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What have you found to be the best speaker cable

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bassist30, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Bassist30

    Bassist30 Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2004
    There are some who believe all cables are the same and others who find this to be false. But I am curious to see the responses. So my question being what is the better amp/speaker cables that you are using? Does guages matter for instance 12 guage and 16 guage cables? What are the differences and what have you personally found in sound to be different - from guage to guage and company to company?
  2. Bob Lee (QSC)

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

    Jul 3, 2001
    Santa Ana, Calif.
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    16 gauge copper is fine for relatively short cables. For longer ones, or for lower load impedances (like 2Ω instead of 8Ω), using a heavier gauge is wise.

    I find my best deals on speaker cable at a local hardware store in the electrical department--two conductor stranded cable, with a round jacket (for easy coiling), and gauge appropriate to the application (although at the price, it's worthwhile to choose a fairly large gauge.
  3. +1!

    Learn how to solder, then get cable at hardware stores, and connectors from various online vendors. You'll be glad you did!

    At Lowe's, I bought two 3 foot lengths of 14 ga. clear jacketed zip cord, and got connectors from Parts Express (in my case, two 2 pole Speakon-style, and two dual banana plugs, for my particular amp/speaker comination). There's no magic in the ingredients, but soldering well will make a difference.
  4. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I like Pro Co Fat Max...it's 8 gauge!
  5. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Well, charts have been posted here in Amps showing that 16 gauge speaker cable is as good as 8 gauge for lengths of 10 feet or less. All my speaker cables are less than 10 feet, so I use 14 or 16 ga cable because it's easier to coil...

    Edit: ...and sounds exactly the same thru my hi-fi bass rigs.
  6. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    Absolutely rocks. Huge sonic difference between same length 14 guage lamp cord speakon to speakon. Very noticeable. Test may not show difference on some rigs but on my all EA rig, whew!! The arm chair engineers, "ACEs" will state specs that say otherwise but I hear the difference. Plus they are really road worthy. Why cheat at the next to the last link in your sound production? I don't want to start a "flaming wire is wire war". This is my opinion, with my bass, my touch, my strings, and my Home Depot Hemp tow rope for a instrument cable and my EA gear. :)

    I also use 8 guage Carver (not Carvin) Amp companies braided 8 guage wire. It is similarly outstanding. The difference between it and 12 guage was hugely noticeable on my 2 4x10 750w concert rig.
    Visit a car stereo install place and see the size of wire they use. We are all uninformed idiots defying science and kicking bass booty live.
  7. Curtybob


    Jun 2, 2007
    Jackson, MO
    I have been using some Monster Cable I found at Radio Shack and extra jumbo 1/4" plugs (when needed, otherwise, my new stuff takes banana plugs). The cable is 16 gauge, but it's kinda like coax. It has both conductors in it's own insulator (one is translucent blue sleeve, other is clear), and then twisted together and put as a unit into another clear insulator. Looks cool, sounds great. I don't know if it's the cables or something else, but I knocked a little hum out when I put these cables in.
  8. Jonny B

    Jonny B

    Nov 5, 2006
    Bayou Audio Cables. Butch makes some awesome cables.

    I can say I've never had a problem 14 gauge.
  9. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    When you're passing 10s of volts through a cable the only thing that matter is the current-handling ability (assuming 2/4/8 ohm loads at the other end), I would think. Personally I use the cheapest + fattest dual-conductor cable I can find in my spares box - a lot of the time this is simply 240V power cables stripped down.
  10. +1 So do I! Works a treat & is fatter than most 'SPEAKER CABLE" I can find.
  11. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    The lightest gauge I use for speaker cables is 12 gauge for any length. I also have and use ProCo Guardian Fat Max. You can't be sure, so why take the risk? (See religion threads in the lobby.)
  12. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Yes, you can. The resistance/capacitance/inductance requirements for speaker cable were quantified by Bell Labs, amongt others, in the late 1920s. Bob Lee's advice is dead on.
  13. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    I've built biamp Speakon to banana that way - another benefit of round final jacket is how easily the Speakon chuck fits it.

    Actually for my PA runs I got a better, more flexible round cable for CHEAPER on the internet - Jack's Music Store, I think it was - and I think the raw cable was by Horizon. I also bought some bulk 4-conductor from Carvin that's real nice.
  14. Im quite tempted to say that its in your mind :p .

    And yeah, ive seen the car audio stuff, a friend of mine has a 200 watt amp in his car, and guage 0 wire for it. When I asked him why? Because it sounds better he said . . . had he tried a lower (cheaper) gauge wire? Nope, but it sounds better, because he read it on the internet :rolleyes: . Not my moneys at least!

    I use the 12 guage wire from butch at BayouCables. Great quality, very solid and cheap!
  15. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    There was a guy on the classifieds here building burly cables to order, and I got a couple of nice short fat speaker cables from him. Work great and sound great.

    I used to have some Terra Labs cables, and the rig I used them with sounded incredible. I've since reassabled a similar rig and it didn't sound the same, but I can't be sure of the reasons. I wish I had a set of them to run some A/B listening tests with, though I highly doubt it'd be worth forking over that kind of coin again.
  16. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    It's not like the Pro Co Fat Max is an expensive cable, so what's the difference in buying a 14 gauge $30 cable or an 8 gauge $30 cable? I didn't read all the specs, because I really didn't care. I bought the giant cable because I think it's cool...plus I got it for a good price...I don't think that $30 is even remotely expensive for a cable. I'm not looking to start a "my cable is better than your cable" thing here...I'm just saying why I bought it...
  17. slackdaddy


    Mar 1, 2004
    Athens, GA
    Endorsing Artist: David Eden Amplifiers / Rob Wave Custom basses
  18. eedre


    Feb 26, 2007
    St. Louis,MO
    Or, you can wait for GC to have a sale on Planet Waves and Monster cables and get 20' grade A cables for $10 each and much less work :D
  19. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
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