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Speaker cables & interconnects: Twist and shout… or not

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  • I would say that we need to look at the l and c values, everything is a tradeoff, and without knowing the specifics, my guess would be that the flat vs. round geometry would juggle the values inversely, but just a guess.

  • Just looked it up Nordost is low capacitance and Kimber high and they seemed to have similar inductance, so I suppose the Nordost is the better cable. Now can you hear a difference? I would say that depends on how you amp handles capacitance.

  • This one time, in band camp ...

    Many years ago, I auditioned both Nordost Red Dawn interconnects and speaker cable in home on loan from a local stereo shop. Really couldn't tell much, if any difference, from other interconnects but didn't care for the speaker cable. LCR, whatever was at play, it seemed to highlight the upper range of frequencies, or maybe it was light on the bass. Wasn't a fan. They told me the speaker cable sold for $3k. That's a lot of beer.
    At the same time, they auditioned a cable I had woven from 32 strands of cat5 in their main showroom. Supposedly, the Audioquest rep seen my cable in their system and threw a fit.

    rjj45
  • edited March 19

    Oh no another wire thread.

    Speaker wires - use whatever thick wire you have, it won't make enough difference to care about, but maybe you'll be happier with the pretty one.

    Interconnects - R, L, C, and shield. That's the only things you need to care about. Twisted pair helps with noise, better to twist and shield. Switching to XLR will likely make a bigger improvement that fiddling around with fancy RCA cables, and keep them separated from AC and data wires. Buy good microphone cable that the pro audio industry uses, it's good cable and cheap since it's manufactured in large quantities.

    Skin effect is buried in the "L" property. When I worked in RF industry there's a piece of equipment called a "network analyzer" that we used to determine if our interconnects were "good enough" and there was some FPGA DSP type of compensation provided as well from the products I was working with. Mind you these things operated in the MHz to GHz range where the smallest capacitance or inductance change has a huge impact, even putting a bend in a wire can make enough of a change to call it a dud. 75 Ohms? Yeah that's about as accurate as saying "8 ohms" speaker. Pretty rare to see a cable manufacturer provide any real data on their cable assemblies, always relying on marketing fluff to get you to spend your money on magic. I'll keep my low cost junk wires, maybe I won't have as magical of an audio experience, but good enough for me.

    Billet
    I'm not deaf, I'm just not listening.
  • Just google Danny Ritchey cables :p

    jr@macrjj45Wolf
  • Cables do sound different, but as far as I know, the differences can only be subtractive from the theoretical ideal.

    Skin effect in typical gauges used in audio at audio frequencies is a non-issue.

    I have a signature.
  • @jr@mac said:
    Cables do sound different, but as far as I know, the differences can only be subtractive from the theoretical ideal.

    After you break them in..... (grin, duck and run)

    jr@macWolfSilver1omo
    Don, Donno, or "Hey you" all work for me, But never "Mr Johnson"
  • edited March 20

    I posted this Q as twisted vs parallel for ac vs dc wiring makes a big diff in tube amps and pre’s as to noise, not so much to open up a can of worms, nor if 12g vs 18g..., but if either design has advantage of noise rejection. Clearly balanced for interconnects is the way to go, but interested in if twisted vs parallel designs have merit- thx

  • I see little reason for a flat interconnect or speaker cable other than some installation convenience scenario.

    I'm not deaf, I'm just not listening.
  • @tajanes said:
    I posted this Q as twisted vs parallel for ac vs dc wiring makes a big diff in tube amps and pre’s as to noise, not so much to open up a can of worms, nor if 12g vs 18g..., but if either design has advantage of noise rejection. Clearly balanced for interconnects is the way to go, but interested in if twisted vs parallel designs have merit- thx

    In tube gear you (usually) have unshielded, small-signal wiring & components crossing 5-12.6v AC filament lines. That's inside the chassis and quite a different scenario when compared to external line level interconnects. I do find this (relatively) new trend of using XLR connections in home audio slightly amusing. I admit the RCA connector isn't the most robust, but until you get to 20' or greater, there's no issue with a decent, shielded unbalanced audio line. If it were, you would see balanced outputs on guitars and keyboards. I think audio geeks like the beefy "pro" feel of an XLR as it clicks and locks into place. I also think the cable peddlers love the much higher MSRP they slap on the same cable with a $3 Neutrik NC3 on each end.

    dcibel
  • The way I see it is, twist everything, twisting works in cat 5 cable up into the 100s of Mhz.

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