Speaker cables (again)

Danny247

Novice Member
Hi, New to the forum and back into hifi since lockdown boredom

So I have an audiolab 8000a at the moment which is soon to be replaced by a Naim 5i-2 that will be running Monitor audio silver 200. My question is should I get the naim nac a5 cable or use either my existing cable which is chord company silver carnival plus biwire or QED silver anniversary XT which I already have?

I have 2 pairs of MA silver 200's at the moment one pair bi amp'ed via Sony dn1080 and the others running through the audiolab and marantz NA6006 streamer and I am not happy with the sound so any help would be appreciated. My thoughts were its probably the old amp and possibly the streamer letting the sound down. I do also have the marantz cd6006 uk Ed but don't have the space to use it at the moment.

Any advice would be appreciated, thanks
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Your current cable is fine. Little point in bi-amping your Sony. What don't you like about your sound as your are running two separate systems so two different sets of problems.
 

Danny247

Novice Member
Your current cable is fine. Little point in bi-amping your Sony. What don't you like about your sound as your are running two separate systems so two different sets of problems.
Thanks for the response

They both sound a bit flat, appreciate the audiolab is old and the sony is not the greatest in 2 channel Stereo. I suppose I just want 1 good system and let the surround amp do its thing in the other room. I do have a kef 3005 surround set up with the fronts replaced by the 200's mainly for movies so not overly concerned with that at the moment.

Just a nice system with the 200's and naim that's coming. I will probably just listen to them via the cable I already have and go from there.

I have only just replaced some MA rs6 for the silvers 200. Difficult to compare as not sure of the amp and sources I have, just been spending and upgrading with the boredom of lockdown
 

phil t

Well-known Member
I would use the cable you have, rather than buying new.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The Naim may make a difference with the MAs which are a very good speaker. The Naims are a musical amp with great mids and highs. You will have to watch your positioning of the speakers with regards to bass and give them a little toe in.
 

Danny247

Novice Member
The Naim may make a difference with the MAs which are a very good speaker. The Naims are a musical amp with great mids and highs. You will have to watch your positioning of the speakers with regards to bass and give them a little toe in.
In what way? Cant get enough bass at the moment either pulled away from the wall or hard up against it

Maybe it's because I have been desensitised as I have a 12" sub in the front cab of my van :)
 

camcroft

Well-known Member
beige-cotton-wavy-rope-isolated-600w-1110968909.jpg
Change the cable :) to it might sound better. But I doubt it!
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You are more likely to get good fast bass from the MAs but boundary issues are important to look out for. That can certainly give a boomy bass. A good amp speaker combination will give, from a quality recording, tight fast bass. You hear the bass notes not feel them. I know it's funny about the van but you may not be far from the truth.
 

Danny247

Novice Member
Well tried experimenting more with the position of the speakers, pushed right up to the wall and further apart with slight toe in then realised the balance is off on the audiolab even when the balance selector is centered so clearly a issue with it. Sounds much better now, naim still on the way though so hope for a bump in quality considering the age of the 8000a

In relation to whether to get better cable or not, if there is no difference why not use Bell wire? Its the only connection between amp and speakers so why not make the most of that connection, potentially 2.5k on amp/streamer/speakers to then use cheap connections between them.
 

oscroft

Member
In relation to whether to get better cable or not, if there is no difference why not use Bell wire? Its the only connection between amp and speakers so why not make the most of that connection, potentially 2.5k on amp/streamer/speakers to then use cheap connections between them.
You do need a minimum quality of copper cable, and that really comes down to thickness. For short runs, 16 AWG copper is usually considered fine, but a lot of people go for 14 AWG. Why do people feel the need to buy expensive cable to connect expensive equipment? Maybe because they find it hard to believe that cheap cable really is good enough - and there's a huge industry out there selling fancy cables at very high profit margins.
 

Danny247

Novice Member
You do need a minimum quality of copper cable, and that really comes down to thickness. For short runs, 16 AWG copper is usually considered fine, but a lot of people go for 14 AWG. Why do people feel the need to buy expensive cable to connect expensive equipment? Maybe because they find it hard to believe that cheap cable really is good enough - and there's a huge industry out there selling fancy cables at very high profit margins.
OK, but what's the thoughts behind the thickness? Surely sending a voltage is the same regardless of size within reason?

I am not sure either way to be honest I just know if I had a high performance car I would probably use high performance fuel regardless if I could tell the difference or not. Any initial outlay for the cables is generally recovered to at least 50% to 70% if sold on. Cheap cables probably won't be though.

And this is a tiny detail but it also generally looks better
 

oscroft

Member
OK, but what's the thoughts behind the thickness? Surely sending a voltage is the same regardless of size within reason?

I am not sure either way to be honest I just know if I had a high performance car I would probably use high performance fuel regardless if I could tell the difference or not. Any initial outlay for the cables is generally recovered to at least 50% to 70% if sold on. Cheap cables probably won't be though.

And this is a tiny detail but it also generally looks better
The thickness thing is all about resistance - if the cable is too thin, the resistance will be higher. I can definitely hear a difference if the cable is too thin - but once above a reasonable thickness, I've never heard any differences.

I'm personally not interested in resale value of cables - mine cost a lot less than even the depreciation of expensive cables ;)

But people will buy expensive ones for all kinds of reasons, including just "because they're there". And there's one well-known YouTube audio guy who dismisses fancy cable as being no better, but he uses expensive cable because it looks good. Whatever your reason, if it's good for you then it's good :)
 

Hear Here

Active Member
Just to put a small spanner in the works - 2 observations:

1. Bi-wiring is generally not a good idea. It had a bit of a run a few years ago, but when you ask yourself one simple question, the answer is usually obvious - "With a limited budget, is it better to spend it all on one pair of good cables, or to spend it on 2 pairs of mediocre cable? Remember that each driver is fed by a simple cable!

2. A discussion recently on another forum (where most members chuckle at anyone spending less than 50K on any component, was intelligently talking about one obscure brand of inexpensive cable that’s widely used by professional audio engineers. Somewhat surprisingly the most knowledgeable contributors (one of whom enjoys an excellent reputation by tuning people's expensive systems and used to the distributor for very costly speaker systems) endorsed this brand wholeheartedly. I acquired a couple of short lengths as jumpers (75 cm long for Avantgarde Duo XDs) and I tend to believe these are exceptional cables irrespective of price, despite their horrid appearance and awkward features! The cable is Duelund, distributed in UK by HiFi Collective. They sell it by the meter and I’m not sure if they’ll attach bananas or spade fittings, but the cable is this one -

Duelund Dual DCA16GA tinned copper multistrand wire in cotton and oil | Hifi Collective

Or there’s a thicker 12 gauge version better suited for lower efficiency speakers or very low impedance ones.

It’s horrid and awkward because it appears thin and it has an outer cotton cover (one of its good features acoustically) that’s difficult to remove neatly and the 2 cores are both black so you need a meter before attaching coloured connectors. I’m about to replace my costly solid silver cables for this Duelund alternative.

If anyone is interested in reading more, here’s the forum discussion

Anyone play around with Duelund wire?

Peter
 

Craig uk

Well-known Member
The thickness thing is all about resistance - if the cable is too thin, the resistance will be higher. I can definitely hear a difference if the cable is too thin - but once above a reasonable thickness, I've never heard any differences.

I'm personally not interested in resale value of cables - mine cost a lot less than even the depreciation of expensive cables ;)

But people will buy expensive ones for all kinds of reasons, including just "because they're there". And there's one well-known YouTube audio guy who dismisses fancy cable as being no better, but he uses expensive cable because it looks good. Whatever your reason, if it's good for you then it's good :)

Basing any Hifi purchase with regard to cost, especially depreciation cost can often be an exercise in futility! Sure we all set budgets for this hobby but if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s price doesn’t always reflect quality...personal preference for whatever the reason should always be the biggest factor.
Mark up prices on cables are massive, It’s quite simple really - find a good dealer and try before you buy, regardless of ancillaries or kit.
I’d recommend trying some different speakers - the OP might be pleasantly surprised what difference the likes of PMC, Neat & Kef can offer. I went from silver to platinum in the MA range a few years back but I was never fully happy with any of them, bass was certainly the biggest disappointment for me.
 

Danny247

Novice Member
Basing any Hifi purchase with regard to cost, especially depreciation cost can often be an exercise in futility! Sure we all set budgets for this hobby but if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s price doesn’t always reflect quality...personal preference for whatever the reason should always be the biggest factor.
Mark up prices on cables are massive, It’s quite simple really - find a good dealer and try before you buy, regardless of ancillaries or kit.
I’d recommend trying some different speakers - the OP might be pleasantly surprised what difference the likes of PMC, Neat & Kef can offer. I went from silver to platinum in the MA range a few years back but I was never fully happy with any of them, bass was certainly the biggest disappointment for me.
I should of probably mentioned I always buy used and got the MA slivers for £580 for both pairs. Just hope lots of people buy new to allow me to buy their old stuff at a discount. I have never lost money on any item I have purchased and used them until I fancy a change. The cable I have came with various speakers I have purchased used and with the naim amp coming thought I may try the NAC a5 cable by naim, there is an option to buy some for around £90 and the last identical set sold for £125 on the bay so it was just people's opinion of cables rather than the cost's involved
 

Danny247

Novice Member
Basing any Hifi purchase with regard to cost, especially depreciation cost can often be an exercise in futility! Sure we all set budgets for this hobby but if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s price doesn’t always reflect quality...personal preference for whatever the reason should always be the biggest factor.
Mark up prices on cables are massive, It’s quite simple really - find a good dealer and try before you buy, regardless of ancillaries or kit.
I’d recommend trying some different speakers - the OP might be pleasantly surprised what difference the likes of PMC, Neat & Kef can offer. I went from silver to platinum in the MA range a few years back but I was never fully happy with any of them, bass was certainly the biggest disappointment for me.
You also don't get the option to try before you buy on the used market so it's buy low, try out , sell on at a profit for me
 

Craig uk

Well-known Member
You also don't get the option to try before you buy on the used market so it's buy low, try out , sell on at a profit for me
Yep, that’s certainly one way to do it. Most dealers will have a trade in section though and these items are usually offered with a money back guarantee so it’s certainly worth keeping an eye out.
 

oscroft

Member
You also don't get the option to try before you buy on the used market so it's buy low, try out , sell on at a profit for me
Yep, for years I've been treating eBay as a kind of lending library (for all kinds of things). If I can get things for less than average prices, I'm pretty confident I can sell on what I don't want for around break-even. For audio gear I did it most recently with DACs - bought four over a period of months, kept the one I like best.
 

Danny247

Novice Member
Yep, for years I've been treating eBay as a kind of lending library (for all kinds of things). If I can get things for less than average prices, I'm pretty confident I can sell on what I don't want for around break-even. For audio gear I did it most recently with DACs - bought four over a period of months, kept the one I like best.
Shhhhhh......hahah
 

Danny247

Novice Member
Just to put a small spanner in the works - 2 observations:

1. Bi-wiring is generally not a good idea. It had a bit of a run a few years ago, but when you ask yourself one simple question, the answer is usually obvious - "With a limited budget, is it better to spend it all on one pair of good cables, or to spend it on 2 pairs of mediocre cable? Remember that each driver is fed by a simple cable!

2. A discussion recently on another forum (where most members chuckle at anyone spending less than 50K on any component, was intelligently talking about one obscure brand of inexpensive cable that’s widely used by professional audio engineers. Somewhat surprisingly the most knowledgeable contributors (one of whom enjoys an excellent reputation by tuning people's expensive systems and used to the distributor for very costly speaker systems) endorsed this brand wholeheartedly. I acquired a couple of short lengths as jumpers (75 cm long for Avantgarde Duo XDs) and I tend to believe these are exceptional cables irrespective of price, despite their horrid appearance and awkward features! The cable is Duelund, distributed in UK by HiFi Collective. They sell it by the meter and I’m not sure if they’ll attach bananas or spade fittings, but the cable is this one -

Duelund Dual DCA16GA tinned copper multistrand wire in cotton and oil | Hifi Collective

Or there’s a thicker 12 gauge version better suited for lower efficiency speakers or very low impedance ones.

It’s horrid and awkward because it appears thin and it has an outer cotton cover (one of its good features acoustically) that’s difficult to remove neatly and the 2 cores are both black so you need a meter before attaching coloured connectors. I’m about to replace my costly solid silver cables for this Duelund alternative.

If anyone is interested in reading more, here’s the forum discussion

Anyone play around with Duelund wire?

Peter
Would probably agree about bi wiring but bi amping?

I had the cable already so thought it can't hurt to biamp the sony 1080, I heard a difference but not massive
 

oscroft

Member
Would probably agree about bi wiring but bi amping?

I had the cable already so thought it can't hurt to biamp the sony 1080, I heard a difference but not massive
That was my experience too - a minor improvement with passive bi-amping, but nowhere near enough to justify the cost of a second power amp if I didn't already have one.
 

Hear Here

Active Member
Would probably agree about bi wiring but bi amping?

I had the cable already so thought it can't hurt to biamp the sony 1080, I heard a difference but not massive
Bi amping is rather different as you need to duplicate your amp and cables. My arguement would be that if bi-amping, you need to buy an identical second amp and identical cables to the ones you'd use for single amp wiring - ie 2 good pairs, not compromise with 2 mediocre pairrs.

Bi amping seems a poor investment unless you go the whole hog and ditch the crossover in the speaker system in favour of electronic XO before the 2 amps and then the split signal directly to the driver terminals.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Would probably agree about bi wiring but bi amping?

I had the cable already so thought it can't hurt to biamp the sony 1080, I heard a difference but not massive
Depends on the speakers. Having four binding posts on entry level speakers is more of gimmick than an attempt for a superior audio experience through bi-amping. Different again with passive bi-amping as that brings very little, if any, improvement in performance. Doing it properly is an expensive business having to purchase a second model of the amp to do so.

With a 5.1 system it's often extra power that's needed which is better served with a good power amp, providing your AV amp has pre-outs which unfortunately the Sony lacks.
 

phil t

Well-known Member
Bi wiring just increases the cable cross sectional area, but if your single run has a suitable csa, then why do you need to increase?
Passive bi amping can buy you a little more headroom, but the same gain can be found in a singular amp of greater power (acknowledging that there is more to life than pure power).
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Panasonic JZ2000 Final Thoughts - TV Calibration: Should you? And More...
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

Black Friday 2021: What you need to know
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
What's new on Blu-ray Special - The Cinema of Zhang Yimou & Gong Li
  • By Mark Costello
  • Published
AVForums Podcast: 24th November 2021
  • By Phil Hinton
  • Published
Panasonic 2021 TV update brings full 4K resolution with VRR and HFR
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published
Best Hi-Fi Products of 2021 - Editor's Choice Awards
  • By Ed Selley
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom