Speaker wire ......... Why

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Madmike2

Member
2005-04-24 11:55 pm
Toronto
I am having a hard time justifying $$! for speaker wire when i am using a passive x-over. Why get good wire if it has to pass through that mess of caps and coils with silver solder and single thick strand leads. Does that not kill the benefits ?

I can see if i am all active (eventually ) and there is 'nothing' between the speakers and the wire that it would be beneficial. :confused:

Is it not like passing clean current through a bad stew ? Potatoes and carrots robbing you of some of it. :hot:
 
Mike,

I'm with you. I would rather spend money on the engine than some shiny wheels. Look after the guts of the system before throwing your coin at speaker leads. The amount of money spent on leads amazes me. I'm not saying certain leads don't make a difference, I'm saying that some people spend money on them when the real concerns are the drivers, XO and box. Once those are beyond improvement, then it's time for some fancy boutique wires. Until there is someone who can convince me that my 10 guage copper leads and 14 guage internal wiring are substandard, I will continue to promote their usage.

Cal
 
I am having a hard time justifying $$! for speaker wire when i am using a passive x-over. Why get good wire if it has to pass through that mess of caps and coils with silver solder and single thick strand leads. Does that not kill the benefits ?
If you have speaker design software, why not model the wire?
My personal guess is that long runs could really interact with the crossover, depending on electrical characteristics of the wire.

Just my 2 cents.

Doug
 
I've mentioned this once or twice: RG-8 is close to ideal speaker cable. The stuff is morally equivalent to 12 gauge, the parallel capacitance isn't outrageous, and the series inductance is quite low compared to twin lead. You can find it for about fifty cents a foot.

Some folks think that shielding the hot lead of a speaker keeps RF junk out of the feedback loop and from getting rectified at the amplifier input. I haven't proven it one way or the other, but it can't hurt.

If you really want to be a fanatic, you can run two or four in parallel, hook up the cores together and the shields together, and make the zero spouse acceptance factor wire. Even at that you're talking fairly low capacitance - a 12 foot run of quad RG-8 is still only 1.5 nF, while the series inductance is something ridiculous like 220 nH.

In my experience I noted audible differences less with easy loads such as full range planars, and much more with complex loads like three-way loudspeakers with 3rd or 4th order passive crossovers.


Cheers,
Francois.
 
Madmike2 said:
I am having a hard time justifying $$! for speaker wire when i am using a passive x-over. Why get good wire if it has to pass through that mess of caps and coils with silver solder and single thick strand leads. Does that not kill the benefits ?

No.
Some tend to think of a speaker wire quality in terms of resistance, while it's not the most important thing.
You must think about the amp and not only the speakers.
The amp would like to see very low inductance and capacitance on it's outputs.
As it's not possible to have these to parameters with very low values on a cable, it's always a compromise.
The speaker cable is the interface between the amp and the speaker, and sometimes it's not a question of price, it's just a question of the right cable for the right amp/speaker interface.
Avoid complex crossovers.
Avoid long speaker cables.
Your amp will thank you and it will reward you with a much clearer presentation.
A mess of coils and caps should be avoided if you can use first-order crossovers.
Everytime I go from a 2nd order to a 1st order crossover on a tweeter I hear improvements, harmonics of the instruments appear, natural decays, transparency, the breething of the singer.
I may be hanged up for this here, but there's the 'technically correct' way and there's the best sounding way of doing things.
I tend to start with the first and end up with the second.:D
 

Madmike2

Member
2005-04-24 11:55 pm
Toronto
But Carlos again i say There is no point if the passive is there 'period' the cable is broken up and the passive breaks the 'chain' . Its no longer one solid peice of BlahBlah$$ cable from amp lead to speaker lead. I am going off because i keep reading these reviews on cable and i want to get up and slap someone. Ya i got schooled changing from cheap RadioCrap Rca's to decent pro stuff, i heard that! But thats unbroken chain front to back with a nice chunky copper 1/4 inch jack to Copper jacketed RCA on copper wire. Speaker wire is nice silver/copper to -mess of wiring- to silver/copper to your amp and speakers. Impossible to tell me there is an improvement in sound. Electrically impossible.

Active crossovers and the leads from your Pass Labs amp connected directly to the leads on your Scan Speak drivers with no breaks and nothing in between. Then ya i could agree that your 18 guage 98 % oxygen free 50 strand wire is better the 12 guage 10 strand Home Hardware spool wire but NOT as good as 16 guage pure silver twisted pair from 'namebrand' company. Electrically that is valid.

This guy is comparing a store bought albiet expensive speaker and his 'reference' amp and saying the simbilance and timber off the sound was changed going from some speaker wire to another. IMPOSSIBLE. That speaker is a three and a half design with one terminal lead in so no bi-wiring by the picture. SO there is a passive system in there. :mad: People like me listen to idiots like that and then wonder why we just dropped 200 dollars on 6 feet of wire.

Where is my bean stalk Jack ? I asked you to by a cow and you brought me seeds. I better see a bean stalk in the morning.



Sigh. I gotta go and see if i can buy that Adcom now. I am so disappointed in reviewers. 50 year old guys saying they can hear 18k ....please. I am 39 and 15 k is a tickling in my ear. :(
 
Mike, a good passive crossover is now worse than an active crossover.
Adding more active stages to the replay chain is also not good.
So, what I mean is: cable inductance and capacitance can have a marked effect on the sound.
Just imagine (or better, try it) the effect a coil to ground and a cap to ground makes.
The speaker must not be though as an isolated device, it will be driven by an amp.
A well made speaker with well chosen drivers can have a very simple crossover.
 

Salas

diyAudio Chief Moderator
Paid Member
2002-10-08 11:31 am
Athens-Greece
I agree with Carlos. As I recall he uses EPOS vintage speakers and he had seen in practice what synergy means when trying to upgrade caps and cable.
Simple crossovers can be very immediate sounding when properly integrated but they are also very sensitive to component and cable choices. The cause is obvious when you understand that they overlap a lot, so component quality and minor spl deviations tend to be very audible when spread over octaves.
In general, loudspeaker voicing is as delicate as a wide octave musical instrument voicing. It takes passion, patience and a clear mind. Be open, dont go by the book.
For instance lately I am listening to a new design of mine (it uses PHL 1220 and Audax TW025A20) that has just 4 components in its serial crossover, no resistors. Well every .1uf or .05 mH change is very obvious. Even magnet wire type in the air coils is clearly audible. Capacitor quality audible? You can guess if there is plastic or oil in there with a blindfold! I thank the experience I have gained from full range designs, else I would never lock it.
But when things lock, well then its ultra-fi. I think that is why we are in this hobby and post messages amidst heatwave, if we were to stick on scope probe designs we would be better off buying mid-fi.
 
Interesting. Well i can experiment to my hearts content but i am going in with a closed mind. I missed that Adcom because it was not a 555 but a 535, i miss remembered the number. So i bought 20 feet of 30 plus strand cat 5e cable that i am going to unsheath and twist up and then heat shrink and terminate. Also 25 feet of canada wire premium 14 gauge high silver content cabling. I want to hear this for myself.

Back to experimenting :mad:
 
salas said:
In general, loudspeaker voicing is as delicate as a wide octave musical instrument voicing. It takes passion, patience and a clear mind. Be open, dont go by the book.

Excellent, that's it.

salas said:
But when things lock, well then its ultra-fi.

Yes, when things lock, it's like live, unamplified music, the real sound of the instruments.
With all their resonances, decays, with all their reverberations.:cloud9:
Hi-fi is bass-mid-treble, music is much more than that.

salas said:
I think that is why we are in this hobby and post messages amidst heatwave, if we were to stick on scope probe designs we would be better off buying mid-fi.

I drink to that.:drink:
 
PauSim said:
The fact there is a crossover in the way doesn´t mean it will kill every signal quality that arrives there. It´s not an evil device that will make every cable sound the same. There will be some loss of integrity just like in every stage, but the better signal goes in, the better signal comes out.


hmmmmmmmm.... *cough* passives suck *cough*

:D
 
Inadvertently solved my humpy midbass that needed cutting by EQ. The caps i had twinned in the Woofer circuit, one of them was bad and since it is not in perfect spec all around that circuit anyway i guess it pushed it way out of whack frequency wise. Got proper values in there now i have the EQ turned off. I cant even duplicate the sound that used to be there with the EQ.

Exhausted from hand winding these wires. WIll try them tommorow when i am fresh as its 2 in the morning.

Pioneer SX-737 does not like a 1.9 ohm loads for future reference. And here i thought i could run 1/2 ohm stable on it :bigeyes:
 
Madmike2 said:
Inadvertently solved my humpy midbass that needed cutting by EQ. The caps i had twinned in the Woofer circuit, one of them was bad and since it is not in perfect spec all around that circuit anyway i guess it pushed it way out of whack frequency wise...

Get those caps outa there, it will sound even better.:D
Redimention the inductor (1st order), or better still, don't use anything on the woofer.
But you would have to choose a woofer without any breakup, with natural roll-off on the midband.
A series cap on the tweeter, and that's it.
Then don't tell me that active crossovers are better, because they are not.
When things are properly done.
 
Well 1 wire set down, 1 to go. Soon as i finish twisting them up.

I heard NO difference zip nada nothing with the 30$ 14 gauge high silver premium wire. Versus the 14 gauge 25 foot per pack 3.95 plus tax wire from the harware store.

I think i can keep the 5 dollar wire and change the amp for a 'real' difference. Ill have the Cat 5 e wire ready probably tommorow. Ill know by Tuesday if there is anything there.
 
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