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Hi, all.

As mentioned in a different thread I am buying a Swan Diva speaker system this weekend and am doing a re-organization of my system in anticipation of my Pioneer SC-LX85 amp next month.

At the risk of igniting that most rancourous of debates, I was wondering about opinions regarding whether there is any benefit in changing my speaker cables. I am currently using 8 or 10 gauge speaker wire (forget which) from Radio Shack ( looks like a two wire, flat lamp cord but with clear plastic covering. I have Banana clip connectors on the end.

I've read articles which state that there is a discernible difference in sound quality with the "monster" sized cable and others which state that in trial listening panels the participants couldn't notice differences between $3000 cables or thin strand hardware wire.
So, what do you all think? Stick with what I've got as good enough, or think about upgrade? Let the debating begin, but please keep it civil , as I know this is a prickly subject with many people.:D:D

Kane
 

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I've read articles which state that there is a discernible difference in sound quality with the "monster" sized cable and others which state that in trial listening panels the participants couldn't notice differences between $3000 cables or thin strand hardware wire.
So, what do you all think? Stick with what I've got as good enough, or think about upgrade? Let the debating begin, but please keep it civil , as I know this is a prickly subject with many people.:D:D

Kane

Of course 12AWG is going to do better with a 20' run than 22AWG attempting to push a 100 watts or so:sarcastic:

Are those articles in accredited journals like PNAS?

I have three standing challenges:

1. Compare stone cold a Parasound to Crown (pro audio) amp. If you can pick the audiophile amp 9/10 times
it's yours

2. I have some Belden 5000ue 12AWG speaker cable and some $260 MIT EXP2 14AWG 'music interfaces' with
4 'articulation poles'. If you can pick the audiophile cable 9/10 times the MIT's are yours

3. I have offered to send two burned in and two not burned in IC (RCA or XLR). Randomly labeled. $100 to charity and ears only evaluation and listen anyway you want for 30 days. Will post an encrypted zip file prior to shipping with the legend.

You will be fine with your standard cable. If you must, find a place with a hassle free return policy, try all their expensive cables in a blind a/b (no sighted listening) and keep or return what you want. They are your ears.
 

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It's not worth spending the extra money on premium speaker wires. It is important the know how & where you are running them. If "in wall" use properly shielded wire. You don't want to pick up noise from electrical wires or the such. You have plenty big enough wires for almost all applications, let us know if they are shielded & are the in-wall.
 

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That Russel link is always trotted out in these threads and is hardly an unbiased view. I suppose his attempts at humor feed many peoples' confirmation bias. And why is the focus almost always on speaker wire and not interconnects? Is it because they are bigger? Because they are in plain sight?

A lot of the bottom dollar cables ends up turning green from oxidation and/or a chemical reaction from the cheap PVC dielectric that is often used. That really puts a damper on power delivery.

Here is the best info I have seen on wire. In my personal experience, it's spot on. The Truth about Speaker Cables?

Get some cables, experiment, and listen for yourself in your own system. That is the only way to know for sure.
 

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You will be fine with your standard cable. If you must, find a place with a hassle free return policy, try all their expensive cables in a blind a/b (no sighted listening) and keep or return what you want.
In the end, cable differences are quite small comparatively. Good info on the hassle free return policy, never buy a tweak like this without being able to get your money back if not satisfied.

Blind testing, meh. That will "show" you that almost all cables, amps, CD players, Blu Ray players, DACs, etc, etc... sound the same. Not a good metric for discerning small audio differences. You might be feeling a little off that day, hungry, thirsty, cold, warm. Many factors can foul up a supposedly "controlled" test like this. This is your home, not a lab.

Long term listening over a period of time. Blind if you like, but do it long term and even out the uncontrollable effects of the human condition in what is far from a lab setting.

They are your ears.
Most important factor of all.
 

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14 awg wire is all you will ever need unless your running more than 1000watts or going more than 300ft in distance. Go get a spool of wire from monoprice.com or your local home depot and rest assured you did not get taken to the cleaners.
 

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Home depot is Ill advised. I was going to get wire from there but needed about 100' for the 3 cables I made. Was going to cost about $40. I got the same wire from an electric supply warehouse for <$15!
 

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Blind testing, meh. That will "show" you that almost all cables, amps, CD players, Blu Ray players, DACs, etc, etc... sound the same. Not a good metric for discerning small audio differences. You might be feeling a little off that day, hungry, thirsty, cold, warm. Many factors can foul up a supposedly "controlled" test like this. This is your home, not a lab.

Long term listening over a period of time. Blind if you like, but do it long term and even out the uncontrollable effects of the human condition in what is far from a lab setting.
Anything that is likely to either sound different (or not) due to missing out on that routine afternoon snickers bar shouldn't be worried about.

Check out Audioholics Speaker Cables landing page. There are a ton of well thought out articles, measurements and interviews.
 

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Home depot is Ill advised. I was going to get wire from there but needed about 100' for the 3 cables I made. Was going to cost about $40. I got the same wire from an electric supply warehouse for <$15!
Agreed. HD is good when you need it NOW, but otherwise, there are almost always better options. (like Monoprice)

Be sure to get the right stuff if you running lines inside walls.
 

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Anything that is likely to either sound different (or not) due to missing out on that routine afternoon snickers bar shouldn't be worried about.
When looked at singularly, perhaps. But...

For some folks, the aggregate of small differences like these summing into a larger difference as a whole is worth pursuing. 1+1+1= 3.
 

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When looked at singularly, perhaps. But...

For some folks, the aggregate of small differences like these summing into a larger difference as a whole is worth pursuing.
Aggregate differences in mood, hunger, amount of sleep one had the night before is symptomatic of how they perceive and I would argue not what is actually being produced by the speaker.

What you are suggesting would change what the listener perceives they are hearing on same cables day in day out years down the road. You don't need to change cables to see if your setup sounds like garbage. Just have a really bad day.
 

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Aggregate differences in mood, hunger, amount of sleep one had the night before is symptomatic of how they perceive and I would argue not what is actually being produced by the speaker.

What you are suggesting would change what the listener perceives they are hearing on same cables day in day out years down the road. You don't need to change cables to see if your setup sounds like garbage. Just have a really bad day.
Not a good reason to ignore small incremental system improvements, but definitively a good reason for long term listening over spur of the moment "have the wife throw a sheet over it and do the switching" blind testing.

On the flip side, notice the latest trend of people slapping up room treatments pell mell? Lots of congratulatory back slapping over that one. "Yes, it does sound better!" Clear case of expectation bias.
 

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The good old placebo effect.
 

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Not a good reason to ignore small incremental system improvements, but definitively a good reason for long term listening over spur of the moment "have the wife throw a sheet over it and do the switching" blind testing.

On the flip side, notice the latest trend of people slapping up room treatments pell mell? Lots of congratulatory back slapping over that one. "Yes, it does sound better!" Clear case of expectation bias.
You could have the same system for 10 years and it can sound different with the same cables. That is the point I am trying to get across. You don't need to swap anything out to hear a difference.

Lets ask this: If what you perceive to hear from your system over a 6 month period is subject to mood swings, hunger, sleep or any other myriad of external events whether environmental or psychological how can you ever with any certainty say what wrought the change?

The term 'having a bad year' comes to mind.

Sorry, just not buying. It sounds like something one tells one's self to convince them of something.
 

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The very best reason (and maybe the only reason) to buy expensive speaker wire is because that is what you want to do.

If buying exotic speaker wires is a persons worst vice then they are doing pretty good.
 

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The very best reason (and maybe the only reason) to buy expensive speaker wire is because that is what you want to do.

If buying exotic speaker wires is a persons worst vice then they are doing pretty good.
The problem with that statement is that most people who buy expensive wire have no clue that spending that money elsewhere like on better speakers or a better receiver will yield much better audible results.
 

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Sorry, just not buying. It sounds like something one tells one's self to convince them of something.
I've nothing to sell. If you don't believe that small improvements summed can add up to a larger worthwhile difference, that's cool. My experience has been different.

There is room for both views in this hobby. I encourage the OP and anyone else to try it for themselves.
 
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