Answered Speakers Cables?!? B&W 803D2 & Classe Amp

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by epozo, Jan 23, 2018.

  1. epozo

    epozo
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    Hi -

    I'm in the process of upgrading my system.
    I've got a pair of 803d2 Bowers and Wilkins (Diamond speakers) and will connect these to two seperate Classe CA M600 Power Amplifiers with a Classe CP-800 Pre-amp.

    I need to get some new speaker cables as I don't think that my current Calabrine cables will suffice.

    The only problem is that there are sooooo many cables out there. Does anyone have any thoughts on where I should start? Or do you have any experiences that you can share with me or do you have a similar setup and simply recommend speakers cables? I would like to ensure that the quality of the speakers cables are "proportional" to my system.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #2 by whattheflac, Jan 23, 2018 (1 points)
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  3. whattheflac

    whattheflac
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    Best Answer
    Save your cash. There will be no sonic improvement audible.
     
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  4. epozo

    epozo
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    Thanks - the following website seems to be an excellent source of information and looks to back up your statement providing some basic criteria are met.
    Speaker Wire
     
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  5. Weetabix

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    My advice would be to beware of snake oil and very exotic and highly priced cables, however consider quality known brands such as QED, The Chord Company, Nordost, van den Hul, AudioQuest etc.

    Regardless of what measurements reveal (very little), there are sonic improvements to be had from the differing cable architectures.

    You have some high-end electronics and speakers, the chain is only as strong as the weakest link, and it's worth optimizing the signal-path between those components to warrant the effort gone into purchasing high-end, and realizing their potential. Look at spending around 10-15% of total cost on cables.

    Your hifi retailer should be able to demonstrate what's available and leave it to you to decide.

    Biggest advice is to trust your ears, if it sounds better, then it is better.
     
  6. epozo

    epozo
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    Thanks Weetabix, I'm considering the Van Den Hul Magnum Hybrid Speaker Cable - not quite 10-15% but seems to be a respectable cable never the less.
     
  7. whattheflac

    whattheflac
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    Oh no that’s a pseudo psycho accoustic effect. It’s not always what you hear it’s what you want to believe you hear. 10/15% on cables my god youre crazy
     
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  8. whattheflac

    whattheflac
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    Better off spending no more than say £10.00 per metre as a better rule of thumb
     
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  9. Hixs

    Hixs
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  10. Paul7777x

    Paul7777x
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  11. dannnielll

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    #2 Best Answer
    With respect, unless there is an electrical measurement effect there will be no sonic effect. Plenty of measurable electrical effects will have no audible effects but the reverse is not so.
    Are you aware of the potential sensitivity of electronic measurement?. , It exceeds by many orders of magnitude the ability of the human ear and brain to detect.
    So let's get back to basics.
    Cables are needed to bring the electrical current from the amplifier to the speakers. The cables need to be isolated from each other,otherwise they short circuit. The voltages involved are fairly modest say below 30 volts and the currents are relatively high say up to 10 amps . These figures would refer to very high power speakers..at 300w. . The resistance of the wire used should be low, because the resistance of the speakers coil and crossover is low.. typically 8 ohm , so the overall resistance , including connectors, should be say 100milliohm. Ideally there should be no capacitance between the two connections. Even the 100milliohms is debatable as the internal zobel network inside the amplifier will exceed that.
    Esoteric concepts such as skin effect resistance are real, but irrelevant for two reasons . The electrical current present in high frequency audio is very small... See the size of the wire in tweeters, and the surface resistance of any reasonable copper cable is very small anyway.
    These are the requirements, anything else is optional, say multi stranded wire ,for flexibility, coloured insulation for aesthetics and types of connectors for convenience. So twin core 6mm mains cable is fine if not aesthetic.
    If an amplifier, irrespective of price, responds differently to a length of cable, I would be examining it's stability margin and its propensity for oscillation. ..and I assure you that is easily measured with a scope..
     
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  12. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    You can buy speaker cable that are as pretty as you want, just remember that most of the money is going for "pretty".

    Browse through these threads -

    Speaker Wire in Prespective -How much is Enough?

    Cable Length as a Precent of Speaker Impedance Table

    http://www.avsforum.com/forum/89-speakers/1907265-speaker-cable-debate-perspective.html

    Though a vast majority of people are against me on this, I'm an advocate of all wire and cable costs in proportion to you overall system budget. But at the same time I encourage restrain. In a survey I did in the USA and the UK, with system going as high as $50,000 and £25,000, a vast majority of people spent less than 5% on ALL wire and cable.

    Also, what is the 8 ohm wattage rating of your amps?

    And how old are your existing cables, and what gauge or cross-sectional area are they?

    Also what speaker wire, and signal wire Lengths are we talking about? Excess length on any of these is a potential problem, though "excess" is pretty long.


    If the cables are less than 5 years old, and if they are at least 2.5mm², then you should be fine ...unless they are showing some signs of physical deterioration.

    Cut and pasted from one of the other linked posts -

    Oddly the one Cable I did NOT calculate, which would have been the most helpful in the UK/EU is 13ga wire, which at 2.62mm², is closest to the common 2.5mm².

    13ga (2.62mm²) Copper Cable -

    438 Sustained Watts
    +2000 Working Peak Watts (best guess)
    9800 Max Peak Watts


    Working Peak is unavailable at this time as 13ga is a very uncommon wire.

    12ga wire (3.31mm²) would break down like this -

    Power = 692 sustained watts of power
    Power = 3200 peak working watts of power
    Power = 12,800 max peak watts of power


    Are you amps over 700w/ch to 8 ohms?

    Spend as much as you want to get cables are pretty as you want, as long as you realize the bulk of what you are paying for is cosmetics.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
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  13. Abacus

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    I would always advise people to avoid Hi-Fi cable manufactures, as they just stick a fancy name on a cable, add some gobbledegook and charge you a fortune for them, just go to your pro music store and they will be able to supply what you need, at very reasonable prices.

    Bill
     
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  14. Paul7777x

    Paul7777x
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  15. dannnielll

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    This and your linked lists are very interesting., I repeated a few of the calculations myself. .. The self inductance of a circular cross section wire is virtually independent of its diameter, so you can without violence substitute 10 13 and 16 Awg as being virtually the same. My reference being the 1980 McGraw hill radio reference data. The only way to reduce the inductance is to form the wire into a flatter tape. . The capacitance of the cable depends on the proximity of the return conductor and their mutual common area., So the highest performance audio cable would be a broad narrow flat tape, with the two conductors having their narrow sides in the same plane... Basically a much bigger version of microstrip. Transmission kines. Eg the stuff used for under carpet use.
     
  16. RBZ5416

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    As (mostly) above I'm sure they'll be fine as they seem to be decent 10 gauge/2.5mm copper cable. If you're tempted to try others, find a dealer/retailer with home loan scheme & let your ears decide. Preferably with someone else switching the cables so you don't know which one you're listening to!
     
  17. epozo

    epozo
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    #3 Best Answer
    Hi - I totally agree. I've actually decided to source a new set of speaker cables from them (Calabrine) because I've "hacked" one of the termination ends on mine for each but have been very happy with them in their current use. In addition, I'll be getting my XLR balanced interconnects from the (between the Classe CP-800 pre-amp & 2 x CA-M600 amp) Definitely a descent cable at a very reasonable price. I'm convinced not to spend much - you have all been very helpful indeed. Thank you.
     
  18. RBZ5416

    RBZ5416
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    If you can live with something more basic looking & are happy to fit your own banana plugs than the Van Damme 2.5mm referenced earlier will almost certainly sound identical for a fraction of the price. Available as a sheathed cable or traditional shotgun style.

    Or you could just buy some new screw fit bananas for the Calabrine! ;)
     
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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  19. epozo

    epozo
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    Awesome. will definitely consider your recommendations. Amazing though isn't it, how branded cable suppliers are ripping everyone off. I guess at the end of the day it all comes down to having a market for it. Just ridiculous what some of the asking prices for "high end cables" are! I'm not convinced one bit ...
     
  20. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    Now just to be clear all the preceding discussion relates to speaker cables and not to other types of wiring needed in hi Fis systems. Those people with vinyl record decks, can do with all the assistance possible in bringing the minute voltage and power levels into their amplifier stages, those with networks need properly configured cat 5 or 6 cables and those with HDMI need the proper cables. Whether balanced connections of the XLR type are required in a domestic situation is arguable,, but is a small price premium, so is an indulgence worth pampering, and necessary if the equipment is so configured, But of all cabling requirements, to bring a current to the loudspeaker in a domestic environment is the least demanding of all... Except perhaps using bell wire to make a doorbell.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2018
  21. BlueWizard

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    Just so we are clear, I looked up the specification on all the wire I used in my calculations.

    There are a variety of strategies relative to speakers wire, but when you do the calculations, few of them make much difference in the audio range.

    Here is a type of Low Inductance/High Capacitance cable that uses LITZ wire -

    Needle Doctor 1-800-229-0644, Kimber Kable 12TC Speaker Cable

    Because the wire is in a circular braid, much of the inductance cancels out, but because there are so many individual wires, the space between the creates capacitance. But, the frequencies associated with Capacitance tend to be in the Megahertz rage.

    I suspect the Ribbon Cable you are referring to look more like this cable which uses a Flat Circular Braid -

    Analysis Plus Bi Big Silver Oval Speaker Cable-Audio Advisor

    Analysis Plus Black Bi Oval 12 Speaker Cable-Audio Advisor

    Though I suspect, this is closer to what you had in mind; truly flat cable -

    Nordost - Blue Heaven LS Speaker Cables (Pr) | Shop Music Direct

    NORDOST - RED DAWN LS SPEAKER CABLES (PR) | Shop Music Direct

    Generally Inductive Reactance only come into the audio range with very long runs of wire. Even at 50ft, while the Inductance does touch down to around 3500hz, the audible loss in dB is still very small.

    Again, spend as much are you want to get cables as pretty as you want, but be restrained, the value of pretty is limited, and the value of Snake Oil is limited.

    I demonstrated that with very common wire and cable, neither Inductance or Capacitance dip down into the audio range except with exceptionally long cable runs, and even then, the audible difference is slight. In the longer discussion we also cover Skin Effect, which was negligible. I covered every aspect of cable/wire specification I could think if in a variety of circumstances, and Resistance, Inductance, and Capacitance were never a problem unless some aspect of the wire was at an extreme.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  22. dannnielll

    dannnielll
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    The physics of the cross braiding is lost on me. Maybe it's an age thing and I no longer have the mental flexibility, but I don't get. it . The extra length needed to compensate for the crossing over may nullify the braiding.. . I am assuming that the principles is that the mutual inductance from later on in the cable acts against the self inductance.
    In any event there are plenty of calculators on line for circular and rectangular copper profiles and typically 5 mm diameter or square section have inductances per metre of 1184 and 1160 nH respectfully, and one needs to squash the profile into a 1.25 X 20mm to reduce its inductance by 10%. .
    The notion of reducing inductance by reducing the separation from the return path, increases the capacitance seriously and could well affect the stability margin of the amplifier.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  23. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    Because the wires are wound in a circular braid, some turn in a clockwise direction, and the others turn in an anti-clockwise direction, while it doesn't eliminate it completely, it does reduce the Inductance.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  24. BlueWizard

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    Classe CA-M600 Monoblocks - Choice Hifi

    Brand:
    Classe

    Model Name/Number: CAM M600

    Price (RRP): £7490

    Choice Hifi Price: £12000

    Output power
    600W rms into 8Ω (27.8 dBW)
    1200W rms into 4Ω (27.8 dBW)

    This gives framework to the amp and by extension framework to the Speaker Cables.

    Given the 600w/ch on tap, I think lager than average might be in order. Perhaps 4mm or 12ga to 10ga.

    Generally, if the wire is 99.99% OFC (oxygen free copper) it is about as good as it can possibly be.

    I don't know what you paid for your system, but the amps ranges between £7500 and £12,000/pair.

    Based on my research, the Pre-Amp costs about US$5000, not sure of the UK price. But it seems safe to assume an easy £15,000 for the Amps and Pre-Amp.

    The best I can come up with is the Bowers-Wilkins 803 are about £13,000/pair.

    So while we don't know the system cost, we can estimate its value -

    £12,000 = Power Amps
    £_3,500 = Pre-Amp
    £13,000 = Speaker Pair
    ---------------------------
    £28,500 = Total


    Using my suggestion of BUDGETING 5% for ALL wire and cable, that would be -

    £1425

    Which is a pretty considerable amount.

    But ultimately it is up to you how much you want to spend.

    Higher end CHORD cable can run £30 to £50 per meter, so £90 to £150 for a 3 Meter Length -

    https://www.hifix.co.uk/cables/hi-f...cables/chord-shawline-speaker-cable-per-metre

    https://www.hifix.co.uk/cables/hi-f...cables/chord-shawline-speaker-cable-per-metre

    2mm Diameter is roughly 12gauge (3.31mm²)

    The Chord Shawline claims 8mm diameter, but I think that is the insulation, not the wire itself. Another source indicates that the Shawline is only 16ga (1.31mm²)

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  25. Khazul

    Khazul
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    I always find it a little ironic that people only worry about speaker cable for high end systems when often its cheap systems (budget and mid range AVRs for eg) with lower damping that could be really helped by having an inexpensive but decent spec cable instead of the usual 10m of 18 awg or worse that people seem to end up with to drive 4/6 ohm speakers.
     
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  26. Hixs

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    People on a tight budget don't see the value in spending 100s on cable I guess.

    I spent -

    Speaker package - 1600€
    AVR - 899€

    Total - 2499€

    Cable - 100£ (ish) Van Damme Blue 2.5mm all round, and Van Damme Black RCA for sub.
     
  27. Paul7777x

    Paul7777x
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    Good point, but good cable is cheap. Yours for instance is great cable and not at all expensive.

    If anyone wants overkill cable, to be mega certain of everything, then this is more than enough.

    4mm c/s. Fit it and that’s that. No possible electrical issues.

    Fisual S-Flex Studio Grade White Speaker Cable 2 x 4mm - Speaker Cable By Brand - HifiCables - Analogue and Digital Interconnect Specialists

    But this is excellent and a bargain and suitable for any realistic hifi.

    https://www.hificables.co.uk/product/2390/fisual-super-pearl-2-5mm-speaker-cable-white/

    Both can be shop fitted, if you like, with spades or various bananas very inexpensively.
     
  28. Hixs

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    It was highly recommended to me when I first joined asking the usual noob question of "5.1 and avr for under 1k"..

    Within a week I'd been convinced to nearly triple my budget. :D

    I had the money though, some don't.
     
  29. Khazul

    Khazul
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    1k tends to be below the threshold of what most people around here can think of as a known decent system. I think approaching 1.3-1.5k tends to be where most systems start to be recognisable to many people here, assuming around 1k on a 5.1 speaker package and the rest on AVR, cables etc (ie about the usual 2:1 of 5.1 speaker system vs AVR cost).
     
  30. dannnielll

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    Thanks, your comments and calculations have forced me to think more deeply about this topic.. not that it has serious relevance, in audio cables, as your calculations have shown. . I had difficulty in understanding that a cable might have less than 1100nH per metre, as the Kimbel products claimed.
    Coming at this with a clearer mind today, I see that the reduction in the overall inductance is because the return cable is very closely coupled physically, not electrically with the drive cable. This results in a larger mutual inductance, which counteracts the self inductance, and reduces the effect . Up to 40% cancellation of the native self inductance can be achieved this way.
    By using multiple parallel strands, the Kimbell product is effectively increasing the conductor area. And getting another 10% to 20% reduction there as well.
    The engineering price is that these cables have higher capacitance. Which will have ,as you say, minimal effect on the higher frequencies, in terms of a shunt capacitance RC network ... but I contend may cause ringing from the amplifier due to total capacitive loading of a current amplifier .. A question I was asked some 45 years ago, at my first engineering job interview.
    It seems a very high price to pay for an effect which can be removed by just applying a little treble lift or just bring the speakers a little closer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  31. whattheflac

    whattheflac
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