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    Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

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    deepee99

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    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by deepee99 on Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:35 pm

    These guys are always entertaining, but here is a very common-sense discussion about what matters and doesn't matter (along some useful charts) on how to choose among speaker cables.
    http://www.audioholics.com/audio-video-cables/speaker-cable-length-differences-do-they-matter

    wildiowa

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    Join date : 2012-03-19

    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by wildiowa on Sat Jul 30, 2016 3:51 pm

    I always bought and used the largest size copper zip cord I could find at True Value or local hardware store and called it a day.

    corndog71

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by corndog71 on Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:54 pm

    A better cable is what turned me into an audiophile.  No snake oil.  Just a good design.

    http://www.audioholics.com/gadget-reviews/kimber-kable-8tc-speaker-cable

    deepee99

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by deepee99 on Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:33 pm

    corndog71 wrote:A better cable is what turned me into an audiophile.  No snake oil.  Just a good design.

    http://www.audioholics.com/gadget-reviews/kimber-kable-8tc-speaker-cable

    I confess that I'm a bit of a cable-holic myself. I run silver wire to the speaks and un-shielded silver interconnects where I can. They do make a difference and are worth it if you don't go overboard and can keep 'em away from the line-voltage AC. Paul at Clear Day Cables is a helluva nice guy, charges minimal, and puts on very fine terminations. Silver is actually a more efficient conductor than gold. If you're thinking of upgrading your cables, I'd go to him. He sells on AudioGoner but you can work a better private deal with Paul. And no, I'm not on commission.


    j4570

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by j4570 on Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:58 am

    I know many of have read it, but Roger Russell has a good article on wire (among other things, his website is a good read, whether you agree with him or not).

    http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm

    Jason

    deepee99

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by deepee99 on Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:36 am

    j4570 wrote:I know many of have read it, but Roger Russell has a good article on wire (among other things, his website is a good read, whether you agree with him or not).

    http://www.roger-russell.com/wire/wire.htm

    Jason

    Good ol' Roger Russell. He and Gordon Gow were the faces of McIntosh. I had the privilege of attending one of their clinics/workshops in Oregon decades ago. Learned a lot. They used to travel the country, offering to tweak or fix any of their products, gratis, at any of their dealerships. Now that was customer service! I remember an article of his describing development of the ML-1 speaker, which was the first truly good-sounding acoustic suspension design ever made -- if you used their EQ.
    Glad to see he's still writing no-nonsense stuff.


    Dave_in_Va

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by Dave_in_Va on Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:01 pm

    Wow..that's alot to read.
    On Bob Latino's recommendation here, I went with Signal Cables which are inexpensive and well made. Good enough for Bob, good enough for me.

    http://signalcable.com/analogone.html

    deepee99

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by deepee99 on Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:07 pm

    Blue Jeans Cable in Seattle make very fine cables and interconnects, excellent terminations and at a budget price. They're the only outfit that uses Belden cable as well. Hard to beat.

    bubbasweet

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    Join date : 2016-03-14

    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by bubbasweet on Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:45 am

    Speaking of snake oil anyone seen the tube ads on Ebay lately lol... Pretty sick.

    deepee99

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:33 pm

    bubbasweet wrote:Speaking of snake oil anyone seen the tube ads on Ebay lately lol... Pretty sick.
    Bubba, indeed:
    I'm done with allegedly NOS tubes, especially on Feebay. Their failure rate is no lower than the better offerings from China and Russia, which cost a third or a fourth of the antique stuff. There are, obviously, exceptions, but they ain't worth it in most cases, IMHO. There's definitely a price bubble forming in the NOS department. The tube audio market is tiny compared with the s/s consumer market, and these guys are flooding this fairly static  clientele with overpriced merchandise. Dunno where all these NOS tubes are emerging from, either. Were they military rejects in the first place that some folks bought a carload of at a ham-fest?
    Just from personal listening experience, I think the Russians and Chinese have got a grasp on quality control and have realised there's a small but steady clientele for well-made tubes. I'd put a Gold Lion KT-88 up against an antique TS or GE 6550 any old day, at least in a VTA amp. And I can't tell the difference between a good Chinese 6SN7 and my beloved Sylvanias and RCAs from the '40s and '50s in the driver and preamp holes. Novals may be a different story, but we're still talking about paying $200 for a tube that retailed for $5 in the 1950s. I think the NOS bubble will burst so, unload what you've got while the price is right. Smile


    Last edited by deepee99 on Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:36 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Diction)

    Peter W.

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by Peter W. on Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:55 pm

    >>Their failure rate is no lower than the better offerings from China<< Snippage.

    China has no "better" offerings for tubes Rolling Eyes . Only worse or wretched ones. For the record.

    Peter Wieck
    Melrose Park, PA

    bubbasweet

    Posts : 53
    Join date : 2016-03-14

    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by bubbasweet on Thu Aug 11, 2016 1:30 am

    There is so much BS on the net. NOS can be great or can suck. Great tubes can be purchased from all countries. The BS in the NOS tube listing on Ebay is 2nd to none though. I feel sorry for the nieve.

    bluemeanies

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by bluemeanies on Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:54 am

    Years ago I purchased a pair of MIT Terminator ll cable from a buddy of mine who was selling his whole system because of a career move and downsizing. The cables originally sold for $600.00 at in the day that was a lot of money. My price was $250.00. Over the years I went thru many speaker cables because I would change up my system. The latest change was in March of last year and because of my newly acquired m125 mono-blocks the fact I was using the same speakers for two different applications (HT & 2channel) I needed 2pairs at a longer distance.
    Over the years I compared my MIT with BJC, Legend, and another brand whose name escapes me. The point is for me I heard no difference between any of the cables to make a noticable advantage in sound. I always was tempted to purchase silver however I did not want to invest in a lot of money silver, being high in price.
    I decided on 2pairs of Nakamichi cables, well made and they did not empty my wallet.

    bubbasweet

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by bubbasweet on Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:41 am

    They did a study on that here on tv a while back.. cables being gold tipped VS Dollar store RCA and everything in between cables with audio experts here and a scope. They did not find a difference.

    corndog71

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by corndog71 on Thu Aug 11, 2016 12:00 pm

    I started with Kimber PBJ in my car stereo between my deck and amp and the improvement in detail, separation and clarity compared to an ordinary pair of interconnects was surprising to say the least. To me they sound better than most shielded interconnects which for me leave a slight haze over the sound and obscure detail. I found this even from Blue Jeans cables. (Love their video cables though!)

    I experimented with Kimber's 4PR, 4VS, 4TC and 8TC speaker cables. I couldn't really discern much difference between zip cord and the 4PR. 4VS was noticeably better than zip and 4PR. More detail, clarity, separation, etc. (These are the hallmarks of Kimber's sound.) 4TC is not a dramatic jump over the 4VS but I did feel like there was just a little more resolution of detail. 8TC has the detail of 4TC but brings better bass clarity, and a little more overall warmth to the sound. I've also compared these to Audioquest Type 4 and 6 and found the AQ cables obscured detail and darken the sound as if someone threw a towel over the speaker.

    If you're curious and don't want to spend a ton of money then consider trying Kimber's Timbre or PBJ with 4VS speaker cables.

    deepee99

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    Location : Wallace, Idaho

    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by deepee99 on Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:11 pm

    A bit off-topic, but this advice today from my friend the retired Fluke engineer:
    "Standard practice at Fluke was to NEVER put a gold pin in a nickel or tin socket or vice versa. The combination is worse that using base metals for both sides. I don't understand the chemistry, but apparently in low-current situations, some non-conductive substance forms at the interface and it gets intermittent or noisy. Gold pins only go in gold sockets, and gold sockets are only used for gold pins. Aluminum is never used. Silver and bare copper are for high-current only, or for measuring extremely low voltages (microvolts) where you need to keep the temperatures of both sides equalized to reduce thermocouple effects. Very thin gold plating on contacts tends to get worn off with just a few insertions and then you have unknown whatever (nickel? copper? phosphor bronze)."

    Dogstar

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    Join date : 2014-06-23

    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by Dogstar on Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:41 pm

    I don't have the ability to check speaker wire but I did do a comparison of my good CD player with good RCA cables and my not so good CD player and my not so good RCA cables. My good CD Is a Cambridge Audio 651 Azur and my not so good one is a Sony 5 disc carousel. I used AudioQuest RCA cables with my good CD player and those cheap RCA cables...you know. The one with red and white connectors.

    To be honest I could NOT hear much if a difference.

    The constants were my VTA ST-120, Cary SLP100 and my custom Klipsche speakers.

    I happened to have two identical CDs and I hit the play buttons at the same time (within milliseconds) and the only thing I had to do was switch the source selector on the preamp.

    Maybe my hearing is shot. I am 58.  My hobbies include motorcycling with a Harley and loud pipes. I go shooting. I program and run CNC machines in our showroom and I've been to my share of loud concerts and clubs when I was younger.

    I think the sound quality may have become more noticeably different if I let the amp warm up longer.


    Last edited by Dogstar on Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:43 am; edited 1 time in total

    Peter W.

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by Peter W. on Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:07 am

    [quote="Dogstar"]I don't have the ability to check speaker wire but I did do a comparison of my good CD player with good RCA cables and my not so good CD player and my not so good RCA cables. My good CD Is a Cambridge Audio 651 Azur and my not so good one is a Sony 5 disc carousel. I used AudioQuest RCA cables with my good CD player and those cheap RCA cables...you know. The one with red and white connectors.

    To be honest I could ((NOT)) hear much if a difference. << Snippage

    I took the liberty of adding "not". If I was wrong forgive me.

    A CD player, any CD player will make the D/A converter within it from a finite universe of chips, all designed to do pretty much the same thing. After which, the rest is up to the amp and speakers. So the $39 Discman will mostly have the same chips in it as the $4,500+ Maximo Exotica, the difference being packaging, power-supply, yiches, longevity, eyewash and blather in no particular order.

    Any set of patch cords, once past the most basic build quality and capacity (both actual and current-carrying properties) can have no effect on sound quality.

    So, other than minute timing differences, possible minute volume differences - which can be very noticeable - there will not be much of a difference in CD players.  Your results should be no surprise to anyone.

    Dogstar

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by Dogstar on Tue Aug 16, 2016 7:58 am

    Sorry about leaving the 'NOT' out. It obviously changes the meaning of the sentence completely. But you got what I meant. Thank you.

    I was at AXPONA 2016 here in the Chicago area last spring and there were so many cable manufacturers there it was ridiculous. One company in mind was SilNote Audio that offers for sale nothing but very expensive cables. I sat in on one of their tests and like Rob Russel wrote in his article, the company owner spent about 10 minutes swapping out all of the cables on his system from cheap cables to SilNote Audio cables and through smoke and mirrors and some hocus pocus there was supposedly a drastic difference in sound. There was one guy in the audience that I saw in multiple company exhibits that was the first to exclaim 'Wow! What an improvement in sonic quality! I can't see how anyone wouldn't want to buy these cables!' I believe he may have been a writer for some audio publication that got paid to promote the products.

    Right now I'm sitting in my bathtub writing this so forgive me for not knowing the exact product. Usually I'm not a fan of Radio Shack products. It seems most of them are overpriced and marketed towards those that do not know. However while on the hunt for Deoxit I walked into a RS store and asked the sales associate for Deoxit and he walked me over to the Cell Phone Accessories section of the store and then told me he wasn't sure exactly where it was but he knew it was a cell phone accessory. Afterwards I wandered around the store and found what I was looking for and I also happened to find 50 foot spools of speaker cables that claim to be 12 gauge. The cable was much better looking than lamp cord which is what I've been using all my life so I took a chance and bought a spool. 12 foot runs were long enough for me so I cut it into four pieces and stripped the ends and attached my 4 dollar banana plugs to them. I plugged them in and found they did not detract from the sound. The amazing thing about the cable is that the 50 foot spool was only $30.

    Is anyone familiar with this cable and is there anything wrong with it. I know I did not post the exact product but as I said I'm in the bathtub and I'm getting ready for a doctors appointment. I will find the product and post a link later today.

    Peter W.

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by Peter W. on Tue Aug 16, 2016 8:16 am

    Cables and interconnects are the first and last refuge for audio scoundrels. Minimal material costs combined with massive profit potential and wild, but entirely subjective claims that simply cannot be proven (or disproven) make an attractive venue for those of limited ethics.

    And, of course, audio venues will never threaten their revenue stream.

    tubes4hifi
    Admin

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by tubes4hifi on Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:04 pm

    I'm a strong believer in VALUE, not in crazy high prices.
    Since so many Radio Shacks have gone out of business, here's another place to find very good quality speaker wire at a decent price.
    (oh yeah, don't search for "speaker cable", search for "speaker wire"   big difference!!
    Spend your money on tubes and music, not crazy claims to make someone else $$
    50 feet of 10g (huge) wire for $37    http://www.parts-express.com/audtek-electronics-skrl-10-50-10-awg-ofc-speaker-wire-50-ft--100-028
    or more reasonable 50 feet of 12g for $24 http://www.parts-express.com/audtek-electronics-skrl-12-50-12-awg-ofc-speaker-wire-50-ft--100-024

    deepee99

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Aug 16, 2016 12:09 pm

    tubes4hifi wrote:I'm a strong believer in VALUE, not in crazy high prices.
    Since so many Radio Shacks have gone out of business, here's another place to find very good quality speaker wire at a decent price.
    (oh yeah, don't search for "speaker cable", search for "speaker wire"   big difference!!
    Spend your money on tubes and music, not crazy claims to make someone else $$
    50 feet of 10g (huge) wire for $37    http://www.parts-express.com/audtek-electronics-skrl-10-50-10-awg-ofc-speaker-wire-50-ft--100-028
    or more reasonable 50 feet of 12g for $24    http://www.parts-express.com/audtek-electronics-skrl-12-50-12-awg-ofc-speaker-wire-50-ft--100-024

    Yep, what Roy said.

    corndog71

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by corndog71 on Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:05 pm

    I'm a little surprised that some of you guys are so quick to write off cable differences but can gush endlessly about the sonic differences of a tube or a cap which has a much shorter signal path.

    tubes4hifi
    Admin

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by tubes4hifi on Tue Aug 16, 2016 2:56 pm

    just my own opinion, and I have not done a ton of research and/or listening with my own personal system,
    but it's my thought that differences in speaker CABLES (as opposed to simple high quality wire) will make ALOT more difference
    when connected to the output of transistor(s) that are driving the cable directly, and is influenced by many factor including capacitance, resistance, inductance, etc.
    compared to using a tube amp with an output transformer (with a ratio of 500:1, or more correctly 4000:Cool where any difference is going to be minuscule.
    (I'm sure someone somewhere will tell me those differences are going to be magnified, but which end of the telescope or microscope are you looking thru?).
    On the other hand, in dealing with smaller signals, especially those from a turntable (microvolts), the coil of the cartridge coupled to an interconnect to a preamp,
    I can see (and hear) where that cable with all of it's characteristics can be more important than the characteristics of the tube(s) driving the cable.
    (Roy's theory of relativity if you wish . . . Smile )
    I'm basing this on my own pair of ears, of course each person hears things differently and subjectively, which is why I don't like to recommend particular tubes,
    as opposed to giving someone an idea of what I perceive as characteristics that other customers seem to agree with, such as octal vs noval, which is a whole another discussion!! Smile
    Maybe the Mundorf silver-oil caps at $45 each is a better comparison, fully 100% of every customer who has upgraded to those can hear a HUGE difference in sound quality!
    Let me add (or remind) that my major philosophy of hi-fi is that relative value is my main consideration, so when you can get 90% of the sound for 10% of the price,
    (think of a $5K system compared to a $50K system) then that's where I'd like to be.   My own real world (not the fantasy of Audio Perfection, Absolute Sound, StereoSilly).
    But I suppose I could be disillusioned in much the same way as those who have $200K systems on the other extreme.
    BTW, I do agree with your comments on 4TC and 8TC, and for interconnects, PBJ and Blue Jeans are reasonable.
    Things like SilTech, MIT, and others are for those with $20K transistor amps. They don't have a clue what they are missing with a $2K tube amp!!

    corndog71

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    Re: Interesting discussion on speaker cable snake-oil

    Post by corndog71 on Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:36 pm

    I'm with you on the value aspect. Mike Fremer of Stereophile once wrote something like "If $10K for an audio component is too much for you then you're in the wrong hobby."

    I completely disagree as my entire stereo is under $10K and it competes very well with most of the outrageously expensive systems I've heard at Axpona with the exception of the really large scale systems. And I don't need movers to help me move it! And I built most of it with my own hands! cheers

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