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Speaker Cables

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Obsdian, Nov 17, 2002.

  1. What's the best brand of speaker cable out there? I just bought a new extension cabinet for my combo and need a speaker cable.
  2. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    usually the thicker the better...
    is price a detriment? because some of the bigger names like monster etc. are very expensive....
  3. How expensive are we talking here? Also, what gauge should I be looking for?
  4. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Well, if money's no object, you could always splurge on some Tara Labs cables...those could run you hundreds for a 6 foot cable. And, while I don't know what gauge cables they are, I'll say they're about an inch in diameter.:eek:
  5. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    16 gauge or lower is appropriate for short speaker cables IMO.

    brad cook
  6. I would go with 14 gauge and 4 pin speakons, but if it's not a lot of power and your not worried too much, 16 gauge with 1/4"'s would work just fine.
  7. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    a plain jane Horizon cable is fine for me, but i really like the Monster high end series cables.

    whatever you do, DONT get the "standard", lower priced version of the Monster series. Sounded worse than a Horizon cable!!! :mad:

    one that i've really liked recently are Alessandro high end cables. great quality and George is a great guy to deal with.

  8. lneal


    Apr 12, 2002
    Lee County, Alabama
    Here's what I suggest:
    Go to Radio Shack. Buy 10' (or however much you need) of the 12 gauge Mega Cable. Put your connectors on the ends and forget about it. That cable is fine stranded, oxygen free and has a tough jacket that will take abuse. And the good part: its only $0.99/foot!
    So 10' of cable plus your ends and you're looking at $15 to $20 bucks. Its what I have used for a number of years and I haven't had to think about my speaker cables once!:)
  9. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    Speaker cable is easy. You can buy Radio Shack speaker cable, or you can also buy 12, 14, or 16 gauge stranded copper wire at a hardware or electrical supply store, and it'll work just as well as the high-priced wonder wire--Monster, Tara Labs, et al--that's out there.

    If you don't want to make your own, look at places like www.speakerhole.com to get some pre-made ones. As others have already said, the best thing is to keep speaker cables short and thick (large gauge, not necessarily just large in size). If you need 2 feet of cable to reach from the amp to the cabinet, buy a 2-foot cable and not 6 or 10 feet.
  10. The Best Cable I've found and the type I use is a 3 foot length of Pro Co Guardian FAT MAX Speaker Cable.

    Massive 8-guage cable with 11-gauge conductors.
    Special "Electronic Weld" rather then solider.

    Lifetime "any reason," "no fault" replacement guarantee.

    When I was searching around to buy,
    the only place I found it was at:

    Sweetwater Supply

    Pick your length and the connection type.
  11. rok51

    rok51 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    As Bob noted, just about any 14 or 16 gauge cabling will suffice for sane lengths. Orange extension cord (less than .07/ft for 16ga)works fine...actually now you can get it in some pretty bizarre colors, too. If you prefer rubber clad vs. PVC, go to an electrical supply house and get SJO 14/2. No reason to spend extra bucks on "boutique" speaker cables. IMHO, claims about significant tonal differences attributed to fancy oxygen-free/organic/free-range speaker cabling is sorta a throwback to the "Emporer's New Clothes" tale.

  12. I'm with Bob Lee and Rok51.

    There's far too much hype spouted about cabling, especially speaker cabling.

    IMHO there's simply no need to pay good money for, as Bob beautifully describes it, "wonder wire". A few feet of mains cable (= power cord for US guys?) works just as well. And I can almost guarantee you'll never tell the difference.

    I always make my own (OK, I'm an electronics techie and I appreciate many guys aren't) and all I use is whatever cable comes to hand. It might be a few feet left over from a job or perhaps something our electricians have ripped from an installation.

    That's my £0.02, anyway.

  13. Aussie Mark

    Aussie Mark I come from a land down under

    Oct 26, 2002
    Sydney, Oz
    Endorsing Artist: Fender; O'Neill Amps; Cave Passive Pedals
    I agree that mains cable/power cord does a great job for speaker cables, especially the "outdoor" version, which has thicker insulation and is generally made of more flexible material to cope with abuse by builders etc. If you're using Speakons there is no reason to buy pre made speaker cables, since connecting the cable to the Speakons is a breeze.
  14. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    When you see this:

    You know that you've been had. Might as well tell you to make sure your amp always faces Northeast, too.

    The whole website is a joke. A bad one.
  15. LowNote

    LowNote Supporting Member

    Jan 31, 2002
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I just purchased a Walter Woods Ultra High Powered Amp. I asked Walter what speaker cable he recommended, and he told me that "lamp wire" was fine. He didn't think the high end cables made any difference at all. I have bought some of the more expensive speaker cable, but I can't hear any difference from the cheap Live Wire cables that also come with a lifetime warranty.
  16. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
  17. That's funniest thing I've read all day :D. So what exactly is the direction of an AC signal?
    I could see balanced cables being directional with the shield connected at one end and not the other but speakers cables? Give me a break.
  18. There are people who use $100 monster cable and there are people who use lamp and guitar cords. The last one I bought was a 4 ft 12 ga with speakons. The tech that made it up for me said it was as good as it gets. The cable is thick but real flexable. It cost $30.
  19. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
  20. Good link. Too bad he didn't dispel the "directional" interconnects & speaker cables myth.

    The golden-ear audiophile snobs will spend their last dime on anything that promises to elevate their $3000 single-ended 10 watt amp to new heights of aural ecstacy. Me, I'm an engineer and I don't put much credence in the audiophile's subjective listening tests. On the other hand, scientific double-blind speaker cable tests I've seen have pretty well proven that a 14 or 16 gauge lamp cord sounds just as good as the $100 a foot solid "unobtanium" cables. Look up an earlier thread on power cables,BTW. (Believe it or not, I've seen audio tests that claimed they could hear differences among various $100 AC power cables.)

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