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dumbo
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Anti-Cables, Solid Core & Multi-Stranded Speaker Wire Questions

I was curious to know what others experiences are with using a solid core speaker wire verses a multi-stranded one in their system. I have always used a multi-strand type wire on my own speakers but recently decided to order a set of solid core speaker wires from Anti-Cable. The cables haven't arrived yet so I don't have any experiences of my own yet to comment on the two types.

I am curious to see what the Anti-Cables can do and the price of them was reasonable enough to justify giving them a shot. I have seen mainly good reports from many others who have switched to this solid core cable with thin jacket. I must admit that I do have a part of me that is skeptical about this design since it takes a completely opposite approach of almost every other well know cable manufacturer on the market. But with that said, can all these other people be wrong with their experiences with them? If they work as well as advertised why isn't everyone else in that market jumping ship to this design?

What should a solid core wire do better or worse compared to a multi-strand type in regards to sound quality?

My only concern with the Anti-Cable design is the very thin shielding they have. I have old school hardwood floors with rounded off nail heads that protrude up off the surface of the wood throughout the listening room and the last thing I want is to have the cables arc'ing off the nail heads and zapping my equipment due to their thin shielding.

I am going to try and route them under the floor along the basement ceiling and back up to the speaker location to try and prevent the above scenario from happening. Will see how that works.

I thought I also read somewhere that the cables should be several feet apart from each other to avoid interference. I am assuming this is referring to the Left & Right speaker cables and not the Positive & Negative cables for each stereo pair? That would seem almost impossible to accomplish if referring to the stereo pairs.

Thanks for any info you can provide

Jan Vigne
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Re: Anti-Cables, Solid Core & Multi-Stranded Speaker Wire Qu

I prefer solid core. Personally, I wouldn't spend the money for the Anti-cable. Buy a $5 package of magnet wire from Radio Shack and try the 18AWG first. Simply scrape off about 1/4" of the lacquer coating on each end using a razor blade and attach the bare wire ends to your speakers and amplifier. If you like the results but have been sold on the idea of having more wire gauge than you will ever need, double up the runs with two conductors per leg of each cables - four conductors total per channel, two "+" and two "-".

Spacing the "+" and "-" legs of the cable apart will affect the total inductance and capacitance of the cable. About 4-6" apart should be fine for any short runs. You can buy either a roll of 4" wide painter's masking tape to secure the legs or most hardware stores should have some woven cloth (similar to a shoe string) which is open down the center for use as a protective sheath. Stay away from any plastics or PVC type sleeving since this is what you're trying to avoid when you use the lacquer coated magnet wire or the (magnet wire sold as) "Anti-Cables". Unless you have a habit of moving your cables constantly, there shouldn't be any reason to concern yourself with cables being nicked by nails in the floor.

If you are absolutely convinced you need thick wire and you have an electronics supply house in your neighborhood, ask if they sell rolls of magnet wire in various gauges. You can buy lots and lots of magnet wire for the price of a set of Anti-Cables.

http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8&fr=slv8-hptb5&p=enameled%20magnet%20wire&type=


Quote:
What should a solid core wire do better or worse compared to a multi-strand type in regards to sound quality?

You get to decide which is "better" or "worse" but stranded cables exist mostly for the benefit of handling. A thick solid core cable is very stiff and very diffuclt to work with. If you've ever run Romex to an AC outlet or ceiling light fixture, you've handled solid core cabling - it's not very cooperative as the gauge drops. Stranded cables are more flexible and can be disguised in the domestic environment more easily than can solid core of the same guage and overall thickness. The heavier the gauge of cable you use, the more difficult and unyeilding they become to handle. Therefore, try the RS 18AWG cables first.

http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8&fr=slv8-hptb5&p=audiophile%20diy%20cables&type=

Or you can ignore my advice completely since you don't think I know much.

ncdrawl
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Re: Anti-Cables, Solid Core & Multi-Stranded Speaker Wire Qu

don't have anti-cable...but I do have Morrow Audio Interconnects, and I really enjoy them(very, very thin stuff)

They are well priced, too

dumbo
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Re: Anti-Cables, Solid Core & Multi-Stranded Speaker Wire Qu

Thanks for the info. At the time of my initial post I already purchased the Anti-Cables so going with another brand of a similar style isn't really an option for me unless I returned the Anti-cables.

I will have to look into how the various levels of inductance/capacitance of cables effect the signal it carries.

The instructions that came with the wire mention using a twisted pair configuration if desired but my thought is that I would never be able to twist the pairs of Left/Right wires evenly enough by hand. I would probably end up with one pair more twisted and in different locations then the other causing more damage then good so I will leave them as individual runs.

Thanks for the idea of using the wide tape at various points of the cable run to keep things more consistent.

Any comments or experience on how safe this type of wire is when it comes in close proximity to any metal such as nails? Assuming the thin outer jacket remains in tact should there be any concern with arching?

Thanks again

Jan Vigne
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Re: Anti-Cables, Solid Core & Multi-Stranded Speaker Wire Qu

No, magnet wire is used to wind inductors. As long as the lacquer is intact there should be no problems.

dumbo
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Re: Anti-Cables, Solid Core & Multi-Stranded Speaker Wire Qu

So, I have been living with these cables for a few weeks now and so far I'm not impressed. I still have a couple hundred hours of burn in time to live through before coming to a final conclusion but as of now things are looking grim.

Soundstage has shrunk, bass extension has flown the coop and the pace of the music has slowed noticeably. To add to this, musical details that I know exist in certain CD's has also greatly diminished.

If after a few hundred hours of burn in time these cables do a complete 180Deg turn for the better I will be a true believer in the cable burn-in concept. Right now, I'm having a hard time imagining this will be the case and won't be letting my old cables go as soon as I thought.

So far, it seems that the grass isn

Jan Vigne
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Re: Anti-Cables, Solid Core & Multi-Stranded Speaker Wire Qu

Do you really believe the cables will require another few hundred hours of "break in"? What's going to "break in"? They are solid core cables and there is no dielectric to speak of. What's likely to change in the next hundred or few hundred hours other than your ears and their acceptance of the product? Does the seller actually suggest you give these cables hundreds of hours of break in time before making a decision? Do they give any explanation as to what exactly is breaking in during this time period?

dumbo
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Re: Anti-Cables, Solid Core & Multi-Stranded Speaker Wire Qu

I hear ya.

I haven't quite grasped the concept of cable break-in myself. The only thing I am going on is the numerous reports of other users claiming that the cable opens up after a long break in period but as you stated this could very well be from people just getting used to the sound.

I can only guess that there are many folks out there using lousy cables to begin with which is why they are finding these to be so great.

My original cables were not made by any big name company nor did they cost allot of money. They do appear visually as a very high quality made product in any case. These cables were purchased of an Ebay vendor that can no longer be found named "Raymond Cables". I believe I paid a little under $300 for a 15' pair with heavy duty gold plated spades at each end at the time.

This little cable swap test has proven so far that cables do make a huge difference and the wrong cable can make or break a system.

I am almost tempted to try a big name more expensive cable now to finalize and or debunk the theory that buying a so called "High End" brand cable sounds even better then what I had originally. Some would probably consider them as low-mid grade in terms of their cost relative to something like a Cardas Golden Reference or a Nordst Frey.

Will see where this experiment takes me. If I try a more well known brand I would have to find a distributor with a money back return policy in case the more pricey cable still turns out to sound like crap.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Anti-Cables, Solid Core & Multi-Stranded Speaker Wire Qu

I don't know of a cable retailer who doesn't have a money back return policy.


Quote:
I can only guess that there are many folks out there using lousy cables to begin with which is why they are finding these to be so great.

People listen for different qualities and cables are always very system dependent. What works for you might not work for someone else.

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Re: Anti-Cables, Solid Core & Multi-Stranded Speaker Wire Qu


Quote:
Soundstage has shrunk, bass extension has flown the coop and the pace of the music has slowed noticeably. To add to this, musical details that I know exist in certain CD's has also greatly diminished.

This has consistently been my experience when I have tried thin single wire interconnects and cables. I don't like the sound at all.

Others however are pleased.

I seriously doubt they will sound any different with further use. I would go back to your old cables. Let us know if they sound as you remember them.

tom collins
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Re: Anti-Cables, Solid Core & Multi-Stranded Speaker Wire Qu

i second the morrow cables. have started with his 1s and moved up with an improvement each time. he often advertises a set of the ma1's for $49 with return priv. you should check them out. a good friend of mine went from anticables to his speakercables and is keeping the morrows.

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Re: Anti-Cables, Solid Core & Multi-Stranded Speaker Wire Qu


Quote:
No, magnet wire is used to wind inductors. As long as the lacquer is intact there should be no problems.

Hi Jan,

There is one consideration with enameled cables (assuming coaxial and enamel thickness is thin). That is the capacitance could be very very high. With paper thin thickness of approx .004", one meter pair could be 1600pf (.0016uf). This assumes the DA is 2.7 or so. The capacitance could be higher.

Twisting wires, I would measure the capacitance to check.

Take care.
Steve

Jan Vigne
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Re: Anti-Cables, Solid Core & Multi-Stranded Speaker Wire Qu

Yes, I understand that, Steve. The question dumbo asked was, "Assuming the thin outer jacket remains in tact should there be any concern with arching?"

So the correct response to that particular querry did not need to deal with the capacitance issues of paralleled conductor legs which could also be very high in inductance - hence, their use when winding coils - should the user not understand how cable construction affects those parameters.

I did, however, address such issues in my earlier response to dumbo.


Quote:
Spacing the "+" and "-" legs of the cable apart will affect the total inductance and capacitance of the cable. About 4-6" apart should be fine for any short runs ...

You could certainly make a fine folded dipole antenna using magnet wire and some masking tape. But, I believe even that very inexpensive idea has been removed from the Stereophile Recommended Components listings along with any reference to RS 18AWG hook up wire.

If you have any further comments or links to instructional articles regarding cable construction, Steve, please do post. I have relied on the writings of a very few (as there would seem to be very few who are writing about cable construction) to understand what I do about this somewhat arcane alchemist's trade. Possessing the skills and knowledge of multiple disciplines to create neutral performance in a cable is not a common trait as I understand it. There is, I would say, too much hyperbole about the many cables available to the potential buyer. I find the "Anti-Cable" sellers to be the Tea Party candidates of the audio world. There needs to be more of rationale for your sale than simply, "Throw the bums out!" When the rubber meets the road and ideology meets reality, such simple thinking is bound to leave more than a few scratching their head while wondering just what to make of the entire affair.

SAS Audio
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Re: Anti-Cables, Solid Core & Multi-Stranded Speaker Wire Qu

Thanks Jan and my bad. I misunderstood your previous post about magnet wire.

For general information, here is a link to a huge number of coax cables and the specs, capacitance per foot in particular. Some have huge OD and stiff while others are very flexible.

http://www.rfcafe.com/references/electrical/coax-chart.htm

Notice RG-174 is quite small, extremely flexible like a string, but not teflon dielectric, and has 30pf/foot. RG-178, 179, 179A/B is quite small dia, Teflon, and have only approx 20pf/foot.

With Cardas, Vampire plugs one would have a total of approx 90pf/meter total. Not bad. Other cable numbers might be just as good.

Cheers.

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results of the anti-cable

Dumbo, did you keep the anti-cables or look for another cable??

dumbo
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I ended up retiring the

I ended up retiring the AntiCables shortly after my last post and bit the bullet so to speak and went with a higher end cable. Turns out this was a wise choice. I ended up purchasing a pair of Acoustic Zen Satori cables from "The Cable Company" which came with a 30 Day return policy.

Once the new cables were installed it took all but 10min to realize these were far better then the AntiCable and my original cables so needless to say I didn't need to take the cable company up on their return policy.

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Hi Chris, thanks for the

Hi Chris, thanks for the reply.

I had mixed feelings about what I read regarding the anti-cables but your message but the kibosh on that.. Right now I'm using an older pair of 25 foot long Audioquest Type 4 speaker cables that I bought on Audiogon a few years back. I have my stereo on the side wall and need that length, so exotic cables are out of the question. I do like the cables but thought I would try something new for the Magneplaner MMG's I just purchased.

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I must say my experience with

I must say my experience with AntiCables are very different from dumbo's. I replaced a pair of Audioquest Slates with the AntiCables and have been very happy. Other cables I have tried mostly mid to low end from AlphaCore, Kimber, Nordost and Tara Labs. I prefer solid core cables and find stranded cables a little hazy to my ears. I purchased two pair of 7ft. AntiCable for biwiring. My integrated amp is a Krell S-300i and speakers are Mobile Fidelity OML 1's.

I find the clarity amazing. Vocals are incredible and the lack of contribution of the cables really lets the music play through. Bass is defined and as extended as can be with a speaker of it's range. I find the music very coherent and timing is excellent.

I should say I have not twisted my cables and they are rather random in their proximity to one another. I stacked two spade lugs at each speaker post at the amp and then biwired at the speaker.

Listening to Cleo Laine's "Return to Carnegie Hall" in one song her voice keeps rising higher and higher. Other cables made it difficult to tell which were her high notes and the horns in the orchestra. Now with the AntiCables her voice is so very human and distinct from the horns. My cable search is over.

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FWIW, here is my

FWIW, here is my experience.

I have spent many hours listing to a friend’s system which used AntiCables. It was one of the better systems I have ever heard. That said, I never heard any other speaker cable in that system.

For the past 4 years I have been using Mapleshade’s standard version solid core speaker wire. It was a noticeable improvement over the 1994 version of the 12 gauge heavily insulated Monster cable that it replaced. I have compared it Nordost Flat wire and a premium conventional style that sells for ~ $400 a set. Differences were nil to minor, with the Mapleshade displaying slightly better detail and sustain. For the $80 I spent, I am quite pleased.

That said, I have also learned through experience, that differences are often V system dependant.

As always, JMHO YMMV

kager
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anti-cables

Thank you both JohnMichael and wkhanna for putting a different spin on the anti-cables. I could by a used short pair and move my equipment between my speakers to try them out. I do believe wkhanna hit the nail on the head, "system dependence", that has also been my experience over the years. If I do get the cables I will report back. 

dumbo
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..

There is no question that what someone hears from a set of cables is totally dependent on the system they are connected to as well as listener preference. I also believe that distance and driver size plays a big role in cable choice and in turn what you hear coming out of the other end.

I have since changed speakers but at the time I was using Anticables to feed a set of large tower speakers with 3 x 10" drivers per cabinet (Legacy Audio Sig III's) over a fairly long distance (15ft per spkr). What I heard was a noticeable loss in bass, probably due in part to the lower capacitance capabilities of the thinner wire then what I was using previously. Some would argue that this is a good thing as it "may" lower the possibility of coloration in the sound but in my setup I was not fond of what I heard. I also think my amplifier was working overtime while the Anticable was installed as it felt noticeable hotter to the touch after a listening session.

At the end of the day the Anticables are certainly cheap enough to warrant an experiment like you mentioned. They may turn out to be the ideal cable for your system. If not, at least you didn't have to sell 3 fingers and half a leg to try them out. My only advise would be to not let them sit in your system too long as to sway your initial impression of them, chances are they won't sound much different months later. 

JohnMichael
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One thing I did with the

One thing I did with the AntiCables is I did finally twist the cables. I thought the cables sounded brighter when they were twisted. I also heard less instrumental textures when twisted. I untwisted them and am more happy with the sound. If your AntiCables are twisted and you were not pleased with the sound I would try them untwisted.

dlb
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Cables, tin ears and a little knowledge.......

.....makes for a self satisfied fool!  Quality copper stranded heavy gauge wire with proper insulation and high quality Gold connectors is the starting point, but a cable is a cable unless it offers something more real world and practical.  The most significant increase in sound quality I ever experienced (I've owned most every type of snake oil and bargain basement solution available) was when I invested in Transparent cable and MIT cable technology.  They address issues with signal integrity, resolution and noise suppression far beyond the normal "wire only" cables.  Some people desire cable justice and demand a cheap solution....God bless their souls.  If you have great gear, then invest in a cable solution that will demonstrably improve your listening experience....like a soundstage you can swim in, low level detail and microdynamics, crushing macro dynamics and tonal colors that convince you musicians are in your room playing real instruments.  Magnet wire....that is so cute.

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