speaker wire

Skin effect problems generallly start above 100KHz and that is why your example needed the higher conductivity across a connection that the silver
on both terminals of the connector became needed. Gold has a higher resistance than silver but it can be better as it molds better to the contact.
-- Why isn't there an Ozone Hole at the NORTH Pole?
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Actually, your 14/2 will perform far superior to most of the crap usually sold as speaker wire to clueless audiophiles. Do it!
Harry C.
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I agree. Monster cables are a marketing rip-off. I heard a talk by an audio engineer in which this was thoroughly analyzed. The main benefit of those very large cables is in the profit margin. Then there is the placebo effect, which can seem very real to a believer.
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wrote: (clip)Do it!

placebo
I used to know a self-styled "audio expert" who once showed me an article in which five amplifiers were evaluated by an engineer. Four of them were in the $2000 to $5000 range. The fifth was a popular unit which sold for about $250. His rather extensive testing rated the $250 unit right in the middle of the pack. My erstwhile buddy used this to argue that the testing was invalid and that the engineer didn't know anything about what he was doing.
He then went on to claim that engineers and musicians tended to own the worst sounding systems....
On the other hand, one of the finest sounding systems I'd ever heard was in a little recording studio. This was many years ago, long before CD's, etc. The record player was a transcription player with a 35 lb turntable (lots of metal content...). The speakers were a gargantuan pair of Altec Lansing Voice of the Theatres. And the amplifier was a $69.95 DynaKit... And, as I recall, the speaker wires were lamp cord...
Personally, and I'm an engineer by trade, tend to suggest landscape lighting wire in higher powered systems or for long runs, although lamp cord works just fine for lower power/short runs. Lamp cord is typically AWG 16 or AWG 18. Landscape lighting wire looks like lamp cord, but comes in AWG 12 and AWG 14. And it is highly flexible and abrasion-resistant.
But, if you are going to plant it in the walls where it won't be flexed, your plain old power wire (Romex, whatever...) will work just fine. The problem is what to use where you come out of the wall. I'd run the wire between a couple boxes and put on a blank outlet plate in which I'd installed a couple pairs of banana jacks. Then use lamp cord for the short runs between the amplifier and jacks and the speakers and jacks. Or you can use a couple 1/4 in. phone jacks (you can get right angle phone plugs that won't protrude more than about 1/4 in. from the wall...)
One thing NOT to do is to use the ground wire as a "common" and the white and black wires as the "hot" speaker wires. You WILL get some crosstalk between the two channels. But, if you have some, say, 14/3 with ground, you can, say, use the black and white for one channel and the red and ground (bare) for the other. For the same reason, use a plastic outlet plate, not a metal one, to keep the two channels separate, should you elect to use phone jacks.
Jerry
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As I think on it though, problems arise if someone thinks the wire is in fact part of the house wiring[at some point in the distant future] and hooks it up as such.....might want ot differentiate

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yourname wrote:

Good point. However, a fine point marking pen will write on the jacket. I would suggest writing "SPEAKER" every 6' or so along the wire.
Ted
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On Thu, 24 Feb 2005 00:52:40 GMT, "Leo Lichtman"

They look impressive, personally, I listen to everything with earphones to overcome tinnitus. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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Be aware that any length of wire in excess of about 15 feet can act as an antenna and bring unwanted signals down the line to the amp where it can get amplified and sent back up the wire and through the speakers.
I used to run a College sound recording studio and a CCTV studio and had major problems at one stage from the local radio station signal getting into the system through the long mic leads (we were in 'line of sight' with their powerful transmitter tower). The problem was eventually traced back to a single mic lead with a 'ground fault'.
I am also a radio ham and at one time lived in an apartment building and never caused any interference problems until the 'super' came home one day with a new 'surround sound' system and I was blasting right through it whenever I transmitted! The problem was nothing to do with my set up (I hadn't changed anything) but rather it was his very long runs of cheap speaker wire picking up my signal and feeding it back through the very poor filtering on his 'cheapo' amp. The solution in this case was to fit ferrite rings/loops at either end of his speaker leads and he never heard me again.
If you are going to run long speaker leads it may pay you to invest in a few ferrite rings/loops and save yourself a lot of headaches down the road. They are readily available from the likes of Radio Shack at reasonable prices.
--
Larry Green

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Just remember that when you go into Radio Shack, speak very slowly and don't ask for "ferrite rings, ferrite supressors or even the word ferrite." Just ask for those donut looking thingies that you've seen on some wires before.
Shawn
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LOL........very true........the Shack 'droids' around here seem particularly dense too. They would probably send you down the road to Tim Horton's or Krispy Kreme if you asked for a donut!
--
Larry Green

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snip-----
The solution in this case was

That's a great tip, Larry. Would you mind detailing how these ferrite rings are installed? In my case, consider that I'd have my wire running in EMT for one set of speakers, and in PVC sch. 40 plastic in the other. Each set terminates in a steel box, and the runs would be made of stranded 10 gage THHN wire, color coded to insure proper phasing. I'd like to make sure we don't get any noise that isn't a part of the music!
Thanks---
Harold
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Hi Harold,
Ferrite 'noise suppressors' can come in several forms such as beads, rings, hinged 'rectangles' and cylinders. The fitting of each type is different in each case.
Ferrite Beads These are 'normally' very small (less than 1/4" dia.) and are slipped onto a wire before it is attached to a piece of equipment. Usually used internally on a device.
Ferrite Rings These can come in a range of sizes up to several inches in dia. They can also be 'salvaged' from the back of old speakers or TV tubes (be careful of high voltages if messing with TV tubes even if they are switched off and unplugged!) To fit a ring to speaker wire you simply pass the wire around the ring several times by going through the middle and around the outside. Six to eight turns are normally sufficient to block any stray signals. Make sure the 'turns' are equally spaced around the ring.
Ferrite 'Rectangles' These are the most common type found in Radio Shack and are two 'U' shaped pieces of ferrite mounted in a hinged plastic holder with a clip to keep the 'loop' closed. Undo the clip, open the 'loop' and wind several turns of your speaker wire around one half of the 'loop' then cross over and wind the wire around the other half. If you wind clockwise on one side wind counter-clockwise on the other side. Close the loop and re-clip when you are done.
Ferrite Cylinders These can come as either solid or split (like the 'rectangles'). You have more than likely seen this type many times and not realized what it is. The 'bumps' on a computer monitor cable are ferrite cylinders to prevent stray signals getting to the monitor. For solid cylinders you simply pass the wire through the hole in the centre and hold them in place with either electrical tape or a small cable tie at either end. Split ones 'normally' come in a hinged plastic fitting. Undo the fitting, slip the speaker wire into the 'slot' between the two halves and close the fitting again. If the cylinder slides on the wire use either electrical tape or a small cable tie at either end to stop it slipping.
Whatever type you use they have to be fitted at each end of each set of 'long' wires in your system (the shorter wires are not 'normally' affected) as close to the device in question as possible (i.e. where the wires connect to the amp and speaker). A short length of wire (say up to 6") sticking out of the 'connection' end is OK if you don't have room to fit all the ferrite rings/loops/cylinders close to the amp.
HTH
--
Larry Green

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Larry Green wrote:

The ferrite used in permanent magnets has a different composition than the linear ferrites used in attenuator cores and is already in saturation. In addition to adding a little inductance, the material in an attenuator core is "lossy" at RF frequencies, turning the RF energy into heat.
Kevin Gallimore
-
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Why both ends? My monitor cable has only one at the 15 pin plug end. Is the other one inside the monitor case?
Shawn
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There could be (and possibly is) internal filtering on your monitor but my guess is the manufacturer was trying to save a few cents/pennies. It is certainly more 'usual' to see them fitted at each end particularly in the case of long speaker wires.
--
Larry Green

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Most designs of the ferrites just clamp over the wires. Do make sure that the wires for one channel aren't connected to the other channel as some amps use differential drive to get the power up for the output. Even just if you have a "correct" hot and ground, the current is high enough that one channel will feed to the other if you tie the grounds together anywhere in the system. The wire size is a good one for higher power amps as you will be driving a 8 ohm load generally and any resistance between the speaker and the amp will drop the quality of the sound by allowing the speaker to resonate more as the impedance of the wire is increasing the source impedance that it sees.
-- Why isn't there an Ozone Hole at the NORTH Pole?
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Harold and Susan Vordos wrote:

With the controls of the system set for normal listening, stop the CD, tape or whatever. Turn up the volume control about 5 or 10 db and listen carefully. If you don't hear any stray signals, as they say, "Don't fix it if it ain't broke." If you do hear a bit of a local brodcast station or ???, try the ferrite beads.
Ted
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Yup....no point in fixing what ain't there! However, long speaker cable runs *are* prone to picking up signals and sometimes those signals may be short lived (a passing car transmitting etc.) As the ferrite 'filters' are fitted close to the respective equipment and not in the wall I would suggest you run the cables and try it. Then if you are getting problems you know how to fix it.
--
Larry Green

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rings
Thanks, Ted. Now I understand what I'd be looking for.
One question I've had for years is why I have some (very little, but noticeable) 60 hz in one channel and not the other. Been that way since I bought the Mc2300 way back in '75. Any clues?
Harold
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I'm down to the point where I run nothing but 3/4" flex plastic conduit for all my data/audio lines. That way I can upgrade to whatever is the current state of the art. Who would have thought that Cat 5e cable would now be obsolete when I did some remodeling 5 years ago? Especially since 5e was not available when I did it!!!
habbi wrote:

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