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  1. #1
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    Question High dollar speaker cables and speaker crossovers

    I have noticed that speaker makers rarely, if ever, use high dollar speaker wire inside the speaker (perhaps I am wrong on that). Let alone the crossovers, that can be quite diverse in parts and design. How do the yeah sayers explain spending a lot of money on speaker cables when all of that signal has to go through the inner works of the speaker before you hear the sound anyway? I am on the fense on this one and would like to see the responses.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    While i would agree with that in general, let me ask you a back question. Why should i run cheap cables that carry less information to even worse parts that will loose even more information? On my personal external crossover the parts used were very good and very solid with great connections. Kharma, Genesis, Martin Logan, Apogee, Audionote, or my Sphinx Gear use pure silver inside or other high quality parts. So i do think that most high class audio company/products use great parts. Of course if you open a B&W, Paradigm etc.. you will not find very good parts but i think the parts they used are good enough for the speaker. Is there a model in particular you saw?

    PS: Before i will get splashed, Yes i have seen the inside of the B&W 602 and it was good, but nothing special. Matched the price of the speaker.

    In addition to my normal posts i have decided to add a "Florian-Mood-Meter" and this post is a very positive and happy post with no agression
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  3. #3
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    Interesting Point

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    While i would agree with that in general, let me ask you a back question. Why should i run cheap cables that carry less information to even worse parts that will loose even more information? On my personal external crossover the parts used were very good and very solid with great connections. Kharma, Genesis, Martin Logan, Apogee, Audionote, or my Sphinx Gear use pure silver inside or other high quality parts. So i do think that most high class audio company/products use great parts. Of course if you open a B&W, Paradigm etc.. you will not find very good parts but i think the parts they used are good enough for the speaker. Is there a model in particular you saw?
    I am in a fact finding mission. However, my thoughts on that are this. I would suggest that a speaker cable's main purpose is to not degrade the signal and allow it to pass from the electronics to the speaker freely. Would a 12 gauge OHFC cable allow that to happen. I would imagine so. If a cable supposedly enhances bass (as I have heard about an XLO and other products) or whatever, I would say that it is a poorly designed cable. So, back to your question, wouldn't it be possible to "out do" speaker cable compared to the parts of the speaker itself? Wouldn't you need some type of balance?

    Once again, I am on the fence on this. I really haven't made up my mind. I have built speakers and made my own cables. I am just curious as to what others think.

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Well i think the same can be said about speakers or capacitors or spools. For instance you can buy a 22uF capacitor from Mundorf or from Audyn which are "technically" the same. But they sound quite different actually. Another example can me said about spools, if you take a 4.5mH spool and then compare the normal air inductor one to a pure foil spool they sound vastly different. So i think the same can be said about cable, since power runs on the outside shell of a cable and has sometimes be next to spools, heat etc.. i believe that cables can have a dramatic difference in a particular setup. Also cables have different resistances which effect different frequencys which also contributes to a different sound. Our hobby cannot be explained by technical aspects alone, eventough i would like that :-)
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  5. #5
    Color me gone... Resident Loser's Avatar
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    And I'm sure..

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    Why should i run cheap cables that carry less information to even worse parts that will loose even more information?
    ...you have something other than anecdotal speculation to support this? Of what measurable magnitude are these supposed "losses"?

    jimHJJ(...aggressive, maybe not...contentious, big time...)
    Hello, I'm a misanthrope...don't ask me why, just take a good look around.

    "Men would rather believe than know" -Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson

    "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one" -Adolph Hitler

    "We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" -Goethe

    If you repeat a lie often enough, some will believe it to be the truth...

  6. #6
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Your not worth talking to, so you might as well stop now and contribute something usefull to the original poster.
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  7. #7
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    I did...

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    Your not worth talking to, so you might as well stop now and contribute something usefull to the original poster.
    ...I requested that you somehow substantiate your "Florian Factoids"...

    Oh, and by the way...bei├čen Sie mich!

    jimHJJ(..."They also serve who stand and wait"...Milton...)
    Hello, I'm a misanthrope...don't ask me why, just take a good look around.

    "Men would rather believe than know" -Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson

    "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one" -Adolph Hitler

    "We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" -Goethe

    If you repeat a lie often enough, some will believe it to be the truth...

  8. #8
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    i believe that cables can have a dramatic difference in a particular setup
    What does this read to you? It is my sole opinion and if you would like some proof then i invite you over for a weekend to my home in germany where i can demonstrate the difference of speaker cables, interconnects to you on the Apogee DIVA Reference. We can try severeal amps from Speed Spectrum Technologies, Sphinx, Pathos and from Krell. If you think DAC's dont make a difference we can also listen to the differences of them incl. Transports from Krell, Wadia, Teac and Rega.

    Your post have the sole purpose to pick a fight and have nothing to do with the original poster. If you want prove, come to my home in germany and hear for yourself.

    PS: Please do not missuse my language since you are obviously incapable of using it half way usefull.
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  9. #9
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    Let's take a look...

    Quote Originally Posted by Billiam
    If a cable supposedly enhances bass (as I have heard about an XLO and other products) or whatever, I would say that it is a poorly designed cable
    ...Wire is "passive" it cannot enhance anything...what it can do is attenuate the higher frequencies...it's all relative...so in all honesty, it may not be a "poorly designed" cable...it may be just what it's designer wanted: a tone control...I prefer mine to be in the shape of a knob and be defeatable when not required.

    Most of the 'high end"-types eschew tone controls per se only to "wire in" a similar, non-adjustable fuction...

    jimHJJ(...Hi-Fi: Straight wire with gain...)
    Hello, I'm a misanthrope...don't ask me why, just take a good look around.

    "Men would rather believe than know" -Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson

    "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one" -Adolph Hitler

    "We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" -Goethe

    If you repeat a lie often enough, some will believe it to be the truth...

  10. #10
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    I suspect you are wrong again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    PS: Please do not missuse my language since you are obviously incapable of using it half way usefull.
    ...bratwurst-breath...Was the phrase understandable in translation as "bite me!" ?

    If so, I'd guess it was useful as it conveyed my sentiments precisely...

    jimHJJ(...your language? Who died and left you Kaiser?...)
    Hello, I'm a misanthrope...don't ask me why, just take a good look around.

    "Men would rather believe than know" -Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson

    "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one" -Adolph Hitler

    "We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" -Goethe

    If you repeat a lie often enough, some will believe it to be the truth...

  11. #11
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The biggest looser on this site
    ...bratwurst-breath...Was the phrase understandable in translation as "bite me!" ?
    Wear the American flag proudly and keep on quoting Adolf Hitler.
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  12. #12
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    Actually...

    Quote Originally Posted by Werner the Obscure
    Wear the American flag proudly
    ...I believe it's a Muted Hunting Stewart...a Scots tartan dontcha' know...

    Quote Originally Posted by das kleine Arschloch
    and keep on quoting Adolf Hitler.
    Sometimes even the Devil speaks the truth...

    jimHJJ(...Don't quite get the irony, eh?...)
    Hello, I'm a misanthrope...don't ask me why, just take a good look around.

    "Men would rather believe than know" -Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson

    "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one" -Adolph Hitler

    "We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" -Goethe

    If you repeat a lie often enough, some will believe it to be the truth...

  13. #13
    Suspended markw's Avatar
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    You do realize this was uncalled for.

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    Your not worth talking to, so you might as well stop now and contribute something usefull to the original poster.
    RL simply asked, nicely I might add, for you to substantiate your questionable claim.

    ...and here you go dragging this down into the mud with personal insults ...as usual.

  14. #14
    DIY Dude poneal's Avatar
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    You've got a good point

    Even some exotic cap have tin leads as do most resistors. And then the inductors are nothing but solid copper wrapped around a bobbin, etc. The DCR of these inductors is probably greater than any wire. So in the end it's up to the consumer, but I just use the 14-2 **** from Home Depot for a few cents a foot.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Florian
    In addition to my normal posts i have decided to add a "Florian-Mood-Meter" and this post is a very positive and happy post with no agression
    Does this improve your sound quality, and if so, where can I get one?

    But seriously though...I would answer the original question something like this...

    If you have to ask...they probably aren't going to make much of a difference. If you 'know' enough to have high-end gear that can benefit from high end cable, then you might as well add the icing to the cake.

    In reality, it's all relative. What gear do you have? What cable do you currently have? What are you looking at going to? If you're going from 24ga speaker wire to Cardas cables, yeah you'll probably notice a difference. If you're going from quality shielded, factory terminated cable, to something that costs 3, 4 or 5 times as much...well it depends on your gear and your ears I guess.

  16. #16
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Resident Loser
    ...Wire is "passive" it cannot enhance anything...what it can do is attenuate the higher frequencies...
    As well as conduct RFI making them sound bright and hard as nails, shrink the soundstage and lose overall resolution.

    rw

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    Oh Geez

    Quote Originally Posted by bacchanal
    Does this improve your sound quality, and if so, where can I get one?

    But seriously though...I would answer the original question something like this...

    If you have to ask...they probably aren't going to make much of a difference. If you 'know' enough to have high-end gear that can benefit from high end cable, then you might as well add the icing to the cake.

    In reality, it's all relative. What gear do you have? What cable do you currently have? What are you looking at going to? If you're going from 24ga speaker wire to Cardas cables, yeah you'll probably notice a difference. If you're going from quality shielded, factory terminated cable, to something that costs 3, 4 or 5 times as much...well it depends on your gear and your ears I guess.
    Nothing I hate more than audiophile snobbery. I asked a question for the masses to answer and to prompt some polite discussion. I did not come here to state my status in life.

  18. #18
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billiam
    I have noticed that speaker makers rarely, if ever, use high dollar speaker wire inside the speaker (perhaps I am wrong on that).
    High quality cables are icing to the cake. High end speakers manufacturers do use premium cable with their products. I was given the choice of multiple wiring options for the transformers with my Sound Lab U-1s. While you won't find such in Polk speakers, for example, that doesn't mean that there is no benefit to be found.

    Recently, I replaced the crossover components and wiring in my vintage New Advents to much improvement in resolution.

    rw

  19. #19
    Forum Regular Florian's Avatar
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    Dear Mark, i know you dont like me and that is fine. But you should reread the posts and then think again. I answered the posters question and i wrote down my opinion. Then i get attacked and simply state that the person who attacked me is of no interest to me. How can you or he or anyone else question my opinion and want proofe for it?

    If you say you like a BMW M5 and i ask you to prove it what the heck would you think? You cant prove if someones observations are wrong ot not. In my case and E-Stat and many others agree that cables make a difference. Now if some guys cant hear it on their systems than thats fine, but its not caused by the cables but by the lack of resolution and quality of components.

    If you guys would get off my case and simply accept my personal opinion which i never said are facts then you wouldnt get a problem with me. Simply as that!
    Lots of music but not enough time for it all

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billiam
    Nothing I hate more than audiophile snobbery. I asked a question for the masses to answer and to prompt some polite discussion. I did not come here to state my status in life.
    Say what...

    Are you saying my post was audiophile snobbery? Sarcasm, a little; snobbery, no. I run 12ga copper speaker wire, so that should tell you what side of the fence I'm currently on. Although I am upgrading to some better, but not super expensive, cables in the very near future. I was just trying to say that everyone has an OPINION on this subject, and you're just going to have to make up your own mind based on your gear and your ears.

    I tend to agree with most, but not all of what's been said here
    http://www.audioholics.com/techtips/...guidelines.php

    And I agree with Florian...speaker cables like any other component in the system should be considered relative to the system's whole (and of course, your ears).

    You can't say that there is zero improvement from speaker cables (and where would you establish a zero point), but there is certainly snake oil out there, and for the majority of us, a point of diminishing returns.

    This really shouldn't be such an emotional topic...
    Last edited by bacchanal; 01-24-2006 at 04:11 PM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacchanal
    And I agree with Florian...speaker cables like any other component in the system should be considered relative to the system's whole (and of course, your ears).

    You can't say that there is zero improvement from speaker cables (and where would you establish a zero point), but there is certainly snake oil out there, and for the majority of us, a point of diminishing returns.

    This really shouldn't be such an emotional topic...

    I think you've hit the heart of the matter in all this.........

    and to add my 2cents worth......Heck, if you can afford to spend $5k, $10k, $15k + on a sound sytem, then why not spend the money on cables to match?

    Spending $400 - $600 on say 1M silver or gold IC's on a <$1k system.........Well....let's not go there.

    Peace to all.

  22. #22
    If you can't run-walk. Bernd's Avatar
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    I missed this last night-listened to music.

    My opinion: Cable does make a difference and High End Speaker manufacturer do and should use the best components available for the given model.

    Four years ago I made a plan to have my own Listening Room and a Reference System by the end of last year. Made it.
    I had everything wired with QED Silver Spiral IC and Speaker cable. Even sound but nothing wonderful.
    I then upgraded the CDP and had to use a new IC (Chord Company with a DIN plug) That didn't work, I think it was the player, and it went and a new one came and was conected with the Silver spiral again.I then wanted more from the cables and invested in Audioquest-Python,Anaconda and Viper IC and Mount Blanc Speaker cable. That made a huge difference. Gone was the slightly flat and bass heavy sound and detail that was masked before emerged.I kept this for a couple of years while I upgraded the System. I then briefly tried a Van den Hul IC-The First Ultimate. That was very soft and "nice" sounding but very boring. No attack or excitment. I can see this working well in a bright system.
    I then got a good deal on Audioquest-Sky IC and Speaker cable. Wow. What a product. Incredible detailed,brightly lit and expensive. I then got the Pathos Logos and Horn speakers and the Sky started to sound too bright at times for my liking.So I invested in an all copper high end cable loom to compare this to the Audioquest Sky all silver. So the Cardas-Golden Reference arrived and made an instant impact. That was exactly what I was looking for.
    My room was coming on and I had a dedicated spur and meter layed with Kimber Cable and have invested in Kimber PK10 and PK14 Palladian Power cables and Isotek Minisub and Titan Mains filters.
    The the final Equipment upgrade happened and all sloted together beautifully.
    Sorry about the long winded story, but I wanted to show how cables and the synergy with the electronics work. During this process I tried Silver,Cooper,Silver plated cooper and Carbon. And for me only the cooper (Cardas Golden Reference) worked.
    I don't want to invest large amount of hard earned in hardware and then only enjoy 80-90% of it's performance. Great cables give you that final piece to complete your system. I believe that goes for any price range.I also do not let Signal or Speaker cables come into contact with Power cables.
    And yes by re-selling the mistakes I make a loss or sometimes brake even, but will never try and make a profit as it is a hobby and hobbies shouldn't make money.They cost you.
    If I would now replace the Cardas Speaker cable with Bell wire I bet everything I own it will make a difference like day and night.I kept the Audioquest Viper IC and out of interest exchanged one of the Cardas ICs with that one. Very audible difference.
    So in my experience and in my system and with my hearing Cables make a difference.
    I am not a scientist and do not understand- why- all I know is that they do.
    Phew!

    The Power of music gives you wings

    Bernd
    Last edited by Bernd; 01-25-2006 at 07:03 AM.
    "Let The Earth Bear Witness."

  23. #23
    Color me gone... Resident Loser's Avatar
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    And I'm sure

    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    As well as conduct RFI making them sound bright and hard as nails, shrink the soundstage and lose overall resolution...
    ...you have something other than anecdotal speculation to support this?

    Gee, where have I heard that before?

    I seem to remember the radio frequency range begins at around 3kHz and has no assignment up to around 9kHz...from that point till 14kHz it's used for radionavigation...above that to approximately 20k it's dedicated to mostly mobile maritime traffic...

    I also seem to recall that wavelength is inversely proportional to frequency...that the length of the receiving antenna is best to be a quarter or half-wave of that frequency's wavelength...and that signal strength is dependent on proximity to the source of the transmission.

    Sooo, all things being equal, to have RFI impinge on a say, the 10 to 20kHz signal via wire in the signal path, hereafter to be known as the bright and hard as nails region, the interference would need to have a wavelength of approximately 2-4 miles and your antenna would need to be roughly a mile for the quarter-wave and 2.0mi for the deluxe half-wave model. Cheez, and I thought my 50ft/ch was a bit much.

    Seems as though you would need to reside unpleasantly near a Coast Guard base and have an awful lot of wire from your amp to your speakers for this to really matter.

    Of course, there can be RFI coming from many things...from a Sharper Image "Ionic Breeze" to an electric blanket...unfortunately(or perhaps fortunately) these things seem to spew out their nasties @152kHz and above...still requires miles of wire to act as an antenna.

    Of course, the preceeding gibberish has come from the mind of one who may not be in full control of his faculties, so take it or leave it as you choose...however,

    You have taken the cited quote completely out of context and made much ado about naught...in response to Billiam's bass-enhanced wire scenario, my response stands...RFI (which can be sucessfully supressed by the shielding on ICs and similar suitable treatment for speaker umbilicals) was never even mentioned until your inclusion of it...even so, RFIs ability to "...shrink the soundstage and lose overall resolution..." seems to be wishful thinking.

    jimHJJ(...or something like that...)
    Hello, I'm a misanthrope...don't ask me why, just take a good look around.

    "Men would rather believe than know" -Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson

    "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one" -Adolph Hitler

    "We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" -Goethe

    If you repeat a lie often enough, some will believe it to be the truth...

  24. #24
    Color me gone... Resident Loser's Avatar
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    Tinned, probably...

    Quote Originally Posted by poneal
    Even some exotic cap have tin leads as do most resistors. .
    ...but tin as in Sn from the periodic table? I don't think so...Tinning simply makes it easier to solder them to pcb's, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by poneal
    And then the inductors are nothing but solid copper wrapped around a bobbin, etc
    You do realize that solid copper wire wrapped around a core is what an inductor is and that the wire itself does have an almost imperceptible film of a dielectric separating the individual strands?...otherwise it would be a rather expensive and meaningless jumper.

    jimHJJ(...perhaps I misunderstood your intent...)
    Hello, I'm a misanthrope...don't ask me why, just take a good look around.

    "Men would rather believe than know" -Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson

    "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one" -Adolph Hitler

    "We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" -Goethe

    If you repeat a lie often enough, some will believe it to be the truth...

  25. #25
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    No one is saying...

    Quote Originally Posted by audiomadness
    I think you've hit the heart of the matter in all this.........

    and to add my 2cents worth......Heck, if you can afford to spend $5k, $10k, $15k + on a sound sytem, then why not spend the money on cables to match?

    Spending $400 - $600 on say 1M silver or gold IC's on a <$1k system.........Well....let's not go there.

    Peace to all.
    ..you shouldn't buy audio jewelry if you like...saying that everything other than the high-priced spread somehow "...carries less information..." really deserves solid, substantive proof to support such contentions.

    Such a premise is neither opinion, nor preference...it is presented as a statement of fact and as such requires closer examination.

    jimHJJ(...such questions do not constitute an attack as some appear to believe...)
    Hello, I'm a misanthrope...don't ask me why, just take a good look around.

    "Men would rather believe than know" -Sociobiology: The New Synthesis by Edward O. Wilson

    "The great masses of the people...will more easily fall victims to a great lie than to a small one" -Adolph Hitler

    "We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" -Goethe

    If you repeat a lie often enough, some will believe it to be the truth...

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