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eXDee

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#19888 4-Mar-2008 21:17
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http://consumerist.com/362926/do-coat-hangers-sound-as-good-monster-cables
This is why you don't buy monster, you buy the cheapest you can find. IMO they are a scam.

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wmoore
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  #114734 5-Mar-2008 00:17
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Oh yes the great cable debate.

It's the thickness of the wire that matters. A coat hanger would be better than say bell wire to connect speaker, because it is thicker
But with all things you need to listen to them first, and if in your mind if it improves the sound and within the budget...welll..
  




"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -
  --  Abraham lincoln

 
 
 

Free kids accounts - trade shares and funds (NZ, US) with Sharesies (affiliate link).
grant_k
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  #114738 5-Mar-2008 00:37
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wmoore: It's the thickness of the wire that matters. A coat hanger would be better than say bell wire to connect speaker, because it is thicker

Ah NO, not really...

Bell wire is made of Copper whereas a Coat Hanger is made of galvanised Steel.  Copper has much lower resistance than steel and it also doesn't rust.  Low Resistance is the most important factor when you are choosing speaker cable because speakers are typically of very low impedance, usually 4, 8 or 16 ohms.

If you have a steel coathanger with appreciable resistance, it will cause significant losses when you crank up the volume, and it will also mess up the Damping Factor for your Sub-woofer.  Copper wires are always preferable for audio cable although they do use Aluminium cable now for mains distribution.  The resistivity of Aluminium is 2.65 to 2.82 × 10-8 Ω·m whereas Copper is 1.678 × 10-8 Ω·m or around 39% lower.

wmoore
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  #114740 5-Mar-2008 03:55
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grant_k:
wmoore: It's the thickness of the wire that matters. A coat hanger would be better than say bell wire to connect speaker, because it is thicker

Ah NO, not really...

Bell wire is made of Copper whereas a Coat Hanger is made of galvanised Steel. Copper has much lower resistance than steel and it also doesn't rust. Low Resistance is the most important factor when you are choosing speaker cable because speakers are typically of very low impedance, usually 4, 8 or 16 ohms.

If you have a steel coathanger with appreciable resistance, it will cause significant losses when you crank up the volume, and it will also mess up the Damping Factor for your Sub-woofer. Copper wires are always preferable for audio cable although they do use Aluminium cable now for mains distribution. The resistivity of Aluminium is 2.65 to 2.82 × 10-8 Ω·m whereas Copper is 1.678 × 10-8 Ω·m or around 39% lower.


Yes Grant you are indeed correct. I should i mentioned about copper. But any copper wire thicker than thin bell wire is better...
correct ?

Oh the world of Hi-Fi




"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -
  --  Abraham lincoln



Radiotron
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  #114909 5-Mar-2008 20:35
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Hi, yeah, for speaker cabling, thicker than bell wire is better, but don't get hung up on some of the insanity that lurks in so-called hifi showrooms: plenty of copper is good, but stay away from anything that is plated with some other metal - lots of bright orange copper is fine, but plating it with other metals can make it prone to oxidation and brittleness. Same sort of things go for connectors, all these fancy looking gold plated creations (esp cheaper ones) can be a poor choice as gold plating is a bit dependant on a layer of other stuff that is used to make that gold "stick" to base metal of connector. Common old nickel plated plugs are fine, nickel sticks to brass base metal of connector very well if done properly. FYI plain vanilla 4mm2 (crossection) auto cable is just fine for most speaker installations... Get out the soldering iron and make your own interconnects - the soldering iron, the techie's ultimate weapon of free choice!

grant_k
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  #114915 5-Mar-2008 20:52
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wmoore: Yes Grant you are indeed correct. I should i mentioned about copper. But any copper wire thicker than thin bell wire is better...correct ?

Yes, definitely Smile

The thicker the better within reason.  But try to avoid solid-conductor cable, it's best to choose stranded because:

-  It is less likely to fatigue and eventually break when moved repeatedly
-  The impedance of stranded cable is lower at audio frequencies than solid conductor IIRC???

Cyril7 may be able to confirm that last point, but I seem to remember it from university days.

I also agree with Radiotron's comment about solder.  My preferred method of termination for speaker cables is banana plugs and a soldering iron.  Last time I wired up some speaker outlets, I couldn't find any banana plug mechs so I used RCA connectors instead.  Not ideal, but it did the job for remote extension speakers and also the rear speakers in our lounge where not so much power is being delivered.  For front & centre speakers it's best to hook them up directly if you can, with no connectors at all.

snaffta
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  #114936 5-Mar-2008 21:52
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grant_k:
wmoore: Yes Grant you are indeed correct. I should i mentioned about copper. But any copper wire thicker than thin bell wire is better...correct ?

Yes, definitely Smile

The thicker the better within reason. But try to avoid solid-conductor cable, it's best to choose stranded because:

- It is less likely to fatigue and eventually break when moved repeatedly
- The impedance of stranded cable is lower at audio frequencies than solid conductor IIRC???

Cyril7 may be able to confirm that last point, but I seem to remember it from university days.

I also agree with Radiotron's comment about solder. My preferred method of termination for speaker cables is banana plugs and a soldering iron. Last time I wired up some speaker outlets, I couldn't find any banana plug mechs so I used RCA connectors instead. Not ideal, but it did the job for remote extension speakers and also the rear speakers in our lounge where not so much power is being delivered. For front & centre speakers it's best to hook them up directly if you can, with no connectors at all.



Nice...  Try dialup with a coat hanger.    

Some HDMI cables on trademe?    $500+  what the hell?

~Snaff

old3eyes
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  #114975 6-Mar-2008 08:46
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Guess Monster cables will be suing someone over this just like they did with companies with the word Monster in their name.

Of course for long runs you would never use coat hangers  but #8 fencing wire..





Regards,

Old3eyes




pando
235 posts

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  #114978 6-Mar-2008 09:17
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I worked for a nut job who was using a very thick gauge welding cable for his speaker cable, worked though, was very high powered so wasn't a problem other than an eyesore

mcraenz
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  #114982 6-Mar-2008 09:30
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Help me build a better way of doing politics in Aotearoa New Zealand

 

 

 


stuzzo
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  #115099 7-Mar-2008 02:49
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The physics of electrical current in cables is important for so many applications and is effected by the topology of the cables, resistivity of conductors, the skin effect and the quality of the dielectric etc.

At audio frequencies, however, and with the short distances involved its unlikely that a listener could tell the difference between a "basic" and "high end" cable as the article indicates. I normally go for the prettiest ones.

grant_k
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  #115117 7-Mar-2008 08:55
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stuzzo: The physics of electrical current in cables is important for so many applications and is effected by the topology of the cables, resistivity of conductors, the skin effect...

Ah Yes, Skin Effect, that's what I was trying to remember from University lectures.

If you have a stranded cable, the skin effect is more pronounced than a single core cable.

But are you saying that this has no effect at audio frequencies Stuzzo? 

stuzzo
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  #115137 7-Mar-2008 10:30
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But are you saying that this has no effect at audio frequencies Stuzzo?


Well for copper at  10kHz signal the skin depth (corresponding to ~37% reduction in current density) is about 0.7 mm which is probably quite a bit more than the average strand size, whereas at 1mhz it's .07mm, 10mhz .02mm (ref:Wikipedia).




grant_k
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  #115142 7-Mar-2008 10:45
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stuzzo: Well for copper at  10kHz signal the skin depth (corresponding to ~37% reduction in current density) is about 0.7 mm which is probably quite a bit more than the average strand size, whereas at 1mhz it's .07mm, 10mhz .02mm (ref:Wikipedia).

OK, cool.

So at 10kHz, if you have a stranded cable with strands of say 0.2 - 0.5mm such as in flexible automotive cable, each strand will be pretty much fully utilised, whereas if you have a single core of say 2 or 3mm diameter, some of the strand will NOT be fully utilised due to the skin effect.

Therefore, it would be true to say that a stranded audio cable will have lower impedance at the treble end of the audio range, than an equivalent single-core cable.  At lower frequencies of 1kHz and below, there will be no discernible difference.

Cheers for that Stuzzo Smile

stuzzo
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  #115153 7-Mar-2008 11:12
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While the skin effect for a single core wire will be more than a stranded wire of same cross sectional area I believe it's not in proportion as current will tend to flow towards the outer circumference of the stranded wire as the wires are touching.

I note an Audioholics article calculation on speaker cables where they concluded " Actual measured increase in AC Resistance due to Skin Effect at 20 kHz is less than 3%".

grant_k
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  #115168 7-Mar-2008 11:57
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stuzzo: I note an Audioholics article calculation on speaker cables where they concluded " Actual measured increase in AC Resistance due to Skin Effect at 20 kHz is less than 3%".

Thanks for clearing that up.  You would never hear a 3% difference, so really, Skin Effect is only a concern in the RF range.  Now we know, thanks again Smile

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