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The basic understanding that I currently have is for longer runs you want to use heavier gages. Now I have come across many different types of cable, from .25 cents a foot to $50.00+ a foot. What gives, What would a person need with solid "Silver" cable. Sure I understand it has better conductivity than copper, but does it really make a difference?

Just want to open for disscussion.

Steve :dizzy:
 

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Re: Speak Wires, Does it matter?

There's a lot of discussions about it....in my case, I use the cheap wire but the correct gauge (at least 14, even if is for short runs) :yes:

I think is better to use the savings in other components :innocent:
 

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Re: Speak Wires, Does it matter?

You will not audibly hear a difference using any of the over priced speaker wire. Go to your local home Depot and buy a spool of 14awg speaker wire and walk away knowing your did not get scammed by Monster or any of the other high priced junk.
 

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Re: Speak Wires, Does it matter?

The basic understanding that I currently have is for longer runs you want to use heavier gages. but does it really make a difference?
Steve :dizzy:
Your basic understanding is correct. It DOES make a difference but in my experience, the ONLY difference is volume. If you have a run of 1000 feet (extreme case) the result will be less volume with the thinner wire. I've never detected any high frequency drop off, difference in sound stage, attack, presence, low frequency punch, etc etc. etc.
 

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Re: Speak Wires, Does it matter?

There's too much at stake to just ignore it! I also think it will depend a lot on your equipment. Find a local audio dealer who will lend you one or two runs of speaker wire over a weekend. You'll be surprised!
 

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Re: Speak Wires, Does it matter?

There's too much at stake to just ignore it! I also think it will depend a lot on your equipment. Find a local audio dealer who will lend you one or two runs of speaker wire over a weekend. You'll be surprised!
Uh . . . . . nah . . . . . forget the audio dealer, don't waste your time, get over to Home Depot or even Radio Shack and buy the least expensive but heavier gauge wire and be done with it.
This issue has been beaten to death over the years and there are STILL some people who insist they can detect a subtle difference in the quality of sound. The truth is, those are the people with a waxy build-up on their tympanic membranes and they've NEVER even had a full spectrum audiology test done by a certified ENT specialist.
 

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Re: Speak Wires, Does it matter?

The truth is, those are the people with a waxy build-up on their tympanic membranes and they've NEVER even had a full spectrum audiology test done by a certified ENT specialist.
Thanks for the compliment. Much appreciated.

Your fear that the original poster might hear a difference is typical. I see nothing wrong with this person using their own ears to determine if it is possible or not. If you can't hear anything, that's fine. If he can, or I can, why not let these people be?
 

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Re: Speak Wires, Does it matter?

Your fear that the original poster might hear a difference is typical. I see nothing wrong with this person using their own ears to determine if it is possible or not. If you can't hear anything, that's fine. If he can, or I can, why not let these people be?
I don't think is fear...He's not going to loose or gain anything if the original poster hear any difference.

We're here to help each other and share experiences, and most people agree that the difference between cheap and over-priced wires is not audible, our mission is to help others to SAVE MONEY, but like you say: he's free to do what he thinks is best for him....:T
 

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Wire is wire, but I think something to look for in a wire manufacture is consistancy, quality, and price.

Yes electricity doesnt know cheap from expensive wire, but if its cheaply made with inconsistent gaps or something in the strands the speaker will tell you the difference in sound. If you buy speaker wire that seems to be a little different here and there when it comes to the spool itself, the way the wire looks, the density throughout the wire, etc. maybe dont recommend it, or buy it again. For if something small as that is inconsistent, think of the strands of wire, and how there may be gaps and voids, and maybe other objects in there increasing the resistance.
 

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I personally use 12 AWG. In the past I have bought from Parts Express; BUT, the last roll of wire I received from them was of thinner gauge even though it was marked as 12 AWG. I compared their new wire with some wire left over wire from a previous purchase and it was definitely thinner. I made a complaint about it but nothing ever happened.

So as a word of advice, compare wire before buying a large quantity; and I don't mean the insulating jacket. Buy small quantities from various sources and look at the actual wire size. Now it may not make a great diffeence if you buy 12 AWG and the wire size is actually 14 AWG, but you should get what you pay for.
 

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I believe that a wire is rated by the total cross sectional area of all it's strands. If one wire of the same gauge uses 10 strands and another uses 20 strands, the one with 20 strands will result in a smaller overall diameter. The smaller individual strands pack together tighter and there is less wasted space between strands. This could account for the reason two wires were rated the same but different diameter.
 

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Yes electricity doesnt know cheap from expensive wire, but if its cheaply made with inconsistent gaps or something in the strands the speaker will tell you the difference in sound.
That's my point. If the material is cheap, it will suffer when playing music. Maybe that's just me.
Cables in general need to balance many factors in transmitting a simple signal from one component to another. These include resistance, capacitance, inductance, RF radiation, phase distortion, hysterisis, and probably a hundred other. I've built many DIY cables, with the last set being a balanced pair. They sound good, but the somehow don't approach the commercial stuff on my system. I'm sure some will say :spend: but it works for me.
 

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Well, there you go. Different opinions, no definitive information. Is there a substantial difference in price among vendors? Definitely. In performance? You will have to decide.

So, if you have time to spare, you might do as Jazz stated, give it a try, just don't be taken advantage of by a sales gimmick because we all know they're out there, in every group of products.
 

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Well, finally a good cable discussion on HTS! :)

The fact is that no properly conducted blind test has revealed any significant positive result about audible difference in cables. Most if not all participants in the same tests can clearly hear a difference when they know there is one. Placebo is a powerful tool for esotheric cable companies...

I know I can hear a difference when I know cables have changed. I suspected placebo, and conducted a blind test with a few mates. No difference. This led me to do another blind test on power amplifiers. I have my Denon AVR 4308 receiver hooked up to my Dali Euphonia speakers. I used to have a NAD M25 power amp in between, but after being unable to tell if it was hooked up or not, I sold it and bought a 1080p projector and larger screen. Best investment I ever did.

Good enough is good enough...
 

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Yep. We did a fairly extensive ABX test. One guy switched, one guy recorded, three guys listened. We had two different cables, one Tara Labs Air 1 set ($4200), and one cheap QED cable of equal length (2x3m). Cables were switched every time, even if the same cable was put back. We used banana connectors for both ends for fast switching (the TL comes with screw-on terminals so you can choose banana or spades. We used the supplied bananaplugs.).

I don't have the actual spreadsheet here, but I think the 'best' result was 67% correct, well in the 'random result' bracket.
 

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Re: Speak Wires, Does it matter?

Uh . . . . . nah . . . . . forget the audio dealer, don't waste your time, get over to Home Depot or even Radio Shack and buy the least expensive but heavier gauge wire and be done with it.
This issue has been beaten to death over the years and there are STILL some people who insist they can detect a subtle difference in the quality of sound. The truth is, those are the people with a waxy build-up on their tympanic membranes and they've NEVER even had a full spectrum audiology test done by a certified ENT specialist.
The matter has been beaten to death because people continue to make posts like this one. The first sentence is your opinion, and in my view, is largely correct. Next however, your comments do nothing to enhance nor inform the discussion. The fact that many people have never had an audiological eval has nothing at all to do with the matter, nor does whether they might have wax in their ears. This is at best a vieled insult of those who might have a different experience than you.

While it is clear that there is very little, if any difference in most speaker wires audible performance, the matter is far from settled regarding what characteristics of a cable affect the sound, and how they might do so. Even the most ardent "anti" would not argue that wires do not have to be of some minimal diameter and quality of construction for significant lengths. The failure of the audio community, IMO, is that a systematic and scientific study of what parameters affect sound in what manner has never been performed. Further, how these effects interact with expectation bias and placebo effects has had little study. Human perception is complex and there are subtle aspects of both ability and psychoacoustics that have not been studied in a systematic manner. The arrogance and condescention of the anti-cable side combined with the emotionally dominated responses from the other side have often made for pointless blather instead of intelligent discussion. Posts like the one above will do nothing but propogate that, and IMO, HTS is not the place for it.

There is good reason to respect the choice of some to invest in cables that they feel improve the sound of their system. There is better reason to investigate why they feel that they experience a difference and understand where actual differences give way to psychological effect. To argue that one or the other is completely dominant or more relevant to individual experience is simply not recogizing the facts. Even if it is completely a matter of faith, both sides should be respectful and attempt to understand the other perspective. These matters have been debated for centuries at much more sophisticated levels. This "naive cables are all the same"/"I hear a big difference debate" deserves much more intelligent discussion than saying people have wax in their ears. If that is the best you can do, take it to Usenet or AVS, please.

Nihil est in intellectu quod non fuerit in sensu...Locke
 

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I believe that a wire is rated by the total cross sectional area of all it's strands. If one wire of the same gauge uses 10 strands and another uses 20 strands, the one with 20 strands will result in a smaller overall diameter. The smaller individual strands pack together tighter and there is less wasted space between strands. This could account for the reason two wires were rated the same but different diameter.
This is certainly true. In addition, wrapping geometry, and how tightly the strands are wrapped can make a difference. Though significant, these factors will have only a small to moderate effect on the overall wire diameter. In all cases, a stranded wire should be of greater diameter than an equivalent guage solid wire due to the inherent air gaps.

The kind of diameter difference I am talking about is illustrated in the picture below (curtsey Roger Russell):



Unscrupulous wire manufacturers can make a wire look to be of a heavy gauge when in fact it is only the insulation that is heavy, not the actual wire.
 
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