speaker wire ?

amplifiers, receivers and loudspeakers
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jujodad
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by jujodad » 05 Jun 2018 23:22

I agree that 12 awg would work well, however the 10awg was less than 12awg. When it come to conductance bigger is always better, at some point that becomes foolish of course. A couple of my runs will be over 100 ft, both condutors considered. Pushing up to 6 or 7 amps resistance begins to become an issue.

RobertinMn2
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by RobertinMn2 » 05 Jun 2018 23:26

those are some long runs. I always wonder if mine are too long at around 25' each. I did not want the gear stacked below the screen and between speakers. I like it all stacked on the bookshelves on the far side of the stone fireplace.

jdjohn
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by jdjohn » 08 Jun 2018 02:31

cats squirrel wrote:I'm putting together a cheapo sound system (vinyl based) using a £10 class D amplifier and JPW Sonata speakers. Although the 'speakers were deemed very good in their day, the little class D amplifier is questionable. To wire the two together I used silicone covered hook-up wire, of half decent size.

The sound was good, a little bass heavy, and lacking a bit of treble sparkle. There was a little distortion, from time to time.

Two days ago, I replaced this wire with Cambridge Audio Ultra100 cable, a multi-stranded silver coated copper wire. I was not expecting a changed (I just wanted the hook-up wire!), but a change there was! I've been sceptical, up until now, a piece of wire is just a piece of wire**, after all! BUT, the bass bloom has disappeared, treble is sparkling again, and the distortion banished. Ambient sounds (and breath noises) are much clearer.

My estimation of the amplifier (and 'speakers) has gone up (already quite high), so I would suggest you look at good quality 'speaker leads if you want to max the goodness in your hifi kit.

** of course wire is wire, but into that equation must be added amplifier and loudspeaker, most amplifiers and 'speakers are not the same, so results will differ.
Yep. Some systems benefit more than others with 'better' speaker cabling. As the amp current goes up, and speaker load impedance goes down (which is actually more load), the difference in speaker wire becomes more apparent.

jdjohn
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by jdjohn » 08 Jun 2018 02:44

RobertinMn2 wrote:The signal flows through the wires, not on them. Silver coated wire is a waste of money. You just got better copper, that's all.
I believe it has been proven scientifically that the signal actually does flow on the surface of the wire.

LD100
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by LD100 » 08 Jun 2018 03:10

jdjohn wrote:
RobertinMn2 wrote:The signal flows through the wires, not on them. Silver coated wire is a waste of money. You just got better copper, that's all.
I believe it has been proven scientifically that the signal actually does flow on the surface of the wire.
I believe you are referring to the "skin effect".
Skin Effect happens in all wire and in any metal object that conducts a signal, such as a trace on a circuit board or antennas, etc.

When the "signal" is DC, it uses the entire conductor, with the same amount of current flowing in the center of each wire as on the outside of the wire. As the signal changes frequency the signal begins to move more to the outside of the conductor than the inside.
For audio frequencies, which are pretty low frequencies in the spectrum, this effect is slight and of minor concern regarding audio speaker wire.

If we are speaking of AC and/or frequencies in MHz or GHz, then the skin effect becomes a valid concern.

Whether silver (which conducts electricity better than copper) is "worth the money" over copper is up to the person spending the money. :D

Solid silver, rather than silver coated copper, would be my preference...but unfortunately, my wallet is empty. #-o

cafe latte
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by cafe latte » 08 Jun 2018 06:13

The misunderstanding about how wires do their thing is even coming out in this thread, like electrons only moving on the outside of the conductor. This is what the snake oil sellers are feeding on and it is easy as there is so much misunderstanding.
Chris

RobertinMn2
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by RobertinMn2 » 08 Jun 2018 19:38

cafe latte wrote:The misunderstanding about how wires do their thing is even coming out in this thread, like electrons only moving on the outside of the conductor. This is what the snake oil sellers are feeding on and it is easy as there is so much misunderstanding.
Chris
Yep. Hence the nonsense of silver plated wire.

jdjohn
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by jdjohn » 08 Jun 2018 23:57

Come on, guys. The 'Skin Effect' has been known since the late 1800s, and shows up in every electrical engineering textbook you read. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skin_effect It does not say electrons only move on the outside of the conductor. It says that in AC situations (only), more current travels near the surface of a conductor, and less current in the middle.

The thickness of this 'skin' varies with gauge of the wire, the material used (Cu, Al, Ag), and the frequency of the transmission. Regarding frequency, the higher it is, the thinner the skin becomes (i.e., more current near the surface), and resistance increases. But LD100 has already mentioned the fact that in audio frequencies, this is not a major concern. With silver coated wire, high frequency playback may be impacted by the coating due to the lower resistance of the silver, plus having it in that 'thin skin' area on the surface. Actually, you don't have to look far to find reviews of silver wires where a person says the highs were brittle, unpleasant, etc. So in theory, it can make a difference (maybe for the worse), but it's really more marketing hype and an easy way to jack-up price by simply slapping-on a silver coating without much thought to design. Hmmm...what about copper-coated aluminum???

Skin Effect is real, not snake oil...but it is MORE real in industrial applications at higher frequencies. Some speaker wire makers are trying to solve a problem that really doesn't exist in the audio realm, although they're using real science to try and make their case for it.

RobertinMn2
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by RobertinMn2 » 09 Jun 2018 00:34

Aluminum anything is s**t when it comes to electricity. That's why it's used for mounting cartridges, face plates, etc..

When power companies went over it it and they tried using aluminum or copper plated aluminum in house wiring it caused nothing but s**t problems.

Spinner45
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by Spinner45 » 09 Jun 2018 04:13

Indeed, this "skin effect" is only of concern at RF and microwave frequencies, and is of no concern at audio frequencies.
This IS an "audio" website, why even discuss or debate something that doesn't effect audio?

cafe latte
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by cafe latte » 09 Jun 2018 04:57

Spinner45 wrote:Indeed, this "skin effect" is only of concern at RF and microwave frequencies, and is of no concern at audio frequencies.
This IS an "audio" website, why even discuss or debate something that doesn't effect audio?
Exactly!
Chris

Bobber05
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by Bobber05 » 09 Jun 2018 14:04

Speaker wire choice can make a difference and sometimes its not subtle.
And yes, skin effect does occur in the audible range.

Old article but still relevant:

https://www.passlabs.com/press/speaker- ... -snake-oil

Spinner45
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by Spinner45 » 09 Jun 2018 16:26

Bobber05 wrote:Speaker wire choice can make a difference and sometimes its not subtle.
And yes, skin effect does occur in the audible range.

Old article but still relevant:

https://www.passlabs.com/press/speaker- ... -snake-oil
But, it's not audible!
Why worry?

RobertinMn2
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by RobertinMn2 » 10 Jun 2018 00:16

If it only runs on the outside of the wire, then we should all switch over to Romex and be done with it.

Bobber05
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Re: speaker wire ?

Post by Bobber05 » 10 Jun 2018 01:56

Having posted a link to what I have long considered to be one of the most balanced and insightful articles regarding speaker wiring,I won't continue this debate. However, I will leave you with two great relevant Brit quotes to ponder:

The wider we open the window,the more the dust blows in.

Ignorance is bliss.

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