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Tell me the truth about speaker cable please.

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Steve N

Distinguished Member
I need some fairly long runs of new speaker cable.
What performance difference will I get spending £40 a metre on Chord Epic, or equivalent, and the one my local electrical dealer sell at £1 per metre.

The cheap one is nice thick 192 strand twisted copper strands in a transparent cover. He claims it is 100% oxygen free.

The copper core of the dearer ones looks to carry a lot less copper.

I imagine there is a lot more to it than that, but is there ?

What are the benefits and downsides please.
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
The cheap one is nice thick 192 strand twisted copper strands in a transparent cover. He claims it is 100% oxygen free.

Another myth siezed upon by Fraudster cable companies to part the gullible and their money.

OFC has no effect on Audio ... that was never its intended purpose ...

Read here

Oxygen free copper - Audioholics Home Theater Forums
 

Steve N

Distinguished Member
The cheap one is nice thick 192 strand twisted copper strands in a transparent cover. He claims it is 100% oxygen free.

No need to shout Andy :)


Another myth siezed upon by Fraudster cable companies to part the gullible and their money.

OFC has no effect on Audio ... that was never its intended purpose ...

Read here

Oxygen free copper - Audioholics Home Theater Forums
He wasn't using it as a selling point.
I asked if the much touted oxygen free claims was why some cables fetched more. It was then he said that the ones I picked out, and most of the others were 100% oxygen free.
He went on to say it doesn't really mean much with audio.
He's just an old guy who does a bit of mainly wholesale electrical stuff from basically a big shed down a lane.

However, to get back on track. Are you basically saying you agree with mjcairney

Thanks for the link, makes interesting reading.
 
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Mr Mike

Established Member
I need some fairly long runs of new speaker cable.
What performance difference will I get spending £40 a metre on Chord Epic, or equivalent, and the one my local electrical dealer sell at £1 per metre.

The cheap one is nice thick 192 strand twisted copper strands in a transparent cover. He claims it is 100% oxygen free.

The copper core of the dearer ones looks to carry a lot less copper.

I imagine there is a lot more to it than that, but is there ?

What are the benefits and downsides please.


The only way to do this is to borrow or test back to back and let your ears decide. Many people dont believe there is any point in spending ££'s on cable when you can get it for a few £ per meter, I am one who did buy Chord Signature speaker cable and interconnects, IMO the biggest single change improvement ever purchased! A lot of money but huge improvements in every area....


A few quotes on the sig interconnect which i think are perfect...

"Images are huge and you hear more of the recording character than most of the competition, it also has a superb sense of timing thanks to great transient response. If you want to add precision and scale to your sound, it's a winner"

"The sound is transparent, extremely detailed and seriously dynamic, but the really important thing is the way that it manages to combine all the above abilities into a sound that is incredibly simple to listen to. Once it has run in the Signature will not only amaze with its level of information but it will present it in a beautifully coherent manner as well"


A quote on the sig speaker cable..

"No matter how complex the music, you will be able to pick out individual instruments. Tonally, the cable is neutral and will portray the very subtle dynamic changes that are so vital to music reproduction. No matter what your system, the innovative design of Chord Signature speaker cable will transform the sound and really bring your music or soundtracks to life. If you are passionate about your music, this is a cable you really must try"

The reviews of Epic look impressive and for less than half the cost of the signature range it may well be worth a go.

Have you spent sufficient time with speaker postioning? This appears to be an area that most people dont appreciate either, When setting up speakers, don’t rush through the process, take your time and slowly find the ideal location over a few weeks/months of listening. Pressing to find the right position can be very very frustrating when your making adjustments of less than a 1/4" but believe me its worth every minute - go on unleash that hidden performance.
 

Steve N

Distinguished Member
Thanks Mr M,

I'm going to try some tests at the weekend.

I wouldn't be so concerned if I wasn't getting them plastered in as i could change them later.

With the new room layout I'm having to implement to accomodate the new Plasma, I'm going to need about 16 metres for the front 3.
The Chord Signature at around £112 a metre adds up to £1,672 which is a bit strong, and thats just for single runs.

By the way, are you bi-amping or bi-wiring, or just using single runs ?
 

LicensedTaximan

Prominent Member
This subject matter can be a little bit snakey oil...but.

When I was checking out speaker cable for my main stereo speakers which take care of my music listening and the left and right of the surround sound cinema set up I found multi strand was best rather than solid core for my KEF 104.2's In the end I went for Van Den Hul CS122 which you can get for £12 per metre (full price £15 per metre) and has garnered many awards...so maybe just maybe it's not quite so snakey oil, but to spend hundreds per metre hmm and hmm again loudly.

By the way I was fortunate when and where I ordered the VDH CS 122 from because the shop was on a weeks sabatical so for having patience the shop gave customers ordering at that time 10% extra off their prices, so I saved even more off their web price of £12 per metre. :thumbsup:
 
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Mr Mike

Established Member
Thanks Mr M,

I'm going to try some tests at the weekend.

I wouldn't be so concerned if I wasn't getting them plastered in as i could change them later.

With the new room layout I'm having to implement to accomodate the new Plasma, I'm going to need about 16 metres for the front 3.
The Chord Signature at around £112 a metre adds up to £1,672 which is a bit strong, and thats just for single runs.

By the way, are you bi-amping or bi-wiring, or just using single runs ?

I only have single runs as dynaudio only have one binding post, they dont believe in bi-wiring, if signature was what you wanted you can buy signature jumpers

Chord Company Signature Jumper Cables on eBay, also Speaker Cables, Cables Connectors, Home Audio Hi Fi, Consumer Electronics (end time 23-Oct-08 16:20:35 BST)

so you would only require a single run - not heard a setup using them so i cant comment on performance.


I have 3 meter pair and also single 3 meter for the centre channel, I could not make the front soundstage in 5.1 work without a run to the centre, as for the rears - no chance at that cost, cant actually remember what i used on the rears.

By the way if your plastering cable into the wall get yourself some aqua hose used for the likes of ponds and water features and plaster them into the wall - you can then run the cable through the hose allowing the ability to change or remove at any time, if you do this it may be worth running line or two of fishing line so you have more than one chance of not loosing the cable half way.

At the end of the day its only your ears that can decide, the idea of expensive = better is NOT the way to think about it. I honestly laughed at the idea of buying 1 meter never mind 9 meters but after a few weeks testing cables at home I had no choice but agree with my ears and spend the cash. Looking back now i have no regrets and time only makes it better, the other positive is the cable does fetch a decent price used.
 

Peterkinxl5

Established Member
This isn't a precise area and sometimes the results are more subtle than you could bank on but in my experience:

DECENT SPEAKER CABLE AND INTERCONNECTS ARE THE SINGLE BIGGEST IMPROVEMENT THAT CAN BE MADE TO ANY SYSTEM.

I'm not referring to 5.1 systems as I don't own one but I have a reasonable two channel system.

Changing my interconnect freebies to QED SILVER SPIRAL and freeby Speaker Cable to QED XT350+AIRLOCS made a MASSIVE improvement-enough to suggest maybe a major component such as my amp had been changed.

I've also upgraded my cable again to XT400 and still noticed another improvement over XT350.

Of course, all purchases such as this have to deliver an audible improvement, if it doesn't then the whole episode is a waste of money.

With cable like Chord Signature and Interconnects like the Chord Indigo+ then a home demonstration is advised, but even on a modest two channel system at this level, I would be surprised if there wasn't a substantial improvement .

So in my experience, money spent on Speaker cable and Interconnects is money well spent.
 

Peterkinxl5

Established Member
I need some fairly long runs of new speaker cable.
What performance difference will I get spending £40 a metre on Chord Epic, or equivalent, and the one my local electrical dealer sell at £1 per metre.

The cheap one is nice thick 192 strand twisted copper strands in a transparent cover. He claims it is 100% oxygen free.

The copper core of the dearer ones looks to carry a lot less copper.

I imagine there is a lot more to it than that, but is there ?

What are the benefits and downsides please.

Ain't no such animal as 100% OXYGEN FREE!!
 

-Ad-

Prominent Member
I've also upgraded my cable again to XT400 and still noticed another improvement over XT350.

Yikes, can you tell us which planet you came from to be able to tell such small differences :D

I will be building solid core speaker cables when I have the time to compare to my multistranded ixos stuff I bought years ago, but to be honest music sounds great as it is.

Spend some time auditioning cables then make a choice :thumbsup:
 

Mr Mike

Established Member
Yikes, can you tell us which planet you came from to be able to tell such small differences :D

I think if you know your kit and have it setup to perfection or as near as you can with placement and the like any small change can be heard very easily.
 

ben.bayliss

Established Member
Eeek this thread has been taken over by the faithful! :eek:

Personally, I'd steer you very firmly in the direction of Van Damme 2.5mm (~£1.80/m at consumer prices), or ANY other well-made cable withat least 2.5mm of copper running down it. Studiospares make one for around 60p/metre! The cable your electrical wholesaler is supplying sounds like a similar affair. To be really really really honest - please just go for it and be happy!

I say this as a sound engineer who can promise you that no* stage or recording studio around the world uses cables anything like the kinds of expensive luxury (yet always consumer-aimed!) interconnect and speaker cables that some around here will push, over distances many times greater than the average living room whilst making the music and film soundtracks we all listen to. Perhaps 'the industry' knows what it's doing by making that choice? That's before we get into the realm of asking what cables the manufactuer of all the equipment have chosen to use inside the kit that we somehow hope to 'repair' by using such esoteric cables forged from dwarf-mined copper etc etc.

[size=-2]*Obviously, I can't speak for everywhere, but I've worked in enough places to know what the industry standard is.
[/size]
 

gerbilly

Established Member
This isn't a precise area and sometimes the results are more subtle than you could bank on but in my experience:

DECENT SPEAKER CABLE AND INTERCONNECTS ARE THE SINGLE BIGGEST IMPROVEMENT THAT CAN BE MADE TO ANY SYSTEM.

I'm not referring to 5.1 systems as I don't own one but I have a reasonable two channel system.

Changing my interconnect freebies to QED SILVER SPIRAL and freeby Speaker Cable to QED XT350+AIRLOCS made a MASSIVE improvement-enough to suggest maybe a major component such as my amp had been changed.

I've also upgraded my cable again to XT400 and still noticed another improvement over XT350.

Of course, all purchases such as this have to deliver an audible improvement, if it doesn't then the whole episode is a waste of money.

With cable like Chord Signature and Interconnects like the Chord Indigo+ then a home demonstration is advised, but even on a modest two channel system at this level, I would be surprised if there wasn't a substantial improvement .

So in my experience, money spent on Speaker cable and Interconnects is money well spent.



I bet I could swap your speaker cable with Van Damme at £1.89 per metre and you wouldnt be able to tell the difference in a blind test. You could even use twin and earth and you would barely notice a difference.
Van Damme is used in installs by many companies is very flexible and easy to use and is quite cheap. No need to waste money on cables when you can save it for buying new equipment.
 
D

Deleted member 174041

Guest
I bet I could swap your speaker cable with Van Damme at £1.89 per metre and you wouldnt be able to tell the difference in a blind test. You could even use twin and earth and you would barely notice a difference.

Agreed
 

gilbates

Established Member
1.5mm solid core copper ...no messing

Screwfix B & Q anywhere you can find mains cable sells it , call it a fancy name if ya want ( lets make one up ) 15SCC if ya want :D works a treat and costs pennys compared to others

real name.... 1.5 mm twin and Earth :hiya:
 

Mr Mike

Established Member
I bet I could swap your speaker cable with Van Damme at £1.89 per metre and you wouldnt be able to tell the difference in a blind test. You could even use twin and earth and you would barely notice a difference.
Van Damme is used in installs by many companies is very flexible and easy to use and is quite cheap. No need to waste money on cables when you can save it for buying new equipment.

1.5mm solid core copper ...no messing

Screwfix B & Q anywhere you can find mains cable sells it , call it a fancy name if ya want ( lets make one up ) 15SCC if ya want :D works a treat and costs pennys compared to others

real name.... 1.5 mm twin and Earth :hiya:


Its all relative...you are both using all in one receivers so I wouldnt think you could even hear the soundstage or detail that cables enhance so I agree not worth the money in your case.
 

ryart

Established Member
Its all relative...you are both using all in one receivers so I wouldn't think you could even hear the sound stage or detail that cables enhance so I agree not worth the money in your case.

Very true. I'm hard pressed to tell the difference between QED and Van den Hul speaker cables between my Quad 909 and Martin Logan Aerius speakers, but the differences are clear when connecting a BAT VK6200 and Martin Logan Ascent. The differences are still relatively small compared to changing a power amp or CD player and especially speakers but are significant enough to make for greater pleasure when listening to the music. Careful choice of speaker cable may be useful to finely tune a sytem that is almost right, but you will probably get greater improvements by spending money elsewhere in the system.

Best advice is to find a dealer who has sets of demonstration cable and try them for yourself with your equipment in your home. At the very least only buy on a sale or return basis. People can be as objective or subjective as they like (and usually are :boring:) but the only thing that really matters is what helps you enjoy the music the most.
 

MarkTaylor

Prominent Member
I think this thread has now covered all the angles so I'll close it here with thanks to everyone for keeping what can be a contentious debate civil and friendly.
 
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