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ChipByrd

Novice wire and cable questions.

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Let me say upfront, over the past couple weeks I have received some really helpful advice from this forum.  This has been great because I am just getting into this.  Anyway... here's where I am:

I have a pair of Chorus speakers.  I have ordered new crossovers and the titanium tweeter kit from Bob Crites.  I have settled on the Cambridge Audio 650A for power.  And I have an Arcam rDac-kw to play my digital music.  Now... Here's the new question:

When I look at the back of the Chorus, there are two posts.  On the Cambridge, there are two sets of two posts.  Do I just use one set on the Cambridge?  And what kind of wires should I use to connect the (older) Klipsch to the (new) Cambridge.  Some wires seem ridiculously expensive.  If it will make a noticeable improvement in sound, I would use consider spending up to $75 - 100.

Thanks again for the friendly advice and your patience.  I am sure that this is sooo basic for many on the list.  My next series of questions will be about speaker placement... But the question of the day are sufficient :-).

Chip (the Novice)

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You want to use the top row on the Cambridge (A). The bottom could be used for another room. Get some 14 gauge cable from Monoprice.com and you will be all set. Hope this helps.

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If you have any old spool of CAT 5 wire laying around like I do, you can make great speaker wire from it. There are threads all over about the great way to recycle this obsolete network wire. Some people go to the trouble of stripping the shielding off and brading it. Very time consuming I expect! They then buy some of that shielding stuff that is like a chinese finger puzzle and reshield it. They can get quite fancy. [:)]

If it were me, I would twist 4 of the wires together twice and connect them to the + and - terminals and be done with it.

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Welcome to the forum, Chip.

Regarding the number of post pairs. I've looked at some information about the 650 and see that it has A and B speaker outputs. Check your manual. If you don't have one it should be possible to download one.

Since about 1975 it is common that amps have two pair of electrical connections -- being for speaker set A and B. It is mostly fluff in my view -- but some people do have two sets, perhaps one set in the next room.

I'd suggest you use the A connections simply because in some amps this is the pair which works by default. You'd be surprised but some people don't investigate this matter. There is probably a setting for A or B or both - or even neither (for headphone use). Some people don't investigate and wonder why things are not working.

As far as speaker wire and connections to equipment: In my view and that of the basic engineering types, there is no need to go to anything expensive. Radio Shack has basic interconnects with gold plated connctors. I use even more basic, often. All you need is a good electrical connection. For connection to the speakers, I use 16 gauge zip cord.

The expensive stuff has two functions: It is just hucksterism by the seller and just wishful thinking by the buyer. Both functions go up with price of the item..

People here are sick of reading it, but I always write: You can't make things better by solving a problem which does not exist.

Smile,

WMcD

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[Y][Y]

The principles of skin effect, strand diameters, wire strand count, alloy type, measured (as in documented) impedance by length, and general construction techniques if sold as "finished" (connector soldering, etc.) in most speaker wire made or produced by reputable companies (or manufacturers in the case of simple plain wire) is minimally different to the point of not being consequential for most of our purposes.

I use the term "reputable". Not expensive, no weird claims of "sonic presence", no claims of strange proprietary insulation and cryo-techniques, etc.

[8-|]

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Back to Bill McDermott, you seem to be of the Rodger Russell way of thinking when it comes to spkr wire.I have to totally agree w/ you that 16 gu zip is fine unless the run is extrodinarily long.Now some of the Polkies swear by the the most expensive wire on the planet and that's fine but to what end.Does it make it sound any better on a 10' run no, not ever.

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im going between 25-30ft with 18ga wire without any issue. it was a bunch of cat6 cable given to me. to be fair, the techflexx, cable pants, and banana plugs i added DO make it sound like a million bucks and certainly looks better than a bunch of geek cables. :P

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Good to hear from you Leftwinger.

Please don't call me Bill. Gil, William, WMcD or even Will is okay. Thanks.

For the record.

I don't object to people wanting nice looking wires or any other equipment.

In my view there is no technical advantage to super wire. I used an LMS system to test zip cord at the feed end and the speaker end. There is no measured difference. The wire is not lossy. As people point out, if you go to long runs, then you might need something thicker.

As far as measurements of super wire. I have never seen any of the advertisements for super wire showing on a response graph that a reasonable lenght run of zip cord is failing and theirs is better. A reasonable inference is that they would submit such data if it exists.

The ads mention various well accepted criteria for transmission lines such as capacity and inductance. What is never discussed in ads is how the values of such wire compares to the capacity and inductance of the speaker load. It takes some math and I should write it up. But the speaker input has capacitance and inductance, shifting plus and minus j, far in excess of what any feed wire contributes to the loop. All speaker inputs have this unless there is a lot of compensating components in the crossover circuit.

So I go back to my credo. You can't make things better by solving a problem which does not exist.

Look at the situation: The sellers of super wire have not ever shown or claimed that the signal at the output of your amp is not the same as what is delivered to the input to your speakers with zip cord, or their product, by any measureable standard.

They have not shown that any problem exists. Yet they suggest that their product solves . . . something . . . and you you should spend money.

My rant.

WMcD

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use the term "reputable". Not expensive, no weird claims of "sonic presence", no claims of strange proprietary insulation and cryo-techniques, etc.

Here is a list from Audioholics - they are folks who test cables and the like - that one may use to help determine if cables are snake oil or not:

http://www.audioholics.com/education/cables/top-ten-signs-an-audio-cable-vendor-is-selling-you-snake-oil

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