Interesting, ask the practical question; 'have you tried it' . . . it all dries up . . . ? So one presumes, negative views are based on theory and hearsay?
Many years ago, when when cable 'directionality' (ugh!) became the new tweak (along with sticky-back foil triangles and other nonsense), I tried a bit of cable reversing and couldn't tell a difference. Tried bi-wiring too (no difference either). This was with a pretty revealing system - at the time - and my ears were 20 years younger too.
I was a bit more gullible back then, so I left the cables connected 'the right way' around just in case. (Well, it didn't cost anything.)
Honestly though, my dealer will solder terminate any new cables with banana plugs for me and i'll connect them up whichever way they happen to present themselves with no regard for which direction the cable details are printed on the insulation.
If you are right, then there is a 25 percent chance that my cables just happen to be the right way around after any occasion that I unplug and move everything to hoover under the the hi-fi and AV bits.
Marantz M-CR603 • Rega R3 loudspeakers • AirPlay • Apple iPad Mini • Apple iPhone 5 • Apple iMac • Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11N • Humax HDR-Fox T2 • Panasonic TX-L32D25B • Sony BDP-S390
Thats all fine, I will agree to dissagree, I know what my ears tell me and my cable is conected the right way. By the way, I've heard the silver squares and the funny water. I wont tell you what I thought of or think of them . . . ?
So what about heavy speaker stands, I think Kef said many years ago that they did not work . . . I said they could work back in 1980, and proved it, there are a lot of people filling speaker stands these days. Sadly not understanding the affects and therefore the outcome is not always so good?
I will stick to my guns, 'speaker cable can be directionaly affected' . . .
I've read some wacky claims on here but this one takes some beating.
I bet you couldn't distinguish cable "direction" under blind test conditions.
I dont need to, or have to . . . and its not a wacky claim, its fact for me!
I believe even 'Naim' say their cable is directional, you going to argue with them? By the way, K20 speaker cable is the early Naim cable under a different name, Chebby I believe has the story on that?
Dont ignore the fact I have said, some are more affected than otheres . . . but I've not found one that does not have a tad of dirctionality . . .
The End . . . CJSF
I believe even 'Naim' say their cable is directional, you going to argue with them?
Their NACA5 cable is extremely directional. (Just not in the way you are describing.)
If you want it make go around a corner you need a hair dryer to soften the insulation before bending it!
(Otherwise it just goes in absolutely whatever direction it wants to go because it's so inflexible.)
You don't need speakers stands if you use NACA5 cable. It's so rigid it just holds the speakers up in the air.
Not only that but if your Naim dealer prepares a set of NACA5 cables for your Naim system, he will put Naim amp connectors on one end and banana plugs on the other end, so you have no choice but to use them whichever way around he made them. (I couldn't be bothered to re-solder everything just to experiment with something I didn't think mattered anyway.)
I have no doubt you hear differences when you swap your cables. The question is, has the sound coming out of the speakers changed?
This is not meant to be a trite comment, but as you have clearly spent time and effort investigating this effect, may I suggest you spend a little time to google 'directional speaker cables' and compare that with the results of googling 'suggestion bias' or 'placebo effect'.
I think the balance of probability is that you are hearing differences, not because the sound has changed, but because the framework in which you are evaluating the sound is different. As I have posted before, you listen with your brain, not your ears. Anything that changes the way your brain interprets the sound will make it sound different to you. I am certainly not immune from this effect, I would be surprised if you were.
I'm loving my Marantz M-CR603 - Totem Dreamcatcher set up. I now need to find some affordable speaker cables to replace the 10 year old LTS High Performance Flat-1 cable that I having been using as they are too short and quite bulky with them being flat. I need two 5 metre lengths and have a budget of £5pm.
I recommend standard 79 strand or 500 strand OFC speaker cables as I feel they'll be more than good enough for your components. These speaker cables should cost little money and you should also find these speaker cables at local electrical stores.
All the best
Rick @ Musicraft
Musicraft (Derby), Specialist Hi-Fi/AV & Multimedia Dealer
good accurate audio monitoring and good sound reproduction to all
Thanks Rick. I have a few places local to me and your info will stop me looking like a numpty when I ask them for cable :-)
CJSF, have you ever tried the experiment of reversing the absolute phase of your system to see if this affected the directionality of your cables?
If the directionality remains in the same direction from amp to speakers then this would indicate that it might be down to there being a better connection at the terminals one way round than the other.
If the directionality reverses with a reversal of the absolute phase this would suggest that maybe the cables themselves really are directional.
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.
That wasn't even the point I was making, but I'm fine with you highlighting a subtopic on the back of it.
I bought the 322-strand to try it out - £5.50 delivered for 10m. The Audioquest Type IV was around £7/metre when I acquired mine, it's now around, or was, £13/metre. So, £130 against £5.50. Sound quality difference is minimal. I'm sure there's bog standard solid core cable out there for next to nothing too.
Salient point for me was - minimal audible difference albeit my preference was for the 322-strand. And as Roger Russell says on his site, as long as the resistance is below 5% of the total speaker impedance, the actual construction of the cable - silver, stranded, solid-core, makes no difference.
As I said, I'm happy with my choices.
Onkyo TX-NR818 / Tannoy DC4 speakers / Marantz UD-7007
AVI Lab Series CD player / various cables
Ricks reply puts focus back to the original post, and I agree. Either will do, simply keep the reel ends together, that costs nothing. Then for peace of mind, befor hiding all the cable behind the furniture. Listen then swap both cable end to end and listen again, plug the cables the way you prefered.
It cost nothing, it keeps peace of mind and I may look like I'm talking from my ****? Then again, I might have improved a systems musicality for no extra cost?
Why get so wound up over a no cost, easy to do, minor experiment?
Btw, don't worry. Fwiw, I only used standard 500 strand OFC speaker cables with Totem Mite, Arro and Model - 1 Signature speakers. Amplification used was Densen Audio Technologies B-175 Plus and a Plinius Hiato.
Cable manufacturers specify the CSA - 'cross sectional area' of the conductors in their cables. This can be made up of 1 thick conductor or mutliple thinner conductors where the individual CSAs add up to the overall cable CSA. The reason for multiple strands is to allow the cable to bend easily, nothing to do with conduction effects.
Real cable data sheets (not the sort you find in HiFi adverts) tell you all you need to know:
Near the top on the left is "7/46/0.1 + PVC" - thats 7 bundles of 46 strands, each 0.1mm in diameter and a PVC insulating jacket.
All the following are 2.5mm^2 CSA and have the same resistance:
50/0.25 - 50 strands, 0.25mm
79/0.2 - 79 strands, 0.2mm
322/0.1 - 322 strands, 0.1mm
7/46/0.1 - 322 strands, 0.1mm arranged as 7 bundles and then twisted.
So when you are looking to part with your hard earned cash, ignore the number of strands unless cable flexibility is important to you, and focus on cross sectional area.
The reason why good solid speaker-supports can affect the sound is fairly easy to explain when you're talking about holding an electromagnetic transducer (speaker) as rigidly as possible with no resonance.. At the opposite end of your HiFi it's the same reason why turntable arms aren't made out of rubber.. Probably the only reason Kef (and others?) said they didn't work is because they didn't make any.
If we extend your beliefs further, then what about other cables, like mains cables, which also carry AC current, just like speaker cables? If I experiment with reversing all the underfloor mains cables to the sockets, will my microwave cook my dinner faster? Will my lights be brighter? Will my fridge cool things faster? Will my HiFi sound better?
You must know deep down that at a scientific level it's utter rubbish. But if it makes you a happy man, then there's no harm in it.
Main system: Mac Mini 2011 • HRT II+ DAC • Marantz CD 63 mkII KI & PM66 KI • MS 10i speakers [borrowed]
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Believe what Naim say, NO I would not, they are the ones that said you had to use 3.5m of Naim speaker cable with their amps otherwise they would blow-up. How much is Naim cable compared to K20?
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