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Panic Job. Speaker cable first

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steveal's picture
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I've been a contented user of a Sugden Bijou/Ruark speaker system for many years, and hence I'm out of touch with things hi-fi.

I've spent the last year designing an extension sunroom/den/conservatory for our house, which is now almost built.

Only tonight, I've realised that I never considered music/entertainment! We don't want a super hi-fi system, just a small 'all-in-one' should fill the bill. We anticipate quiet classical music or speech programmes, rather than anything too heavy...

However, I urgently need to install some stereo speaker wire before the wood ceiling gets installed.

 

Assuming something like a Marantz or Denon box, linked to a set of small, quality speakers, what would be a good value, easily obtainable speaker wire? I really need to drive somewhere and buy the speaker wire tomorrow (from EDITEDheroe, Lancashire).

Do the DIY stores have anything suitable?

Any help much appreciated. Comments about the rest of the equipment also welcome

 

Steve

Joined: 27 May 2009
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RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first

79 strand or more. OFC cable 4mm2 for longer runs or maybe smaller for shorter runs

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RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first
matthewpiano's picture
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RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first

Pop to Richer Sounds in Preston.  They'll have something affordable but decent, probably branded Cambridge Audio.  Its a very good branch of Richers.

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davedotco's picture
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RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first

If you need something in a hurry then any decent electrical shop should be able to sell you a real of 15amp twin and earth.

Strip off the outer sheath, discard the bare copper earth and use the two cores lightly twisted together for each cable run. If you have builders still on site they might even have some.

Very effective indeed.

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RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first

Hi Steve

Standard 79 strand OFC type which you should also be able to pick up at local electrical stores will do trick.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft

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andyjm's picture
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RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first

MUSICRAFT wrote:

Hi Steve

Standard 79 strand OFC type which you should also be able to pick up at local electrical stores will do trick.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft

Steve,

The number of strands has nothing to do with the current carrying capability of the cable - you need to focus on cross sectional area of the conductor. Unless your cables are running all over the place, 2.5mmsq will do the trick.  Solid core 2.5mmsq mains twin and earth (that your sparky uses for ringmains and will have a roll in the back of his van) makes fine speaker cable. It is a bit of a pain to teminate and bend, so if you want to buy a multi strand cable (more flexible) then a 50 or 79 strand 2.5mmsq cable should be available from a DIY store or electrical factor.

There are actually good reasons why solid conductor cables (may) sound better than multistrand, so don't be put off from using them because they are 'for house wiring'.

EDIT: Others on here who do this for a living may be able to advise - there may be fire or other (abrasion, chafe resistance...) regulations that apply to cables run in walls / behind ceilings.  The twin and earth I suggested should be rated for this already, I am not sure about generic speaker cable.  I would suggest you check with your sparky.

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the record spot's picture
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RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first

You can pick up some good multistrand cable, Maplins have a good selection. Or companies like Digitalis Direct will send out a reel of the stuff for low cost. 

FWIW, my experience was different to Andy's. I swapped out some solid core Audioquest Type IV for said multistrand and the latter stayed. Only you can decide but as the aforesaid Digitalis Direct will do you ten metres of the stuff for about £5.50 delivered, it's a low cost experiment. 

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Supreme's picture
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RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first

Some great suggestions here but why not go the whole hog and just use some old coat hanger wire?

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RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first

Supreme wrote:

Some great suggestions here but why not go the whole hog and just use some old coat hanger wire?

 

blah blah blah .... give it a rest.

 

Just because somebody doesn't want to spend one million quid on speaker wire doesn't mean that they want to use coat hangers.  Nobody on this forums has ever suggested using coat hangers, yet when people say to try cheap wire this always gets trotted out. help, I`m sinking

The_Lhc's picture
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RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first

andyjm wrote:
The number of strands has nothing to do with the current carrying capability of the cable - you need to focus on cross sectional area of the conductor. Unless your cables are running all over the place, 2.5mmsq will do the trick.  Solid core 2.5mmsq mains twin and earth (that your sparky uses for ringmains and will have a roll in the back of his van) makes fine speaker cable.

There are actually good reasons why solid conductor cables (may) sound better than multistrand, so don't be put off from using them because they are 'for house wiring'.

Somebody fairly recently posted an engineering paper on the (extensively measured) differences between various types of speaker cable, from memory the only cable that significantly degraded the signal travelling through it was mains cable (although it was American mains cable, which may be different to ours).

Hopefully somebody will remember the paper I'm talking about and repost the link. Interesting reading.

Electro's picture
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RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first

The_Lhc wrote:

andyjm wrote:
The number of strands has nothing to do with the current carrying capability of the cable - you need to focus on cross sectional area of the conductor. Unless your cables are running all over the place, 2.5mmsq will do the trick.  Solid core 2.5mmsq mains twin and earth (that your sparky uses for ringmains and will have a roll in the back of his van) makes fine speaker cable.

There are actually good reasons why solid conductor cables (may) sound better than multistrand, so don't be put off from using them because they are 'for house wiring'.

Somebody fairly recently posted an engineering paper on the (extensively measured) differences between various types of speaker cable, from memory the only cable that significantly degraded the signal travelling through it was mains cable (although it was American mains cable, which may be different to ours).

Hopefully somebody will remember the paper I'm talking about and repost the link. Interesting reading.

 

Was it this one Smile

 

http://www.apiguide.net/04actu/04musik/AES-cableInteractions.pdf

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davedotco's picture
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RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first

Interesting. 

The conclusion does suggest that 12AWG 'wire' works well and that is roughly 3 sqmm. It is also a tiny fraction of the cost of branded speaker cable.

Note, twin and earth can be either solid core or stranded (8-12 strands), the paper suggests stranded might be better but I doubt the difference would be significant in practice.

__________________

We do so many shows in a row,

And these towns all look the same,

We just pass the time in our hotel room

And wander 'round backstage,

Till the lights come up, and we hear that crowd,

And we remember why we came.

Jackson Browne

The_Lhc's picture
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Posts: 12589
RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first

Electro wrote:

The_Lhc wrote:

andyjm wrote:
The number of strands has nothing to do with the current carrying capability of the cable - you need to focus on cross sectional area of the conductor. Unless your cables are running all over the place, 2.5mmsq will do the trick.  Solid core 2.5mmsq mains twin and earth (that your sparky uses for ringmains and will have a roll in the back of his van) makes fine speaker cable.

There are actually good reasons why solid conductor cables (may) sound better than multistrand, so don't be put off from using them because they are 'for house wiring'.

Somebody fairly recently posted an engineering paper on the (extensively measured) differences between various types of speaker cable, from memory the only cable that significantly degraded the signal travelling through it was mains cable (although it was American mains cable, which may be different to ours).

Hopefully somebody will remember the paper I'm talking about and repost the link. Interesting reading.

 

Was it this one Smile

 

http://www.apiguide.net/04actu/04musik/AES-cableInteractions.pdf

Hang on, checking status of author's beard.... status: cracking! Yes, that's the one...

The_Lhc's picture
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RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first

davedotco wrote:

Interesting. 

The conclusion does suggest that 12AWG 'wire' works well and that is roughly 3 sqmm. It is also a tiny fraction of the cost of branded speaker cable.

Note, twin and earth can be either solid core or stranded (8-12 strands), the paper suggests stranded might be better but I doubt the difference would be significant in practice.

My mistake it was the car battery jumper cables that were rubbish. Does suggest that different pieces of wire can have an impact (so maybe leave the coat-hangers in the wardrobe) but as you say whether it's noticable in the real world is a different matter.

Joined: 26 Jun 2009
Posts: 242
RE: Panic Job. Speaker cable first

I'm helping a friend choose a 'system' for her new kitchen, which is at the stage where wires need to go in. We ended up not doing any wiring, concluding that a decent all in one dock/bluetooth  unit would be better than speakers in the celing linking to an amp/CD.

I have a Meridian F80 as a second system, which blows the socks off many separates and is really really nice. Meaning sound quality will not be a limiting factor if you've got the budget. I'm thinking B&W A7 for my friend, perhaps Zeppelin. Whichever, it's an alternative approach that may appeal to you, and there are lots of options at various prices to choose from.