The great Debate speaker wire, voodoo/pseudo science, vs. common sense

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Wayner

If we forget the pseudoscience for a minute and just think about electronics in general, I think many old timers here can agree with this statement, that most of the time we have trouble with speaker cables or interconnects is with the mechanical connection itself.

In fact, I'd go out on a limb here and say that the majority of what is perceived as an electrical problem, is a mechanical problem.

Look at the back of your system. RCA cables that merely "push on or off" doesn't sound like a good connection to me. A screw on "F" connector does. It's not going to fall off.

Speaker cables can terminate in many ways, from bare wire in a 5-way binding posts, to bananas, forks, pins or what ever. They all loosen up or a film collects on the surfaces, impeding minute signals from passing, unaltered.

The solution is to buy cables that are mechanically sound from wire to connector, using sure-foot techniques for attaching the wire to the connector.

Then use De-oxit 5 to keep the connections clean. I recently did my quarterly De-oxit 5 cleaning and the sound is 3D for sure.

So my point is, there is another side to this wire debate, and that is good housekeeping......

Wayner

pehare

 "I had lunch with James Bongiorno last week."

sounds like an interesting meeting of the minds.  not to derail the subject but i'd love to hear more as would others here.....cheers Roger!

fastfred

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You mentioned a conversation with someone who implied cables don't make a difference, and as a result of the conversation you mention selling your cables.
My question is - Did you not know you wanted to sell the cables before the guy told you?
Maybe I misread your OP.


You asked 4 questions here are four answers:

1. You mentioned someone who implied cables don't make a difference, and
as a result of the conversation you mention selling your cables.
answer: I mentioned a conversation where Walter Romanyshyn said
"that in light of the size disparity between internal wire in the cabinet
and the speaker wire connecting the amp to the loudspeaker, was it not impractical
to use large diameter wire between amp & speaker (keyword being said not implied)". 

2. As to selling my speaker wire.
answer: because of all the now unused cabling I had accumulated over the years, I was
reflecting on how much time and money I had wasted on speaker wire. It then occurred to me
to wonder what it was worth, not that it was for sale.
(this information was in the OP)


3. Did you not know you wanted to sell the cables before the guy told you? 
answer............already answered in question 2 I didn't want to sell them
I wondered what they were worth.


4. Maybe I misread your OP.
Answer: ................... maybe?

                               

I think some of us are straying from the original intent of this subject.
Roger paraphrased a large part of what I was trying to convey in this
quote from my original post...........

..........."I know it's difficult to do, but if audiophiles would take the money
they are tempted to spend on useless tweaks and start a savings account for
 that money, in some time they would have enough to buy something like a
better pair of speakers, new amplifier or something that would really make a
 difference in their listening"..............unquote

                                                         ...................... Fred Petersen
« Last Edit: 16 Sep 2012, 10:40 pm by fastfred »

rbwalt

i am kind of lost .what do you consider a useless tweak and why? there is a saying that goes something like this ' god does not will the signal'.

srb

I find that the larger the font in a post, the less impact it makes.  Like using all caps, it's a form of shouting.
 
Steve

fastfred

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I find that the larger the font in a post, the less impact it makes.  Like using all caps, it's a form of shouting.
 
Steve

  First of all I'd like to say that I was shouting; Thanks for pointing out my error in
judgement because the most important point in my last post was lost in the noise.
Namely "let's stick to discussion of speaker wire, interconnect, and tweeks".

Roger himself said in an e-mail to me................
................quote "because of the emotional nature of the speaker wire, interconnect,
mains cable debate, he didn't think people would care for his views"
.............unquote
 
Keeping this in mind.... The person I was responding to kept coming at the same
 subject 3 times asking basically the same question. Every response to my answers
 was met with the same question reworded slightly. All the answers to his questions were
 in the OP. So in essence I was yelling at him. What I should have done was to ignore him.
 My apology to anyone offended by this post. I will modify it appropiately.
« Last Edit: 16 Sep 2012, 10:43 pm by fastfred »

DaveC113

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Roger himself said in an e-mail to me................
................quote "because of the emotional nature of the speaker wire, interconnect,
mains cable debate, he didn't think people would care for his views"
.............unquote


I don't think that's been proven to be true... nobody had gotten upset or emotional, except maybe you judging from your font size  :wink:


fastfred

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I don't think that's been proven to be true... nobody had gotten upset or emotional, except maybe you judging from your font size  :wink:

   I'm 63 years old Dave, yes I caught the wink. And you are correct "that" hasn't proven
to be true it also hasn't been proven false. I for the most part believe that one should have the foundation of a
system before going on the quest for speaker & interconnect wire and tweaks. (I think the advice on saving
money and applying that money to a system is where  Roger's quote is coming from). I found that now I have a
system with which I can make an informed decission on the effect different cabling has in my listening room. I
have approximately 20 pairs of speaker wire which to me, most sound terrible. Out of those 20 pairs the wire I
like in order of worst to best is Puresonic competition(I forget the model)it's a flat woven cable in a clear dialectric.
Kimber 8TC (black & blue dialectric). 4TC (black & blue dialectric). Mapleshade Golden Helix ( the jury is out on this one )
I've only used it with my much modified H.H. Scott 299B. I've hooked up my S.A.R. Labs Mos 300 today.
Listening begins after I finish this reply.

What you were winking about Dave...........

.................For the record

I have the beginnings of cataracts in both eyes. The font size I choose is one I'm comfortable with. It's not that
I'm angry or yelling at every one. It's just that I get frustrated by people taking what I say & giving it another
meaning and then challenging me on their interpretation of what I said. The response with the objectionable font
size was the 3rd one. So in order to get him to actually read what was said I made bold or increased font size.
I also am starting to go deaf, people are always shushing me because I speak too loud. I guess I type too
loud as well. I use a large font because I'm aware of my own vision limitations and I assumed there might be other
others in these circles who would appreciate the larger font.

                                ....................... cheers

                                                 ...................... fastfred
« Last Edit: 17 Sep 2012, 12:30 am by fastfred »

srb

I use a large font because I'm aware of my own vision limitations and I assumed there might be other others in these circles who would appreciate the larger font.

It would be better if you type in the standard size font, then use the zoom function on your web browser to increase the font size for viewing.  This way all of the posts will be easier to read, not just your own.
 
Also you are apparently using the Return key after each sentence, instead of just letting the text wrap and using the Return key between paragraphs.  I like to view with my browser set at 125% zoom, and because of the return after each line, every other line has only two or three words on it (unless I view at 100%).
 
Steve

Speedskater

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I think that Fred used some other text editing program for his posts, rather than the Quick Reply box.  Then the forum firmware took over and sized his post.

earplay

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Oh no! Now we have yet another variable to consider: our individual aging issues.    ﴾͡๏̯͡๏﴿

Gotta go lie down now. Time for my nap.   t(ツ)_/¯

fastfred

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If we forget the pseudoscience for a minute and just think about electronics in general, I think many old timers here can agree with this statement, that most of the time we have trouble with speaker cables or interconnects is with the mechanical connection itself.

............. the majority of what is perceived as an electrical problem, is a mechanical problem.

Look at the back of your system. RCA cables that merely "push on or off" doesn't sound like a good connection to me. A screw on "F" connector does. It's not going to fall off.

Speaker cables can terminate in many ways, from bare wire in a 5-way binding posts, to bananas, forks, pins or what ever. They all loosen up or a film collects on the surfaces, impeding minute signals from passing, unaltered. Then use De-oxit 5 to keep the connections clean. I recently did my quarterly De-oxit 5 cleaning and the sound is 3D for sure. So my point is, there is another side to this wire debate, and that is good housekeeping......

Wayner

A light bulb moment, it occurred to me that all the old terrible sounding speaker wire in my collection just needs a good cleaning.

Thanks for that Wayner.

fastfred

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It would be better if you type in the standard size font, then use the zoom function on your web browser to increase the font size for viewing.  This way all of the posts will be easier to read, not just your own.
 
Also you are apparently using the Return key after each sentence, instead of just letting the text wrap and using the Return key between paragraphs.  I like to view with my browser set at 125% zoom, and because of the return after each line, every other line has only two or three words on it (unless I view at 100%).
 
Steve

I'll eventually catch the play guys just be patient.

fastfred

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I think that Fred used some other text editing program for his posts, rather than the Quick Reply box.  Then the forum firmware took over and sized his post.

thanks for pointing that out to me I was using my word processor & then cutting & pasting my replies.

SteveFord

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Fred,
I'm not sure that I read your post correctly.
Are you saying that you prefer the 4TC over the 8TC or do I have that backwards?

Elizabeth

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Old speaker wires... Made me think how many sorts have i owned:
1965:
made up permanent sets of 12 gauge powercord wire with XLRs in middle spaced so i could have nearly any possible lengths from 3 ft to 18 ft. I used those for over 15 years... Since wires were just wires back in those days.
Then I bought some of the MonsterCable thick wires, the ones where they all turned green after a few years..
Then i bought some Audioquest Midnight. used that for 15 years with my Infinity RSIIa
Then i bought some Kimber 8TC, and still use that wire, though I used a temporary set of common wire 12 gauge wires for a short time on my new Magnepan 3.6, and the 8TC were set up to biwire former speakers in a different way than needed for the Magnepan.. Then i bought another set of the clear/white to biwire, using the blue black just for the bass.

So I threw out the AQ wire (gave away). Threw out the Monster into the trash. And sold those original made ones with the speakers..
Who keeps old wires?
47 years of audio. Five sets of speaker wires...

fastfred

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Fred,
I'm not sure that I read your post correctly.
Are you saying that you prefer the 4TC over the 8TC or do I have that backwards?

  Yes you read my post correctly. To me the 4TC seems to be more detailed in the mids & highs in my system. My solid state amp the S.A.R. Labs 90 wpc MOS 300, has prodigious bass which makes any minor bass attenuation effects by the smaller cable irrelavent to me. I have another a pair of speaker wires purchased to go with a Scott 299B integrated amp, which sat on the bench for years. I'm trying that today with my MOS 300. ( MapleShade 'Golden Helix' )
   While reading old issues of Vacuum tube Valley I came across the articles on the H.H. Scott 200 series of integrated amps, Joe Roberts also talks about them in Sound Practises magazine. Then I found an article on the MapleShade audio website which highlighted the Scott 222C as being a giant killer. Pierre Sprey, MapleShade owner & recording engineer, claims to use a much modified 222C while mastering their line of cd's & vinyl. He swears by his own Golden Helix cable design. I purchased some Mapleshade Golden Helix cable which has enamel for a dialectric, it is a twisted pair design so thin it could be used for interconnect. I bought this so I could perhaps hear this in my home with the amp it was designed for(the Scott). I had a friend rebuild the entire amp replacing every wire, resistor, and electrolytic cap in the amp, as well as placing auricaps in the signal path. I wanted to be able to listen to the original but modified circuit to be able to hear what the original designer wanted me to hear. I also wanted to hear what Mr. Sprey was hearing with his mods. So we used the tape out jack to connect directly to the power amp section so I can connect an out board Pre/amp, bypassing the pre/amp section in the scott integrated amp. Voila I have an H.H. Scott 299B which at the flip of a switch can be retro or new millenium. I'm auditioning the speaker cable first with my Mos 300. I'll keep you posted to what hear with my S.A.R. AMP & with the Scott.  I have scans of the old VTV articles on my web page (www.audiofyle.com) as well as pics of my Scott in various stages of the reassembly. This is where the journey has taken me, I hope everyone is having as much fun.

                                                              ........................... Fred Petersen

« Last Edit: 16 Sep 2012, 07:17 pm by fastfred »

fastfred

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The fact tone controls disappeared about the same time as the rise of aftermarket interconnects is not a coincidence. It was a PLOT, an evil evil plot.
IF you have tone controls, what need of wierd interconnects. Without tone controls, then you need special interconnects to fine tune your setup.
A conspiracy.

Hello Elizabeth:     
   I am lax in responding to many of your contributions to this thread. I have to say you are absolutely correct in your assessment of the elimination of tone controls in the hi end. I have an 80's vintage pre/amp much modified by my friend Walter.  It has tone controls & with a tone control you can ameliorate the rolled off hi end response caused by some wire designs & vice versa you can tone down high's which are too bright. The same goes for the bass. The tone control can be used as a tool to audition speaker wire and interconnect to determine the product which allows you to run tone control flat or bypassed. Thanks for the reminder. I also agree, it is a definite marketing conspiracy.
   The word Hi End came from some snotty add executive or magazine reviewer, back in the 60's & 70's about the time Stereophile & the Absolute Sound started publishing. The phrase Hi End was a substitution for the word High Fidelity. High Fidelity is about music not electronics. I believe the first magazine to publish reviews of audio equipment was High Fidelity Magazine (still being published) and  they started doing this because people reading their music reviews complained of not hearing what the reviewers were writing about in their reviews. So they began publishing the equipment the reviewers were using. Which opened the door for Harry Pearson et all.
    So you are correct the first so called purist line stages which had no tone controls, no phono stage ushered in the cable industry. In another of your contributions you talked about only owning 5 sets of cable over the years.
Wish I'd been that smart.
                                                ....................... Fred Petersen (fastfred)

Ericus Rex

I hear ya Fred.  Another view I have in place of the teeny-tiny hookup wire in the speakers is the size and banality of the resistor and cap leads these huge wires feed.  I assure you these leads are not made of 6N OFC and can't be any larger than 26gauge.

rbwalt

thanks for the infor. i am going to be selling all my cardas clear wire and will replacing it with good old fashion 16 gauge zip cord. then i will send my speakers to the manufacture to be rewired with zip cord. long live common sense. boy have i been sold a bill of goods over the years.