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

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CJSF

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May 25, 2011
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MajorFubar said:
CJSF said:
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?
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.
I was not going to mention main leads (kettle type), not an area I have gone into but the passion that goes into the discissions on the subject in other threads; '4ft of special mains cable makes all the difference'? I dont po-hoo the idea, cos I aint tried it . . . and probably never will, you seen the cost of a fancy kettle leads lately?

I did years of R&D on speaker stands MF, 1975 to 1980 before I came to market with the 'Foundation Classic'. Ask Dave Wren of Radlet Audio, how often I was in his shop with prototypes and modifications, if only it was that simple MF.

CJSF
 

BigH

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Dec 29, 2012
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But did you run it for hours in the wrong direction? Say run it for 72 in wrong direction and then see how it sounds, then swop it round and see if its better or worse.
 

andyjm

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Jul 20, 2012
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BigH said:
I have read that cable gets used to the direction of flow, so if you turn it around it will sound different but keep playing it and it will reburn in the opposite direction and after a while sound as good as before. On sheilded cables they may be a reason for the direction of course.
Which way is the 'flow' on an AC signal?
 

BenLaw

Well-known member
Nov 21, 2010
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andyjm said:
BigH said:
I have read that cable gets used to the direction of flow, so if you turn it around it will sound different but keep playing it and it will reburn in the opposite direction and after a while sound as good as before. On sheilded cables they may be a reason for the direction of course.
Which way is the 'flow' on an AC signal?
Top to bottom, s'gravity, innit.
 

cheeseboy

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Jul 17, 2012
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CJSF said:
... it all comes down to practicality and ears.

I dont realy care, I know what I can hear . . .

.... Figures often dont match to what is a good sound to an individuals ears.

CJSF
to be honest, you shouldn't really trust your ears. Here's some examples of how easily your ears can be fooled

http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-blogs/audio-designline-blog/4033473/Audio-illusions-that-will-fool-your-ear-and-brain-

so chances are, the only difference you are hearing is none, you're just subconiously telling yourself that you are, which being subconcious, would mean you aren't even aware of the fact.
 

andyjm

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Jul 20, 2012
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i have searched high and low on the net, and not a single piece of real research into the directional aspects of cable. Most posts refer back to Naim, or to crackpot cable manufacturers who clearly have an axe to grind.

As Naim have (apparently) conducted tests on this, I will send them a note to enquire about their research.

Anyone suggest an email address?
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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CJSF said:
I did years of R&D on speaker stands MF, 1975 to 1980 before I came to market with the 'Foundation Classic'. Ask Dave Wren of Radlet Audio, how often I was in his shop with prototypes and modifications, if only it was that simple MF.
I'm not dismissing your work on speaker stands: quite the opposite. I pointed out that science very easily supports (sorry!) the belief that they affect the sound of speakers.

It's not that I'm not open minded. There's load of HiFi 'wisdoms' I'm happy to tolerate (even if I'm not 100% convinced with a few) because I can at least kind of see the science (or pseudo science) behind it. Such as:

- speaker stands affect the sound of your speakers;
- different mains cables and mains treatments may affect the sound of your electronics;
- different (analogue) interconnects affect the sound of your electronics;
- different speaker cables affect the sound of your speakers;
- bi-wiring affects the sound of your speakers;

...but there's a few I will never buy into til the day I die, off the top of my head:

- different digital audio cables operating within specification and without data-loss or corruption still sound different;
- different HDMI cables operating with specification and without data-loss or corruption still 'look' different;
- turning my speaker cables round affects the sound.

Sorry mate. It's the way it is. :)
 

CJSF

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May 25, 2011
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I have no problems with any of it, I hear what I hear, I trust my ears when ever I make a change of any sort . . . therefore why not trust my ears when I turn cable from end to end and hear a differance. Cant see how one can be 'selective' over facts! . . . one fact is right the other 'fact is wrong' selective is not alowed in the world of 'demonstrated fact' . . . forget science and most of the time pseuod sicence, (technobable) sugestions in the brain??? who is proving what or kidding who?

Sit down and do some serious listening and evaluation, thats what counts for me. Them that 'wont try or wont hear' especialy when it dont cost anything, are the worse off for it in musical and hifi terms.

CJSF
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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Naim loudspeaker cable is directional and should be oriented so that the printed arrow points towards the speakers.
This statement from Naim makes no sense to me at all. They can't know the absolute phase of your system. You might have a phase inverting analogue stage in your CD player, or phono amp. You could have the + and - connections on your cartridge on both channels swapped over. You might have old speakers where the terminals aren't colour coded nor marked with a + or - but marked in some other way such as "ground" and "live".

Also the absolute phase of recordings will not be consistent. The recording equipment chain may well be phase inverting or it may not.

In other words Naim can't know the absolute phase that you will have in your speaker cables in your system. This means that at any particular instant on any particular recording no one knows if the electrical current in the cable in each particular conducting core will be flowing towards the speakers or towards the amplifier.

Also Naim don't know what plugs or connectors will be used and how well they will be attached to the cable and how good an electrical contact there will be with these at the amplifier or speaker terminals. They also don't know which conducting core will be labelled as the positive conductor and which the negative (or do they specify that for their dealers?).

In the light of all of these unknowns, I don't see how Naim can say that the system will sound better with the writing towards the speakers and not the other way round.
 

cheeseboy

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Jul 17, 2012
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CJSF said:
I have no problems with any of it, I hear what I hear, I trust my ears when ever I make a change of any sort . . . therefore why not trust my ears when I turn cable from end to end and hear a differance. Cant see how one can be 'selective' over facts! . . . one fact is right the other 'fact is wrong' selective is not alowed in the world of 'demonstrated fact' . . . forget science and most of the time pseuod sicence, (technobable) sugestions in the brain??? who is proving what or kidding who?

CJSF
forget science... ok, then you may as well throw your stereo out, as it was science that made it possible. But don't let that get in the way hey ;)

I've tried changing cable directions - nothing at all. No difference.

Conversely, have you tried the examples in the link i posted?

It's very easy to fool your ears. Too easy in fact....
 

chebby

Well-known member
Jun 2, 2008
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CJ, which way do you think the current flows in your speaker cables?

You have dismissed things like alternating current as 'techno-babble' and pseudo-science so i'd be interested in how you think it works.
 

camcroft

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2012
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I am just sitting here listening after replacing my Chord Carnival speaker cables with Auduoquest flx - slip 14/4 cables and I am wondering if I wasted time and money.The difference is sounding quite good in favour of the Audioquest.but time will tell.I am listening to Vinyl and digital trying to convince myself that there is a difference :)
 

jcarruthers

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Jan 29, 2013
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camcroft said:
I am just sitting here listening after replacing my Chord Carnival speaker cables with Auduoquest flx - slip 14/4 cables and I am wondering if I wasted time and money.The difference is sounding quite good in favour of the Audioquest.but time will tell.I am listening to Vinyl and digital trying to convince myself that there is a difference :)
I felt there was a difference having changed from Carnival to FLX, but I think it's how I wired it up more than anything.
 

camcroft

Well-known member
Jan 12, 2012
112
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18,595
jcarruthers said:
camcroft said:
I am just sitting here listening after replacing my Chord Carnival speaker cables with Auduoquest flx - slip 14/4 cables and I am wondering if I wasted time and money.The difference is sounding quite good in favour of the Audioquest.but time will tell.I am listening to Vinyl and digital trying to convince myself that there is a difference :)
I felt there was a difference having changed from Carnival to FLX, but I think it's how I wired it up more than anything.
Hi.How did you wire it
 

CJSF

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May 25, 2011
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chebby said:
CJ, which way do you think the current flows in your speaker cables?

You have dismissed things like alternating current as 'techno-babble' and pseudo-science so i'd be interested in how you think it works.
Chebby, you should no more than most, 'technical' is often simply the starting pont in hifi, a referance, when you sit down and listen it dont always come out the way the figures sugested? I am not going to fall into the trap, expanations are not always possible to satisfy the techno and ps-science minded. As I have said before, and you have told me! . . . sit down do some serious listening, weight up the pros and cons, decide what you like and enjoy . . . I dont have to know how it works. I know how it sounds before and after a change or adjustment . . . that all I need to know.

:wave:
 

jcarruthers

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Jan 29, 2013
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camcroft said:
jcarruthers said:
camcroft said:
I am just sitting here listening after replacing my Chord Carnival speaker cables with Auduoquest flx - slip 14/4 cables and I am wondering if I wasted time and money.The difference is sounding quite good in favour of the Audioquest.but time will tell.I am listening to Vinyl and digital trying to convince myself that there is a difference :)
I felt there was a difference having changed from Carnival to FLX, but I think it's how I wired it up more than anything.
Hi.How did you wire it
My Carnival was wired simple single wired.

The FLX I wired up with 4 banana plugs at the speaker end.
 

andyjm

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Jul 20, 2012
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andyjm said:
i have searched high and low on the net, and not a single piece of real research into the directional aspects of cable. Most posts refer back to Naim, or to crackpot cable manufacturers who clearly have an axe to grind.

As Naim have (apparently) conducted tests on this, I will send them a note to enquire about their research.

Anyone suggest an email address?
I received a reply from Naim, which I will ask their permission to post. In essence, there is no explanation of the effect or why this makes a cable carrying AC directional, just that it is due to the extrusion process.

I did stumble across some analysis that talked about the formation of micro diodes at grain boundaries, but I have lost the link, and I can't seem to find it again (and I didn't think much of the analysis either).

If there is an effect, it will be measurable. It is actually quite tricky to measure very low resistance, with a standard multi meter the resistance of the test leads and croc clips becomes a significant part of the measurement. There is a technique using 4 test leads that gets over this, but I dont have a '4T' meter. I am on the look out, and as soon as I get one, I will post the results (I do have some lengths of NAC A5 and A4 cable - but thats another story).

If this is of interest, I could have a go at measuing the LCR parameters of other speaker cables. I had planned to have a go at this some time ago and then posting the results, but work got in the way.
 

camcroft

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Jan 12, 2012
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Well. I have gone back to my Chords I find that they do infact sound better strange really saying that speaker cables dont make any difference.The Audioquest played the music quite different to what I am used to the sound was different instruments sounded different the whole soundstage was different to the degree that it didn`t sound right to me.I am day off today so I have bags of time to swap and change.I only played one vinyl album to listen I found the Audioquest very boomy in the bass dept so I changed one cable back to the Chord and there was an immediate change I then changed the other and I am back to the sound I prefer its possibly just my equipment.I had a bad shopping weekend last week I use a QED u-play puck to stream my music from the pc to my stereo I went to Richersound and bought the new U-play plus which allows you to use your own interconnect and I thought there is going to be an improvement there I set it up and its back in the box to be returned because it didnt sound as good as the original.So I think the moral of the story is leave well alone what works !
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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andyjm said:
I received a reply from Naim, which I will ask their permission to post.
You only have to search for 'directionality' on the Naim user forum to find Naim's response (from site admin and Naim employee Richard Dane)...

"...Fact is, on interconnect and Burndy cables in particular, we don't rely on the cable factory to tell us the "direction" - just because the printing goes in a certain direction doesn't mean that the insulation has been applied consistently in the same direction from one reel to the next. That is why the only true test is to listen. Roy gets some samples cut from each reel and listens to them before declaring the direction. He says it's usually quite easy to tell...

Speaker cables can be problematic because if they are printed incorrectly then the cable must be scrapped - not cheap and very inconvenient! They are sampled by batch, and luckily mistakes are rare..."

and...

"Anybody who has been to visit the factory and had a peek into his office will usually see a load of cables there - usually the last batch that were cut to length, made-up, and then listened to. What can I say, it's not about measurements, it's purely subjective, and mainly down to obtaining the maximum consistency throughout Naim product performance. It's a philosophy that extends right through everything that Naim does.

I've listened to cables one way and then another, and the sound is different. Heaven knows why, but that's what I hear. Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes quite subtle. It's best done on a system and a piece of music that is very familiar. Personally, I happen to trust Roy and what he hears. Why would you trust Naim to listen to and select components for the way they sound and not trust that we also listen to cables?

Now if the question is WHY do cables sound different one way to the other, then that's something quite different and I'm not sure anybody has a completely satisfactory answer to that."

So..

1) They have a bloke called 'Roy' who samples all the cable batches by ear and then determines their directionality.

2) It's not a technical measurement but a matter of trust in Naim (well, Roy actually.)

3) They have no explanation and are not aware of anyone else having a satisfactory explanation for the phenomena.

The quotes I pasted were from 4 years ago so I would like to see Naim's reply to you.
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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camcroft said:
Well. I have gone back to my Chords I find that they do infact sound better strange really saying that speaker cables dont make any difference.
I don't think anyone's saying that in this thread. The 'dispute' is whether speaker cables sound different depending on which end you put to the speaker. Because if they do, then some characteristic about them must be measurably different depending on which way you turn them, and that property would already be known and acknowledged by scientific evidence.

It's a bizarre belief which conveniently ignores the fact that in any case the output from an amp is AC, despite the little arrows on some speaker cables commanding it not to be. So even if a speaker cable was even a teeny weeny bit directional because of 'micro-diodes', it still would make slightly less than sod-all difference.
 

cheeseboy

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chebby said:
I've listened to cables one way and then another, and the sound is different. Heaven knows why, but that's what I hear. Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes quite subtle. It's best done on a system and a piece of music that is very familiar.
that's genius :rofl:

Listen to any track on the same equipment and it will sound different on different days. Heck, listen to the same track twice in row amd you'll able to hear something different if you listen hard enough and actively listen for changes.
 

CJSF

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May 25, 2011
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Another strang phenomenon . . . 'I believe the world is round' . . . :? They could not prove that either untill some sailed around, to demonstrate 'the fact'.
 

CJSF

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May 25, 2011
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cheeseboy said:
chebby said:
I've listened to cables one way and then another, and the sound is different. Heaven knows why, but that's what I hear. Sometimes it's obvious, sometimes quite subtle. It's best done on a system and a piece of music that is very familiar.
that's genius :rofl:

Listen to any track on the same equipment and it will sound different on different days. Heck, listen to the same track twice in row amd you'll able to hear something different if you listen hard enough and actively listen for changes.
Day to day yes it happens, especialy the time of day, but the same track twice . . . nah . . . I would say you are pushing te boundaries of credibuility!

CJSF
 

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