Question The dillema of Speaker cables

al2813

Active Member
I already posted here recently about some of the dillemas i have been facing in recent weeks around my newly created setup. I recently bought an AV reciever (Yamaha RX-V781), a pair of Q Acoustics 3050 and a Cambridge Audio Topaz CD10. In light of what i feel is a very disapointing sound quality when playing music i am considering several changes one of the being getting an additional stereo amplifier (or maybe instead of AV but this is a different discussion). Last week i listened to the same speakers i have driven by an Arcam A19. The sound was very good indeed. When we started talikng a bit more details, the owner stated that as far as cables are to do, i should think of spending about 200 Euros on the pair of cables. When reading in the forums i already got the tip of looking for opportunities on ebay but when i look i see a wild difference of prices. I am looking for 2 meters of terminated cables with bananes. Would love to spend much less of the 200, but would love to get some concrete references and advice of where to buy (will need shipping to Belgium).
 

al2813

Active Member
I thought so. The problem in Belgium is that unlike the UK, the only proper hifi shops that survived are a few up market ones who practice very high prices....

Many thanks for the link! I'll check this
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
First, if you have the Q Acoustic 3050, where are they placed? Primarily how close to the walls to the side and behind the speaker are they.

While generally smooth the speakers so have a bit of exaggerated bass, and they means they need a bit of space around them. I had the 3050 in my home for a trial, and had a bit of trouble placing them. One way you can test whether placement is the real problem is to pull the speakers at least 2 or 3 more feet out into the room. If the sound clears up, as it most certainly did for me, then you have to work on better placement, though it need not be as extreme as 2 feet forward.

This isn't intended to be use permanently, this is a test to simply determine if placement can improve the speakers. In my case, I pulled them forward and determined that indeed placement was the issue, I started working to find a workable compromise. In the end, the speakers were only a few inches from where they had been originally placed.

Now, the problem with close placement is overblown bass, but that's not what I heard, what I heard was very recessed Midrange. But ultimately that recessed Midrange was caused by the over-emphasized bass. As you can hear, once properly placed, the speakers sounded pretty good.


You can twiddle with Speaker Wire, but even if it did make a difference, the difference is going to be very small and minimal compared to things like speaker placement and room acoustics.

Van Damme Blue is always a good first choice in quality, yet affordable, cable -

Van Damme Studio Blue Speaker Cable - 2.5mm² - £2.43/meter -

Van Damme Blue Series Passive Speaker Cable

Fisual S-FLEX Studio Cable
is also good -

Fisual S-FLEX Studio Speaker Cable - 2.5mm² - £2.35/meter -


Fisual S-Flex Studio Grade White Speaker Cable 2 x 2.5mm - By Brand - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

Fisual S-Flex Studio Grade Black Speaker Cable 2 x 2.5mm - By Brand - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

Th Fisual Super Pearl Speaker Wire in on sale right now. This is a bit heavier speaker wire, but good quality solid wire.

Fisual Super Pearl 2.5mm² Speaker Wire - £1.50/meter (regular £2.20/m) -

Fisual Super Pearl 2.5mm Speaker Cable Black - By Brand - AudioVisual Online - Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

Both the Fisual S-Flex and the Fisual Super Pearl are 99.99% Pure Oxygen Free Copper. It doesn't get better than that. Most of what you are paying for in more expensive wire is cosmetics.

Of course you can spend what you want, but you won't get better than 99.99% OFC Copper. Everything beyond that is gimmick or cosmetic.

I would also give some consideration to your Room Size and the Room Acoustics, it this is a very empty hollow room then it is probably a nightmare for reflections.

If you want a better Amp - Fine. If you want a Stereo Amp - Fine. And they may sound a bit clearer and they many have more power, but if the problem is placement or room acoustics, a better amps is not really going to sound any better.

These speakers should sound good, decent bass yet very well balanced, and very clear. If you are not getting that, then likely it is you (your circumstances) that are the problem.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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Member 778069

Active Member
You would be better off digging into the sound settings of your AVR than buying speaker cables, they wont give you the huge change in sound quality that youre looking for.
 

al2813

Active Member
Hi Steve, many thanks for the useful and detailed feedback. I am sure that my placement has to do with this (see pic below). I am probably too close to the wall, the floor is not ideal and the space is big (you can only see about a third of the actual space which is including the kitchen about 65 sqm.



Still I am more convinced that:
- i should at least try to replace the cables since the current ones were delivered to me by the person who sold me the speakers. he had them as spares and they have no brand on them.
- I am convinced a good stereo amp will improve things significantly
- I am not convinced yet if the AV reciever is a good as network streamer as some of the other products in the market. I am starting to selectively get some albums in hi-res and will probably sign up with Tidal.
 

alainrj

Standard Member
You don't actually say what is disappointing with the sound you are getting in your room but having a similar stone tile floor and bare painted walls (no wallpaper) in my room I found using a rug placed between the speakers and your listening position will improve the sound quality greatly. I found I was getting a harsh, bright sound that was not easy to listen to and adding a floor rug made a big improvement for me. When you heard the demo with the Arcam was the room carpeted or did it have a bare stone floor like yours?
 

al2813

Active Member
You don't actually say what is disappointing with the sound you are getting in your room but having a similar stone tile floor and bare painted walls (no wallpaper) in my room I found using a rug placed between the speakers and your listening position will improve the sound quality greatly. I found I was getting a harsh, bright sound that was not easy to listen to and adding a floor rug made a big improvement for me. When you heard the demo with the Arcam was the room carpeted or did it have a bare stone floor like yours?

It was and indeed I received an identical feedback from the shop owner. I will get a rug.
The sound currently is very "flat", little depth or not very "full" (sorry English is not my mother tongue so trying as best as I can).
 

al2813

Active Member
I found the make of my cables. I have Supra Rondo 2x2,5mm and the bananas are marked "real cable", but could not find the ref. for that
 

al2813

Active Member
One more remark to the comments of steve. The more I think about things (I know i should have done this thinking BEFORE I went ahead an bought components.....), the more I realize that audio wise my key target is high quality stereo music. I am more than happy with 2.0 sound through the good set of speakers, and at least now I don't have an urge to get a multi channel setup. So for me getting a stereo amp is a forgone conclusion. The only remaining question I have is whether I should keep at all my AV receiver. There are two functions left that the Yamaha still fulfills: Network streaming and HDMI switching (plus video processing and upscaling). I will post a question in another section.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
If the speakers are poorly place, and the photo doesn't really look that bad, then likely the Mid/High will be suppressed or recessed, seemingly held back.

However, if it is the bare room and hard floors, as mentioned, you will probably have Treble emphasis or harsh Treble.

As I mentioned, pull the speakers forward another 2 feet (600mm), and place them just a bit narrower (closer together, more to the center), and see if the sound changes in a way that clears up what you felt was wrong with the speakers. That's not practical placement, but it will help you determine the nature of the problem. If that doesn't do anything, then it tells us you have another problem other than placement.

While I'm not personally a big fan of AV Receiver, I do see their place, and I would expect you system to sound pretty good.

Change the wire if you want, just don''t expect a big change in the results. Wire at best makes a very small and subtle difference.

Steve/bluewizard
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Also, since you have a AV Receiver, you MUST run the Setup Program to calibrate and balance the AVR.

If the AV Receiver has Room EQ, try listening with the EQ On and with it Off. Most amps have something called Pure Direct or similar, typically a button on the front to bypass internal processing and when engaged will give you the purest sound. Actually on the Yamaha, I think the Button to accomplish this might be labeled STRAIGHT.

Many feel that Movies sound better with Room-EQ, but that Music sound better without it.

Steve/bluewizard
 

al2813

Active Member
I am reposting here to provide feedback on my new setup. My Yamaha is now in repair due to an airplay issue (it kept losing the airplay connection forcing me to "cold reboot" it).

Today I took my speakers to the guy who sold them to me. He has now a little shop where he sells 2nd hand quality hifi gear. I listened to my speakers connected to an Arcam A28 and a Bluesound Node 2 using my cables. The speakers sang again reminding me why I bought them in the first place.

I listened to 2 other speaker sets he had on sale (B&W CM5 and Dyna Audio - did not see the exact model). I ended up keeping my Q Acoustics. I also kept my cables since connecting a much more expensive set did not make much of a difference (although it did improve the sound by a bit).

I picked up the Arcam and on the way home I picked up the Bluesound (he did not have one for sale). So now in my place in the same placement, the speakers still sing. I found my happiness.

My conclusion is that unless there was a real fault in the Yamaha, there's no comparison to have. A decent Stereo amp with a decent streamer and DAC play stereo music much better than an AV amp. I suspect that I will get similar results only with a 3k Arcam AV.
 
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Don Dadda

Distinguished Member
I suspect that I will get similar results only with a 3k Arcam AV.

You would like to think so but even some folks with singing and all dancing flagship AVs are wanting better stereo peformance
 

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