The current rapidly alternates in both directions (on both conductors) at the frequency of the signal (AC) so how can there be a 'correct direction' for the cable?
If this is wrong, please explain how it is wrong.
Wouldn't a DC - direct current - signal in one direction from amp to speaker (and then back to the amp along the other conductor) actually cause stuff to melt or explode? (Let alone result in no vibration of the speaker cones.)
Maybe this idea of alternating current is not acceptable to audiophile cable consumers because it opposes their mental model of music 'flowing' smoothly from amp to speakers with the assistance of arrows to direct it on it's way.
It's not a 'stream' or a 'river' or a one-way road. It's a two-lane road where all the 'vehicles' on both lanes are being yanked backwards and forwards thousands of times a second at velocities - but not distances - of many tens of thousands of miles per second. The 'vehicles' don't flow. On average they never go anywhere. (Like you wouldn't actually go anywhere more than a few inches in either direction if you were rapidly shaken backwards and forwards.)
While some interconnects need to be connected the right way around because of their construction (signal leads with the screen connected at one end only for example), I have never seen a reasonable explanation for directional speaker cables. Naim maintain their cables are directional, but I have not found anything to justify this.
There are wild suggestions of micro diodes at grain boundaries on the net, but that is tin foil hat stuff as far as I can see.
Any link to an explanation (and no 'it sounds different to me' please) would be most welcome.
Mmm . . . I dont have any explanation either, I aint that clever, but I know it is a fact and one has demonstrated it many times over the years when testing for dirctionality, some cables are more obvious than others. May be you are cleaverer than I and can show 'practicaly' that cables are not directional? See there are two sides to the coin, it all comes down to practicality and ears.
I dont realy care, I know what I can hear . . . some cables, speaker and interconects, seem to be directional, almost having a positive and negative end?
As much as I cant show technicaly why this should be so, the doubters have never shown me practicaly it aint so, they can produce techno speak, and theory that does suport the no direction idea. I know what I know, I trust my ears and they tell me the phenomonum exists in some cable to a lesser or greater degree.
I cant see why its a problem? How dificult is it to do a quick listen and swap over end for ends, listen again, if no change, thats fair enough, if there is a differance you then decide which you prefer . . . very simple, aint it?
Then again perhaps the listening ears aint so good? . . . or the hifi is not up to scratch . . . who is to say?
Hifi has always been practical fact against technical theory . . . in my book the practical usualy wins, practical in terms of 'ears'. Figures often dont match to what is a good sound to an individuals ears.
OK - on directionality of cable.
The speaker cable connects the positive amplifier output terminal to the positive speaker terminal.
The speaker cable connects the negative amplifier output terminal to the negative speaker terminal.
Generally the negative amplifier connection is ground potential for many amplifier available today (non balanced output)
When you listen to music this is what happens :
1. The output waveform goes positive with respect to the negative terminal on the amplifier and from classic electrical theory electrons flow into the positive speaker terminal, back out negative speaker terminal and through speaker cable to the negative amplifier connection.
2. The output waveform then goes negative with respect to the negative terminal on the amplifier and from classic electrical theory electrons flow out of the positive speaker connection, in the reverse direction along the cable to that of the positive waveform.
If speaker cables were directional - either the positive or negative waveform would be skewed in some way and distort the sound.
So, i would never buy a directional cable - if such a cable exists.
. . . ???
It is a wind up, isn it ?
You should have left it hanging a bit longer.
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No, no wind up . . . just amazes me how people cant use or trust their ears . . . or at least let those who can hear and trust our ears, get on with life. Just becast the technobable says so, hifi fact does not always run true to the numbers . . . I dont no why, but it has ever been so in my hifi life time.
I have seen people hear differances, 'acknowlge the fact' and still purchase the inferior product becase 'Mr Xxxxx' says so, they heard it, it was a fact, they reject it . . . why?
I new it would generate the reaction it did . . . Wont change my mind, makes me smile, I listen to what my ears tell me. I just hope those that have an open mind will try the 'swap from end to end cable test', it dont cost anything, but it could give a better musical experiance . . .
PS, for the test to be a true representation, you have to have the 'positive ends' at the same end, it dont work if you 'fold the cable in half and cut'. That puts positive and negative together, it will always be wrong. So if you dont know which is which, listen, swap one cable only end to end, listen again. Then swap both cables end to end, one of the three will sound better.
Lets say you've already cut them, is there a way to tell which end is which?
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See the 'PS edit' in my last post . . .
CJSF you are a highly respected member on this forum (certainly by me) but on this occasion:
I can buy most things, but directional speaker cables...nope, I can't buy it. Sorry fella. No hard feelings.
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Hi MF . . . I respect you coments all ways have . . . have you tried the cable end to end swap? See the 'PS edit in my previous post', just in case you have mixed the positive ends up at some time?
I have to cover my back and say it may not apply to every cable, however, I have not yet heard a cable that does not have some change, some are more obvious than others. All my cable, speaker and interconect, in my system has been evaluated and found to be directional. I have a small plie of cabel in my shed that has been rejected during evaluation for sound and/or directionality. However my experiance is limited, I have only listened to my limited selection over 30 years, usualy for personal use?
At one point, we did do extensive tests on interconect cable over many hours and days!!! The cable we came down on was highly directional, of tiny condutor size, and made of an unusual metal. That cable sold many hundred of sets to those that listened, I still use it today and have had it listened to profesionaly recently. I was asked to remarket it . . . to old, cant be bothered, for the negative resons that have come up in this thread.
I say again MF, have you tried the 'end to end test'?
The number of strands in a cable is irrelevant. It is the total cross sectional area 'CSA' of the conductors that matters.
Aim for a CSA of at least 2.5mm^2.
More strands make for a more flexible cable, but there are arguments that a solid conductor works best. 2.5mm^2 mains twin and earth is very cheap, and can be used to good effect.
Hi Andy, I'm happy with my choices and wasn;'t looking for a critique thanks.
I previously use solid core AudioQuest Type IV which I'd had for about ten years. I found the unbranded 322-strand single-wired were slightly better to my ears. I've read Roger Russell's site and favour his views on cables incidentally.
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No critique intended, just making the point that the number of strands has nothing to do with the size of the conductors in a speaker cable. Strands are not a standard size. One thick conductor is better than lots of thin conductors if the total cross sectional area of the thick conductor is greater. Size matters. A point Roger makes on his site.
Interesting, ask the practical question; 'have you tried it' . . . it all dries up . . . ? So one presumes, negative views are based on theory and hearsay?
Sorry mate I missed this! Honest answer is 'not intentionally', but accidentally, yes, probably dozens of times, because I don't take any care over which end goes where when I fit cables, and I've probably fitted the same set of cables both ways countless times without noticing anything.
I think the reason people haven't posted is they don't really want to cause offence.
There are lots of things in this world that you don't need to try. Will a helicopter fly under water ? No. Have you tried it ? No.
Ive seen some **** on these pages but this would be the biggest pile of it yet.
At what point in the process does copper (or other material) become directional. The ore, extraction, spinning or putting a plastic coating with a black felt tip arrow on it.
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