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Tech: Speakers and speaker wire

Stilly River Sage 06 Dec 19 - 01:43 PM
Richard Mellish 06 Dec 19 - 03:12 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Dec 19 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,Starship 06 Dec 19 - 05:37 PM
Mossback 06 Dec 19 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Ray 06 Dec 19 - 06:12 PM
Bonzo3legs 06 Dec 19 - 07:00 PM
Stilly River Sage 06 Dec 19 - 10:15 PM
Bonzo3legs 07 Dec 19 - 05:33 AM
Stanron 07 Dec 19 - 05:55 AM
Mr Red 07 Dec 19 - 07:31 AM
Mossback 07 Dec 19 - 10:01 AM
Stilly River Sage 07 Dec 19 - 11:26 AM
punkfolkrocker 07 Dec 19 - 01:07 PM
punkfolkrocker 07 Dec 19 - 01:15 PM
Stilly River Sage 07 Dec 19 - 01:31 PM
punkfolkrocker 07 Dec 19 - 01:43 PM
Steve Shaw 07 Dec 19 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,Ray 07 Dec 19 - 05:21 PM
Tony Rees 08 Dec 19 - 01:46 AM
Tony Rees 08 Dec 19 - 01:50 AM
GUEST,Phil d'Conch 08 Dec 19 - 02:15 AM
Mr Red 08 Dec 19 - 04:31 AM
GUEST,Ray 08 Dec 19 - 05:33 AM
BobL 08 Dec 19 - 07:38 AM
Bonzo3legs 08 Dec 19 - 08:42 AM
Donuel 08 Dec 19 - 09:34 AM
Stilly River Sage 08 Dec 19 - 01:20 PM
Tony Rees 08 Dec 19 - 01:36 PM
Jack Campin 08 Dec 19 - 03:17 PM
robomatic 08 Dec 19 - 04:22 PM
Stilly River Sage 08 Dec 19 - 08:41 PM
Joe Offer 08 Dec 19 - 10:15 PM
Mr Red 09 Dec 19 - 04:07 AM
Richard Mellish 09 Dec 19 - 05:23 PM
DaveRo 10 Dec 19 - 06:37 AM
Donuel 10 Dec 19 - 08:12 AM
GUEST,Jon 10 Dec 19 - 09:39 AM
GUEST,Ray 11 Dec 19 - 11:21 AM
punkfolkrocker 11 Dec 19 - 11:31 AM
Stilly River Sage 11 Dec 19 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,Ray 11 Dec 19 - 04:50 PM
Mr Red 12 Dec 19 - 03:25 AM
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Subject: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Dec 19 - 01:43 PM

A scan of the Mudcat literature regarding hooking up home speaker systems offers many general and some specific hints scattered through some threads that represent older generation equipment. I'm hooking up a several years-old (but new to me) receiver to various devices, and I decided I needed more speaker wire.

You wouldn't think this would be a "thing," but it is. The thin white or clear-vinyl coated wires are apparently inadequate in all sorts of ways. And when you start looking into types of wire you find various metals; some a mystery metal in thin wires, others are various gauges of CCA (Copper Clad Aluminum) and then you get the various weights of pure-Copper lines.

I am aware of the counter-intuitive information about wire gauge, i.e., the lower the number the heavier the wire. I read some site reviews in a few places, did some Googling, and decided to try some 14-gauge copper wire (and to get it I had to go online, so I didn't see it in a store first). Wow. This stuff is heavy compared to all of the other wires around the house, but reviewers seemed to detect a discernible difference between the types (mostly discussing the thin cheap versus the thicker gauge; the comparable-sized pure-Copper vs CCA jury still seems to be out.)

I found an interesting thread that was talking about the right amount of power the speakers used with the in-home system (and as usual, our late member JohnInKansas offered a comprehensive answer on the topic). But it didn't touch on the wire being used between the receiver and the speakers. I am looking at using my large existing speakers and adding a couple of more (the receiver has lots of connectors for speakers, but I'm not setting up the full home theater - I regularly find nice speakers at thrift stores and will add another pair of those to the system.)

Have any of you given this consideration, and what did you put in place?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 06 Dec 19 - 03:12 PM

Speaker cables are one of the components of a hi-fi system where a lot of snake oil is peddled. To my simple mind, all you need is to keep the resistance of the cables small compared to the nominal impedance of the speakers. However I'm sure that some will disagree and swear that they can hear the difference with oxygen-free copper or whatever.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Dec 19 - 05:00 PM

Richard, you've pretty well summed up what all of that was leading up to. Does the cable make a difference, and how much difference does it make?

That said, here at my house the cables running right now are quite thin (and very old having been moved several times), they don't have very many strands of wire in them and a few will sometimes break off during attachment, so every so often I'll trim the wire end and start again with the full number of the strands. Since strands are adjacent to each other in the casing the signal would be distributed through the whole cable, even if a portion of them are connected, is my non-electrician's guess.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: GUEST,Starship
Date: 06 Dec 19 - 05:37 PM

The wire 'thickness' will determine resistance and heating of the wire. Most home systems likely should stay around 12 gauge, 14 is close enough. As RM pointed out, copper is just fine. YouTube has many videos explaining the electronic details of what's happening with the system and others show how to effect connections of various sorts, etc. As an aside, when wires get too heated they do interfere with sound quality, so you have a few things to balance.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Mossback
Date: 06 Dec 19 - 05:47 PM

Stilly-

Agree with Richard about the snake oil. If you've been happy with the audio from your current cables (which sound like inexpensive 20 ga or so wire from your description) then you should be perfectly happy with 16 gauge wire unless you need extremely long lengths (longer lengths = more resistance.

Avoid copper-clad aluminum.

16 ga 2-conductor SJT cable (or 16 ga if really long runs)(a.k.a. "zip" cord or lamp cord) should work fine Copper is basically copper despite what the snake-oil merchants will tell you & the lamp cord is a lot cheaper than "speaker wire" in which you're paying a premium for the name only.

That's my experience, YMMD.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 06 Dec 19 - 06:12 PM

This issue was discussed at some length several decades ago in a Studio Sound article by, I think, Hugh Ford. Hugh was a renowned nit-picker and, if there was something to be found, you could guarantee that he would find it; I remember one article on a new tape machine where his only criticism was that the colour of the VU meters wasnt quite to the appropriate british standard, but I digress.

His article on speaker leads looked at the fad of the hi-fi community spending great amounts on speaker leads and he explained the problem mathematically which, in all honesty, went entirely over my head. His conclusion though was both interesting and memorable. He agreed that the gauge and material of the leads did make a difference but you were unlikely to hear any difference providing you kept the leads shorter than a quarter of a mile in length.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 06 Dec 19 - 07:00 PM

I did an experiment comparing some leftover "high performance" speaker cable with cheapo thin cable and there was no difference in the sound at all!!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 06 Dec 19 - 10:15 PM

That's an interesting point about the lamp cord versus speaker wire. And yes, I think the existing old wires are 20 gauge, very light-weight. And probably not in the best shape. My plan for now is to run new wire to the "big" good speakers (megabucks when Dad originally bought them ages ago) and test out locations for a couple of other speakers by reusing the old wire, and then see how much of the new roll is left to wire those if I need to. I also have a sound system in my office but the old wires there are shorter. In the living room they're probably 20' away from the receiver.

Meanwhile, I'll make a list of the various electrical ratings of the equipment to see how they line up (after reading JiK's instructions it sounds like they can mix and match at this level without too much trouble).


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 07 Dec 19 - 05:33 AM

Just tested again, no difference - marketing bumbledom!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Stanron
Date: 07 Dec 19 - 05:55 AM

Play your loudest music as loud as possible. If the wires get hot, or even warmer than ambient, they are too thin. This can also be used as a good excuse if neighbours complain about the volume.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Mr Red
Date: 07 Dec 19 - 07:31 AM

If you want to avoid your cell phone making those annoying clicks you might go for twin co-ax. And earth the screen. Or keep the phone well away. Otherwise just about any insulated wire will do the job.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Mossback
Date: 07 Dec 19 - 10:01 AM

For 20 feet of wire, 16 ga lamp cord should work just fine, assuming 8 ohm speakers & circa 100 watts output- nowhere near the max rated amperage of the wire.

Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Dec 19 - 11:26 AM

Here we are talking about poking wires into speaker spring-loaded cups and the backs of older receivers in a day of banana plugs or bluetooth. . . this is using working and not quite obsolete technology, but not what you find in the stores today.

This started when I decided I should replace the all-in-one shelf unit in my office; it was an AIWA receiver, CD-changer, dual cassette and phonograph with two double wire speakers (two types in one case). The CD player had died and every time I turned on the radio the CD tray popped out. They don't make those things any more except a few really high-end ones ($$$) and some of the components are simply not out there. So the estate sale and thrift store search began, and now I'm reconfiguring this so I can use the office equipment to transfer my father's cassettes and reel-to-reel tapes into the computer set up for digitizing tasks. And since I moved equipment from the front room to recreate this station, now I'm having to redo the receiver and speaker that have the TV and DVD and CD and yes, I still had a cassette deck in there and also could set up the VHS if that was the only version I had of something I wanted to watch.

Now the VHS player (from a thrift store) is in my office for digitizing work. And if I'm going to bother to do the setup in the living room, I might as well upgrade a bit with extra speakers (since the JVC receiver has connections out the wazzoo for speakers).

A modest-sized job that has spread out through the house. That happens sometimes. :)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 Dec 19 - 01:07 PM

It wasn't unknown for reputable professional recording studios
to use cheap cabling.
Probably electric cooker mains cable...???

We do have the phenomena of super wealthy audiophiles listening on mega buck systems,
to recordings made by impoverished artists on cheapest shite quality equipment..

Our smart phones are probably capable of making better specced audio recordings
than so many of the classic LPs and singles from decades ago...

But they won't sound as good...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 Dec 19 - 01:15 PM

However, speaker cable must be correctly matched between valve
[USA - Toob.. doooooood..] guitar amps and speaker cabs.
I'd presume this is also esential requirement for any valve Hi Fi amps...

Otherwise, bang...!!!.. smokey oblivion..
and big $$$ warranty denied repair bills...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 07 Dec 19 - 01:31 PM

That's an entirely different thread, PFR. I read some of that while I was looking for information about the lowly home receiver/speaker setup.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 07 Dec 19 - 01:43 PM

I think my dad used electric lamp cable until the early 1980s,
when he got redundancy money
and treated himself to 'special' speaker cable
to cheer himself up on losing his job...

I hope he at least thought he heard an improvement...???

Back in the late 70s - early 90s, I used whatever cable my dad had left over..
No questions asked, I didn't know or care much about finer technicalities back then...

Now I'd just do a google search for best value for money 'speaker cable'...


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 07 Dec 19 - 05:06 PM

About thirty years ago I got briefly obsessed with this, but I found that expensive cables were no better then the bog-standard stuff that the gear came with. Alas,my ears are no longer state of the art, so it matters even less these days.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 07 Dec 19 - 05:21 PM

There are also those who think they need to pay megga-bucks for sheilded interconnecting leads between hi-fi separates. .... not to mention those people who have convinced themselves that the big round vinyl disks sound better than CDs. The whole subject is nothing but marketing hype.

Such hype also extends to the musicians themselves. Round about the time that digital reverb/delay units were replacing reverb plates and high quality tape based delays in the studio, Roland brought out their Space Echo unit and made reasonable quality reverb and delay available to the masses. What everyone was striving for was a clean signal with minimum wow and flutter in the echo. The problem was later solved by digital units making the Space Echo largely obsolete. Today, not only has the Space Echo come back into fashion, you can buy a digital (pedal) version which claims to reproduce the muddy signal plus wow and flutter, which everyone originally sought to get rid of, as a positive feature.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Tony Rees
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 01:46 AM

I bought 2 gypsy jazz CDs (1994-1996) of great guitarist Fapy Lafertin and "Le Jazz" which proudly say that the group recorded with an original BBC 1938 microphone (plus a couple of ambience mics) to mimic the original sound of Django Reinhardt, Stephane Grappeli et al. "We used a single, retired pre-war BBC ribbon microphone, with a retired BBC sound engineer to drive it ... only then did the monophonic sound with its flat dynamic range, poor frequency response and absence of harmonics seem good enough..." whaaat... I buy a CD so as to be able to hear everything properly (as if I were in the room), not strangled by poor frequency response and mono recording. Sorry guys, but there it is. Sound is very disappointing, could have been so good with modern recording techniques!

Nostalgia is not what it used to be, I always say.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Tony Rees
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 01:50 AM

RE my post above - the consumer (or the engineer) can always degrade high quality stereo into poor mono for a separate release or during playback, the other way is not possible after the event! (Apologies for the thread drift by the way, just following up on Ray's post above...)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: GUEST,Phil d'Conch
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 02:15 AM

#16 should be fine for most installations.

I prefer the so-called machine tool, hook up or boat cable over regular zip cord though. Tinned strands, flexible &c and it really doesn't cost that much more considering how often one (re)wires speakers.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Mr Red
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 04:31 AM

sheilded interconnecting leads between hi-fi separates

Well now. The problemo with mobile (cell) phones is that within a range they induce clicks in wires. Usually from the switch-on of the final stage to handshake with the mast & system. Less than a foot away and it can be heard on some speaker connections.

But put it near a bare wire on the front end and all bets are off. My Zoom HN2 is horribly prone to that because it is near impossible to shield microphones and the HN2 has 4. Mind you it is rare for me to have my phone on in such circumstances without using it as a recorder - often as back-up for the Zoom. Batteries and chance encounters etc mean back-ups have been very useful at times.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 05:33 AM

Well said Tony. Were currently heading N up the A1 - stopped for coffee


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: BobL
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 07:38 AM

A noted audio engineer - Douglas Self IIRC - put it neatly into perspective when he described "audiophiles" spending hundreds of pounds on OFC speaker cables that make no measurable difference, in ordr to listen to MP3 tracks. Personally I've found ordinary 2-core mains cable does the job perfectly - just don't have any mains rewiring jobs on the bench at the same time!

Incidentally I lost my faith in audio magazines when one did some comparative sound quality tests on optical cables. And claimed to find differences between them. Your ears are the ultimate test they say, trouble with ears is they're connected to the human brain, which is notoriously unreliable.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 08:42 AM

Thank you BobL !!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Donuel
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 09:34 AM

I just immediately figured size matters so I went with the thick wire.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 01:20 PM

That's the reasoning I started with, Don.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Tony Rees
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 01:36 PM

Just returning to my wandering topic post a little way up - if I want to degrade the music to lo-fi mono I can do it myself - easy, just put it through a graphic with all the bass and treble rolled off, close the door, and listen from the next room while running the vacuum cleaner. Easy.

Actually, come to think of it, I do recall some blues revival group who wanted to release their music on 78... (possibly apocryphal...)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 03:17 PM

Adrian Tuddenham's firm Poppy Records released a new recording on cylinder a few years ago. With instructions on how to make your own player.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: robomatic
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 04:22 PM

Cable 'thickness' or gauge, usually matters with power going through it. This creates voltate drop at the delivery end. A toaster requires power. A sunlamp requires power, So does your electric drill or sander. Radios or in this case audio speakers so not use very much power, so voltage drop is not an issue unless you're going a long way. What is a long way. That article mentioned above using a quarter mile as an index of when you have to worry about voltage drop might be a bit extreme, as that is 1,320 feet. But if you buy mains cable and keep it inside a normal house, you can probably trust it to do the job from one end of the house to the other and back.
The audiophile wire they used to sell was a triumph of marketing over physics. And the math is simple: Ohm's Law: E/R=I. Interpreting the maths, well . . .

And if you are terminating the wire where you have bare ended wires going into some kind of spring loaded capture thingy, you want all the wires to fit in there, not giving them a 'haircut'.

When it comes to passing digital signals, you DO care about cabling type. In that case, the nature of the signals and terminations and lengths all matter much more than in the simple speaker wire issues of this thread.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 08:41 PM

robomatic, the type of signal and terminus of the cable is germane to the topic, if you would consider sharing more. The equipment here has the spring loaded cups, has RCA plugs, and some arrived with banana plugs that I wasn't able to use. A couple of the devices connected to the new receiver need to be turned up high to come through - is this pre-amp discussion time?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Dec 19 - 10:15 PM

A friend of mine, a sometime Mudcatter, used to work for Monster Cable, a company that made its fortune by selling heavy-gauge, stranded speaker cables. I haven't asked my friend directly, but I think he's convinced that heavy-gauge wire doesn't really improve sound quality. Nonetheless, Monster has always produced (overpriced) cables of extremely high quality that would never break and never have a bad connection.

I've found that solid (not stranded) telephone wire works just as well for speakers. It's extremely durable and easy to connect. The main thing, is that you don't want wire that will break or get insulation damaged easily -and I've had those problems with the stranded stuff that used to be called "speaker wire." For ordinary speaker wire, I think the most important elements are durability and the ability to make neat connections. It really doesn't have to be anything fancy.

Same thing for ordinary telephone connections, but I've found that it's important to use higher-quality wire for DSL connections that carry a computer signal. CAT-5 and CAT-6 wires do make a difference, because the wires are twisted in a certain way to protect the quality of the signal. You can't trust a DSL signal to ordinary telephone cable.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Mr Red
Date: 09 Dec 19 - 04:07 AM

trouble with ears is they're connected to the human brain, which is notoriously unreliable.

and even worse is "habituation" where if you listen to equipment with a certain error in, say, frequency response - your brain fills the gaps and compensates, eventually. Then, when faced with truer equipment - the compensation - over compensates till you habituate to the new norm. And you blame the new!

And the math is simple: Ohm's Law: E/R=I. Interpreting the maths, well . .

Er yea, simplistically. There is also capacitance, which affects the frequency spectrum as a low-pass filter. Diminished high notes (10-20kHz) that old ears can't hear anyway mostly. But a few yards would not induce this effect significantly.
Actually stranded wire does have advantages at ultra-sonic frequencies, it is all relative. And one reason is that there is inductance which adds to the low-pass nature of the "impedance profile". Stranded wire has greater surface area, lower self-inductance, and lower resistance at high frequencies. This is more significant with DSL and CAT5/CAT6 because the frequencies/waveforms are way more demanding. Stranded wire is more flexible and thus more durable.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 09 Dec 19 - 05:23 PM

Inductance and capacitance need to be taken into account for cable lengths more than a small fraction of a wavelength. But the wavelength in free space for 20 kHz (usually accepted as about the highest frequency that human ears can hear) is 15 km (if I've done that right in my head). In a cable the plastic insulation has a higher dielectric constant than empty space, so the wavelength in the cable would be something like 10 km. If your cable length is of the order of 10 m you can forget the inductance and capacitance.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: DaveRo
Date: 10 Dec 19 - 06:37 AM

It's worth checking that the connections are good. My first 1960's amplifier had rather insecure speaker connectors (2-pin DIN ones, which I've never seen since) - but it was only 20 watts. My current amp has better, screw-down ones. But the ones on the speakers come loose - presumably through vibration.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Donuel
Date: 10 Dec 19 - 08:12 AM

Hey Joe I knew the founder/inventor of Monster cable and his wife in Rochester NY when we were young entrepeneurs. It was the year Klaatu came out with their hit album. Manufacture and marketing brought him riches.

For teeny speakers the impedance is higher so they got thinner wires.
My Onkyo amp had custom adjustments to designate specific impedence.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 10 Dec 19 - 09:39 AM

The Wikipedia article strikes me as being as reasonable as anything Ive read.

They do note that while there are other factors involved with cables, resistance is usually thought to be the only significant one amongst the non audiophiles. They also suggest that a common rule of thumb is that the resistance of the cable should be less that 5% of the speaker impedance. They also produce a table for two conductor copper wire.
Maximum wire lengths for two conductor copper wire
Wire size                2O load       4O load       6O load         8O load
22 AWG (0.326mm2)   3ft (0.9m)    6ft (1.8m)    9ft (2.7m)    12ft (3.6m)
20 AWG (0.518mm2)   5ft (1.5m)   10ft (3m)    15ft (4.5m)    20ft (6m)
18 AWG (0.823mm2)   8ft (2.4m)   16ft (4.9m)   24ft (7.3m)    32ft (9.7m)
16 AWG (1.31mm2)   12ft (3.6m)   24ft (7.3m)   36ft (11m)      48ft (15m)
14 AWG (2.08mm2)   20ft (6.1m)   40ft (12m)    60ft (18m)*    80ft (24m)*
12 AWG (3.31mm2)   30ft (9.1m)   60ft (18m)*   90ft (27m)*    120ft (36m)*
10 AWG (5.26mm2)   50ft (15m)   100ft (30m)   150ft (46m)*    200ft (61m)*
* While in theory heavier wire can have longer runs, recommended household audio lengths should not exceed 50 feet (15m)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 11 Dec 19 - 11:21 AM

If its on Wikipaedia it must be right!

I was looking at a download of an old (2013) hi-fi magazine the other day. Apart from the almost 15,000 you could spend on a turntable, it seems that you can also invest 150 or so in a kettle lead to plug your latest wizz-bang gubbings in with. Bearing in mind that rhe mains lead on your equipment is simply an extension of the house wiring, why is nobody suggesting that people get their houses rewired in order to attain perfection?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 Dec 19 - 11:31 AM

what.. you don't filter your electric supply with an audiophile plug board...???


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 11 Dec 19 - 11:32 AM

If you look at the new construction going on, at least in the US, these "McMansions" are built with all sorts of stuff in the walls, including data cables, speaker cables for surround/theater sound, vacuum systems, etc. Good to start with, but when the next big thing comes along, I hope there is a conduit in place for pulling more wires. The rest of us just have wires running along the baseboards and out of harm's way as far as pets and furniture.

Thanks for the link and the table, Jon. It looks like 18/16 gauge would be sufficient for my needs.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 11 Dec 19 - 04:50 PM

Audiphile plug board? - No, we had the living room re-plastered a few years ago. I sunk all the cabling for the hi-fi speakers and cinema system and had double the number of mains sockets I thought I needed installed.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Speakers and speaker wire
From: Mr Red
Date: 12 Dec 19 - 03:25 AM

If your cable length is of the order of 10 m you can forget the inductance and capacitance.

It is worth noting that this applies to speaker cable. For connecting from turntable (or microphone) into the amp/pre-amp the equation is more demanding. In that screened cables are more important, input impedances are higher and capacitance is too. But even then even a many yards would not affect the frequency response noticeably. Old ears would be lucky to hear 10-20kHz anyway.

A mains surge protector would be a good investment. Particularly if your mains is delivered by overhead wires. Where I live a lot of older houses have it and the cables have been retro-fitted with orange sleeves near the house. My house is on 1 phase of 3 phase down our street and the neutral got severed, meaning I got a huge chunk of the 440 volts phase to phase. It melted the internal heat fuses on a couple of things. Neighbours got melted answer machines! Surge protectors are sacrificial, you throw them away rather than the hifi.


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Mudcat time: 13 August 8:36 AM EDT

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