amp that I have in mothballs because its more than I need for my present use. It has that great tube sound, but I can hear the effect of the stranded wire that another person would accept as normal. One day I will re-wire it and find out what a difference it will make. For it will remove a certain distortion that stranded wire introduces to the music. This distortion makes you aware that its electronically reproduced. When heard its expected almost universally. Remove that distortion with a simple wire change? And, you can never go back.

If you can hear it. I can. And, so can others. But, apparently, not all.
 
If you do a Google search you will see that a good number of hi-end manufacturers of cables and electronics will use litz. Its harder to work with, so there must be a good reason to go the extra mile in this regard.

Yes, but that reason may not have to do with technology or actual (as opposed to imagined) sonic improvements.
 
Yes, but that reason may not have to do with technology or actual (as opposed to imagined) sonic improvements.

Who am I trying to convince here? Why? I have rewired three different sets of speakers. Rewired an integrated amp. And, and have all my interconnects and speaker wires in litz. Just because I imagine something.. That's a lot of work for something imagined.

I am a musician. Not that that matters, but.. I know I can hear a noticeable difference, and know what real instruments sound like under various different environments. One room can make an instrument sound very different in another. One must know what to listen for in that respect.

Now? If someone has a system that is not capable of revealing greater realism and transparency? Then, just don't bother. Why should you? But, why try and tell another who can hear a difference that its only his imagination? I used to sell and audition high end equipment of its day. The salesmen usually could instantly detect differences without having to first read data sheets. We usually read the sheets afyer hearing a better sound and wanted to know why it was happening. But, we did not usually read the sheets first. For we knew that if we can not hear a difference? Were we to play the power of suggestion with audio savvy customers? I know some salesmen will try the power of suggestion to gullible customers. But, its not always that way. Some people can really hear when there is a difference.

One can not prove to someone before hand something that requires they try and find out for them self. You are like someone demanding that I prove a substance is sweet to taste solely with data. Why bother? Just taste it.

If you do not seek improving your system's ability for a step closer to reproducing a more accurate sound? I am not here to convince you if you are not willing to find out for yourself. I am simply wanting to share for the benefit for the seeker who wants to improve his audio system, and is confident enough to know he can detect an audible difference.

I remember hos when I first learned about tube sound. It was suggested to me by a man who used to be an engineer for Fisher. Jack Dodgson. He handed me a paper at work explaining how tubes can sound superior to solid state. That was around 1970. I located some used equipment and tried tubes. I heard a difference and liked it very much. Then I studied the data about odd harmonic distortion because I wanted to know why they sounded better to me. But? Would the data alone have convinced me? It would have only been a marketing ploy to me. I needed to hear for myself. Our ears are the real jury, not the arguments for something that involves what we can sense for ourselves. Ironically, someone I knew who sold audio equipment, tried using data to prove to me that solid state sounds better than tubes. Data means nothing when its something you should be able to detect for oneself.

Try litz, and you can't detect a difference? It could be your brain/ears. It could be the limitations of your system. But, others have definitely heard a very beneficial difference. One that they know is so good that they just might want to let others know about it, in spite of the perennial cynic amongst us who will not like anything that shows promise.

For them? Don't listen. They never do anyway. ;-)
 
I design PCB's for a living and have done for over 25 years, and with the advent of ever increasing signal speeds I am going through a phase of re-education regarding how signal travel down wave guides (or bits of wire, PCB traces etc). One book I am studying is Ralph Morrison, The Feilds of Electronics wich is an excellent and easy tome for the non-physicist. Due to the signal speeds I am working with I have to look at the signal travelling as waves, not a few scraggy electrons, which is why I questioned you theory on homogenous signal as I dont think it is correct, as the waves are already mixed together.
Skin effect, Hmmm working up to 1GHz plus digital, and so far it hasn't been a concern, though with the ever decreasing tracks used on some boards (3 thousands of an inch wide, 1/2oz copper: 0.075mm/18um Cu) we are getting near to the point where resistance will be influenced by the signal frequency, again a bigger problem on PCB's due to microstrip or stripline design, the proximity and thus closely coupled ground plane, and the uneven distribution of the current density when you look at a cross section of the PCB trace.
As to Audio, I have a reasonable system, I want to improve my system and thus my enjoyement of the music, so I look, read and learn, but also question things where I have doubts, (it is how I work and look at the world, you always have to question your beliefs) as I do believe Audio is full of myths and questionable beliefs. I do not mean to offend by questioning someones theories.
I have played with litz wire and will do some more experimenting in the future, but with everything, I will want empirical data to back up any changes I percieve (I dont always trust my senses as so many thing inluence the way I percieve, this morning all my music sounds fuggy, this though is down to the effects of a few (!) cans of Carslberg Special Brew (AKA Hobo Pops) last night.

Have a look around for lazy electrons approx 84mm/hour
http://www.radioelectronicschool.net/files/downloads/howfast.pdf