Belden 13xxA series (xxx X 34) stranded OFHC Speaker Cable

Discussion in 'A/V Interconnects, Cables & Power Conditioning' started by Solid-State, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. Solid-State Banned

    Solid-State
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    Belden 13xxA series OFC Speaker Cable (xxx X 34 stranded)

    Greetings,

    I was curious if others can post experience with the Belden 13xxA series speaker cable. The various versions of the cable are as follows:

    1313A 10AWG 259x34 OFHC speaker cable
    1311A 12AWD 168x34 OFHC speaker cable
    1309A 14AWG 105x34 OFHC speaker cable
    1307A 16AWG 65x34 OFHC speaker cable

    I am a small upstart home theater/automation installer and have modeled all of my cabling from Bluejeans and Audioholics testing/suggestions. In other words I use Belden products across the board for most every interconnect. I have been using Belden 5T00UP 10AWG 65x28 ETP speaker cable in combination with WBT knockoff locking banana plugs. In reading posts on other various sites regarding Belden 1313A speaker cable I had to bring some in for testing in my home system.

    I first have to comment regarding OFC/OFHC vers. ETP copper. I live in the Gulf Islands on the west coast of Canada. This is a coastal area obviously and a temperate rain forest. It's very humid here and the air is "salty". With that being said I have to post experience with 5T00UP oxidizing RAPIDLY. When I was replacing the 5T00UP with 1313A I was shocked when I looked at the amount and rapid nature of the oxidization on the ETP 65x38 strands. In some places it was almost going green! wow what an eye opener. In looking at another install where I used a big box brand OFC speaker cable using the same WBT knockoff also in an ocean front location I noticed WAY LESS oxidization…

    After replacing the 5T00UP with 1313A I gave the system a listen. Hmmm... I won't post any adjectives/BS lingo to describe the difference. In a word... BETTER another word... CLEANER perhaps one more... LOUDER (higher SPL per same location on AVR4306 volume knob). In wondering if it was oxidization on the conductors inside the WBT knockoff locking bananas (GLS audio clones) I in-turn swapped them out for solid copper/gold plated bananas found at monoprice. Again no more adjectives/BS lingo in a word IMPROVED... I could actually hear an improvement listening to tracks I know intimately with changes in banana plug and speaker cable.

    With this experience in hand and a hacksaw I cut through a WBT knockoff only to find the thing is made of CHEAP BRASS. I can’t help but wonder what affect the termination (banana used and it’s materials) has on the performance of a speaker cable segment. In my experience it does make a difference. I wonder if Audioholics testing regarding speaker cables had taken into consideration the materials used in the banana plugs and it’s affect on performance. To my ears it does make a difference. I also wonder if any testing can be done regarding the strand count. Belden 1313A is 259x34 while Belden 5T00UP is 65x28. In my experience 1313A sounds better than 5T00UP while using the same solid copper gold plated monoprice banana.

    All tests where done with Denon AVR-4306 with Axiom’s flagship theater package. Also of note is the solid copper gold plated monoprice bananas can be stacked. This allowed me to replace the thin bridge plate to the second set of posts on the M80 v2 used for bi-amping (not used here) with a 3” piece of 1313A to another monoprice banana. Again an improvement. I wonder if anyone has even considered the materials (cheap brass/gold plated aluminum) used for banana plugs and binding post bridging plates.

    Other please post experience regarding ETP oxidization, cable strand count and banana plug/binding post bridge plate materials and their affect on their system and “audio palate” LOL ;)

    Solid-State

    PS ok sorry I had to post at least one line of that bourgeoisie fartsy BS "smoothsaying" ;)
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2007
  2. Solid-State Banned

    Solid-State
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    I have to correct the replacement Belden Sku I used against 5T00UP. It was the 14AWG 13xxA cable SKU 1309A. I am curious why the lower gage cable increased my volume level at a given setting on the AVR-4306 though no so dramatically. This is confirmed with Radioshack SPL meter located in exact place using exact same music track at exact moment in song.

    I do believe in hindsight the difference in perceived sound quality was due to oxidization on the conductor and/or swapping out WBT knockoffs for the Monoprice units. After looking into solvents/conductor treatment I manged to find a great product line that might be of interest to others (and isn't a scam like nano liquid). It's a product from CAIG Laboratories and can be found at the following URL:

    httpx://store.caig.com/s.nl?sc=2&category=&search=SK-AV35

    That's a kit with a lot of saving vers. purchasing individually but doesn't include liquid with brush applicator that would at times certainly be needed. So then purchase this other kit with more savings:

    httx://store.caig.com/s.nl?sc=2&category=&search=K-DG100L-2DB

    Swabs kit for 11bucks:
    httx://store.caig.com/s.nl?sc=2&category=&search=K-AS10

    Anyway I'll post experience with the CAIG Labs products and also post images of the oxidized 5T00UP so people actually believe me...


    Solid-State
  3. Toka Enthusiast

    Toka
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    Sorry to bump an older thread but it was informative so...what the heck. :D

    Solid-State...any updates in your work with the 1313A (or otherwise)?
    Toka,
  4. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
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    Hey, Toka. Just wanted to let you know that Solid State hasn't had any activity on the forum since last November.

    If you click on a member's name and then select "View Public Profile", a page will come up with some info on the member, including their last activity. Just wanted to give that info as it might help in the future. I'm not against the bump at all!
    Adam,
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Toka Enthusiast

    Toka
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    Thanks for the tip...I was not aware of that!
    Toka,
  6. Solid-State Banned

    Solid-State
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    Hi guys!!! I alive but very busy...

    Hi guys,

    Sorry I haven't been around to post. I have been very busy the last few months with projects on the islands. With regard to the Belden skus in the end I just ended up going with 1309A and 1310A for all my installs. I found the larger gauge 1313 etc didn't really make any difference if the runs were kept within reasonable distances. Also it's easier to work with 14ga as most stuff IE A-bus (I don't find Abus to be high fidelity but for extra zones it's a great alternative) posts can only take up to 14ga. Also I believe I was somewhat a victim of the placebo affect with regards to the banana plugs I used. In the end I really didn't find much of a difference. I do use the ones Axiom provides and found them to work fantastic. I don't use the UBNT knockoffs anymore because the tolerances in fab is rather poor. The diameter of the pin varies with every batch and also it's a pain in the *** to screw them down unless one places lubricant (I used Vaseline) on the threads of the push pin portion of the connector. The only real concern regarding non locking spring bananas is possibility of them coming loose then touching adjacent banana and shorting out the amp. I use the dual bananas with 3/4" spacing so if they do come loose it's impossible to short the channel. I did find though that the OFC 5T00UP did corrode MUCH faster than the OFHC 13xx series cable when used outdoors with houses on the ocean. This is one of the reason I use 13xx series now. Also it's much nicer to pull 14ga vers. 10ga cable as it gets rather heavy fast and creates more friction in pulling. Also the CAIG Labs virtually eliminated the oxidition I was experiences on the outdoor speaker terminals. A fantastic product that really works and isn't a rip like that nano liquid BS. Really in the end speaker wire is speaker wire... heck even lampcord works fine. The only stuff to avoid is the garbage with the aluminum conductor. Any cable that has one copper and one silver conductor is garbage. The founder of Macintosh wrote a paper about speaker cables some years ago and it's well worth a read... google it.

    Have a good one!

    Justin
  7. John Pf Audiophyte

    John Pf
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    Corrosion problems

    I've also been looking at the Belden 1311A 12ga wire. It seems to be a reasonable gauge to work with as I don't have to pull long lengths of it. Beside the "different" copper used in the 13xx (OFHC) over the 5000UP (ETP) the insulation is polyolefin instead of PVC. I read in the Audioholic "Speaker Cable Face off" about the PVC off gassing corroding the copper. I've also seen this in some Sound King cable I have that's over 10 years old. It has a clear PVC cover and I can see some light brownish corrosion on the wires when I stripped some of the insulation. I've also read that coins stored in PVC will corrode. PVC (chloride) seems to be quite an enemy of copper. I'm surprised it's used as an insulator on speaker cables. But, I don't know enough about this to say much and there may be other reasons to use it.
    The 13xx cable seems to be only a little bit more expensive than the 5000UP series when bought in bulk so I think it's worth it to get rid of PVC as the insulator in direct contact with the copper wire.
    This is a link to Belden's page on their "Brilliance" series.
    Can't say if it's marketing hype or actually better cable.
    (Sorry, the system won't let me post links until I have 5 posts. Search for Belden Brilliance Low Cap OHFC).

    Anyone have any thoughts or experience to share?

    Question about termination. Is there anything wrong with not using any plugs at all and just using the bare wire in the binding post and tightening it down? I figure the fewer connections the better.
    thanks,
    -john
  8. klipsch-fan Audiophyte

    klipsch-fan
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    Hi,

    I have been doing quite a bit of similar cable testings lately so stumbled upon this 2-month old thread. I tested a pair of each of these:

    Belden 1313A 10AWG
    Belden 1309A 14AWG
    Belden 8473 14AWG
    Monster XP NW ?AWG

    Custom and all hooked up with the same type of banana plugs (spikes with opening on one side, dual-screws, they are very tight-fit...neat).

    Tested using simple basic setup:

    A pair of Klipsch Reference RF-82 floorstanding speakers, Cambridge Audio D500 Special Edition CD, powered by a low-cost basic stereo tube amp, LR-130 using EL84 tubes, from Leo Research.

    I repeated a couple of similar favourite audiophile CDs (24-bit/192kHz).

    I was most pleased with Belden 1313A which had the best performance of them all :cool:, with richer + deeper bass, overall warmer than the rest. However, I am still trying to figure out if there was slight loss of mid-range frequencies, i.e. background instrumentals and background/backup vocals. I may swap out with a higher-end tube amp later on to retest and confirm. Anyway, still like the Belden 1313A best out of the bunch.

    Regarding wiring without plugs, I think its ok if you are not intending to take them out for a long time. If there is a desire to test different cables, plugs are a lot more convenient, faster-change and retain the good condition of cable ends. Besides, I tested all the cables with bare-wire ends before I had plugs fitted in a 2nd round...no difference to me.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  9. lsiberian Audioholic Overlord

    lsiberian
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    Do you have a SPL meter? I would be interested in the scientific data?
  10. yettitheman Audioholic General

    yettitheman
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    Nope, not at all. Kurt from BJC even says:
    "While it's common to use banana plugs or spade lugs to terminate speaker cable, one option worth considering is simply using bare wire termination--just buy the speaker cable raw, strip the ends, and insert them into the side holes in the binding posts. Whether this will work in your application depends largely on how big the holes in your binding posts are, and whether you can successfully access them to get the wire properly inserted (not an easy task on many surround receivers). When it's feasible to do, we like to use bare wire termination because it's simple and inexpensive, and because it avoids making additional connection points (e.g. wire to banana plug) which can fail."
  11. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    I would be interested in a real bias controlled testing protocol;):D
    As is, it appears your listening was biased, perception in error, common with audiophiles and any human being, for that matter.
    In the end, there is no evidence that what you perceived is in fact real and not imagined. Sorry for the sad news.
  12. lsiberian Audioholic Overlord

    lsiberian
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    Agreed. I just don't see how the type of wire matters in this application. If your wire is rusting something else is going on.

    If you are a newb I suggest just getting 16 gauge speaker wire from lowe's or home depot. Make sure it is the cheapest available. If you have dogs that chew consider 16 gauge lamp wire.

    Your lamp uses 16 gauge wire certainly your speaker can.
  13. Solid-State Banned

    Solid-State
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    Man I'm sick of the "I need double blind studies" and "where is the scientific proof" etc line regarding interconnect material IE cables etc. All I offer is experience and advice. Cabling can and does make a difference. With that said though the "laws of diminishing returns" and "within reason" apply.

    If your not a believer I suggest you two give this DIY speaker cable a try. It’s the most sound design , no pun intended, in terms of electrical principles and physics that I have yet to see and more important HEAR!

    http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/ubyte2e.html

    I've yielded the best results using that exact cable design. It's hard to find RG59/6 with double copper foil shielding in a PTFE dielectric but it's doable with enough searching online. I can just hear/see the opportunists thinking ching ching patent etc on that!

    Even Clint the site owner is cluing in on it... LOL Dude Kimber Kable 8PR has been around for AT LEAST 20 YEARS! I remember hooking that stuff up at my dad's shop in the 80s as a kid 8 years old and hearing the difference vers. the "use lamp cord" dummies. That’s when I realized some people are tone deaf ROTFL.

    Also I have to add directing a newbie to Lowes with the idea that speaker cabling makes no difference at all 9 times outta 10 yields a dummy newb coming home with that Chinese aluminum/copper bi-metal CRAP totally destroying his rigs fidelity. You know newbies the stuff that's using a transparent "Mac heads love" crapolla dielectic with one conductor the cheapest copper one step from the couldrin of some poor *** recycling village in Boing Dong province and the other conductor "owhh look it's shiny" ALUMINUM. You know the stuff that goes yellowish over time LOL Hey if anyone reading this has this crap connected between your speakers and amp, do yourself a favor brother, don’t believe all the rhetoric from EITHER side… yank that crap and replace with Belden 1313a or the likes…


    Solid-State

    PS I do have to say that bi-wiring is total BS... BUT bi-amping isn't... heck best stuff around is triamp active eq xover guys!!! Do understand this isn't the same thing as bi-wiring a passive xover... take heed Canare bi-wire quadstar users!
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  14. Solid-State Banned

    Solid-State
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    Do you really believe this?

    My opinion is dynamic and ever changing as I LEARN by EXPERIMENTATION not SPECULATION! And I've learned speaker wire does make a sonic change to a rig. Perhaps it's not the speaker wire anyway that's causing the change but the performance of the Xover and amp components that's being affected... I have never heard CAUSALITYwith regarding to the performance of the two components one is interconnecting speaker/amp even disused by anybody. They just show off that they have first year physics etc hmm... duhh!!!

    It would be even sadder news if your using some 20 year old PVC based crap that's totally corroded the copper via off gassing as you probably are. Man these old guys that read the Toole and McIntosh EE papers from 30 years ago like the Bible really need to get their ears cleaned out and tested. I dunno about Mr. Toole's theorems man... specially the latest treatise regarding comb filtering and first reflections etc. The truth lies somewhere between the cone heads, the practically experienced roadies and studio engineers and the snakeoilers. All I know is my own practical experience and what MY EARS tell me. Telling others their REAL experiences and senses are lying to them and it's all in their head especially when they took the time to purchases various Belden segments for testing is rather condescending and arrogant IMHO. The truth is "lamp cord" man that your the one loosing out using a POS conductor you won't change out after 30 years because Mr. Tool and Berner or Russel buddy told you so. I've met your type before. One was a retired high school physics teacher. I had to really fight the guy to try to swap his CRAP out for a 1313a segment. He sighted the usual BS blah blah... finally he agreed to try my stuff out. At first he accused me of messing with the volume or something. Then I swap the two as fast as I could. "Can you hear the difference?" All I see are cheeks getting redder and redder LOL. His ego almost kept him from keeping my segments... idiot. It wasn't until I used a pen knife and opened the stuff up to show the corroded conductor and even that wasn't enough I had to open a chunk of 1313a!! IDIOT!!! I said "keep the cable it's on me". By the way I was at his housing helping him with his computer email ROTFL and router/LAN It was not A/V related... I could see by his rack someone got him 20 plus years ago for big bills LOL and he's running PVC lampcord ahhh ahahah ROTFL

    Solid-State

    PS I have to say you older "lamp cord" retired Doctor or high school physics teacher crowd types are even worse than the transparent bi-metal newbie crowd when it comes to terminating your speaker to an amp properly. At least the newbies are not willfully ignorant and don't know better nor have the maths for true understanding.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  15. Solid-State Banned

    Solid-State
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    Also,

    The other thing I don't get is why they don't use test gear to measure the sonic performance change using a friggin microphone to start. Why are they measuring the electrical properties of the cable and using that as a scientific basis ALONE! This is very SHORTSIGHTED IMHO Outrageously so actually... Considering that your changing one factor in a system why are you guys zeroing in on one element/factor. Again I have to use the concept of CAUSALITY here as we are dealing with a system with various components in the chain. The logical approach would be to first start trying to quantify sonic change using an Earthworks M50 microphone, what ever preamp/PC audio capture you desire. As long as it's DECENT... I would assume if you can afford an M50 you can afford "high end" "studio grade" PC audio I/O. Take measurements with your software of choice and see if it has any affect. If it doesn't then the argument is ended right... Well it ain't brothers and sisters because I've measured change in FR personally. Ok now that we know it's changed sonically the SYSTEM ie your rig now it's time to measure cable electrical properties. This is prob the easiest thing to do if you have the right gear as I believe Clint does :rolleyes: and after this is known move onto the affects on the Xover and amplifier OBVIOUS elements/factors your interconnecting in the first place duhh. Now this requires expensive gear and more than first year electronics and physics. You need to be an EE for REAL LOL and know how to use said test gear. I believe one would find that the cable must be affecting the two electrical components your connecting. I'm not one to speculate LOL as stated above but I think it's the Xover/voice coils and the amp components/circuit that's being affected but I'm not an EE nor have expensive test gear.

    Solid-State

    PS I'm not even an EE or Physicist and I'm almost 100% certain two cross-connected pieces of coax where the center conductor and the outer foil have the same ideal electrical properties and geometry is the best possible solution.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  16. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    So, one must be a believer?
  17. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    Beliefe has nothing to do with it. But, what can be known, tested, replicated is.

    Yes, that is all it is then.


    Obviously your experimentation is very flawed and unreliable. So much for experimentation and learning from it.

    And you know this because of your unreliable protocol?

    I thought you don't speculate???

    Firstly, you have not established in any credible manner that you in fact can audibly differentiate wires. You claim to, but so far it has not gone beyond it.

    That is too bad you feel this way. Obviously learning, knowledge, real experimentation is abhorrent to you?

    You need to forget him, you are not ready yet.

    And, it seems that is all you will ever know. Your mind is closed shut and the door is welded tight to learning beyond what you think you know. OK by me, your loss, really.

    You mean your senses are not capable of lying to you? Or, rather your brain's interpretation of the signals they receive? That is beyond comment.

    I really doubt you know what the truth is.

    Yep, and you learned nothing with that closed mind, right?
  18. mtrycrafts Audioholic Slumlord

    mtrycrafts
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    Perhaps when you start publishing your research and convince the old school the world might change for you. So far, you are not showing anything worth while.:eek:
  19. Solid-State Banned

    Solid-State
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    OK how do we start?

    I'd like to know what speaker cabling mtrycrafts are using now?

    Solid-State
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2009
  20. Solid-State Banned

    Solid-State
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    I have nothing to prove to you or anyone else around here for that matter. I'm just trying to share experience and the brilliance that is the cross-connected coax DIY speaker cable in terms of geometry/topology/electrical properties and most important PERFORMANCE. I believe an ideal coax could be developed using this concept. Research could even possibly end in cheap easy to use cable that could be terminated in the manor RG6 is to F-cons to a pigtail connection breakout block.

    I would also like to ask if you have any SOUND test gear? I'm not talking a scope or a volt meter either ehh... I'm talking a measurement mike like the models from Earthworks and decent PC audio I/O. A person can use a program like TrueRTA/RoomEQ and other pro software and various calibers of mikes/pre/soundcards to achieve decent accuracy. In the case of the right mike like an M50 and the right PC audio I/O with pro software results on par with the best dedicated test equipment around can be achieved at home.

    From the amount of posts I see of your profile I assume you work in this field/industry? Do you not have the test gear I talk of above? If not WTF NOT!

    As for publishing results... Due to your initial critiques and rather aggressive response I won't just to piss you off.

    What I suggest you do is blow the dust off of your old Weller station and make yourself a cross-connected coax speaker cable segment and run your own test and please publish them. Just be sure to use the right coax. I don't believe an ideal spec cable is in existence YET. The ideal seems to be a 22-26ga SOLID quality copper conductor in a PTFE dielectric with a copper foil shielding. The geometry of the cable, it's termination, and a balance of the electrical properties of the foil shielding to the center conductor still have to be perfected.

    All I know is you should source some solid copper coax with copper foil/braid and cross connect/pigtail it. If your going from the extreme of an old piece of PVC lampcord that's ten years old to this brilliant DIY cable it's the most dichotomous and obvious change possible. You'd have to be 60+ with a major cerumen problem and be suffering Presbycusis to not tell the difference. Owhh and you can use your newly acquired SOUND test gear to quantify it so you can win arguments like this. And please post your results. This is a request not a demand for evidence... I'm not that rude to demand anything outside respect and civility.

    Solid-State

    PS By the way the gentleman that came up with this first is John Risch and if you don't trust him read this http://www.geocities.com/jonrisch/i3.htm
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009

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