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Speaker cable advise

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by PAUL RODGERS, Dec 12, 2004.

  1. PAUL RODGERS

    PAUL RODGERS
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    I have morduant short thx speakers and want to upgrade the cable i need approx 20 meters and want to biwire the front and center speakers cost is not the most important factor but i do not want to pay over the odds if there is a number of choices , the main use is cinema and everyday tv but i would like a cable that can handle music.

    THANKS :thumbsup:
     
  2. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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    When you say cost is not the most important factor, roughly what is your budget.
     
  3. PAUL RODGERS

    PAUL RODGERS
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    £100-£200 at the maximum
     
  4. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    CAT5e? Just plain old Network cable 20metres may be a bit hard on the fingers but would certainly be better than anything you'd buy for £200. Probably cost you in the region of £50 Terminated with bananas or spades.
    There are some good threads in this forum debating the pro's and con's of different cables.
     
  5. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    I'd second what knightshade says, in terms of value for money Cat5 cables are the only way to go. think how many dvds you could get for the £150 you'll save.
     
  6. fordster

    fordster
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    I'll third that. I've just switched my hifi speaker cable for CAt 5 and it's fantastic, I only wish I'd learn that before shelling out for the speaker cable a couple of months ago.
     
  7. PAUL RODGERS

    PAUL RODGERS
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    Very interested now searched the internet and i am now confused to what the build is , do i have to assemble the cable myself or is it a straight forward swop for old cable, are there any reviews which i can judge for myself , the opinion i get from reports on the net are very good.
     
  8. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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  9. PAUL RODGERS

    PAUL RODGERS
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    i am really good at the idea tage but i struggle when it comes to practical is there any where i can purchase the cat5 ready made , i would like to refer to the previous message i was not discrediting the cat5 in fact i am quite posotive about the cat5 the problem is i am not a practical person so help would be be apprecaited.
     
  10. CfP

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    You guys have GOT to be kidding?!?!?!?!? CAT5 has bugger all surface area to transmit signal down :O

    And as for bunching all those pairs together in a bound cable....... not sure I'd really want to do that from an EMI perspective.

    I'd be interested in the electronics side of this answer, cause my understanding of physics and chemistry leads me to believe that CAT5 (or CAT7/hypertwist for that matter) wouldn't cut the mustard from an EMI perspective.

    I've gone from crappy speaker wire to QED QUDOS for around the ~£10 per meter (bought in Austrlia) and the improvement was definitley noticable. Mind u, this was backing it off a Musical Fidelity A220 amp, so maybe it's the what's being driven over the cable that's a contributing factor as well ;)
     
  11. Mango Bob

    Mango Bob
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    Oh god, here we go...
     
  12. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    cfp,

    have you tried it?

    regards,
    owain
     
  13. fordster

    fordster
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    Paul, it's really easy to make. It must be if I can do it!! It reads quite complicated at first but once you get the cable and start doing it it's failry straight forward. It's more time consuming than complicated although you don't need to braid the cables if you can't be bothered. Just have plasters ready for when you cut your fingers whilst twisting the copper strands together! Also, you don't need to put the sheathing or banana plugs on, they're just for cosmetic nicety.
     
  14. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    Yeah paul, what fordster says is dead on: all the braiding, banana plugs etc is just making it look nice/handle better, it does absolutely nothing for the sound. the only thing you need to be able to do to make these cables is strip some wires, you can get a wire stripper for a couple of quid from maplin when you buy the Cat5. why not give it a try with a few metres, just use tape to hold the cables together rather than braiding at first and see what you think, if you like it the cosmetic stuff can be done afterward, if not it will only cost you a few quid.
     
  15. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Eeee awwww Eeee awwww Eeee awwww :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
     
  16. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Obviously the amp,and front end driving the system is going to make a difference,but the cabling can and does as well.

    CAT5,whilst I don't use it myself,is used by lots of people,with decent results,and the overall area of cable will be perfectly sufficient for any audio signal.
    The obvious analogy here is if I use a 1mm square wire to transmit a high level signal,resistance and degradation are likely to be audible,but a few hundred of those,will give a huge conductive surface,with very low resistance.
    As for bunching and braiding in cables,I assume you're familiar with those such as Kimber who have long used exactly those principles to reduce mains borne and RF interference,by crossing the strands over as often as possible.
    This technique(hardly new)has been used in valve amps to reduce hum and stray signals for years,both at high and low levels.
     
  17. owain_thomas

    owain_thomas
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    LOL :):):)
     
  18. CfP

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    Several answers grouped together here (sorry):
    owain_thomas:
    No I haven't tried it, but I've got many meters of spare CAT5 at home so I will give it a run (can only be tested I guess).
    As a comparative though, I was using typical cheap multistrand speaker cable before going to the QED stuff, and as a value for money solution, it was great. Lotsa cable, really cheap, sound came out speakers. This was fine for my less than perfect theater amp.
    On my better amp and speakers, better cable gave me an improvement as a cheaper cost than upgrading speakers/amp/CD transport/Interconnects. At the end of the day, it's a value proposition, just like modifying cars :rolleyes:

    Alexs2:
    Agree 100% that better cabling will give better voltage/signal tx with less loss, hence why this post occurred ;)

    Also understand the multi thread/greater suface area scenario. Physics 101. Been there, done that. Yes, more suface area is better for tx of signal. CAT5 will be no worse than the stock cable provided with most shelf systems. If anything it will be better because it's made to a standard that is bound by certain EMI requirements. Doesn't mean it's better than decent cable tho.

    Braiding in cables, yes, generally as sheilding either around isolated internal cables or around the dielectric housing the inner core. I'll whip off and have a look at some Kimber product, know the name, haven't seen much of the product. EMI shielding is nothing new and will live on until optics rule the world :p.

    All:
    I don't want to start this war on this thread, I was just trying to highlight that there is such a thing as GOOD speaker cable which is quite different to VERY GOOD or AMAZING cable. The bottom line is cost and how much of it you're prepeared to wear.

    Don't get me wrong here, CAT5 is conventiently packaged (with 4 pairs), cheap and will do the job of transmitting low voltage signals over moderate distances. Hell, I even used it on my home automated sprinkler system (5V logic stuff) and it's excellent. But where listening is concerned, I'm a fussy bugger so I buy something that I can hear a difference with (and no doubt if I stuck a CRO or similar on it, see a difference).

    CfP :D
     
  19. Knightshade

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    CFP,
    Try and use the stranded variety of CAT5, it's easier to work with and less easily damaged than the solid core variety. That's the only thing to watch out for. Worth checking for corrosion on the cable as well if it's been 'hanging' around for a while. :)
    If you look at it realisticaly, even with a mono wire cat5 speaker cable you still have 24x stranded wires to carry the signal. More than enough for the job.
    Let us know your results.
     
  20. CfP

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    Ya, sadly the stuff I've got at home is single core, not multicore :(

    See what I can rustle up :smashin:

    I fully appreciate the effect of having many strands working for you, hence why I'm even entertaining this idea :p Hey, if it works great, then I'll use it on my theater setup which is regularly expanding and reshaping so CAT5's a cheap solution. Mind u, you could prolly get basic speaker cable for less :p

    CfP
     
  21. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Everyone uses solid core CAT5 I know of CfP, KShade is one of the few I know who use MS (Im not saying there is any change in sound), I would take you up on your last comment dude and advise to do a search on CAT5 in this forum - plenty to read and once you have read the thread you wont be making statements about basic speaker cable costing less :smashin:

    Ie the standard CAT5 speaker cable (FFRC TNT-Audio) consists of 3 X CAT5 cable combined to form a single pair = cost of mine £1.14 per metre.

    I will add a list of decent CAT5 threads to one of the cable stickys above later FYI.
     
  22. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Done, there is a list of CAT5 threads listed in the cable FAQ sticky above FYI.
     

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