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internal speaker wire

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by G a f f e r, Jan 24, 2004.

  1. G a f f e r

    G a f f e r
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    Let's face it, most speakers below £500 have internal wires that probably only cost 50p and that you could buy from the local hardware shop.
    Not ideal really, considering you spend much much more on the equipment and speaker cable to have the internal wires be the rate determining step.

    So, I re-wired my speakers internally with QED Silver Anniversary wire. This cost me £7.50. I, in fact, only soldered in the wires as add ons (in parallel) to the existing wire, but it's made one hell off a difference!

    The treble is smoother, the whole soundstage more cohesive. The Bass is stunning. I auditioned a pair of Quad 21L floorstanders and my Tannoys have better depth and balance, but MORE bass that's better controlled (btw my speakers are 12yo Tannoy M15's that are standmounts not floorstanders). I'm well chuffed that my entry level Tannoys outshine a pair of Quads (that cost 3 times more)!!!!

    Does anyone else have similar good (or bad) experience with re-wiring their speakers?
    Do you think I should remove the old wire all together and just leave the QED wire in place?
     
  2. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    So long as you don't damage the corss-over, cabinet or any drivers in any way then it's a good thing to do, if you can tell the difference.

    TBH it's not something i'd be tempted to do unless I had nasty bell-wire stuff in my speakers. But if they were like that I definately would.
     
  3. WBC

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    I've got mission 74i's. Never thought about it before but now I'm tempted, how hard is it to do??

    I'll have a look at the cabinets, see how easy they are to open and try not to dry solder.

    Would any good cable do or would you be better off using what runs from your amp???

    Thanks
    Stace :D


    By the way, I appreciate its all about cutting costs but if it makes that much difference why do they do it??? Why not stick in better cable (costing them probably at best an extra tenner) and charging considerably more on the speaker? Got me thinking now?!?!!!! :suicide:
     
  4. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    If you're a competant solderer then it's very easy.
     
  5. WBC

    WBC
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    Retro,

    WE all know your a dab hand at this DIY stuff!! :clap: :clap: :smashin:

    Is it worth considering?

    It's been a long time since I've soldered anything but if I remember the basics from college, Can I really screw it up???

    Thanks
    Stace
     
  6. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Provided you don't go dropping a hot soldering iron on anything plastic etc (or your hands), I'm sure you'll be ok.
     
  7. fufna

    fufna
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    I had all my Speakers (transmission lines) customised by a German fellow 2 years ago.

    He upgraded most of the components on the crossovers and replaced all the internal wiring.

    Now I'm a huge pessimist when it comes to most "hifi" upgrades (being an engineer who's monitored through NS10's and NFM8's for years) but I have to admit that they still sound better than any speaker I have ever auditioned... And thats bearing in mind that these upgrades only cost me around £500 for all five speakers!

    I'd say, as long as you're OK with a soldering Iron, then don't hesitate.
     
  8. WBC

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    Anyone how to get the 74I's open?

    Stace :D
     
  9. Roam

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    Firstly, remove the screws around the speaker terminals at the rear of the speaker.

    Secondly, reach in and pull out the wires connecting the crossover to the drivers making a note of where each wire goes.

    Thirdly, if you want to solder your new wire to the drive units terminals, remove the front baffle and pull out the rubber plugs that hold the baffle in place. This should reveal some screws. Unscrew and away you go.

    Not sure if the 74i's are any different but this works on my 71i's. I used some QED original to do mine and the effect was negligable so would suggest silver anniversary.
     
  10. bob1

    bob1
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    When my tannoy r2 tweeters were damged the other week i took one of them out to find some info on them,the cable didn't look too bad but they were connected with spades,that can't be good.
     
  11. WBC

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    So If I'm going to do it?

    Should I just worry about my fronts or should I do all 5???

    Should I use the same cable as I have used from the amp or is there a better preference (The Cable I use from the Amp, If I remember was QED, its two shades of purple, about £4mtr)

    Thanks
    Stace
     
  12. Roam

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    Try it with your rears first to see if you like the difference it makes. That way if there is not much of an improvement or you don't like the results your front speakers will still sound good (which is important).

    Don't know which QED you mention but I don't think you can go wrong with the silver anniversary. About £5mtr.

    I will try the silver anniversary myself to see if it's an improvement.

    Just my two cents!
     
  13. Roam

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    Oh, another thing you need to note is that there is only a small hole for the existing wire to fit so you will have to drill a slightly bigger one for the new wire to fit.
     
  14. G a f f e r

    G a f f e r
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    First unscrew the drivers, make a note of which wire goes on to what terminal (polarity is important). It might help to label them HF+, HF-, LF+, LF-. Disconnect the attached wires.
    Now unscrew the back crossover and pull out. You should now have a crossover with four wires.

    Tips for soldering:
    I used the highest temp setting on the soldering iron to ensure that I wouldn't need to hold it on for long to solder, hence I thought I'd have less chance of damaging the components. It seemed to have worked.
    Also, if you're going to unsolder the existing wire, definitely use a solder sucker gun as it makes life easier.

    Remember, it will take a couple of days for the new wire to "run in" so even though improvements may be noticed immediately, it does get better...

    ps, as i mentioned, not all speakers are like this, i've seen £1000 speakers which are manufactured with better wires like valhalla (nordost). Sub £500 speakers do, however, need to keep costs down, so have cheaper wire.
     
  15. Roam

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    Good point regarding the wires needing a few days to 'bed-in'. I only did mine this afternoon so maybe I'm jumping the gun a bit with a review so soon. Cheers!
     
  16. Roam

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    I'd just like to add that now the new wire has bedded in I'm hearing a definate improvement. Everything sounds clearer with much less background noise and with more detail too. It sounds more like real music to my ears.
     
  17. dts_boy

    dts_boy
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    i'd reccomend using chord rumor speaker cable to replce with. its about the same size as the cheapy crap that you will be replacing but because of its gauge it will be easier to solder in place. more expensive at £10/m, its worth it as it sounds better. i got 0.5m free as an offcut from 7oaks (more than enough to get the job done), always worth asking:smashin:
     
  18. Reiner

    Reiner
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    Get your ears cleaned by a ear-nose-throat doc and you hear even more improvements.
    But wires need running in? I think not ...
     
  19. amackie

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    'Remember, it will take a couple of days for the new wire to "run in" '

    Hmm, after a few days do electrons find it easier to move back and forth after they've worn a path through the wire ? :rolleyes:
     
  20. Roam

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    Does a new solder joint need some time to bed-in or whatever the correct term is?
     
  21. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Cable burn in does occour but I dont think the human ear is sensitive enough some may disagree! personally i think this is a worthwile upgrade but then the same can be said about the output terminals on most AV amps! how far do you go before you are polishing a turd???
     
  22. Stereo Steve

    Stereo Steve
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    There are a good few things that can be done to cheap speakers and this is a good one. Also, consider more internal bracing, especially for floorstanders. Some wooden dowling cut to a tight fit and glued in can tighten the bass remarkably. I did this on some Tannoy MX3's and it changed them completely.

    TNT Audio have some good ideas for cheap or free DIY mods.
     
  23. G a f f e r

    G a f f e r
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    :confused: Don't know why everyone is getting so upset about running in of components inc cables.
    It does work.
    You can either accept that both me and Grinder hear a difference (which is all that matters really since it is us listening to our systems in the first place) OR:
    You can believe that virtually all HI-FI manufacturers who make any component, or the hi-fi mags/forums, or the majority of hi-fi specialist shops, or the majority of hi-fi fans - are ALL wrong.
    I don't pretend to fully understand the physics of it but just wanted to report it.

    PS, I own a valve amp which takes 10minutes to 'run in' before it sounds ok and a further 30 minutes of use before it really starts to sing - and as all valve amp owners will tell you, it's because the electrons in the vacuum tubes need time to settle in, get used to their surroundings, have a group hug, and be positive (or -ve!) about life...:p

    Go To http://www.tnt-audio.com/casse/speaktweak_e.html
     
  24. Roam

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    Agreed. It's a definate improvement over the crappy bell wire in most modestly priced speakers.

    OK speaker cables don't require a burn in to hear a difference but I think the bit of time required to hear the full improvement is down to the new soldering joints.
     
  25. G a f f e r

    G a f f e r
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    According to the speaker cable companies themselves, most cables DO need run in time. Just e-mail their tech depts and they'll confirm this
     
  26. Roam

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    I have heard it mentioned on various cable companies websites but was always a bit sceptical. They usually refer to it as burn in e.g. Russ Andrews, VDH...... I think we should stick with the solder joint as the likely culprit ;)
     
  27. G a f f e r

    G a f f e r
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    Fair enough.
    My bro is an aircraft avionics engineer and he agrees with you.
    Only thing is I've now just recieved my two leather sofas and all treble harshness has just dissappeared (i have bare wooden suspended floors so the sofas just compensate).

    Couple this with my arcam cd72 and el34 valve amp and the sound has changed again to LLUUUUSSHHH.

    Mmmmmmmmm, I can listen for 12-14 hours straight without getting fatigued. System is now PERFECT for me.
     
  28. Roam

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  29. Reiner

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    I am for one am not upset, just sceptical.

    And that's where I have a problem: you claim to be able to tell the difference, but have you ever tested this in a double-blind test?
    It is a known fact that people can be easily influenced ("oh, that cable is so much more expensive, it just has to sound better") and thus perceive a better sound even there is none.

    As such, and no offense intended, I do not accept your statement as it is. :)


    The mags get it all wrong, in particular the cable tests. :D

    There are lot's of stories and tests which prove the opposite - people cannot tell a difference between cables (of the same diameter and material I should cautiously add) if they don't know what cable is used.

    The thing warms up, it doesn't run in. And tubes hardly compare to a few meters of copper (cable). My opinion as a communication engineer (if that matters ;) ).
     
  30. G a f f e r

    G a f f e r
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    er....well, people who listened to my system straight after cables changed and then came back and listened to it again a week later DID notice an improvement (without me saying anything to them). This is good enough for me.

    I AM sceptical about a good deal many so called hi-fi improvements (goto my page at http://www.drg4.fsnet.co.uk then clicks on 'links' and within this page go to my hi-fi myths page. Not sure if you'll agree with what i've written. I've tried to de-bunk a lot of myths re-hifi 'improvements' and am quite sceptical myself on most tweaks). However, I (and my mates independantly) am sure the system has improved slightly by running in but i do take your point that it could be placebo - even though I'd already justified the improvement after the initial alterations and so don't really need to 'justify' waiting for the cables to burn in - if that makes any sense (sorry if i'm babbling- need breakfast, just finished 24hr on call shift:clown: ).

    PS The valve comment was a J-O-K-E. I'm fully aware of the diff between warm up and burn in. Just thought i'd lighten up the thread before the lynch mobs arrive:D
     

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