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popvulture
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All around good speaker wire.

I'm currently running my hifi with some Monster XP wire I bought at Best Buy. It wasn't cheap, but it wasn't that expensive either. Things sound fine to me, but I can't help but wonder if I'm missing out on something.

What are people's thoughts on this? I know that the quality of wire can make a difference, but how much are we talking about? I'm all ears.

My system is a Music Hall MMF-5 > Rega Brio > B&W 683s.

Thanks!

Jan Vigne
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

Did you buy the components through a dealer? If so, they should have some recommendations for cables they feel are synergistic matches to the gear you own.

mrlowry
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Re: All around good speaker wire.


Quote:

My system is a Music Hall MMF-5 > Rega Brio > B&W 683s.

That system is certainly resolving enough to ear the difference between speaker cables. On a similar subject what are you doing for interconnects?

Audioquest has always been a favorite of mine. It's one of the few cables, in my opinion that is close to neutral.

popvulture
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

Ok I'm gonna get some laughs here, but I don't really know anything about interconnects. Wires on posts. Please advise.

mrlowry
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

Interconnects are what you use to connect components together. So the cables that run between a CD player, turntable, tuner, etc and an integrated amp (or preamp for that matter) are interconnects.

JIMV
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

Consider these folk

http://www.usedcable.com/

popvulture
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

Oh I thought when you said interconnects that you were referring to what kind of plugs are on the end of my speaker wire. That's why I said "wires on post." I'm using bare wire on the terminals, Monster cable.

Should I be using banana plugs or something like that? Is there an advantage to using these?

JIMV
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

I prefer banana plugs that I ha ve no real reason for the preference...

mrlowry
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

The conventional wisdom is that other than bare wire, spades make the best connection. The problem with bare wire is that the conductor is exposed to air and oxidizes. Oxidized copper is far less conductive and greatly reduces the sound quality. For illustrative purposes if you've had a set of speaker cables for approximately 2-5 years give them a good listen, then trim them back about 2 inches each on all sides and listen to the difference.

Regular banana plugs lose their tension over time and therefore conductivity is reduced. Audioquest offers a BFA banana that is really nice and seems to hold it's tension over time.

ncdrawl
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

my first advice is to ignore the people that say they hear tremendous differences between speaker cables. The science of why this is an impossibility is all over the web, so I shant bore you with it...but do consider what matters. AWG(american wire gauge), length, build quality, quality of connector/termination.. I am about to place a large order to Blue Jeans myself...

I use Vampire Wire, DH Labs, and Analysis Plus in my home and Studio.

I highly reccomend all 3 of them. Herr Vigne up above uses common magnet wire from Radio Shack(right, Jan?) with great results, so spare your wallet and do not blow money on esoteric nonsense. FWIW, ALL of my studio wire is Vampire Wire(he does all the wiring for the Lucas Ranch and IMAX) and Mogami. Home is a mixture of DH Labs and Analysis Plus.

http://www.anticables.com/testimonials4.html
http://www.analysis-plus.com/
www.bluejeanscable.com
www.silversonic.com

Lamont Sanford
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

I've been using Radio Shack speaker cable since 1979. Before that I had a hand-me-down cabinet stereo. The last time I bought a roll was during the eighties. Still have some left on the roll. Been out in the garage for years. Still looks good as new.

Mr. Lowry found a good list of all the weird wire you can shake a stick at...

http://www.usedcable.com/cgi-bin/TheCabl...e/23?catno=1045

absolutepitch
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

When I was in grad school, a fellow student was also an audiophile. We compared speaker cables on his system. There was an audible difference between cables in frequency balance between highs, mids, and lows. However, we did all the listening without effectively contolling the variable, i.e. matching the sound levels (we tried to match levels with a voltmeter on the speaker terminals, but probably did not match to within 0.1 dB). That effect might account for some or all the difference we heard. This seems to be why some in this forum may write that there is likely no audible difference in cables when levels are matched precisely.

I have been using AWG 12-gauge stranded wire, paired to make a speaker cable of 24' length. I also have a AWG 10-gauge stranded wire, also paired to make a cable of 8' length. I do hear a difference between these two sets of cables. Again, I did not match levels, but was assuming that the levels would be equal enough if I left all controls in the same position before and after swapping the cables, an assumption that needs to be tested to be sure. This wire was bought for about seven cents per foot on a spool of 250 feet, so is very affordable even if the price were say 20 cents/foot today.

As for interconnects, I first used whatever came with the equipment, usually coaxial cable with PVC insulation. I later switched to twisted-pair wire surrounded with a coax-like shield with teflon insulation. I grounded the shield at one end only (not carrying current). That was an audible difference. Again, the electrical characteristics (impedance characteristics) of the two types of cables may also be enough to explain the difference heard - I have not investigated further.

You may want to experiment when you feel you are familiar with the sound of the system you use. Be careful to control the variables (match sound levels, same settings on the electronics, same music, etc.) for a useful comparison. Report what you find - I'd be interested.

popvulture
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

Got some Chord Company Carnival SilverScreens. They sound pretty damn nice.

popvulture
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

PS I'll also add that there are some big differences between the Chord Company wires and what I was using before. The previous Monsters were bought on a spool from Best Buy, right in the middle price-wise as far as what they offered.

The Monsters are pretty thin, wrapped in white rubber. They look like something that would be used for long run home installations, white to match walls, etc. Connection to my 683s and amp was bare wire.

The Chord Co wires are both 8' with banana plugs and pretty heavy insulation, easily twice the size of the Monster cable if not more.

The difference was very audible. Whether this is a good or bad thing, I hear more flaws in the music, sort of like when I listen to music on my home studio's monitors (Dynaudios with Mogami cables). I like this a bit more, as it kind of lays it all out there for you to hear, warts and all.

I'll try to rig up a way to do a proper A/B sometime soon.

ncdrawl
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

If you do a proper a/b/x comparison, I seriously doubt that those very audible differences will be there at all. the mind is a powerful thing..


Quote:
PS I'll also add that there are some big differences between the Chord Company wires and what I was using before. The previous Monsters were bought on a spool from Best Buy, right in the middle price-wise as far as what they offered.

The Monsters are pretty thin, wrapped in white rubber. They look like something that would be used for long run home installations, white to match walls, etc. Connection to my 683s and amp was bare wire.

The Chord Co wires are both 8' with banana plugs and pretty heavy insulation, easily twice the size of the Monster cable if not more.

The difference was very audible. Whether this is a good or bad thing, I hear more flaws in the music, sort of like when I listen to music on my home studio's monitors (Dynaudios with Mogami cables). I like this a bit more, as it kind of lays it all out there for you to hear, warts and all.

I'll try to rig up a way to do a proper A/B sometime soon.

judicata
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

I don't doubt that there are differences out there, and I don't want to get into the cable debate.

Bottom line: I use, and thoroughly like, BlueJeans cable. Custom lengths and terminators (and a few different kinds of cable) at a reasonable price. And the service in my experience has been fantastic. Just my 2 cents.

DBZ
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Re: All around good speaker wire.

The few times I've experimented with speaker wire, I've found the differences to be quite subtle. Not even sure I'd detect them in a blind test. (I'm now using Home Depot 12-gauge stranded wire.) I guess I lost interest playing around with it because there are other tweaks that have much more dramatic effects. For example: filling speaker stands with lead; closing all the blinds in the listening room; throwing a large quilt over the french doors to the room (only when my wife isn't around, of course).

Maybe the differences in speaker wire would be more noticeable in truly high end set-ups.

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