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Speaker cable help needed by beginner.

JJC1

Standard Member
Hi,
I'm new to the world of Hi-fi and I'm completely over whelmed by the huge choice of different speaker cable that's available.
I obviously don't want to make a poor choice so I'm wondering if anyone could offer some recommendations on what would be a good choice of cable for my set-up, which is, as follows;

Rotel RA 935BX Amp
Yamaha KX580 Tape Deck
Technics SL-PG580A CD Player (Possibly due to be upgraded sooner rather than later)
Yamaha TX 400 Tuner
Mission 774 Floor-standing Speakers.

Unfortunately my budget is a little tight at the moment, up to £6 per meter max (£4-£5 would be better).
I just want a single run (as opposed to bi-wiring) and the cable mustn't be too bulky as it needs to be run under the carpet.
I need approximately 6-7m's for each run.
Music taste's are mostly pop, as opposed to classical, i.e. female vocals, Dire Straits, dance, etc. etc.

I haven't a clue where to start other than seeing that QED Silver Anniversary XT and Chord Carnival Silver Screen gets good reviews from What Hi-Fi . Would either of these be a good choice?
I briefly enquired in a local shop and the sales assistant commented that QED XT may be a little 'too bright' for my system and that the original QED Silver Anniversary may be a better choice. His opinion was that I would be better off looking for a copper cable, as opposed to silver.

I've just rearranged my lounge and the old cable I was using no longer reaches, so I'm music-less until I make a decision.

Please Help! Any advice and/or recommendations would be really appreciated. Thanks.
 
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coruja

Established Member
I may be misunderstanding your specs here - when you mean 7 meters per run is that 2 x 3.5m per speaker - i.e. a pair of 3.5m cable per speaker or a pair of 7m cable per speaker?

The distance matters as the thickness of the copper wire and the load of the speakers needs to be taken in to account.
 

JJC1

Standard Member
The distance matters as the thickness of the copper wire and the load of the speakers needs to be taken in to account.

I didn't realise that.
No, unfortunately that distance is for each speaker.
In fact, I've just re-measured and I'll probably need closer to 8.5 meter lengths (per speaker), i.e. One 8.5 meter length per speaker.

The furthest speaker is only actually 3.5 meters from my hi-fi, but that would mean running the speaker cable straight across the centre of the room. I wasn't sure if this would be a good idea and also it would mean taking quite a lot of the carpet up, most of it in fact and I didn't really want the added expense of having to pay to get it refitted. So the 8.5 metres is allowing enough length to follow the skirting board around the room.
 
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coruja

Established Member
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JJC1

Standard Member
Thank you.
I didn't realize there was so much too speaker cables. I'm learning something new by the minute.

I'm leaning towards the QED Silver Anniversary XT at this point.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I think the real key to speaker wire is to get wire in proportion to your equipment. That said, you seem to be on the right track, so don't worry.

If the cost of wire get so expensive that you compromise your equipment to get it, then you are not getting much value for your money. As an extreme example, if you have a £500 amp and buy £500 worth of speaker wire for it, that is not good value. Better to buy a £900 amp and £100 worth of wire.

QED, Fisual, Van Damme, and other are all trusted reliable brands, and all make a variety of cable. Here is a source that has a reasonable selection of all types of cable and wire at very fair prices -

QED Speaker Cable - Audiovisual Online - High Quality Audio Video Cables and Accessories

Fisual Speaker Cable - Audiovisual Online - High Quality Audio Video Cables and Accessories

Van Damme Speaker Cable - Audiovisual Online - High Quality Audio Video Cables and Accessories

There is a great deal of debate surrounding speaker wire, however many feel if you are in the £2 to £3 per meter range you are doing pretty good. If you think you can afford it, even wire up to about £5 per meter is OK. Beyond that, use your judgement.

While for short runs, speaker wire in the 1.5mm² range is fine. But most opt for 2.5mm² which gives you a huge reserve of power and doesn't really cost that much. This is also large enough for most users and most common speaker lengths.

Using AWG, which is American Wire Gauge also known as Brown & Sharpe. These tend to be smaller than the nearest Euro mm² equivalent, but none the less 14ga will suit the needs of a vast majority of people. For short runs at a lower cost, 16ga is fine. In rare cases, for high powered or low impedance systems, one might choose 12ga. I think 14ga is about 2.0mm², but I really should look that up.

There might be special circumstances where larger wire is needed, but that would be uncommon.

Keep in mind that the cost of speakers wire can get quite outrageous. The most expensive I've seen recently is -

Kimber Kable Select KS-3038 which is (YES!) US$11,360 for a pair of 8 foot cables terminated with gold spade ends. (£7,667 / 2x 8ft)

Needle Doctor 1-800-229-0644, Kimber Kable Select KS 3038 Speaker Cable

Also note that many wire makers make flat cable which one could assume would work better under the carpet, though wire under carpet would never pass electrical codes.

Flat Speaker Cable - Audiovisual Online - High Quality Audio Video Cables and Accessories

I wouldn't get to stressed out about cable, just get something in reasonable proportion to your equipment, and enjoy. And if I read correctly, is seems you wire runs are well within accepable limits.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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JJC1

Standard Member
Hi,

Many thanks for the time you put into such a detailed answer, that's very much appreciated.

In the end after spending so much time reading all the reviews, etc. I just decided to bite the bullet, pick a suitable candidate and go for it. I ended up on the phone to a company called HiFiCables where I spoke to an extremely friendly and knowledgeable chap called Shane. I decided to go for 2 X 10 meter lengths of QED Silver Anniversary XT cable at a total cost of £80 (@£4/m).
It was a little more money than I was expecting to spend but I swear that every time I re-measured my room, it increased by a meter :). Anyway I've ordered plenty to ensure I can route it very neatly under the carpet and right up close to the skirting board. I saved a bit of cash by not bothering with the QED Airlock connectors on the end, that I originally thought of going for.
Hopefully I haven't made the wrong choice. I guess I'll find out soon enough when it arrives in the next couple of days.
Previously I had one speaker running off two connected old lengths of QED Profile 4X4 and the other speaker was connected using an old length of Cable Talk 3.1. I was always fairly happy with the sound quality, so hopefully the new cable will at least match, and hopefully better, what I was used to.

Thanks again for all the help and recommendations.
 

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