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speaker cables stranded vs solid


dnanstad
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On 5/7/2020 at 7:43 AM, Don Richard said:

 

Because that is all that is necessary?

 

If one looked inside an electronic device, one would find numerous parts that cost 0nly 10-25 cents each. Because that's all that is necessary to do the job. 

 

Don, the thing is that I can hear the difference.  With most speakers, a 2-step increase in speaker wire size (18 to 14, 16 to 12, etc.) gives an improvement in dynamics that most listeners can hear.  Klipsch speakers, with their typically much higher sensitivity, might need a 3-step increase in size before the improvement becomes obvious.  Since this requires a change from the 16 gauge of the typical zip cord all the way to 10 gauge, a size that most audio fans might find excessive, the improvements won’t be heard by many.  In fact, Klipsch Heritage Series speakers, in particular, can get by with smaller cables, but for the little extra it costs, why not go for the improvement?

 

In my twenties and thirties, I raced motorcycles, and we’d be looking for the slightest advantage, wherever it could be found, like using a non-O-ring drive chain for the reduced friction, and changing the gearing depending on which way the wind was blowing along the front straight, for example.  If you can gain just two feet on your rivals after a one-mile lap, that’s twenty feet over ten laps, which could gain you a podium placing or even a win at the end of the race.  Naturally, that means little without the skill and determination to get yourself near the front in the first place, but you see what I’m getting at.

 

To put it another way, suppose it takes a 10% improvement in your system before the difference is audible.  If you do something that makes a 2% improvement, you won’t hear it, but if you make five different 2% improvements, now the cumulative improvements are audible.  When I’m sitting on my sofa, enjoying my favourite music, I don’t want to feel that I’ve left any weaknesses in the system unaddressed, so that’s why I want to know that my amplifiers can get the best possible grip on the drivers, and I expect that’s the same reason that some members here spend time braiding their speaker wires, for just one example.  Maybe it’s hard to hear the difference for you and me, and it might even be difficult for the owner of the system, who’s the person most familiar with it, but even sub-audible differences add up.

 

So that’s what I think.

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1 hour ago, Islander said:

When I’m sitting on my sofa, enjoying my favourite music, I don’t want to feel that I’ve left any weaknesses in the system unaddressed, so that’s why I want to know that my amplifiers can get the best possible grip on the drivers, and I expect that’s the same reason that some members here spend time braiding their speaker wires, for just one example.

 

And then old age comes along and ruins everything. Speaking only for myself, of course.

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1 hour ago, Edgar said:

 

And then old age comes along and ruins everything. Speaking only for myself, of course.

 

Old age does ruin some things, but at least now I can afford the home of my dreams and the sound system of my dreams.  In my youth, I had lots of energy and did lots of fun and exciting things, so I have many great memories to recall whenever I like. Some day, I’ll make a list of all the concerts I’ve attended, and it will be a long one.

 

And as my father used to say, “Money can’t buy you happiness, but at least you can be miserable in comfort.”  I live in great comfort, so it’s just a matter of adjusting my mood to match.  It’s a bright sunny day here, and while things could always be better, they’re not bad.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/7/2020 at 2:26 PM, Islander said:

Don, the thing is that I can hear the difference.  With most speakers, a 2-step increase in speaker wire size (18 to 14, 16 to 12, etc.)

 

You were writing about cost, not wire size. I generally use 12 ga. but on the tweeter (tri-amped) I use #14. The audible difference between 12 ga. stranded copper wires with the same number of individual conductors making up the strands is negligible, IMO, regardless of cost.

 

If anyone is considering purchasing $1000+ on speaker wires, know this - you would achieve better results spending $50 on the wires and $950 on room treatments. The audible difference is not even close.

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On 5/23/2020 at 9:57 AM, Don Richard said:

 

You were writing about cost, not wire size. I generally use 12 ga. but on the tweeter (tri-amped) I use #14. The audible difference between 12 ga. stranded copper wires with the same number of individual conductors making up the strands is negligible, IMO, regardless of cost.

 

If anyone is considering purchasing $1000+ on speaker wires, know this - you would achieve better results spending $50 on the wires and $950 on room treatments. The audible difference is not even close.

 

I was?  I wouldn't buy big-money speaker cables unless I was convinced they sound much better than what I'm using, and they were available for 90% off.  30 feet of 8 gauge Karma Kables at $1.65 a foot might sound expensive to some, but hell, why use cheaper junk, like 16 gauge lamp cord, when the signal is coming out of a power amp whose MSRP was $5,000 US when it was new?  And the signal is going into a La Scala II, a heavily-modified one at that.  The 10 gauge tweeter wire is only $1.09 a foot, so it's a bargain, too. and its amp also cost $5,000, so cheaping out on speaker wire doesn't sound sensible at all. 

 

As for spending $1000 on speaker wires, what you said does make sense, referring to room treatments.  My room does have some treatment.  

 

Size-wise, 12 gauge is plenty, especially with Klipsch speakers, but I just went for the bigger size because it might help a little, and it didn't cost much.

 

Are we understanding each other, or are we misreading something?  I think we're in agreement, but I'm not quite sure.

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