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Thread: speaker cable or wire

  1. #1

    speaker cable or wire

    I've gotten a new (old) pair of jbls recently (4411), and have hit the 'little binding post hole' wall.
    What does everyone around here use for wire/cable? Everyone cant be using 14 guage zip wire are you?
    (please, I dont want to get into an 'all cable is/isnot the same' flame war!!!)
    Many people do now commonly use speaker cable larger or terminated differently than was common in 1985.
    I'd like to know.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Suggest you refer to recent post in the search function for cables.

    Or call up Giskard the JBL Guru or Bo the Damm Yankee "L100 Basher for ideas"



  3. #3
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    San Francisco

    Re: speaker cable or wire

    Originally posted by LesConnally

    Many people do now commonly use speaker cable larger or terminated differently than was common in 1985.
    I'd like to know.
    I am still happily living in a pre "wire of the month club" world! I use basic multi-stranded 12 ga copper wire and it sounds fine to my ears.

    I wouldn't say that all wire sounds the same. I've heard very expensive wire definitely affect the sound. Negatively.

  4. #4
    Administrator Robh3606's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    I am using 12ga. Works for me. You could open them up and change the posts to a good 5 way.


  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I use some garden variety, heavy gauge speaker wire and terminated it in test probe tips, they fit well in the itsy bitsy binding posts on my 4343's and are available at Radio Shack.

  6. #6
    I use both 12 and 14 gauge zip. Larger wire is only necessary for long runs. Someone posted a JBL chart some months ago that clarified this issue. Anyone have a copy of that?


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    boputnam submitted it to the Library

  8. #8
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    I like Mogami 3104 (12ga, 4 cond). Have used
    it w/ diagonal pairs connected together at home,
    and bi-amp w/speakon connectors elsewhere.
    Suppose one could bi-wire conveniently with
    this cable if you are into that.

    Hasn't failed or gotten in the way of the sound,
    whether L150As, older Acoustats, or largish
    bass guitar rig.

    Not good for hiding under the carpet.


  9. #9
    Les -

    I'm using an 8' pair of XLO Ultra 6 on my 4412's, effective conductor guage of 10AWG with spades on both ends. The speaker's binding post diameter is too large for these spades, so I just stick one leg of the spade into the hole in the post. I've nearly stripped one of the plastic nuts trying to get a good grip on the one leg of the spade.

    Soon, I hope to replace those cheezy plastic OEM posts with something stouter. Either that, or I can re-terminate the cables with 'nanners.

    On these speakers, I've used several different speaker wires including XLO's 2 lower models: ER-11 (12AWG) & Pro 600 (11AWG) and doubled & twisted some regular Monster and Rat Shack zip cord I had lying around.

    By doubling and twisting the zip cords, I could pretty much rule out the sonic differences being due to too thin a wire guage, (the Monster & Rat Shack being 14AWG, when doubled becomes 11AWG) or inductance.

    Not to upset the flat-earther's around here, but I can tell you that compared to all of those, yes - the Ultra 6 DID sound noticeably better. :shock: I'm convinced that the biggest reason for that is the U6 is all-Teflon insulated, (none of the other's are), and therefore the U6 absorbs less and reflects back less of the signal as it passes through.

    Put in basic terms, once you take care of the AWG of the conductor (impedance) and the geometry/winding (inductance & noise), then you're left with the capacitance of the wire. Teflon so far is arguably the best dielectric there is, except for no dielectric at all (air). Less capacitance means the cable is storing less of the signal.

    The improvement can be heard in my system as cleaner, less strained mids and highs, more powerful bass, more low-level detail, and a more coherent soundscape with better outlining of individual instruments. And I really DO hear those differences, because I repeated my findings several times by switching in and out the various wires.

  10. #10
    Tom Loizeaux
    I use gold plated dual bananas on all my studio monitors. These take 14 ga. twisted speaker wire with no trouble. I haven't felt a need for anything bigger as I don't run these speaker cables more then 20' or put more then 200 watts through any of them.


  11. #11

    Thumbs up speaker cable or wire

    I'm with PaulB. I have some 12 guage 50' Monster Cable I picked up at Crazy Eddie's here in the New York area when they were going out of business for $5. The ends are terminated with Radio Shack twist ons with pins that connect to the 3110A crossover.


  12. #12
    RIP 2021 SEAWOLF97's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    in "managed decline"
    Quote Originally Posted by Robh3606 View Post
    I am using 12ga. Works for me. You could open them up and change the posts to a good 5 way.

    completely agree ....changing out the push spring binding posts is really the best way to be 12 GA compatible. Before doing it (and cursing everytime I tried to connect wire to my JBL's) , I dreaded the idea of changing out to 5 way posts.

    Finally bought a pair...the first changeover took about a half hour (mainly to gather tools) and found it so easy that I changed out the remaining 4 pairs.
    Usially the only tools you need is a drill to enlarge the hole in the cabinet rear and a screwdriver to remove the old posts. A trick I've found is to use an allen wrench thru the hole that goes thru ( under the knob) to hold it still when tightening the nut on the inside.

    Now can do a pair in about 20 minutes. Dont continue to fight those '70s's so easy that you will say "duh , why didn't I do that long ago" ???
    Some kind of happiness is measured out in miles

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