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#49108 - 03/08/02 09:50 PM Difference between Speaker Cable and Regular Electrical Wire
Jonathan Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 10/17/01
Posts: 41
Loc: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Just out of curisosity, What's the difference between speaker wire and and regular electrical wire? Won't speakers still work with regular electrical wires? Is there something different in speaker cable copper that is different from regular copper cables? Also is it okay to use solid wires instead of stranded? Thanks in advance to everyone for your replys.

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#49109 - 03/08/02 11:01 PM Re: Difference between Speaker Cable and Regular Electrical Wire
Owl's_Warder Online   content
Desperado

Registered: 06/29/01
Posts: 841
Loc: Grants Pass, OR
Boy, you're asking to open Pandora's Box with that post! I'd suggest, as a starting point, you read through all the threads in this forum. Then maybe ask a little more specific question...

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#49110 - 03/09/02 07:07 AM Re: Difference between Speaker Cable and Regular Electrical Wire
gonk Offline
Desperado

Registered: 03/21/01
Posts: 14054
Loc: Memphis, TN USA
You pose some good questions, Jonathan. The most basic answer is "yes, if you use regular electrical wire a speaker could work" -- as long as you have two same-size conductors for positive and negative, you'll get sound. There are differences in the metal used and in shielding (for some speaker wire, but not all). There are also some considerations regarding solid vs stranded that I don't remember at the moment but will try to dig up later -- I'm about to unhook all the computers so we can paint the study today.

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#49111 - 03/09/02 07:58 AM Re: Difference between Speaker Cable and Regular Electrical Wire
charlie Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 1176
Actually as long as both are big enough a size difference shouldn't matter, and stranding without insulating each strand likewise.


Charlie
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#49112 - 03/09/02 09:30 AM Re: Difference between Speaker Cable and Regular Electrical Wire
morphsci Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 02/15/02
Posts: 243
Loc: Charleston, IL, USA
The real problem with solid wire for me is its stiffness, which makes it harder to run in many cases.

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#49113 - 03/20/02 05:07 PM Re: Difference between Speaker Cable and Regular Electrical Wire
youngguns Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 02/04/02
Posts: 83
Loc: Nunica, Michigan
i have audio quest type-4 it is solid wire, and i have no problems running it. i could hear a difference between it and my old acoustic resurch stuff, which is somwhat simler to a lamp power cord, but a little better.

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#49114 - 03/21/02 04:14 AM Re: Difference between Speaker Cable and Regular Electrical Wire
morphsci Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 02/15/02
Posts: 243
Loc: Charleston, IL, USA
When I was referring to the stiffness of solid core wire I was referring to general electrical wiring as found at Lowes or Home Depot. I was not referring to speaker wiring with solid versus stranded cores. I assumed that was the electrical wire reffered to in the initial post. Just wanted to clear that up.

[This message has been edited by morphsci (edited March 21, 2002).]

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#49115 - 03/21/02 09:56 AM Re: Difference between Speaker Cable and Regular Electrical Wire
Smart Little Lena Offline
Desperado

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 1019
Loc: Dallas
( “Is there something different in speaker cable copper that is different from regular copper cables? “ )
Yes. How copper is refined and extruded. For a quick overview go here: http://www.outlawaudio.com//products/cables_about.html#
and look at OFC and OCC processes.
( “Also is it okay to use solid wires instead of stranded?” ) Everyday electricians, definitely use smaller multi-stranded wire applications, Vs solid strand, for wires when vibration, or flex is a factor. As Morphsci pointed out in speaker wire, in speaker wire manuf. the flex factor should be accounted for whereas when buying wire at a building supply you should factor this. There are complaints about wire on occasion even when manufactured specifically for speakers or interconnects, (solid or multi-strand) being exceptionally stiff causing difficulties on bends around busy backs of hardware, also the stiffness, weight factor, causing connections to back out or work loose in some applications. How solid strands Vs multi-strand bundles affects resistance, inductance, capacitance, is another world of info. ‘Skin effect’, Dielectrics, winding geomety, un-insulated strand bundles arch effect, electromagnetic’s, and on and on.
( “work with regular electrical wires?” ) Lots of people make, DIY braided multi-strand or a run of solid strand, speaker wire, out of products they get from building /electrical/electronics suppliers.
Do an archive search on sites like this and you find heated debate on whether or not electrons being passed, from point A to B on a wire, can affect sound.
For myself, In the simplest basest terms possible, when I reflect on how electrical impulses are passed through a wood ladder Vs an aluminum one, (basic conductive/insulation principles), I personally assume that the manf. and design of wire, can and will affect how electrons travel, but theres a world of “degree” here.
Mankind is so innovative and fun, personally it wouldn’t surprise me to find “Ionic Cables” listed for sale someday. Little tiny sealed tubing, with wire running through saltwater.
Choice is good!

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#49116 - 06/02/02 06:02 AM Re: Difference between Speaker Cable and Regular Electrical Wire
MixFixJ Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 05/10/02
Posts: 156
Loc: Vista, CA USA
I just stumbled into this thread (excuse me!), and it got me thinking. In reality, stranded cables are really only groups of small, bundled, solid cables. Lena (smart indeed!) wrapped it all up pretty succinctly about the physics involved. My take is this: Use good quality copper cable (OFC or better). The largest guage that you can afford and use effectively. Solid is an interesting idea if you want to make a sculpture or an individualiy statement, but there's no real reason to go to the trouble. Use the highest quality connections with the most connetion-point surface area. In this case gold does make a difference due to it's conductivity and anti-corrosive characteristics. If you're going to solder your own connections, then make sure that you are good at it and use only silver solder. Any other kind of solder will introduce a less-conductive link in the chain and you've defeated the purpose. You can spend thousands of dollars on 'audio jewelry'. If that's what you're into, then
more power to you and I have a bridge that I'd like to sell you. If you follow the above principles, then you'll be fine.
Personal Observations: I'm very impressed with the Outlaw interconnects. High build quality, great-looking, good price. I'd be interested to see what they'd do with speaker cable. I've used all manner of connector types. I got used to Speakon connectors (Neutrik) in the professional realm, but they're not practical in the consumer world. I've soldered my own, etc. Presently I'm using banana plugs. High surface area, tight fit, and convenient. Just my choice.
Bottom Line: Listen with you're ears, not your eyes.
Mix

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#49117 - 06/02/02 07:33 AM Re: Difference between Speaker Cable and Regular Electrical Wire
mediahound Offline
Gunslinger

Registered: 10/31/01
Posts: 56
Loc: California
is outlaw planning on coming out with speaker cable? it would be great if they would come out with some bi-wire cabling and so forth.

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