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  1. #1
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    Speaker Wire Developments in last 10 years? Need advice.

    Obviously a noivice hear - Dynaudio Audience with Marantz AV Receiver for HT use only.

    The last time i upgraded my speaker wire was 10 years ago - bought an "upgraded" caliber speaker wire that was about twice the guage on the recommnedation of the salesman at the time. Who knows if it was worth it.

    Has anything come out that warrants ditching the old speaker wires that worth investing more money than i already have?

  2. #2
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Stick with your speaker wire if its in good shape. If not consider some wire from Blue Jeans Cable -- Quality Cables at Reasonable Prices Their 10-14g speaker wire is a great buy if you buy it unterminated and apply the spades or Banana plugs yourself.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
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    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
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    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
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    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    To my ears solid core cables are superior to stranded cables. Check out AntiCables and Audioquest since they both offer affordable cables using solid core wires. Solid Core cables are more focused and do not have the fuzzy strand interaction that bothers me with stranded cables.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  4. #4
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    You can spend a lot of money on wires and interconnects. All for dubious improvements at best. Loudspeakers provide so much variation that any possible changes wrought by switching wires and interconnects is lost. Unless, of course, your original wires and interconnects were simply inadequate or too long.

    I have always suggested that wirephiles connect their new dream wires only on one channel with their old and unloved wires on the other channel and then pan back & forth to listen for any differences. As far as I know, none have ever done this. By the time you finish changing out ALL of your wires your memory of what you had will be lost so you will hear whatever improvements you wish to hear.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I have never purchased expensive cables. I would like to try some top level cables to hear if there are any benefits. The most I have spent on speaker or interconnect cables have been $250 a pair. I do not consider those as expensive.

    Today my thoughts on cables are solid core with minimal dielectric and minimal jacketing. The more I listen to the AntiCable speaker cables and the DNM Reson IC's are the way to go. I hate to speak of other companies but Audioquest are good cables but I can understand why they had to develop the DBS system to counter the effects of the insulation.

    Geortz Alpha core is another solid core brand using minimal dielectrics. I like their Micropurl IC's but their entry level speaker cables roll off the high end.

    I have just one comment about the AntiCable speaker cables. I bought two pair to bi-wire and hooked them up without twisting the 4 wires per side. Later I twisted them and the longer I listened I thought where was that magic I first heard. Instrumental texture were missing and a prevailing glassy sound to the music was added. I removed them and put another solid core cable but then a banana plug came lose. Something made me think to untwist the cables and when they were hooked up the magic was back. The cables are only $10 a foot/pair.

    Progress in cable design involves quality of conductors with less impurities and crystal structures. Less dielectric is a good thing and Tara Labs uses solid core in a vacuum at a very high price. Geometry is also important. DSM speaker cables and IC's are kept a consistent space between each other and is not and cannot be twisted. Other cable makers twist their conductors.

    Conductors, insulations and geometry is where most of the improvements have occurred and that is what makes up a cable.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  6. #6
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    The reason for using braided audio wire is that such wire is very flexible and therefore not at all prone to work hardening from being repositioned to curve around obstacles. House wiring can be solid because it is seldom repositioned, but audio wires may be repositioned many times. The latter is the reason that oxygen-free copper is often specified for solid wires: oxygen-free Cu is resistant to work hardening. That is, using solid wire creates the need to use oxygen-free Cu.

  7. #7
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    I have the big 4 wire Audioquest only because it was given to me by my son-in-law who's in the business. At the moment it's in the garage as it sounds no better than the Walmart Woods Patio Power Cord and I don't care for it's weight and stiffness.

    40 ft of the Woods Cord sells for around $10 plus you can use the male and female ends for other projects.

    It's a waste to spend hard earned money on boutique horse**** cables.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist View Post
    I have the big 4 wire Audioquest only because it was given to me by my son-in-law who's in the business. At the moment it's in the garage as it sounds no better than the Walmart Woods Patio Power Cord and I don't care for it's weight and stiffness.

    40 ft of the Woods Cord sells for around $10 plus you can use the male and female ends for other projects.

    It's a waste to spend hard earned money on boutique horse**** cables.

    I am curious as to which model of AudioQuest you have. I am not familiar with big 4 wire Audioquest.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  9. #9
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    HT Audioquest

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist View Post
    HT Audioquest
    I am not aware of an Audioquest cable with HT as the name. It is tough to know what you are comparing if we do not know the model of cable you are using for comparison.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  11. #11
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    JM, lots of things we aren't aware of exist.

    In this case it's Audioquest/CinemaQuest FLX semi-solid concentric loc copper 4x14 and as I said it's HT Audioquest speaker cable ( only 4 conductor model ).

    Given the name, whatever it costs is too much.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist View Post
    JM, lots of things we aren't aware of exist.

    In this case it's Audioquest/CinemaQuest FLX semi-solid concentric loc copper 4x14 and as I said it's HT Audioquest speaker cable ( only 4 conductor model ).

    Given the name, whatever it costs is too much.


    I just like to know what we are comparing. By Semi-Solid does that mean it is a mixture of solid core and stranded cables? I have a pair of AQ cables that are stranded and they are not in the same class as their solid core cables. The better AQ cables are all solid core.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  13. #13
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    I'll say it again for anyone thinking of spending large sums of money on speaker wires and expecting return on their investment.

    If your speaker wires don't degrade the sound, then those wires are the best you can buy. Speaker wire degradation like pregnancy is not measured in degrees. It does or it doesn't or it is or it isn't.

    There are so many worthwhile upgrades to one's system such as better tubes, capacitors, resistors, phase plugs, dampening, room mods, cone treatments etc. that it's shameful to delude newcomers into thinking high priced wires can make a difference vs non-degrading cheap wires.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Point-Counterpoint. Cables have their own electrical characteristics and those characteristics can work well with the components they are linking together or degrade the sound because of mismatched characteristics. Cables at the midrange price range can be a cost effective way to achieve synergy in your system.

    Cables are a component in your system that are probably the most trouble free. They have nothing to break down or wear out. I did recently pull a banana plug from a speaker wire and you really do want to pull on the plug and not the wire.

    Talk to your local dealer and ask if he has any wires for an at home trial. Until you try different style of cables it is hard to tell if they are a positive or negative.

    Like many things in life some are more able to hear differences in cables. Differences in cables may be more noticeable in two channel systems than multiple speaker processed systems. When I add a new component I change cables to hear which sounds best.

    My system is not finished until the cables have been selected.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  15. #15
    frenchmon frenchmon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poultrygeist View Post
    I have the big 4 wire Audioquest only because it was given to me by my son-in-law who's in the business. At the moment it's in the garage as it sounds no better than the Walmart Woods Patio Power Cord and I don't care for it's weight and stiffness.

    40 ft of the Woods Cord sells for around $10 plus you can use the male and female ends for other projects.

    It's a waste to spend hard earned money on boutique horse**** cables.

    Poultry....I will take it off your hands if you are willing to part with it.
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  16. #16
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    Give it up, Pg. You are arguing a religeous question. People will hear what they want to hear.

    I have read so much nonsense about wires I am forced to wonder how people can have so much free time and money for this.

    Sell the flakey wire and use the money for your other projects.

    My favorite (beyond the exotic geometries jazz) is the use of OFC which MIGHT be beneficial in heavy solid conductors to prevent cracking. Oxygen-free copper was developed to allow generator armature windings and stator windings to be formed (bent) into their required shapes without cracking from work-hardening. There are no electrical differences between oxygen-free copper and standard copper. This is from the company that developed OFC. But many here are "sure" that they can hear the difference provided by using OFC in lieu of regular Cu.

  17. #17
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    People are so hungry to improve their systems yet lack the courage to try a real upgrade. It's sad that boutique wires end up being the best they can do.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    One of the things I have found in my sampling of cables is that a single solid core cable sounds best to my ears. The timing of all the notes traveling that single wire in time creates a better soundstage. Even a cable that uses individually insulated solid core conductors of different guages can interfere with the timing. All my IC's and the AntiCables are single conductor for each polarity.

    The next cable I am thinking about is the DNM Bi-wire speaker cable. The four solid core conductors are molded to keep an even distance between conductors. The two wires for the negative and two wires for the positive are set to reduce electrical interference and eddy currents.

    I do not need cables but I like to try cables much the same way someone might upgrade an amps capacitors or try a new set of tubes. The only part of my stereo needing upgrading was my turntable. I have replaced the motor and added the power supply upgrade so I am happy with the perfformance of all my components.

    Since the money I spend on cables or tweaks is rarely more than a nice evening out with a show. The cables and tweaks I will have for a longtime, long after the dinner has passes and I sober.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  19. #19
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    Now I understand.... Those of us who cannot hear differences amoung cables are defective. I guess we should junk our soundsystems....

    Let's see: New Magnepan MMGs can be bought for $600 delivered. How many nice cables can I get for $600?

    Which will do more for most listeners?

    BTW someone pointed out a dealer's negative (does-not-recommend) attitude toward the MMG ... well, guess what? Dealers do not sell the MMG. Magnepan sells the MMG directly to the buyer and within 6 months one can then trade their MMG in for a $600 credit at their favorite Magnepan dealer. Then what happens to those MMG?

  20. #20
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    I read somewhere that the definition of an audiophile is a person who claims to hear the inaudible. Could it be that only audiophiles can hear audiophile wire differences?

  21. #21
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    I was once interested in trying Mapleshade speaker cables and they are solid core twisted cables. My experience twisting the AntiCables and using some Ultralink stranded cables that are twisted has left me with the impression that twisted cables will have some brightness in the upper midrange and highs.

    My first solid core cables after my experimenting with Radio Shack solid core hook-up wires were Nordost Flatline Gold. My system has improved so much since then I may try some of their entry level cables again.

    As I continue my experience with cables I will avoid both twisted and stranded cables.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  22. #22
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    There have been some speaker cables that were known to destroy amps. An early example was a cable from Polk Audio. Two of the larger AlphaCore cables needed resistive elements to mate with some amps. I do not know if any amps are at risk today.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
    Digital
    Sony SCD-XA5400ES SACD/cd SID mat, Marantz SA 8001
    Int. Amp Krell S-300i
    Speaker
    Monitor Audio RS6
    Cables
    AQ SPKR and AQ XLR and IC

  23. #23
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    Omg

    So true, Pg. So true.

    Me?

    I have both Futterman/Tympani and Jolida/Magnepan systems (not to mention two Mackie HR824 systems) and I ... Gasp.... am not an audiophile.... or is that Audiopile ???

    WHERE... OH WHERE.... DID I GO WRONG ?????

    Oh, yea.... I decided to have a real life..... You know.... a wife .... kids .... a House.... a boat .... an airplane .....

    I BLEW it!!!!

    SHAME ON ME !!!! I did not learn to hear wires !!!

  24. #24
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Hey Mash and PG. If you feel this way about cables then why are you wasting your time in the cable forum?

    Some people claim to hear differences between cables. Others can't hear the differences. That doesn't make the ones who can wrong. If you don't hear the difference, that's cool. But there's no reason to get nasty about it.

  25. #25
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn View Post
    Hey Mash and PG. If you feel this way about cables then why are you wasting your time in the cable forum?
    In context to the original poster's receiver, I would agree. Why bother?

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