How to select a good Speaker Cable

Speaker cables do have a significant role in how our system sounds. Different cables sound different. 

So which one is the right one for you?

The Speaker Cable is an extension of the Amp. and not an addition to the speaker's load. It shall have a certain resistance (low) not to spoil the Amp's DF figure. As so, it can be calculated and there is a formula to do it.

The higher the Amp's DF, the lower the Speaker Cable's resistance shall be. As today SS power Amp's get DFs of 400 and above (Digital Amps go by thousands) the cable of 10 ft (3m) long, gets as thick as 0 AWG.

I can see your eyebrows elevates, when that thick cable is to be deal with. Most Speaker Cable makers skip it because of that. So most cables on the market (regardless of the look or price) are of 14-12 AWG. Way less that supposed to be.

Worst! no Speaker Cable maker, dealer or seller knows the answer, of what is the correct cable for your system. 

So most of us ended up, with a cables too thin for the task.

A conducted test, on this site, about a year ago as well as with some closer friends, shows a significant improvement with a calculated size cable over their previous cable. The results were all positive and preferred the calculated cable.

So, instead of asking: which of two brands, or two prices or two colors of Speaker Cable do I need, you should ask how thick of a Speaker Cable do I need.

I'll be happy to provide you the calculation, for who request it. All you need to provide is:

1). Length (Ft. or meter)

2). The Amp's DF figure.


Tube Amps have low DF so cables won't change the sound a bit.
If the cables are meant to end up with a tube Amp. don't bother at all.
This first system  will be with the McIntosh 121MX and a amplifier to a 7 system.  Hopefully I will be able to do this this weekend Thanks again for the info.  I might look into building a AWG Zero 5 footer for the sub-woofer to to see if there is any change in sound. Someone PM and showed pictures of what he did which I'm going to replicate.  When I'm done I will report here on sound difference.
Mr. estereo

McIntosh is keeping to build tube like Amps, mostly utilize an output transformer on the output stage. That is a 1/2 of the way, even if the drivers of that transformer is SS, the output is still a  transformer!
105 as DF is moderate (low) and it will not be much of a change.
However, I'm looking forward to see it works for you.


A few years ago, a good friend of mine, got a new sound system:
B&W 802D speakers, PASS Labs 205.8 power and the 12 Pre.
I calculated and build him a set of #4 AWG speaker cables.
It sounded well and since he is happy with his sound.
Yesturday, I visited him with my newly built #0 AWG cable (same length).
We listened to some tracks with his #4 AWG and than connected the #0 AWG.
Before the power was turned on, I’ve told him that the sound will remain the same. My calc. were claiming that a #4 AWG is what he needs, and any thicker, will be a waist of $$$.
He turned the power on, and the same tracks sounded identical.
This is the first time I’m putting to test this part of my theory.
It worked.
It’s kind of funny, that I was happy that it didn’t sound different!
Well it has proven that my theory is on spot and working both directions.
So guys,
I’m happy to report that the theory is working in practice with grate accuracy.
I hope, one day all speaker cable manufacturers will be honest and genuine enough to do it my way and start providing you the right cables for your system, without the "other" claims they sale today.
It works.
It really works, and works well.

  Kind of interesting this, wonder if OP will ever realise the difference between stranded & solid conductors