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Bulk Speaker Cable

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  • Robert Cham
    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
    Message 1 of 9 , Dec 4, 2013
      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
    • Blair Chapman
      If it were my home, I d use household romex. It s what almost all studios use that I ve been in. Blair
      Message 2 of 9 , Dec 4, 2013
        If it were my home, I'd use household romex. It's what almost all studios use that I've been in. 

        Blair

        On Dec 4, 2013, at 9:33 PM, "Robert Cham" <cham@...> wrote:

         

        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

      • charles russell
        Go to audioquest.com they have speaker wire in bulk at varying degrees. If you go down to the bottom of the web page to the retail price list you can search
        Message 3 of 9 , Dec 4, 2013
          Go to audioquest.com they have speaker wire in bulk at varying degrees. If you go down to the bottom of the web page to the retail price list you can search and know what the prices are.


          From: Robert Cham <cham@...>
          To: dallasaudioclub@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 9:33 PM
          Subject: [dallasaudioclub] Bulk Speaker Cable

           
          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


        • Mike Callan Home
          I am using long lengths 4m + 2m of Chord Odyssey with my Magnepan (Minis). I don t know if it would be too cost prohibitive, but I m pretty sure you can buy
          Message 4 of 9 , Dec 4, 2013
            I am using long lengths 4m + 2m of Chord Odyssey with my Magnepan (Minis).  I don't know if it would be too cost prohibitive, but I'm pretty sure you can buy it in bulk.

            Sent from my iPhone

            On Dec 4, 2013, at 9:33 PM, Robert Cham <cham@...> wrote:

             

            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

          • gdobson@juno.com
            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
            Message 5 of 9 , Dec 4, 2013
              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

               

               



              ____________________________________________________________
              Do THIS before eating carbs (every time)
              1 EASY tip to increase fat-burning, lower blood sugar & decrease fat storage
              info.fixyourbloodsugar.com
            • michael saiphoo
              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
              Message 6 of 9 , Dec 5, 2013
                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
                 
                 


                ____________________________________________________________
                Do THIS before eating carbs (every time)
                1 EASY tip to increase fat-burning, lower blood sugar decrease fat storage
                info.fixyourbloodsugar.com


              • Dennis Boyle
                In regards to a suitable speaker cable, you might try Vampire Wire http://www.vampirewire.com/ They make a lot of brand name cables like Monster etc. They will
                Message 7 of 9 , Dec 5, 2013

                  In regards to a suitable speaker cable, you might try Vampire Wire http://www.vampirewire.com/ They make a lot of brand name cables like Monster etc. They will sell their cables and connectors direct to the end user. Their Continuous Cast Copper cables offer excellent performance at a reasonable price and yes, cable type and placement s make a difference.

                   

                  Since you are having your home built, you have the opportunity, without spending too much  to build your sound room properly. There are some good books on building recording studios that cover optimum room dimension ratios that minimize standing waves. Also how to build ceilings, walls and floors that won’t resonate. They even tell you how to build diffusors and absorbers.  Studio walls have separate upright studs for both the outer and inner wall.

                   

                  As far as running cables through the wall, I suggest you  use 1” thick Styrofoam, extremely low Dielectric Constant and Dissipation, square sheets with a hole in the center to support the cables and locate them away from AC power cables. Mount the squares on the outside stud 90 degrees from the wall. Audio cables, especially Speaker cables ideally need to be supported away from contacting walls, floors and oriented 90 degrees from line power cables/conduit. If you have speaker cables on the floor put the speaker cable, on one channel, on top of some small Styrofoam coffee cups, use a mono music source and listen to each channel. Floral Suppliers have Styrofoam half spheres. Just use a dowel the diameter of your cables to dent the top to hold the cable. Whoops, drifting into Left Field.   

                   

                  Here is a google search on recording studio construction.  https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4WQIB_enUS561US561&q=recording+studio+construction  I like Newell’s Book but there are several good ones out there.

                  https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=YzxNuBPTiiYC&source=productsearch&utm_source=HA_Desktop_US&utm_medium=SEM&utm_campaign=PLA&pcampaignid=MKTAD0930BO1

                   

                  Unfortunately we tend to spend all our dough on the equipment and never even think about the significant effect the room has on sound performance. At best some of us use Bass Absorbers. Outside of a recording studio or Concerts Hall, I have never seen

                  Anyone use Diffusors in their listening room. For a few bucks you can cut Styrofoam sheets to build your own quadratic diffusors.  http://www.recordandplay.org/diyacoustics.html  http://www.mh-audio.nl/diffusor2.asp#calcul

                   

                  Hope everyone survives this Artic Weather and has a great Holiday Season.

                   

                  Dennis Boyle

                  Chimera Labs

                  http://www.chimeralabs.com/

                   

                   

                  From: dallasaudioclub@yahoogroups.com [mailto:dallasaudioclub@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Robert Cham
                  Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 9:34 PM
                  To: dallasaudioclub@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [dallasaudioclub] Bulk Speaker Cable

                   

                   

                  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

                • Rob Hughes
                  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
                  Message 8 of 9 , Dec 5, 2013
                    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
                     
                     


                    ____________________________________________________________
                    Do THIS before eating carbs (every time)
                    1 EASY tip to increase fat-burning, lower blood sugar decrease fat storage
                    info.fixyourbloodsugar.com





                    --
                    I'm So Meta, Even This Acronym
                  • jmlpartners
                    Been there, done that. In 94 we built the house of our dreams to live out our final years. It was pre-wired for my final audio system. Then, in 2000 we had
                    Message 9 of 9 , Dec 6, 2013

                      Been there, done that. In '94 we built the house of our dreams to live out our final years. It was pre-wired for my 'final' audio system. Then, in 2000 we had a windfall and I replaced the Spectral/Magnepans with SETs/horns and rearranged the listening space. All the in-wall wiring is now unused. In addition, the once state-of-the-art TV and telephone wiring is now obsolete.

                      Once again we will be building the house of our dreams to live out our final years in another state. The new house will have conduit installed everywhere I can foresee a need for concealed wiring. That way I can pull whatever wire I want when I want it.

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