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Thread: Speaker wire: stranded vs. solid?

  1. #11
    Self proclaimed spoon feeder TruckinMP3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob T View Post


    Probably overkill for audio; where I work we use it for big power.
    Heh, Do not drop a wench across those something bad would happen...
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  2. #12
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    If interested, you could Google up Gordon Gow, President of McIntosh Laboratory (a fairly well respected audio company) and probably find an archived article on 'blind' speaker wire tests. Hint: he didn't find any difference, nor did anyone who took his test.

    There are only three things affecting cable & wires in the audio range, and those are the RCL (Resistance, capacitance, and inductance) values. Anything else with a claimed impact is snake oil. Linear electrical theory is virtually 100% accurate in this arena. Things like skin effect (electrons only travel on the surface) have application at video rates, but not audio.

    Flame-suit on folks, but a PhD in Physics and almost 40 years of audio experience (sales, trivial design, and as a user) tells me this is the biggest hype area of audio. YMMV.

  3. #13
    Raw Wave Rob Withey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lbridges View Post
    Flame-suit on folks, but a PhD in Physics and almost 40 years of audio experience (sales, trivial design, and as a user) tells me this is the biggest hype area of audio. YMMV.
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  4. #14
    FLAC WuNgUn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lbridges View Post
    There are only three things affecting cable & wires in the audio range, and those are the RCL (Resistance, capacitance, and inductance) values. Anything else with a claimed impact is snake oil. Linear electrical theory is virtually 100% accurate in this arena. Things like skin effect (electrons only travel on the surface) have application at video rates, but not audio.
    These are the reasons Cat-5 makes decent speaker wire...but I can't tell you how it compares to anything else...
    Cat-5 (Teflon coated, twisted pairs) has low inductance which is condusive to good signal rise-time...
    Braiding the pairs together reduces any asymmetrical field interactions...
    And Teflon insulation has a low dielectric coefficient and is considered to be one of the best dielectrics available...

    All that, and you get the satisfaction of making it yourself!!

  5. #15
    Raw Wave Rob Withey's Avatar
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    Can Cat-5 deal with the currents involved? Seems kinda thin.
    Old Systems retired due to new car
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  6. #16
    FLAC WuNgUn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Withey View Post
    Can Cat-5 deal with the currents involved? Seems kinda thin.
    That's why you braid it into 27 pairs per speaker! A lot of work to be sure.
    It's equivilent to 10-gauge speaker wire, which is ample.

  7. #17
    Self proclaimed spoon feeder TruckinMP3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WuNgUn View Post
    That's why you braid it into 27 pairs per speaker! A lot of work to be sure.
    It's equivilent to 10-gauge speaker wire, which is ample.
    Sounds like more work than it is worth, certainly more that I will ever be willing to do.


    Off the shelf speaker wire works off the roll, done.
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  8. #18
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    I mentioned that the only things affecting wire & cable for audio are the RCL values.

    Cat 5 would definitely increase the C value, and potentially increase the R value (due to the length).

    It's noise rejection qualities are designed for signals up around 250MHz (IIRC).

    Not saying it won't work, as I've never tried or tested such a set of wires, but it seems as likely to introduce problems as fix any.

  9. #19
    FLAC WuNgUn's Avatar
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    The stuff I'm using is rated up to 350Mhz...to be honest, I don't even know if that would be better!
    But a car certainly isn't the perfect, noise free (both accoustically and EM) enviroment there is...
    I'll report back on how it works out...

    If it's no good, my second choice would be the Monster twisted pairs I think...

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by WuNgUn View Post
    The stuff I'm using is rated up to 350Mhz...to be honest, I don't even know if that would be better!
    snip...
    Ratings past say 40KHz have no meaning for an audio application. What I'm saying is that better data points at 100MHz vice 250MHz, or 350MHZ vice 250MHz, has no bearing on the quality of the sound eventually transmitted - you need to know what's going on in 20-20K Hz.

    Cat 5 is definitely increasing the capacitance. I don't care enough to find the values and see if the amount of increased capacitance and increased resistance (due to length) is worth what happens to inductance. There are also cable termination issues by bringing in a bundle that have to be considered.

    Go for it, but if you really want to KNOW if there's a difference, you will have to find out the RCL values for say 12 gauge and the RCL values for the Cat 5 bundle and compare them against the impedance load of your speakers, amp output, etc.

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