While I normally agree with TrevC, in this case he isn't 100% correct.TrevC said:The main reason stranded cables are normally used is for ease of installation. There's no performance advantage to using solid core and it's a real pain in the bum to handle.Blacksabbath25 said:Anyone know where in the uk I can buy 18-16 gage solid cooper core speaker cable please I have looked around but can not find a uk site that sells it I do not want anything fancy just something that will do the job without costing a arm and a leg .
Skin effect is the tendency of electrons to flow closer to the surface of a conductor as the frequency of the signal increases. While not significant for home audio, the effect is real and even at audio frequencies a current gradient exists in the cable with more current flowing near the surface than at the cable core. Depending on cable construction, over a cable length, individual strands may spend some distance toward the cable core and some distance toward the cable edge. As a strand moves toward the centre of the cable, a portion of the current will jump to an adjacent strand to stay relatively closer to the cable surface. This 'strand jumping' can take place many times over a cable length depending on its construction. This jumping involves the electrons crossing copper / copper oxide / copper oxide / copper boundaries on the strand surfaces as they jump. Just the thought of this is enough to give the OFC single crystal brigade nightmares.
Solid cable does not have this problem, and arguably will provide a (probably inaudible) improved route for the signal. There are some manufacturers who have fancy basket weaves and plastic cable cores to keep the strands a constant distance from the cable centre to avoid this issue - just use solid cable....
Soild cable is tough to bend, but how often do you move your amp or speakers? It does have the advantage of staying put when you route it.
Finally, unless you don't like the look, there is no need to strip mains 'twin and earth' solid cable and twist the conductors. This provides no audible benefit. The inductive effect mentioned above is dependent on the conductors being run close together, not being twisted. There are a number of 'HiFi' speaker cables (Naim being one) that run conductors in parallel without a twist.
So for about 50p per metre, you can buy 2.5mmsq solid copper twin and earth cable, which I believe makes excellent speaker cable. Unlike most nonsense claims for cables, there is actually a solid (no pun intended) basis for solid cables have sonic (but probably inaudible) benefits over stranded.