Speaker cable life expectancy?

cristphoto

Member
Apr 14, 2020
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Is there a guideline for how long speaker cables will last? I was adding a component recently and got a close-up look at my speaker cables that are about 20-25 years old. They're 12 gauge with a clear jacket so I could see the strands and they appeared to have lost their bright copper color. Looked dull brown to me. There wasn't any green corrosion color but I'm curious if there is an age limit. Thanks.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Nov 23, 2008
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I don't think they should concern you but it might be an idea to cut a little off each end and re-connect whatever type of fittings you have on them.
Are they bare-wire or do they have banana plugs etc?
Should be OK unless exposed to strong sunlight for years.
If in doubt replace with some cheapish 79 strand cable or the like.
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
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18,970
Actually it is not the copper but the clear PVC covering that has discoloured over time which makes the copper look like it has lost its brightness, however unless the outer sheath is brittle don’t worry about it. (If it has become brittle just get some decent quality 2.5mm sq. copper cable (Which doesn’t need to cost a lot)

Bill
 

cristphoto

Member
Apr 14, 2020
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Thanks for the replies. All the cable is run through my ceiling and walls except for about 6 feet at the speaker and amp ends. Only the amp end has access to window light but indirectly.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nov 27, 2015
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I've found OFC keen to get back to it's more normal oxygenated state - green where (even slightly) exposed.
Wouldn't contemplate using any without gold plated terminations.
 

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