Speaker cable options...and how much is too much for a particular stereo / home theater...

Discussion in 'A/V Interconnects, Cables & Power Conditioning' started by twochordcool, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. twochordcool Junior Audioholic

    twochordcool
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    Hello my friends!

    I'm in the process of incorporating a home theater into my living room stereo setup.

    I have a nice "mid-fi" setup consisting of a Rotel integrated amp, a Rotel CD player and B&W DM602 S3 standmounted bookshelf speakers.

    Interconnects and speaker cables drive me nuts!

    With my stereo I did not want to take a chance on wiring being the weak link, so after doing some research I splurged on a pair of internally biwired Kimber Kable 8TC speaker cables and a Kimber Kable Silver Streak analogue interconnect.

    I am quite pleased with how it sounds.

    However, I am now adding a Yamaha RX-A1020 AV receiver and 3 other B&W DM602 S3 speakers in a 5.1 setup.

    I have a Samsung smart TV and a Samsung Blu-Ray player.

    Thing is, these speaker cable runs will be much longer and I cannot afford to run Kimber Kable 8TC for the rear channel.

    But I DO want to use the best speaker cables that I can afford.

    I have been reading reviews of supposed 5 star cables over at What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision magazine's website.

    I am considering a few options.

    They give Audioquest FLX-SLiP 14/4 high marks, and it seems to be affordable budget cable. I am considering buying a spool of this, doing double runs for bi-wiring and adding my own banana plugs to them.

    Other options are the highly rated Wireworld Luna 7 and cables by QED.

    I'm willing to spend money on cables, I'd just prefer to not go crazy if I don't need to for excellent sound.

    Your thoughts?
  2. Rickster71 Audioholic Spartan

    Rickster71
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    Take a look at this - Speaker Wire
    Also do a search in this forum. There are countless threads on the subject.

    To save you time; don't believe the hype about wire.
    Buy the cheapest, properly sized wire for the job.
    If you want a wire for aesthetics, that's OK. Just know it has no bearing on performance.
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  3. twochordcool Junior Audioholic

    twochordcool
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    Also, does anybody have any advice on quality banana plugs and how to properly install them if I opt to go the build my own route?
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  4. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

    slipperybidness
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    If you are doing in-wall cable runs, then be absolutely sure that the cable is rated for in-wall installations! If you run cable in-wall that isn't rated for that, then you will violate code laws, and possibly your insurance won't pay for it if there is ever a catastrophe.

    Now, for cables, I really like BJC. This is great quality stuff, and while it isn't exactly cheap, you get what you pay for. It isn't cheap, but it also isn't over-priced like some others (monster, kimber, audioquest etc).
    Blue Jeans Cable -- Quality Cables at Reasonable Prices

    Read that wire guide that Rickster posted!

    Finally, as far as bananas, I have tried several different brands/styles. In general, I think these are the best:
    Amazon.com : Deadbolt Banana Plugs, 12-pair, By Sewell Direct : Electronics Cable Connectors : Electronics
  5. twochordcool Junior Audioholic

    twochordcool
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    I will not run them in wall - the appeal is how good they supposedly sound. I reckon there is no reason that I can't use in wall cable as regular outside-of-wall speaker cable?!
  6. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

    slipperybidness
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    Yup, that would be a good assumption. It is OK to run in-wall in not-in-wall applications (but not OK to run non-inwall spec for inwall apps). But.....if you aren't running it in-wall, then why pay extra $ for the in-wall spec????

    If you think that fancy cables make an audible improvement, then you already drank the audio-phool Koolaid. This is absolutely not true, and has been proven time and again. If you want fancy cables for aesthetics and don't mind paying a premium, then go for it, but understand that is what the $ is going to (aeshetics).

    Now, on a side note, it is possible to change or color the sound with fancy cables. However, this is absolutely an undesirable situation and must be avoided.

    Like I say, as far as price/performance, BJC is top-notch, broadcast quality stuff. That's the best that you would ever "need".

    Have you read that article from Rickster yet? That is the go-to reference for these types of questions.
  7. macddmac Audioholic General

    macddmac
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  8. twochordcool Junior Audioholic

    twochordcool
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    Anybody know of some good banana plugs that will accommodate 8 gauge wire and not cost an arm and a leg?
  9. jinjuku Moderator

    jinjuku
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    How long are your runs? 8 AWG and banana plugs aren't happening. I have ~20-25 foot runs for my surrounds. I used 14AWG monoprice CL2 rated (since mine are in wall). No problems.
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  10. Speedskater Full Audioholic

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    In the distant past we would sometimes modify the original Pomoma(sp) dual banana plugs, thr ones that the wire would go in the side with a small set-screw in the end. We would just drill the wire hole, but you can only go so far.
    Other times we would use a 1 to 2 in length of solid wire that fit the connector and solder the heavy wire to it. Remember it's not just the diameter that counts. It's the diameter times the length.
  11. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

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    It doesn't really matter if it fits, it isn't needed for the speakers in question even for 80 foot runs.
  12. Speedskater Full Audioholic

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    What does need have to do with many things that audiophiles do?

    (we did it for a DC bench power supply)
  13. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

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    Well, I guess you're right there, but this is a case of hunting butterflies with a shotgun. The original question was "how much is too much", and 8AWG is definitely too much.
  14. Speedskater Full Audioholic

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    One rather rare type of loudspeaker that can justify heaver cables is a true ribbon (Apogee) dipole. They are almost a dead short and many amplifiers won't drive them. They require a very low impedance, not just low DC resistance cable. But the few people that own these speakers already know all this.
  15. Nestor Senior Audioholic

    Nestor
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    Speaker cable options...and how much is too much for a particular stereo / ho...

    If they are "almost a dead short", how does a lower R cable help?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  16. Speedskater Full Audioholic

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    Well on futher review, some of the Apogee dead short business may be urban legend. Let's say it was closer to 3 Ohms.

    But in any case, the speaker impedance and the cable impedance form a series circuit. So the higher the cable resistance the more of the total power will be dissipated it the cable.
  17. j_garcia Audioholic Jedi

    j_garcia
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    In this case we are talking about DM602 S3s though :) They are hardly a difficult to drive bookshelf speaker.
  18. Speedskater Full Audioholic

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    My first post was about modifying a banana plug, my next two posts were responses about oversize speaker cables, then a responses about very low impedance speakers.

    Only posts # 1 & #17 reference those bookshelf speakers.
  19. markw Audioholic Overlord

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    Never let the reality of the matter at hand get in the way when trying to show how much knowledge one has. See my sig line.

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