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Thread: Speaker Cable

  1. #1
    ooppalla
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    Question Speaker Cable

    A recent post advised me to go with Radio Shack cable ... so I did a little research (for this audience, by no means, was this slightly near a comprehensive study, just a quick look). Radio shack's 12 gage is 1.00 a foot with a discount to . 84 for a roll. I also went to Lowe's and HD. I bought 12/2 cable from HD for their two toned cable (appx 37 per foot, they matched lowe's copper color only price) ... but they also had, what the salesman said was "just the same as Monster cable". This 12/2 cable looked thicker, has much more eleborate winding and more lines per cable. This cable with much thicker insolation... was near to, or identical to RS cable. HD price was .54 per foot... a big savings.
    Here is what I found:
    The "monster" looking cable's thicker insolation (magnification) made the copper look 2-3 times thicker than the reg. winded 12/2. A closer look revealed that the copper was really only 10-20% thicker ... made possible by the more elaborate winding, air and more copper threads per weave.
    I have a 60-75 foot run for a pair of 4425 speakers I should be receiving tomorrow. Should I go with the "monster like" cable or if I am OK with the reg 12/2? Is it close?
    Thank you for reading my ramblings and your input. Thank you also for past input. It is much appreciated. You guys are great (pardon me lady audio nuts).
    Don

  2. #2
    ooppalla
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    For what's it worth...
    I did a count of copper threads for the two wires:
    The 12/2 had appx 60 copper wires, and
    The 12/2 monster clone had appx 210 wires, but
    The super thick monster cable's insolation makes it so I can't use a reg staple gun to run that wire... I would need a superwide/thick commertial stapler, or hammer driven staples used in electrical work

  3. #3
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    Hi

    I'd go with the 210 strand stuff. It "Should" have a better HF response due to the increase in "skin-effect". Whether your particular overall system needs any help in this HF area ( expect some rebalance ) will be anyones guess . If you've got wimpy wire now - the thing you might notice most, will be in the LF area . As just shown, without an audition of the "whole", it's impossible to give individually relevant advice over the internet..

    <. Earl K

  4. #4
    Senior Member Steve Schell's Avatar
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    Here we go with another cable discussion... wheee! For a long time now, I have been using 26 gauge copper magnet wire for speaker cable. It is extremely light and thin, and I attach it to the ceiling with bits of clear transparent tape. Yes, I realize this sounds crazy, but I am running fully horn loaded 105dB+ sensitive speakers, so current capacity is not really an issue. This wire imparts great clarity and naturalness to the system compared to others I have tried, especially thick, complex audiophile cables.

    I'd steer clear of the heavy stranded, clear jacket "monster" type cables, from whatever source. In my past experience, this stuff rapidly becomes sticky, the jacket yellows, and the copper strands turn green. For the long runs required in your installation, simple two conductor solid (not stranded) Romex type house wiring in 12 or 14 gauge may work as well as anything, and the cost is reasonable.

  5. #5
    Senior Seņor boputnam's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Earl K
    ...it's impossible to give individually relevant advice over the internet..
    Er, except here, of course.
    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

  6. #6
    Senior Seņor boputnam's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Steve Schell
    In my past experience, this stuff rapidly becomes sticky, the jacket yellows, and the copper strands turn green. For the long runs required in your installation, simple two conductor solid (not stranded) Romex type house wiring in 12 or 14 gauge may work as well as anything, and the cost is reasonable.
    Both Earl and Steve have good points, IMO.

    I've experience what Steve describes here, and now shy away from Monster. What I've grown quite fond of is jacketed 14/2 or 12/2 twisted pair. Stay twisted for speaker runs...
    bo

    "Indeed, not!!"

  7. #7
    RIP 2011 Zilch's Avatar
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    See also:

    Belden "Brilliance" audio cables.

    1810A 14 Ga. (104X34) Bi-amp, 4 conductor, .390" O.D.

    1811A 14 Ga. (104X34) Tri-amp, 8 conductor, .515" O.D.

    Bury it in the walls....

  8. #8
    ooppalla
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    Earl, thank you. I'm running the 4425 speakers off my Yamaha 850 surround receiver. It has 80 watts @ 8 ohms. The speakers will be positioned a foot outside and three feet back of the footer bedposts. The room is set up well for sound: It has heavy Berber carpet and drapes on the two side walls, with bed and related linens. Three pieces of wood furniture and two tables break up sound around the perimeter. Currently I have Henry Klose's (sp) last model 6s from Cambridge Sound works being feed by 14 gage low voltage wire.
    I plan to position the BiRadial horns so that the bottom of the horn is about 46" from the floor.
    In order to maximize my opportunities for the best sound does it make sense to go with the 210 stranded cable because of the skin effect. By the way, I picked these speakers out, because I heard a pair of 4435s in 1988, and the HF just blew me away. These will be my dream speakers. I have L-7s in the great room with surround sound.

  9. #9
    ooppalla
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    Thumbs up

    Uhm, sounds like the reg 12/2 stranded will be ok?
    It sure will be easier to run and easier to hide.

  10. #10
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    Try some of each

    Hi

    I like Steves idea of "test-driving" Romex . I'd just expand on that , and suggest trying 10' of all the types you might purchase . That should be an inexpensive education for your ears. Don't worry if you don't immediately hear stark differences .

    PLUS, I wouldn't want to encourage anything that eventually turns to "green-mush" . Didn't know that. I wonder if that's climate dependant .

    <.. Earl K

  11. #11
    ooppalla
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    I live in Tucson, AZ. Desert and very low humidity for 10 months a year with two months of monsoons. I have the Radio Shack 12/2 210 lines of copper strans per leg, feeding the HF of my L7s for 12-13 years. The jacket has definitely yellowed and there seems to be some darkening or maybe it is tarnish on the wires... Seems to be darkest in the spaces between each of the major substrands.
    The UPS man is here with my 4425s. Thanks to all for your input. It much appreciated

    There were some links for other cable discussions. Forgive my ignorance, but where should I post those addresses?

    Thanks

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