Stupid Question of the Week

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holmancv

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Greetings All; OK I'm new to this hobby and this site but I take it that using old extension cords that have seen better days is not really the way to go for speaker wires. I've seen some very expensive wiring at my new favorite place to go and drool (Magnolia HiFi in Portland, OR) and I'm stunned. Does it really make a difference to sound quality? I think the fellow who's been eagerly helping assemble a system is a pretty straight shooter and he's telling me it really does. Comments??
 

TomDac

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A high quality speaker cable will make a WORLD of difference to your system compared to what you're using now.

You'll find that everyone here has their own brand that they like and differences between brands are sometimes hard to distinguish.

My advice is to pick one and buy used ones on ebay or audiogon.

Good Luck.

Tom.
 

holmancv

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How much should I pay for a good cable per foot? I may have this wrong but I seem to remember they were talking about around $30/foot? I was laughing so hard I am not sure I got it right. (Open mouth insert foot) Anyway, is that what I really should be looking at?
Thanks
 

Robin

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Speaker Wire...

TomDac said:
A high quality speaker cable will make a WORLD of difference to your system compared to what you're using now.

You'll find that everyone here has their own brand that they like and differences between brands are sometimes hard to distinguish.

My advice is to pick one and buy used ones on ebay or audiogon.

Good Luck.

Tom.
holmancv,

Welcome to the ML Club. :D

I agree with Tom, when I was purchasing my speaker wire, it really came down to how much, I was going to need and what I could afford, just to get started. I needed, about 200 feet of speaker wire for just my HT's Center, Surrounds and Rears. I shopped at for the wire at "Magnolia Hi-Fi" too. I purchased 200 feet of, "Cinemaquest / Audioquest", 12 gage speaker wire for about $2.79 (USD) per foot, as I recall. I choose, Monster Cable Z-1 (15 foot length), Bi-wire, for about $250.00 (USD), for my Front - Ascent i's. Now, I know so more about, IC's and speaker wire, from Dan and the rest of the ML Club membership... I plan to up-grade in the future, and when I do, I will be taking their advice, take the cables home to audition first..., and what Tom said above, 'buy used' on audiogon or ebay.' I plan to get the best, and save money at the same time... :D :D

Good luck, and it is good to have you here. :D

Cheers

-Robin
 
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Spike

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Jeff Zaret

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Welcome to the club!

What you will find is many of us have "our" preferences as far as speaker cables go. I think Spike has the right idea which is to look in to some DIY type cables. There is also one other place you can look and I think he is in your general area and that is DIY cable. I think Kevin's site is diycable.com. He does sell some of Jon Risch design cables.

Basically, DIY "stuff" is cheaper in price but not necessarily on quality. I have bought power cables from him and was very happy. The thing you need to understand about cables, specifically interconnects and speaker cables, is they are tone controls. Yes they will “change” the sound you hear. Sometimes it is just subtle differences and sometimes dramatically different. This is dependent on the equipment, the amount of noise they may or may not pick up along the way, and of course the actual connectors.

My suggestion is to go slowly. A dealer, no matter how honest, will sell you what he has in stock because this is why he is in business, i.e. to make money. I would just do one thing at a time. Either start with just your front speakers (assumption here) if you want to explore speaker cables first or start with the interconnects (IC’s) between the CD player and the preamp or receiver. This will give you the most “bang for your buck” and where you will hear the difference. :D Most of the other places these changes/upgrades will be subtle but noticeable. One other question I would ask your dealer and this is can I try these out at home? This will tell you definitely what changes in sound they may offer in your system.

We are all here to help and have been there. I have a mixture of different makes of cables in my system. Some were inherited and some were purchased. Yes, in a perfect world it is nice to have the same throughout but reality dictates that we are not “rolling in money” :rolleyes: and compromises are the name of the game. You just want to put the best you can afford where it will make the most impact.


Good Luck and welcome again

Jeff :cool:
 

amey01

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It also comes down to a matter of synergy. One cable might be great in one system but terrible in a second system. Cables are hard to try before you buy though!

PS. Definantly don't use old extension leads!
 

68sting

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Well I'm the minority here when I say I haven't been able to hear any differances in cables. I just did a blind test with some friends using a no-name 12 gauge wire, basic monster cable, and M series 1.4 bi-wired Monster Cables. Nobody could tell the difference in any of them. If your familiar with avs forums one of the dealers on there forum (www.integrityhometheater.com)is from Colorado Springs. They recommend Home Depot's large speaker cable(I believe 12ga) to all their customers. Its very rare for a dealer to recommend you take your money elsewhere. They believe you should take the money and use it elsewhere to get a bigger bang for your dollar. I still like to decide for myself, which is why I did the test. There's my two cents. I will be selling my Monster Cable M 1.4's.
 

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attyonline

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One of the longest running and most bitter debates in audio. Fact is that blind testing never reveals any difference in cables. If you want to spend your money on them, that is fine, but there are many other points in the audio chain where you can get real improvement for your money. :)
 

LaserMark4

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attyonline said:
One of the longest running and most bitter debates in audio. Fact is that blind testing never reveals any difference in cables. If you want to spend your money on them, that is fine, but there are many other points in the audio chain where you can get real improvement for your money. :)
68sting said:
Well I'm the minority here when I say I haven't been able to hear any differances in cables. I just did a blind test..... Nobody could tell the difference in any of them.
Having done a lot of research and blind testing as well, I have to cast my vote to attyonline and 68sting also.

I think Audiohaulics has done the most to debunk the cable myths, and I always recommend others to read some of the true facts and research that might save them a bundle over the long haul.

Here are the titles to some of their articles:
- Audio Cables- Science or Religion?
- Debunking the Myth of ________ (about 5-6 of these articles)
- Speaker Cable Face Off (1 and 2)
- Etc.

You can find all of these at Audiohaulics website here:"Interconnects, Cables, and Power Conditioning"

For those DYI folks who have a ton of cable to run in new HT's, here's my 2 favorites and top of the line:

--10 ga. Speaker Wire: Belden 5T00UP- Here at 28 cents/ft

--Flawless Video Cable: Belden 1694A- Here for 31 cents/ft

Blue Jeans describes these cables above (you can get them pre-madeup from them), and also takes the myth out with a lot of great information and pure science here: Blue Jeans
 

DTB300

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LaserMark4 said:
Having done a lot of research and blind testing as well, I have to cast my vote to attyonline and 68sting also. I think Audiohaulics has done the most to debunk the cable myths, and I always recommend others to read some of the true facts and research that might save them a bundle over the long haul.
As you have seen here with just a few posts, the Cable Debate is ENDLESS and there are as manyof us on one side of the fence as there are the other. For me, cables do make a difference, but you do not need to spend hugh amounts of money to get what you are looking for.

There have been posts on DIY cables, which is a great way to get started. They are a better sounding cable thatn zip cords for speaker wire and for IC's better than the ones you get with equipment. How much better? As you have read, that is a personal preference. For DIY: Blue Jeans, Elemental, VH Audio, Heartland Cables, and Signal Cable, to name a few to try out and they can be purchased at a great price. This is where I started out with DIY stuff.

IMO, a nice next step up from DIY would be the DH Lab cables and a great company to deal with. Many people use the DH Lab bulk cable and sell made up ones on Audiogon for good prices.

As you see, there is no ONE answer here for you. It is a try for the budgets you have and see what you like.
 

jjqiv

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68sting said:
Well I'm the minority here when I say I haven't been able to hear any differances in cables. I just did a blind test with some friends using a no-name 12 gauge wire, basic monster cable, and M series 1.4 bi-wired Monster Cables. Nobody could tell the difference in any of them. If your familiar with avs forums one of the dealers on there forum (www.integrityhometheater.com)is from Colorado Springs. They recommend Home Depot's large speaker cable(I believe 12ga) to all their customers. Its very rare for a dealer to recommend you take your money elsewhere. They believe you should take the money and use it elsewhere to get a bigger bang for your dollar. I still like to decide for myself, which is why I did the test. There's my two cents. I will be selling my Monster Cable M 1.4's.
You were basicly comparing two identical cables and one that is a double run of the same type cable.
 

kach22i

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jjqiv said:
You were basicly comparing two identical cables and one that is a double run of the same type cable.
:D

Maybe he should compare Radio Shack to what he can get at Best Buy? ;)

I'm such a rotten snob, I make myself sick sometimes. :p
 

socialxray

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Grumpy Old Man - "Back in my day we didn't have these fancy speaker cables and such. We had zipcord! That's the way it was and we liked it!"
 
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