More wire questions


For my new speaker project I'm considering Ag wire. I'm able to get 0.3, 0.4, 0.5 mm. wire. The prize is per g. so usuing more thin wire won't cost more. So, I was wondering how much I realy need.

Each speaker is 2 woofers rated at 80 watts each and a tweeter. I'm running seperate binding posts to each driver (triamp possibility). The length is about 1m internaly and 2.5m to the amp.

What would be a good combination / total gauge of wire to each driver?
I don't know what you mean by Ag and I am guessing you are buying by the gram and that the guage does not affect the price. Looking at your posts from the past I am guessing that you want to use silver. Personally I think silver is a waste of money and that silver plated copper is crazy because they have different conductivity. What you are want is something that is neautral and put together in a way to not interfere with the signal.
This is what I was taught by an audio expert and reseacher. The dialectic property is very important so the type of insulation can be almost as important as the wire type. I use old solid copper 24 AWG wire made by Western Electric for phone cables 50 years ago. The insulation is celonese which looks like cloth but is actually a kind of paper. I braid my cables and for the amp to speaker cabinet I use 12 strands and inside the cabinets 8 strands to the woofer and 4 to the tweeter. For interconnects I use 4 strands per channel. The number of stands and the guage that they add up to can vary according to the efficiency of your speakers. The technique is quite old and was started in the 30s I think in Germany and is called Litz. Litz cable increases bandwidth while twisted strands interfere with the signal. I use store bought cable for the rear channels when watching movies because of the length involved and it does not need to be that great for HT rear channels anyway. I joined a DIY club hear in Texas and took my cables to a meeting. I switched from my cables to some Goertz and played music from the same CD and slowly everyone left and went into another room to listen to the music there. I switched back to my DIY cables and over the next 5 minutes the room filled back up again. It was very subtle but the Litz DIY cables were very neautral while the Goertz ribbons put a harsh edge on the highs. And the ribbon cables were made from a higher grade of copper than the Litz. I don't know if it was cryo treated OFC but it was certainly better than 50 year old telephone wire. It was the configuration that made the difference. Here is the URL to Dennis Boyles site. He goes into much better detail in the wire and cable section. <> In a few hours and for not too much money you can make cables that will show well against anything you could buy even for very high prices.
Hi David. Sorry for the confusion, but you guessed right. :D English Isn't my 1'st language so please bare with me. :eek:

The litz braid seems like an good idea to me. I have read the article you provided me. It seems like a well proven idea, 70 yrs. according to the article, and that I like hmm.

I expect the total efficiency to be somewhere about 91dB. With that eff. the article suggests about 16 AWG (2 sq. mm.).

Internaly I guess somewhere between 18-20 AWG (1 sq. mm.) to each woofer and 20-22 AWG (0.5 sq. mm.) to the tweeter could do.

I shuld not use more than 18 wires per braid, as I read it, therefore I could mix different AWG's of wire to get the benefits of thin wire combined with sufficient AWG without exeed 18 wires/braid. - What do you say about this?

Btw: I have previously used 'the famous cat 5' cables, they are pretty good, but sounds just a little bright. But hey! They can't be beaten for the prize. - I got mine for free. :cool:
I think you should keep the wire all the same thickness. Also if you were to use 18 strands as a cable to your speaker from the amp it is good to keep the number of strands inside the cabinet at the same number. More going to the woofer than the tweeter. I might be repeating what you wrote back to you, but I am not sure what you are asking. Are you still planning on using the teflon? And yes free is an exellent price. The only thing better is to get paid to use them. The reason you found them to be bright could be because of the twisted pairs. The same wire in a Litz braid might sound very different.


2002-01-25 9:28 pm
silver wire

I too came across some apparently silver wire recently. At a junkyard, I found approx 20 meters of ribbon type cable, composed of 40 strands of 28 gauge wire, which appears to be silver. It is very soft, and the exposed ends are tarnished. When cut, it is uniform throughout.

Trouble is that the insultation is devilishly tough. It is a transparent materiel, very difficult to cut without fataly nicking the (hopefully) silver wires. I tried attacking it with a range of solvents (up to and including methyl ethyl ketone), to no effect.

I would like to build a set of speaker wires out of them, but I have no idea how to properly terminate such cables.

So, my questions are: does anyome know of a simple 'kitchen lab' type test to positively identify silver?

Any ideas how to strip & terminate?
simple test if it is silver? try to let it get in reaction with sulfur. You have to produve some SO2 by burning something with a lot of sulfur in and test if the metall becomes black with this SO2.

Maybe it will react too is you let it get in contact for a while with proteins like a bit of hardcooked egg, think on silver spoons

Hi Thomas,
Indoor 25 pair telephone cable works very well as speaker wire.
This has plenty of good quality copper, sonically fine insulation, virtually zero series inductance, and is cheap.
I have been using this for years on all types of systems and find it to be perfectly acceptable, especially for the price.
Method is to fan out all the pairs, then strip all the whites and twist them together to become one conductor, ditto the colours for the other leg.
This cable is somewhat shunt capacitive but I have not found this to cause any problems, except with a Naim amplifier.
This cable is a standard item available from electrician supplies wholesalers or office building renovations dumpsters for free.
If you are to try it I am sure you will be pleased.

Regards, Eric.
Needless to day, I differ with Mr. Thatcher. And, so do about 1,000,000 engineers. Anyway, what have you got to lose by trying zip? If you don't like it, do something else.

Sorry, I gotta go now. A bird just landed on the power line outside and disrupted all my power supplies. Now I have to rewire everything. Rats. Hmmmm, maybe I should look into a TICE power conditioner. Ha, ha, ha and a final HA for good measure. If I had known that "TheComplete Audiophile" kit contained a tube of KY I would have taken up another profession.
I know that many EE 's consider that if you can't measure it, it is impossible to exist. Not a bad attitude to take when being 100% objective. The thing is here is that we are dealing subjectivally with something that can only be evaluated subjectivally. You can't be completely objective dealing with the reproduction of a subjective artform. And just because you can not objectivally test the difference between two ways of of a part of the process of reproducing a subjective form of expression does not mean that the difference is not there, merely that you can't measure it yet.;)
Ah, the old "escape clause" ploy. It was bound to show up.

OK, back to Thomas. How about this. Spend some time convincing yourself that zip cord is gods gift to to speakers until you believe it. Spend the $5, hook it up and bolster your belief on a daily basis for a week. Then twice a week for a month. Then take 2 aspirin and call me in the morning.


2002-01-07 6:02 pm
Allen Wright's cable cookbook

<b>Has anyone read Allen-Wrights (another Aussie, I believe )cable cookbook? I am considering buying it, and would like some reader feedback.</b>

Hi gilid,

I have both of Allen's books and highly recommend them. There are some interesting and good cable recipes in the cookbook. Well worth the money.

The cookbook also contains a reprint of Dr Malcolm Hawkesford's paper analysing cable effects. It's a tough read (lots of maths) but bears out the experimental results with thin cables.


PS. Allen is actually from the Eastern Islands (New Zealander) originally.


Disabled Account
2001-12-12 8:47 am
Geez. Magic wire will make your stereo sound better! NOT! Of course, that is just my OPINION I guess. Maybe someone will enlighten me with proven audible differences? Then again....maybe not. Have faith all ye believers, you will need it to justify the hours of labor making diy designs, or dollars spent buying retail!

A zip cord is just fine IME. Save your dollars and/or time.

I'll stick to good 'ol heavy guage wire with stabile dielectric material.

Re: silver wire

gilid said:

So, my questions are: does anyome know of a simple 'kitchen lab' type test to positively identify silver?

Any ideas how to strip & terminate?

1. Jewlery shops sell test sets. If they don't, have them test it for you.

2. I bourght a 'wire strip plier' and it works wonder. It 'gribs' the insulation so you can pull it off without touching the core.