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Biwiring and Cables, A couple of questions on how to
atici
post Feb 28 2003, 22:17
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I want to buy decent cables for my speakers and was wondering on how the setup should be.

The speakers in question (Infinity Alpha 40) is biwirable. My amp has two pairs of speaker outputs. In this case which one is a better idea: to use biwiring cables or use separate wires using both of the speaker outputs on my amp? If I use separate identical cables, does the length make difference?

And about the cable diameter, are the thick ones necessarily better? If so how much? I am planning to spend around $80 for my cabling. 7 feet cable for each channel is sufficient. Do you have any suggestions on quality but cheap cables? What do you think about the ones here?

Please let me know what you think. Your help is much appreciated.


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Annuka
post Mar 11 2003, 01:36
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Responding to original question:

It has been my experience that there can be a major difference between speaker cables. Especially really long ones like mine - 5-8 meters from amplifier to speakers.

You can buy very expensive speaker cables. Be aware that some are designed to manipulate the sound. These might sound better depending on the accoustic condition of your listening room and your other audio components. These types of cables are not neccesarily the best.

When buying cables, consider the following points:

* Thickness and length
* Inteference and shielding
* Connections

A thin long cable cannot carry as much power as a thick short one. You need a proper thickness or multiple thin cables in parallel. If you go with my suggestion at the end of this post, simply add another cheap cable and listen/compare.

Interference from power cables can affect sound very much. It is possible worse in USA than EU, because of the 110V/240V difference. Lower voltage = higher power, but don't kill me if I'm wrong. Anyway, keep all your signal and speaker cables away from power cables. Do not roll long cables up or tangle them together. An induction effect can be created and it does not sound good. If it is impossible to keep signal cables away from power cables, use shielded cables. Either shielded power cables or shielded signal cables or both (might not be needed).

Connecting the cables is the last step, where things often go wrong. Good conductors rust - bad conductors do not. Putting golden banana plugs on the cables is generally a bad idea - gold is a bad conductor. But they are very flexible and that matters sometimes. I use them myself, because I don't like spending hours hooking up the cables. The standarrd connectors, where you remove isolation from the cable, put it in and turn a plastic screw takes a long time, but generally connects well. Bear in mind, that you need to snip of the ends and remove more isolation if you take the cables out after a a little time. The exposed ends have rusted and cannot provide a proper connection if reused. Whether to use A+B on the amp for bi-wiring or just A probably depends which way gives you the best connection. It has been my experience that A+B does that.

I have tried several cables over the years. I tested the the cheap ($4/meter) thick cobber cables with hundreds of thin cobber threads inside some 10 years ago. I did not like them, but they were very easy to install. I used some expensive ($30/meter) solid cobber core cables from AudioQuest for years, but threw them away when I discovered something better: Cat5 twisted pair cables used for computer networks. It must be the installation type with the solid core - not the soft core cables with plugs. This cable is very cheap ($0.30/meter) and it sounds very well in my ears. It is however vitally important to connect it properly (I do not know the details of why it needs to be done). The cable consists of four wire pairs. The four pairs each have two wires - full colour and half colour - twisted around eachother. The four pairs are twisted themselves. You must connect the full colour to one pole and the half colour to another pole. You can in theory biwire your speakers with one of these cable. Use two pairs for high-range and two pairs for low ranges. But the cable is very thin. I use six cables per speaker - two for upper frequencies and four for lower frequencies. If you connect all 8 wires in a cable to one pole, you are doing it wrong. If you use multiple cables, connect all full coloured wires from all cables to one pole and the rest to the other. This cable is not shielded, so it is very important to keep it away from power cables as written above.

If you choose this cable, you might want to consider banan plugs. It is hard to remove the teflon isolation from the wires. And it takes some time to do it on the 16 cables I have used for my 5.0 surround...
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Posts in this topic
- atici   Biwiring and Cables   Feb 28 2003, 22:17
- - Amadablam   http://home.earthlink.net/~rogerr7/wire.htm I can...   Feb 28 2003, 22:29
- - Dex4now   Hi Atici, you have to be careful about articles li...   Mar 10 2003, 02:41
- - gdougherty   "Audiophile grade" copper cable is bunk....   Mar 10 2003, 04:28
- - atici   Is thicker cable necessarily better? I got a 10 ga...   Mar 10 2003, 05:30
- - boojum   Doesn't Ohm's Law cover all of this? Buy ...   Mar 10 2003, 05:40
- - KikeG   Even biwiring is vodoo audio. From an electrical p...   Mar 10 2003, 09:04
- - Dex4now   QUOTE (gdougherty @ Mar 9 2003 - 07:28 PM)I p...   Mar 10 2003, 10:13
- - KikeG   QUOTE (Dex4now @ Mar 10 2003 - 10:13 AM)And, ...   Mar 10 2003, 10:26
- - Dibrom   QUOTE (Dex4now @ Mar 10 2003 - 02:13 AM)And, ...   Mar 10 2003, 11:21
- - LoKi128   I believe that there are some things in the audio ...   Mar 10 2003, 16:12
- - Bedeox   QUOTE (LoKi128 @ Mar 10 2003 - 07:12 AM)I bel...   Mar 10 2003, 17:28
- - LoKi128   ABX is a statistical method... it is a scientific ...   Mar 10 2003, 20:03
- - atici   QUOTE (LoKi128 @ Mar 10 2003 - 10:12 AM)Bi-wi...   Mar 10 2003, 20:20
- - Bedeox   But this difference is not hearable and is hardly ...   Mar 10 2003, 20:47
- - DigitalMan   QUOTE (atici @ Mar 10 2003 - 11:20 AM)AFAIK I...   Mar 10 2003, 21:38
- - Dex4now   Well, unfortunately, much of the criticism of my c...   Mar 11 2003, 00:37
- - lucpes   CODE1) single wire: preamp->amp-...   Mar 11 2003, 00:59
- - Dex4now   Hi lucpes, just so you know, Bi-amping and bi-wiri...   Mar 11 2003, 01:15
- - Annuka   Responding to original question: It has been my e...   Mar 11 2003, 01:36
- - Annuka   I'd like to add a comment: Audio is a physic...   Mar 11 2003, 01:53
- - DigitalMan   QUOTE (Annuka @ Mar 10 2003 - 04:36 PM)Connec...   Mar 11 2003, 01:57
- - lucpes   QUOTE (Dex4now @ Mar 11 2003 - 12:15 AM)...po...   Mar 11 2003, 04:15
- - lucpes   QUOTE (atici @ Mar 10 2003 - 07:20 PM)Biwirin...   Mar 11 2003, 04:18
- - KikeG   Oh man... biwiring is *useless*, has no sense from...   Mar 11 2003, 09:09
- - gdougherty   QUOTE (Annuka @ Mar 10 2003 - 06:36 PM)Respon...   Mar 11 2003, 09:31
- - KikeG   gdougherty, I agree on nearly everything: About i...   Mar 11 2003, 10:03
- - Pio2001   When a single 4 mm2 cable is used and a 1000 Hz si...   Mar 12 2003, 01:35
- - KikeG   QUOTE (Pio2001 @ Mar 12 2003 - 01:35 AM)Thus,...   Mar 12 2003, 09:01
- - Annuka   I studied electronics for a short while many years...   Mar 12 2003, 12:06
- - KikeG   QUOTE (Annuka @ Mar 12 2003 - 12:06 PM)But wh...   Mar 12 2003, 12:48
- - Annuka   QUOTE (KikeG @ Mar 12 2003 - 01:48 PM)Sorry, ...   Mar 12 2003, 14:44
- - KikeG   Well, when I call somebody an expert (which I don...   Mar 12 2003, 15:22
- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (atici @ Feb 28 2003 - 09:17 PM)I want ...   Mar 12 2003, 15:37
- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Dex4now @ Mar 10 2003 - 01:41 AM)Hi At...   Mar 12 2003, 15:59
- - KikeG   Yep... I'm more of an objectivist, but I try n...   Mar 12 2003, 16:09
- - KikeG   By the way, I'm 100% of the opinion of that an...   Mar 12 2003, 16:24
- - DonP   QUOTE (DigitalMan @ Mar 10 2003 - 07:57 PM)[...   Mar 12 2003, 16:32
- - KikeG   But silver has a pay-off. It weights more than cop...   Mar 12 2003, 16:37
- - atici   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 12 2003 - 09:37 AM)The...   Mar 12 2003, 21:53
- - Dex4now   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Mar 12 2003 - 06:59 AM)QUO...   Mar 12 2003, 23:27
- - KikeG   QUOTE (Dex4now @ Mar 12 2003 - 11:27 PM)I...   Mar 13 2003, 10:07
- - KikeG   Addition to my previous post: Note, I always talk...   Mar 13 2003, 10:15
- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (KikeG @ Mar 12 2003 - 03:24 PM)By the ...   Mar 13 2003, 11:52
- - 2Bdecided   Sorry Dex - I didn't mean to offend, and I kno...   Mar 13 2003, 12:35
- - KikeG   @2Bdecided: QUOTE BUT it's not always trivial...   Mar 13 2003, 12:36
- - Daneel   QUOTE (Dex4now @ Mar 9 2003 - 05:41 PM)....Th...   Mar 13 2003, 13:43
- - Pio2001   I did the same calculus, though using the complete...   Mar 13 2003, 20:48
- - Dex4now   2Bdecided: As I look back at my post, the bold em...   Mar 13 2003, 23:47
- - KikeG   QUOTE (Dex4now @ Mar 13 2003 - 11:47 PM)The d...   Mar 14 2003, 09:03
- - gdougherty   QUOTE (Annuka @ Mar 12 2003 - 05:06 AM)Here i...   Mar 14 2003, 11:39
- - SometimesWarrior   QUOTE (gdougherty @ Mar 11 2003 - 12:31 AM)As...   Mar 14 2003, 12:03
- - gdougherty   QUOTE (Dex4now @ Mar 13 2003 - 04:47 PM)One o...   Mar 14 2003, 12:07
- - gdougherty   QUOTE (SometimesWarrior @ Mar 14 2003 - 05:03...   Mar 14 2003, 12:14
- - Pio2001   QUOTE (Dex4now @ Mar 14 2003 - 01:47 AM)whate...   Mar 15 2003, 00:01
- - Dex4now   QUOTE (KikeG @ Mar 14 2003 - 12:03 AM)QUOTE (...   Mar 15 2003, 02:48
- - Bedeox   QUOTE (gdougherty @ Mar 14 2003 - 03:07 AM)Ou...   Mar 15 2003, 17:16
- - Dex4now   C'mon Bedeox, you couldn't have meant that...   Mar 16 2003, 00:26
- - Pio2001   In HA, MP3 vs original, with measurable time smear...   Mar 16 2003, 00:32
- - LoKi128   QUOTE (Pio2001 @ Mar 15 2003 - 06:32 PM)And i...   Mar 16 2003, 00:57


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