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Suggestions for solid core cable

Marantz offers at HiFiMART.com

amit11

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Hi Friends,

I was thinking to give a try to solid core speaker cable instead of stranded cables. Just two days back I had purchased chord carnival silver screen cable and it is in the process of burn-in.

I do not want to purchase expensive cable at the onset, however some normal cable (single core) local brand / earthing wire etc which is cheap can be tried to get a flavour. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks in advance.

Regards,
Amit.
 

prem

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Buy 24 or 26 gauge solid core copper from the local electrical store
 

amit11

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Thanks. Does the wire contain two cores (e.g. red and black) covered by main insulation? OR, it would be single wire and I need to purchase two separately?
 

jls001

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Won't 24 or 26 be too thin to be used as speaker cable? For reference, a CAT 5 or 6 strand is 24 AWG.
 

prem

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Jls001, I have always found thinner gauge to work better when it comes to solid core. I have tried everything from 10 gauge to 30 gauge. 24 seems to be the sweet spot at least to my ears
 

amit11

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Have purchased today solid core cables. Searched around ten electricals shop and finally got in one shop only. Straight from office to cable hunt and then home.

Have wired them to amp and speaker. Amp on B. Side A has the chord silverline connected. Can do a kind of AB comparison. Just now started listening. Will post my initial impressions.
 

bornfi

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Have purchased today solid core cables. Searched around ten electricals shop and finally got in one shop only. Straight from office to cable hunt and then home.

Have wired them to amp and speaker. Amp on B. Side A has the chord silverline connected. Can do a kind of AB comparison. Just now started listening. Will post my initial impressions.

what awg (gauge) did you buy?
 

amit11

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Its no where written on the wire... Local brand with no brandname on wire.. Had got it from a very local electrical shop...the shopkeeper said somewhere around 24 awg....

That was the only wire in solid core available with him... So did not have any options.
 
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Fantastic

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A single solid core will have more dc resistance than what you really want. It will affect the frequency response at the speaker terminals . So what you hear should be slightly different. Almost like using a multiband graphic equaliser with slight adjustments ! However the changes in response depends on the speaker's impedance curve which is usually never a straight line ( constant impedance) over the frequency range. It might make changes that you like or do not like ! ;)

The other significant effect is to reduce damping of the system . This usually causes a bump in the low frequency response. It could be acceptable if the low end of the speaker is not too good or it could cause bloated bass in a speaker that by itself goes down very low.

Will be interesting to see what it does in your system.
Cheers.
 

bornfi

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A single solid core will have more dc resistance than what you really want. It will affect the frequency response at the speaker terminals . So what you hear should be slightly different. Almost like using a multiband graphic equaliser with slight adjustments ! However the changes in response depends on the speaker's impedance curve which is usually never a straight line ( constant impedance) over the frequency range. It might make changes that you like or do not like ! ;)

The other significant effect is to reduce damping of the system . This usually causes a bump in the low frequency response. It could be acceptable if the low end of the speaker is not too good or it could cause bloated bass in a speaker that by itself goes down very low.

Will be interesting to see what it does in your system.
Cheers.

Dear Fantastic, All these tech related stuff that a tech-illiterate person like me followed and never tried the solid core but when I did, it is very hard for me to go back to stranded. Solid core cleans everything, every note takes its own personality. I somehow have a feeling that people stay away from solid core because of it being difficult to work with.

I would like to hear your opinion if you ever tried this out.
 

amit11

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Initial impressions...

Top end is slightly rolled off. Sparkle has gone.
Little on warm side.
Overall clarity slightly reduced.
Relaxed presentation.
No ear fatigue even at moderate volumes.

These are totally local cables. Some burn in i guess required.
 
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prem

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The solid core cable you have will have a pvc covering. That reduces clarity a bit and also causes a roll off. If you like what you hear, you can peel off that pvc covering and put the bare wire in a Teflon sleeve. That should improve clarity as well as top end. Alternatively if you feel comfortable you can use a cotton sleeve instead of Teflon sleeve. But use a thick cotton sleeve and make sure it doesn't get wet
 

Fantastic

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I would like to hear your opinion if you ever tried this out.

Yes I have. I've done it many times before but with my latest experiment several weeks ago , the cable is still in my system and I don't plan to remove it! ;)
What you need to be careful about.
You need to get wires with good copper and with insulation on it. This is easily solved if you buy standard enameled wires also called 'magnet wire' in some places which are used to make transformers. I tried to get OFC ( oxygen free copper ) but looks like transformer makers don't care about that !

The wires must be below 21 guage (SWG).
Now even at this guage a single wire will have a significant dc resistance and also on the verge of being not 100% utilised ( cross section area wise ) at 20 Khz. So for HF it is effectively a higher impedance !
Theoretically the difference is very small and unimportant. But considering the non uniform impedance of the speaker it will affect the signal appearing at the speaker terminals and it can become audible. Typically as treble roll off and reduced damping at the LF end. There can also be 'wiggles' in the mid range region .
I'll see if I can put up a frequency response plot with a 24 swg wire on a real speaker. There are VERY few speakers with a uniform flat impedance over the audible range. Magnepan is one and some others that have been optimised to stay flat all through. Usually such speakers belong to the expensive category.

To over come the ( possible!) HF problem , you can use thinner wire which will make the dc resistance worse and affect the bass. To overcome that you can use multiple wires in parallel to bring that down for each line. Solder them together at the end. So each wire has effectively only it's original diameter as it's insulated at all other points from the other wires.

I've tried four 21 swg strands in each line and it made an audible difference for the better at HF and LF. I'm working on a plan to use 12 parallel wires using 24 swg which will need to be wrapped together. Not exactly so easy to do single handed ! Each line ( +ve or -ve ) is insulated with a cotton sleeve to prevent the + and the - wires from accidentally touching each other. Normally this isn't a problem as the enamel insulation is quite rugged. But repeated movement of the wires ( when you are experimenting !) might scuff off the insulation somewhere and 'might' result in a short. My current wires have no cotton insulation on one channel !

Should you try it ? Definitely yes ! It isn't expensive with a single wire run. If you use multiple parallel wires you might easily use up to 1/2 kg of copper which will cost around 300/- or so . Much cheaper in any case than a 'super' speaker cable !
If I remember where this thread is I'll put up the electrical comparison between different wires using a real loudspeaker ! ;)
 

jls001

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I have tried a very fancy (and costly) solid core PCOCC copper speaker wires once in my setup and to date it is the best sounding speaker cable I've ever tried in my setup.

I've even tried bare CAT 6 wires as IC, each insulated in cotton tubes and the signal and return leads separated by 3/4". It sounds very, very good to my ears, and it was comparable to almost any interconnect I've had in my setup, till I replaced the CAT 6 wires with silver wires of the same gauge.

@Fantastic: will using multiple runs off the solid core magnet wire not be equivalent to using multi strand?
 
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sidvee

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I have tried a very fancy (and costly) solid core PCOCC copper speaker wires once in my setup and to date it is the best sounding speaker cable I've ever tried in my setup.
.

I have had the same experience so I bought the speaker cable and now am planning to get the similar interconnects as well to complete the loom. Btw the cables are from Acoustic Revive.
Cheers,
Sid
 

Fantastic

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@Fantastic: will using multiple runs off the solid core magnet wire not be equivalent to using multi strand?

Yes it will ...almost.... with a small difference. Each wire is connected to the adjacent ( parallel ) wire only at the end. During the full run of the cable it will be isolated from the other wires in the strand.
In a regular multi strand cable the individual strands touch the others continuously or at random all along the length.

You must admit that there is plenty of harmless fun experimenting with 'all kinds of materials' in audio . Some work , some don't, you often get surprises and most of all you enjoy and make new friends all the time ! Yes, your pocket gets lighter !....but then everything in life has a price..... !:D
 
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keith_correa

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Buy a length of Teflon insulated CAT5 cable, separate the strands and try adding strands in multiples of 1 to connect amps to speakers.

1. Try 4 strands [for an aggregate AWG of 18] of 24AWG each for the +ve & -ve

2. Once you like what you hear, try just increasing the AWG of the -ve to 1.67 times [Eichmann ratio] the +ve and see if that makes any difference.

BTW, some say 18AWG solid core is the sweet spot for speaker cables.

Edit: Try this: http://daycounter.com/Calculators/SkinEffect/Skin-Effect-Calculator.phtml. Put in the frequency as 20 KHz. Throws up 18 AWG.
 
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all4music

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@amit , why not use a Cat 6 cable itself?
EDIT: never mind.. i read only the first page of the thread! :p
 
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