Directional speaker cable..

Leon Martin

Active member
Mar 19, 2020
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I’ve just discovered that my speaker cables are ‘directional’ and I had one of them connected the wrong way around. Intrigued, I corrected my mistake and fired up one of my favourite tracks in nervous anticipation :) -I know speaker cables are a contentious subject but I do like to keep an open mind. Anyway I didn’t detect a speck of difference. However, I’m still intrigued with the concept of a directional cable so can anyone explain the theory of operation ?
 

jmjones

Well-known member
Mar 8, 2009
49
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18,545
After removing the bell-wire I was quite impressed with a cable upgrade, tried it again twice after that and it didn't make a jot of difference.
Bi-wiring: nope
Upgraded digital cables: nope (although I buy decent lookers)
I've become a bit of a wire sceptic...
 
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amormusic

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2016
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Don't worry about it. Pointless and does nada... I've spent loads of time with mini tweaks and expensive rabbit holes.

Absolutely seriously, the best hifi upgrade you can do for free is to go and get your ears syringed. Seriously. I'm mid 30's and the difference was so marked it was unbelievable.
 
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Timbot

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Jun 7, 2010
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Don't worry about it. Pointless and does nada... I've spent loads of time with mini tweaks and expensive rabbit holes.

Absolutely seriously, the best hifi upgrade you can do for free is to go and get your ears syringed. Seriously. I'm mid 30's and the difference was so marked it was unbelievable.
Should have had them done one at a time so you could do a direct comparison!
 

Al ears

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Nov 23, 2008
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Don't worry about it. Pointless and does nada... I've spent loads of time with mini tweaks and expensive rabbit holes.

Absolutely seriously, the best hifi upgrade you can do for free is to go and get your ears syringed. Seriously. I'm mid 30's and the difference was so marked it was unbelievable.
You try getting your ears syringed in the UK, it simply isn't done anymore and your comment is pretty irrelevant when it comes to the directionality of cables.
 
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Al ears

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Nov 23, 2008
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An signal gets transmitted along a cable, it does not matter at which end the attenuation takes place unless my physics is all to f+ck....
Rothwell attenuators are fitted between components in line with interconnect cables usually and have nothing to do with speaker cables
 

DougK

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Dec 8, 2013
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An signal gets transmitted along a cable, it does not matter at which end the attenuation takes place unless my physics is all to f+ck....
Rothwell attenuators are fitted between components in line with interconnect cables usually and have nothing to do with speaker cables
Quite correct Al, this has nothing to do with speaker cables... I was getting confused :oops: Thanks for putting me back on track (y)

All, please disregard my posts here :)
 
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millennia_one

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Sep 1, 2014
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From a manufacturing perspective cable has a direction/grain which is formed when drawn through a die. And yes the microscopic structure is aligned a certain way and can easily been seen through a microscope. BUT the marketing for these companies have clearly just been reading the engineering handbook and took it as gospel.
and will make no difference in sound and i have auditioned aswell which hurt my product design/engineering heart.

Really the only thing markings do, is allow newbies to make sure there systems are set straight and everything lines up the way it should. And theres absolutely nothing wrong with that. And my advice to any newbie is to follow all the directions given weather that make a difference or not.
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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An signal gets transmitted along a cable, it does not matter at which end the attenuation takes place unless my physics is all to f+ck....
Rothwell attenuators are fitted between components in line with interconnect cables usually and have nothing to do with speaker cables
Forgive me, I know that line-level interconnects weren't the thread subject, but it's worth just pointing out why, as Doug said, attenuators such as those from Rothwell are directional.
Their internal resistors are arranged to maintain correct impedance matching between source and destination, the 'in' needing to be high and the 'out' low.
Normally (at destination end of the cable) their (rear) RCA socket is the input.
You can't just turn them round for use at the source end.
The type they sell for the source end has the input on the plug.
That's what makes them directional (genuinely directional as opposed to snake oil directional).
 

Al ears

Moderator
Nov 23, 2008
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Forgive me, I know that line-level interconnects weren't the thread subject, but it's worth just pointing out why, as Doug said, attenuators such as those from Rothwell are directional.
Their internal resistors are arranged to maintain correct impedance matching between source and destination, the 'in' needing to be high and the 'out' low.
Normally (at destination end of the cable) their (rear) RCA socket is the input.
You can't just turn them round for use at the source end.
The type they sell for the source end has the input on the plug.
That's what makes them directional (genuinely directional as opposed to snake oil directional).
I understand how they operate, I have a pair myself.
The question was about speaker cables and a point was raised about possible attenuation within those cables nothing else.
 

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
173
77
170
I’ve just discovered that my speaker cables are ‘directional’ and I had one of them connected the wrong way around. Intrigued, I corrected my mistake and fired up one of my favourite tracks in nervous anticipation :) -I know speaker cables are a contentious subject but I do like to keep an open mind. Anyway I didn’t detect a speck of difference. However, I’m still intrigued with the concept of a directional cable so can anyone explain the theory of operation ?
You say intrigued , by what exactly ? That snake oil exists , everyone can be a sucker sometimes. You learned the golden rule. Adverts are words used to sell the truth and your ears will always tell you the truth.
 
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Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
322
143
5,070
I’ve just discovered that my speaker cables are ‘directional’ and I had one of them connected the wrong way around. Intrigued, I corrected my mistake and fired up one of my favourite tracks in nervous anticipation :) -I know speaker cables are a contentious subject but I do like to keep an open mind. Anyway I didn’t detect a speck of difference. However, I’m still intrigued with the concept of a directional cable so can anyone explain the theory of operation ?
So there's your answers Leon
Speaker cables (and others) ARE directional as explained in post #14.
Some manufacturers claim this affects the sound. Nobody here thinks it does.
 

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
173
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170
The Rocket 11 are both directional and left and right handed.
From what hi fi -
They’re also designed so that you can use them in a single-wired or bi-wired configuration if your system demands it, with the option to terminate them in banana plugs or spade connectors in store. Our review sample has banana plugs and comes in a smart white finish, though you can get the Rocket 11 in black too.

AudioQuest has taken a lot of care with the configuration and quality of the conductors used inside the Rocket 11. It uses semi-solid true-concentric conductors and long-grain copper – all to improve performance and reduce any interference that might degrade the sound.
Like , wow. Options to terminate , available in different colours too! Improvement , reduce interference , Yadda Yadda. Just imagine what it could do for your system what with all the science and stuff to back it up?
 
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