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I need longer speaker cable (budget £5 pm max)

womble72

New member
Sep 19, 2012
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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 have a Richer Sounds and a Maplins close by but I thought I would ask on here first as to what cable would help continue my love for this little system I have put together :-D
 

BigH

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Dec 29, 2012
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As you have a Maplins near you, you can get Van Damme Blue for about £3.25pm, that has quite a few fans on here, better than more expensive cables.
 
T

the record spot

Guest
You'll get some 400 or 500 strand OFC copper cable off some of the dealers on Amazon or Ebay for cheap as chips prices. I bought 10m of 322-strand a couple of years back and it replaced far more expensive Audioquest Type IV. Digitalis Direct are very good but there's plenty of others to choose from. You'll probably pay no more than £15 all in.
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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Buy this:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Speaker-Cable-10Mx-801-888-OFC-521-Strand-4mm-40-Amp-/370704561648?pt=UK_Computing_Sound_Vision_Audio_Cables_Adapters&hash=item564fb6b5f0

It's all you'll ever need. Ask a recording-engineer, producer or mastering-engineer if spending stupid amounts of money on speaker-cable improves the sound and he'll laugh at you.
 

DIB

Well-known member
May 21, 2009
132
6
18,595
BigH said:
As you have a Maplins near you, you can get Van Damme Blue for about £3.25pm, that has quite a few fans on here, better than more expensive cables.
Thats what I use, the 2.5mm variety.

I've also got some of the 50p/60p per metre stuff mentioned by the Record Spot which is perfectly acceptable too, but I use the Van Damme because the colour matches my carpet.

.
 

156

New member
Apr 7, 2013
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http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Loud-Speaker-Cable-Oxygen-Free-OFC-4-3mm-326-Strand-Heavy-Duty-Studio-Grade-/270986470069?pt=UK_AudioVideoElectronics_HomeAudioHiFi_HiFiSpeakers&hash=item3f180d62b5

More than good enough.
 

CJSF

New member
May 25, 2011
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I have said it before, these cheap cables are excelent value for money but they are 'directional' . . . be sure to mark the end if it does not have writing on it. Dont fall into the trap of folding in half, cut and then put the 'two' cut ends together! Thats what usualy happens, you can swap the pair end to end all day, they wont sound different.

CJSF
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
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CJSF said:
I have said it before, these cheap cables are excelent value for money but they are 'directional' . . . be sure to mark the end if it does not have writing on it. Dont fall into the trap of folding in half, cut and then put the 'two' cut ends together! Thats what usualy happens, you can swap the pair end to end all day, they wont sound different.

CJSF
I am afraid your post isn't clear, but are you suggesting it matters which end of the speaker cable you connect to the amplifier?
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
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the record spot said:
You'll get some 400 or 500 strand OFC copper cable off some of the dealers on Amazon or Ebay for cheap as chips prices. I bought 10m of 322-strand a couple of years back and it replaced far more expensive Audioquest Type IV. Digitalis Direct are very good but there's plenty of others to choose from. You'll probably pay no more than £15 all in.
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.
 

andyjm

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Jul 20, 2012
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bluedroog said:
Van Damme blue, the 4mm I reckon. Studio grade, sensibly priced.
Nothing wrong with Van Damme, but it has an overall sheath which if the OP is worried about bulky cables, isn't going to help.

To be honest, unless you are going to drag the cable around a lot, or pull it though conduit, I dont see the point of having the blue cover. A 'shotgun' side by side cable takes up much less space for the same conductor size.
 

BigH

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Dec 29, 2012
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andyjm said:
bluedroog said:
Van Damme blue, the 4mm I reckon. Studio grade, sensibly priced.
Nothing wrong with Van Damme, but it has an overall sheath which if the OP is worried about bulky cables, isn't going to help.

To be honest, unless you are going to drag the cable around a lot, or pull it though conduit, I dont see the point of having the blue cover. A 'shotgun' side by side cable takes up much less space for the same conductor size.
Well you get the Van Damme OFC then it is about £5pm.
 

CJSF

New member
May 25, 2011
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andyjm said:
CJSF said:
I have said it before, these cheap cables are excelent value for money but they are 'directional' . . . be sure to mark the end if it does not have writing on it. Dont fall into the trap of folding in half, cut and then put the 'two' cut ends together! Thats what usualy happens, you can swap the pair end to end all day, they wont sound different.

CJSF
I am afraid your post isn't clear, but are you suggesting it matters which end of the speaker cable you connect to the amplifier?
Sorry andyjm, in a word 'yes'. Many will disagree but I have done the direction test many times on all sorts of cables over a 30 year period, I still get the same negative/positive results now as I did in 1980.

What I am saying is, both cables should have a positive end (for identification only), the positive end is the end that came off the reel, the negative end is the end that is cut at the reel, leaving a new positive end at the reel, ie, there is only one direction of flow, 'reel to positive end'.

Some cables have symbols and writing on, this writing should read in the same direction on both cables.

The most recent test I have done is with 'Linn K20' cable (£5pm) and 'OF 521' strand (£3pm). The 521 strand had a distinct 'tiz' to the high frequancy end of the sound spectrum in one direction, turn it over (both cables end for end), and it improved dramaticaly. The K20 is not too bad in either direction but we do have a preferance with the writing reading away from the speaker. The K20 is my preferd speaker cable and has been for 30 years, I run 8m from amp to speakers, these days using a low powered valve amp runnig in triode mode.

CJSF
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
1,232
4
19,195
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.)
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
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chebby said:
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.)
Indeed.

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.
 

CJSF

New member
May 25, 2011
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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.

CJSF
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
152
88
18,670
Hi,

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.

Regards,

Shadders.
 

GMK

New member
Jan 23, 2009
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Lets say you've already cut them, is there a way to tell which end is which?
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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CJSF you are a highly respected member on this forum (certainly by me) but on this occasion:

http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n199/gjm55/********.gif

I can buy most things, but directional speaker cables...nope, I can't buy it. Sorry fella. No hard feelings.
 

CJSF

New member
May 25, 2011
251
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richardw42 said:
It is a wind up, isn it ?

You should have left it hanging a bit longer.
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 . . . :?

CJSF

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.
 

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