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Which budget speaker cable?

Discussion in 'Cables & Switches' started by JayDub, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. JayDub

    JayDub
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    I'm currently using bell wire, so expect any proper cable will offer a significant improvement.

    I am somewhat budget limited and can't afford to spend more than £3.00 / metre absolute tops.

    I need a cable that will easily fit between the gripperrod and the skirting boards.

    The longest run in the room is 12m. Our kit is worth £500 max (scaled up to today's prices).

    I was orginally thinking of going down the QED route and had a shortlist of the silver micro, the bronze edition and the original.

    Feedback I have received so far suggests that the original is the safest choice.

    Are there any other makes I should consider?

    (e.g I see the Van Damme Blue seems to be fairly highly rated, although I can't tell whether it will be small and flexible to run along the gripperrod.)

    Is it worth considering micro cable or am I better looking at 2.5mm2 cable?
     
  2. rowlandhills

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    I've just switched over to the Van Damme Black Series 4x2.5mm to run my speakers. It's a bit too big to go under the carpet, although it sounds very nice!

    You might be able to get away with the 2x1.5, which will probably sound better than most other speaker cables, and should cost less than £2/m.

    Send Joe Fernand a PM and he should be able to give you the dimensions and a price for black series van damme cable.
     
  3. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    I would use the Blue series stuff from Maplins for your front 3 speakers as you should not see them anyway. However for your rear speakers the Van damme cable will be too big, it is equal in size to your coaxial cable for your sky box or tv aerial. Your plan to use qed original is a good one for the rears but have a look at the shark cable they have in Maplins and see if size wise it will fit along your skirting and the gripper rod.
     
  4. JayDub

    JayDub
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    Forgot to mention, my set up's hifi not AV, although the same principles should apply.

    I have longish runs (12m and 7.5m) to my speakers.

    I suspect the Van Damme is going to be too bulky, so it looks as though it's either the Shark from Maplins or QED Original (which is about the largest cable size I can get away with - I have one run that needs to go through a doorway.)

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  5. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    JayDub

    The VanDamme Blue Series (Twin Axial) is available as 2x0.75mm (5.6mm OD) and 2x1.5mm (6.5mm OD) - the 2x1.5mm should easily run along side your gripper strip.

    The QED Original is a 'shotgun' cable (two round conductors laid side by side) and is 3.6mm x7.0mm - so wider but less tall than the 'round' VanDamme cables.

    For HiFi I always tend to keep both cable runs the same length - I'm sure a debate will now ensue about the relative merits or lack of for this approach!!!

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  6. JayDub

    JayDub
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    Joe,

    What's difference in audio quality am I likely to hear between the Van Damme and the QED original? (Hoping you sell both and can give an honest answer on this one! :))

    Also I've noticed most people seem to recommend the 2*2.5, although I thought this is probably getting a bit big for how I want to run it. I was also shying away from the QED micros because there appears to be a noticeable loss in audio quality.

    My other concern about the VD was it's flexibility for going roung corners.

    I assume the 2*1.5 is your recommended compromise between flexibility, discreetness and audio performance.

    Thanks for your advice,
     
  7. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Joe nothing wrong with keeping both runs identical if it keeps you happy, but in reality there is no difference to be gained :

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=123617&highlight=propogation
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=212090&highlight=propogation

    PS Im a 7m Left channel & 3m Right channel man myself with the Vdamme 2/2.5mm2 cable.

    Jaydub I use both VDamme 2/2.5 & QED Original (in system2) both are excellent cables, but go for the VD stuff offers Better VFM IMHO.
     
  8. spamboy

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    Van damme also do a figure of eight hifi cable. I spoke to a very knowlegable engineer there when I dropped in to buy some of the studio grade cable for wiring my HC and came out with the hi fi cable instead, apparently it's better for the application and cheaper.

    They spend a lot of effort making the cables robust for professional applications, which they haven't in this case and they've changed the brading to reduce skin effect in the hi fi cable.

    I haven't had a chance to do any comparative listening yet though I'm afraid.

    I've seen (and heard) the studio grade cabling used in some very expensive setups. I don't think you can beat it for value.
     
  9. JayDub

    JayDub
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    Any thoughts on the subject of 1.5mm against 2.5mm?

    Price wise, if we compare 2.5 mm cable, I can buy QED original at £2.40 locally or at £1.95 on the net compared to VD at £1.99. Even needing 19 metres and buying locally, the price aint going to kill me either way/ (My wife might as I pull the carpet edge up again!)

    It's really a question of which is the better cable both performance wise and for it's ability to bend round tight corners in the gap (~1cm between the skirting board and the gripper rod).

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  10. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello all

    spamboy - as you say the VanDamme 2x2.5mm OFC Shotgun (with wide centre spacer) is decent cable; though not that pliable for going around corners.

    JayDub - the 2x1.5mm Twin Axial is pretty pliable; I just put a fair few meters of it into someone's house and it was very easy to 'radius' it around skirting boards and door frames.

    I use the 2x1.5mm and 4x2.5mm on various system around our house and both work well.

    Some folk will tell you different speaker cables have no positive or negative effect on how your system sounds - will you hear a difference in your set up between VanDamme Blue Series and QED original? Possibly - though I doubt its going to be a night and day revelation; some systems do seem more susceptible to changes in cables. I guess you could consider a Sale or Return 'purchase' as a good way forward :)

    CJROSS - I prefer the symmetry of same length cables; it just seems to make more sense to me!!!

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  11. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Hey Joe, nothing wrong with that at all dude – if it makes you happy then power to you bro and it’s a perfectly valid reason IMHO to keep things equal in its own right, FWIW I used to be that way inclined myself but once the technical aspects of a speaker cable electrical parameters became apparent, then it ceased to be a concern to me.. Still even to this day that little devil on the shoulder can pipe up “You know they should be equal” :D
     
  12. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    Joe I have about 7 metres of the 1.5mm stuff lying around is there a blue series cable smaller than this, as I dont think Maplins stock anything smaller than the 1.5mm. :confused:
     
  13. JayDub

    JayDub
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    Well, having obtained samples from Maplins, the 1.5mm is the only VD option. The 2.5mm is simply too big.

    I have to admit I'm moving back towards the shotgun configuration. It takes up much less carpet space and I can have 2.5mm2 cable rather than 1.5, which must be better considering the longish cable lengths.

    Anybody any views on QED Original against QED Bronze Edition?

    Also, looking at the Maplin catalogue, what about the Shark OFC 3.24mm2 at £ 2.29 / metre?
     
  14. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Hello all

    Gerbilly - the Blue Series Twin Axial is available as 2x0.75mm (SRP is £0.98/m).

    We've used it for rears on plenty of HC systems and for mains on lots of AV installs - corporate customers being so tight!!!

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  15. Tardis

    Tardis
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    Can someone tell me :lease: where to get Van Damme speaker cable from.

    I have searched high and low on the net for these leads and I can't find them anywhere :rolleyes:

    Could someone :lease: put up a link.

    TIA :thumbsup:
     
  16. Joe Fernand

    Joe Fernand
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    Tardis

    You'd have thought a Time Lord would have known where to get some AV cables from :)

    If your really stuck try the banner add below this message.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  17. Tardis

    Tardis
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    :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rolleyes:

    I've just found the place. Don't I feel a knobhead.
     
  18. JayDub

    JayDub
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    Van Damme Blue in two core is available from Maplins.

    All remaining cable VD cable is available on the net from www.vdctrading.com or from Joe Fernand (see the Media Factory link on the post above). If you need multicore, I suggest you either drop Joe a PM or phone Vdctrading to discuss your requirements.
     
  19. JayDub

    JayDub
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    OK. Bought a 2m length of the 2*1.5 just to test it out.

    Nice clear bright sound and I preferred it to the sample of QED Original.

    If I work on the cable run not being more than 5% of the impedence of my 6 ohm speakers, then I can just get away with the 1.5.

    Are there any real advantages (i.e. audible differences) to going to going to 2.5mm2 cable?

    (The disadvantages are more obvious: significantly greater cost and more difficultly running it round the edge of the carpets!)
     
  20. JayDub

    JayDub
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    To answer my last question, I bought a sample of 2.5mm2 cable as well. As I had expected from other simailar CSA cables, the sound is mellower and has less emphasis on the treble with better bass.

    In the end, I've gone for the 2.5mm2 blue series, even though it doesn't fit as neatly behind the gripper rod and across the doorways. Having listened to both, I thought the 1.5mm2 could be a bit tiring to listen to over extended periods.

    Interestingly the 1.5mm2 cable I got from the local Maplins was concert grade not studio grade. It appears to have the conductor construction of black series (fewer thicker strands) but with the blue outer. The part code was 268-525-0000, the black series code with an extra 0 on the end.

    I've surprised myself at the difference between the various cables I've tested, even on our humble set up. Having played about with bits of Gale, QED Original, Shark and Van Damme, I am absolutely convinced that the VD offers the best VFM.

    Thanks for all your earlier advice.
     
  21. Tob3z

    Tob3z
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    edit:: Yeh loving 64k and the time it take to load a page. :oops:
     

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