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Old 26th April 2015, 06:08 PM   #1
cbutterworth is offline cbutterworth  United States
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Default SSE and which speaker cables NOT to use

I use DIY cables made from Cat5e based on the FFRC design from TNT-Audio on my solid-state Aksa amplifier. At least I think I do, as I cannot fully remember which design I used: I made the cables in 2004.

Given the worry over problems with some SET amps, I am simply using a small gauge Monster speaker wire. It seems like the cable is 18 or 20 ga. Anyway, it is pretty cheap and is really temporary.

However, I do remember the effect of adding a better speaker cable onto my AKSA amplifier both my wife and I were pretty amazed at the improvement when the FFRC was added.

So, while I want to try some other speaker cable options, I am very wary as I do not want to risk damaging my SSE.

I just purchased some outdoor 14ga extension cable from Home Despot and it seems that by soldering the three conductors together and running two lengths, you can get very decent quality speaker cable at a good price. I mean, 25 foot of extension cable can make two sets of six foot speaker cables.

OK, so I'd appreciate insight from the forum experts on what NOT to do!!!!

Thanks,
Charlie
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Old 26th April 2015, 06:16 PM   #2
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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SSE and which speaker cables NOT to use
Non feedback SE tube amps in general are not very sensitive to speaker cable capacitance or inductance (they won't oscillate which is the concern here) so there should be no issue at all with trying any cable you wish.
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Old 26th April 2015, 06:22 PM   #3
Evenharmonics is offline Evenharmonics  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbutterworth View Post
However, I do remember the effect of adding a better speaker cable onto my AKSA amplifier both my wife and I were pretty amazed at the improvement when the FFRC was added.
Try this link.
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Old 26th April 2015, 07:00 PM   #4
cbutterworth is offline cbutterworth  United States
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Good reading, thanks for the link. I'll experiment a little with my current cables, maybe even relegate the outdoor extension cable to being an extension cable.

My wife is pretty critical and money cautious, luckily. I have known her to be very impressed by a few easy side by side tests we did early on in my audio nirvana quest. The first was swapping out a cheaper RS interconnect with a used Wireworld interconnect - she made me keep with Wireworld interconnect. The second was when we home auditioned new CD-players. She made me purchase the Rega Apollo over the cheaper NAD.

Thanks,
Charlie
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Old 26th April 2015, 07:09 PM   #5
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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SSE and which speaker cables NOT to use
Do try a single pair of cables pulled from a length of CAT5 (use the same colour for both sides. May work may not. Cheap to try. Cables are quite system dependent.

dave
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Old 26th April 2015, 07:11 PM   #6
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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SSE and which speaker cables NOT to use
Roger Russell (Former speaker designer at McIntosh) is an interesting character, well written and humorous I'll second the recommendation.
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Old 27th April 2015, 04:23 AM   #7
VictoriaGuy is offline VictoriaGuy  Canada
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SSE and which speaker cables NOT to use
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use the same colour for both sides
Why do you recommend this?
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Old 27th April 2015, 04:30 AM   #8
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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SSE and which speaker cables NOT to use
Each colour has a different twist, and -- if left twisted -- if the pair are cut to the same length will have different wire lengths.

dave
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Old 27th April 2015, 06:39 AM   #9
tomchr is offline tomchr  Canada
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What matters with speaker cables is the resistance. To some extent the capacitance and inductance matters as well, in particular for long cables (say >20 m).

The resistance is easy to deal with. Just buy a cable with a large cross-sectional area.

The inductance and capacitance are a bit trickier. The best approach I know of is to design the cable geometry such that the inductance is minimized. The Goertz MI-series is an example of such a design.

I don't get the logic behind the 24 AWG speaker cables (CAT5). A 3 m (10') cable made from two strands of CAT5 will exhibit 500 mΩ of resistance, not counting the connector resistance. This will limit the damping factor to 8 for a 4 Ω speaker, which is really quite pathetic.

I'm not aware of any Tubelab design that requires special consideration when it comes to speaker cables. Just use what you have and move on.

Tom
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Old 27th April 2015, 06:43 AM   #10
planet10 is offline planet10  Canada
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SSE and which speaker cables NOT to use
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I don't get the logic behind the 24 AWG speaker cables (CAT5). A 3 m (10') cable made from two strands of CAT5 will exhibit 500 mΩ of resistance, not counting the connector resistance. This will limit the damping factor to 8 for a 4 Ω speaker, which is really quite pathetic.
In some cases the logic is that it sounds better. And sometines you can have too much damping. If you have an SE amp excessive damping is not something you are looking for.

Just try it.And other options. Pick the one that sounds best.

dave
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