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Author Topic: Speaker Cable  (Read 6526 times)

Jordan Brill

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Speaker Cable
« on: December 29, 2011, 11:55:23 am »

I'm looking at going 4-conductor speakon connectors with all my speaker wire from my amps, to my cabs.  My question is this.  Is it truly "better" to go with pre-fab speaker cables and connectors, or just to go to your hardware store or electrical supply company and get 4 conductor 12 gauge wire, and some speakon ends, and put things together yourself?

Thanks!

-Jordan
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Jamin Lynch

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Re: Speaker Cable
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2011, 12:03:52 pm »

I'm looking at going 4-conductor speakon connectors with all my speaker wire from my amps, to my cabs.  My question is this.  Is it truly "better" to go with pre-fab speaker cables and connectors, or just to go to your hardware store or electrical supply company and get 4 conductor 12 gauge wire, and some speakon ends, and put things together yourself?

Thanks!

-Jordan

Wire is wire.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Speaker Cable
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2011, 12:03:58 pm »

I'm looking at going 4-conductor speakon connectors with all my speaker wire from my amps, to my cabs.  My question is this.  Is it truly "better" to go with pre-fab speaker cables and connectors, or just to go to your hardware store or electrical supply company and get 4 conductor 12 gauge wire, and some speakon ends, and put things together yourself?

Thanks!

-Jordan
It depends on what you call "better". 

Is "better" price?

Is "better" warranty?

Is "better" longer life?

is "better" quality?

And so forth.  It really depends on your personial skills/cost of time/choice of materials and so forth.
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Clint Miller

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Re: Speaker Cable
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2011, 12:30:28 pm »

I make all of my own cables.  I use 12/4 or 12/8 SOOW. It is a hassle to use the SO instead of SJ, but I like the heavier sheath.  I make my own cables for two reasons.

1.    It is cost effective.  I can find no appreciable difference in the sound between manufactured cables and mine, so why pay more?  Plus, I often check the connectors.  Manufactured cables often have loose connections.  Iím sure that would not be the case with Monster (or equivalent) but I cannot justify that expense.
2.   I make them the length I need.  I have two different systems. One system has two amp racks and I always put the racks within 10í of the tops. The other system I have on amp rack and have to run across stage to the speaker stack.  I make my cable as short as reasonably possible.

I also carry a couple of extra cables and Speakon couplers, just in case I need to run something out of the ordinary.

Iím a huge audiophile.  I have tried Kimber Kable and Monster Cable for my home stereo and I have found that these WAY overpriced cables sound no better than good heavy gauge copper wire.  I have Polk Audio RTi150 and a JBL Studio12 subwoofer.  Crown amps and Carver PreampÖ  Some people claim they can hear the difference: I canít.
You should use the heaviest gauge copper cable, with the shortest lengths you can.  Reducing resistance is your best bet in my opinion.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 12:47:17 pm by Clint Miller »
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: Speaker Cable
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2011, 12:43:31 pm »

Manufactured cables often have loose connections.  Iím sure that would not be the case with Monster (or equivalent) but I cannot justify that expense.

I have tried Kimber Kable and Monster Cable and I have found that these WAY overpriced cables sound no better than good heavy gauge copper wire.

Copper is copper, presuming it's all there and meets normal electrical/electronic industry metallurgical standards.  All the voodoo shit, Monster, etc is bogus.  Period.

You don't hear a difference because there is none.. but some "golden ears" guy will step up and claim otherwise.  He's certain he hears a difference; Horton was certain he heard a Who.  My money is on Horton.
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Speaker Cable
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2011, 01:16:41 pm »

Copper is copper, .

You don't hear a difference because there is none.. but some "golden ears" guy will step up and claim otherwise.  He's certain he hears a difference;.
Until you ask them to do a blind test.  And then if they can't pick out the difference they will blame it on the fact that the cables were "burned in properly" or "the phase of the power grid changed", or "the extra cable in the room was causing interference", or "the cables weren't properly lifted off the floor", or "the vibration of the wire connections was not properly damped with teflon tape", or "test gear-amps and speakers and playback" is not good enough to bring out the differences" and on and on.

If you ask any guys that believe in this type of stuff, they will tell you a lot of has to do with the "belief" that it works. 

So if you "think" it is better-it is.  A lot of snake oil gets sold that way.  Just look at medicine and placebos for evidence that "belief" works.
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Mike Pyle

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Re: Speaker Cable
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2011, 02:07:27 pm »

I'm looking at going 4-conductor speakon connectors with all my speaker wire from my amps, to my cabs.  My question is this.  Is it truly "better" to go with pre-fab speaker cables and connectors, or just to go to your hardware store or electrical supply company and get 4 conductor 12 gauge wire, and some speakon ends, and put things together yourself?

Thanks!

-Jordan

It depends. Some coarse stranded wire is stiff and has too much memory, doesn't lay well. You need to check a sample of the wire you will use before you buy a bunch of it. I have made most of my own cables from 12/4 SJ, but usually order Rapco or CBI for customers as the cable is more flexible.

I would NOT use SO cable for speaker wire.
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Jonathan Johnson

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Re: Speaker Cable
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2011, 01:59:32 am »

When purchasing cable, the qualities you should look for are:
  • Durability -- how long will it last under the conditions you will expose it to? Fewer (thicker) strands holds up better under crushing loads, but more (thinner) strands hold up better under repeated flexing.
  • Flexibility -- does it coil easily, and will it lay flat on stage? Generally, the more (thinner) strands the more flexible, but jacket material also plays a part.
  • Visibility -- does it blend in or show the way you want it to?
  • Conductivity -- is it the proper gauge for the impedance and voltage (which translates to current draw) of the connected devices over the distance traveled?
  • Construction of shield (non-speaker applications) -- will it provide sufficient protection from electromagnetic interference from nearby RF/EMF radiators?
  • Physical size -- for a given wire gauge, the jacket thickness will vary considerably from cable to cable. It is a tradeoff of durability, flexibility, and cost.
  • Cost -- this should be a minor consideration, you should get the cables that best meet your needs.

Transmission quality of a speaker cable is irrelevant at audio frequencies. Don't believe the hype.

« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 02:01:27 am by Jonathan Johnson »
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Frank Guerrero

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Re: Speaker Cable
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2011, 04:03:36 am »

Dude just build it your self 12/4 SO or SJ and some Neutrik NL4FX Speakon Connector 4 Pole Female Cable Mount connectors, thats it you don't need to worry about codes or standards just make sure polarities are correct and its all nice and tight and there you go, "then you'll be official, like a referee with a whistle."  8)
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Robert Weston

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Re: Speaker Cable
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2011, 07:37:10 am »

When using stranded wire, the more strands = the better!
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Re: Speaker Cable
¬ę Reply #9 on: December 30, 2011, 07:37:10 am ¬Ľ


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