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Question How important is speaker cable?

ricoriffs

Member
I’m upgrading my system and I note I need some speaker cable with terminated plugs to suit my incoming Nait 5si. I was thinking two things:

1. buy some plugs and terminate my existing QED cables
2. Invest in some new cables around the £20/m range

I can’t get my head around spending more, let alone many hundreds on cables. Surely a decent AWG with decent plugs is all that’s needed?

thanks.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
If your QED is oxygen free copper and 2.5sqmm cross sectional area (awg 13 or 14) then you are good to go up to 10m long, banana plug are for convenience, bare wires are fine so long as you have no stray strands.
 

Jamie

Distinguished Member
If your QED is oxygen free copper and 2.5sqmm cross sectional area (awg 13 or 14) then you are good to go up to 10m long, banana plug are for convenience, bare wires are fine so long as you have no stray strands.
Id agree with all of this, however the Nait amps don't have binding posts and I believe are supplied with appropriate plugs to attach to your cable. My mate had an older version that even had a warning about not using individual banana plugs but to use the ones supplied on a label next to the sockets.
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
£20/m?

Nonsense.

Van Damme Blue 2.5mm £2/m is all you need (I have this). Some folk even consider that too much.
 

ricoriffs

Member
VD blue is what my music gear uses - perfect.

Seems absolutely mind boggling that it is possible to spend £6k+ on speaker cables!!
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
There is cable out there that costs many thousands per meter. It's aimed at people with more money then sense.
 

Gray3

Member
Seems absolutely mind boggling that it is possible to spend £6k+ on speaker cables!!
[/QUOTE]
I saw some for 11 grand, but wasn't tempted.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Seems absolutely mind boggling that it is possible to spend £6k+ on speaker cables!!
I saw some for 11 grand, but wasn't tempted.
[/QUOTE]
Seems absolutely mind boggling that it is possible to spend £6k+ on speaker cables!!
I saw some for 11 grand, but wasn't tempted.
[/QUOTE]
Of course you were, I am sure you have some rubbish somewhere and thought to yourself , where can I find someone as gullible
 

daddy999

Active Member
I recently bought VDH the Clearwater at £10 per meter, no plugs though, they are a waste of money, went with bare wire, as I always have. The sound is open, smooth and no brightness, the cable is really flexible and it feels like a quality product to me. Speaker cable is like many things in hifi, you have to question whether chasing the perfect sounds leads to a “placebo” effect in trying to reconcile how much money one has spent on a product? 😂
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
What’s up Gaslight?
He's being a dick. Probably has expensive speaker cables and believes in the hype that comes with the price.
 

Paul7777x

Member
Id agree with all of this, however the Nait amps don't have binding posts and I believe are supplied with appropriate plugs to attach to your cable. My mate had an older version that even had a warning about not using individual banana plugs but to use the ones supplied on a label next to the sockets.
Still true I think. Silly price too. But the op only needs them on the amp end.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I did TWO Surveys, one in the USA and one in the UK, (links upon request) to find out what percent of their total system cost people spent on ALL Wire and Cable. It was in the 2% to 5% range, again, for ALL Wire and Cable. In the 2% to 5% range but most were around 3%, and system prices ranged from US$50,000 to UK£25,000 on the high end.

Speaker Cables are pretty important, but not as important as you might think and a good guide is the percent of system cost.

Which of these scenarios makes more sense -

- £500 system with £500 Wire and Cable or ...
- £900 system with £100 Wire and Cable?

For myself, I would rather have a £900 with good wire and cable than have a £500 system with great wire and cable.

While some will tell you that Speaker Cable can NOT possibly make any difference, I would be more inclined to say that under some circumstances it can make a difference. But, that circumstance where you can hear the mild subtleties of the Speaker Cable, are when you have a system expensive enough and revealing enough to be able to hear that subtle difference.

There are some basic guidelines for picking Speaker Cable.

1.) Get at least 99.9% OFC (oxygen free) Copper wire. (99.99% is very common)
2.) Get at least 14ga (2.08mm²) or 25mm² cable. Cable of this size will sustain in 300w or more for an extended period of time and will have Peak Working Power in the roughly 2000w or greater range
3.) Get decent quality terminations (Spade or Banana Plugs).


None of these have to be exceptionally expensive. You should be able to get good cable in the roughly £50/pair range or less in length around 10 feet each.

Though this is your money, spend what you want. But £20/meter seems a bit extravagant. Still ... not my money... spend what you want.

Depending on which QED you currently have, even that is likely to be unnecessarily extravagant. Still ... not my money.

Next, how well do you like the QED, and how old is it? If it seems in good shape, not showing any corrosion, it is probably fine.

Again...I repeat... not my money... I don't care what you do, but £20/meter seems unnecessary.

Steve/bluewizard
 

ricoriffs

Member
Thank you for the comments all. Upon closer inspection the cable is QED Micro and indeed the cables are a little dull in colour at the ends.

Specs:
High Performance Low Density
Polyethylene Dielectric
Cuts down on the amount of audio signal energy lost due to cable capacitance

Miniature figure '8' configuration
Enables Micro to be used in the most demanding of discreet set ups without sacrificing quality

Ideal for use in Home Cinema or bookshelf speaker installations
The cable can follow the contours of the room and remain in place
99.999% OFC conductors
Provides a low resistance pathway for the audio signal and delivers stunning high frequency detail

Specifications
Wire gauge - 17 AWG
Jacket OD - 2.40 mm
Cross-sectional area - 1.25 mm²
Loop resistance - 0.0290 Ω/m
Capacitance - 25 pF/m
Inductance - 0.63 µH/m
Dissipation factor - 0.0020

They are offcuts from my dads system and are probably too long for the locations of the speakers relative to the amp. In terms of cable length, I probably need about 700mm and 1500mm for the right and left speakers - should I leave as is (circa 2000mm) or trim them down?

Regarding the naim plugs, should I be soldering the cables to them?
 

Paul7777x

Member
You have no choice but to solder Naim terminals. There is no other way of fastening them.


As your current speaker cable is 1.5 mm, you could buy some of this instead. Rock solid value, 2.5mm cable at £2:50 a metre.

At the speaker end you could have them attach fisual bananas for an extra £6 if you don’t want to use bare wire.

 

Gaslight

Member
I did TWO Surveys, one in the USA and one in the UK, (links upon request) to find out what percent of their total system cost people spent on ALL Wire and Cable. It was in the 2% to 5% range, again, for ALL Wire and Cable. In the 2% to 5% range but most were around 3%, and system prices ranged from US$50,000 to UK£25,000 on the high end.

Speaker Cables are pretty important, but not as important as you might think and a good guide is the percent of system cost.

Which of these scenarios makes more sense -

- £500 system with £500 Wire and Cable or ...
- £900 system with £100 Wire and Cable?

For myself, I would rather have a £900 with good wire and cable than have a £500 system with great wire and cable.

While some will tell you that Speaker Cable can NOT possibly make any difference, I would be more inclined to say that under some circumstances it can make a difference. But, that circumstance where you can hear the mild subtleties of the Speaker Cable, are when you have a system expensive enough and revealing enough to be able to hear that subtle difference.

There are some basic guidelines for picking Speaker Cable.

1.) Get at least 99.9% OFC (oxygen free) Copper wire. (99.99% is very common)
2.) Get at least 14ga (2.08mm²) or 25mm² cable. Cable of this size will sustain in 300w or more for an extended period of time and will have Peak Working Power in the roughly 2000w or greater range
3.) Get decent quality terminations (Spade or Banana Plugs).


None of these have to be exceptionally expensive. You should be able to get good cable in the roughly £50/pair range or less in length around 10 feet each.

Though this is your money, spend what you want. But £20/meter seems a bit extravagant. Still ... not my money... spend what you want.

Depending on which QED you currently have, even that is likely to be unnecessarily extravagant. Still ... not my money.

Next, how well do you like the QED, and how old is it? If it seems in good shape, not showing any corrosion, it is probably fine.

Again...I repeat... not my money... I don't care what you do, but £20/meter seems unnecessary.

Steve/bluewizard
It wouldnt be long till Bluewizard found this thread!

Little more balanced POV this time compared to some.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
I took the occasion today to visit the B&Q superstore. 6 mm sq flexible mains cable is 32 pounds for 10 metres. Now this will handle 42amps in a domestic situation,and typically will be used for electrical ovens and showers. Other than it will be difficult to get the strands into any banana connection,will be superb for any Hi Fi application up to 10 KW speakers. It will be slightly more expensive than the 4mm sq, ,which in turn is slightly more expensive than 2.5mm sq. ..Any of these will outperform specialist cables. The important characteristic of speaker cable is not its capacitance or inductance,but its resistance. And this is related to cross sectional area
 

Gaslight

Member
I took the occasion today to visit the B&Q superstore. 6 mm sq flexible mains cable is 32 pounds for 10 metres. Now this will handle 42amps in a domestic situation,and typically will be used for electrical ovens and showers. Other than it will be difficult to get the strands into any banana connection,will be superb for any Hi Fi application up to 10 KW speakers. It will be slightly more expensive than the 4mm sq, ,which in turn is slightly more expensive than 2.5mm sq. ..Any of these will outperform specialist cables. The important characteristic of speaker cable is not its capacitance or inductance,but its resistance. And this is related to cross sectional area
A clear example of when deaf people shouldn't play with Hifi :laugh: :rotfl:
 

gibbsy

Moderator
To the OP only go for a bigger guage, AWG 14 as an example, if you have long runs of speaker cable and most certainly don't spend a fortune. Spend the cash you save on music.
 

madfiddler

Active Member
I spent a stupid amount of time obsessing over this as my av amp kept going in overload protect mode. Wasted way too much time i think TBH!

Turned out the issue was more to do with the connection from it to my stereo integrated amp driving the front speakers, which needed service/repair

anyhow I did replace speaker cable in the process, I needed a 7m run and to give me a bit of margin for error too. I ended up with QED stuff but not expensive... Profile 79 Strand

there are plenty of similar options out there, this seems perfectly fine to me. the QED Prfile 79:strand is 2 quid a metre at AVOnline right now.

HTH.
 

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