Speaker cables

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.
I've been using 18awg upocc solid silver in PTFE tubing for about 4 years and the speakers sound real good. While cleaning the attic I found a 4 foot pair of XLO Ultra 6, with original spades, I bought about 10 years ago. That is the length I need.

I know I can try it but the silver wire has already had bits of the ends break off from connecting and disconnecting, probably 5 or 6 times, so I'd rather not lose anymore length.

I'd appreciate any thoughts about the XLO vs upocc 18awg silver.

Probably not worth selling it then. But that $10 would buy you an equal length of copper wire thick enough to have significantly less resistance per foot than your 18 gauge silver. And, that's really the only thing that matters when carrying an electrical signal from your amp to your speakers. With a 4 foot run of wire it just isn't going to change the end to end resistance much at all though. And certainly isn't going to be audible in any way.

But I said I wouldn't get into the speaker cable debate so I'll stop there.

How much would that silver sell for melted down? Seriously.

I won't get into a speaker wire debate beyond saying I would melt it down and sell it if I could get enough to make it worth the trouble.


Silver is $15.29/oz at Mar 03, 2016 at 21:22 EST according to jmbullion.com.
18AWG will have a 1.02mm diameter cross section. If you have 4ft, the volume is 957 cubic millimeters. This is 10.04g or .354oz. or $5.41 worth of silver. Double this for the two conductors and you have $10.82, enough for a pizza. Assuming someone will give you bullion price on it.

Considering that an oscilloscope and function generator with infinitely better sensitivity, precision, and bandwidth than the human ear will detect no difference in the two conductors' ability to transmit audio signals, I say sell the XLO for a lot more than the silver to some arrogant audiophile who claims his ears can outperform the best scientific instruments.
I have never used pure silver wire, but I don't think it should be brittle. Sounds more like aluminum ;)

You're right, silver is quite ductile. The problem is it oxidizes quickly. The oxidation is brittle, so it spalls (becomes flaky and falls off) more similar to the way that iron rusts. Aluminum oxide stays on the surface, even acting as a protective coating for the still ductile and tough aluminum on the inside. This is why high voltage power lines can get rained on, jerked around in every wind and storm, and still hold up without any insulation whatsoever. They are made of aluminum (but sometimes intertwined or cored with steel, but only for tensile strength).
Thanks so much. That is the, common sense, thinking that makes sense to me.

Perhaps you can tell I'm one of those with very strong opinions on speaker cables ;)

Resistance, electromagnetic interference, and parasitic capacitance are real things. In certain situations they can have audible effects on your audio. However if you're transmitting a signal from an amplifier module to a speaker 4ft away, you can get away with a coat hanger.
Aluminum won't shine like silver after polishing with silver polish. All metals get work hardened and brittle, after repeated bending, tight clamping and pinching, which leads to breakage.

Yeah, aluminum just won't take a polish...
Actually aluminum wire in homes (and in recent chinese ccaw cat5 counterfeit wire) is notorious for brittleness. Aluminum as used for electric transmission (even low voltage) has special termination methods.

The only silver wire you can find with significant brittleness due to heating or work-hardening issues (on google search) is sterling silver and other alloys. The idea that a ~1mm silver wire is going to corrode to the point that metal oxide flakes off is ludicrous. I would suspect the termination method.


  • polish cobra.jpg
    polish cobra.jpg
    223.9 KB · Views: 55
I agree. I'm using the bare wire wrapped around binding posts which I probably over tighten...bad habit. I'm pretty sure the resultant work hardening is the culprit. It is single crystal upocc solid core silver and the total awg is 18 wire. it is made up of a two peice run of what ever equals 18 awg. I think it might be 22awg but I forget the awg tables.

This old topic is closed. If you want to reopen this topic, contact a moderator using the "Report Post" button.