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CAT5e Vs 4 core power cable

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by oconnpad, May 21, 2005.

  1. oconnpad

    oconnpad
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    Guys can you help answer my question.

    I've got about 40 metres of CAT5e UTP cable for free, and since it's highly recommended on this site i'd said i'd try it for speaker wire on my front 3 speakers.

    However my dilemma is (if you could call it that), i currently have 4 core power cable (1.5mm2) for the front 3 and will the CAT5e stuff be better than what i have.

    My question is, is it a case of the copper in the CAT5e being of a better grade than the power cable stuff and hence a better sound?
    I know the whole try it and see argument, which i always totally agree with but I'd like to know before i go platting about 10 metres of this stuff and cut my fingers to bits making up the ends of these speaker cables.

    Here's the maths i've done on it.

    The CAT5e cable is the stranded type, and in 1 wire of a twisted pair set, there is 7 strands of copper. So 7 strands by 8 wires (in 4 pairs) gives 56 and multiple this by 3 (cause i'll use 3 lenghts) means i get 168 strands of wire.
    CAT5e = 84 strands of wire for each terminal on the speakers/amp

    The power cables is stranded as well, and in 1 of the wires in this has 32 strands of copper. So 32 strands by 4 wires gives 128 strands of wire.
    Power cables = 64 strands of wire for each terminal on the speakers/amp

    The actually strands of copper in both types look identical, i know it's very hard to guess sizes when the copper is that thin, but they look like the same gauge.
    A strand of the copper in the power cable is every so slightly tougher to bend then the CAT5e strand.

    Hope i haven't bored you to tears at this stage guys

    Thanks in advance
    Paddy
     
  2. Peridot

    Peridot
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    Boo Hoo Hoo :)

    Seriously Paddy, I don't think anyone here can answer your question. If the CAT 5 cable makes any difference at all it will be very small. So it all comes down to whether you have the inclination and the time to make up the cable and try it.

    If you do, be sure to feedback the results :).

    ___________
    Dermot
     
  3. Reiner

    Reiner
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    My theory: any potential difference in sound is caused by the difference in the resulting cross-section, not because one is a power cable and one is a CAT5 cable (which wasn't developed for audio applications as you know).
    Copper is copper and there is no reason why CAT5 cable should sound better (or worst for that matter) than power cable or dedicated speaker cable of the same material and cross-section.

    See this thread on the subject: http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=201890 . It will also tell you the cross-section of a CAT5 cable so you can do your own calculations.
     
  4. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    This man speaks a lot of sense. IMHO.
     
  5. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Indeed although the cables geometries are wildly different so I would expect that to have a larger effect once you have sufficient CSA. :)
     
  6. BliarOut

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    Hang on here..... I was just about to go and blow money on pukka speaker cable. Are you guys saying CAT5E cable is a good speaker cable?

    I only ask as I happen to work for a networking company and we just have the stuff laying around in bins!

    I am assuming you mean the multi-stranded flylead cable, not the solid conductor building wiring cable.

    Should i save my money and just use what I have? It sure is easier to conceal as an added bonus.
     
  7. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Bliarout, a number of people use Cat5 cabling to make up their speaker cable. Just do a search on here for a wealth of information, also have a look for the FFRC on www.tnt-audio.com :)
     
  8. Gregory

    Gregory
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    Cheapo solid-core CAT5 building wiring stuff is just fine (some argue there is a perceptable improvement with the multi-core, but I think it's marginal at best). And, it works very well IMHO and that of many others - outperforms many expensive cables (most of them actually)

    Cheers

    Greg
     
  9. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Equally good if you get the same cross-section, i.e. where necessary you have to bundle several CAT5 cables together.

    Besides it's mechanical properties I wouldn't see where it makes a difference if the cable is multi-stranded or solid core. Multi-stranded is more flexible and easier to install, but certainly does not sound any different to solid cable (again same material and cross-section assumed).
     
  10. Knightshade

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    Think a lot depends on the equipment (ears included). What sounds good to me you guys may hate.
    If there are differences they are subtle at best (I believe there are!) I think i'm one of the few that uses stranded cable. Of course it could be that I just terminated it better.;)
    Still, glad to see you're all saving the money for the stuff that really matters.....:thumbsup:
     
  11. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Power cables? :confused: ;)
     
  12. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Living up to your name I see.....;)
     

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