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Speaker Cabling ... on a budget!

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by unrealrocks, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. unrealrocks

    unrealrocks
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    OK - I was wondering what the different factors involved in a speaker cable was, obviously there is resistance - lower the better :cool: although are there any others?

    Just I have been powering my Warfdale Lintons through some makeshift cable ... called Mains lead (lol) and 3meters of this stuff has a similar resistance to some high quality (QED I think) cable that I have downstairs, I've been told that mains cable will significantly lower quality although I've been scouring the internet and I can't find very much information on what the properties of a 'good' speaker cable is (apart from expensive) so I was wondering if someone could enlighten me.

    Also if I bought higher quality cable with practically the same resistance - how does it improve your sound quality?
     
  2. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    their is an italian site that has loads of DIY tips including Cat5 based speaker cable cant think of it but search the forum DIY section for a link tnt-audio i think
     
  3. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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  4. buns

    buns
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    there was a great big thread on here about this where all the various important issues were discussed by Nic Rhodes, i have looked but am having difficulty finding it (it was some time ago).

    Mains flex has been suggested as a good solution, i think i read that quad used a rake of it at a recent hifi show. The only thing against it i think is it may not have a low inductance like some of the cat5 design cables...... then again it wont have a big capacitive load either (a bad thing for some amps, naim for example).

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  5. RichardH

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    The Quad thing - I understand that was just to supply power to their speakers, not the signal.
     
  6. buns

    buns
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    ok in that case i retract my comment, i may well have misunderstood.

    That said, mains flex isnt the worst idea in the world, it will be a million times better than cheap freebie cable

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  7. RichardH

    RichardH
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    Quite agree. I'm using solid core mains cable (i.e the stuff electricians use within the walls) for my rears at the moment.
     
  8. Mylo

    Mylo
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    Mains cable will work as speaker cable, no reason it shouldn't.
    Why not use Maplin 79 strand cable if money is tight?:)
     
  9. Mylo

    Mylo
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    Any multi strand cable can be used.
    Solid core cable is meant for AC voltage, I personally would not use it for speaker cable.:)
     
  10. alexs2

    alexs2
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    there are a few solid core cables on the market,(DNM's cable being an obvious example),so using mains cable will work,but I'd doubt the quality compared to some of the decent budget speaker cables,and also the contact area at both ends will be a bit less(for whatever that may be worth!)
     
  11. Mylo

    Mylo
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    I based my comments on my electronics training, not anything I have learnt about AV.

    Alexs2, I am currently experimenting with 812 strand OFC DC cable for my speakers. It makes for a twisted cable that resembles towrope but sounds very good to me. I read somewhere that you can have "too thick" a speaker cable.

    What is your valued opinion?


    :)
     
  12. unrealrocks

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    Cheers for all your replies and I've had more of a look around the forum and as I'm on the tightest budget in the world anyways I don't see the need to change!

    I might try a CAT5 trick talked about tho - I have miles of the stuff anyways!
     
  13. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    Solid core is good for HF thick cable is good for LF hence if you have a bright sounding amp and speakers, like me the thickest cable you can get will tone it down a bit.
     
  14. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    At the risk of starting a flame war .
    I can understand the importance of decent interconnects but speaker cable has always left me a bit skeptical.

    I've used all sorts of speaker cable : mains cable, bellwire, budget speaker cable more expensive speaker cable . I couldn't hear any difference whatsoever. I've been in world class motion picture dubbing theatres and seen cheapo cable on the speakers and heard nothing but mockery for expensive cable from audio engineers.

    As long as its reasonably well made conducts a signal and isn't all hairy and short circuits I'm a little non-plussed at the improvements claimed by using another bit of copper in a fancy sleave.

    (althogh I may run some flat cable in my home cinema shortly)
     
  15. Mylo

    Mylo
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    You are not alone Keith, that is why I started playing about with this new cable. :)
     
  16. buns

    buns
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    there are technical factors which can be important in speaker cables, but i grant that they are nowhere near as important as with line level connections

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  17. sticker

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    Buns'
    What are those factors and what do they mean in laymans terms?

    I never was a sceptic, but havinjng made my own and comparing them to £200 lengths, I can hear no difference. The only thing I made sure of was that the resistance was low and I put shielding in to eliminate any RFI etc. At the risk of sounding a philistine to those that beleive in expensive cable, I personally think its all done to marketing muscle. The cable I made runs out at around 30p a metre and I tested against cable from £5m to £39 with no detectable (to my ears) difference. OK I accept that it wasn't either scientific or controlled but it made my mind up that my ears were hearing the same sounds. It would have been good to have done a double blind test with helpers and observers but that of course wasn't possible in my current environment.

    The only thing I would say was that the cable did seem, and I emphasise seem, the cable I made did seem to get better after a certain time. If this is the so called run in period or my ears becoming familiar with the sound I don't know, but after about 4 weeks the sound did seem stronger, deeper and spacial.


    Regards
    John
     
  18. buns

    buns
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    Dont quote me on anything, Beekeeper is the guy who did the original posting but i cant find it. The resistance like you say is an issue, too much would be a bad thing. The shielding I personally wont worry about, at speaker level I was of the impression that rfi noise was going to be really negligible compared to the amplified signal. That said of course, I am using the braided design which will be low inductance so maybe I am arguing against what i have said previously. A half reasonable insulator and I cant see much more you could ask for..... well unless you have certain naim like amps in which case you need to remember capacitance as well

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  19. sticker

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    Cheers Ad.
     
  20. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    I am currently waiting for a drum of Van Damme pro studio speaker cable to arrive. It's 4x 2.5mm copper stuff, i've got it running from my sub to sub amp. It's going to be wiring for all my speakers when it arrives.
     
  21. buns

    buns
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    got a link ric? Is it just parallel conductors or has it an interesting geometry?

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  22. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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