Speaker wires

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Popms

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Speaker wires
« on: 10 Oct 2003, 02:55 am »
Need some help on speaker wires. Right now im using I guess what would be called zip cord for my speaker wires Im looking to improve on them just not sure where to start. My setup as it stands now is a Ram 701 integrated amp, Ellis 1801 speakers, pioneer 343 dvd / MSB dac.  Any advise would be great. Thanks

Hantra

Speaker wires
« Reply #1 on: 10 Oct 2003, 02:58 am »
Well, it really all depends on what you want to spend.  There are so many great cables nowadays for little money.  Any of the Kimber 4VS, 4TC would be a great upgrade for you IMO.  If you want to spend more than that, the Audience Conductor would be on my short list as a next step up.

I think any of these would do well in that setup. . .  Nice setup BTW!

B

warnerwh

Speaker wires
« Reply #2 on: 10 Oct 2003, 03:16 am »
I've been impressed with DH labs cables, they're inexpensive too. Don't be duped into thinking you need to spend alot of money here. Not until you have the most resolving of systems is it worth spending much. Speaker wire's are part of the load to the amplifier and will therefore have some sonic signature of their own in your specific system.  Try something like the post above or the DH labs or something else inexpensive and see what how you like them.  Also you can get good deals on used cables at audiogon.com or Ebay. Buying used is an excellent idea because wire doesn't really wear out and if you don't like them you can sell them for about what you paid. Good luck

Popms

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Speaker wires
« Reply #3 on: 10 Oct 2003, 03:48 am »
That was fast! Thanks for the replies. Ive checked out Agon. And I guess thats what really makes it hard, So many to choose from and not knowing how much you have to spend to improve. Thank you

Malcolm Fear

Speaker wires
« Reply #4 on: 10 Oct 2003, 06:32 am »
Have you considered making your own?
You can make some nice cables for peanuts, using teflon coated CAT 5 cable.
You can buy the stuff from Radio Shack for a couple of bucks (US) a yard (metre).
Takes a bit of effort to make, but they sound very nice.

_scotty_

Speaker wires
« Reply #5 on: 10 Oct 2003, 05:46 pm »
Quote from: Popms
That was fast! Thanks for the replies. Ive checked out Agon. And I guess thats what really makes it hard, So many to choose from and not knowing how much you have to spend to improve. Thank you


Please check this link.http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=4370
If you have questions contact me. You can build some of the best cable around for a very small amount of money. The speaker cable doesn't even require a soldering iron to terminate it.The finished speaker cable is $0.34/ft.
plus the cost of Radio Shack gold plated copper spades. The IC's are $0.17/ft. plus the cost of RCA plugs. Don't be afaid to pay less for the sound of the best.

Rob Babcock

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Speaker wires
« Reply #6 on: 11 Oct 2003, 01:29 am »
I made my own speaker cables for my bedroom system, basically 14/4 monster cable made for in-wall use, terminated with 2 bananas on the amp end and four bananas on the speaker ends.  I prettied em up with heat shrink tape, etc.  Pretty cheap and decent biwire cables.

The cool thing about DIY'ing is that you save some money, learn as you go, and you get to make all the design choiced (a blessing and a curse, I suppose...).

Hmmm....as I was the instigator responsible for prodding JohnR to let me start this forum, I'd better get some more posts in here! :o  :oops:

_scotty_

Speaker wires
« Reply #7 on: 11 Oct 2003, 04:08 am »
deleted

Rob Babcock

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Speaker wires
« Reply #8 on: 11 Oct 2003, 04:11 am »
Yeah, Cody is definately the middle of nowhere!  I do live in the largest city in the state of SD- of course that's still only about 150,000! :o  :lol:

_scotty_

Speaker wires
« Reply #9 on: 11 Oct 2003, 05:02 am »
Quote from: Rob Babcock
Yeah, Cody is definately the middle of nowhere!  I do live in the largest city in the state of SD- of course that's still only about 150,000! :o  :lol:


Would a short description of the performance that the DIY cables can deliver be out of place here.

_scotty_

Speaker wires
« Reply #10 on: 12 Oct 2003, 04:40 am »
Popms, This is a brief description of what to expect from the Stan Warren
DIY speaker cables and ICs. The bass extension is very good with no bloat and excellent definition. The cable as a whole, including ICs and speaker cable has life like dynamics and speed with no apparent compression of the signal at all. The cable is very holographic and 3 dimensional with excellent recreation of the space the recording took place in. Smearing of transients is almost non-existent,  cymbals and other percusive instruments have life-like impact and energy. Instruments and vocals have a life like body and focus to them that makes them sound
solidly present in the sound field and not like a ghostly cardboard cutout.

During breakin the cables may sound like the upper midrange is a little aggressive and that the highest highs are lacking. Because the upper mids and highs do not exhibit much in the way of smearing of transients these cables are especially well suited to systems that have a broader power envelope at the frequency extremes. Systems with digital amps in them
may respond well to the clarity that the cables have. The cables aren't perfect and they won't work in everyone's system. Even if the perfect wire were found, it probably woundn't work in most systems due to the inherent
non-linearities present in the rest of the equipement it was connected to.
 These cables are reasonably easy to make and dirt cheap cost wise.
 For most people these cables are a cheap ticket to better sound.

Rob Babcock

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Speaker wires
« Reply #11 on: 12 Oct 2003, 05:09 am »
No, this is a good place for a cable primer.  Just so long as it doesn't get to tech-y or wander off the path into Lunatic Fringe Cable Religion.

_scotty_

Speaker wires
« Reply #12 on: 12 Oct 2003, 05:36 am »
Quote from: Rob Babcock
No, this is a good place for a cable primer.  Just so long as it doesn't get to tech-y or wander off the path into Lunatic Fringe Cable Religion.

Thanks for the go ahead the wire has no white paper accompanying it
and isn't based on incomprehensible technogobblety-gook. The stuff just works in-spite of reasons why it shouldn't. No OFC copper,teflon/air dielectric,no silver and no $500.00/meter story. It is definitely subversive
and heretical.

PaleRider

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Speaker wires
« Reply #13 on: 30 Oct 2003, 08:56 am »
Try to find some solid/massive copper-cables, thick as possible(!).
 
  Keep positive & negative signal-halves apart(no interference)and notice the relaxed, open & dynamic sound it gives!

  Your top-frequenses my sound a little relaxed now cause they`re clean and undistorted, and the overall-sound will be warmer and deeper with a surpricing 3D(well; depending on your equipment..)

  For break-in; play it loud, real loud, and it opens up :wink:

WerTicus

Speaker wires
« Reply #14 on: 8 Nov 2003, 01:00 am »
I'v gone the cat5 DIY route with cables... for 75$ i got 100metres of cat5e which is the teflon coated jobbie... Took 3 days to make... was a bit of a pain in arse but well worth it and they look cool all braided together. :)

Sound = teh win!

Popms

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Speaker wires
« Reply #15 on: 13 Nov 2003, 03:05 am »
Well I made the Stan Warren cables,I've had them in about 2 weeks now and all I can say is they sure are better then zip cord. When I first put them in it sounded about equal to what i was using before but as time passed they really smooth out. If any body is going to make this cable, make the jig out of pvc first it only takes 5 min with the jig to twist them. Thanks for the info on the cable.

_scotty_

Speaker wires
« Reply #16 on: 13 Nov 2003, 04:05 am »
Popms, Did you also make the IC's .

Popms

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Speaker wires
« Reply #17 on: 13 Nov 2003, 04:51 am »
No I didnt make the ic's, I have some older bolder cables I'm using now. Are the ic's 2 wire #12 or #10 twisted?

_scotty_

Speaker wires
« Reply #18 on: 13 Nov 2003, 08:09 am »
Popms, they are one tightly twisted pair of 12ga. Try using this rca plug from parts express part no.NYS352G ,don't forget to order 3 or 4 spares to practice on.  http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=092-112
You will also need this part to hold the rca plug while you solder to it.
 http://www.partsexpress.com/pe/pshowdetl.cfm?&DID=7&Partnumber=092-116
put the female to female adapter in a small vise this will hold the plug while you solder it and help keep the pin centered while your solder job cools.  Don't remove the assembled plug until it's cool or pin misalignment may result. You can buy a female to female adapter at Radio Shack as well, it may take higher heat and work better. I don't know which part is cheaper. This ICs are easy to make and should work well with the speaker cable.  Allow at least a week for breakin, the highs may be a little harsh until the ICs have some time on them.

Bosh

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  • Posts: 65
Where do you feel your system falls short?
« Reply #19 on: 2 Dec 2003, 10:11 pm »
Speaker cable, IMHO, has a much less subtle effect on an audio system than, for instance, interconnects (let the flames begin!).

If you feel your rig is a little bass-shy, then I'd suggest a different cable than what I might suggest if your highs were shrill or mids muddy.  Know what I mean?

You don't have to pay a ransom, in any case.  Here's where I'd start:

1)  If you're really using zip (or lamp) cord at the moment, go to your local Radio Shack and buy a roll of their "Gold Series" speaker wire.  Get a nice 10 gauge if you can, but 12g is fine.  If you solder, twist the ends tight, clean with a contact cleaner (also available at The Shack) and tin the amp and speaker ends of the wires.  If you don't, twist, clean and screw on a set of RS "Gold Series" solder-less banana plugs.  Again, apply the contact cleaner just before connecting.  

Right there, you're only a few bucks out-of-pocket and have a far superior speaker cable hook up.

2)  Let the new cables "cook" for a few hours.  Leave the tuner on for a while at your normal listening volume or set the CDP on "repeat" before you head off to work.  Now listen.  If you THINK it sounds better than the zip cord (a) it does and (b) you're pretty much screwed (welcome to the wild and whacky world of chronic upgradism).

3)  Live with and enjoy your new cables for as long as you like.  Even forever.  But now that you know "wires do make a difference", you'll probably start shopping for the next upgrade even before you're aware you're doing it.

At this point it's good to remember how great it was to have started with zip cord.  The RS wires delivered a high-value boost from there.  Now you can ease yourself into Kimber 4-VS or other fairly affordable offerings from the high(er) end brands.  Companies like Kimber, Tributaries, Wireworld and AudioQuest now offer "home theater" speaker cables, most of them in-wall designs, that are a lot less costly than their top shelf 'phile models. They HAVE to be. This is because HT cables, especially for the rears, need to be a helluva' lot longer than most standard left/right stereo set-ups.  Plus HT wires tend to be hidden in the walls, so who needs all that pretty Techflex and those fancy metal or wood end caps?

Point being that you can order excellent quality "HT" inwall cable by the foot from places like AudioAdvisor, etc. and put it to work in your stereo system.  Which would be a logical and still cost effective upgrade from the Radio Shack wires you started the journey with.

I'll be fashioning some subwoofer (speaker level) cable out the left over Kimber Kwick inwall I used for the HT system.  But I'll be sliding it into a nice Techflex jacket, of course (and covering the "Radio Shack" logo on the banana plugs with matching heatshrink).   :D

Have fun.  And make the fun last longer by taking baby steps.