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1436Re: [dallasaudioclub] Bulk Speaker Cable

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  • Rob Hughes
    Dec 5, 2013
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      I have heard higher-end wire, and I do hear a significant difference.

      Anywho, what you really need to watch out for in cheap cable is the insulator. The biggest problem with cheap cable, especially since you'll be running this in the walls, is that it tends to turn to goo, which will cause severe corrosion in the wire. Anyone who's had ratshack special wire has seen this. And that's probably the biggest reason to not go cheap.

      It would also be helpful if the OP could define what he means by "cost is a concern". For some, that'd be >100.00/ft. For others, that's 0.10/ft.

      If I have to make a generic recommendation though, and since you probably don't want to replace this, I'd go with cardas cross link. It's not that great, but it's about the cheapest cable that's cl2 rated and won't turn to crud in 6 months. I do have some Monster that's CL2 rated and it hasn't turned after 5 years. Might be a bit cheaper than the cardas. Not sure.


      On Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 7:59 AM, michael saiphoo <miketex68@...> wrote:
       

      George,
       
      I totally concur with your method/logic in selecting the wire etc... personally I cannot hear wire differences...but I have not had a chance to really hear a $1k foot stuff either... happy listening...


      On Thursday, December 5, 2013 12:09 AM, "gdobson@..." <gdobson@...> wrote:
       
      Bob,
       
      First off, congratulations on getting to build your retirement home.  Without a doubt, addressing this project at this phase of construction is a whole lot easier that doing it after the fact as I'm sure you well know.  About ten years ago we moved to the home we are in now which as a large family room which we wired for the home theater (9.1) system.  Fortunately each location where I wanted to place a speaker had an outlet, so I was able to drop the speaker cables right down the wall parallel to the 120VAC wiring and pulled the cable out behind the wall plates with spacers that I made with reliefs cut into them for the cable.  I was very concerned that I was cruising for a disaster placing unshielded parallel cable right next to the house wiring, so I was much relieved when we finally got to try the system out and found that there was no induced hum or noise in the speakers which are powered.  I wound up with runs from as short as 25' to four that are about twice that.  Like I said, no problems.  Granted this is a consumer electronics based system, but for the dollars spent it certainly keeps the family happy.
       
      A couple of years ago I got back into audio and quickly discovered that some folks swear by $1k/ft speaker cables.  As a guy who has taught and worked in electronics (Collins Radio, amateur radio, and broadcast) for the majority of my life, I don't buy into that way of thinking.  However, I'm sure that if I did spend that kind of cash for speaker cables, surely I would be able to hear the difference, if you know what I mean.
       
      In the living room I have a set of JBL 4345 Studio Monitors (single 18" woofer) vertically bi-amped using a pair of McIntosh MC302's and a set of JBL 4350 Studio Monitors (dual 15" woofers) also bi-amped with three McIntosh MC352's, one channel for each woofer.  In all of these systems I have used the largest gage low voltage black outdoor landscape wire that Home Depot stocks which I think is 12 ga.  Now I will be the first to admit that if I could find higher strand count oxygen free stranded cable at a reasonable price, I would do it, but what I have found (Monster Cable, and they do not list their wire size) cost more than twice what I settled for with, what I feel, was the biggest bang for the buck.  I would definitely not use solid Romex house wiring since as you probably know, even at these low audio frequencies, skin effect does dictate that current will flow on the surface of the conductors, not through them.
       
      Ideally, I would use shielded oxygen free cable, but from my experience it is not a must.  Largest AWG with the most number of strands you can find and afford is.  No matter what you use for cable, I would refrain from stapling it to the studs which would crimp the wire and just in case if you did have to replace what you do install, you could use it as a draw wire.
       
      Hope this helps.
       
      I noticed that you are with Rice.  A few years ago I decided that I wanted to try something different, so I went back to school and picked up a BA in Geography/GIS and will finish my doctorate in Public Affairs this summer at UTD.  A far cry from EE!
       
      George
       
       
      I


      ---------- Original Message ----------
      From: Robert Cham <cham@...>
      To: dallasaudioclub@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [dallasaudioclub] Bulk Speaker Cable
      Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2013 22:33:45 -0500

       
      Hi Guys,

      I'm building the house that I will retire to. I see no reason not to
      put the speaker wire in the walls, so I'm looking for bulk speaker
      cable. I'm open to suggestions, but money is a real consideration.
      The cable runs will be 30' and 45', perhaps more. This makes
      impedance, capacitance and AWG major considerations. The fact that
      the Maggies will be bi-amped makes the cost a real consideration.
      Needless to say, I'm looking for bulk cable.

      I'll also need to do a 50' run of line level cable for the subwoofer.
      Perhaps two of these, one would be shorter, in case I ever get around
      to building a second sub.

      Your opinions would be most welcome. Being an engineer, I tend to
      look first at wire gauge followed by capacitance and impedance,
      especially at these wire run lengths, but I must say that I have
      heard things in audio, over that last 50 years, that can't easily be
      explained by numbers. I do tend to be very wary of snake oil.

      So, what do you think!

      Bob Cham
       
       


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