Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: arrow on cable

  1. #1
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    7

    Question arrow on cable

    Hello,

    This might be a stupid question for some of you, but I'm a newbie for high end cable and I've just purcahased a LAT speaker cable. Both ends are terminated with bananas, but there is an arrow on the cable. So which end goes to the amp and which to the speaker? Please help. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Suspended markw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Noo Joisey. Youse got a problem wit dat?
    Posts
    4,676

    The arrows should be facing downhill.

    Electrons flow faster downhill so... aw, who am I kidding?

    The signal is alernating current, not DC. I cannot fathom what these would mean on speaker cables but on shielded interconnects, they might make a slight difference in noise surpression. Some interconnects have a "lifted ground" on one side of the interconnect. This means that only one side of the cable is grounded. On these cables, the arrow would point to the grounded side.

    Again, for speaker cables??? No idea. Perhaps some people need these to feel better about their purchase buy having instructions to follow.

  3. #3
    Forum Regular FLZapped's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    736
    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    Electrons flow faster downhill so... aw, who am I kidding?


    Again, for speaker cables??? No idea. Perhaps some people need these to feel better about their purchase buy having instructions to follow.

    Maybe they're just trying to make it really simple....otherwise, I dunno either.

    -Bruce

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Bill L's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    80
    I'm a firm believer that wire can have a noticible audible impact. But the explanation I got from a dealer on the arrow thing was that the way the wire is manufactured (extruded, drawn, whatever) somehow biases the metal/insulation. This bias then requires the wire to be attached with the arrows pointing the same way - either towards or away from your speaker. Sounds bogus to me. Couldn't hear any diff in my system (yes I tried it). Interconnects are a different story. The shield may be attached at one end only and be affected by grounding to one component or the other.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular Registered Member Swerd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    186
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill L
    But the explanation I got from a dealer on the arrow thing was that the way the wire is manufactured (extruded, drawn, whatever) somehow biases the metal/insulation. This bias then requires the wire to be attached with the arrows pointing the same way - either towards or away from your speaker.
    When there are a number of competing products that are essentially the same, Marketing 101 teaches that you can sell more of your product if you make the customers believe that yours is different. Laundry detergents and gasolines come to mind as examples. They are all pretty similar. The same is true for speaker wires, printing an arrow on the insulation suggests that they must be different or better. I don't think the AC current cares which direction the copper wire was drawn.

  6. #6
    Forum Regular Tony_Montana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Home
    Posts
    184

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by markw
    Some interconnects have a "lifted ground" on one side of the interconnect. This means that only one side of the cable is grounded. On these cables, the arrow would point to the grounded side.
    So now the question becomes which side would grounded side be conected. The source or destination?
    "Say Hello To My Little Friend."

  7. #7
    Suspended markw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Noo Joisey. Youse got a problem wit dat?
    Posts
    4,676

    Gotta cause trouble, eh Tony?

    Good question. From what I've heard and read, the grounded side will be on the (next) amplifier side of the cable, away from the source component. Ergo (I've always wanted to use that word), it would follow the direction of the signal. Likewise, from the preamp to the power amp, it would be on the power amp side.

    Again, I've heard tell it quite often dosen't make a hoot of difference either way.

    None of my cables have arrows on 'em and it works fine. I just make sure that the following component is always downhill from the one in front of it.

  8. #8
    Forum Regular Registered Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    365
    Quote Originally Posted by Swerd
    When there are a number of competing products that are essentially the same, Marketing 101 teaches that you can sell more of your product if you make the customers believe that yours is different. Laundry detergents and gasolines come to mind as examples. They are all pretty similar. The same is true for speaker wires, printing an arrow on the insulation suggests that they must be different or better. I don't think the AC current cares which direction the copper wire was drawn.
    We can also assume that the first company to put arrows on cables (probably Monster) did well in the market-place as a result, and from that point on every cable company had to do the same thing.

    Not saying necessarily that there isn't some technical justification, but your marketing analysis seems fairly persuasive.

    With one exception, all my ICs are XLR so I have no choice. I can't remember if my speaker cables have arrows (I'm at work now), but I'm sure if they do I did the sheep thing and hooked them up according to the arrows.

  9. #9
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    489
    Quote Originally Posted by Swerd
    I don't think the AC current cares which direction the copper wire was drawn.
    Replied on this one arbitrarily, I don't know how to reply to the thread in general.

    General consensus is that AC doesn't care..Vendors would have you believe otherwise..

    In point of fact..An ac signal on a wire pair is by nature directional..it is possible to determine which way the power is flowing quite easily. That would be the current direction times the electric potential across the wires..it is a four quadrant multiply...

    Example, current and voltage both positive: power flows in one direction. both negative, product positive, same thing.

    But, for current and voltage opposite polarity, power flows the other way.

    For a speaker run to be directionally "challenged" so to speak, the interaction of the electric field and magnetic one must be related to the power flow direction..in the case of the crystalline structure, the e-field external to the wire must in some way alter the magnetic field of the conductor, or interact in such a way that the electrons are affected as they cross the grain boundaries..unfortunately (ERGO) (I had ta use it too, but I couldn't wait for the correct moment), the e-field doesn't penetrate the metal, and the insulation and air surrounding do not force an e-field/magnetic interaction in any fashion. That would leave only skin effect based on magnetic field rate of change vs conductivity..which in no way cares about the potential of a nearby wire, nor the dielectric e-field gradient.

    With superconductors, the only impediment to current flow in the copper part of the wires IS the grain boundaries..and to date, at all current levels up to 3000 amps per mm^2, and all voltages from 1 microvolt up to about 200, there has been no evidence of any effect of any type regarding directionality..That is also true of the copper wires we use to monitor points within the magnet, as all are in liquid helium, and have to be accurate to sub microvolt levels in both directions. But, my goodness, our testing regime (well, my friend's one) requires testing in both directions, as the earth's magnetic field (one half gauss) is very significantly an error component when testing 5 to 10 tesla magnets (50 to 100 kilogauss)..especially if there is any rebar in the floor within 5 feet of the magnet.

    BTW..we also do some power dissipation studies, where we look for microwatt/milliwatt/watt power losses in the magnets at 4 tesla per second ramp rates (that is, about 10 to 50 volts input at 10 kiloamp currents, and measure the power put in (by integration of voltage times current), and subtracting the power returned. No directionality...nada, nuttin...never..down to 10e-6 to 10e-8 levels, with shall we say, rather "stressful" power levels?

    Cheers, John

  10. #10
    Forum Regular Registered Member Swerd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    186
    Wait til Monster comes out with wire marked with bidirectional arrows and sells them at an even higher price .

    Maybe you can use a hammer to mount those XLR terminals in the reverse direction

  11. #11
    Forum Regular Registered Member Swerd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    186
    John - Thanks for your input

    We all breathe a deep sigh of relief knowing that experts do agree that the directionality of speaker wire is not a matter to be concerned with. Hey, it's Friday and I'm trying to come up with a witty response to your post. I can't even find a way to slip in an ERGO. Does it mean the same thing if you reverse the polarity - OGRE?

    Swerd

  12. #12
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    489
    Quote Originally Posted by Swerd
    John - Thanks for your input

    We all breathe a deep sigh of relief knowing that experts do agree that the directionality of speaker wire is not a matter to be concerned with. Hey, it's Friday and I'm trying to come up with a witty response to your post. I can't even find a way to slip in an ERGO. Does it mean the same thing if you reverse the polarity - OGRE?

    Swerd
    The only thing I'm an expert at is blowin up magnets and load resistors..as for wire directionality, somebody is really into overtime thinking these things up....and the guys I work with have never seen any indication at all that it happens...maybe we're not using high enough power levels..after all, it is HIGH performance audio we're talkin bout..not some stinkin run of the mill superconducting magnet..maybe someday, I'll be forced to correct my thinking...I've just not seen it, nor heard of it being a factor. But I'm open to proof otherwise..

    I'm just tryin to get outta here...gotta vacation to start..

    Happy holidays to all.

    Cheers, John

    Cheers, John

  13. #13
    Forum Regular Registered Member Swerd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    186
    Quote Originally Posted by jneutron
    ...maybe we're not using high enough power levels..after all, it is HIGH performance audio we're talkin bout..not some stinkin run of the mill superconducting magnet...
    The trouble with those darn superconducting speakers is that immersing them in liquid helium plays havoc on their imaging and soundstage.

    Kidding aside, years ago my father used to work in superconductivity. In the 1970s and 80s he doled out government grant money to research labs on that topic.

  14. #14
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    554
    Quote Originally Posted by iceblue8
    Hello,

    This might be a stupid question for some of you, but I'm a newbie for high end cable and I've just purcahased a LAT speaker cable. Both ends are terminated with bananas, but there is an arrow on the cable. So which end goes to the amp and which to the speaker? Please help. Thanks.
    Anyone putting arrows on speaker cable, is guilty of gross misrepresentation - otherwise known as "yankin' your chain". With interconnects, there's at least SOME semblance of a reason for it ... but for speaker cable - nothing - zero - nada - zip - zilch!

    Do NOT let anyone try to convince you differently - they're either out to remove money from your pocket under false pretenses, or they're simply poor misguided fools who have fallen victim succumbed to a very high level of gullibility, People with nothing better to do than to pass on mis-information to others in the guise of "fact". They do this in an attempt to convince themselves of the illusion that they actually have some sort of "worth" to their fellow man. In truth, they do a dis-service, but they of course don't know that.
    Last edited by woodman; 12-23-2003 at 03:11 PM.
    woodman

    I plan to live forever ..... so far, so good!
    Steven Wright

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. The Great Cable Debate -- Reloaded
    By Monstrous Mike in forum Cables
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: 07-27-2009, 07:13 PM
  2. Subwoofer Cable Run, Lenght
    By jackz4000 in forum Home Theater/Video
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-07-2003, 03:12 PM
  3. Bulk cable source & suggestions?
    By piece-it pete in forum Cables
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-06-2003, 07:02 AM
  4. Three Cables, Two Months, One Baby
    By Mwalsdor_cscc_edu in forum Cables
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-03-2003, 06:12 AM
  5. Sub-woofer cable suggestions?
    By kexodusc in forum Cables
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 11-29-2003, 09:14 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Latest AudioReview Articles

Hot Deals

Latest News

AudioReview on Facebook