Speaker Wires!!

hlb

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Nothing to do with boats but I thought you learned ones might know the answer.
A couple of weeks ago I went out and bought some new speakers for home.
Course the salesman did his job and I finished up with the most expencive in the shop.
But must admit I'm not disapointed.
He then wanted to sell me some speaker wire at £££££ per metre.
Now is speaker wire special or is it better just bigger.
The speakers have terminals big enough for something out of the national grid, but we cant do that or we'll trip over them.
System is 100 W per speaker.

Haydn
 

BarryD

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I think the word is attuenation or something like that. Basically the signal degrades over distance even a couple of metres. So big fat copper (or gold) makes the best wire as it's the best conductor. The other thing is that the wires have to be the same length to both speakes to ensure that signal the amp transmits arrives at the same time in each speaker. So by sitting on both sides of the room at the same time you can hear the full range.

I've got a pal who swears by this, and he cries when he sees my twisted, salvaged wire stretched and run through some connectors. I just wind the volume up - crackkles WHAT CRACKLES?

Barry D.
 

jfm

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Wet string will be fine

i've often wondered this one Haydn. I can see the point of good speakers, they obviously sound better. But I've been told in shops to buy national grid sized silver wire, and, get this, I must connect this end to the speaker and that end to the amp, not the other way round, cuz when the wire is extruded its atoms align a certain way and so it conducts better one way round than the other. The insulation even has arrows printed on it to make sure you do not tragically get it the wrong way round. Now, that really is total bolx surely.

No, I can't hear the difference between something slightly better than bell wire, and the stuff that is £100 a length. So I woul buy the slightly-better-than-bell-wire stuff, praps £20 all in

The selling of hifi accessories is done in a way designed to extract premium prices from people who have a particular leisure interest. Ooooeerr..... why does that sound familiar???

JFM
 

MikeBrazier

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There is something to be said for thicker speaker cable, as someone else said, over a longer run there is more resistance in a thinner wire than a thicker one.

For most domestic systems, 2.5mm2 to 4mm2 copper cable is fine. This should be stranded with fine strands. Higher frequencies are supposed to travel around the edge of each strand for some reason which i dont understand. hence solid cables arn't any good.

You dont really need expensive Oxygen Free Copper Cable which the guy would have tried to sell you, just stranded copper is fine.

The point someone made about equal lengths of cable to each speaker is correct, even if this means one of them has to have a heap of wasted cable stuffed somewhere.

I work with Cinema Sound Systems so my information should be reliable.

Regards
Mike.

P.S. to get this thread on track, all the same applies to Boat sound systems although the equal length bit would be a pain so best skipped. but always stranded conductors. :)
 
G

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Re: Go tell us - what do you listen to?

As everyone else will tell you, length counts but thickness is more important. Anyway tell us all - what do you listen to on all this fabulously expensive (with an 's') hi-fi. Is it Max Bygraves?, Frankie Vaughan?

Curious Nick
 

Strathglass

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Re: Go tell us - what do you listen to?

Thick wires do help.
One of the problems is that the same wire has to carry both a) the booming low frequency signals at high currents which require very thick wire and b) the high pitched sounds which travel on the surface of the wire and require many strands to increase the surface area.
The latest thinking in HIFI speakers is to run two separate pairs of wires from the amplifier to the speakers one for low and one for high frequencies. Even relatively low cost speakers now have this facility.
Unless you have exceptional hearing and the room is fitted out like a studio you will notice virtually no difference between 2.5mm house wiring cable and the most expensive multi plated wire.
If the wires are very long, say over 10 metres, then wire type will have some effect.
I personally find the by using twin core 81 strand loudspeaker wire from my amplifier to wall mounted speakers more then satisfies my listening abilities. (70 pop, light classic and Jazz)

The wires should be the same length to both speakers but the mounting and positioning of the speakers will have a much more significent effect than the wires feeding the speakers.

Very thin wires will present a higher impedence path and less of the amplifiers power output will be delivered to the speakers. The amplifier may also not be able to produce its maximum power.

I used to run an acoustic lab many years ago.
 

hlb

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So Ok my amp is hi tec and feeds the sound through a load of hi tec cables made of gold, silver but anyway loads of bits of wire to the terminal. Then it meets a big lump of brass and a big screw. which you tell me is a no, no, Next you have an equaly hi tec lump of wire conected then to an equaly thick lump of brass with another big fat screw in it squeezing the life blood out of it. Am I missing some thing??

Haydn
 

stewart

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Size doesn\'t matter!!

It isn't just the sixe or thinkness. I've got some completely flat stuff (Nordost flat line or something - £50/mtr) which sounds amazing and fit invisibly under the carpet. A good hifi shop should be able to demo the different cable and if you can hear the difference then great and if you can't what's the point? As a rough guid you should be spending sround 20% of the cost of the speakers on the cable if you want the best from the system. Main differences in sound are more separation of the instuments, a clearer more open sound and tighter more defined bass.
 
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