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Best Speaker Cables?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by kronik, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    I've seen something similar from WBT, I think it is their 'Nextgen' spades.

    I believe those connectors are a collaboration between Kimber and WBT.

    --Andre
     


  2. Tokyo Slim

    Tokyo Slim In Time Out

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    I have the distinct impression that if the world took the money spent on audiophile grade farkles and put it into AIDS research it'd be cured in a year.

    [​IMG]
     


  3. Sprezzatura2010

    Sprezzatura2010 Senior member

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    Serious question: do you even need to terminate it with bananas or spades? If your speaker terminals have the 'hole' under the threads, you can just put the stripped bare wire in.

    The only reason to do it, and the reason I pick bananas over spades, is that it's much quicker to install/take down a system with bananas than it is with bare wire (or spades). Also, it looks much neater. But sonically, no reason I can imagine to do it.
     


  4. yachtie

    yachtie Senior member

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    just buy 12 gauge from any store. it's all the same. if anyone tells you otherwise, they are retarded

    Home depot lamp cord.

    AWG 12 or 10, get the stuff marked MTW. But truth be told any 12 or 10 gauge stranded copper wire works the same.
     


  5. unpainted huffheinz

    unpainted huffheinz Senior member

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    Any of the bulk cable makers (Belden, Canare, Gepco) will make cables with custom jackets and printing for a fee and minimum run. This is what boutique cable sellers do since the cost of cable tooling is outrageous and most of the equipment is custom built for the bulk manufacturers by industrial firms. Places like Blue Jeans even list what the cable is on their product pages.
     


  6. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    I believe those connectors are a collaboration between Kimber and WBT.

    --Andre

    Thanks Andre, I did not know that. The WBT's are bloody expensive though, the pure copper version costs around €18 each!

    The only reason to do it, and the reason I pick bananas over spades, is that it's much quicker to install/take down a system with bananas than it is with bare wire (or spades). Also, it looks much neater. But sonically, no reason I can imagine to do it.

    The place where I go to usually suggests the silver soldered bare wire if the client is not going to be changing speakers or uninstall their system on a regular basis. One of the most extreme things I've seen them do is to remove the speaker terminals from the amp and directly wire the speaker cable inside the amp... and it was standard 11 gauge cable.
     


  7. HitMan009

    HitMan009 Senior member

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    I brought some heavy gauge from radio shack a few years back. Don't believe the hype.... any twisted heavy gauge copper cable is good. I swear there is no difference between monster cable and the one I brought from radio shack. It was less then a dollar per foot back then.
     


  8. Sprezzatura2010

    Sprezzatura2010 Senior member

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    The place where I go to usually suggests the silver soldered bare wire if the client is not going to be changing speakers or uninstall their system on a regular basis.

    Tinning's not a bad idea, if only because corroded copper looks ugly even if it's probably not going to do anything sonically.

    One of the most extreme things I've seen them do is to remove the speaker terminals from the amp and directly wire the speaker cable inside the amp... and it was standard 11 gauge cable.

    Speaking of internal speaker wire, one of the funniest things I've seen recently is the wire on the inside of the M-Design Eleganza subwoofers I use as the secondary ("broadband" in Dr. Geddes' terminology) subs in my main system. M-Design was (is?) a boutique brand by Monster Cable. Really an anomaly for the company, because these were high-quality, well-engineered products made of top-tier parts and not completely outlandish, cost-wise. These subs were originally $3500, and honestly probably worth it due to the high quality of the cabinetry and the excellent off-the-shelf Aura NRT (neo-radial underhung motor, with very effective Faraday shielding) drive-unit inside. The wires between the plate amp and the Aura driver was bog-standard 12AWG (4mm^2 I think) stranded hookup wire such as what one would find at Home Depot or Lowes here, or Bauhaus/Baumaxx in Europe. Not even higher-end stuff, like Belden, or the finer-gauge strands that Esoteric Audio used to use in their eponymous/Streetwires/Tiff wire brands.
     


  9. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    Speaking of internal speaker wire, one of the funniest things I've seen recently is the wire on the inside of the M-Design Eleganza subwoofers I use as the secondary ("broadband" in Dr. Geddes' terminology) subs in my main system. M-Design was (is?) a boutique brand by Monster Cable. Really an anomaly for the company, because these were high-quality, well-engineered products made of top-tier parts and not completely outlandish, cost-wise. These subs were originally $3500, and honestly probably worth it due to the high quality of the cabinetry and the excellent off-the-shelf Aura NRT (neo-radial underhung motor, with very effective Faraday shielding) drive-unit inside. The wires between the plate amp and the Aura driver was bog-standard 12AWG (4mm^2 I think) stranded hookup wire such as what one would find at Home Depot or Lowes here, or Bauhaus/Baumaxx in Europe. Not even higher-end stuff, like Belden, or the finer-gauge strands that Esoteric Audio used to use in their eponymous/Streetwires/Tiff wire brands.


    I'm not that surprised that internal speaker wires are 'bog standard' copper wires. I spoke to Ashley James of AVI and he suggested that many 'serious' speaker designers look awry at all the fancy claims made by high end cables. At the store I go to, the owner has many 'trade in' cables from customers who did a ABX test vs the standard 11 gauge speaker cables. Brands like Nordost, Supra, Townshend, etc all traded in...
     


  10. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    There's no place like home, there's no place like home...
     


  11. bkk

    bkk Senior member

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    *shakes head*

    Speaker cables = least amount of science and most concentration of snake oil salesmen.

    And feel free to spend your money on Monster. They make their cables look bigger by adding more thickness to the jacket and adding a run of plastic to the center.
     


  12. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    I'm not that surprised that internal speaker wires are 'bog standard' copper wires. I spoke to Ashley James of AVI and he suggested that many 'serious' speaker designers look awry at all the fancy claims made by high end cables. At the store I go to, the owner has many 'trade in' cables from customers who did a ABX test vs the standard 11 gauge speaker cables. Brands like Nordost, Supra, Townshend, etc all traded in...

    Yeah, but those people probably hadn't properly elevated their cables...
     


  13. Sprezzatura2010

    Sprezzatura2010 Senior member

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    I'm not that surprised that internal speaker wires are 'bog standard' copper wires...
    Generally, I wouldn't be either. Though for some reason Tannoy does advertise van del Hul wires in their better studio monitors and home speakers. (I know my System 12 DMT II's have braided wire inside. I do not expect it does anything.) What made this particular case so funny is that the product in question was made by a division of Monster Cable! They also advertise in their literature "internally wired by Monster Cable." Though I suppose that claim is technically true, in the sense that Monster Cable bought the wire and some employee or subcontractor of MC physically wired them up. Good to know that at least the propagandists in chief don't believe their own marketing. One fears that some of the newer wire shops might actually believe in what they sell. Which makes them stupid in addition to just evil.
     


  14. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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    Kimber owns WBT. They do a nice WBT display booth adjoining the Kimber booth and SoundLab system every year at the Rocks Mountain Audio Fest. Kimber also makes some state of the art Super Audio CDs on their Isomike label. I talk to Ray Kimber about every month on recording tech and we may try the Isomike baffles at some point here in GA.

    WBT just continually upgrades their connectors and Nextgen is up there with Eichman for best connectors imho. The WBT banana plus are really nice, up there with the Cardas rhodium banana plugs.

    I doubt anyone here will believe me but there is genuine sonic improvement to be had from the following on speaker cables:

    **Purity of wire.
    **Metallurgy - mix of copper, silver, gold, other alloys, etc.
    **Winding geometry.
    **Dielectric quality and type.
    **Connectors, termination process and overall quality.

    Some also assume that Belden or some other company is making all the wire but in fact many firms like Cardas, Crystal Cable, Nordost, Kimber and others make their own wires. It's often impossible not to due to the more complex modern stranding techniques.

    In my own experience, I have found the quality of wire is very correlated with performance. Unfortunately there are some very spendy big name brands like Monster and others that do not sound that great. When you do find one you do get a more open, transparent sound and better bass and high frequencies.

    For someone with an expensive system who wants the best, I would recommend Cardas Neutral Reference or Kimber Hero with the 0144 WBT connecters. You can find these often at 40-50% off on Audiogon. I just got a pair of Heros yesterday with an industry accomodation price. You can also save money by getting 0.5 meter cable for those situations where the preamp is close to the source or other device like phono stage.

    Also, power cords make a real difference in how much background noise there is. If you have a CD player with a cheap $0.25 AC cord, I would replace it with thicker gauge power cords. Made a huge difference on my Oppo 980H.
     


  15. Sprezzatura2010

    Sprezzatura2010 Senior member

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    I doubt anyone here will believe me but there is genuine sonic improvement to be had from the following on speaker cables:

    **Purity of wire.
    **Metallurgy - mix of copper, silver, gold, other alloys, etc.
    **Winding geometry.
    **Dielectric quality and type.
    **Connectors, termination process and overall quality.


    Then why are you so unwilling to demonstrate that "genuine sonic improvement"?

    Pussy.
     


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