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Which speaker cables & interconnects?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by virtualpt, May 15, 2005.

  1. virtualpt

    virtualpt
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    Hi,

    I have just bought Arcam CD 192, Exposure 3010 Integrated Amp & a pair of PMC DB1+

    What interconnects & speaker cables do I need to do these justice please?

    I have seen recommendations for Mark Grant's cables, how do these compare to say the Atlas Explorer? Do I need to spend that much for this system? Would the Equator suffice?

    And for speaker cable, how does Mark's stuff compare to say Atlas 2+1.1 Bi-Wire, or QED Silver Anniversary?

    Many thanks for all of your help. I'm a total newbie when it comes to this :)

    Paul
     
  2. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Van Damme Blue Series Speaker Cables from Maplins (£1.99/ 2x2.5mm2 or £2.99/ 2x4mm2)
    CAT5 DIY speaker cables.
    Mark Grant Stereo ICs

    Buy those (or make those) and see what you think.
     
  3. virtualpt

    virtualpt
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    Thanks CJRoss, do Maplins sell them with plugs attached, I'm not really confident with the whole soldering DIY stuff? :eek: Can I use these to bi-wire?

    Paul
     
  4. pwood

    pwood
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    Best thing to do is ring round your local dealers and arrange a home trail of several cables. Personally I use Ecosse dedicated biwire with great results. Russ Andrews.com Kimber cable is also very good even in single wire config using jumper cables)some would say its pricey . I would advise also getting a decent mains cable for the CD player but dont go daft on price. both Russ andrews Yello and Ecosse ones are good value.

    TRY before you buy and price is not always relative. Also allow for good quality silver soldered connections if possible as no point using cheap plated plugs.

    Good choice of kit by the way.

    Enjoy
     
  5. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Good choice of kit. Exposure and PMC are made for each other.
    Atlas Equator would be fine. If you can hear the difference between that and explorer or even voyager then it's worth getting. Personally I can't so I think the voyager would be fine.:) Atlas make some nicely made, good quality cables.
    I haven't tried out Mark Grants I/C's so I can't comment. His digital cables are of very high quality though.
    As for speaker cable? Save some money here (to add an exp.3010 power amp later :smashin:). Cat5 terminated (if you're not happy with a soldering iron) with normal screw fixing banana plugs or crimp type spades. There really is no point in wasting money on 'special cable' here. Most dealers will try to push whatever they stock. Fair play they have to make a living. Those that know.....? Well, you get the idea....
    CJROSS seems to like the Maplins Van Damme cable, again I haven't heard it so can't comment but as he likes CAT5 I would assume it's fairly similar.
    Again the power cable route might be interesting. I can't really buy into it but if it floats your boat....
    Give the DB1's plenty of time to loosen up... They're well worth the wait!;)
     
  6. virtualpt

    virtualpt
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    Thanks Guys,

    Another question, does speaker wire deteriorate with age? I've been offered some QED Original at quite a good price.

    Paul
     
  7. virtualpt

    virtualpt
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    Thanks Nightshade,

    Would the gold-plated banana plugs from Maplins be OK? How do I biwire with the Van Damme cable? Is it complicated? Is it worth biwiring?

    If I used CAT5 (may be able to get some from work cheap - work in I.T.), do I have to do anything complex with it, or just fix some plugs on to the end?

    Thanks also guys for positive feedback on the choice of kit. I spent a fair few hours demoing & stressing out :), but had lots of good help, feedback & recommendations from this forum. I must say I really like this forum, you are all a great bunch. Very helpful & very friendly.

    The DB1s are ex-dem, so they should be fairly warmed up. Got to wait a week for the kit to arrive at the dealers now, but am getting very excited :thumbsup:

    Paul
     
  8. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Again open to argument on this. I doubt you'll find it's worth it. If the wire is thick enough then Idon't really see what's to be gained.
    I'd expect you'd need 2 lengths of cable. Best to check with CJROSS as I don't know the cable:)
    Not really, there is a link in my signature which gives you the general idea. To try it out though i'd just lay 3/4/6 cables (depending on your choice) terminate them and see what you think. Cat5 cable will take a while to make but I think the results are worthwhile.
     
  9. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Biwire – no need to run individual cables IMHO. A contentious issue as KS will agree, but If I was biwiring I would run single runs and then cable jump from bass driver to treble driver. You simply cut 6 inches of the cable your using and then “jump” between terminals. Im not a great believer in full length biwiring FWIW, the CAT5 recipes you see on the net are full length biwirable but again I would simply make up a single run and “jump”. There are 4 core Van Damme cables you would simply use the colours at the speaker end to the biwire termianls on your speakers. But I would stick wih getting say the 2.5mm2 or 4mm2 stuff and cable jumping.

    Good link here with plugs and types of cable that may interest you :

    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=211919

    VFM, the next bext thing Ive seen to DIY cables, is Mark Grants cables, that’s why I recommend them, their cheap (compared to you buying from a dealer), well built and use good components.
     
  10. virtualpt

    virtualpt
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    Knightshade & CJROSS, thanks for the replies.

    Would you bother to biwire with the setup I have? I'm not really sure what benefit I will get from biwiring & the various ways of doing it (jumpers or full length biwiring). CJROSS, I'm interested in why you prefer the jump method to full length, what difference does it make please?

    Can't seem to locate the 4 core Van Damme cable on Maplins site :-( Can see the 4mm & 2mm cables (assume 4mm would be better), but doesn't seem to specify whether it is 2 or 4 core. May be me being dumb & missing something :)

    Many thanks
    Paul
     
  11. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    If your speakers has biwire terminals I would wire up these terminals (as this is how the speaker crossover is designed) but I would not run full lengths of cable to biwire, there is no need. In my mind it’s a sham hyped by the likes of WHF to benefit cable makers who advertise in their publication. It costs you twice the amount to cable, when you could just buy one single run of the best cable you can afford. Ie get the £2.99 cable from Maplins 4mm2 and cable jump this for the treble feed.

    Check the link to the VDC Trading I included earlier and check out their Black Series Van Damme cables, its exactly the same stuff apparenty. You will find many different cores in that link, maybe maplins only do the 2 core stuff.
     
  12. virtualpt

    virtualpt
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    Thanks CJROSS,

    I assume that at the speaker end I have the cables from the amp going into the banana plugs for bass, & the short cables go from these banana plugs to the banana plugs for the treble? Have I understood this correctly?

    Many Thanks
    Paul
     
  13. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Indeed you have sir, here is a picture of a cable jumper arrangement :

    http://www.hificables.co.uk/productimages/fullsize/jumper-cables-biwire.jpg

    These are a commercially available set of jumper cables (20cm QEDs FWIW) You simply run your normal cable to the bass terminals on your speakers, then run jumper from there to treble terminals from the likes of RA :

    http://www.russandrews.com/category...696059005294YXEEFSGTNYHPIWWZ&cat_id=PSPEAJUMP

    BTW simply buy some some banana plugs where you can screw both cable into say the side entry of the B008s I linked to earlier, then add another set of bananas to jumper cable, so for one set of cable you will need, 6 banana plugs (preferably side/rear entry ones like these fine chaps :

    http://evildonut.34sp.com/diy/graphics/CJ_2_FFRC.jpg
     
  14. virtualpt

    virtualpt
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    Thanks CJROSS,

    I hadn't quite got it right in my head. But now I've seen these pictures I get it :) (Crazy prices on some of that Russ Andrews stuff!!) I had seen the spade connectors on some sites, but never figured out what they were, until now!

    Your help is really appreciated.

    Thanks :)
    Paul
     
  15. pwood

    pwood
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    Forgot to say earlier My cable is Ecosse CS4.45 Biwire and I've had it for 3 years(just in case anyone thinks I believe What Hifi re:June05 issue) Unusually its solid core for the tweeter and multistrand for the woofer. I got talking to Elliot at Ecosse who said if I didnt like it then I could return it. Never did.
     
  16. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    CJ can you explain this cable jumping thing to stupid old me :rolleyes: . As you know I have a cAT5 cable with 6 lengths. At the amp end I have all of the coloured wires connected to positive and the white ones connected to the negative connection.
    At the speaker end I have used two of the six cables (split positive and negative) for the tweeter and the other four (split positive and negative) for the woofer.
    Is this different to what you are explaining as I dont see how you can do this with another cable.
    For example I dont know how you can split the two core Van Damme into 4 connections on the speaker. Just to let you know I have 4 core 4mm Van Damme cable which I purchased from Maplins at 3.19 per metre which is easy to set up for bi-wire.
     
  17. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    In your situation I would not bother for the simple fact you have so many CAT5 cables. But if you were to do single run jumpers you would do the following :

    Combine all CAT5 cables (ie split coloured condcutors & white conductors) and split into 2 feeds. Ie a single 2 conductor – pos & neg feed cable).

    Then feed each cable into a side entry banan plug, at this entry point, run a CAT5 jumper cable from plug to treble jumper. So your 3CAT5 cables for one bass terminal in one banana plugs will have a single CAT5 jumper cable going to the treble terminal.

    As I say though I don’t think you need to do it, I think 3-4 CAT5 cables is ample up to 10m length, your in excess of that and have plenty of copper to run via those 2CAT5 full length treble feeds.

    Now heres is the cable jumper explanantion : Any cable with 2 cores ie the Van Damme stuff can simply have a cable jumper coming from banana plug or even binding post on bass terminal at speaker to feed the treble terminal, thus a 2 core core cable, “breaks out into 4” with the simple addition of short piece of cable (jumper).

    http://www.highendcable.co.uk/biwire_adapters.html
     
  18. gerbilly

    gerbilly
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    I get it now, but what confuses me is these jumpers have two banana plugs at either end. How can you connect this to the woofer connections if your main cable is already connected to this.

    It looks to me as though you connect your cable to the bottom two connections on your speakers, and then from the same connection you have a small length of cable running to the tweeters connection above.
    As you said would be a waste of time with CAT5 as it would be far too awkward to make to the same size as my 6 lengths of cat5. However I have a biwire cable on my front home cinema speakers and would be interested in seeing this working with my van damme cable.
     
  19. CJROSS

    CJROSS
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    Yep Gerbilly the dealer bought jumper bars with bananas at each end look like the simply connect up each treble + bass binding posts jumping between the 2, in that scenario you have to use bind the bare cable into the bottom bass binding posts. Then jump with bananas. The other way of course is to simply include both cable+jumper in one banana (side netry ones are best like these ones) :

    http://www.nexxia.co.uk/Hi-Fi&TVaccessories/images/NX-BP-001.jpg

    Note these one above are £5.25 a pair, identical ones for www.satcure.co.uk cost £2.10 a pair.

    Then add a banana to the end of the jumper to go into treble terminal.

    One further note about these types of banana plugs, they are called rear+side entry or stackable bananas, this means you can stack another one in the rear entry, this becomes handy at say amplifer binding post into the back of you speaker cables with say a subwoofer high level cable if you need to connect/disconnect a lot of the time.
     
  20. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
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    Also remember that many speaker binding posts have an addition 4mm hole through the post that is normally used for pushing the bare wire ends through. :)
     
  21. Knightshade

    Knightshade
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    Atlas use the smae configuration for their ascent/apex and Ikor. it's actually very good. If a tad expensive.:)
     
  22. virtualpt

    virtualpt
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    CJROSS, thanks for all of your help, info & links. I have ordered the 4mm Van Damme cable from Maplins, & banana plugs & spades (for the jumpers) from Satcure.

    Paul :)
     
  23. deanym

    deanym
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    Just to add, if you plan on bi-amping in the future, it may be prudent to get bi-wire cable up front ready for it.
     

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