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Cat5 Speaker Cables and Arcam......??

Discussion in 'Arcam Owners' Forum' started by deaf cat, Sep 18, 2005.

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  1. deaf cat

    deaf cat
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    Hiya,

    Has anyone tried Cat5 speaker cables with Arcam amps, especially the AVR200.

    I have heard that the Cat5's have a high capacitance value and can cause some amps to osscilate, I don't really want to just try it just in case the Cat5 cables harm the AVR200.

    I Look forward to hearing any suggestions / comments,

    Cheers.

    PS thinking of making these........
    http://www.venhaus1.com/diycatfivecables.html
     
  2. Crustyloafer

    Crustyloafer
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    No I haven't tried it, and to be honest have no intention of doing so.
     
  3. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    hi dead cat,

    I use them with an older arcam amp (AV50) and have used them with other amps in the past. I've never hada single problem with them and they sound significantly better when listened to side by side with previous speaker cables I've tried (QED, gale and twin and earth mains).

    give it a try, just but 10m or so (which will cost you very little) and make up some cables. if you dispense with any braiding and follow one of the simpler designs you can have them up and running in half an hour.

    have a look here if you haven't already done so: http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1099727&highlight=cat5#post1099727

    HTH
    owain
     
  4. deaf cat

    deaf cat
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    Cheers Owain for the info and link,

    So do you think its worth a go and just see how the amp reacts?
     
  5. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    sorry, just realised I called you "dead cat" instead of deaf cat! :oops: :suicide:

    any way, I did a fair bit of reading about cat5 before I bothered making them up and didn't come across anything which made me worry I'd damage my equipment. I came to the conclusion that the most I'd lose would be the cost of a few metres of the stuff, i.e. nothing in any way significant.

    I trialled the cat5 next to some gale biwire stuff (315 strand IIRC), some QED biwire stuff and some (cheap as chips) twin and earth. I could hear no difference at all between the twin and earth and the two "proper" speaker cables, there is one important difference though -it costs 20p per metre, not £4. Cat5 was a different story though, although it costs more than twin and earth and is a bit more hassle it was a world apart from the other cables, there was a clear and noticeable difference.

    So, yeah, give it a go, make up a length of cat5 and compare it to whatever you use now, you might get a nice surprise.

    PS if you are still concerned about using "non-speaker" cable it may be worth looking at the van damme blue series stuff they sell at maplins, gets some great reviews compared to more expensive stuff. I've not tried it myself yet but may well do when I move and have to rewire everything.
     
  6. radio

    radio
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    Wow Excellent... My company has spools and spools of cat 5e and higher grade cable this would cost me next to nothing to do... great writeup.

    My ONLY question... why did you have to use 3 lengths to make up one wire (bi) couldnt you use two lengths (hi n low)? a little confused here.

    cheers.

     
  7. GW43

    GW43
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    PS if you are still concerned about using "non-speaker" cable it may be worth looking at the van damme blue series stuff they sell at maplins, gets some great reviews compared to more expensive stuff. I've not tried it myself yet but may well do when I move and have to rewire everything.[/QUOTE]

    I've got this from my A85 to Monitor Audio speakers in single wire mode (using a bit of the cable to supplement the terminal jumpers on the speakers) and it sounds just fine. (Copper is copper is copper after all!).

    £2/m for the 2.5mm2, although I think it's even cheaper if you buy in bulk. And it looks quite a cool shade of dark blue if that's a consideration!
     
  8. cjohnson6

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    Take a look at http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/cat5questions_e.html. There's some good stuff here for CAT5 speaker cables. But be careful as you can easily screw things up and short out your amp. I've used a triple run of this ( 12 pairs ) on a Yamaha and it sounds great. Assuming the the ARCAM can drive the highly capacitive load it should be no problem. But, you should also try using ptfe coated 12AWG silver plated wire, in a twisted quad. This is much better... you can get this from RS ... stock number is 358-179 and it only comes in PINK !!!!! But believe me... it's great. I use this on my AVR300.
     
  9. cjohnson6

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    I also use air spaced RG6 as analogue interconnects... cheap and cheerful
     
  10. deaf cat

    deaf cat
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    Cool, thanks for all the blurb, interesting stuff, still a waiting to hear from Arcam on the high capacitance issue........

    Very tempted to get a reel of Cat5 and give it a bash, however, the pink gear with silver plated Cu sounds like an option that probably won't have the high capacatance issue.(sounds like more normal wire...)

    What would be a "twisted quad" ....please....., if I am bi-wiring would I use a twisted quad for the bass and same again for the top?

    Look forward to hearing more, cheers again.
     
  11. hedrick@rutgers

    hedrick@rutgers
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    The main thing you care about with speaker cables is wire gauge. Cat 5 is normally pretty thin. If it's more than a few feet, I'd use something heavier, such as zip cord.
     
  12. owain_thomas

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    hedrick,

    have you tried cat5?
     
  13. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    To be fair even QED silver anniversary has quite a hard, flat sound when compared to cheaper cable (the reason we changed over to Black Rhodium for higher end speaker wiring). Gale, well hardly "hifi".

    However, I haven't tried CAT5 so I'm gonna hold comment until I do, and I don't deny there must be some physical advantage to doing so. But, I will say you could at least reference it to some decent wire for a real-world comparison and factor in the cost of your time when you are making comparitive cost comments. i.e. if you're salary equates to say £10 per hour and it takes you 2 hours to build a pair of 2m lengths using 3 CAT5 runs each then the cost is actually £21.20 or roughly £10 per metre.
     
  14. deaf cat

    deaf cat
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    Gave Arcam a bell and they suggested not to use Cat5 as my AVR200 would probably not like it !! (hi capacitance issue)

    Well that puts an abrupt stop to that mini adventure into cable making.

    However !!!
    http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/cat5questions_e.html
    was an interesting read - cheers for that - maybe a little more research needed for a low cap cat6....

    I checked out Atlas cables and one of their more expensive speaker cable has a cap of 198pF/m, I will e-mail Arcam and ask if this particular cable is ok - different question same aim may come back with a different answer..?? who knows.

    I guess I will be able to get Cat5/6 with less cap than this however if I am using lots(as in thick) of the Cat cable, will the cap go up?



    Back to the pink gear from RS ,
    http://rswww.com/cgi-bin/bv/rswww/searchAction.do

    Anybody else tried such a cable?

    Thanks for all the comments so far, look forward to hearing more.

    Cheers !!
     
  15. cjohnson6

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    The good thing about the pink stuff is the thinner than average insulation keeping the cores closer together thereby reducing the inductance.... That's what counts in most speaker cables. The teflon also has good insulating properties and is rated to 1000v. Not that you'd ever get that out of an amp. This twisted quad is similar to a 'QED silver spiral' but a whole lot cheaper. Take a look at the archived reviews on http://www.hifichoice.co.uk/archive/... there's all kinds of speaker cable stuff there... the 'silver sounds 12 gauge' is a single pair version of the same thing.

    In the end you'd probably be better off buying something like the QED or the Cord Carnival Silver plus BiWire. www.hificables.co.uk have soe good prices...
     
  16. BAD Dave

    BAD Dave
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    Interesting!!
    Did Arcam give you any technical explanation or where they just being cautious and defensive?
    I was also looking into making some Cat5 cables for use with Arcam AVR350. Not sure now!
    Dave
     
  17. tvh3ad

    tvh3ad
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    I used to use braided cat 5e with an Arcam amp and never had any problems. If you're concerned about the capacitance, make up the cables and then measure it against whatever you're using now before you plug in.
     
  18. Nawty

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    I find that rather amusing, how do you thing the capacitance of the capacitors in the crossovers compare to the capacitance of the cables???

    Think about it.
     
  19. radio

    radio
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    Did you end up using the cat6 cable or 5e or what happened to your project? I didn't bother with speaker cable as i got some new speakers end of last year and have been busy.

    I am still using ultralink 512 strand copper wire here
     

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