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Speaker cables, your opinions appreciated

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Anonymous
May 14, 2004 8:04:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Hi group,

I would like to know what speaker cables you recommend for the setup
below. Currently I am using Oehlbach Silverline 1020*. I want to
replace them for pure copper cables and take advantage of biwiring.

Cable brands I consider to be extremely good and would love their
stuff to carry electrons in my system: Audioquest, Cardas, Nordost,
XLO, perhaps Tara Labs as well.

My system:

NAD C370 integrated amp (worth $850)
NAD C541i CD player (worth $450)
Mordaunt-Short MS908 speakers, biwirable (worth $900)

I have heard and read several times that XLO stuff is the best in the
world which makes me positively biased towards the brand, but I want
to avoid any ripoffs. XLO's Ultra product range seems to be a nice
choice, although, the cables look cheap (in construction).

Also, what would be the cons of buying a used audio cable on the
internet or in a 2nd hand shop or in places like that? Perhaps a way
to obtain insanely priced cables for almost a steal, isn't it?

I cannot wait to read what you have to say. I feel an unbelievable
need to replace my current cables and I am sure this is the place to
learn from all of you.
Thank you.
Anonymous
May 14, 2004 11:32:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Jogobella" <jogobella@sk.ibm.com> wrote in message
news:566pc.48384$z06.6906443@attbi_s01...
> Hi group,
>
> I would like to know what speaker cables you recommend for the setup
> below. Currently I am using Oehlbach Silverline 1020*. I want to
> replace them for pure copper cables and take advantage of biwiring.
>
> Cable brands I consider to be extremely good and would love their
> stuff to carry electrons in my system: Audioquest, Cardas, Nordost,
> XLO, perhaps Tara Labs as well.
>
> My system:
>
> NAD C370 integrated amp (worth $850)
> NAD C541i CD player (worth $450)
> Mordaunt-Short MS908 speakers, biwirable (worth $900)
>
> I have heard and read several times that XLO stuff is the best in the
> world which makes me positively biased towards the brand, but I want
> to avoid any ripoffs. XLO's Ultra product range seems to be a nice
> choice, although, the cables look cheap (in construction).
>
> Also, what would be the cons of buying a used audio cable on the
> internet or in a 2nd hand shop or in places like that? Perhaps a way
> to obtain insanely priced cables for almost a steal, isn't it?
>
> I cannot wait to read what you have to say. I feel an unbelievable
> need to replace my current cables and I am sure this is the place to
> learn from all of you.

Radio Shack "gold" interconnects and banana plugs and either base level 12
gauge Monster or "Home Depot" variety cable is as far as I go.
Anonymous
May 15, 2004 1:16:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

jogobella@sk.ibm.com (Jogobella) wrote in news:566pc.48384$z06.6906443
@attbi_s01:

> I cannot wait to read what you have to say. I feel an unbelievable
> need to replace my current cables and I am sure this is the place to
> learn from all of you.
> Thank you.

No, this is not the place to learn anything about cables! Because everytime
somebody post a cable question, that will be a war broke out!

You cannot get pure objective suggestion from both "spectrum of
audiophile".

So, I recommend: go get the cable and hear it yourself, I believe more and
more cable dealers are willing to have that kind of test-drive, pay first,
try it for a week or so, if you don't like it, return it back to get your
full refund. All you will lose is your shipping charge.

Panzzi
Related resources
Anonymous
May 15, 2004 1:17:46 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

I like Tributaries Biwired Speaker Cables new at $130.00 for an 8' pair
with bananaplugs
all around at The Speaker Shop in Buffalo(www.speakershop.com) mixed
copper and silver or Silver Sonic DH Labs Biwired
Silver coated copper T-14 Speaker Cables at around $200.00 for an 8'
pair. On the other
hand, there is lamp cord.
Jogobella wrote:
> Hi group,
>
> I would like to know what speaker cables you recommend for the setup
> below. Currently I am using Oehlbach Silverline 1020*. I want to
> replace them for pure copper cables and take advantage of biwiring.
>
> Cable brands I consider to be extremely good and would love their
> stuff to carry electrons in my system: Audioquest, Cardas, Nordost,
> XLO, perhaps Tara Labs as well.
>
> My system:
>
> NAD C370 integrated amp (worth $850)
> NAD C541i CD player (worth $450)
> Mordaunt-Short MS908 speakers, biwirable (worth $900)
>
> I have heard and read several times that XLO stuff is the best in the
> world which makes me positively biased towards the brand, but I want
> to avoid any ripoffs. XLO's Ultra product range seems to be a nice
> choice, although, the cables look cheap (in construction).
>
> Also, what would be the cons of buying a used audio cable on the
> internet or in a 2nd hand shop or in places like that? Perhaps a way
> to obtain insanely priced cables for almost a steal, isn't it?
>
> I cannot wait to read what you have to say. I feel an unbelievable
> need to replace my current cables and I am sure this is the place to
> learn from all of you.
> Thank you.
>
Anonymous
May 15, 2004 1:19:02 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Norman Schwartz wrote:


>"Jogobella" <jogobella@sk.ibm.com> wrote in message
>news:566pc.48384$z06.6906443@attbi_s01...
>> Hi group,
>>
>> I would like to know what speaker cables you recommend for the setup
>> below. Currently I am using Oehlbach Silverline 1020*. I want to
>> replace them for pure copper cables and take advantage of biwiring.
>>
>> Cable brands I consider to be extremely good and would love their
>> stuff to carry electrons in my system: Audioquest, Cardas, Nordost,
>> XLO, perhaps Tara Labs as well.
>>
>> My system:
>>
>> NAD C370 integrated amp (worth $850)
>> NAD C541i CD player (worth $450)
>> Mordaunt-Short MS908 speakers, biwirable (worth $900)
>>
>> I have heard and read several times that XLO stuff is the best in the
>> world which makes me positively biased towards the brand, but I want
>> to avoid any ripoffs. XLO's Ultra product range seems to be a nice
>> choice, although, the cables look cheap (in construction).
>>
>> Also, what would be the cons of buying a used audio cable on the
>> internet or in a 2nd hand shop or in places like that? Perhaps a way
>> to obtain insanely priced cables for almost a steal, isn't it?
>>
>> I cannot wait to read what you have to say. I feel an unbelievable
>> need to replace my current cables and I am sure this is the place to
>> learn from all of you.
>
>Radio Shack "gold" interconnects and banana plugs and either base level 12
>gauge Monster or "Home Depot" variety cable is as far as I go.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

I have tried Radio Shack "gold" interconnects in the past, and have found their
build quality substandard. More specifically, the connectors tended to come
loose from the cables. If I were going to buy any name brand cable these days
(and I'm not- I've had the same moderately priced interrconnects and cables for
almost 10 years with no problems whatsoever), I would definitely opt for used
cables or perhaps a set of "blemished" cables offered by a dealer at extreme
discounts (what I actually got) - if available. I would also strongly
recommend auditioning different brands first, to see if you can actually hear a
difference between them.



Bruce J. Richman
Anonymous
May 15, 2004 1:20:18 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Jogobella wrote:
>
> Hi group,
>
> I would like to know what speaker cables you recommend for the setup
> below. Currently I am using Oehlbach Silverline 1020*. I want to
> replace them for pure copper cables and take advantage of biwiring.
>
> Cable brands I consider to be extremely good and would love their
> stuff to carry electrons in my system: Audioquest, Cardas, Nordost,
> XLO, perhaps Tara Labs as well.
>
> My system:
>
> NAD C370 integrated amp (worth $850)
> NAD C541i CD player (worth $450)
> Mordaunt-Short MS908 speakers, biwirable (worth $900)
>
> I have heard and read several times that XLO stuff is the best in the
> world which makes me positively biased towards the brand, but I want
> to avoid any ripoffs. XLO's Ultra product range seems to be a nice
> choice, although, the cables look cheap (in construction).
>
> Also, what would be the cons of buying a used audio cable on the
> internet or in a 2nd hand shop or in places like that? Perhaps a way
> to obtain insanely priced cables for almost a steal, isn't it?
>
> I cannot wait to read what you have to say. I feel an unbelievable
> need to replace my current cables and I am sure this is the place to
> learn from all of you.
> Thank you.

This gets us into the "wires have a definable sound" debate,
which, given the ease with which wires can be compared,
continues to amaze me. Actually, I have to confess that this
one also remains a real sore spot with me, as anyone will
realize who read the "Audio Malarkey" column in issue 89 of
The Sensible Sound a while back. That one was put together
by me and engineer Fred Davis. Fred has also published
several articles on speaker wire in the JAES, as well as the
now defunct Audio Magazine. Fred has tested a LOT of speaker
wire.

I also have done several comparisons between varying lengths
of 16 AWG lamp cord and speaker cables as exotic as a
Dunlavy LCR Ultra wire set that cost nearly a grand (they
were thick as battery jumpers) and Dunlavy Z6 wire (designed
for specific impedance and capacitance behavior). I have
also included some heavy 12 AWG, fine-stranded wire in these
comparisons. In no case did I hear a difference between any
of these wires, even with runs up to 24 feet. And, hey, with
most of those comparisons I was using some pretty pricey
Dunlavy speakers, NHT speakers, and Waveform speakers. Not
exactly chopped liver ancillary hardware for comparing
wires.

Consequently, I am done with reviewing wires for test
reports or even comparing wires for the heck of it. As far
as I am concerned, wires are wires. Unless there is
something really, really wrong with an item being auditioned
the thing should be no better or worse than any others with
resistance, capacitance, and inductance characteristics that
are not out in left field. This goes for speaker wire and
power cords as well as any of the shielded stuff.

Yes, you do need speaker wire that is thick enough to
minimize resistance losses, and the inductance and
capacitance characteristics of said wire should not be
outrageous. And of course you certainly want your
interconnects to have jacks on the ends that do not fall
apart when you unplug them. However, it is overkill in the
extreme to spend hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on
something as mundane as wire.

You want to save some money? Well, the best bang-for-buck
wire I have seen for speaker hookups is the multi-stranded,
low-voltage wire designed for outdoor use with the kind of
lights you see running along walkways, driveways, and
landscaping borders in front of houses. It not only can do
the job, but its outdoor-use construction makes it durable
as hell. You can run it through attics or inside crawl
spaces and not worry about it falling apart. Its only
drawback is the black color, which makes the thick 14- and
12-AWG versions rather conspicuous when they run along the
floor/wall junction to your speakers.

Howard Ferstler
Anonymous
May 15, 2004 8:51:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Jogobella" <jogobella@sk.ibm.com> wrote in message
news:566pc.48384$z06.6906443@attbi_s01...
> Hi group,
>
> I would like to know what speaker cables you recommend for the setup
> below. Currently I am using Oehlbach Silverline 1020*. I want to
> replace them for pure copper cables and take advantage of biwiring.
>
> Cable brands I consider to be extremely good and would love their
> stuff to carry electrons in my system: Audioquest, Cardas, Nordost,
> XLO, perhaps Tara Labs as well.
>
> My system:
>
> NAD C370 integrated amp (worth $850)
> NAD C541i CD player (worth $450)
> Mordaunt-Short MS908 speakers, biwirable (worth $900)
>
> I have heard and read several times that XLO stuff is the best in
the
> world which makes me positively biased towards the brand, but I want
> to avoid any ripoffs. XLO's Ultra product range seems to be a nice
> choice, although, the cables look cheap (in construction).

Borrow the cable that you've heard is the best from the dealer. Take
it home and try it. If you like it, buy it. Otherwise take it back
and try a different one. Repeat this process until you find something
that both sounds good and is affordable.

Norm Strong
Anonymous
May 15, 2004 9:06:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 5/14/04 5:20 PM, in article c83d6i01uku@news2.newsguy.com, "Howard
Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:

> This gets us into the "wires have a definable sound" debate,
> which, given the ease with which wires can be compared,
> continues to amaze me.

Yes - they are really easy to compare *if* you can get ahold of the cables
to test!

I have kimber 4's, 16ga. zip cord and Romex 10 ga. I do notice fairly
substantial changes between all three - mostly with bass articulation, bass
level and timing in my speakers.
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 3:00:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Bromo wrote:
>
> On 5/14/04 5:20 PM, in article c83d6i01uku@news2.newsguy.com, "Howard
> Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:
>
> > This gets us into the "wires have a definable sound" debate,
> > which, given the ease with which wires can be compared,
> > continues to amaze me.

> Yes - they are really easy to compare *if* you can get ahold of the cables
> to test!
>
> I have kimber 4's, 16ga. zip cord and Romex 10 ga. I do notice fairly
> substantial changes between all three - mostly with bass articulation, bass
> level and timing in my speakers.

What kind of comparing do you do?

When I was comparing cables I built a switch box device that
allowed me to toggle back and forth between the cables. The
best way would have been to do the comparing blind or double
blind, but since I could not hear differences anyway, I
passed on that trick.

Note that in one case I was comparing stuff like Dunlavy LCR
Ultra cables (12-foot sections, with a list price of $995)
against 16-AWG lamp cord purchased at a hardware store. They
sounded the same, even when I bumped the lamp cord out to 24
feet.

Now, it would be possible to maybe hear differences with
pink noise, which allows for a comparison to be kind of like
a visual-chart test for the eyes. With longer leads and
skinny enough wire there would be a slight drop in level,
compared to a shorter, thicker set, and under some
conditions certain kinds of speaker wire would maybe not
roll off the treble above 10 kHz as much. With the Dunlavy
Z6 wire (the set I reviewed had a list price of over $500),
which was a bundled group of wires around a spaced
perimeter, a difference might show up against the lamp cord,
due to its unusual LCR characteristics.

However, with musical source material (particularly in the
bass), no way. Wire is wire down low.

As for timing, the electrical signals pretty much travel at
the speed of light through the wires. No timing differences
that anyone could ever hear, even if the wires were half a
mile long.

Howard Ferstler
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 3:01:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Bruce J. Richman" wrote:

> I have tried Radio Shack "gold" interconnects in the past, and have found their
> build quality substandard. More specifically, the connectors tended to come
> loose from the cables.

I have used them plenty, too, and have yet to experience the
phenomenon you mention. I suppose if one was plugging and
unplugging aplenty they might have problems if they pulled
on the wires instead of the plugs, but your typical audio
enthusiast is not going to be doing that.

The remarkable thing is that as a product reviewer I DO plug
and unplug aplenty, and still have had no problems.

Actually, for me the strong point about the RS gold cables
is that I can buy the connectors and cables separately and
then cut and and solder in such a way that I end up with a
group of custom-length cables that do not hang down behind
my three equipment racks like a tangle of spider webs. Some
of my shorties are less than a foot long, with others being
1.5, 2, 2.5, and 3 or more feet - and this is important when
you have a rack with ten different components mounted.

Makes for a tidy appearance and it is easier to trace wires
from jack to jack. I also have RS gold cables in the 12- to
20-foot categories for hooking up and test reviewing
subwoofers. No problems.

Howard Ferstler
Anonymous
May 18, 2004 4:18:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 5/17/04 7:01 PM, in article c8bg8g0fl2@news3.newsguy.com, "Howard
Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:

> "Bruce J. Richman" wrote:
>
>> I have tried Radio Shack "gold" interconnects in the past, and have found
>> their
>> build quality substandard. More specifically, the connectors tended to come
>> loose from the cables.
>
> I have used them plenty, too, and have yet to experience the
> phenomenon you mention. I suppose if one was plugging and
> unplugging aplenty they might have problems if they pulled
> on the wires instead of the plugs, but your typical audio
> enthusiast is not going to be doing that.

"Hosa" brand found in most "Guitar Centers" makes a decent high quality
interconnect - Radio Shack grade and not too expensive. I have had many
Radio shack interconnects "go" on me.
Anonymous
May 19, 2004 4:58:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 5/17/04 7:00 PM, in article c8bg770fjk@news3.newsguy.com, "Howard
Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:

> Bromo wrote:
>>
>> On 5/14/04 5:20 PM, in article c83d6i01uku@news2.newsguy.com, "Howard
>> Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:
>>
>>> This gets us into the "wires have a definable sound" debate,
>>> which, given the ease with which wires can be compared,
>>> continues to amaze me.
>
>> Yes - they are really easy to compare *if* you can get ahold of the cables
>> to test!
>>
>> I have kimber 4's, 16ga. zip cord and Romex 10 ga. I do notice fairly
>> substantial changes between all three - mostly with bass articulation, bass
>> level and timing in my speakers.
>
> What kind of comparing do you do?

For me it is strictly non-scientific "tweak and see if you hear a
difference" kind.

I have a stereo amp - and plan on minimizing the difference in length
between it and the speakers - and put the minimum length of wire form it to
the speakers - because despite all the controversy - audible or not - the
less cable the better!

> When I was comparing cables I built a switch box device that
> allowed me to toggle back and forth between the cables. The
> best way would have been to do the comparing blind or double
> blind, but since I could not hear differences anyway, I
> passed on that trick.

I would agree - though some of the more "far out" types would think that
somehow the switch was to blame! :-)

> Note that in one case I was comparing stuff like Dunlavy LCR
> Ultra cables (12-foot sections, with a list price of $995)
> against 16-AWG lamp cord purchased at a hardware store. They
> sounded the same, even when I bumped the lamp cord out to 24
> feet.

Wow - what kind of speakers do you use? I noticed a difference with Thiels
and a NAD amp with Kimber and Romex. I know a lot of people want to call me
crazy or hearing some sort of illusion - but if I manage to become
independetly wealthy where I could pursue rigorous studies without fear of
unemployment - that might be worth a look.

> Now, it would be possible to maybe hear differences with
> pink noise, which allows for a comparison to be kind of like
> a visual-chart test for the eyes. With longer leads and
> skinny enough wire there would be a slight drop in level,
> compared to a shorter, thicker set, and under some
> conditions certain kinds of speaker wire would maybe not
> roll off the treble above 10 kHz as much.

That is what it sounded like to me - Romex (5' each) to the Kimer 4's (12'
each) - I was prepared to think that I was hearing things except the bass
was much fuller (no change to the volume knob) and my wife came in from
gardening and asked if I was fiddling with the tone controls.

>With the Dunlavy
> Z6 wire (the set I reviewed had a list price of over $500),
> which was a bundled group of wires around a spaced
> perimeter, a difference might show up against the lamp cord,
> due to its unusual LCR characteristics.

I don't think that price equates to performance, but I was surprised to find
differences. I am glad you seem open minded enough to entertain that there
might be a difference in some cases.
>
> However, with musical source material (particularly in the
> bass), no way. Wire is wire down low.

I thought so - but if there was some effect in the treble - perhaps I
mistook that for a beefier bass?

> As for timing, the electrical signals pretty much travel at
> the speed of light through the wires. No timing differences
> that anyone could ever hear, even if the wires were half a
> mile long.

There - depeding upon the dielectric materials - at least at RF frequencies
- you will be somewhat less than C (teflon being one example where it is
slowed down quite a bit - though uniformly). A mile long - provided you
don't attenuate too much - would have the start of some dispersion...
Anonymous
May 19, 2004 7:33:16 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Bromo wrote:
>
> On 5/17/04 7:00 PM, in article c8bg770fjk@news3.newsguy.com, "Howard
> Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:
>
> > Bromo wrote:

> >> I have kimber 4's, 16ga. zip cord and Romex 10 ga. I do notice fairly
> >> substantial changes between all three - mostly with bass articulation, bass
> >> level and timing in my speakers.

> > What kind of comparing do you do?

> For me it is strictly non-scientific "tweak and see if you hear a
> difference" kind.

This is part of the problem. Do some quick-switch
comparisons, and to dramatize the impact compare some
expensive/exotic stuff to basic 16 AWG lamp cord. I find
that is the best way to highlight just how non-important
exotic wire can be. Some guys will compare two different
exotic wires, but the best way to really discover just how
weird the wire scene is would be to compare some really
expensive stuff to some really cheap stuff.

Incidentally, while level matching is mandatory when
comparing stuff like amps and CD players, it really is no
big deal with wires, particularly if you are comparing short
(under 15 foot) sections. The levels will automatically be
close enough.

Note that some exotically designed wire (the Dunlavy Z6 in
my experience) does indeed flatten out the top octave a tad,
compared to, say, double-lead lamp cord, and so it might be
possible to hear subtle differences when using
broad-bandwidth sources like pink noise. However, with
music, no way.

> I have a stereo amp - and plan on minimizing the difference in length
> between it and the speakers - and put the minimum length of wire form it to
> the speakers - because despite all the controversy - audible or not - the
> less cable the better!

I have run speaker leads up to 30 feet with no problems,
provided the wire is heavy enough. My two primary systems (I
have a third in the living room) make use of 12 AWG stranded
and have runs of from 22 to 25 feet. The longest run is 40
feet to one of my surround speakers.

> > When I was comparing cables I built a switch box device that
> > allowed me to toggle back and forth between the cables. The
> > best way would have been to do the comparing blind or double
> > blind, but since I could not hear differences anyway, I
> > passed on that trick.

> I would agree - though some of the more "far out" types would think that
> somehow the switch was to blame! :-)

I find the switch issue to be ironic. I mean, a switch does
indeed a very small amount of resistance, and could add more
if it were well worn. However, compared to other factors
that is pretty minor, and it would at least impact both wire
sets the same.

If one is paranoid about switches they could have a friend
do the wire switching manually, but if they did that they
would have to make sure that the friend did not let you know
which wire was connected. Of course, the average
speaker-jack bond is probably as resistance loaded as your
typical good switch. Serious wire enthusiasts would solder
the leads to the speakers and to the amp.

Yeah, I know that having a buddy (or wife) do the
plug-unplug work for you would be tedious, but if we are
talking about paying 25 cents a foot for wire or paying ten
bucks a foot it looks like the effort would be worthwhile.

> > Note that in one case I was comparing stuff like Dunlavy LCR
> > Ultra cables (12-foot sections, with a list price of $995)
> > against 16-AWG lamp cord purchased at a hardware store. They
> > sounded the same, even when I bumped the lamp cord out to 24
> > feet.

> Wow - what kind of speakers do you use?

I have three different main sets in my main systems: Allison
IC-20s (biggest system), Dunlavy Cantatas (middle system),
and NHT ST4s (living-room system). (There are also numerous
speakers used in the surround channels of all three
systems.)

However, as part of my speaker reviewing work for The
Sensible Sound I also made use of some Waveform MC
satellites in combination with MC.1 unpowered subwoofers,
Triad Silver satellites, Axiom Satellites, Tyler Acoustics
satellites, and some NHT M6 satellites, plus a pair of
Dunlavy SC-II systems running full bandwidth. Admittedly,
the satellite packages made use of powered subwoofers, and
so any bass differences would be obscured. However, my own
systems, plus that Waveform sub/sat package and the Dunlavy
SC-II pair made use of the wire over full bandwidth.

> I noticed a difference with Thiels
> and a NAD amp with Kimber and Romex. I know a lot of people want to call me
> crazy or hearing some sort of illusion - but if I manage to become
> independetly wealthy where I could pursue rigorous studies without fear of
> unemployment - that might be worth a look.

I am not sure about single-strand Romex, because it might
not clamp up as well as stranded wire, and I am also not
sure of its LCR characteristics. Generally, I recommend that
people who are running wire through the attic or under a
crawl space use the stranded, low-voltage stuff that is
normally used for low-voltage outdoor lighting. I have that
in my middle system, and it is available in 16-, 14-, and
12-AWG sizes. And it is cheap.

> > Now, it would be possible to maybe hear differences with
> > pink noise, which allows for a comparison to be kind of like
> > a visual-chart test for the eyes. With longer leads and
> > skinny enough wire there would be a slight drop in level,
> > compared to a shorter, thicker set, and under some
> > conditions certain kinds of speaker wire would maybe not
> > roll off the treble above 10 kHz as much.

> That is what it sounded like to me - Romex (5' each) to the Kimer 4's (12'
> each) - I was prepared to think that I was hearing things except the bass
> was much fuller (no change to the volume knob) and my wife came in from
> gardening and asked if I was fiddling with the tone controls.

I have heard this "my wife heard differences easily"
commentary before, and I continue to believe that it
involves the wife simply listening from a different location
to a different piece of music. Standing-wave propagation
would have an impact here. It also may involve their desire
to humor a husband.

My living-room system makes use of 4-foot sections of 12-AWG
wire that is very similar to the big standard Monster stuff
(purchased at Home Depot years ago for 33 cents a foot). I
use it, because it looks better than black or brown wire
against the hard-wood floors in there. In any case, I have
also used it during some comparisons and it sounded the same
as 16-AWG lamp cord sections 24 feet long. Again, this was
with music.

Actually, a while back I had a chance to fool with an ABX
device and although I was mainly interested in comparing a
variety of amplifiers, I also compared some wire (in one
case, comparing a cheap amp/wire combination to an expensive
wire/amp combination), and I simply could not reliably spot
differences. Neither could several guests that I invited
over.

Given the way some enthusiasts laud the easily superior
performance of some wire (and amps), the whole procedure
strongly burnished my already profound skepticism.

> >With the Dunlavy
> > Z6 wire (the set I reviewed had a list price of over $500),
> > which was a bundled group of wires around a spaced
> > perimeter, a difference might show up against the lamp cord,
> > due to its unusual LCR characteristics.

> I don't think that price equates to performance, but I was surprised to find
> differences. I am glad you seem open minded enough to entertain that there
> might be a difference in some cases.

Yep. If one listens a lot to pink noise those wires might
make a small but to some people meaningful difference.
Fortunately for me, I prefer listening to music.

Howard Ferstler
Anonymous
May 20, 2004 3:00:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Bromo wrote:
>
> On 5/17/04 7:01 PM, in article c8bg8g0fl2@news3.newsguy.com, "Howard
> Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:
>
> > "Bruce J. Richman" wrote:
> >
> >> I have tried Radio Shack "gold" interconnects in the past, and have found
> >> their
> >> build quality substandard. More specifically, the connectors tended to come
> >> loose from the cables.
> >
> > I have used them plenty, too, and have yet to experience the
> > phenomenon you mention. I suppose if one was plugging and
> > unplugging aplenty they might have problems if they pulled
> > on the wires instead of the plugs, but your typical audio
> > enthusiast is not going to be doing that.
>
> "Hosa" brand found in most "Guitar Centers" makes a decent high quality
> interconnect - Radio Shack grade and not too expensive. I have had many
> Radio shack interconnects "go" on me.

Interesting. Do you do a lot of wire and component shifting?
I ask, because it seems that once an individual has the
system hooked up there would be no reason to fool with wires
for a long time. Once that system is working, one would be
more interested in obtaining good recordings and listening
to them than in diddling with the wires.

I do a good deal of wire shifting in my testing work, and I
have yet to even have a pair of cheap patch cords fail.
Admittedly, I take great care when I unplug and plug.

Howard Ferstler
Anonymous
May 20, 2004 3:04:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

>From: Howard Ferstler ferstle@attglobal.net
>Date: 5/19/2004 8:33 AM Pacific Standard Time
>Message-id: <07Lqc.6441$zw.4286@attbi_s01>
>

>
>Note that some exotically designed wire (the Dunlavy Z6 in
>my experience) does indeed flatten out the top octave a tad,
>compared to, say, double-lead lamp cord, and so it might be
>possible to hear subtle differences when using
>broad-bandwidth sources like pink noise. However, with
>music, no way.

If this is true then the cables *do* sound different. The issue is the merits
of those differences. So which do people here believe? That the differences are
nonexistant or insignificant?
Anonymous
May 20, 2004 5:58:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 5/19/04 11:33 AM, in article 07Lqc.6441$zw.4286@attbi_s01, "Howard
Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:

> If one is paranoid about switches they could have a friend
> do the wire switching manually, but if they did that they
> would have to make sure that the friend did not let you know
> which wire was connected. Of course, the average
> speaker-jack bond is probably as resistance loaded as your
> typical good switch. Serious wire enthusiasts would solder
> the leads to the speakers and to the amp.

Heh - if you were really hard core - you could put one wire of one type on
one speaker and the lamp cord on the other speaker and see if you felt it
was different somehow!
Anonymous
May 20, 2004 5:59:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 5/19/04 7:00 PM, in article c8gou1020hg@news2.newsguy.com, "Howard
Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:

>> "Hosa" brand found in most "Guitar Centers" makes a decent high quality
>> interconnect - Radio Shack grade and not too expensive. I have had many
>> Radio shack interconnects "go" on me.
>
> Interesting. Do you do a lot of wire and component shifting?
> I ask, because it seems that once an individual has the
> system hooked up there would be no reason to fool with wires
> for a long time. Once that system is working, one would be
> more interested in obtaining good recordings and listening
> to them than in diddling with the wires.
>
> I do a good deal of wire shifting in my testing work, and I
> have yet to even have a pair of cheap patch cords fail.
> Admittedly, I take great care when I unplug and plug.

I have a small recoding setup in the back room - so when we get something to
hook up - I tend to go and buy from Guitar center or other stores in the
area. I usually end up with Hosa as they tend to be built well, and are
pretty cheap.

Their 1/4" patch cables are excellent - and the RCS and XLR stuff is first
rate as well.
Anonymous
May 20, 2004 8:15:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 5/19/04 9:59 PM, in article PhUqc.8477$zw.5322@attbi_s01, "Bromo"
<bromo@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>> Interesting. Do you do a lot of wire and component shifting?
>> I ask, because it seems that once an individual has the
>> system hooked up there would be no reason to fool with wires
>> for a long time. Once that system is working, one would be
>> more interested in obtaining good recordings and listening
>> to them than in diddling with the wires.
>>
>> I do a good deal of wire shifting in my testing work, and I
>> have yet to even have a pair of cheap patch cords fail.
>> Admittedly, I take great care when I unplug and plug.
>
> I have a small recoding setup in the back room - so when we get something to
> hook up - I tend to go and buy from Guitar center or other stores in the
> area. I usually end up with Hosa as they tend to be built well, and are
> pretty cheap.
>
> Their 1/4" patch cables are excellent - and the RCS and XLR stuff is first
> rate as well.

Oh - I also forgot to add that a friend of mine directed me to that brand -
as he has a analog synth and has a box or two just of patch cables! :-)
Anonymous
May 20, 2004 7:30:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 19 May 2004 23:04:05 GMT, s888wheel@aol.com (S888Wheel) wrote:

>>From: Howard Ferstler ferstle@attglobal.net
>>Date: 5/19/2004 8:33 AM Pacific Standard Time
>>Message-id: <07Lqc.6441$zw.4286@attbi_s01>
>
>>Note that some exotically designed wire (the Dunlavy Z6 in
>>my experience) does indeed flatten out the top octave a tad,
>>compared to, say, double-lead lamp cord, and so it might be
>>possible to hear subtle differences when using
>>broad-bandwidth sources like pink noise. However, with
>>music, no way.
>
>If this is true then the cables *do* sound different.

That does not follow, as the results are usually within significantly
less than a dB at 20kHz. I've compared Kimber 8TC (electrically
similar to the Dunlavy) and Naim NACA5 (an exactly opposite
high-inductance construction) in 5 metre lengths on my 3-ohm speakers,
with no audible difference, although the 20kHz level *measured* about
0.6dB higher on the Kimber.

>The issue is the merits
>of those differences. So which do people here believe? That the differences are
>nonexistant or insignificant?

They *may* be audible in some extreme cases, and they will simply
amount to a tiny reduction in high treble, typically less than the
variation between the two tweeters of your pair of speakers. If you
are paranoid about this, then use low-inductance cable.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
May 21, 2004 2:58:16 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

>From: Stewart Pinkerton patent3@dircon.co.uk
>Date: 5/20/2004 8:30 AM Pacific Standard Time
>Message-id: <wa4rc.12074$zw.6056@attbi_s01>
>
>On 19 May 2004 23:04:05 GMT, s888wheel@aol.com (S888Wheel) wrote:
>
>>>From: Howard Ferstler ferstle@attglobal.net
>>>Date: 5/19/2004 8:33 AM Pacific Standard Time
>>>Message-id: <07Lqc.6441$zw.4286@attbi_s01>
>>
>>>Note that some exotically designed wire (the Dunlavy Z6 in
>>>my experience) does indeed flatten out the top octave a tad,
>>>compared to, say, double-lead lamp cord, and so it might be
>>>possible to hear subtle differences when using
>>>broad-bandwidth sources like pink noise. However, with
>>>music, no way.
>>
>>If this is true then the cables *do* sound different.
>
>That does not follow, as the results are usually within significantly
>less than a dB at 20kHz. I've compared Kimber 8TC (electrically
>similar to the Dunlavy) and Naim NACA5 (an exactly opposite
>high-inductance construction) in 5 metre lengths on my 3-ohm speakers,
>with no audible difference, although the 20kHz level *measured* about
>0.6dB higher on the Kimber.

The question then is are those measured differences capable of producing an
audible difference with pink noise? If no, and there is an audible difference
with pink noise then there is more going on. If yes, then those measured
differences do account for a real audible difference. Or maybe you think there
is no audible difference even with pink noise? My assertion was premised on
that claim.



>
>>The issue is the merits
>>of those differences. So which do people here believe? That the differences
>are
>>nonexistant or insignificant?
>
>They *may* be audible in some extreme cases, and they will simply
>amount to a tiny reduction in high treble, typically less than the
>variation between the two tweeters of your pair of speakers. If you
>are paranoid about this, then use low-inductance cable.
>--

I am not paranoid at all. I am just looking for clarification of what people
believe. I'm sorry but I'm still not sure where you stand here. I'm still not
entirely clear if you believe the differences are non-existant or just
insignificant. It looks like You are claiming nonexistance in your first
paragraph and insignificance in your second.
Anonymous
May 21, 2004 4:02:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 5/20/04 11:30 AM, in article wa4rc.12074$zw.6056@attbi_s01, "Stewart
Pinkerton" <patent3@dircon.co.uk> wrote:

> On 19 May 2004 23:04:05 GMT, s888wheel@aol.com (S888Wheel) wrote:
>
>>> From: Howard Ferstler ferstle@attglobal.net
>>> Date: 5/19/2004 8:33 AM Pacific Standard Time
>>> Message-id: <07Lqc.6441$zw.4286@attbi_s01>
>>
>>> Note that some exotically designed wire (the Dunlavy Z6 in
>>> my experience) does indeed flatten out the top octave a tad,
>>> compared to, say, double-lead lamp cord, and so it might be
>>> possible to hear subtle differences when using
>>> broad-bandwidth sources like pink noise. However, with
>>> music, no way.
>>
>> If this is true then the cables *do* sound different.
>
> That does not follow, as the results are usually within significantly
> less than a dB at 20kHz. I've compared Kimber 8TC (electrically
> similar to the Dunlavy) and Naim NACA5 (an exactly opposite
> high-inductance construction) in 5 metre lengths on my 3-ohm speakers,
> with no audible difference, although the 20kHz level *measured* about
> 0.6dB higher on the Kimber.
>
>> The issue is the merits
>> of those differences. So which do people here believe? That the differences
>> are
>> nonexistant or insignificant?
>
> They *may* be audible in some extreme cases, and they will simply
> amount to a tiny reduction in high treble, typically less than the
> variation between the two tweeters of your pair of speakers. If you
> are paranoid about this, then use low-inductance cable.

If you spent a couple of kilobucks on a set of speakers that hare supposed
to have a flat upper range - it might be prudent to get some low inductance
types of cables - even spending a small premium over lampcord to remove it
as a possibility.
Anonymous
May 21, 2004 4:23:42 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 5/20/04 6:58 PM, in article c8jd6801aoe@news1.newsguy.com, "S888Wheel"
<s888wheel@aol.com> wrote:

>> Date: 5/20/2004 8:30 AM Pacific Standard Time
>> Message-id: <wa4rc.12074$zw.6056@attbi_s01>
>>
>> On 19 May 2004 23:04:05 GMT, s888wheel@aol.com (S888Wheel) wrote:
>>
>>>> From: Howard Ferstler ferstle@attglobal.net
>>>> Date: 5/19/2004 8:33 AM Pacific Standard Time
>>>> Message-id: <07Lqc.6441$zw.4286@attbi_s01>
>>>
>>>> Note that some exotically designed wire (the Dunlavy Z6 in
>>>> my experience) does indeed flatten out the top octave a tad,
>>>> compared to, say, double-lead lamp cord, and so it might be
>>>> possible to hear subtle differences when using
>>>> broad-bandwidth sources like pink noise. However, with
>>>> music, no way.
>>>
>>> If this is true then the cables *do* sound different.
>>
>> That does not follow, as the results are usually within significantly
>> less than a dB at 20kHz. I've compared Kimber 8TC (electrically
>> similar to the Dunlavy) and Naim NACA5 (an exactly opposite
>> high-inductance construction) in 5 metre lengths on my 3-ohm speakers,
>> with no audible difference, although the 20kHz level *measured* about
>> 0.6dB higher on the Kimber.
>
> The question then is are those measured differences capable of producing an
> audible difference with pink noise? If no, and there is an audible difference
> with pink noise then there is more going on. If yes, then those measured
> differences do account for a real audible difference. Or maybe you think there
> is no audible difference even with pink noise? My assertion was premised on
> that claim.

He said that it was audible with pink noise. QED.
Anonymous
May 21, 2004 4:34:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Bromo wrote:
>
> On 5/19/04 11:33 AM, in article 07Lqc.6441$zw.4286@attbi_s01, "Howard
> Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:
>
> > If one is paranoid about switches they could have a friend
> > do the wire switching manually, but if they did that they
> > would have to make sure that the friend did not let you know
> > which wire was connected. Of course, the average
> > speaker-jack bond is probably as resistance loaded as your
> > typical good switch. Serious wire enthusiasts would solder
> > the leads to the speakers and to the amp.
>
> Heh - if you were really hard core - you could put one wire of one type on
> one speaker and the lamp cord on the other speaker and see if you felt it
> was different somehow!

Each speaker would sound different, even if the wires were
identical. Speakers will sound profoundly different in
different locations, due to room interactions. In addition,
with a pink-noise source two speakers even placed side by
side will sound outrageously different, even if they sound
identical with music.

Pink noise is a surprisingly good test tool for ear-only
work. I said as much in a couple of Stereo Review articles a
couple of decades back.

Howard Ferstler
Anonymous
May 21, 2004 4:52:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

S888Wheel wrote:
>
> >From: Howard Ferstler ferstle@attglobal.net
> >Date: 5/19/2004 8:33 AM Pacific Standard Time
> >Message-id: <07Lqc.6441$zw.4286@attbi_s01>

> >Note that some exotically designed wire (the Dunlavy Z6 in
> >my experience) does indeed flatten out the top octave a tad,
> >compared to, say, double-lead lamp cord, and so it might be
> >possible to hear subtle differences when using
> >broad-bandwidth sources like pink noise. However, with
> >music, no way.

> If this is true then the cables *do* sound different. The issue is the merits
> of those differences. So which do people here believe? That the differences are
> nonexistant or insignificant?

Again, this will be one of those last-post entries from me,
because these "debates" go on and on with nothing really
gained by either side - certainly not by me. You have no
idea how good it feels to back off and not play the usenet
group game for a while. Adds years to your life.

Anyway, yes, some wires (like the Dunlavy Z6) can sound
very, very slightly different with pink noise, but probably
will not sound that way for the vast majority of
enthusiasts, particularly those who have lived long enough
to earn the money required to afford those super cables.

Incidentally, the more expensive Dunlavy LCR Ultra wire
($995 vs $500) that I reviewed was much less complex in
construction than the Z6 stuff (twin strand, resembling
battery jumper cables with clear insulation, as opposed to
the multistrand, tubular design of the Z6) and it sounded
exactly the same as a similar length (12 feet) of 16-AWG
lamp cord.

Regarding the exotic Z6 version, the differences, with
normal cable lengths, will probably not amount to more than
a fraction of a dB at 20 kHz, and below 10 kHz there will be
no difference at all. One would have to be young and fit in
terms of hearing to hear the differences with pink noise,
and I simply cannot see how they would show up with a
musical-source input no matter how golden the ears.

Engineer Fred Davis has documented this phenomenon quite a
bit in several articles, and I even reproduced some of his
curves in my 1997 book, The Home Theater Companion. Fred and
I have worked together on some wire reviews, as well, for
The Sensible Sound. The wires included not only speaker
wires, but also interconnects and power cords. We both feel
that exotic wires are basically hyperbole.

I urge anyone who is really interested in the wire issue (I
no longer am, preferring to play around with things that
matter, like speakers, equalizers, and surround processors
in my reviewing work) to do the following bit of easy
research. Get some upscale speaker wires that they or some
sales clerk or some high-end magazine reviewer thinks are
superb and do some quick-switch comparisons between them and
some 16-AWG lamp cord. A switch box will have to be built,
but that is not hard to do. If they do not trust the
switches, have a friend help to do some blind comparing by
having them plug and unplug the cables during the comparison
series.

Better yet, do the comparing sighted at first. Then do it
blind, or better yet double blind with the help of a friend.
See what comes up.

If super speaker wires are all that super they should stand
out like the audible version of a sore thumb when compared
to lamp cord. I'll wager a friendly "good by" that the
differences will not be audible.

Howard Ferstler
Anonymous
May 21, 2004 9:10:10 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 5/20/04 8:34 PM, in article c8jiqr02qg7@news3.newsguy.com, "Howard
Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:

>> Heh - if you were really hard core - you could put one wire of one type on
>> one speaker and the lamp cord on the other speaker and see if you felt it
>> was different somehow!
>
> Each speaker would sound different, even if the wires were
> identical. Speakers will sound profoundly different in
> different locations, due to room interactions. In addition,
> with a pink-noise source two speakers even placed side by
> side will sound outrageously different, even if they sound
> identical with music.

Could you set it up so that you could put one cable on one speaker and
another on another - in an identical room and speakers matched to 0.05dB or
something really close ?

> Pink noise is a surprisingly good test tool for ear-only
> work. I said as much in a couple of Stereo Review articles a
> couple of decades back.

I believe it - broad band noise like that was experimented for sirens in
Europe awhile back beacue it was easy to hear and discern if the vehicle was
coming or going.
Anonymous
May 21, 2004 9:10:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 5/20/04 8:52 PM, in article fpcrc.88170$xw3.4945895@attbi_s04, "Howard
Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:

> Better yet, do the comparing sighted at first. Then do it
> blind, or better yet double blind with the help of a friend.
> See what comes up.

To use the term "wife" here - you could find a female friend that thinks you
are spending way too much on sound system stuff to tell you if there is any
difference. :-)
Anonymous
May 21, 2004 10:15:28 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 20 May 2004 22:58:16 GMT, s888wheel@aol.com (S888Wheel) wrote:

Stewart wrote:

>>They *may* be audible in some extreme cases, and they will simply
>>amount to a tiny reduction in high treble, typically less than the
>>variation between the two tweeters of your pair of speakers. If you
>>are paranoid about this, then use low-inductance cable.
>>--
>I am not paranoid at all. I am just looking for clarification of what people
>believe. I'm sorry but I'm still not sure where you stand here. I'm still not
>entirely clear if you believe the differences are non-existant or just
>insignificant. It looks like You are claiming nonexistance in your first
>paragraph and insignificance in your second.

I'd have thought that it's pretty obvious where I stand. I *measured*
a difference, but I could not *hear* any difference. I still know that
the physical difference exists, so I use low inductance cable for high
frequencies, to remove those niggling doubts.
--

Stewart Pinkerton | Music is Art - Audio is Engineering
Anonymous
May 22, 2004 8:22:31 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Bromo bromo@ix.netcom.com wrote:



>On 5/20/04 8:52 PM, in article fpcrc.88170$xw3.4945895@attbi_s04, "Howard
>Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:
>
>> Better yet, do the comparing sighted at first. Then do it
>> blind, or better yet double blind with the help of a friend.
>> See what comes up.
>
>To use the term "wife" here - you could find a female friend that thinks you
>are spending way too much on sound system stuff to tell you if there is any
>difference. :-)

I used to use my daughter when she was in her late teens and early 20s. She had
keen hearing an incredibly intense and wide-ranging musical interest and she
wasn't afraid to say what she heard (or refreshingly) didn't hear.
Anonymous
May 22, 2004 6:26:05 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

On 5/22/04 12:22 AM, in article c8mki702p89@news1.newsguy.com, "Nousaine"
<nousaine@aol.com> wrote:

> Bromo bromo@ix.netcom.com wrote:
>
>
>
>> On 5/20/04 8:52 PM, in article fpcrc.88170$xw3.4945895@attbi_s04, "Howard
>> Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:
>>
>>> Better yet, do the comparing sighted at first. Then do it
>>> blind, or better yet double blind with the help of a friend.
>>> See what comes up.
>>
>> To use the term "wife" here - you could find a female friend that thinks you
>> are spending way too much on sound system stuff to tell you if there is any
>> difference. :-)
>
> I used to use my daughter when she was in her late teens and early 20s. She
> had
> keen hearing an incredibly intense and wide-ranging musical interest and she
> wasn't afraid to say what she heard (or refreshingly) didn't hear.

Yup - my wife is that way, too. If she doesn't hear anything different -
there is no way we're going to do or get whatever is in question.

The current domestic situation is the "remastered" Elvis Constello stuff
released by Rhino - the master tapes we figure are so poorly mastered - that
the sound is permanently ruined - therefore we have found a use for the old
lousy sounding stereo system we have from way back - the music sound OK
there! :p 
Anonymous
July 11, 2004 9:40:54 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

"Howard Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote in message
news:07Lqc.6441$zw.4286@attbi_s01...
> Bromo wrote:
> >
> > On 5/17/04 7:00 PM, in article c8bg770fjk@news3.newsguy.com, "Howard
> > Ferstler" <ferstle@attglobal.net> wrote:
> >
> > > Bromo wrote:
>
> > >> I have kimber 4's, 16ga. zip cord and Romex 10 ga. I do notice
fairly
> > >> substantial changes between all three - mostly with bass
articulation, bass
> > >> level and timing in my speakers.
>
> > > What kind of comparing do you do?
>
> > For me it is strictly non-scientific "tweak and see if you hear a
> > difference" kind.
>
> This is part of the problem. Do some quick-switch
> comparisons, and to dramatize the impact compare some
> expensive/exotic stuff to basic 16 AWG lamp cord. I find
> that is the best way to highlight just how non-important
> exotic wire can be. Some guys will compare two different
> exotic wires, but the best way to really discover just how
> weird the wire scene is would be to compare some really
> expensive stuff to some really cheap stuff.
>
> Incidentally, while level matching is mandatory when
> comparing stuff like amps and CD players, it really is no
> big deal with wires, particularly if you are comparing short
> (under 15 foot) sections. The levels will automatically be
> close enough.
>
> Note that some exotically designed wire (the Dunlavy Z6 in
> my experience) does indeed flatten out the top octave a tad,
> compared to, say, double-lead lamp cord, and so it might be
> possible to hear subtle differences when using
> broad-bandwidth sources like pink noise. However, with
> music, no way.
>
> > I have a stereo amp - and plan on minimizing the difference in length
> > between it and the speakers - and put the minimum length of wire form it
to
> > the speakers - because despite all the controversy - audible or not -
the
> > less cable the better!
>
> I have run speaker leads up to 30 feet with no problems,
> provided the wire is heavy enough. My two primary systems (I
> have a third in the living room) make use of 12 AWG stranded
> and have runs of from 22 to 25 feet. The longest run is 40
> feet to one of my surround speakers.

Remember that whether a cable has a spectrum of its own or not. It
definately has an inheirant impedance which is nearly solely DC resistance
under 20kHz. At audio frequencies, inductance, capacitance and other
parasitic impedances are pretty much negligable. You start talking about 30
feet and the like, there will most likely be an audible difference due to
the DC resistance which is no longer negligable. But it's not the cable
directly. It's the loudspeaker's modified electromechanical properties that
make the difference; of which the internal DC resistance of the amp (damping
factor) and the cable between the amp and loudspeaker are components of the
total electromechanical circuit of the loudspeaker.

An increase of 10% in the total DC resistance is very audible, especially at
low frequencies where lots of current (energy) is needed to overcome
opposing inertial forces and keep cone excursion tight. I would say
(opinion) that you have to be below 5% in order to say that it could be
negligable. If the typical DC resistance of a woofer is 5.7 ohm, 10% is +/-
0.57 ohm. 30 feet of 12 gauge OFC cable gets close to this 0.5 ohm mark. If
you happen to have a 4 ohm woofer (typically 3.9 ohm) well it just got
worse. You could think of it in this way: Your expensive SS amp with a
damping factor of 300 becomes something like 100 with very fat, low DC
resistance, short run cables. With 20 feet of 12 gauge OFC the damping
factor just shrunk to about 30! Can you hear the difference? Maybe not.

>
> > > When I was comparing cables I built a switch box device that
> > > allowed me to toggle back and forth between the cables. The
> > > best way would have been to do the comparing blind or double
> > > blind, but since I could not hear differences anyway, I
> > > passed on that trick.
>
> > I would agree - though some of the more "far out" types would think that
> > somehow the switch was to blame! :-)
>
> I find the switch issue to be ironic. I mean, a switch does
> indeed a very small amount of resistance, and could add more
> if it were well worn. However, compared to other factors
> that is pretty minor, and it would at least impact both wire
> sets the same.
>
> If one is paranoid about switches they could have a friend
> do the wire switching manually, but if they did that they
> would have to make sure that the friend did not let you know
> which wire was connected. Of course, the average
> speaker-jack bond is probably as resistance loaded as your
> typical good switch. Serious wire enthusiasts would solder
> the leads to the speakers and to the amp.
>
> Yeah, I know that having a buddy (or wife) do the
> plug-unplug work for you would be tedious, but if we are
> talking about paying 25 cents a foot for wire or paying ten
> bucks a foot it looks like the effort would be worthwhile.
>
> > > Note that in one case I was comparing stuff like Dunlavy LCR
> > > Ultra cables (12-foot sections, with a list price of $995)
> > > against 16-AWG lamp cord purchased at a hardware store. They
> > > sounded the same, even when I bumped the lamp cord out to 24
> > > feet.
>
> > Wow - what kind of speakers do you use?
>
> I have three different main sets in my main systems: Allison
> IC-20s (biggest system), Dunlavy Cantatas (middle system),
> and NHT ST4s (living-room system). (There are also numerous
> speakers used in the surround channels of all three
> systems.)
>
> However, as part of my speaker reviewing work for The
> Sensible Sound I also made use of some Waveform MC
> satellites in combination with MC.1 unpowered subwoofers,
> Triad Silver satellites, Axiom Satellites, Tyler Acoustics
> satellites, and some NHT M6 satellites, plus a pair of
> Dunlavy SC-II systems running full bandwidth. Admittedly,
> the satellite packages made use of powered subwoofers, and
> so any bass differences would be obscured. However, my own
> systems, plus that Waveform sub/sat package and the Dunlavy
> SC-II pair made use of the wire over full bandwidth.
>
> > I noticed a difference with Thiels
> > and a NAD amp with Kimber and Romex. I know a lot of people want to
call me
> > crazy or hearing some sort of illusion - but if I manage to become
> > independetly wealthy where I could pursue rigorous studies without fear
of
> > unemployment - that might be worth a look.
>
> I am not sure about single-strand Romex, because it might
> not clamp up as well as stranded wire, and I am also not
> sure of its LCR characteristics. Generally, I recommend that
> people who are running wire through the attic or under a
> crawl space use the stranded, low-voltage stuff that is
> normally used for low-voltage outdoor lighting. I have that
> in my middle system, and it is available in 16-, 14-, and
> 12-AWG sizes. And it is cheap.
>
> > > Now, it would be possible to maybe hear differences with
> > > pink noise, which allows for a comparison to be kind of like
> > > a visual-chart test for the eyes. With longer leads and
> > > skinny enough wire there would be a slight drop in level,
> > > compared to a shorter, thicker set, and under some
> > > conditions certain kinds of speaker wire would maybe not
> > > roll off the treble above 10 kHz as much.
>
> > That is what it sounded like to me - Romex (5' each) to the Kimer 4's
(12'
> > each) - I was prepared to think that I was hearing things except the
bass
> > was much fuller (no change to the volume knob) and my wife came in from
> > gardening and asked if I was fiddling with the tone controls.
>
> I have heard this "my wife heard differences easily"
> commentary before, and I continue to believe that it
> involves the wife simply listening from a different location
> to a different piece of music. Standing-wave propagation
> would have an impact here. It also may involve their desire
> to humor a husband.
>
> My living-room system makes use of 4-foot sections of 12-AWG
> wire that is very similar to the big standard Monster stuff
> (purchased at Home Depot years ago for 33 cents a foot). I
> use it, because it looks better than black or brown wire
> against the hard-wood floors in there. In any case, I have
> also used it during some comparisons and it sounded the same
> as 16-AWG lamp cord sections 24 feet long. Again, this was
> with music.
>
> Actually, a while back I had a chance to fool with an ABX
> device and although I was mainly interested in comparing a
> variety of amplifiers, I also compared some wire (in one
> case, comparing a cheap amp/wire combination to an expensive
> wire/amp combination), and I simply could not reliably spot
> differences. Neither could several guests that I invited
> over.
>
> Given the way some enthusiasts laud the easily superior
> performance of some wire (and amps), the whole procedure
> strongly burnished my already profound skepticism.
>
> > >With the Dunlavy
> > > Z6 wire (the set I reviewed had a list price of over $500),
> > > which was a bundled group of wires around a spaced
> > > perimeter, a difference might show up against the lamp cord,
> > > due to its unusual LCR characteristics.
>
> > I don't think that price equates to performance, but I was surprised to
find
> > differences. I am glad you seem open minded enough to entertain that
there
> > might be a difference in some cases.
>
> Yep. If one listens a lot to pink noise those wires might
> make a small but to some people meaningful difference.
> Fortunately for me, I prefer listening to music.
>
> Howard Ferstler
>
!