58 posts / 0 new
Last post
admin's picture
Offline
Last seen: 14 hours 23 min ago
Joined: 04/09/2013 - 14:19
Posts: 51601
DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?
English

The reason why i ask this question is for the simple fact that where ever you read about speaker cable the article always state's that the AWG, gauge or the thickness of the speaker wire is a very, very important factor probably the most important to take into account when buying speaker cable and the various article's usually go on to say that the longer the length of cable required then the more thicker the cable should be or the thicker the cable the better the sound quality because there is less resistance in a thicker cable compared to a thinner one so therefore the current will travel better etc  BUT what i do not understand is that if this is supposed to be a very important and crucial factor then why the hell are company's like CHORD, QED, KIMBER CABLE, ATLAS etc manufacturing and selling speaker cable that is very thin for example my CHORD EPIC SUPER TWIN use's conductor's that are only 4-5mm thick so surely these exotic speaker cable company's are not paying much attention to the very important factor stating that the thicker the cable the better but it seems that they are doing the opposite and charging us a lot of money for it. So does this mean that if i were to buy a 10mm thick speaker wire that cost's only £1 per meter would this sound better than a 5mm thick speaker wire say from CHORD that cost's £30 per meter, well it should do according to these articles that state that the thicker the cable then the better the sound quality. So know i sit hear and wonder if i have been ripped off by paying over £80 per meter for a cable that is only 5mm thick compared to a 10mm cable that only costs £1 per meter and the worst feeling is that i think i might be believing the hype that expensive speaker cable does not make a slight difference it's the thickness that does and know i feel very, very THICK.

aliEnRIK's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 27/08/2008 - 15:18
Posts: 3742
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?

Blind listening tests have shown that all speaker cables sound the same. But then theyve also shown a 200 quid amp sounds the same as a 20k amp so I take blind tests with a pinch of salt


Personally speaking I put speaker cables and interconnects in the same bracket. Either theyre transparent (Let information through without distorting it in any way (colouration)) or they do distort.


4mm speaker cables are plenty big enough for most hifi systems, so your unlikely to gain anything from thicker wire. Other factors are what its made of, how its made and what surrounds the metal cores (The sheathing)


My personal opinion is you HAVE been ripped off. Not because of the thickness of the cable, but because youve been conned into believing the chord is somehow better than a much cheaper brand. (I believe most, if not all chord cables 'distort' sound)


Ive since changed all my interconnects for VAN DAMME, as theyre very transparent. In time im going to change my speaker cables too (Just deciding on the best connectors to use)


If you wish to know more then id suggest a google. I could post loads of links but get yet another slapped hand off the over enthusiastic mods on here

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?
DR KAY:The reason why i ask this question is for the simple fact that where ever you read about speaker cable the article always state's that the AWG, gauge or the thickness of the speaker wire is a very, very important factor probably the most important to take into account when buying speaker cable and the various article's usually go on to say that the longer the length of cable required then the more thicker the cable should be or the thicker the cable the better the sound quality because there is less resistance in a thicker cable compared to a thinner one so therefore the current will travel better etc  BUT what i do not understand is that if this is supposed to be a very important and crucial factor then why the hell are company's like CHORD, QED, KIMBER CABLE, ATLAS etc manufacturing and selling speaker cable that is very thin for example my CHORD EPIC SUPER TWIN use's conductor's that are only 4-5mm thick so surely these exotic speaker cable company's are not paying much attention to the very important factor stating that the thicker the cable the better but it seems that they are doing the opposite and charging us a lot of money for it. So does this mean that if i were to buy a 10mm thick speaker wire that cost's only £1 per meter would this sound better than a 5mm thick speaker wire say from CHORD that cost's £30 per meter, well it should do according to these articles that state that the thicker the cable then the better the sound quality. So know i sit hear and wonder if i have been ripped off by paying over £80 per meter for a cable that is only 5mm thick compared to a 10mm cable that only costs £1 per meter and the worst feeling is that i think i might be believing the hype that expensive speaker cable does not make a slight difference it's the thickness that does and know i feel very, very THICK.

I believe I gave you a link on a previous post regarding speaker cable , more to do with using different lengths than gauge ,but the same site addresses speaker gauge as well.


Gauge is important when you use long length of cable as in Home cinema rear speakers , due to making it less resistant.


Most people will go for thin because of the cost and it is easier to hide , when in this application you should perhaps use 12 gauge 4mm cable.


I am rewiring at the moment and have previously used expensive Audioquest cable for front 3 and 79strand for rears


I am changing to Van Damme 4mm for every channel , if its good enough for PCM speaker company who am I to argue, but it is heavy studio cable and about 1/2" in diameter.


Cant give an opinion on the VD cable sound as I am literally changing system out just now


We are very easily conned by hype and fear into buying kit that gives very little if any benefit , if  you were to use normal house 2.5 mm wiring it would .without doubt .make your system sound different , better ?


Well that as always is subjective

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?
aliEnRIK:

Blind listening tests have shown that all speaker cables sound the same. But then theyve also shown a 200 quid amp sounds the same as a 20k amp so I take blind tests with a pinch of salt


Personally speaking I put speaker cables and interconnects in the same bracket. Either theyre transparent (Let information through without distorting it in any way (colouration)) or they do distort.


4mm speaker cables are plenty big enough for most hifi systems, so your unlikely to gain anything from thicker wire. Other factors are what its made of, how its made and what surrounds the metal cores (The sheathing)


My personal opinion is you HAVE been ripped off. Not because of the thickness of the cable, but because youve been conned into believing the chord is somehow better than a much cheaper brand. (I believe most, if not all chord cables 'distort' sound)


Ive since changed all my interconnects for VAN DAMME, as theyre very transparent. In time im going to change my speaker cables too (Just deciding on the best connectors to use)


If you wish to know more then id suggest a google. I could post loads of links but get yet another slapped hand off the over enthusiastic mods on here


Do you use Van Damme subwoofer interconnect by any chance?


 I am as easily conned as the next guy but have managed to convince myself on buying VD speaker cable , but.


As I have a high end system and need 10m of sub interconnect I am desperately trying not to be fooled into buying 10 m of QED reference subwoofer cable at £108.00 when obviously there are cheaper alternatives, not that perhaps my system doesn't justify the QED and if that is the price I have to pay ,so be it.


OK perhaps I am contradicting myself , such is the power of the esoteric manufacturer

aliEnRIK's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 27/08/2008 - 15:18
Posts: 3742
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?
lesmor:Do you use Van Damme subwoofer interconnect by any chance?

 I am as easily conned as the next guy but have managed to convince myself on buying VD speaker cable , but.


As I have a high end system and need 10m of sub interconnect I am desperately trying not to be fooled into buying 10 m of QED reference subwoofer cable at £108.00 when obviously there are cheaper alternatives, not that perhaps my system doesn't justify the QED and if that is the price I have to pay ,so be it.


OK perhaps I am contradicting myself , such is the power of the esoteric manufacturer



Made me laugh Stick out tongue


I dont use a sub im afraid


I can tell you that my bass is more detailed and deeper with the VD than it was with my reference solid silver interconnects though


Way I see it is exactly what I said to the OP. The VD will allow all information through, completely transparent (Down to around 20Hz if memory serves). If the QED does different, then to my mind, thats surely a BAD thing?

markyd's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 21/03/2010 - 09:57
Posts: 166
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?

I worked as an engineer in Abbey Road studios for several years. The entire studio (and many many others) use VDC cable. 4mm bi-wire cable was used on the Nautilus 800 surround systems with 1000w Chord Amps per speaker -  in cost terms the cable was cheap as chips.

The only significant benefit in cable technology was decent screening and OFC copper conductors. As far as gauge goes on speakers, you want something chunky for current transfer and low impedance loss, but the terminals will limit the current in the same way pipe diameter reduction reduces flow-rate in plumbing.

If it's good enough for the recording chain, it just doesn't make any sense why you need to pay more. Your home hi-fi isn't going to sound significantly better than the recording engineers monitoring system.

Sorry but super fancy cables are unnecessary. You reach a law of diminishing returns VERY early in the exponential price curve.

aliEnRIK's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 27/08/2008 - 15:18
Posts: 3742
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?
markyd:

I worked as an engineer in Abbey Road studios for several years. The entire studio (and many many others) use VDC cable. 4mm bi-wire cable was used on the Nautilus 800 surround systems with 1000w Chord Amps per speaker -  in cost terms the cable was cheap as chips.

The only significant benefit in cable technology was decent screening and OFC copper conductors. As far as gauge goes on speakers, you want something chunky for current transfer and low impedance loss, but the terminals will limit the current in the same way pipe diameter reduction reduces flow-rate in plumbing.

If it's good enough for the recording chain, it just doesn't make any sense why you need to pay more. Your home hi-fi isn't going to sound significantly better than the recording engineers monitoring system.

Sorry but super fancy cables are unnecessary. You reach a law of diminishing returns VERY early in the exponential price curve.

 

Fascinating post markyd

Does abbey have any mains conditioning or balanced mains? Do they bother with fancy mains leads or just stick with stock?

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?
markyd:

I worked as an engineer in Abbey Road studios for several years. The entire studio (and many many others) use VDC cable. 4mm bi-wire cable was used on the Nautilus 800 surround systems with 1000w Chord Amps per speaker -  in cost terms the cable was cheap as chips.


The only significant benefit in cable technology was decent screening and OFC copper conductors. As far as gauge goes on speakers, you want something chunky for current transfer and low impedance loss, but the terminals will limit the current in the same way pipe diameter reduction reduces flow-rate in plumbing.


If it's good enough for the recording chain, it just doesn't make any sense why you need to pay more. Your home hi-fi isn't going to sound significantly better than the recording engineers monitoring system.


Sorry but super fancy cables are unnecessary. You reach a law of diminishing returns VERY early in the exponential price curve.


Good post , and logical , you can only reproduce what was recorded through the original cables that were used ,and no amount of expensive cable no matter what the cable companies say their technology does , can add/improve on that.


No recording studios whether for music or Cinema ,as far as I am aware ,use chord / QED etc

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?

Hi markyd just read what you wrote and i am totally convinced now that expensive speaker must be a huge ripoff because if Abbey Road studio's and other studio's knew that expensive speaker cable doe's make a difference in quality then I'll bet you that they would be using the most expensive cable that money can buy BUT they are not so therefore if VDC cable is good enough for them then it's surely good enough for me, so therefore i will be purchasing some VAN DEN STUDIO BLUE 4mm speaker cable rather than the expensive QED stuff. Can you possibly give me the full name of the VDC cable that the studio were using so that i can buy the same or would the cable i have just mentioned be ok also i would be very grateful since you have been working as an engineer in the world renowned ABBEY ROAD studio's if you can share any hint's, tip's or trick's that can benefit me and other's in term's of getting the best and most out of our system's and finally if you can tell me exactly which speaker cable i should use for the whole system then i would be very grateful indeed. Thank's


 

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?
markyd:

I worked as an engineer in Abbey Road studios for several years. The entire studio (and many many others) use VDC cable. 4mm bi-wire cable was used on the Nautilus 800 surround systems with 1000w Chord Amps per speaker -  in cost terms the cable was cheap as chips.


The only significant benefit in cable technology was decent screening and OFC copper conductors. As far as gauge goes on speakers, you want something chunky for current transfer and low impedance loss, but the terminals will limit the current in the same way pipe diameter reduction reduces flow-rate in plumbing.


If it's good enough for the recording chain, it just doesn't make any sense why you need to pay more. Your home hi-fi isn't going to sound significantly better than the recording engineers monitoring system.


Sorry but super fancy cables are unnecessary. You reach a law of diminishing returns VERY early in the exponential price curve.



Hi sorry but doe's VDC cable actually mean VAN DEN HUL speaker cable?

Andrew Everard's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 30/05/2007 - 12:34
Posts: 28836
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?
aliEnRIK:completely transparent

You've said this in several posts recently. How do you know this?

aliEnRIK's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 27/08/2008 - 15:18
Posts: 3742
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?
Andrew Everard:aliEnRIK:completely transparent

You've said this in several posts recently. How do you know this?

Ive seen the results of tests online

aliEnRIK's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 27/08/2008 - 15:18
Posts: 3742
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?
DR KAY:

Hi sorry but doe's VDC cable actually mean VAN DEN HUL speaker cable?

 

Im assuming he means from the online site ~

http://www.vdctrading.com/default.asp

Andrew Everard's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 30/05/2007 - 12:34
Posts: 28836
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?
aliEnRIK:Ive seen the results of tests online

Ah, right, so you saying 'it's completely transparent' means 'i've read that it's completely transparent'. Thanks for clarification.

Anonymous
Anonymous's picture
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?
Andrew Everard:
aliEnRIK:Ive seen the results of tests online


Ah, right, so you saying 'it's completely transparent' means 'i've read that it's completely transparent'. Thanks for clarification.

Not to be confused with being able to see daylight through the fabric of the cable?

aliEnRIK's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 27/08/2008 - 15:18
Posts: 3742
Re: DOES speaker wire gauge MATTER or NOT ?
Andrew Everard:aliEnRIK:Ive seen the results of tests online

Ah, right, so you saying 'it's completely transparent' means 'i've read that it's completely transparent'. Thanks for clarification.

When I read youve  measured your cables Andrew, ill be more than happy  Wink

If you think Chord cables, Nordost, VDH or whatever are somehow better than Van Dammes im all ears. But I think youve all been conned like the rest of us (In fact in a way, ive been conned because of reading your reviews ~ much like people getting conned about the effects of certain drugs due to having complete faith in what they read). A cables brighter or bassier?

I put it to you Andrew that theyre are 2 types of cables (Im talking interconnects and speaker cables here) . Those that are transparant (All should be, and ALL will sound the same save perhaps a little more detail with those that are better shielded at frequency extremes) or theyre not (the vast majority of cables you review)

I also believe that your all so used to reviewing brighter cables, that you believe (As I did) that they have more detail etc. When all theyre doing is 'colouring' the actual signal. So when you DO review an actual transparent cable, because its not as 'bright' you believe its not as good.

Just my 2 pence worth. Im allowed an opinion and thats mine after MUCH experimentation

Pages

Log in or register to post comments