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Speaker cable - Aside from thickness, does it really matter?

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andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
15
0
0
insider9 said:
You mention aluminum cables and copper and Ohms law in above comments. I agree with your statement that

andyjm said:
<p>

two similarly sized cables, decently constructed of approximately the same length

</p>
will sound the same.

Knowing that copper is a far superior conductor than aluminium how can this apply to two cables one made from CCA and the other OFC. By what I gather considering same length to achieve similar impedance you'd need a 2.5mm2 CCA cable or 1.5mm2 OFC due to differences in impedance of materials used.

I'm just curious... Am I wrong to think that or did I misunderstand your point?

Thanks
Insider, You are quite correct that copper is a better conductor by volume, however aluminium is a better conductor by weight.

In the case of the Grid, the weight of the cable matters, as the cable has to support its own weight between pylons. The cables you see strung around the country are aluminium, with a steel core for strength. Volume clearly doesn't matter, they can just use thicker cable to achieve the same line resistance as copper, but weight is all important.

The same is true for speaker cables. I have yet to meet anyone who is so tight for space down the back of their amp that they couldn't use a slightly thicker speaker cable - so they could achieve the same resistance as copper by using aluminium, using a slightly thicker cable. There are other reasons why aluminium isn't such a great choice for speaker cables, primarily the problems of termination, but that is a mechanical issue, not electrical.

The reason I mentioned aluminium was to illustrate that the whole oxygen free copper thing was nonsense, not to suggest that aluminium would make a good speaker cable. Almost all speaker cables are copper, so my statement about 'the same construction....' implied that the cable was copper.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
740
301
5,270
andyjm said:
insider9 said:
You mention aluminum cables and copper and Ohms law in above comments. I agree with your statement that

andyjm said:
<p>

two similarly sized cables, decently constructed of approximately the same length

</p>
will sound the same.

Knowing that copper is a far superior conductor than aluminium how can this apply to two cables one made from CCA and the other OFC. By what I gather considering same length to achieve similar impedance you'd need a 2.5mm2 CCA cable or 1.5mm2 OFC due to differences in impedance of materials used.

I'm just curious... Am I wrong to think that or did I misunderstand your point?

Thanks
Insider, You are quite correct that copper is a better conductor by volume, however aluminium is a better conductor by weight.

In the case of the Grid, the weight of the cable matters, as the cable has to support its own weight between pylons. The cables you see strung around the country are aluminium, with a steel core for strength. Volume clearly doesn't matter, they can just use thicker cable to achieve the same line resistance as copper, but weight is all important.

The same is true for speaker cables. I have yet to meet anyone who is so tight for space down the back of their amp that they couldn't use a slightly thicker speaker cable - so they could achieve the same resistance as copper by using aluminium, using a slightly thicker cable. There are other reasons why aluminium isn't such a great choice for speaker cables, primarily the problems of termination, but that is a mechanical issue, not electrical.

The reason I mentioned aluminium was to illustrate that the whole oxygen free copper thing was nonsense, not to suggest that aluminium would make a good speaker cable. Almost all speaker cables are copper, so my statement about 'the same construction....' implied that the cable was copper.
Thanks for clarification.
 

kukulec

Well-known member
Jan 25, 2015
40
7
10,545
"Aside from thickness, does it really matter?" Yes.

"Speaker cable - Aside from thickness, does it really matter?" Yes.

"...however “there is a difference brigade” will not believe you, as 1, they probably didn’t understand even basic science at school, & 2, they cannot comprehend that their ears & brain are easily tricked into hearing that something is different, even when it isn’t." No. Your offensive words clearly show that your mind is just as weak as your hearing.

Cables are different. I am just switching between QED XT 40 (anyway great cable) and Van Damme 268-504-000. They are both 4 mm thick cables, both have the same length. They don't have the same resolution, they balance differently between low-mid-high notes, they have different space in sound. I also heard comparison between VDH and Vertere; even bigger difference.

Doing these threads are ridiculous. The ones who never go into a hifi shop to test in real life the cables or just don't pay attention, are coming here trolling, while those who heard differences get always sentences what the quoted member wrote.

Anyway, this is what I have found about the importance of the links in my system: Speaker > Amplifier > Cable.
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
399
155
19,070
kukulec said:
"Aside from thickness, does it really matter?" Yes.

"Speaker cable - Aside from thickness, does it really matter?" Yes.

"...however “there is a difference brigade” will not believe you, as 1, they probably didn’t understand even basic science at school, & 2, they cannot comprehend that their ears & brain are easily tricked into hearing that something is different, even when it isn’t." No. Your offensive words clearly show that your mind is just as weak as your hearing.

Cables are different. I am just switching between QED XT 40 (anyway great cable) and Van Damme 268-504-000. They are both 4 mm thick cables, both have the same length. They don't have the same resolution, they balance differently between low-mid-high notes, they have different space in sound. I also heard comparison between VDH and Vertere; even bigger difference.

Doing these threads are ridiculous. The ones who never go into a hifi shop to test in real life the cables or just don't pay attention, are coming here trolling, while those who heard differences get always sentences what the quoted member wrote.

Anyway, this is what I have found about the importance of the links in my system: Speaker > Amplifier > Cable.
If you do the scientifically proven double blind test, then you will find there is no difference to the sound between any of the cables you mention. (In fact, not even the manufactures of the fancy cables can prove they make a difference, hence they have all been forced to change their marketing by the ASA) A simple double blind test with the cables you mention will prove that they all sound the same. (This is how you remove external influences from the equation) Hope this helps Bill BTW. Human senses Suck big time when it comes to analysing things on their own. (Hence, they are easily fooled (Including yours)
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
281
73
10,970
I have followed this post without commenting but feel I have to now ...

nothing in my hifi has changed for the last 8 months so I know how it sounds and I have a happy setup that I am content with .

so form reading this thread I thought I would change my speakers cables but speaker cables that I have owned from old setups just to see if there was a difference in sound quality .... the cables that I currently used now for the last 8 months has been audio quest rocket 33 solded copper core cables in 3 meters lengths terminated and made up at the audio quest factory .

the cables I tried that I had in a bag from an old setup were atlas speaker cable I think at the time I paid £13.00 a meter .... theses I had to put my own plugs on but both runs 3 meter lengths .

Is there a night and day difference....... yes there is the atlas cable sounded dull and the sound stage had dropped , bass was not so real . Audio quest was more enjoyable the soundstage was back the bass is better and overall I think it's a much better cable . Do I know why ???? I do not have a clue maybe the audio quest is giving a much stronger signal maybe .
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
151
87
18,670
Hi,

In reading the posts, my agreement is with the scientific analysis, that using double blind tests, it is proven that there no differences between cables.

Is it accurate to state that those people who do hear a difference, do NOT believe in expectation bias, placebo effect etc.?

If they DID believe in expectation bias etc., then they would probably be in turmoil in deciding whether what they hear is fact or not.

So, the scientific proof that the brain does indeed fool us, must be disbelieved or ignored by those people who hear differences?

Although, as per some manufacturers claims, they have discovered a new type of distortion never encountered before, and current measurements techniques cannot measure them.

So, where are the scientific papers describing why cables do indeed sound different, as we seem to have the scientific papers and tests (DBT) to prove that they do not.

Why do believers accept cable company marketing claims yet refute established scientific facts?

I do struggle to hear differences between DAC chips, if there are any there at all, but then, it could be claimed I am cloth eared. I have tried, but I cannot really say which one is better, or describe the differences using the terms others use etc.

Regards,

Shadders.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
I do believe in expectation bias. Seeing the options can colour what we expect to hear. But I've always thrown that the other way round - you can just as easily come to a result that is opposite to all expectations.

I'm quite happy to admit when I can't hear a difference, hear a minimal difference, or when something more expensive sounds worse (to my ears). But that isn't a decision I'm going to make on a quick A/B demo.
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
88
0
0
shadders said:
Hi,

In reading the posts, my agreement is with the scientific analysis, that using double blind tests, it is proven that there no differences between cables.

Is it accurate to state that those people who do hear a difference, do NOT believe in expectation bias, placebo effect etc.?

If they DID believe in expectation bias etc., then they would probably be in turmoil in deciding whether what they hear is fact or not.

So, the scientific proof that the brain does indeed fool us, must be disbelieved or ignored by those people who hear differences?

Although, as per some manufacturers claims, they have discovered a new type of distortion never encountered before, and current measurements techniques cannot measure them.

So, where are the scientific papers describing why cables do indeed sound different, as we seem to have the scientific papers and tests (DBT) to prove that they do not.

Why do believers accept cable company marketing claims yet refute established scientific facts?

I do struggle to hear differences between DAC chips, if there are any there at all, but then, it could be claimed I am cloth eared. I have tried, but I cannot really say which one is better, or describe the differences using the terms others use etc.

Regards,

Shadders.
I'm not getting in to this, but you are not listening to the DAC chip. You are listening to the analogue output stage of your DAC, and this is where the magic is done. Best, G
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
151
87
18,670
Gazzip said:
shadders said:
Hi,

In reading the posts, my agreement is with the scientific analysis, that using double blind tests, it is proven that there no differences between cables.

Is it accurate to state that those people who do hear a difference, do NOT believe in expectation bias, placebo effect etc.?

If they DID believe in expectation bias etc., then they would probably be in turmoil in deciding whether what they hear is fact or not.

So, the scientific proof that the brain does indeed fool us, must be disbelieved or ignored by those people who hear differences?

Although, as per some manufacturers claims, they have discovered a new type of distortion never encountered before, and current measurements techniques cannot measure them.

So, where are the scientific papers describing why cables do indeed sound different, as we seem to have the scientific papers and tests (DBT) to prove that they do not.

Why do believers accept cable company marketing claims yet refute established scientific facts?

I do struggle to hear differences between DAC chips, if there are any there at all, but then, it could be claimed I am cloth eared. I have tried, but I cannot really say which one is better, or describe the differences using the terms others use etc.

Regards,

Shadders.
I'm not getting in to this, but you are not listening to the DAC chip. You are listening to the analogue output stage of your DAC, and this is where the magic is done. Best, G
Hi,

I would disagree, in that each DAC has their own implementation of digital filters, and the conversion may differ between vendors. Some are also 24bit, whilst others are 32bit. Perhaps the statement should be I cannot tell the difference between DAC's.

Regards,

Shadders.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
Whilst the analogue section of any DAC is likely to influence the sound more than the DAC conversion itself, I am also of the opinion that different DACs do possess a different 'flavour'. To me, this was proven by plugging a Chord Qute into the analogue input of my old Audiolab 8200AP, and finding quite a staggering difference.
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
15
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0
Regarding expectation bias, although I have told this story before, I will go through it again for anyone who cares.

Over 30 years ago, as a newly minted electronic engineer, I joined the research and development group of a well known broadcaster. I was a HiFi enthusiast, and the guys in the lab next to mine had been involved in developing loudspeakers - so I would go and visit them from time to time to see what they were up to.

They had been analysing various development models of a loudspeaker, and had a number of iterations of the speaker arranged in an acoustically treated room to test. They invited me to listen to the differences, so they demonstrated each in turn, explaining each problem and how subsequent versions addressed the various issues. I felt pretty good, I could clearly identify each of the problems they described and it was very obvious how later versions addressed these problems.

....except they never changed the speaker, just played the same speaker each time.

It was a valuable lesson. Never trust your ears.
 
Nov 22, 2014
26
0
0
First thing we have to accept is we ALL perceive things differently, and if you can hear a difference with cables then that all that matters, myself find it impossible to tell the difference, and i have tried, i see this as good news for me, as i get stick to the reasonable priced stuff, that is anything under a £10 per meter will do for me, i use AUDIOQUEST FLX-SLiP 14/4, and i bi wire, not because i believe it improves the sound, but because it lowers resistance, and thats a good thing, and important to consider.

Long runs, thicker cable less resistance

Short runs, not so important, but its id still go for 10 to 12 AWG,

The other thing that matters to me is how easy the cable is to work with, 6mm will put a strain on terminals, i have known them to snap off before now as a result, and is much harder to work with, and harder to hide or route.

So in answer to the question, only you can answer that, it your ears, not ours, you tell us ;)

I have also used QED Signature Revelation Speaker Cable and Van Damme Blue Series Studio, again no difference in sound to me, but the QED Signature Revelation Speaker Cable was hard to route, to stiff and ridged for me, each to there own though.
 

Matte

New member
Sep 22, 2014
11
0
0
reply to 86 actually,

Couldn't be a clearer example, thank you for repeating the tale, I'd not heard it before.

Sadly people will still not believe it and continue to compare things on their own.

It still bothers me that magazines I respect, I'll not name them here, have reviews of a 'tweaking' product carried out by only one reviewer. It is thus subjective nonsense. It may well be correct, but it would need conformation and falsification.

Keep freezing them CD's!

Anyway, Happy New Year Chaps.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
732
118
19,070
Ro-Tang Clan said:
seemorebtts said:
Hi how Are you getting on with your new speakers.was it worth the upgrade.Are you having any problems with your old speaker cables if not I would keep what you have but if you're looking to upgrade your speaker wire then you will have to go for something more expensive like QED xt40 or chord clearaway at £10 a meter.
Hey dude, yeah the new speakers are great thanks! I'm loving them at the moment although I was listening to some bass heavy music and whilst they're very nice and calming, I can't help but think they'd have more power and low end grunt using thicker cable. However I don't want to spend a fortune on cable if I don't have to. I don't care if QED's manufacturing techniques are better if it doesn't make it sound better. QED's XT40 is a 4mm2 cross section cable. If I was to grab a basic cable that has a 4mm2 cross section would I notice a difference in sound quality between the basic cable and the QED cable? Am I to believe the marketing hype that these cable manufacturer's put out, or is it all BS?
I use 6mmm supra classic...... you don't get more power and low end grunt using thicker cable, you get a more claen less boomy bass, might not big a big difference and many may not notice any difference between thin and thick cabel, more power and low end grunt using thicker cable your not gonna get
 

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