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Is it risky to buy second-hand speaker cables?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by swynjones, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. swynjones

    swynjones
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    Hi everyone

    I'm just in the process of buying myself a home cinema set up, and in order to stop the overall expense from continually spiralling upwards I was considering buying speaker cable second-hand (probably from ebay).

    I need about 40 m of bi-wire at around £4/m, so to get second-hand speaker cable could save me quite a bit of cash.

    But I just wondered what people's thoughts were on buying second-hand speaker cable. Is speaker cable easily damaged? Does it deteriate with time? Or is quite safe to buy speaker cable second-hand?

    thanks
     
  2. BDCSTENG GARETH

    BDCSTENG GARETH
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    I would say that the only risk is the seller running off with your money!

    Except for age-old copper bell wire which is crumbling away (which will be obvious), I would say you will have the same dicisions to make than if you were standing in an AV shop looking for cable.

    If its large gauge cable, then I would say that nothing short of a big rip/break in the cable would be fine. Im sure you can be 100% safe if the outer shieth is untouched.

    If the ends have not been terminated very well... Just cut them off and start again - Easy!

    Gareth.
     
  3. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    you could try something brand new like cat5 for a lot less money and probably better performance.
     
  4. Troon

    Troon
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    Why are you deciding on the price? By all means limit yourself to a maximum budget, but two runs of basic 79-strand (if you must insist on bi-wiring) will do the job fine. If that comes up cheaper than £4/m, I hope you won't turn it down...
     
  5. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    ALternatively trundle of to Maplins and buy some of their reels of speaker cable. It is VERY VERY good and much less than £4 per M. Brand new so no worries.
     
  6. swynjones

    swynjones
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    thanks for the replies.

    Is Biwiring not worth it then? I've got Monitor audio RS speakers which can be bi-wired. I thought in general that if speakers could be bi-wired then they sounded much better if bi-wired?

    If not, then that would considerably reduce the cost. Might also check out the stuff at maplins. cheers.
     
  7. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Biwiring is always a bit of a controversial subject....it's something that works for some systems and speakers,and not with others.
    If you can afford the wire,try it,and see if it works...in my own case,the difference with a set of B&W 805s was so obvious that my wife(who doesnt normally notice)asked what had happened to the speakers as the improvement was quite marked.

    A lot of manufacturers include biwiring as an option simplt because the market expects it,and sees them as somehow inferior if it is not provided...it's worth noting that some of the very best speakers(and most expensive) do not offer it....Wilson Audio have never provided it,on speakers costing up to £100K,believing its detrimental.
     
  8. swynjones

    swynjones
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    Ok I didn't know it. Any idea whether the Monitor Audio silver speakers are likely to sound better bi-wired.

    Also can anyone tell me what is strand 79 and is it much of an improvement above basic bell wire?
     
  9. alexs2

    alexs2
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    QED 79 strand or similar will be a definite improvement over bell wire,but there is another ongoing debate as to whether or not truly expensive cables are really worthwhile in terms of cost and performance.

    Certainly it's worth having decent quality cables,either home built or bought,but in proportion to the cost of your system.

    I'm unable to comment on the MA speakers,but others here may be able to help you.
     
  10. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    For a speaker cable I urge you to try thee Maplin cable before splashing out on anything else.
     
  11. Mylo

    Mylo
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  12. Troon

    Troon
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    So long as your speaker cable is thick enough (and 79-strand is just fine), you will not be able to tell the difference in a blind test.
     

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