Good speaker cable really does work!!!

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by patton, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. patton

    patton
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    I have been into hi-fi and home cinema for years and never really bothered with descent speaker cable but a few months ago i got a new Nad amplifier and some Kef IQ3's and at first the bass was boomy and treble extremely high and sometimes ear splittingly harsh.

    I tried everything from running my speakers in to moving furniture and nothing worked, then it dawned on me i was using cheap free cable so i thought I'd take the plunge and spent £30 on 6 meters of QED Speaker Cable Silver Anniversary-XT.

    I am compelled to write this as a lot of people on here (i was one of them) did not believe speaker cable could make any difference. Well let me tell you IT DOES! my treble is miles and i mean miles better it sounds spot on i can turn it up and listen to my music loud without having to turn it down after a few minutes with it hurting my ears. The bass was boomy before and is now tight and so responsive.

    All this from £5 a meter cable you say? well yes this is why i am writing this believe the hype it really does work i am amazed!!!!
     
  2. k13 wjd

    k13 wjd
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    yip, your spot on......even on short runs, it can make a lot of difference......


    the wire in my speaker cabinets is Van den Hul.....silver plated.....Not much point in hooking it up to wiring from the poundshop.......
     
  3. Trollslayer

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    I bought some 521 strand OFC cable from ebay, that definitely helped.
    Now all I have to do is get the house rewired so I can get the layout I want, order some baffles to compensate for the brick inner walls... :rotfl:
     
  4. paulr2006

    paulr2006
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    Totally agree, I have tried numerous cables over the years but not found anything as good as Silver Anniversary, it's like a breath of fresh air! Bass is punchy, mid revealing & top end is clear & smooth. Unlike you though I use the cheaper SA Micro as I can't hear any differance between the two & it's easier to hide, the Micro can be found for £2.69 Mtr. with a little shopping around. I use it on my Arcam Hi-Fi & now on my AV gear with great results. :)
     
  5. k13 wjd

    k13 wjd
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    i will admit to using cheap cable to wire my bedroom speakers, but its a stupidly long run.....from my living room, to bedroom ( which is DIRECTLY above it)its over 30m per channel....it was that or drill throough 2 feet of solid concrete.

    £30 for 100m of cable from ebay - actaully seems like pretty good stuff !
     
  6. William YZF-R1

    William YZF-R1
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    For £5 a metre its certainly not cheap. :eek:

    Are you sure its not your ears reassuring your head that it was a wise choice.:D

    Seriously, I am a sceptic like you were, and will keep reading this thread for further evidence before taking the plunge.:smashin:
     
  7. kennyhkw

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    Not a fan of QED silver anniversary any more.

    Makes everything sound bright but flat.

    I used QED bronze, same as the silver design but no silver plating.

    As long as u use a decent gauge of oxygen free copper then it will sound pretty good.

    Believe or not but Epos use Maplin 50 strand High Current wire in some of there speakers. about £2 a metre. Its not even sold as speaker wire.
    oh heres the link: High Current Wire (50/0·25) > Maplin

    Its sold in singular so u need 2 lots per speaker.
     
  8. patton

    patton
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    You will always get sceptical people like myself for a start but i am simply stunned at the difference my ears are not fooled as they are no longer hurting from all the extreme trebile. The bass is punchy and tight i just cant get over it take my word for it £30 well spent!!
     
  9. BlueWizard

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    Is the underlying premise, that good wire does work, or is it that bad wire doesn't work?

    While you may hear a difference between good wire and great wire, I think you will find very little scientific evidence to back up what your ears are telling you.

    The only relevant factors are inductance (coils), capacitance, and resistance of the wire. In most cases, resistance overwhelms everything, yet, resistance for standard grades of wire is measured in ohms per kilometer.

    For example -

    1x1.50mm² ... 12.10 ohm/km (roughy 16 ga AWG)

    So, that is 0.0121 ohms per meter. Which means if you use 10 meters (32 feet) of wire, it is 0.121 ohms. Relative to an 8 ohm speaker, that is 1.5% signal loss. Converted to lost power, and assuming a 10 volt signal to an 8 ohm speaker, ZERO loss would be 12.5 watts. With the loss in the wire, the power is 12.128 watts, for a loss of 0.372 watts.

    The speaker voice coils typically have 0.5mH to 2.5mH of inductance, and remember the voice coils is literally a coil of small wire. So, the real inductance of a pair of lead-in/lead-out wires is going to be very small in proportion to the substantial inductance of the voice coil itself.

    The same with capacitance, while there certainly is some, it is only in the most extreme cases that it is enough to matter at typical audio frequencies and at typical audio power levels.

    For the most part, the inductance and capacitance factors are of a size so as to not effect audio frequencies.

    So, yes, stay away from bad wire, but once you've made that first step up into good wire, there is little difference. The rules of 'Diminishing Returns' weigh very heavily on ultra premium wire. Gains are minuscule relative to the very high price you pay.

    But, if you are happy, and you can hear the difference, then more power to you.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  10. William YZF-R1

    William YZF-R1
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    I am almost convinced I have just been googling for best price on some Biamp + ordinary for centre. I am assuming I can still get away with cheapo on the rears?
     
  11. patton

    patton
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    chepo on my rears has always done the job...
     
  12. Member 96948

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    What, exactly, was the previous cable?

    Russell
     
  13. namuk

    namuk
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    Do you really want your ears hear chepo? thats the question .
     
  14. paulr2006

    paulr2006
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    I used to use QED Micro prior to the Silver Anniversary Micro & found exactly the opposite results, by comparison the OFC Micro was "Muddy", better than "bell wire" but a very poor substitute for SA.
     
  15. paulr2006

    paulr2006
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    Theres an easy & cheap test; bring your speakers close to the Amp. & just buy a couple of metres, you will hear the differance. :)
     
  16. Scott_Mac

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    I'll always advocate having a listen.... £5 a metre will get some good speaker cable.

    The jump from there is often painful as you usually have to spend a fair chunk to get real returns... plus there is no point in a cheaper system.

    I use Chord Epic in my system, but then again each individual component costs nearly £1k, including the speakers... so in the grand scheme of things £40 a metre (only need 2 metres per side) wasn't actually that great, but to my ears the performance improvement was worth more than the cost.

    I work with people who have no belief in speaker cable making a difference, and we make guitar amplifiers and PA systems! So people are skeptical, they always will be.... go along to a local dealer, book a demo slot and ask them to demo some speaker cable to you blind, then see what you think at the end.... if you prefer a cable to the others borrow it and take it home and try it there.

    A great opportunity is coming, go and listen to the Nordost demo at the upcoming Bristol Show.. it's a real eye opener.
     
  17. reevesy

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    must admit i changed from QED to some chord rumour 2 and i found it quite a jump up.......
    sounded a lot clearer and detailed to me.....most noticable was the centre speaker......much more clearer dialogue i found........

    .....saying that if the cheaper stuff sounds ok to you then fine.


    i'm sure i've heard people rave about using bog standard electrical cable as speaker cable!
     
  18. Maxamus

    Maxamus
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    Im using this for my Rears:

    QED QONTOUR ULTRA FLAT PER METRE £1.76 at hifix.co.uk

    QED QONTOUR ULTRA FLAT

    Conductor Dielectric PVC
    Conductor Material 99.999%
    Conductor Section (mm2) 2 x 1.13
    Dissipation Factor at 10kHz 0.0431
    Loop inductance uH/metre 0.76
    Loop resistance (ohms/metre) 0.029
    Parallel Capacitance pF/metre 26.8

    Good?
     
  19. kennyhkw

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    Yeah the QED micro is better than bell wire but considered pretty guff by people in the know.

    I'm gonna buy some of that high current wire from Maplins and see if it makes a diff.

    If its good enuf for Epos then i'm sure its good enuf for us mere mortals with budget AV systems! :D
     
  20. BlueWizard

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    Let's take a look at this.

    First let's assume we have 2 meters of wire, since this is a wire pair, that means 2 meters out and 2 meters back for a total of 4 meters.

    To determine the inductive and capacitive reactance (or impedance) at a given frequency we use these formulas -

    Xc = 1/(2(pi)fC

    Xl = 2(pi)fL

    We know the inductance and capacitance, we will assume a reactance, and need to find the frequency, so we change the formulas as follows.

    Fc = 1/(2(pi)(Xc)C

    Fl = (Xl)/(2(pi)L)

    So, let's find the frequency at which the reactive inductance or capacitance equals 1/100th of 8 ohms (0.08 ohms).


    Fc = 1/(2)(3.1416)(.08)(4x26.8pf)
    Fc = 1/(6.2831)(.08)(107.2pf)

    'pf' means picofarads, making the above or .0000001072 farads

    Fc = 1/(.5027)(.0000001072) = 1/(5.378x10^(-8))
    Fc = 18,592,867.18hz

    18 megahertz

    If we raise our reactance to a larger percent of the speakers impedance, say .8 ohms instead of .08 ohms, we then have 1,859,286.7hz (1.8 Megahertz).

    If we raise it to a full 8 ohms, the significant frequency then becomes 18,592.3hz. But remember, this reactance/impedance is in parallel with the speaker, so the speakers is still getting the full voltage signal from the amp. The amp is just sourcing a little more current through the capacitance.

    Fl = (.08)/(6.283)(4x0.76uH)

    'uH' equal micro-Henry or .00000076 Henrys

    Fl = (.08)/(6.283)(3.04x10^(-6))

    Fl = 4,188 hz

    That could be significant, but we are only dealing with .08 ohms of reactance.

    If we raise it to .8 ohms, we have 41,884 hz.

    If we raise it to a full 8 ohms 418,841 hz.

    If we make the reactance 5% instead of 1%, or 5x.08=.4 ohms, then the frequency is 20,942hz.

    1% is considered insignificant, 5% is the most you would ever allow under ideal circumstances. So, we can see that neither inductance nor capacitance is having any significant effect. In neither case is it effecting bass in any way. In both cases it effecting high frequencies, but again, not in any significant way.

    Consider that we have half the inductance leading out to the speaker and half the inductance coming back. It is possible that the lead-in inductance cancels out by the lead-out inductance.

    Also keep in mind that the speaker itself is full of coils. The woofer voice coil is probably 1 or 2 milli-Henrys. Plus another 1 to 4 milli-Henrys for each crossover coil. The wire is supplying Micro-Henrys (.000001), where as the speaker and the crossovers are supplying Milli-Henrys (.001).

    While 2x1.13mm² wire is a little on the small side, it would be acceptable for short runs of speaker wire.

    Just a few random thoughts.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  21. Maxamus

    Maxamus
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    Dude, that went over my head. Could you condense that into a few words and let me know if its good or bad speaker cable for the rears. Length of cable from amp to rear speakers is around 20metres.

    I have a feeling it isn't that good but its only because of this cable that i have rears as i didn't want proper speaker cable running across my door frames and along the skirting. It would have looked ugly. At least with this i can hide it underneath the gap in the skirting and the floor.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  22. swiftpete

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    Hmm, I've been thinking about getting some of this xt stuff now for a while as it's not too expensive. The reviews generally say that you get a lot of detail but no bass with it. How can a speaker cable influence the bass? I don't understand how that can happen. Anyway, I'm not sure that I need bass as I've got a sub for that but more detail sounds good as I'm a clarity fiend. Anyone out there put this stuff with wharfedale 9.1s and have an opinion??
     
  23. patton

    patton
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    pete my bass is alot tighter and has more control with the xt cable...
     
  24. swiftpete

    swiftpete
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    Ok, that sounds cool, cheers. It's hard researching stuff on the net, some people say this stuff is great, others say it's terrible. I suppose trying it yourself is the only foolproof way. I can't believe opinions on it are so split. I'll order some and see if it sounds different to me.
     
  25. k13 wjd

    k13 wjd
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    clearly stevie/ bluewizard concentrated during physics at school


    Thanks for the numbers fella !
     
  26. namuk

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    SPEAK for your self :rotfl: only joking :thumbsup:
     
  27. BlueWizard

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    To the core question, it's as good as any. It might be a little small for such a long run. 1.50mm² or 16ga AWG would be the minimum most people would go, and 2.00mm² or 2.50mm² (14ga AWG) is preferred by many.

    Let me explain my long previous explanation in a simpler (hopefully) way.

    We have parallel capacitance and series inductance(coil). Both have a negative effect at high frequencies.

    If we consider the resistive aspect of the wire which is 0.029 ohms per meter, 4 meters in my example would only be 0.029 x 4 = .116 ohms, which creates a resistive error of .116/8 = 1.45%.

    20 meters, which is 20 meter out and 20 meters back for a total of 40 meters, will have 40 x 0.029 = 1.16 ohms, or a error of 1.16/8 = 14.5%, that's a little high. Generally, we would like to keep the pure resistive aspect to less than 5%.

    Are you sure you meant 20 meters or 66 feet, and not 20 FEET???

    A Coil of wire in general, is a dead short to low frequencies, as the frequency rises, the inductance of the 'coil' aspect of the wire comes into play. So, low frequencies, a coil equals Zero resistance, at higher frequencies, it represents a high resistance.

    I demonstrated that there is only a light effect, if any, at 20,000hz. So, no problem.

    Capacitors are the opposite of coils. Capacitors are high resistance a low frequencies and low resistance at high frequencies. But, in our case, the capacitance is in parallel to the speaker, so at high frequencies, the capacitor starts to look like a short circuit across the speaker.

    As demonstrated, the capacitive aspect only become a relevant factor above 18,000hz. So again, the full audio frequency range is safe from interference by the wire.

    So, again, in general, that is probably fine quality wire. But are you sure you need to run 66 feet of it? Thats seem excessively long for just about any room. Normally it is not recommended that you ever use more than 50 feet of any gauge wire if you want good sound quality.

    Still, you have to do what you have to do.

    So, in short, the wire is a little small, but I assume it appeals to you because it is a very flat wire, and if it is the only flat wire you can find in your price range then it should be fine. But one again .... 66 feet???

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  28. BlueWizard

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  29. Maxamus

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    Sorry, it was a blunder on my part :oops:
    Amp to left rear speaker cable length is 14metres (46ft)
    Amp to right rear speaker cable length is 11metres (36ft).

    Plus at £1.74p/m it is the most expensive flat cable i could find.

    PS. I use the QED Micro for my fronts and centre.

    Room layout:

    [​IMG]

    Red indicates speaker cable around walls and around door frame
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2009
  30. k13 wjd

    k13 wjd
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    erm......you mean cheapest flat cable you could find ?
     

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